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What's a Bill Lawrence USA L500XL measure out at?


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L-500's (hard core, hi Q, blades, 15mm magnetic window). From February 2005: due to the unavailability of the ceramic magnets, a new circuit was designed using alnico V magnets, delivering the same sound.

The L-500 is a blade-style humbucker that can be retrofitted in both full-size humbucker and P-90/P-100 routs (see Dimensions post below)! The blades are 56mm/2.205" long, and will accommodate the string spacing of all known 6-string bridges (remember that the bridge pickup is not mounted at the saddles!).

L-500's are designed to deliver as much output passively whilst maintaining clarity and without sterility. If even higher output is required, EMG active pickups are recommended.

To deliver great tonal flexibility, the lead/bridge versions (L & XL) especially are recommended to be used in conjunction with the Q-Filter.

The L-500 comes in four versions:

C = 2.8 Henry

R = 4.8 Henry

L = 6.8 Henry

XL = 9.2 Henry

The XL requires at least 500K pots, whereas the other 500s can be used with 250K or 500K pots (all audio taper).

All 500's are extremely loud and therefore don't really mix well with other pickups. The XL without the load of the controls is ear-piercingly bright, but with a 500 kilo ohm pot loses about 50 percent of the higher end. With the EQ Filter [(Q-Filter)], you can gradually [effectively] reduce the inductance of the XL and get a tremendous variety of sounds.

The L with 250K pots is tonally voiced very similarly to the XL with 500K pots, but theres not quite as much punch. And if you employ a Q-Filter, theres not as much bandwidth to operate on, which means that the tonal variation that can be achieved is not as extensive as for the XL.

If you prefer the look of pole-pieces to blades:

For those wanting the more traditional pole-piece look, as opposed to the twin blades of the L-500's, the higher inductance L-600's deliver similar tone to their L-500 siblings.


DC resistance doesn't tell you the output of a pickup; it's a marketing gimmick that has pissed off Bill for years...so don't ask him unless you want to get him all fired up. :lol:

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So is pickup resistence and inductance not related?

From here: http://www.billlawrence.com/Pages/Pickupology/output_sonic_evaluation.htm



I'm asked by players, over and over, " How much output do your pickups have?" This is a very disturbing question because one should consider, no matter how much output your pickup has, you'll never get more than 50 watts out of a 50 watt amplifier!

Rating Pickups with DC Resistance

DC resistance is NOT a power rating; it is the resistance of the wire in a pickup's coil at zero hertz, something that only occurs when the guitar isn't played. If some marketers use DC resistance as a power rating for an AC device, like a pickup, then they only show their ignorance. If we use DC resistance as a parameter, we disregard the fact that, due to Pe and other conditions that result in eddy currents, the effective resistance (Rac) is frequency dependant.

DC resistance (Rdc) tells you as much about a pickup's tone and output as the shoe size tells you about a person's intelligence!


The output rating of pickups is generally given in millivolts (mV). Millivolts could be a helpful parameter if all manufacturers would agree on a standard measuring method that provides such data over a wide frequency range. Now, let's say with this information, we plot an impressive-looking graph showing the different output levels at various frequencies -- does this give you a good idea of the sonic character of a pickup? Yes and no. Don't forget that not every guitar is created equal, and neither are the players. We use different kinds of strings, cables, amps and speakers, and a pickup is only one link in a chain that finally determines tone and output.


Inductance ( henry) is another valuable parameter for the sonic evaluation of a pickup but requires some basic understanding of electrodynamics. As a general rule, the higher the inductance, the lesser the highs. For example, a traditional strat pickup has an inductance around 2.3 henry while a Gibson PAF has an inductance around 4.4 henry and some of the so-called "distortion" pickups have an inductance above 8.0 henry. With these comparisons, you get a basic idea. Besides inductance, there are other factors that also need to be considered in projecting tone and output of a pickup.

Tone and output mainly depend on the relation between inductance, magnetic strength and the efficiency of the pickup, as well as the relation between the inductance of the pickup and the capacitance of the cable.


And here is a pretty cool interview where he talks about pickup inductance and cable capacitance and the relationship between the two.


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  • 10 years later...
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to "mfergel",

& 0thers, interested..

In first, please don't take care for mistakes, because I'm a French guy (living in France, near Paris)

- What the news about "L-500XL"?

Did you keep it, or change it.?

