Les Paul’s Personally Hand-Made Prototype Pickups

Here is an incredibly rare pair of Les Paul’s personally hand-made prototype bass pickups. Never has such an opportunity been made available, and never will it happen again. This matching set of electric bass guitar pickups, was purchased in a box from Julien’s Les Paul Estate auction last year, simply listed as Lot 470 and merely described as “Les Paul Electronics”. Relegated to a bargain bin during preparation for the auction, these pickups were completely over-looked, and became the hidden treasure of the show. Not a single hand-crafted Les Paul pickup was sold separately throughout the entire auction, but it was highly evident that any of his personal guitars with his special pickups installed, approximately 19 total, sold for enormous amounts, some even exceeding $100,000.00, while the average sale price was still a very incredible $20,000.00. So here is the impossible opportunity to buy this matching set of bass pickups, though certainly applicable for guitar as well, directly from the estate of the man credited for some of the most important advances in electric instruments and recording technology. But what makes these pickups even more spectacular, are Les’ hand-written notes and specs. on the back Whether the plan is to install these pickups in a guitar, as Les clearly once had, or showcase them as the awesome museum-quality pieces they are, these special pickups deserve a proper presentation.

Pickup 1 Measurments
Orange: 114.2Ω
Brown: 25.4Ω
Red: 52.7Ω
Purple: 158.3Ω
Notes by Les Paul:
-B
-BROWN 400T – Pos 1
-RED 800T – ” 2
-ORANGE 600T – ” 3
-SHIELD GROUND
-YELLOW 400T – ” 1
-GREEN 800T – ” 2
-BLUE 1300T – ” 3
-WHITE HOT LEAD

Pickup 2 Measurments
Yellow: 52.3Ω
Red: 25.2Ω
Blue: 113.6Ω
Notes by Les Paul:
-VIOLET GROUND
-RED 400T – Pos 1
-YELLOW 800T – ” 2
-BLUE 1600T – ” 3
-WHITE HOT LEAD
-GREEN 400T – Pos 1
-PINK 800T – ” 2
-GRAY 1300T – ” 3

The notes written on the paper on the back of the pickups were preserved with clear scotch tape and secured with black electrical tape. The “T” designation most likely suggests the amount of “Turns”. The various increments were certainly a way for Les to keep track of how each performend differently, and was a methodical way of using this one pickup to serve as an all-in-one master prototype.