very own German Silver/Nickel humbucker covers, plated to the very highest
Humbucker covers are seen as a little bit of a mystery when it comes to
comparison to single coils, where you’ve (almost) always got a plastic
cover, or a Tele neck, where you’ve usually got a brass cover, humbuckers
come in a range of styles, and with a range of materials used in their
construction, and it’s well worth taking into consideration the impact
these will have on the overall tone of the pickup.
silver (sometimes called Nickel (not to be confused with the plating)) is
most often seen on very high spec Humbuckers, where the addition of a cover
is intended to alter the final tone as little as possible. The properties
of Nickel make it one of the best materials to achieve this.
if you’re happy with the tone of your pickup, but you want the covered
look, German silver represents the best option.
it’s not as commonly used as brass, and it’s slightly more expensive to
produce due to the difficulties in plating, but it really is the safe
option when it comes to tone.
try to offer as many different finishes as we can with our covers, and
there’s a little bit of confusion with some of the naming conventions used
within the industry, so if you’re in any doubt about which colour you need,
just have a look below.
Pretty self-explanatory really – not actually
the mineral gold, but just the same colour. You’ll see if range from a dark
orange to a light yellowy tint, our gold is pretty much in the middle of that
Black isn’t as common as you’d imagine to be
honest, but we carry it for completeness sake (and it looks pretty cool
too!) – we actually carry our covers in a non-reflective matt black to give a longer life, and save you hours of polishing!
Chrome is where things get interesting!
Basically, Chrome is what most of us call any silver part on a guitar, and
that’s all well and good until you come to change something and it doesn’t
quite match up.
The problem here is that Chrome, Nickel, and
Black Nickel (sometimes called Gun Metal or “Cosmo” if your into your Ibanez®)
plating, as well as un-plated (or Raw) nickel, all look very similar.
As a very rough guide, Chrome can be identified
because it has a slightly blue sheen to its silver finish, it will almost
certainly be electroplated onto a copper back coat too.
Nickel is the number one offender from being
confused with Chrome – the tell-tale sign for most people is that Nickel
will always have a slightly yellowish tint to its silver.
Be aware too, that when most people say a
finish is Nickel, they’re referring to a smooth mirrored finish that has
been electroplated to a cover, and not to the construction of the
humbuckers cover, and as such, as with Chrome, it will have a copper
undercoat to ensure the best possible finish, even when you’ve got a Nickel
finish on a Nickel cover, as in this case.
It’s not often people get this one confused
with Chrome, but it does happen (as well as mixing it up with Black) –
Black Nickel is a high gloss, reflective, dark grey shade. Not very common
again, occasionally turns up on Super Strats® from the far east, and even
then, not often as a Humbucker cover.
Raw (No Plating)
A “Raw” humbuckers cover is the correct term
used to reference a pickup cover that has no electroplating to influence
Some people actually prefer a truly unfinished
cover because they worry that the copper and electroplating will impact the
tone, and as such, pure nickel is a must.
Where raw covers actually come into their own,
is in the way which they age. Similar in shade to a Nickel plated cover,
the German silver (to avoid confusion here) is slightly softer, and will
show its age much more readily, as well as more organically, then any
Please note, with Raw covers, they’ll normally
show some light tooling marks and scratches, these can be buffed out to a
high shine with a little work.
Ibanez® is a registered trademarks of Hoshino Gakki, Ltd,
DiMarzio® and their associated marks are registered trademarks Dimarzio Inc.
Gibson® and their associated marks are registered trademarks to Gibson Guitar Corp.
Axesrus® has no affiliation with any of the above, and makes no claims of ownership against their marks, as such; these are not genuine Gibson® or DiMarzio® parts.