Lollar Pickups has announced the release of a new Gold Foil pickup that is a direct drop-in replacement for traditional humbucker-sized pickups, the Novel Foil.
Once almost entirely ignored by guitarists, the unique Gold Foil pickup from the 1960s was widely underappreciated in the industry as a sort of sub-par tonal tool – not due to its tone, but because of its history as the go-to pickup for inexpensive import student guitar manufacturers. That all changed when some very serious players began experimenting with the original vintage Gold Foils by installing them in higher quality instruments – players such as Ry Cooder played a major role in this with his infamous “Coodercaster” guitar.
Once the secret got out, savvy guitarists began seeking out old, cheap pawnshop guitars for the sole intention of repurposing the vintage Gold Foil pickups for use in nicer instruments. And then came the calls for a suitable modern recreation. Overwhelming customer demand spurred Lollar to clear some major hurdles in recreating the classic sleeper pickup. The original design was so obscure -with parts being impossible to come by- that it became more of a years-long passion project for Lollar than the average product R&D process. This meant tooling up to make the extremely specific and purpose-built parts. In the end, Lollar was thrilled with their results, as are countless guitarists who’ve played them since.
Since establishing itself as a serious sound maker, the Gold Foil has become one of Lollar Pickup’s top sellers. Available in the traditional “surface mount” design, as well as floating (pickguard) mount for archtop style guitars, and Dogear and Soapbar mounts to replace P90 pickups. Now finally, that true-to-original Gold Foil tone is available in a direct drop-in replacement for humbucker routs too! Each option delivers the same great tone of the original; but in a modern, reliable, consistent, and readily available package.
While some pickup builders may offer various pickups that simply have a “foil” aesthetic, they tend to ignore the most important aspect: the sound. (Let’s face it, they do look really cool, but the foil has the absolute least impact on the sound.) Because of this, they can often lack the crystal clear top end, massive harmonic overtones, and wide dynamic range that Gold Foil pickups should offer, making them a poor substitute for the real thing. Lollar, on the other hand, has designed the new Novel Foil to be built with the exact specifications as their other Gold Foil pickups, meaning the Novel Foil sounds so close to an original Gold Foil that distinguishing them from one another based on sound alone would be virtually impossible.
The Novel Foil is available in neck, middle, and bridge positions and can be built with chrome, nickel, or gold rings; black or red insert cap; and gold, silver, or black foil.
Purchase the novel foil here.