We're lucky enough to feature four incredible guitarists in Issue 17 of Gi with Guns N' Roses axe-slinger Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal gracing the cover plus ex-Megadeth thrash legend Marty Friedman and acoustic virtuoso Richard Thompson on the inside. Not only that, but we talk to Thank You Scientist's Tom Monda about his career so far and what the future entails.
Originally available in the UK only, Seymour Duncan’s Whole Lotta Humbuckers
might have come out of a time machine of tone. Rick Graham plays Dr. Who.
So, the story behind these pickups begins
way back before the development of the now
legendary Seymour Duncan company, when
Seymour himself was a young American
living in London. Back in the day, he would
often be found doing work for his fellow
guitar slingers, who formed part of the
London music scene. One of these guitarists
had approached Seymour to do a re-wind on
a set of PAFs he had which were to be fitted
back into his Les Paul. Seymour completed
the work for him and, aided by his new
and improved pickups, created an instantly
recognisable Rock and Roll sound. This
guitarist then went on to become one of the
most influential guitarists in music history.
Ever meticulous with his work, Seymour
kept his notes and was able to recreate the
exact pickups responsible for the sound that
blasted through speakers the world over.
The ‘Whole Lotta Humbucker’ was born.
The question remains the same, though:
will this pickup offer a stairway to great
tone or will they just leave you feeling dazed
and confused? Why not name the guitarist
in question? Presumably for endorsement
reasons. Let’s take a closer look, anyway.
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86 Guitar Interactive Magazine Issue 15
At the heart of these humbuckers lie Alnico
5 magnets, which, contrary to the more
modern approach, are sand cast and have
very rough surfaces. Seymour himself is
quoted as saying: “I liked to rewind the
pickups with 42-gauge plain-enamel wire. I’d
also insert sand-cast Alnico magnets with a
better-balanced magnetic field, which made
the B and high E sound as powerful as the
other strings. This modified pickup had more
output and a higher frequency response.”
The bridge pickup is most definitely hotter
than vintage with 8.78k DC resistance
and the neck pickup is not too far off that
coming in at 8.20k.
Both pickups have been wound using
Seymour Duncan’s unique wind pattern
and, of course, no pickup purporting to be
vintage would be complete without the use
of plain enamel wire. Both pickups have
small mounting legs, which mean that they
are able to be fitted to a wide variety of
guitars, and also feature four-conductor wire
on each pickup, with push/pull pots or miniswitches
for complete control over the set-up
and both are available either in uncovered
black bobbins or nickel covers.