I think I was 12 years old when I made my first guitar and the pickups to go with it.
I was fortunate enough to be a pupil at a technical school at the time which had the benefit of some very talented teachers and excellent workshop facilities which all coincided with an interest in the electric guitar ignited by hearing Rory Gallaghers’ “Live in Europe” (Still one of my favourite albums).
Those early pickups were very laborious to make, I literally wound the coils by hand turn by turn while Dr Who or something was on the T.V. Magnets were whatever Eclipse sold at the local DIY (probably Alcomax) and the wire came from some old GPO relays, so the gauge was way too thick and there were plenty of joins in there. But they worked and didn’t sound too bad through my old WEM 20 watt combo.
In the seventies, DiMarzio, Mighty Mite and later Seymour Duncan were selling replacement pickups and I went down the same route as most guitar enthusiasts and spent a small fortune over the years swapping pickups in and out of guitars. I also made a fair number of guitars and still do occasionally now - there’s some photos in the Archive.
I didn’t really start thinking about making pickups again until around 10 years ago after I had a couple of P90’s rewound for an SG that I had at the time. They sounded a lot better than the originals; pity the guy had wrecked the covers whilst dismantling them.
So next time around, I had a go myself and Catswhisker Pickups is the result.