I was recently thinking about pickups (hey, it’s something I do a lot) and I suddenly remembered something I saw in a guitar magazine back in 1991. It was a little gadget: evidently just a chunk of metal that you placed over your pickup’s pole pieces to alter its magnetic field. I strained my brain for months trying to think of what this damn thing was called. I even put it to the brains trust at The Gear Page forums, and a few people seemed to vaguely remember it, but nobody could recall actually seeing one out there in the wild. Well, today I found an old 1991 Guitar World in the garage and hey presto! Here it is!
Called The Adder, the ad promises that it will “transform your pickups. Experiment with the clarity, individualization, depth, attack and sustain. The new Adder slides over your existing pickups, altering their characteristic sound for as long as you desire.” The ad also called for dealer inquiries, and attributed the device to Mel Lace, who is the brother of Don Lace, creator of the Lace Sensor pickup.
So whatever happened to the Adder? Did anyone of note use it? Is there a box of New Old Stock Adders out there? The company, Adder Plus Corp, continued on, but there’s no mention of the Adder on their website.