Pickups

Is this the only one in the world?

1

No kind of search I can do turns up anything like this. Anyone got light to shed?

2

I got it in a parts-exchange box from a guitar buddy in California probably 15 years ago.

I'm guessing "11.34" is its measured resistance in KOhms. There are four conductors and a braid in the wire; I can only get a reading (5.8K) from one pair of conductors. Maybe it's a hybrid active/passive pickup, and I need to apply power to get the rest of it? (I've never worked with active pickups, no idea how they wire.)

I found a sticker in the box that fits the lighter area on the bottom, says "SeiQ / HP-009C B." That search leads nowhere but a thread on TalkBass from 2008, guy saying he found "SeiQ" on a pickup he was trying to get working in a bass, and the internet didn't seem to know anything about SeiQ. One other reference in a Seymour Duncan forum from around the same time indicates SeiQ is/was a pickup company, maybe in China. But the trail runs cold.

It's been a long time since I cared about humbuckers, but now I'm curious what this one is, how it works, what it sounds like. It's hard to imagine what kind of coils could be under the cover. I'm not ready to cut the glue and take it apart - yet.

I'll wait to see if anyay'all can turn anything up.

Because you know. If it is the only one in the world, maybe it's worth a fortune and could fund my retirement. (Or a small part thereof.)

Ever hopeful.

3

Well, it's the first one I've ever seen.

4

This is the closest modern version I could find...

Link

From a thread on Talkbass (probably the one you mentioned) showing some now defunct URLs for a company called Proline or Proline7..

Link

5

Plus this.... second pickup down on the left.. HP - 009

From the KHL Corporarion in South Korea.

6

Nice work, Noggsly Holmes.

My first thoughts when I saw it was active bass pick-up. I’ve seen knock-off EMGs that look similar to this, but without the blade effect.

Is it PAF-sized?

7

Looks like it belongs in a Peavey slab, no?

8

Nice work, Noggsly Holmes.

My first thoughts when I saw it was active bass pick-up. I’ve seen knock-off EMGs that look similar to this, but without the blade effect.

Is it PAF-sized?

– Deke Martin

“The Case of the Angled Blades”

9

Here’s the photo from the first link I posted... again designated as HP-009 . I would guess that the HP - 009 CB designation on Tim’s pickup is C(eramic) B(ridge).

10

Speaking of never before seen pickups, take a gander at what's in Furie's Orpheus 12 string.

Have you ever seen innards like this before?

12

Wow, they’re pretty unusual. Looks like they were designed by Nikolai Tesla! Are the square/diamond thingies the magnets?

13

.

– crowbone

Oh cool! It looks like a mutant split coil humbucker ala the Fender Precision Bass, or the Fender XII 12-string. With the weirdly shaped coil windings, and their resultant effect on the magnetic field, that's gotta sound unique!

14

Wow, they’re pretty unusual. Looks like they were designed by Nikolai Tesla! Are the square/diamond thingies the magnets?

– noggsly

I'm not sure. All I know is that it's a late sixties Iron Curtain guitar. I haven't plugged it in, so I can't speak to what it sounds like, but I have a European friend that has one that been restored to playability and he says they are unique sounding, whatever that means. This one is in Curt's capable hands, so we can't wait to hear what it sounds like!

15

The magnetic field was much stronger in the Iron Curtain!

16

I'm guessing "11.34" is its measured resistance in KOhms. There are four conductors and a braid in the wire; I can only get a reading (5.8K) from one pair of conductors. Maybe it's a hybrid active/passive pickup, and I need to apply power to get the rest of it? (I've never worked with active pickups, no idea how they wire.)

Looks like you're only measuring one coil, two of those in series (like a typical humbucker) would get you to the value on the bottom of the pickup.

Active pickups are usually very low impedance coils going into a preamp - and the preamp is the part that needs power.

17

Thanks, Walter. A duh moment for me. All seems in order.

Good sleuthing, Noggsly! Though it's a shame ProLine/Hi-Link doesn't provide any information about the product other than that it exists. (And I bet the "HP" in the model name is "humbucker/ing pickup.")

But I still seem to have the only one with chrome angleblades. Pretty special!

I'm curious what it sounds like, but probably not curious enough to go through the special hell that is deciphering mystery wires and soldering them to guitar guts.

18

I like a bit of detection work.

I’m guessing that it’ll probably sound like a generic, muddy sounding humbucker...possibly why it was in the spares box.

BUT the angled blades might make it a bit more interesting sounding. Lower lows and higher highs...or higher lows and lower highs if you mount it the “wrong” way round.

Bill Lawerence bladed humbuckers can sound quite good though so you never know...also, it might coil tap nicely.

19

The magnetic field was much stronger in the Iron Curtain!

Clever, clever. And you know - though I never thought of it before - earth's deadly-solar-radiation-repelling magnetic field, compliments of our spinning molten iron core, might also be called an iron curtain. And the aurora borealis, by golly, provides a visible (and suitably curtainic) representation of it.


