Today was one of those days where you assume you've seen it all but then this guy brought in what we believe to be an El Degas or something along those lines from the 60s or 70s. As some know on here I take pickups apart and modify them to a certain degree so seeing something like this I just had to share it.

it sort of reminded me of when Rob Turner (guy who founded EMG) made the H and HA series active humbucker which is not to get confused with the passive HZ model. The H and HA had a humbucker housing but is a single coil inside. The single coil was an "S" and a "SA" depending on what you go with. The A at the end standing for alnico of course as a substitute for ceramic.

anyone ever see these before?

this was the original guitar, we're not 100% sure if it was an el degas but the guy did a great job making the pickguard from scratch. The humbuckers on the outside looked like 3 chrome covered pickups. Haven't seen a 0 fret in a while either so today was pretty interesting. At first when the guy wanted new pickups I kind of rolled my eyes because I hate when guys do that as he just got the guitar but once I whipped out the multimeter, did some readings and saw how the pickups were made as like I said before one didn't work , it made total sense. His knobs are coming off of ebay soon.

the wiring on this was weird
3 volumes , tone
didn't check what the 3 way did.

I'd have ..
two volumes , push pull on one to turn the middle pickup on
bass cut / mid scoop or something without going into coiltaps and all
and make the 3 way control the neck/middle. So modern yet the feel of practically any other les paul.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at May 11, 2015,
That's pretty cool.
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Is that two magnets taped together?
I would be interested in hearing how they sound
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at May 11, 2015,
Valco/Supro/Airline guitars had similar pickups, a single coil in a humbucker-sized cover. My guess is that whoever made your guitar only had pictures for reference, and never had a chance to take a Les Paul apart to see how the pickups work.
Thankfully the guitar amp isn't mine. The guy wanted the guitar back asap so I just did a bit of soldering and all so it was one of those before and after photos. What was weird was how thin the portion of the pickup is that you put the height adjusting screws on was. Same went for the part that mounted into the body. The screws were 4-40 threads so that is usually import in my eyes as 3-38 is the standard here.

He got the guitar at a pawn shop for 100$ off an older guy. I'll look up Valco , supro and airline guitars and see if they also made a les paul shape. One guy I knew back in high school his dad had an el degas and it had an open book headstock and it was bolt on just like this. It's a shame when some people take the headstock logos off.

the top was laminated with plywood but the body looked more solid. It was painted so perhaps the glossy black isn't the original color as inside it was kind of sunburst or whatever. I would have loved to record some clips of the pickups myself. They had 5.7k or so and for sure they're going to buzz. Definitely had 2 magnets in them. Hopefully I bump into another set like them.
There's a pretty long history of cheap furrin' guitars with single coil pickups tucked into humbucker covers. You should probably keep that as a "museum piece."

If that were my guitar I'd ditch the pickguard and be dying to find a way to put a five-way on it.