UNINSTALLED PICKUPS





Some guitar pickups are so rare, noteworthy, and cool that you don't even want to install them in a guitar (which makes absolutely no sense). But regardless, I have a few of those, beginning with my EVH Frankenstein Limited Edition (500) Relic - signed by Edward Van Halen in 2009. This one will never go into a guitar. Even the box it came in is a collector's item!

Over the years I've tracked down some other old and unique pickups that represent some sweet tones. And maybe some of these some day will make it into a guitar. I would love to get my hands on an old Gibson PAF, but they are way expensive and there are a lot of counterfeits out there.

I did not artificially "relic" any of these pickups - all natural aging, and I measured the DC resistance on all of them to compare the actual DC resistance to the advertised DCR for each model. And to make sure they all work!




EVH FRANKENSTEIN LIMITED EDITION BLACK RELIC (EVH signed)

The EVH Frankenstein Limited Edition Relic debuted at the same time as the standard Frankenstein humbucker (early 2009), but has some significant cosmetic differences. First, the box packaging in in full color (standard Frankenstein is black & white). Second, the pickup face is heavily aged with scratches, pitting, rust discoloring, and string grooves, and even the vintage wire braiding has a sick green patina. Third, and most importantly, the bottom of the Frankenstein pickup base is signed by Edward Van Halen, which adds huge value - not to mention that these signed Relic pickups were limited to just 500 pieces. The packaging comes complete with an EVH Gear Frankenstein Relic documentation card.

pickup back
closeup back
side view
EVH Frankenstein Relic outer box
EVH Frankenstein Relic outer box closeup
EVH Frankenstein Relic box

-circa 2009
-manufactured by Seymour Duncan (USA)
-purchased as NEW
-black coils (heavy aging)
-Alnico 2 magnet
-14.4K DC resistance (14.80K measured)
-2-conductor wiring
-nickel-silver baseplate
-long legs
-49.2mm spacing
-signed by Edward Van Halen 2009





EVH FRANKENSTEIN LIMITED EDITION CHROME COVER

Released in during the summer of 2015, this Limited Edition, chrome-covered Frankenstein humbucker was limited to a production run of 1000. It has the exact same specs as the black/exposed Frankenstein pickup, and comes in a full-color box.

pickup back
closeup back
side view
EVH Frankenstein Chrome box

-circa 2015
-manufactured by Seymour Duncan (USA)
-purchased as NEW
-chrome cover (new)
-Alnico 2 magnet
-14.4K DC resistance (14.69K measured)
-2-conductor wiring
-nickel-silver baseplate
-short legs
-49.2mm spacing





EVH FRANKENSTEIN CLASSIC

Released in during the summer of 2015, this Limited Edition, chrome-covered Frankenstein humbucker was limited to a production run of 1000. It has the exact same specs as the black/exposed Frankenstein pickup, and comes in a full-color box.

pickup back
closeup back
side view
EVH Frankenstein Classic box

-circa 2023
-manufactured by Seymour Duncan (USA)
-purchased as NEW
-black coils (new)
-Alnico 2 magnet
-8.2K DC resistance (14.69K measured)
-4-conductor wiring
-nickel-silver baseplate
-short legs
-49.2mm spacing





EVH FRANKENSTEIN PLUS

Released in during the summer of 2015, this Limited Edition, chrome-covered Frankenstein humbucker was limited to a production run of 1000. It has the exact same specs as the black/exposed Frankenstein pickup, and comes in a full-color box.

pickup back
closeup back
side view
EVH Frankenstein Plus box

-circa 2023
-manufactured by Seymour Duncan (USA)
-purchased as NEW
-black coils (new)
-Alnico 2 magnet
-17.3K DC resistance (14.69K measured)
-4-conductor wiring
-nickel-silver baseplate
-short legs
-49.2mm spacing





SEYMOUR DUNCAN CUSTOM SHOP FRANKENSTEIN ZEBRA

In late 2018, the Seymour Duncan Custom Shop discontinued the Van Halen-inspired IM1 model, and began offering the Custom Shop Frankenstein, which enables players to get varied bobbin colors, spacing, hookup cables, etc., within the Alnico 2 realm. While the IM1 and '78 models are veiled references to Edward Van Halen, the Custom Shop Frankenstein is officially sanctioned by Van Halen and is essentially the same as SD-produced black Frankenstein aftermarket humbucker. My order was for a zebra model with aged screws, and the Custom Shop box with product description is initialed by Maricela Juarez.

