Mission accomplished! Though it’s hard to see in a photo, the two Wide Range pickups look different. Not only is the vintage bridge pickup’s cover worn
from gigging, but on the modern edition the embossed Fender logo is pressed much deeper into the metal. The lettering is also much finer on the original
cover, and this will help you identify a real ’ 72, if you ever encounter one. Photo by Ariel Ellis
and can break easily. If the pole
pieces are difficult to turn, stop.
The last thing you want to do is
break one of these irreplaceable
poles. Remember, these are magnets and without them, the pickup
is useless. In fact, for this project I
recommended that we not touch
the vintage poles, and my client
agreed to keep them at the height
he’d set four decades ago.
the guitar in action, he reported
that the combination of modern
neck and vintage bridge WR
humbuckers actually makes
a very musical combination.
(“Sweet, clear neck and jangly,
brash bridge tones,” is how he
described it.) So if you come
across only one of these Wide
Range Seth Lover humbuckers,
it’s still not out of the question to
mate it with a modern humbuck-
er. Remember, replacing pickups
on a guitar can give it a whole
new personality, so don’t be afraid
to explore the sonic possibilities.
Although projects like this
one can be challenging, the final
result was very satisfying. The
guitar sounds great with the original ’ 72 WR pickup. As an added
bonus, I got to install a real Seth
Lover pickup and rediscover why
he was such a genius!
At first, my client was dismayed
that the vintage neck pickup
was dead. But after doing some
recording sessions and hearing
John LeVan runs a repair shop on Nashville’s Music Row. Through his Guitar Services
Workshops, he gives players, technicians, and retail employees hands-on training in
the art of guitar repair. LeVan has written five guitar repair books, all published by Mel
Bay. His bestseller, Guitar Care, Setup & Maintenance, is a detailed guide with a forward by Bob Taylor. LeVan welcomes questions about this article or his books. Drop
an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit guitarservices.com for more info.