The Bizarre Guitar Pickup Encyclopedia

Formanta   4.42k  Ukraine

Hey folks, as I was on vacation laying on the beach, I thought about this idea for a page full of just weird and strange pickups. It just seemed like a fun post since there are so many pickup variations out there.  And again, no one else is doing it!  Some of these pickup designs are like art!!! I couldn’t initially figure out how to organize these pickups, so I’m going to list them by output readings.  I’ll use the average reading (for guitars with 3 or more pups) or hottest pickup reading on a particular guitar and list it! There will be pickups from all around the world on here, so as with most pages this will be a work in progress as I catalog a bunch of guitars and pictures. And one caveat, output readings aren’t always correlated with good sounds.  There are pickups in this bunch that just RULE, and there are some stinkers, and they aren’t necessarily related to output.  Just use this as a rough guide and don’t get too nuts.  Enjoy!!

Kawai SD3W 2.53k (Japan)
Teisco S-2 2.64k Japan
Teisco S-2    2.64k      Japan  
Guyatone LG98 2.74k Japan
Guyatone LG98      2.74k      Japan
Winston 449 2.79k Japan
Winston 449    2.79k   Japan
Domino California Rebel 2.80k Japan
Domino Californian Rebel    2.80k    Japan
Guyatone/Kingston LG70 2.87k Japan
Guyatone/Kingston LG70   2.87k    Japan
Kawai S180     2.88k     (Japan)
Greco ER180 2.97k Japan
Greco ER180     2.97k     (Japan)
Kawai S2T 2.97k Japan
Kawai S2T    2.97k     (Japan)
Reythmline Hollow 2.97k Japan
Reythmline Hollow     2.97k     (Japan)
Sekova Grecian 3.24k Japan
Sekova Grecian (three slugs)    3.24k     (Japan)
Sandtron  3.25k   (Japan)
Unknown 3.30k Japan
Unknown    3.30k     (Japan)
Martin GT75 Copy   3.43k    (Japan)
Harmony H44 3.58k (USA)
Harmony H44      3.58k       (USA)
Teisco May Queen 3.67k (Japan)
Teisco May Queen    3.67k     (Japan)
Imperial    3.73k    (Japan)
Guyatone LG85T (Japan) 3.76k
Guyatone LG85T 3.76k (Japan)
Segovia 3.76k (Japan)
Segovia   3.76k   (Japan)
Klira Triumphator 3.80k (Germany)
Klira Triumphator    3.80k     (Germany)
Teisco May Queen 3.81k Japan
Teisco May Queen   3.81k   (Japan)
Dega 3.83k Japan
Dega     3.83k    (Japan)
Stagemaster   3.92k    (Japan)
St. George EP85 3.96k Japan
St. George EP85    3.96k      (Japan)
Zen-On 3.98k Japan
Zen-On      3.98k      (Japan)
Guyatone LG50 4.00k (Japan)
Guyatone LG50  4.00k   (Japan)
Domino Hawk 4.12k (Japan)
Domino Hawk     4.12k     (Japan)
Suzuki 4.19k Japan
Suzuki     4.19k      (Japan)
Marco Polo 4.20k Japan
Marco Polo    4.20k    (Japan)
Encore SG 4.12k Japan
Encore SG     4.12k      (Japan)
Ibanez 994    4.16k       (Japan)
Premier/Multivox 4.17k USA?
Premier/Multivox      4.17k      (USA?)
Ibanez 1202 4.21k (Japan)
Unknown 4.28k (Japan)
Unknown    4.28k    (Japan)
Hitachi SG803 4.31k (Japan)
Hitachi SG803     4.31k     (Japan)
Liberty SC2    4.31k    (Japan)
Yamaha SA15 4.32k (Japan)
Yamaha SA15      4.32k      (Japan)
Victoria  4.36k   (Japan)
Victoria      4.36k       (Japan)
Princeton UC3 4.37k (Japan)
Liberty MS150 4.42k (Japan)
Liberty MS150    4.42k    (Japan)
Formanta 4.42k Ukraine
Formanta   4.42k    (Belorussian)
