Introducing The Hodgson Pickups ‘Zero Tolerance’ Muting Pickup


I’ve been thinking about getting into the guitar equipment biz for a long time and it’s never quite happened. Everything’s already been done, so what’s the point, right? But I recently struck on an idea that nobody has ever done before, and it’ll surely be my ticket to guitar gear superstardom alongside names like Les Paul, Leo Fender, Ted McCarty, Seth Lover, Seymour Duncan and Yahoo Serious. So without further ado, I’d like to introduce the first innovation from Hodgson Pickups: the Zero Tolerance. While most pickup companies are pushing the boundaries in terms of high-output pickups, the Zero Tolerance goes the other way: it’s designed to provide a signal so imperceptible that it’s effectively muted. That’s right, the Zero Tolerance is the very first pickup designed to give you an automatic ‘mute’ function when you select it. Use it to kill your signal between songs or to get that cool Randy Rhoads ‘stutter’ effect: it’s up to you!


The Zero Tolerance is available in single coil and humbucker configurations. Versions are available with ceramic, Alnico II, Alnico III, Alnico V and Alncio VIII magnets, but whichever model you go for, each coil features only a single wrap of 42AWG wire: not enough to create a perceptible signal.

Now, the Zero Tolerance is not cheap: it’s hand-made and it takes a really precise hand and a lot of patience to wind a single wrap of copper wire around a bobbin. So it’s a bit of an investment. The humbucker version is $250 (Additional $25 per bobbin for custom colours), and the single coil version is $190 (Additional $190 for custom colours). I haven’t looked into it but that’s probably cheaper than just installing a killswitch or simply disconnecting one pickup from your toggle switch, right?

Available after April 1 right here at I Heart Guitar.

NEWS: Secret Van Halen reunion abandoned over money squabbles

April 1, 2011 (Los Angeles) – A planned 20th anniversary tour to commemorate Van Halen’s 1991 For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge album was scuttled earlier this year after a key band member dropped out of negotiations, according to an insider familiar with the situation.

The source tells I Heart Guitar that Eddie Van Halen was hoping to mount the tour with all key album contributors reinstated, but that the cordless drill that kicked off album opener ‘Poundcake’ was unable to settle on contract terms and remuneration.

The drill found its way into ‘Poundcake’s intro and solo section after Van Halen noticed that the sound of its motor was being transmitted to his amplifier when he placed it close to his guitar’s pickups.

“It all came down to money and creative control – you know the drill,” the source said, adding that the power tool requested its own luxury tour bus, a nightly bowl of lug nuts with the hexagonal ones taken out, and a 15-minute unaccompanied solo spot in between “Pleasure Dome” and “The Dream Is Over.” The drill also requested to be an equal partner in all past and future earnings of the group.

Although the drill was featured prominently on the For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge tour, it was replaced on subsequent tours by a lookalike. The source revealed that this drill was the son of Alex Van Halen’s cordless drill. “Eddie thought nobody would really hear any difference, but the die-hards just couldn’t accept another drill. They wanted the one that had been there at the beginning,” the source said.

Bass player Mike Anthony refused to participate in the reunion if the drill was not involved. Vocalist Sammy Hagar reportedly said “If Mike’s out, I’m out.”

The drill was last seen auditioning for Mr. Big.