Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Skull Pickup Design

A couple weeks ago, I sent custom wound magnetic pickups to my Irish buddy Carlton, and he was so enthusiastic about them he asked me to create a special one-of-a-kind skull design.  Of course a volume pot and output jack had to be added, because Carl cannot solder without burning his fingers (so he says).  q;-)

After noodling it around for a while and looking at a few illustrations, I settled on something I thought might work.  The design had to look like a skull in all its horrid glory, but it had to be drawn to size so that it would accommodate the magnet posts without spoiling the overall design.

So, I chose to draw a skull with big eye sockets and a nose cavity large enough to hide the posts, but to still allow the proper string spacing locations.  But, it had to look right -- sunken eye sockets, cranial cracks, elongated teeth, and a general disgusting distorted appearance.  The width of the pickup is about 3", which is  average, and the depth is about the same, which is greater than usual designs, but it looks great on a guitar top, so it's OK.

A bleached white skull just didn't do it for me as a cigar box guitar accessory, so I decided to stick with a dark stained wood bobbin top, which I hand painted with black accents to create the effect I think Carl was expecting.  There's nothing more creepy than black eyes and nose cavities in a stylistic skull drawing.  The magnet posts are hidden with the paint so as not to detract from the overall design (the paint does not distort or displace sound).

Take a look, and if you cannot live without a cool custom-designed guitar pickup at a fair price, send me a note (contact me on this site) and I'll fix you up.


  1. its a cool pick up im very happy with it and its going to stay with me..jess your a top shelf nutter and I take my hat off to you.carl.

  2. Thanks Carl. I'm not sure which one of us is the 'nutter', but I'm glad you like it, and that we are friends.