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Details about  John Birch One Of A Kind RARE INTERCHANGEABLE PICKUP GUITAR

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John Birch One Of A Kind RARE INTERCHANGEABLE PICKUP GUITAR
John-Birch-One-Of-A-Kind-RARE-INTERCHANGEABLE-PICKUP-GUITAR
Item Sold
Item condition:
--not specified
Ended:
Jan 11, 2013 08:44:10 PST
Winning bid:
US $1,008.87
29 bids ]
Shipping:
FREE Standard Shipping | See details
Item location:
Los Angeles, California, United States

Description

eBay item number:
290838623989
Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing.

Item specifics

Country of Manufacture:

United Kingdom

Brand:

John Birch

The guitars also featured unique switching options, having up to seven control knobs for a single neck guitar. With two Multiflux pickups, there are 22 switching options available, including stereo, in and out of phase, mono, and each pickup acting as a single unit. The Multiflux pickups were the first commercially available pickups to use two humbucking pickups in one case. Dimarzio's Multibucker is a more recent take on this idea. The Multibucker has four side by side coils, as opposed to the Multiflux's two stacked coils. The Multiflux is a rather rare pickup, with not too many people having ordered it. It carried a higher price tag than the other pickups in the range and the switching options could become rather confusing. If the Multiflux pickups did not offer enough flexibility, one could pay an extra £600 and get a guitar with removable pickups to offer an even greater range of tonal options. This was originally designed in collaboration with Tony Iommi for studio use. John Diggins recalls the beginning of the interchangeable pickup system, "The interchangeable pick-up idea came from Tony [Iommi]. The pick-up routes went all the way through the body, with copper contact points along one edge of the pick-up route situated near the back of the instrument. The pick-ups were assembled on a plinth, pre adjusted for height. The pick-up surrounds were fitted to the front of the instrument so that when the modules were slotted in from the back they engaged into the surround at the correct height. The pick-ups were held in place with sprung loaded clips that located into a vee slot routed into the side of the pick-up cavity. When in place, the pick-up housing was flush with the back of the instrument. Contacts on the pick-ups were also sprung loaded and made contact with the adjacent copper points in the pick-up cavity." In an interview, Tony Iommi was asked if he still had the patent to the interchangeable pickup system he helped to develop: "I did years ago, but I probably lost it now. That was about 28 years ago. I had just done it for my own interest. If it was successful I knew people would rip it off." Several guitar manufacturers now make guitars with interchangeable pickup systems, such as Mercurio Guitars and Ramtrak Guitars. There are only two John Birch interchangeable pickup guitars known to exist. One is the guitar originally built for Tony Iommi, the other is now owned by Nicky Panicci of David Bowie and USA Band S'cool Girls. The one in possession of Nicky Panicci is the one featured in the original John Birch catalog and is the rarest one to exist. Customers  Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath came to Birch's shop after having his ideas rejected by the major guitar manufacturers of the time, such as Gibson and Fender. Iommi was looking for someone to make him a guitar with a 24 fret fingerboard and high power/low noise pickups. Iommi's red Gibson SG Special received some modification in the form of a re-covered Gibson P-90 in the bridge position and John Birch's own Superflux in the neck position. This guitar is in the Times Square Hard Rock Cafe. In 1975, Birch built Iommi his black 24-fret, cross inlay SG Special. This was the main guitar used on the albums Technical Ecstasy, Never Say Die, Heaven and Hell, and Mob Rules. This guitar is now in the Miami Hard Rock Cafe. Around the same time Birch's SG was built, John Diggins also built Iommi's Jaydee SG, which features a custom wound pickup by Diggins in the bridge position and a standard Biflux in the neck position. The guitar also has peeled and cracked paint due to a rushed finish job. During the Cross Purposes tour, the guitar was left in a hot car on a date in Brazil, and the finish bubbled and cracked due to the heat. This guitar was first used for some overdubbing on Heaven and Hell, but quickly became Iommi's main guitar. The Birch shop also built a guitar for Tony that featured the ability to remove and replace pickups. The pickups plugged through the back into slots which had quick connectors that allowed them to be pulled and replaced easily, and didn't require any soldering. This allowed for more tonal options than any standard guitar, no matter how complex its wiring. Geezer Butler also had some basses made by Birch, one of which can be seen in the music video for Black Sabbath's "A Hard Road." Another of Birch's famous customers was Brian May of Queen. Brian wanted a copy of his Red Special to use as a backup guitar, so he asked John to make him what would come to be referred to as the "Yellow Special." This is the guitar that was used on several videos from the album News of the World and the video for "We Will Rock You." May never liked the Yellow Special's sound or feel. The construction of the Birch guitar and his original Red Special are very different. May's Red Special is constructed of mahogany and oak with a frictionless roller bridge, whereas the Birch guitar used all maple construction with an ebony fingerboard, as well as a non-roller bridge which meant tuning was unstable. At a Chicago gig in the early eighties, he broke some strings on the Red Special. After using the Birch guitar for a few minutes, he tossed it offstage out of frustration, but no one was there to catch it. The guitar was smashed to pieces. Fortunately, all the pieces were saved, and the remains can be seen at Brian May's site (link at bottom). Until a few years ago, John Birch still offered a copy of the guitar featuring Dimarzio's Brian May pickups, but the model has been discontinued. Roy Orbison also ordered a guitar from Birch. In 1975, Orbison's guitarist, Allen Panter was having problems with his Les Paul. Orbison was also having difficulty with his Ovation, and needed it to be repaired. Orbison was satisfied with the work done, and decided to have a custom guitar built. Orbison, Birch, and Birch employee John Diggins all had discussions on what Roy would like to have built. The Eagle guitar was born, and it can be seen at Jaydee's website (link at bottom) while the actual guitar hung on the wall at Birmingham Hard Rock Cafe until its closure in 2006.

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