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Gibson T Top Pickup Reversed T’s 1973-1980 Black


1 in stock


1973-1980 T Top Gibson pickup with the opposing T’s so that makes me think this came out of a semi hollow 345-355 or some other hollow body Gibson guitar, or maybe an SG Custom!  Plenty of lead for either position on a Les Paul or SG and comes with screws ! 7.50 K with my digital reader ! 

From Oil City Pickups in the UK ….
Amongst Gibson owners the ‘T Top’ humbucker is, next to the PAF, arguably the most sought after ‘vintage’ Gibson pickup. Examples change hands for what can be quite a lot money … so what’s the deal with the T Top.
Well firstly the T Top (it was never called that by Gibson) isn’t so much one pickup, as a family of pickups from around 1968 to about 1980, that all happen to use the same type of bobbin. The old PAF bobbin with its distinctive little holes at one end was distinctly fragile, and when Gibson re tooled the bobbin they made it a beefier moulding. There is some crap on the internet about T Top bobbins having a wider winding area … this simply isn’t true … there is the 6.25mm winding area the PAF had, but with a slightly thicker top and bottom plate/flange, presumably to help stop bobbin ‘flare’ when winding.

Some time before the introduction of the T Top bobbin Gibson had made the switch from the dark brown/black PVA coated plain enamel winding wire that had been used on the PAF and on the ‘patent’ pickups of the early sixties … to poly coated winding wire … in shades from red to copper. The change made sense to Gibson I’m sure. PVA coated plain enamel is an utter bitch to work with, difficult to solder, hard to handle when threading winding machines, and more prone to mechanical damage in the winding process. Fender too had changed to poly wire at about the same time. All T Tops are wound with 42awg poly wire. 

Gibson’s production techniques were much more standardised in the T Top era than in earlier PAF days, so it’s not surprising that every pickup I’ve handled with T Top bobbins (bar one which I shall come on to) came in around 7.5k bridge and neck.

Regarding magnets, the T Top used … according to most sources … alnico 5, rough cast ‘short’ magnets … but this is where I prefer to call the T Top a ‘family’ of pickups, because around the mid seventies Gibson seem to have used alnico 3 for a while, then by 1978 … possibly prompted by the popularity of aftermarket DiMarzio replacements, they had started to use double thickness, slightly narrower Ceramic magnets exactly like the DM Super Distortion. These variants will, of course each have a different sound.

The one pickup I have encountered that didn’t have the expected 7.5k output was a very early Gibson ‘Dirty Fingers’ humbucker that was around 13k and also used T Top bobbins … obviously in that case with the extra ‘outrigger’ magnets that characterised the Dirty Fingers.

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