Low-impedance pickups – Les Paul’s favorite … but a generally neglected kind

In our second installment of articles by Helmut Lemme, we turn to a special kind of pickup that was favored by Les Paul but for a number of reasons never made it big in the guitar world: the low-impedance pickup. In fact, it has all the right features and should be the go-to type of pickup – as the article discusses. It is interesting to read how  circumstances make history sometimes write the best technology out of the picture. With the low impedance pickup, we would have much more control over the sound of our guitars – in fact we could mimic each an every pickup type and brand with it. The one drawback – the small output voltage – would not be an issue at all with modern electronics. But it was not to be. Still, you might become interested to experiment a bit, so give this a read:

Low-Impedance Pickups

P.S.: this article was originally issued in the magazine SUSTAIN (September, 2012); we appreciate being given the permission to re-publish it here!



While we’re waiting for the 3rd part of the article on Wide-Range Humbuckers: a little teaser …

It’s been quite a while since we posted the 2nd part of the article on the Fender Wide Range Humbucker … and it will be a while until we get to the 3rd part. In the meantime, and while you might be waiting, here’s a little teaser that also explains how some new hardware currently developed at GITEC will aid compiling the material for the 3rd part of the article.

More on the Fender „Wide Range“ Humbucking Pickup: clones and the old competition

Our „wide-range“ journey continues … in the second article in the series about the Fender Wide Range Humbucking Pickup, we check out some clones of this device,  and we also consider the most relevant competition it faced when it came out back in the early 1970’s. So: more frequency plots and Q-factors coming right up …. see here!

A little managing of expectations: it will take a while until the posting of the third part of this series of articles … we plan to do some recordings, and compare sound samples … but first the annual GITEC meeting (https://gitec-forum.de/wp/gitec-jahres-meeting-2019/)  on Oct. 12 & 13 in Regensburg, Germany, needs to be organized and run and processed) …

Please stay tuned and do not loose patience!



What’s so special about the Fender „Wide Range“ Humbucking Pickup?

In the world of humbucking pickups, the original Fender humbucker – the so-called „Wide-Range“ Humbucking Pickup – is a rather special animal. Although it has not achieved the notoriety and status of the Gibson PAF, it does have its fans and enjoys a really good reputation … good enough that several clones have been made available by various pickup manufacturers. Fender has also included reissued of the pickup on several guitars (made by Fender Mexico and Fender/Squier).

At GITEC, we have recently had the possibility to check out and compare original „wide range“ humbuckers (with CuNiFe-Magnets), reissues, and some clones. This turned out to be an interesting experience, especially since we also compared some of the „old competition“ (i.e the Gibson humbucker and the Strat pickup).

Our report has the form of three articles. Check  out the first one here!

N.B. In the process, even some theoretical considerations were triggered – these were the basis of the article on the „Q-factor“. All things are connected!