Gibson T-Top Pickup?

XKnight

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Is there any way to verify that the pickup below is a Gibson T-Top from the 60s or early 70s without removing the cover? It has a correct looking PAF # sticker and the tool marks, but since it's soldered I can't check for the "T" markings on the front of the pickup and would prefer not to remove the cover if I don't have too. Thanks!



 

geddyleefan

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what did you pull that pickup out of just curious ? SG ? LP ? Explorer ? Flying V ? what year ?
 

Oranjeaap

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there is no other way to be certain than to take the covers of.

But does it matter? Its not like the t on the bobbin changes the sound or something
 

martin2hall

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there is no other way to be certain than to take the covers of.

But does it matter? Its not like the t on the bobbin changes the sound or something
It doesn't change the sound but I guess it changes the value of the pick ups (resale) if that matters to you. Id be interested just out of curiosity.
 

XKnight

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what did you pull that pickup out of just curious ? SG ? LP ? Explorer ? Flying V ? what year ?
I don't know what guitar it came out of. The seller had it advertised as a late 60s to early 70s T Top which is what I needed to make my 69 SG whole. I'm going to try and remove the cover to verify it's a T Top.
 

LPCustom72

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I believe the progression of T-tops is like this:

66-67: Patent # sticker and baseplate screws phillips head

67-74 or so: Patent # sticker and baseplate screws flat head

75+: No Patent # sticker and baseplate screws flat head

If someone knows how to distinguish different years for the 67 - 74 period, that would be great to know.

A buying tip: not everyone knows that early t-tops have phillips head screws on the baseplate. These are still pretty similar to the Patent #/Late PAFs. Picked one up recently on E-bay for $250 to match the 64 Patent # already in my LP. It is an amazing pickup (sweet and warm sounding) and very different from the early 70s T-Tops which have more high end sizzle.
 

sbeng

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Late 60s T-Tops are my favorites - just love em. I think they sound better with no covers too.
 

garybaldy

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Maybe you do not realize that a pickup with the Patent Number sticker that is NOT a T-Top, predates the T-Top and is much more valuable?
Pls may I pick your brain?
I believe I have a T-Top with slotted/flat head screws and pat#sticker (as per XKnights pic) which I bought new in about '71.It has vinyl covered hookup wire which I have seen on others and believe to be original.
Assuming it is from the '67 to '74 period what do you think it's worth pls and do you think it is any good?
Thanks
 

northernguitarguy

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The 'Tees' on my T-Top are head to head. I had another that I put into a Yamaha AES620, which I ended up trading for an MIJ ES335 copy. The dude who traded placed a lot of value on the pup by doing the trade, about $350 by my estimation, without a cover.

 

Ed hunter

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Anyone know what exact year T-top Michael schenker has in his V(i think he played a 67' medallion V)? That tone he got all those years with UFO and his early solo band MSG was outstanding and made me a huge T-top fan!:slash:
 

JoBeans

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Differing years on the T-Top are really irrelevant, they were meant to be, and are, very consistent tonally. There is some slight variance in D.C. resistance from pickup to pickup but generally are around 7.4 across the board. Gibson used the same bobbins, baseplates, wire and magnets from the beginning to the end of the T-Top era; A '67 T-top will sound like a '78 T-top if the magnets are at full charge. If you have a T-top, that is probably the one thing you can do to bring it back to life, recharge the magnet. baseplate screw types, like anything else, at Gibson, can only be used as a guide not a rule; the assemblers would reach into the screw bin and use whatever was in there. The T on the bobbins can vary position depending on how they were placed on the winder with some wound "upside down", with the T on the bottom. All T-tops originally came with 2-conductor braided wire except those used in ES-345, 355s and some 335 with factory out of phase switching (custom ordered); these will have a black wire along with the braided hook up wire. There is more of course.
 

SKATTERBRANE

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Differing years on the T-Top are really irrelevant, they were meant to be, and are, very consistent tonally. There is some slight variance in D.C. resistance from pickup to pickup but generally are around 7.4 across the board. Gibson used the same bobbins, baseplates, wire and magnets from the beginning to the end of the T-Top era; A '67 T-top will sound like a '78 T-top if the magnets are at full charge. If you have a T-top, that is probably the one thing you can do to bring it back to life, recharge the magnet. baseplate screw types, like anything else, at Gibson, can only be used as a guide not a rule; the assemblers would reach into the screw bin and use whatever was in there. The T on the bobbins can vary position depending on how they were placed on the winder with some wound "upside down", with the T on the bottom. All T-tops originally came with 2-conductor braided wire except those used in ES-345, 355s and some 335 with factory out of phase switching (custom ordered); these will have a black wire along with the braided hook up wire. There is more of course.
Very useful post, thank you. It should be a sticky, in hopes it puts an end to all this "what year T-Top" questions etc.
People do not seem to know that it is a GOOD thing if their patent number stickered pickup is NOT a T-Top!! If it has a chrome cover 9 out of ten (or more) it will be a T-Top and if it ISN'T, it is the more valuable pre T-Top with PAF style bobbins.
 

SKATTERBRANE

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If you have a Gold covered Pat No stickered pickup, it stands a slightly better chance of being a pre T-Top.
 

garybaldy

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Differing years on the T-Top are really irrelevant, they were meant to be, and are, very consistent tonally. There is some slight variance in D.C. resistance from pickup to pickup but generally are around 7.4 across the board. Gibson used the same bobbins, baseplates, wire and magnets from the beginning to the end of the T-Top era; A '67 T-top will sound like a '78 T-top if the magnets are at full charge. If you have a T-top, that is probably the one thing you can do to bring it back to life, recharge the magnet. baseplate screw types, like anything else, at Gibson, can only be used as a guide not a rule; the assemblers would reach into the screw bin and use whatever was in there. The T on the bobbins can vary position depending on how they were placed on the winder with some wound "upside down", with the T on the bottom. All T-tops originally came with 2-conductor braided wire except those used in ES-345, 355s and some 335 with factory out of phase switching (custom ordered); these will have a black wire along with the braided hook up wire. There is more of course.
Have you seen any T-tops with vinyl covered hook up wire pls.
FYI Ive seen a covered humbucker with "GIBSON" embossed on the top with vinyl wire.
 

SKATTERBRANE

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Doesn't the grey vinyl hookup wire encase 4 conductors with the colors of red, green, white and black?
 

SKATTERBRANE

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The Gibson embossed covers came out around 1971-1972, they are just T-Top underneath. The grey vinyl covered connector wire has 4 conductors inside, color coded with red, green, white and black leads (and a bare wire) which would be for various guitars that have phase, series/parallel, and/or coil split capabilities.
 

garybaldy

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Doesn't the grey vinyl hookup wire encase 4 conductors with the colors of red, green, white and black?
Thanks for the reply but no,only one white covered hot with screening.
I bought it new in london UK around '71.
 


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