The making of an ASL Blackbird Pickup for a Blackmachine Guitar.

We are delighted to be supplementing our fantastic range of Bare Knuckle Pickups with the work of another fantastic UK pickup maker:
Ash Scott-Lockyer whose professional range of pickups we will be stocking and using.
Ash recently worked with our friend Doug from Blackmachine Guitars and designed a pickup based on a sound briefing from Doug.
We thought it would be interesting to show how each pickup is made

I'll let Ash pick up the story and supply the photos too........

The first step is mating the solid nickel base plate to the four conductor wiring.

A good hot soldering iron and high silver content eco-solder takes care of the connection

Next, one of our transparent bobbins is readied. This takes lots of care, as all my work can be seen in the finished article!

Wire selection is made from the many kilos of premium wire we carry ... in fact each of the large rolls is 6 kilos, and we always have a couple of rolls of each popular gauge.

Next, a colour coded 'pigtail' is soldered to the hair thin winding wire. We use good old fashioned 'flux paste' to help make a sound
connection ... it needs a steady hand!

The pigtail is mounted in the bobbin ... and then taped.

The pigtail is mounted in the bobbin ... and then taped.

The bobbin is mounted in 'Gloria' the winding machine! And yes that's a penny in the top of the shot ... it counterbalances the winding faceplate and cuts down on vibration

Part wound .....

And fully wound and taped ... we use 'Toyo' paper tape ... as it is unaffected by potting and is much easier to work with than the fabric inner coil tape some winders use.

As this is a slug coil ... the drill press is used to pop in the nickel plated slugs ...

Here the baseplate is prepared with an alnico 5 magnet and two mahogany spacers ...

With the screw coil wound too ... both are united with the base plate ...

And screwed into place ...note, we use non ferrous frame screws just like the first PAFs!

Right .... over to my able assistant Katie to solder up .... and add heat shrink tubing ....

Soldering the pigtails to the corresponding colours of the output lead

Shrinking the heat-shrink tubing

At each stage the pickup is tested to make sure it is within our strict parameters.

Katie adds the pole screws ...

And finally .... elastic bands keep the tape secure ... and ready to be potted.

And the end result ....

These pickups are something rather special.
They manage to keep the clarity and top end of the ceramic magnet pickups we were using before but running with alnico 5 in the bridge and Alnico 4 in the neck, resulting in them not having that slightly harsh abrasive edge that ceramic magnet pickups tend to have.
What they have in huge amounts is musicality. They excel in all guitar types .
As well as the Blackmachines we have tested them in Les Pauls and Flying V's etc

These pickups are available exclusively through Feline give us a call if you'd like some.


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