Pickups in your Teye – some thoughts and observations.
Seymours on the ‘000’ Triple-‘oh’
On my very first pre-prototype,the ‘000’ or ‘triple-oh’, I wanted to install Seymour humbuckers. Reason: in the early 1990’s Gibson came out with a re-issue of their famous late-1950’s Seth Lover designed Patent Applied For (PAF) humbuckers. Of course these were(said Gibson) ‘exact replicas according to the original specs’, well I put a set in my 1957 Goldtop (yes you read that right) which guitar by the time I bought her did not have the originals – part of the reason I could afford it – and IMHO they re-issues sounded spectacular. So I equipped several of my Gibson guitars AND for both guitars that Tony Zemaitis made for me in the 1990’s I sent him these pickups too and asked him to install those in favor of the DiMarzio’s I believe he normally used. Tony’s comment: “These are really lovely pickups!”
Then a very good friend of mine installed a set of Seymours in his Ted Newman-Jones and I was floored. Now I had a guitar store just down the street (DANGER!!!) Strait Music of Texas. I explained my wishes to the boss Casey (to try out a selection of Seymours with the understanding that I could return them, buying only the set of my choice. As long as I kept the amount of stripped cable to a minimum… So I took home a pretty good selection, and installed them in my 000 (AKA the ‘triple-oh) and pretty quickly came to an un-expected choice: ‘Seymour Jazz’ pickups both bridge and neck!
Casey had a set of these with 4-conductor wiring, a set of braided single-wire pickups were back-ordered and had to still be MADE by the factory… moving delivery (and in-stalling) bay by monthts…) So I simply bought the 4-conductor ones. And THAT is BTW also how that entire Teye-Mood thing ame about. COMPLETELY by chance. OK they did sound glorious, so that in my 001 (the fist ‘La India’) I also planned Seymour Jazz’s (one bridge pu by the bridge, a neck pu by the neck, and another neck pu in the middle) And as Casey called it: “I don’t understand. Seymour’s entire catalog would fit in that closet, why they don’t keep more on hand to immediately send out, I cannot see. Well, the only Jazz set that could arrive fairly soon were unwaxed and at the time I preferred the maxed, so I did so myself. That 1st ‘La India’ sounded glorious, but Casey had bent my ear time and time again about a pickup builder named Jason Lollar, and gave me his phone number. Long conversations later, I received a set of three. Put them in that La India, and fired up an amp. Every time I wanted to stop, there was ‘just ONE more sound’ I wanted to try, until my wife came into the shop and said “You know what time it is? The neighbors! So I switched off, looked at those pickups and literally said out loud: “You really wanna be in my guitar that bad?” And that was the start of my using Lollars in hundreds of guitars.
In 2011 Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes, Bad Company and Magpie Salute, got his hands on one of my ‘La Perlas’ and ordered an A-Series (Master) La Mora, sent me pickups to install made by a friend of his from England. Lemme tell you, I did not discuss, and that’s how I delivered the guitar. He plugged it in, strummed a few notes and gave it back: “Please install your usual pickups.” So Rich bought several more Masters, and got them all equipped with Lollars.
2nd Generation Lover Humbuckers?
Now I’ve always been very curious about the 1970’s Fender humbucker, the one with the offset 3+3 polepieces – I always thought those were designed by Bill Lawrence (whom I also had the priviledge of meeting, his wife Becky said when Bill announed he was gonna smoke a ciggie: “Go ‘smoke’ with him even if you don’t smoke” and one of the most interesting hours of my life followed, listening to a man whom I first saw as ‘Billy Lorento’ on a packet of Framus strings. What a wonderful interesting storyteller, what a genuinely nice and generous person who had drunk very deeply from the well of life! I was adding more great Bill Lawrence stories when I spoke years later with my good old friend Frisian guitar builder Anno Galama, another incredibly nice and generous Gentleman! (and an old friend of Bill)
Back to the story: the Fender 1970’shumbucker is a super interesting pickup actually designed by Seth Lover who was hired away from Gibson by Leo Fender for a 25% salary increase (if you can believe the stories) to make a more Fender-like humbucker. Or: all the grease and cream, but with added twang and clarity. Would you like some more whipped cream on your apple pie? How DARE you ask?!?
This now being the time of the internet, and YouTube, I quickly fell in love with them. And before long I had preference for a specific type. And that type WOULD fit in my 3-pickup guitars! Sharper bass response, and all the definition you could ask for, thanks to the magnetic pole pieces vs the single magnet bar of the PAF-design.
Then I needed to complete the Master guitar that I was working on, AND wait for my pickups…
Well what can I say? I will now recommend these highly! They are Baby 71’s made by Jaime Campbell of The Creamery Pickups. I recommend them as highly as I recommend the work of Jason Lollar.
Your Choice when you order a Teye Master
So here’s your choice when you order a Teye Master guitar: Jason Lollar PAF-style pickups with as much clarity and definition as I’ve ever heard coming from a PAF-style design, or Jaime Campbell’s Creamery Baby 71’s, whose attention to detail is every bit as good as Lollar but who is addicted to that 2nd generation design of humbuckers. Both kinds sound absolutely fantastic, it’s up to you, ya can’t go wrong with either, you either choose ‘classic’ 1950’s design or that 1970’s more clarity design. No, I’m not going to recommend one over the other here, please do your own research, there’s plenty of info as well as sound clips and comparison videos out there. Keep in mind that if you want the bigger original specs Wide Range Humbucker, I will need to get parts cut specially for that.This is why I use the ‘Baby ’71s’ because they fit all my current parts. Also, please rest assured that the electronics in your guitar will be hand-tuned by me to whichever pickups you end up choosing. This of course for Master guitars: I’m not at all involved on a hands-on basis with the production guitars: I live a continent removed from that workshop.