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Christ, I was once amazed by your work, but now I realise you are toooooo far up your own arse to leave me wanting anything you have produced now or in the past...you ranting self obsessed pillock..... cash saved, rant over.          bye, Tony Scott

Body Style
Body Wood
Neck Wood
Fbd. Wood
Wiring Neck Joint
Black Limba
624 mm

*Dual Size

Compound Radius


BurstBucker #1

BurstBucker #3

3-way sellctor +
coil switch
8.3 lb

Vids and Sound Files:          151108_01.wmv          151108_02.mwv

BurstBucker pickups from Gibson give guitarists replica sounds of Gibson's original "Patent Applied For" pickups - the pickups that give the '59 Les Paul Standard its legendary sound. The BurstBuckers are made with unpolished magnets and non-potted coils, like the originals - represent the variations found among vintage Gibson humbuckers. The initial demand for Patent Applied For replica pickups came from Japanese collectors, and the BurstBucker was offered exclusively in Japan beginning in 1996. By 1999 word has spread of the unique replica tones produced by BurstBuckers. Gibson USA put the first BurstBuckers on a production model Les Paul in the Summer of 2000, and Gibson's Custom division then equipped the Custom Authentic Les Paul models with BurstBuckers.

The variations in pickup output and tone came from inconsistencies in winding the bobbins, a result of the lack of automatic shutoffs on Gibson's winding machines in the late 1950s. Seth Lover, who invented the humbucker, always said they wound the bobbins "until they were full," and original examples suggest that employees stopped the winding machines after the counter reached approximately 5000 turns. When the two coils in a pickup have a different number of turns, that variation puts a little "edge" or "bite" on the classic humbucker sound. That's the sound BurstBuckers replicate. (The "creamy" sound that Gibson's '57 Classics replicate comes from equal coil windings.) Gibson then carries the replication process two steps farther, with unpolished Alnico II magnets and no wax-potting of the coils, just like the originals. BurstBuckers are offered in three different versions: Burstbucker #1 is slightly underwound, with medium "vintage" output, and works well in both bridge and neck positions. Burstbucker #2 is wound with slightly hotter "vintage" output than the BurstBucker #1, and works well in the bridge position with a BurstBucker 1 in the neck position. Burstbucker #3 is slightly overwound, with hotter output, and works well in the bridge position with a BurstBucker #2 in the neck position. Burstbucker are available with nickel covers.

Someone had sent me these Gibson pickups as a non-refundable depost and asked me to use them for their future Zachary gutiar. These pickups sell for a whapping $150 each. I sent them to my pickup maker to give them 4 conductor capability, so I can split the coils and get more sounds out of them. He changed the wiring and also wax potted them to cut down on noise, an improvement over their original non-potted condition. The person who sent me the pickups had then disappeared completely and I never heard from him again. I was left with these pickus and wanted to use them in a Z guitar. Here they are in this hotrod Zachary G1, with the body shape of a 50s Les Paul Junior/Special. A cool combination I think.

I noticed the new G1 - the pickups have the screws oriented towards the center not towards the bridge/neck as typical. Is this a tone consideration? I am guessing it is not really a significant issue, but you just did it to be different. I am also curious, when you do the coil split, which coils are active, the ones with the adjustable pole pieces I would assume? This would mean you would get a mellower tone on the bridge split and somewhat brighter on the neck. How does this sound vs. a Zach Attack pickup? Not as much midrange and gain I would think. Sound clips would be cool.     Frank Baker

Answer:    I did not explain this because I thought it was obvious. You have actually answered your own question.
I don't do anything just to be different. As you know I am naturally different enough and don't have to try at it. Trying to be even more different would be overkill.
I have the screws on the inside on both pups and for a very good reason. Two reasons actually. The inside coils are the activated coils in single coil mode. I want to make adjustablity possible for the activated coils, in terms of volume balance of the poles. This is exactly the same active coil configuration I use with ZachAttacks, except the ZachAttacks have two rows of screws on each pickup, screws for both coils. ZachAttacks are also more defined than PAFs. Yes PAFs have more midrange and are muddier sounding but not always in a bad way.

The second reason to use the inside coils in single coil mode is for tonal considerations. By having the two inside coils on at the same time I get some natural phase cancellation from the close proximity of the inside coils. Kind of like positions 2 and 4 on a Strat. When the pups are on separately in single coil mode, I get a warmer bridge tone and a brighter more defined neck tone.

Its all your fault for asking this question. Now thousands of tinkerers and hacks around the world have something else to copy from me and be proud of. They will fool themselves into believing they came up with all this themselves or that they knew it all along.

Alex, Hope all is well, and that you are composing and crafting guitars.

I'm trying to get to grips with what it is that the 151108 does to be what it is. My conclusion is, yet again, that it is the totality of it being well-composed, well-crafted and well set up.

The components and the way they are put together I can not flaw at all. All the parts work together, and feel solid as can be. I have really taken to the simplistic approach to the finish. I feel the wood, and it sings and it vibrates. The neck is incredibly good for me. My wrist never tires. The neck just says more, do more, try this, and this and this. Having experience with a Les Paul Custom I had feared that the G1 would hang awkwardly on me. No such thing. The neck is just where my left arm prefers it to be, while my right hand falls naturally at the right spot without any muscle strain. The balance is perfect.

The bits and pieces combine to become a most inspiring guitar to play. I'm sure some want and need guitars that do combat with them, and some sure do get great tone and sound out of their instruments. For me, I prefer it when a guitar plays along. This the what 151108 does. It is a yes-guitar. When I do a mistake it rapidly suggests a way out, and when I play good, I rapidly go into synergy with the guitar and play better. The 151108 is a magnifying glass, an instrument truly being an instrument of discovery and exploration.   Otto

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Gibson BurstBucker Pickups