> There's also Exactly the same kind, but made bye William Lawrence:

> The "Keystone MS-500",

and I got 0ne, New, in his box..

> "MS" is for Multi-Fonctions:

- When you use it, you have to follow what they say about Connecting of this PU (in his box)

- 1 Wire to the Enter of the Vol pot, but an 0ther (this one betwin the 2 bobbins) to the Tone pot (an Logarythmic one, Not an 0ther: it dosn't works..) with an normal Capacitor (0,022 uF, in the box..), and in Parallel with it: a little Resistance of 8k 0hms & 1/4 Watt (joined with the Capacitor: in the box):

- Because the 2 Bobbins (for 12k),

= are Not: 6 & 6k, for 12k all,

> but are: 8 & 4k ..

= when Vol & Tone pots are to 10:

> The Sound is a Full Humbucker,

- But when you Turn down the Tone pot:

= Gradually: you put the 4k Bobbin Slow & Slow > to "0"..

=> There's 0nly the 8k Bobbin which is in Fonction:

= Your HB pu is turned to an SC (Single Coil) pu :

> Very Good for All guitarits who Use an HB pu in Bridge position, like me, on Strats:

- 'Cause you can Have a SC Sound like the 2 0thers pu, or an HB Sound !..

> And "Gradually": much better than HB or Single with a Switch..

> So it would be Good also for HB Necks "too High"..

> Because the reality:

-- Neck & Bridge pu are made with the Same Wires: Awg42 much time, like Gibson LP, SG etc..

> & it is Not the good thing, 'cause the Neck pu seems every time Too "Strong"..

> But it is Not the Reality:

- it is the Presence which is too much, Not the 0hms..

> In 1953: Leo 7ender changed the Pickup Bridge of the Telecaster, in Awg43 (= 0,056 mm/diameter, & around 6,9 0hms/meter) like this Since 1948 (1st 7ender guitar) for an Bigger, 'cause it was Near the End of Strings Vibration:

= for Awg42 wire (0,063 mm, & around 5,5 0hms/meter) for More Presence.!

- The Neck: always in Awg43 Thinner, alway the same Today..

> So the Contrary is the Same:

= We have to put an Neck pu with Thinner Wire for Less Presence.!

> Try it, you will "see"..

> I'm a French guy, but 65yo, playing for more than 40 years, & I know a lot about pu.s ..

> I hope than this will give some news for pickups:

> Bill Lawrence pu.s & more..

See you later,

- Bob Morane (France).

- bob.moranex27 a gmail.com

(it's better to Write "@", but in France: they don't take it..)




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to 1001gear,

 Yes, they sound well,

8k Bobbin: Really Single Coil sound

for the HB mode: my best Sound is near 10k, not 12k (mine is near 12,5k)..

But what interesting is the "principe":

> I'll try on an 0ther HB if it is the same kind with same "swirching" & a Resistance of the same  R than the Bobbin staying,

> for HB necks which are Everytime "Too Strong", or all 0thers..

+ An other thing different:

> I'll try to reproduce a "Tone Bass" like on the L6-S Gibson (Bill Lawrence's conception: Guitar & Pickups.. but I'd changed them for 2 DiMarzio DP-100: a lot better..),

with witch I've been played Apache (from The Shadows..), with the DiMarzio pu's..

= With this kind of Bass Tone + Treeble Tone, & 6 Positions Switch:

> & The kind of HB to SC: I think you can Play Anyhing on any Guitar you like to play..

Bob Morane (France).

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I'm a French guy, & I don't understand a lot..

> The Vol pot is 0nly a Vol..

What changes from Humbucker to Single Coil gradually is the Tone pot:

> because a thread (wire) from the pu: the 0ne at the End of the Two Coils > Goes to the Tone pot & "works" with the Resistance 8k in the same time of Tone value, 'cause in Parallele with the 0,022uF capacitor for Tone..

=> The Tone pot changes gradually the HB mode to SC mode, Not the Vol pot: which is only a Vol pot, that's all..

It is like this it works..

Bob Morane (France).

(I finish to learn my English at school in 1972.. I'm 65yo.. & never have to speak English, in France..)


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I don't understand what means verb "increases"..

= means "begin something" or what.?

> I told than I'm a French guy, who had left School since 48 years (1972) Where I learnt English..

So please: Explain more what you wanna say..


Bob Morane (France)

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"Umm is more hum"

> what it means.?

