The Fabulous Tale Of The Billy Gibbons Pearly Gates Pickle Jar At Seymour Duncan

IMG_9676The Pearly Gates is one of my favourite Seymour Duncan pickups. Designed with Billy Gibbons, its voice is vintage and sweet but with a slight edge to it. (Joe Satriani liked this pickup so much that he had them installed in one of his chrome Ibanez JS signature guitars and named it ‘Pearly’ – unfortunately that guitar was stolen in 2002). Many years ago, Billy asked Seymour if a pickup could work under water. They decided to try it by submerging a very early Pearly Gates pickup into a pickle jar and testing it to see if it still had a signal. It still worked – so they decided to put a lid on the jar and test it again some other time. That was almost 30 years ago. It lives in Seymour’s office and he and Billy still take the jar out every now and then to test the pickup. It looks pretty damn gnarly by now, covered in gross brown stuff, but it still works perfectly. Below are some pics of MJ from the Seymour Duncan Custom Shop testing the pickup a couple of weeks ago when I was at Seymour Duncan HQ.  Read More …

Second Annual She Rocks Awards – Congratulations MJ!

MJ at the Seymour Duncan Custom ShopThe second annual She Rocks Awards were held by the Women’s International Music Network (the WiMN) on January 24 during the NAMM Show, and one of the award winners was someone very near and dear to my heart:  Maricela “MJ” Juarez from the Seymour Duncan Custom Shop. MJ made my all-time favourite pickup ever (my Magnetar), and she’s incredibly knowledgable about tone, as well as an incredibly lovely person. I had a great time getting to visit MJ at Seymour Duncan HQ after NAMM this year, where her She Rocks Legend Award was already proudly on display. Here’s the press release: Read More …

My new Seymour Duncan pickup: The Magnetar

Right now I’m at the Seymour Duncan headquarters in Santa Barbara, California. Everyone here is really cool and it’s a lovely part of the world. And I just picked up (pardon the pun) my new Custom Shop 7-string pickup. Wanna see the description I sent to MJ at the Custom Shop?

“…A custom shop 7-string bridge pickup for a basswood Ibanez RG  (maple neck, rosewood fretboard): tight bass and slightly scooped mids but a bit of a kick in the upper mids and treble – a sort of ‘dry’ sound that gets percussive when palm-muting. I tend to favor bridge humbuckers between 11k and 14k. To put it another more  abstract way: a pickup whose tone feels like sanded maple, tastes like creme brûlée and looks like sunlight through a glass of beer.”

And here it is: the Magnetar. A Magnetar is a a neutron star with an extreme magnetic field… seems like the perfect name for this pickup, which has an Alnico 8 magnet and a DC resistance of 13.90k.

Wanna order your own Custom Shop pickup? Here ya go!

The Magnetar

Magnetar

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