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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Trying to improve to find that Iommi tone..

Just unpacked and fitted some rather awesome 70's schaller mini tuners to the 61 gibson melody maker which as you can see is fitted with a custom pickguard which encloses some new electrics and two original 70s Gibson mini humbuckers.
Due to the age and size of the 61, it weighs sweet fa and pushed through an amp sounds awesome..
However...I'm thinking of changing out the bridge pickup for something hotter..
Now, obviously everybody loves the sound of Iommis JD/ John Birch SG..however these cost a fortune and just as it happens are pretty much based on his original 65 SG special which he then modified with a John Birch neck mini pup and kept the P90 in the bridge. Thats right, he had p90s which he didn't really like due to the hum..
bad news is that to find a John Birch original mini is nigh on impossible.
I'm really happy with the original vintage Gibbo mini in the neck, so thats staying put.
There are several companies selling hotter mini humbuckers.Seymour duncan, Dimarzio and another company I've found in England called gemini pickups who have something called the Mountain Queen mini humbucker which they claim has a resistance of around 14/15 K. Sounds interesting...
Not really sure I like moving towards ceramic magnets and of course Iommis being resin potted and not wax apparently made a difference..Hus did have two blades however working off the bottom magnet and the full size buckers had a resistance of 21k..however I can't believe his mini P90 replacement put out that much..I'll probably stick with the concept of an alnico V.That means it's a battle between the SD SM-3B or the Mountain Queen..
But now of course, just as minds are being made up, I'm toying with the idea of copying Tony and fitting a hot P90 into the bridge which SD do with a ceramic magnet..however...we shall see..gemini also make P90's..


Stu Rutter said...

The JB pickup you're looking for at the neck of your SG is called a Magnum. They're about a Gibson soapbar size. I bought mine direct off John (2 in my SG bass, one in an SG Junior). The resistence measures at around 26k, they are incredibly high output because of the ultra thin wire that he used in them, which obviously gave more windings.
I know that JayDee has made some replicas of them, so it may be worth asking him?

Stu R

"Gonzo" said...

Thanks for the info.
Be nice to find a genuine JB pickup.
I ended up (you'll see in the blog) testing another handmade mini humbucker by gemini pickups based in the UK. The Mountain Queen.