And yes, I'm with you on the probable character of the pickup, as well as the known unknown which is how it might sound based on our extrapolation from known knowns. The unknown unknown is HTH those coils must be shaped and arranged to yield the slantybars. Might be worth cutting the glue to get a gander.

Another known unknown: why KHL (Korea Hi-Link?) would, in the possibly current iteration of the product, compromise the bold visual statement of the pickup's unusualnessnessness by making the rails black steada shiny silver. Seems like hiding your lamp under a bushel. (Do we still do that?)

Perntless speculation: KHL must've bought/absorbed/possibly been SeiQ in a previous incarnation.

I was going to list the pickup on Reverb, but now I think I'll keep it around as a curio/paperweight/desktop sculpture. I can rhapsodize about the old man who kept an oddity for decades, never installing it to discover it was the most magnificent example of applied electromagnetic art in the history of ever - leaving that realization for his heirs and/or assigns.

Or their assignees...like the guy who eventually buys it for a nickel toward the end of an exhausting estate auction in a box of miscellaneous guitar parts, discovers its magic, recreates the pickup and takes the guitar world by storm, generating enough cash to bankroll his investigation (inspired by the parallel bias rail coils of the design) into the relationship between electro-magnetism and quantum gravity, in the process accidentally discovering the secret of hyperluminal transportation, no spaceships necessary.

SELL this thing? Are you kidding? Don't even ask.

20

ALSO, re strange pickups (from either side of the coitin), it's hard to beat the estimable Frank Meyer's collection at drowninginguitars.com, here: https://drowninginguitars.c...

Frank is far and away my favorite expert on the explosion of unhinged creativity occasioned by the 60s guitar boom around the world. His book on the Japanese guitar industry of the 70s is the most thorough I know (though one senses it barely scratches the surface of industrial / technological / commercial history probably already sunk beneath the waves of intervening decades).

21

The magnetic field was much stronger in the Iron Curtain!

Clever, clever. And you know - though I never thought of it before - earth's deadly-solar-radiation-repelling magnetic field, compliments of our spinning molten iron core, might also be called an iron curtain. And the aurora borealis, by golly, provides a visible (and suitably curtainic) representation of it.


And yes, I'm with you on the probable character of the pickup, as well as the known unknown which is how it might sound based on our extrapolation from known knowns. The unknown unknown is HTH those coils must be shaped and arranged to yield the slantybars. Might be worth cutting the glue to get a gander.

Another known unknown: why KHL (Korea Hi-Link?) would, in the possibly current iteration of the product, compromise the bold visual statement of the pickup's unusualnessnessness by making the rails black steada shiny silver. Seems like hiding your lamp under a bushel. (Do we still do that?)

Perntless speculation: KHL must've bought/absorbed/possibly been SeiQ in a previous incarnation.

I was going to list the pickup on Reverb, but now I think I'll keep it around as a curio/paperweight/desktop sculpture. I can rhapsodize about the old man who kept an oddity for decades, never installing it to discover it was the most magnificent example of applied electromagnetic art in the history of ever - leaving that realization for his heirs and/or assigns.

Or their assignees...like the guy who eventually buys it for a nickel toward the end of an exhausting estate auction in a box of miscellaneous guitar parts, discovers its magic, recreates the pickup and takes the guitar world by storm, generating enough cash to bankroll his investigation (inspired by the parallel bias rail coils of the design) into the relationship between electro-magnetism and quantum gravity, in the process accidentally discovering the secret of hyperluminal transportation, no spaceships necessary.

SELL this thing? Are you kidding? Don't even ask.

– Proteus

I like the Iron Curtain/Earth’s magnetic field analogy. I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at string-through steel guitar pickups recently, Valco string through, Vega horseshoes, Fender Trapezoids and of course Rickenbacher/Rickenbacker Horseshoes so the idea of an all enveloping magnetic field is foremost in my imagination.

So true about the possible form of the coils. I reckon that they could actually be quite narrow to fit the casing diagonally, from the photos the pickup looks unusually tall which may be how they got enough wire on the bobbins to get the high output.

If it was wider it might be good on a lap steel but it looks like the footprint might be a bit narrow. I still like the idea of mounting it the “wrong” way round though!

22

Thanks for the Frank Meyers tip...will dig in!

I predict that the “History of Japanese Electric Guitars” will be arriving here very soon!!

23

You know, it just dawned on me that the blades might just be cosmetic..ie sitting on top of regular, perpendicular to the strings coils...... just a thought.

24

I think that's to demag tape heads.

25

You know, it just dawned on me that the blades might just be cosmetic..ie sitting on top of regular, perpendicular to the strings coils...... just a thought.

Yeah, now that you mention it. If it truly had unusual internal construction, seems like they wouldn't hide it inside an all-enclosing plastic shell.

We might be headed toward having to take this thing apart, huh?


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