G&L tech resources: Pickups


This is the wide-bobbin version of the Magnetic Field Design (MFD) pickup and at the root of my love for G&L instruments. And hence this website! First used in 1983 on the SC-1 and SC-2 ‘entry level’ models, it went on to be integrated in the Broadcaster, later renamed to ASAT and nowadays the ASAT Special. And between 2008 and 2017 on the SC-2 (reissue) of course. A Jumbo MFD neck pickup is placed perpendicular to the string direction and its cover measures 3.600”x1.100”x0.660” (LxWxH with an uncertainty of ±0.015” in all dimensions). The distance center-to-center for the outer pole pieces is 1.970”±0.015”. However, the bridge pickup is slanted by (about) 15° which is reflected in its cover measuring 3.775”x1.100x0.660” (with an uncertainty of ±0.015” in all dimensions) with a 2.150”±0.015” center-to-center distance for the outer pole pieces. Note this angle is similar to the bridge pickup on a Telecaster and/or ASAT Classic. The ASAT S-3 and the ASAT Trinity Special Edition even have 3 of these MFD pickups, the latter with the middle pickup Reverse Wound/Reverse Polarity. The pickups on the 20th Anniversary model allegedly have 180-200 extra windings. Since the bobbing aperture was not modified, one should be very careful if the cover needs to be taken off on this model. This problem in producing a hotter pup was solved on the ASAT ‘Super’ by using 42 AWG wire for the neck pickup and 43 AWG wire on the bridge pickup. The neck pickup on the 2002-2013 ASAT Classic Custom also had about 200 extra windings but in this case the pole pieces were extended to create the necessary space. This had several consequences. First, the bar magnet was located a little lower, firmly in contact with these pole pieces while channeling the magnetic field lines. Nevertheless, the overall dimensions were such this neck pickup still fitted in the standard cover. Second, the bobbin aperture widened from 0.140”±0.015” as found on the standard Jumbo version to 0.220”±0.015” on the ASAT Classic Custom neck pickup, causing the windings to stack up quite differently compared to the other souped up versions discussed above. The same approach of lengthening the pole pieces was later applied to the Z-coil bridge pickup on the Will Ray Signature model. The name for this section is how this pickup is referred to on G&L’s website, store, and instrument specifications. So no, it is not “G&L P-90” or something like that, as one frequently encounters. The MFD and P-90 are fundamentally different in construction and sound. G&L’s version of the P-90 has its own chapter.


Guitar: Jumbo MFD