The tone of Peter Green without the six-figure price tag? Monty’s Guitars Release Bethnal Green Humbuckers

Matt Gleeson and his small, skilled team at Monty’s Guitars in Cheltenham, England produce one of the finest reproduction PAFs in the world, so the news that he has turned his attention to a Peter Green set is a big deal. A faithful recreation of the crucial element of Peter Green’s legendary Les Paul “Greeny” tone? It may be the most affordable way to get closer than ever for anyone who isn’t Kirk Hammett.

Matt recently appeared on Anderton’s YouTube channel to show it all and tell it all. “He had the infamous Greeny’ Burst and the neck pickup was broken and he had to be rewound,” Matt says of the late Fleetwood Mac and Bluesbreakers legend’s tone. “At the time, he could only get a different type of wire, which is a heavy shape, which is usually what you find in Strat pickups. So the neck pickup was rewound with that.”

This heavy formvar is thinner than the regular enamel used on most original PAFs, but Matt suggests it actually results in a fatter coil sound, with more of the coil further away from the magnetic field. , “which changes the tone dramatically.”

Greeny features an out-of-phase neck pickup, and the idea that wire plays a big part in the equation means more is going on. But it remains to be debated how and when the mic was installed this way before the rewiring changed the tone yet again.

“Now there’s some debate as to whether the mic magnet was turned around at that time or if it happened at the factory,” Matt continues, “because there are stories of” bursts coming out with our phase sounds straight from stock. So on this side, I’m not too sure, but what this phased thing does [with Greeny] does it give you that very nice kind of flute sound.

While this out-of-phase setup often leads to unwanted “thin” sound, Greeny was different and allowed for magical mid-position action. “The magic with the Greeny guitar is that it still had body,” says Matt. “And I think the reason for that is that it was rewound. Because the pickups are so different, the signal they’re putting out isn’t the same. So you get that air of phase shift, but it’s at just about everything.”

Matt digs deeper with Lee into the nature of the out-of-phase signals on the guitars in the video, but regarding Greeny’s particular details, he reveals that he had access to the original ’59 Les Paul that belonged to Green and then Gary Moore. . He was able to study it when it was in London with a vintage dealer, and before it moved to new owner Kirk Hammett in the United States. Matt explains that he was allowed to play guitar and had access to parts of the guitar to get readings, but was not allowed to disassemble the pickups.

“They’re very different from the PAFS we make,” Matt says of the comparisons he’s been able to make. The bridge pickup is much more powerful, so much more mids in there. And the neck pickup obviously has all the weird stuff that comes with it and it’s a whole different beast.”

Monty’s handmade Bethnal Green set took years of tinkering from Matt and is part of a new tribute range that will be made in limited runs. They use period correct parts – “they are as accurate as possible down to the way the decals are cut”, says the British company

The humbuckers feature Alnico II magnets, unwrapped coils and while the bridge coil wire uses plain 42 gauge enamel, the neck coil is wired with heavy duty 42 gauge formvar.

Each includes PAF accurate vintage pure nickel covers, aged covers with nickel silver baseplates and correct tooling marks, and brass baseplate screws.

At £449, this set features Monty’s most expensive pickups to date, and the limited run is clearly aimed at those who want the specific Greeny sound. And there are quite a few of those people around who have already sold the first run. When the next batch will follow is not yet confirmed.

For the rest of us, Monty’s more affordable standard PAF and Full Monty humbuckers still represent incredibly dynamic pickups that can offer a major upgrade to your guitar. Discover the whole range on Monty’s Guitars.

Eleanor C. William