Silvertone 1460 4.42k (Japan)
Silvertone 1460     4.42k     (Japan)   
Unknown    4.45k    (Japan)
Guyatone LG-75 Neck Pup 4.55k
Guyatone LG-75 Neck  4.55k  (Japan)
Teisco ET220 4.59k (Japan)
Teisco ET220     4.59k     (Japan)
Norma EG421 4.60k Japan
Norma EG421     4.60k      (Japan)
Kimberly   4.69k    (Japan)
Sekova Mentor   4.70k    (Japan)
Guyatone LG180T 4.72k (Japan)
Unknown    4.75k   (Japan)
Noble TV993   4.80k   (Japan)
Telestar 4T     4.84k     (Japan)
Hofner Colorama   4.85k   (Germany)
Bruno Kawai Pup 4.90k
Bruno Kawai   4.90k   (Japan)
Lindell VN4 4.90k Japan
Lindell VN4    4.90k    (Japan)
Guyatone KG35 4.92k Japan
Guyatone KG35    4.92k   (Japan)
Teisco ET200 4.92k (Japan)
Teisco ET200      4.92k     (Japan)
Kay Vanguard 4.94k USA
Kay Vanguard    4.94k    (USA)
Audition (Kawai) Shark Fin 4.95k (Japan)
Kent Copa   4.92k   (Japan)
Avalon Shaggs   4.97k   (Japan)
Teisco DG67 Pup 4.97k
Teisco DG67   4.97k   (Japan)
Rhythmline 5.02k Japan
Rhythmline      5.02k      (Japan)
Crestwood   5.07k   (Japan)
Decca DMI 301    5.09k    (Japan)
Teisco ET440 5.10k (Japan)
Teisco ET440     5.10k     (Japan)
EJ1   5.11k   (Japan)
St. Moritz 5.12k Japan
St. Moritz      5.12k      (Japan)  
Greco GR973 5.13k Japan
Greco GR973   5.13k     (Japan)
Norma Greenburst   5.18k   (Japan)
Cameo Deluxe   5.19k   (Japan)
Imperial   5.19k    (Japan)
Marlin/Idol PA25 5.20k Japan
Marlin/Idol PA25    5.20k     (Japan)
Hy Lo (Ibanez)    5.21k     (Japan)
Ibanez 1502     5.21k      (Japan)
Lafayette Retrofit   5.21k   (Japan)
Recco 5.22K Japan
Recco    5.22K     (Japan)
Unknown      5.23k     (Japan)
Audition/Zenon    5.24k   (Japan)
TIKI Mask   5.25k   (Japan)
Teisco J5 5.28k Japan
Teisco J5   5.28k    (Japan)
Wilson Rapier 5.30k (UK)
Unknown   5.30k     (Japan)
Tempo 280 5.31k Japan
Tempo 280    5.31k    (Japan)
Crown 12 String 5.32k Japan
Crown 12 String    5.32k       (Japan)
Decca Hollowbody 5.32k Japan
Decca Hollowbody    5.32k    Japan
Recco (Ibanez) 5.39k (Japan)
Recco (Ibanez)   5.39k    (Japan)
Kay Value Leader 5.40k (USA)
Kay Value Leader   5.40k    (USA)
Sears Tele  5.44k  (Japan)
Norma EG403-2     5.45k      (Japan)
Guyatone LG-75 Pup 5.51k
Guyatone LG-75 Bridge 5.51k  (Japan)
Intermark 5.51k Japan
Intermark    5.51k     (Japan)
Guyatone LG55W    5.55k     (Japan)
Voice Frontier 5.47k (Japan)
Voice Frontier    5.47k     (Japan)
Del Rey EV-3T 5.48k Japan
Del Rey EV-3T    5.48k      (Japan)
Fujigen PP 5.56k Japan
Fujigen PP    5.56k    (Japan)
Peavey Razer 5.57k
Peavey Razer  5.57k  (USA)
Jaguar Mosrite 5.60k (Japan)
Jaguar Mosrite    5.60k     (Japan)
Orpheus Hebros 2.78k Bulgaria
Orpheus Hebros 5.63k  (Bulgaria)
Apollo Red Baron 5.68k Japan
Apollo Red Baron    5.68k    (Japan)
Honey 5.68k Japan
Honey    5.68k     (Japan)
Prestige 5.68k Japan
Prestige    5.68k    (Japan)
Vox Bulldog       5.69k      (Italy? UK?)
National Tele 5.71k Japan
National Tele    5.71k     (Japan)
Hy Lo/Ibanez    5.72k   (Japan)
Elk Cobra 5.79k (Japan)
Elk Cobra      5.79k     (Japan)
St. George MJ2 5.84k Japan
St. George MJ2    5.84k     (Japan)
Teisco H30 Lap 5.87k Japan
Teisco H30 Lap    5.87k    Japan
Palmer/Tempo   5.90k     (Japan)
Zenon ZES220 5.92k Japan
