Source For Decent, Inexpensive Mini-humbuckers?

Discussion in 'Gear Chat' started by glasshand, Apr 27, 2019.

  1. glasshand

    glasshand Well-Known Member

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    I'm thinking about putting mini-humbuckers or firebird-type pickups in one of my guitars, simply because I have humbuckers, P90s, humbucker-sized P90s, and even Z-coils, but I don't have any mini-humbuckers, and I'm not crazy about the humbuckers that are are in the guitar now. (Yes, I know I would have to use an adapter ring.) Does anyone know of a source for decent, inexpensive minis or firebird pickups? The selection of them is definitely smaller than for regular humbuckers.

    So far I've found
    GFS Mini Birds, Mini Crunchy, Fat Minis, Mini 59s (ceramic on the birds, alnico elsewhere, I think)
    Dragonfire Mini Buckers (alnico)
    MGB Hot Tuna (I can't even tell if this is even regular mini-sized...they provide basically no data on them)
    Artec (ceramic)
    Wilkinson WMH (alnico)

    Anybody know of any others?
    And just to be extra difficult I'd like them to be in gold, of course!
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
  2. tobijohn

    tobijohn The Great Enabler Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I can speak for GFS Mini 59s and Artecs w/Alnico5s, both are very good and will give you the mini sound. I know from talking to @Buddha Pickups and @andrewsrea that the original Firebird minis are built differently and the internal components are difficult to source. It's also going to be tough finding a gold set of anything...
     
  3. golem

    golem Well-Known Member

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    I have @andrewsrea firebird pickups in two guitars. I don’t think it’s even possible to get better pickups and he charges fairly reasonable prices. 0f4565087280f291b7012afa1bf0bb8c.jpg


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  4. idiotsdelight

    idiotsdelight Well-Known Member

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    All you listed are going to be mini HB in build form. I suspect most of those are all gonna be pretty near identical despite a different name. More/less winds, different mags in a HB. They're pretty affordable all over the net. I got some from bezdez. eyguitar also has a few.

    I'd at least put an honest FB from Buddha or andrewsea in the bridge or neck position. I'd also consider really trying to find a nickle silver cover in gold if possible.
     
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  5. andrewsrea

    andrewsrea Well-Known Member

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    I can do Firebird minis in gold, nickel or chrome. These look like a solid cover. I can do in Alnico 2, Alnico 5 and Ceramic, in 5k DCR to 15K DCR coil windings. IMHO, the best sounding are A2 in a vintage coil wind (I've sold a bunch of them with rave reviews).

    I can do Epiphone (a.k.a. Gibson Deluxe mini - Gibson bought Epi and put their overstock into their guitars) minis in the same finishes and magnets. I might be able to get Alnico 3 & 4 for that configuration. FYI: these look like humbuckers that shrunk.

    Both are the same dimensions, but different in how they get the magnetism to the string area. FB's have two small bar magnets which are the 'pole-pieces / slugs'. In principle, much like a Telly or Strat with rod magnets. The Epiphone minis have one small ba magnet, steel polepieces and a steel blade which the magnet attaches on the bottom of each and is transferred through the steel.

    Because of this the FB's have a louder, fuller, clearer tone. On the Epi types IMHO, they tend to sound puny and grainy. Again because only one small magnet being transferred through steel (the steel adds distortion).
     
  6. tobijohn

    tobijohn The Great Enabler Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I can vouch for the quality of Rob's (@andrewsrea) pickups, I have minis, humbuckers and a Strat set. I would normally have suggested contacting him or Buddha Tim but the OP mentioned he wanted to do this on the cheap. Handwounds from both are a bargain considering the quality but neither are going to be $20 a pickup...
     
  7. cottonmike

    cottonmike Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget the Snake Oils and Performance Music ones on Ebay, John. The PM ones split, but the SO's don't.

    I just finish my FA Jr. project that I put the Performance Music one in, that is 10.6k . It splits into a very unique single coil tone, although it has a noticeable volume drop. In full HB it has a great, ballsy tone.
     
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  8. tobijohn

    tobijohn The Great Enabler Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I've been curious about those Snake Oils but it seems every time I check, they're out of stock...
     
  9. Mickey

    Mickey Gandalf the Intonationer

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    I've never heard of there being a shortage of Snake Oil in the history of the universe. :)
     
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  10. tobijohn

    tobijohn The Great Enabler Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    We're talking pickups, not the stuff my ex-wife used on me...
     
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  11. cottonmike

    cottonmike Well-Known Member

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    Or my aphrodisiac.
     
  12. glasshand

    glasshand Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, all! Now I have more to think about. I also asked on Facebook, and was a little surprised that both here and there, people recommended the GFS minis.
     
  13. Fat Jack

    Fat Jack Well-Known Member

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  14. tobijohn

    tobijohn The Great Enabler Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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  15. glasshand

    glasshand Well-Known Member

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  16. jwguitar

    jwguitar Well-Known Member

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    I believe many of those pickups like GFS and possibly Wilkinson are OEM from Artec. However, the best quality from all those pickups in my experience has been GFS. The GFS pickups, while manufactured by artec are would for GFS proprietary designs. I have used those pickups in my guitars before I can say with certainty that they are the best choice.
     
  17. Perfect Stranger

    Perfect Stranger Well-Known Member

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    I have a set of GFS minis I'll sell ya cheap if you're interested....
     
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  18. idiotsdelight

    idiotsdelight Well-Known Member

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  19. honyock

    honyock Well-Known Member

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    had a pair of them in my AD2300, was very happy with them. I think they were the Gibson deluxe style.

    What I like better are the FB style ones in my 70s Tribute SG. They are killer sounding.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
     
  20. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

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    I have a Washburn ps10 firebird and I hated the pickups. Only guitar I HAD to replace the pups. I got the guitar madness a5 fb models and I think they are exactly the same as what came in them. I'm guessing Artec. It's really a great guitar but I feel stupid paying another 150 for pups on a 200$ guitar. Maybe if the damn thing wasn't white :)
    They say the guys here can make em vintage but how the hell do I know I like vintage? What, compare to my 3 other 64 gibsons? Dont think so.
    So anyway, I'm stuck. If you already have full HB I'd stick with that
     

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