Patent # Pickup Identification

vibroluxe

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2015
Messages
137
Reaction score
637
Was hoping one of our pickup gurus could assist me in identifying this pickup I found in my parts bin. I believe it to be a real Gibson pickup but a couple of the details throw me. From what I’ve read the first Pat# pickups were pretty much identical to the PAFs. This one however, does not have the square in the circle bobbin. I believe that places it from ‘65 to ‘75. It still has the “L” shaped tooling marks though and that might place it to the earlier part of that date range - 65 to 70 maybe? Also has gold plated fillister adjustable pole pieces.

So - am I close one the date range? Any thoughts on how these sound? I have a Shaw that I’m hoping it would pair up nicely with. Thanks!
A0D21A98-7F24-4186-B766-057DA61952A0.jpeg


0D05B9AE-683B-49A6-AEB1-6E832DD38779.jpeg


0F5696F8-0C39-446A-A3F4-78AB69C34BC6.jpeg


9EFA805E-ABE2-4C38-B70D-9F51B625178C.jpeg


FD2DCF2B-828D-4FF8-B362-69C93DA6F941.jpeg


7DCE8D8C-B26B-4E70-B269-2BB2BF4D5E3D.jpeg
 

vibroluxe

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2015
Messages
137
Reaction score
637
Well, the bobbin does look like a T top bobbin but there is no trace of a T ever having been there. This thing has been in my pickup pile for well over 10 or 15 years so no loss. Thanks
 

cooljuk

Transducer Producer
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
15,819
Reaction score
22,268
Well, the bobbin does look like a T top bobbin but there is no trace of a T ever having been there. This thing has been in my pickup pile for well over 10 or 15 years so no loss. Thanks
Try looking on the bottom of the bobbins. :thumb: You can flip the slug coil over easy enough, by pulling the two brass screws.
 

cooljuk

Transducer Producer
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
15,819
Reaction score
22,268
Here's a T-Top with the slug bobbin flipped over. There's a T on the bottom.



Here's another:




Flipping the screw bobbin would be different, because the holes are counter sunk on one side to accommodate the screw heads. It looks heavily worn and rounded off, on the pickup in the OP, which is why I thought sanded. The brass screw holes are also elongated on the top, which looks like another sign of abrasion. The sunk in dimples between the poles and the missing wire windows still look like a T-Top bobbin, despite the marks being worn off.
 

vibroluxe

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2015
Messages
137
Reaction score
637
Try looking on the bottom of the bobbins. :thumb: You can flip the slug coil over easy enough, by pulling the two brass screws.
Thats a great idea. I’ll see if I can do that without removing the tape. I guess if they were using T top bobbins at the time, they could have been flipped over inadvertently and installed that way at the factory? Or do the “T”s appear on both sides? Thanks James!

On a positive note, I did come across a ‘65 Strat pickup assembly, harness and all in the parts bin. Time for another project!
 
Last edited:

cooljuk

Transducer Producer
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
15,819
Reaction score
22,268
Thats a grest idea. I’ll see if I can do that without removing the tape. I guess if they were using T top bobbins at the time, they could have been flipped over inadvertently and installed that way at the factory? Or do the “T”s appear on both sides? Thanks James!
Ya, the two photos I posted above are just that. The slug bobbin is upside-down. T-Top bobbins have no markings on the underside.

It's pretty ironic that the "T" stood for "Top" so the assemblers would put them on the pickup the right way, but they didn't. Now, I've never seen a PAF with an upside-down bobbin (though I'm sure it happened), but I've seen plenty of T-Tops with upside down slug bobbins. It would have made much more sense to just put no marks on either side of the bobbins and not care which end was the top. They work / sound the same, either way.

You can't really put the screw bobbin upside down, though. The top is countersunk to accommodate the screw heads and the bottom is not.


On a positive note, I did come across a ‘65 Strat pickup assembly, harness and all in the parts bin. Time for another project!
Man, I thought I had cool parts bins. That's a serious find!
 

vibroluxe

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2015
Messages
137
Reaction score
637
Man, I thought I had cool parts bins. That's a serious find!
Ha! Accumulation of many years of not being able to afford the good stuff and recognizing some cool bits and pieces from this shop and that. I love a cluttered old school mom and pop music store - treasures abound! :)
 

vibroluxe

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2015
Messages
137
Reaction score
637
Like this junker I bought in the 80s. Underneath that varnish and blue stain is a 55 Strat. Plus or minus a few pieces. Sat in a music store for a while before I came in and recognized what it was. Worked a trade because I couldn’t afford the $300 bucks they wanted. Heck, I was like the home for broken guitars back in the day...
58D15CA1-180B-404A-8182-EE9F96C52A10.jpeg
 

vibroluxe

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2015
Messages
137
Reaction score
637
Took the base off today and looked at the bottom - no T.

But - I went through the pile again and found a patent number T top. The cast marks between the slugs look a bit different and I can’t see any remnants of the “T” or the marks above the bobbin holes. However, the patina on the pickup I was asking about looks different so I think maybe James got it right. Maybe the top had been sanded? No sanding scratches on the slugs though. Oh well, best thing would be to play it to see how it sounds.

What’s the verdict on T tops anyway - good sounding pickups?

67A513E1-4CC4-4CF6-87CC-E6A50F3291B9.jpeg


59B3DB6C-BBA6-4E3C-8CA5-E826FDF0D643.jpeg


EFD0C3EC-138D-487A-ABC9-9029699952FB.jpeg


3515CD00-E494-46E5-AE83-847DEE602A47.jpeg
 

cooljuk

Transducer Producer
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
15,819
Reaction score
22,268
That all looks exactly how I would expect a patent number decal T-Top to look, on the underside.

See how the edges are rounded off, the holes for the brass screws are elongated, and even the edges around the slugs are rounded over and pulled to one side? The lower one with the T's doesn't have that. Sure looks like sanding to me, but I'm just seeing it in photos.

Everything else looks dead-on correct.
 

vibroluxe

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2015
Messages
137
Reaction score
637
Cool - thank you so much for your help with the identification of this mystery pickup James. Greatly appreciated sir!
 


Latest Threads



Top