When developing the Newark St. Series Starfire guitars, we wanted to recreate the magic that was found in a handful of original pickups we came across. A large number of guitars were meticulously tested and compared in order to find the most awe-inspiring pickups with that magical sound. Sure, we tested numbers and metrics along the way, but our primary driver in selecting the pickups to recreate was our ears. In the end, we chose the best sounding pickups that we could find and replicated them with the utmost care and detail.
The Starfire’s LB-1 Little Bucker pickup sits somewhere between a mini-bucker and a full size humbucker. Tonally, it’s got a little more jangle and a little more air then a traditional humbucker. The resistance and inductance of these pickups sit comfortably between a typical single coil and a typical PAF style humbucker – contributing to the airy nature of the pickup without compromising its warmth and hum-free output.
Recently, we’ve been asked why our Starfire pickups have a lower resistance measurement in the bridge pickup than measures in the neck pickup. While we understand why this question is asked (because many people use the resistance to measure pickup output), measuring output with resistance alone fails to account for a multitude of impacting factors.
Guitar pickups can be measured a few different ways: resistance (ohms K), inductance (Henries) and output in millivolts are all typical measurements. While any of these measurements can give you a ball park estimate of your pickup output (when compared to another identical pickup), they don’t tell the whole story. For that, you’d need to compare all three different measurements as well as components used and overall pickup efficiency. For example, the Starfire bridge pickup does have a lower resistance than the neck; however, it is wound with 41g wire. The neck pickup is wound with 42g wire. This difference in component alone will impact the resistance of the pickup. 41g is a thicker wire and as you increase your wire thickness, you decrease the amount of resistance.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of specs and speculations but in the end, you should always count on your ear because after all, it’s our ears which we are trying to please!