Firebird style mini
humbuckers are a wonderful alternative pickup, providing enough clarity
to satisfy most single coil addicts but combined with humbucker
performance. The Gemini models take two different approaches to this,
with the primary difference being in the mid structure rather than in
Deluxe style mini humbuckers are constructed like
conventional humbuckers with a single horizontal bar magnet.
Traditionally, they use a blade in one coil and screw polepieces in the
other. Our Deluxe style mini humbucker models use the same principal but
with carbon steel blades in both coils, thus retaining the clean looks
of the Satyr and Manticore and allowing mixing of the two designs as
It's often said that mini
humbuckers are somewhere between single coils and full sized humbuckers
in sound. Firebird style pickups are much nearer the single coil end of
this scale and deluxe style pickups much nearer to full sized
We make Firebird and Deluxe style mini humbuckers in standard mini humbucker and full humbucker sized formats. They use the same bobbins, magnets and blades but are mounted on a full sized humbucker baseplate with full sized cover. Our Johnny Smith style mini humbuckers are available with neck bracket or pickguard mounting.
for 2014, we have added coil taps to all our mini humbuckers except the
Johnny Smith style Vampette. Just like most of our full sized
humbuckers, they are offset to ensure a tapped sound that is full and
N.B. Gibson 495R & 495T
Some Gibson Firebirds
have the 495R and 495T mini humbuckers installed. These are a new design
from Gibson. They use ceramic magnets and coils with very fine wire and
lots of turns. They are much hotter and louder than the traditional
Firebird pickups. If you try to mix them with any of my pickups (and any
other Firebird pickups I know of), you will have volume balance
problems. I won't be making any matching pickups. The specs are simply
so extreme that it's impossible to make matching pickups that sound
offers all the sweetness of a standard vintage mini humbucker but with
a slightly meatier tone and improved definition. It has more
than enough output thanks to a pair of Alnico V blade magnets and hotter windings. Firebird style mini humbuckers
have a unique sound, not only are they bright but they are more
focused than other pickups. The manticore has a strong attack, giving it
that urgency that was such a big part of the british sounds of the 60's
Wire SWG 46, Alnico V magnets, 3 conductor wiring.
DC Resistance: Neck 7.1k (4.6k), Bridge 8.2k (5.4k).
is a modern take on the Firebird mini humbucker. It still has the same
Alnico V blade magnets but it uses a fine wire to produce a pickup that
is not only bright but has very strong focused mids and a tight bass.
It has an overall feel of bright top, warm bottom that many players
love. This allows it to be used at high gain settings without
clarity but still achieving a fully saturated sound. Note to note
definition is exceptional and the harmonics are a real joy.
Wire AWG 44, Alnico V magnets, 3 conductor wiring.
DC Resistance: Neck 9.7k (6.4k), Bridge 10.5k (6.8k).
Qilin has a single Alnico II bar magnet and a pair of 3mm carbon steel
blades through the coils. The neck pickup reproduces the sounds of a
vintage deluxe mini humbucker with just a small increase in output and
improvements in clarity and definition. The bridge pickup is full of hot
vintage tone, bright and brash. Like all Alnico II humbuckers, the
Qilin is very responsive to playing dynamics. If you're looking for an
expressive pickup for blues and vintage rock, the Qilin really hits the
Wire AWG 42 (Neck), AWG 43 (bridge), Alnico II magnet, 3 conductor wiring.
DC Resistance: Neck 6.4k (4.5k), Bridge 9.4k (6.2k).
Midnight Special offers an alternate vintage sound to the Qilin with
different windings and an Alnico IV magnet. The result is a very open
voiced pickup, bright and punchy with well rounded bass and excellent
articulation. It doesn't saturate and compress quickly overdriven but
retains the great articulation. If you want an old school clean but
dirty sound typical of the late 60's and early 70's, the Midnight
Special is ideal.
Wire SWG 46, Alnico IV magnet, 3 conductor wiring.
DC Resistance: Neck 7.3k (4.9k), Bridge 7.9k (5.4k).
Wire AWG 43, Alnico V magnet, 3 conductor wiring.
Vampire Queen is an extremely versatile mini humbucker. It has good
clarity and balance combined with a tight bass. This results in a neck
pickup that sounds very much like a slimline PAF and a bridge pickup
that produces the mini humbucker equivalent of the baseball bat in the
face sound, so long associated with the best Les Pauls. The balanced
tones make the Vampire Queen ideal for a wide range of styles from pop
and reggae through prog rock and fusion to hard rock. If you want a mini
humbucker that can turn from nice to nasty with the flick of an
overdrive switch, this is the one.
DC Resistance: Neck 8.6k (5.9k), Bridge 10.6k (6.8k).
Mountain Queen is constructed like the Qilin with carbon steel blades
and a single bar magnet, but in this case an Alnico V. The neck pickup
has a typical PAF style winding but using slightly finer wire. The
result is a pickup that replaces brashness with sweetness and aggression
with soul, a beautiful pickup for almost any style from jazz to rock.
The bridge pickup is hot wound with extra fine wire to produce thick,
rich tones with incredible harmonics way beyond anything normally
associated with mini humbuckers. The Mountain Queen bridge unit is a
rock machine par excellence.
Wire SWG 46 (Neck), AWG 44 (bridge), Alnico V magnet, 3 conductor wiring.
DC Resistance: Neck 8.23k (5.5k), Bridge 14.1k (8.8k).
Vampette (Johnny Smith style pickup)
Vampette has a construction that is half way between a Firebird pickup
and a deluxe mini humbucker. A Firebird AL V magnet as a blade in one
bobbin, polepieces in the other and a plated steel baseplate as a
magnetic conductor. This results in a pickup with good articulation and
clarity, combined with the low profile for fitting to an unrouted
The Vampette is wound using a fine (AWG 44)
wire, more in the style of the IBZ GB Specials than the traditional
Johnny Smith pickups. The Vampette offers an exceptional combination of
is available with either a neck bracket or a LH / RH pickguard mount.
The pickup has an overall height of 13.5mm, allowing it to be fitted to
most hollow bodied jazz guitars without routing.
Wire AWG 44, Alnico V magnet, 2 conductor wiring.
DC Resistance: 11.0k