When we started working on our TV FM with the killer limed mahogany body in early 2003 , we didn't want it to sport run of the mill pickups.  The decision process was a quick one: While the visual appeal of P-90s in undeniable, we do a lot of computer recording, and wanted some humbuckers for practical purposes.

We decided to build a humbucker that fits under a P-90 cover and looks completely stock...and unlike a humbucker.  We succeeded, and built a couple of awesome sounding pickups (in our humble opinions).   Check out the story below.

Here are the coils.  We built these using some fiber bobbins we bought on eBay.  Each coil is essentially a Strat single coil pickup.  The magnets are Alnico V bars, and we put between 5,000 and 6,000 winds on each bobbin.

We used good old Duco cement to glue the bobbins to Plexiglas bases.

Once the bobbins were on the bases, we installed the mahogany "spacers" between the coils.  These will hold the "for appearances only" P-90 polepieces.

Here are the pickups with the braided lead installed and the faux polepieces installed. The two Phillips screws hold the cover in place over the pickup. 

We used the outside of the coils for the series link, and the inside for the ground and the hot.

A photo of the pickups in the new guitar (Click for full size versions)

The top photo shows the neck position pickup installed and cover in place.  The photo also shows what the pickup looks like in the guitar without a cover installed. We used two pickup mounting ring screws and a small piece of spring to hold the pickup in the guitar. 

The bottom photo shows the pickups installed and strings on.   No one would suspect the pickups are humbuckers just by looking.  The truth comes when you plug into a Marshall and you don't hear FM radios and enough hum to fill up any White Stripes album.

Thanks for checking this out, and keep checking back for more pickup work!

Click here for info on the FM TV!

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