Zenon ZES220      5.92k     (Japan)
Kawai CB2V    5.97k    (Japan)
Astrotone   6.02k   (Japan)
Univox Hi Flier   6.09k   (Japan)
Teisco Heit 6.11k (Japan)
Teisco Heit     6.11k     (Japan)
Musima Deluxe 75  6.12k  (German)
Guyatone Sharp 5  6.14k  (Japan)
Tokai 230S   6.16k   (Japan)
Telestar 5004 6.18k Japan
Telestar 5004     6.18k    (Japan)
Teisco ET200  6.21k  (Japan)
Zenon Zemi 6.22k Japan
Zenon Zemi    6.22k     (Japan)
Wurlitzer Cougar 6.25k USA
Wurlitzer Cougar    6.25k    (USA)
Conrad Bison 4   6.26k   (Japan)
St. Moritz   6.27k   (Japan)
Ural   6.27k   (Russia)
Firstman Boradway Pup 6.29k
Firstman Broadway  6.29k   (Japan)
Fender Jag 50th Pup 6.40k
Fender Jaguar 50th Anniversary  6.40k  (USA)
Fender Mustang 6.38k (Late 60s USA)
Unknown Castelfidardo 6.57k (Italy)
Hopf Telstar 6.60k (Germany)
Tokai 200S   6.62k   (Japan)
Hofner 176   6.74k   (Germany)
Hofner 176      6.74k       (Germany)
Teisco 6.75k (Japan)
Teisco        6.75k         (Japan)
Teisco TG64 6.88k (Japan)
Teisco TG64    6.88k    (Japan)
Imperial   6.94k   (Japan)
Gambles Import Co. 6.98k Japan
Gambles Import Co.  6.98k   (Japan)
Mayfair   7.00k     (Japan)
Intermark Valor   7.15k   (Japan)
Teisco K4L   7.23k   (Japan)
Silvertone H51 Pup 7.33k
Silvertone H51  7.33k   Gibson (USA)
Murph Pup 7.45k
Murph  7.45k  (USA)
Ralston Pickup   7.48k   (Japan)
Kay KA-20 Pup 7.49k
Kay KA-20  7.49k   (Japan)
Givtone      7.64k      (Japan)
Pleasant 7.75k Japan
Pleasant    7.75k    (Japan)
Tonante 7.86k Brazil
Tonante    7.86k     (Brazil)
St. George EP140   7.88k   (Japan)
Guyatone LG170T 8.12k Japan
Guyatone LG170T    8.12k    (Japan)
Hagstrom HIIN 8.12k (Sweden)
Guyatone LG150T 8.23k Japan
Guyatone LG150T    8.23k    (Japan)
Yamaha SC600 Pup 8.27k
Yamaha SC60  8.27k   (Japan)
Egmond Airstream  8.59k  (Holland)
Elk King Cobra Pup 8.70k
Elk King Cobra  8.70k   (Japan)
Zenon ZES 60   8.70k   (Japan)
Heit 2T-P 8.75k (Japan)
Heit 2T-P    8.75k    (Japan)
Tulio EB2 Bass 8.80k Japan
Tulio EB2 Bass    8.80k    (Japan)
Airline Town & Country 8.81k USA
Airline Town & Country    8.81k       (USA)
Unknown 9.21k (Japan)
Unknown     9.21k      (Japan)
Aria KF190 9.31K (Japan)
Aria KF190       9.31K        (Japan)
Surpo Normandy 9.37k USA
Supro Normandy     9.37k       (USA)
Tempo 9.38k (Japan)
Tempo    9.38k    (Japan)
Kent 820 9.40k Japan
Kent 820    9.40k     (Japan)
Epiphone  9.44k  (Japan)
Nivico Balladeer SG12  9.45k  (Japan)
Airline 3:4 Pup 9.46k
Airline 3/4 Scale  9.46k   (USA)
Yamaha SC2 9.47k (Japan)
Yamaha SC2    9.47k    (Japan)
Conrad Bison 2   9.49k   (Japan)
Harmony Stratotone RI 9.74k ???
Harmony Stratotone RI   9.74k   ???
RCA Victor SG18  10.14k (Japan)
Unknown 10.23k (Japan)
Unknown    10.23k    (Japan)
ibanez-bass-pup-10-55k
Ibanez Bass  10.55k    (Japan)
harmony-h19-pup-10-66k
Harmony H19    10.66k    (USA)
Gibson ES125 11.09k (USA)
Gibson ES125    11.09k    (USA)
Excelsior Jamaica 11.11k (Italy)
Yamaha SG2 11.17k (Japan)
Yamaha SG2    11.17k    (Japan)
Galanti Grand Prix   11.28k   (Italy)
Comet 11.60k Italian
Comet     11.60k     (Italy)
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37 thoughts on “The Bizarre Guitar Pickup Encyclopedia

