G&L tech resources: Pickups


Whereas the HG-2R “Angled Offset” has the slant, the GHB Magnetic Field Design (MFD) is the straight version of the same humbucker. Its naming links it to the HB-2 (Bi-Pole™) MFD pickup, with ’HB’ here being shorthand for humbucking bass of course, found on the El Toro/Interceptor Bass. But since HB also frequently means humbucker, GHB makes it clear this is a guitar humbucker now. It lacks the ‘-2’ because on the guitar the strings run over a pair of pole pieces instead of between 2 pairs of pole pieces on the bass. One might have expected some version of the SC-2 but appropriately renamed HG-2, with an HG-2R “Angled Offset” pickup in the bridge and an GHB in the neck position since both pickups were developed in 1983. And at least 1 guitar with exactly that combo is known to exist: a prototype with a 1st style SC-body, and race stripes! The ‘SCav-2’, present in this collection, comes close to that prototype but still has the Jumbo MFD in the neck. The ‘ASAvalier’, likely an employee guitar, could have been the ASAT with the desired combo were it not for the use of a rotated HG-2R in the neck instead of a GHB. Surprisingly enough, the HG-2 prototype w/DFV and all subsequent HG-2 production guitars have 2 straight GHBs. Hence, these buckers are commonly referred to as HG-2 humbuckers. With their cover dimensions of 3.360”x1.115” (LxW with an uncertainty of ±0.015” in all dimensions), the production GHB has a smaller footprint than the Jumbo MFD neck pickup and would fit comfortably in the rout for the latter. Since the pickups on the prototype have Jumbo MFD covers, that guitar needed correspondingly longer routs. Note the 12 additional holes to make room for the now 12 pole pieces. This was a well known habit of Leo when he was working on pickups. The nylon injection molded covers are relatively expensive to make, so frequently existing covers would be modified to accommodate the pole pieces of experimental pups. The prototypical GHB has 2 rather narrow bobbins which are pressed together. The DC-R values are 4.04kΩ for the neck pup and 4.06kΩ for the bridge, compared to 4.51kΩ and 4.52kΩ, respectively, for my “production” HG-2, indicating considerably fewer winding on these pups. Through the original unused holes it looks like there are 6 flat-head screws holding everything together. But that is all in the imagination. Note that like the HG-2R, the cover of the production version of this pickup is marked as ‘GHB’ on the wing on the treble side but only shows ‘PAT. 4220069’ on the top. This pickup was also used in the bridge position of only a handful of pre-BBE ASAT III guitars as exemplified by the ASAT III HSS w/DFV and ASAT III Signature HSS, where the pole pieces are even gold plated.


Guitar: GHB humbucker