Model S can be wound for jangle or driving blues and anything in between. In fact if you look at the specifications for S-Style pickups throughout their years of production, they vary quite widely through from the earlier hand wound pickups to the later and current machine wound ones. Hand winding really is the way to go with these pickups, creating a clarity and transparency of tone that is rarely achieved by machine winding. I generally supply these with flush pole magnets and the middle pickup wound RWRP relative to the neck and bridge, but the choice is yours.
All bobbins are taped to prevent shorting to the slugs and I fit lead wires to each end of the coil instead of soldering the magnet wire directly to the eyelets which is easily damaged and a common cause of dead pickups.
This is a rough guide to the variations from the mid 50’s through to the late 60’s;
Prior to 1965, these pickups were hand wound.
To the left is a selection of sound bites made with a calibrated set based upon the 1962 specification.
J-Master pickups are available in P90, WRHB and Humbucker formats.
The Stelley is a hybrid S/T pickup, primarily for installation at the bridge, but I have made graduated versions for the middle and neck positions as well. Essentially, this is an “S” Style pickup with a steel base plate on the underside and a wider bobbin top. The top is the same dimensionally as the exterior of an S Style cover which allows the coil to be fatter, changing the character of the tone. DC resistance is 8k, and the Stelley gives gives a serious boost in tone.
Another variation on the S Style theme is the SP-90 which utilises the P90 magnet layout and screw poles in a Model S format to create warm detailed tone - this pickup will fit under a S Style cover whereas the Stelley will not due to the larger bobbin top.