Right from the very start of my journey in to making guitar pickups I knew that I’d be asked to make custom pickups and to also try and emulate the tone of well known players. Not only have my range of ‘standard’ Tonefinder pickups been a huge success but so have the custom wounds too.
It’s been an interesting mix of requests too. A lot of people want variations on a theme whereas others want to find a very specific tone/sound/feel. Without doubt, the biggest challenge to date has been the creation of my version of the Peter Green (of Fleetwood Mac fame) Humbucker set which, in my humble opinion, sound rather fantastic. Others think the same as can be found over on the testimonials page. But enough of the bragging, lets talk pickups.
After being approached by a number of people in a very short timescale, all asking for the same thing i.e. that Peter Green tone, I set about what was to be a hugely rewarding and fascinating journey. It was a journey that was to prove that when you think you know your onions, there are more onions to find out about! So I hit the ground running and some searches on Google threw up a shed load of rumour, conjecture, general BS and other assorted amounts of myth, legend and overall misinformation. After some very, very late nights and early mornings involving nothing but research I set about making the Peter Green Mk I pickup set. In all honesty, when I fitted them to my test Les Paul I was disappointed. They sounded great, don’t get me wrong and I’d have happily gone out and gigged them there and then but they weren’t close enough to the required sound/tone. In fact, they weren’t even in the same post code. Back to the drawing board.
I made these first two pickups predominantly based on the information gathered from other pickup manufacturers websites. What became obvious to me was that either they’d got it wrong or I had. Strictly between you and me, I think we all had. Now I’m not saying I’ve now got it right but what I am saying is that after several attempts, tweaks, fits of frustration and quite a bit of swearing the Tonefinder Peter Green pickups are about as close as I think I can get them. The Peter Green pickups I’m now offering are now at Mark IX, that’s how much tweaking and tuning had to be done. Let’s see what two of my clients had to say about the sets I wound for them:
“exceptionally skilled man!” – Custom wound Peter Green spec humbuckers
I have been playing Les Paul’s for over 30 years and when I asked Rich to make me a set of humbuckers to Peter Green spec I thought I would get a reasonable set. They have transformed my Les Paul into the best I could ever imagine!
I have a large guitar collection but along with a Strat with a John Mayer set of pickups, made again by Rich, these are my main guitars. I play now in the Hop Back Blues Band that I have been running for the last 25 years.
Unbelievable exceptionally skilled man!
A lucky chance to have been given his phone number.
Thanks for everything.
Pete S, Amesbury
“I am more than impressed” – Custom wound Peter Green humbuckers
“I gave Rich a brief of what I wanted and he more than delivered.
I had only had my Epiphone Les Paul for 4 days when I delivered it to Rich for him to make a set of Humbuckers based upon the ones Peter Green/Gary Moore famous old Gibson.
And I am more than impressed with Rich’s take on them. Not only are they as clear as a bell they are also tonally amazing but they sing for days. Rich also made them coil tappable for added versatility.
And I am very hard to please as anyone who knows me will tell you.
So if you are still searching for sonic Aural pleasure then stop reading this and contact Rich…..I personally guarantee you will not regret it.”
Wayne B – Petersfield
Martin D had me make a set of Peter Green humbuckers for him. Here’s what he had to say after he got is guitar back from having the pickup set fitted.
“Hi just got my guitar back with your pick ups in. YOU ARE THE FUCKING PICK UP MASTER! The clarity is amazing, so happy with them. The guitar always looked good now it sounds even better. My brother poo-poo’ed the idea, wait while he comes round I’m gonna bust his mother loving ear drums! I will be championing your wares to anyone who will listen to me, thanks matey.”
Now I don’t mind admitting that when I first read each of those emails I had a little tear in my eye. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to produce something that evokes that level of reaction.
So what is the secret to the Peter Green sound? Well………….that’s the $64,000 question! It’s a combination of things from the number of windings on each bobbin, the winding pattern on each bobbin, the phase of the two humbuckers when in the middle position (are they or aren’t they out of phase?!?) and also the magnet(s) and their relationship with each other plus the type of wax used to pot the pickups with. Sadly, I’m not going to divulge the exact recipe here as I’ve made the decision that, for now at least, it needs to remain a card thats held very closely to my chest. Ask me again some day, you never know.
If you’d like to know more about having pickups made for you then please get in touch. We’ll have a good chat about exactly what you’re after and then go from there.