    1. drowninginguitars says:

      Well you know I have video demos for most of the guitars/pickups listed here. As for my opinion, I definitely have my favorites here, and definitely know the turds, but it’s not my style to ruin the surprise. Plus, you know what they say about opinions….

  1. Kent says:

    Very cool information! What differentiates between the Norma Greenburst,, Audition Zenon and Norma EG403-2, other than resistance value?

    Which is the Ry Cooder holy grail?

    Thanks!!

    1. drowninginguitars says:

      Great question man! All the pickups you mentioned are exactly the same, made by the same Japanese electronics company. The whole Ry Cooder thing get people all bent, but he apparently used the early Teisco ones and I don’t currently have one pictured. The Teisco ones usually sell for triple the amount, but the ones you mentioned sound every bit as good for a fraction of the price. I always tell people, use your ears and ignore the hype and myth. That’s for salespeople, dig? During this time in the 60s, there was so much variation and lack of quality control, that even among pickups that look exactly the same, there can be BIG sonic differences!

      1. Anonymous says:

        Sounds about right! Thanks for this great page and for the incredible demos! Mike is outstanding at getting the most out of these old monsters!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, this page is great. I had a guitar in the mid 60’s that had pickups similar to the black Zenon ZES 60 shown above, except they were white. I still have the pickups, though one is missing cover. Recently found a similar guitar with the white pickups on ebay.

    Bill

  3. Bill O'Callaghan says:

    This page is great. I had a guitar in the mid 60’s that had pickups similar to Zenon ZES 60 above but in white. I still have the pickups thought they are a bit beat up. I recently came a cross a Prestige guitar on ebay that had these white pickups.

    Bill

  4. dirtyoldguitars says:

    what guitar did this “Audition/Zenon 5.24k (Japan)” come out of?
    good selections too.
    I’m awaiting on a Firstman with these “Liberty SC2 4.31k (Japan)” in it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    siden din er fin og rå.tar du imot bilder fra lesere med merkelige pickups fra tidligere kommenist land?jeg har kjøpt noen merkelige gitarer som er like fine som amricanske biler på cuba.det ser ut som det er kastet sammen ,men det kan gi noen fine toner til sompeblues en sen lørdag kveld i et skur med aligatorer som husdyr og hjemme brent i koppen .stå på og underhold slike som meg….hilsen stig

  6. Tim Webster says:

    Great post! Can I suggest adding Simeto pickups to the list. They’re found on lots of East German guitars (Musima, Migma, Marma etc). Some unusual pickups on Jolana too, and those funny Hagstrom single coils with fake polepieces.

  7. Mike Brody says:

    This is a great resource in this uncharted ocean!
    I’ve had a few of these in the last couple years. So far my favorites are the Kent Copas. When I build a guitar I’m going to use one of those in the neck position. Creamy sustain tone.

  8. Scott says:

    Really love this page. I have been trying to find an odd ball pickup….and low and behold there it is on your page! Do you know who the manufacturer is of the pickup you show on the Greco ER180 and Domino Hawk? Any idea if these are available…somewhere? Thanks and just an awesome website!

  9. Derick says:

    This list is incredible! A few years ago I found an old guitar in a friend’s basement and the finish on the headstock was removed and I can’t find any serial number so I have no clue who makes it. The pickup looks nearly identical to several on this list. How can I proceed in the search to find this guitar’s identity?

  10. Brad says:

    The goldfoil off the Harmony Stratotone should be a DeArmond, USA.

    Very nice post! Thanks for this. I’ve owned and/or played a lot of these and my favorite is still the Hofner 512 and 513 blade pickups. Amazing tone from those.

  11. Steve Suveg says:

    Any p13 pix and info. I restored a prewar Gibson with a p13 that had adjustable pole pieces. I heard that Harmony made a p13 with different covers. I heard p13s make great lap steal pickups. Any comments?

  12. Jim McGovern says:

    I have a Silvertone 57-619 f-hole with 2 Lafayette 99-4583 pickups with original floating pickguard & electronics installed. I know nothing about the pickups except Lafayette sold them as an add on for f-hole guitars, I’m trying to find more. I have pics if you want them. Thanks. Jim

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