pickup back
closeup back
side view
wiring diagram/screws
Seymour Duncan Custom Shop box

-circa 2020
-manufactured by Seymour Duncan (USA)
-purchased as NEW
-zebra coils (new - aged screws)
-Alnico 2 magnet
-14.8K DC resistance (14.68K measured)
-2-conductor wiring
-nickel-silver baseplate (no SD logo)
-long legs
-49.2mm spacing





SEYMOUR DUNCAN JB "JBJ" - Maricela Juarez wound

The Duncan JBJ. The most popular replacement humbucker of all time is the Seymour Duncan JB, and the most sought after version of this pickup in the 1980s wound version by Maricela Juarez, who has worked with Seymour Duncan since 1983. Back in the 1980s, Duncan pickups were labeled underneath with a pickup code (for example, JB=JB, DC=Duncan Custom, DD=Duncan Distortion) and then the letter of the last name of the winder. Maricela marked pickups she wound with a "J" (Juarez) after the pickup model - so JBJ. So what does the JB stand for? According to Seymour Duncan, it's Jazz Blues and not Jeff Beck, but that may be the story now for some legal reasons. I got this humbucker second-hand after it was pulled from a 1986 Kramer Baretta.

pickup back
closeup back
with wires
side view

-circa 1986
-manufactured by Seymour Duncan (USA)
-purchased as USED
-black coils (moderate aging)
-Alnico 5 magnet
-16.6K DC resistance (16.53K measured)
-4-conductor wiring
-nickel-silver baseplate
-long legs
-49.2mm spacing





SEYMOUR DUNCAN 59 "59BJ" - Maricela Juarez wound (bridge model)

Text... 59 model humbucker, B for Bridge position, and J for Maricela Juarez

pickup back
closeup back
with wires
side view

-circa 1985
-manufactured by Seymour Duncan (USA)
-purchased as USED
-black coils (moderate aging)
-Alnico 5 magnet
-8.2K DC resistance (8.16K measured)
-2-conductor wiring
-nickel-silver baseplate
-long legs
-49.2mm spacing





DiMARZIO PAF

The DiMarzio PAF humbucker (DP103) first came out in limited production in 1974. I picked up this old double-cream beauty used off of eBay, and I'm placing it's age around 1979 - not just because of the aging, but because of some other clues. First, DiMarzio switched from square to triangle feet in the 1980-81 timeframe, and this one has the square feet. Also, DiMarzio went from beveled-edge slugs to flush around 1982-83 - and this one has beveling. Lastly, short legs and the underside embossed "MADE IN U.S.A." were added around 1977, so there is a window in the late 1970s for production on this humbucker (1978 DiMarzio print ad for the PAF with Allan Holdsworth). And because of the screws/slugs and the magnet appearance (Alnico 5) - and because it measures in at 8.85K DCR (advertised PAF DCR is 8.6K), I determined it's a PAF model.

pickup back
closeup back
with wires
side view

-circa 1979
-manufactured by DiMarzio (USA)
-purchased as USED
-cream coils (heavy aging)
-Alnico 5 magnet
-8.6K DC resistance (8.85K measured)
-4-conductor wiring
-brass baseplate
-short legs
-48mm spacing





SCHALLER GOLDEN 50 (bridge model)

German-made Schaller pickups came stock in the golden era for Kramer guitars between 1981 and 1985, before Kramer switched over to Seymour Duncan for its USA models in mid-1985. This vintage-wound, Alnico 5 magnet Golden 50 humbucker was pulled from a 1982 Kramer Pacer Imperial (with Rockinger tremolo), and it's a great shape. And it even came complete with the unique 6-hole, height-adjustment black bezel/ring, as each mounting foot features three height adjustment threaded screw holes to help center the humbucker (by using the outside two).

pickup back
closeup back
with wires
side view
pickup ring

-circa 1982
-manufactured by Schaller (Germany)
-purchased as USED
-black coils (light aging)
-Alnico 5 magnet
-8.2K DC resistance (8.07K measured)
-4-conductor wiring
-brass baseplate
-short legs
-50.5mm spacing



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