- At 10 on the Tone pot:

= the pickup is in HB/Humbuker mode (= not any "Buzz"..)

- And when you turn it down, to SC/Single-Coil mode:

> ther's no more noise..

But so: I don't play on Stage with Thousands Watts..

> For this, I got an other idea, but for Strato (or Tele etc..) kind pickups:

> It is to Separate the pickup in 2parts:

= you Cute the plate upside in 2parts, & the plate down also:

> You can wind the 1st Bobbin for 3Strings in 1side ("Clock Wise") with magnets in North, for near 3k,

> & you can wind the other Bobbin for the next 3Strings in the 0ther side ("Counter Clock Wise") with magnets in South:

= You get the Same kind of Pickup, with the Real 0riginal Sound,

> but with not Buzz at all..


> The 0nly mode to get an SC pu with no Buzz at all..

> Nobody makes it..

> There is a lot of Twin pu, & Stacks (like Bill Lawrence made for 7ender, with special magnets: more strong.. I don't remember what they are..), but nobody makes this kind of pu..

> It's the 0nly Way:

= to get the same Look (with the Cover: you don't see the difference..),

> & No Hum at all,

> With the real 0riginal Sound .!

    Bob Morane (France)

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With 2 Bobbins in the Bill Lawrence XL-500 or the same Keystone MS-500:

> you have an Humbuker, not 2 ..

> It's because you 1Bobbin in 1side with Magnets Exemple North,

> & the other Bobbin also Winded in the same side, but Switched in opposite side, & magnets Ex South

= than you have an Humbuker mode..

I don't understand where do you see 2 Humbukers..?

> & I'd explain How to make a Strato with the Same parts:

= 1Bobbin for 3Strings, & an 0ther for the 3 other Strings, with same things:

= the 1st in Winded in 1side ("Clok Wise") & Magnets (up) North,

> & the 0ther Winded in the Contrary side (= Counter Clok Wise) + Magnets (up) in South..

= It is Equal to any Humbuker..

But in All Humbukers: Bobbins are Winded in the Same side:

> It's the Connection whitch is in the 0ther side: 

> the 1st Bobbin is Connected:

the Inside to +

> the other with the Inside to -- ..

I don't see where is there 2Humbukers..

Bob Morane (France)

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We're not speaking for this kind of pickup..

When you've 2 Bobbins:

= it's for Humbuking mode.

> 1Bobbin means SC/Single-Coil mode.

That's all..

> "Stacks", like made Bill Lawrence for 7ender Stratos pickups:

= 1Coil 0ver an 0ther 0ne = 2 Coils

on Each other: for Humbuking mode..(on 2 Nylon Bobbins, not Directly the Wire on the Magnets, like a Real Strato pu = Not the same Sound..)

= Every Time: Humbuker mode get 2Bobbins..

& SC mode: 0nly 1 ..

It is really as simple as I say..

Bob Morane (France)

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I own many Bill Lawrence pickups, mainly the L-250 and XL-500 pickup.

Many of the L-250's that I own, the ratings varied from 11.96k ohms to 14.03k ohms.

Some of my XL-500's rated from 11.28k ohms to 14.89k ohms.

There is a lot of inconstancies in ohms in a lot of the Bill Lawrence pickups. But man , they sure deliver great tone.

I love using BL pickups from 1977 to 1984 for neck pickups on my Metal guitars.

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1 hour ago, AJ6stringsting said:

I own many Bill Lawrence pickups, mainly the L-250 and XL-500 pickup.

Many of the L-250's that I own, the ratings varied from 11.96k ohms to 14.03k ohms.

Some of my XL-500's rated from 11.28k ohms to 14.89k ohms.

There is a lot of inconstancies in ohms in a lot of the Bill Lawrence pickups. But man , they sure deliver great tone.

I love using BL pickups from 1977 to 1984 for neck pickups on my Metal guitars.

Those are the real ones ? Anyway is it two noiseless coils?

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> AJ6Jstringsting,


I got an Gibson L6-S (conceived by Bill Lawrence: Pickups & Guitar..) in '83, new, working well,

- but the 2 HB pu's did'd sound well to me: too Clean & not so strong..

> I'd to change them for 2DiMarzio DP-100 "super disto'"(13,5k & big Ceramic magnets): relly better..

> with more Bass in their Sound, but on the L6-S: There's a Bass Tone pot, wich one you can get off a lot of Bass Sounds..

> + There's a 6 positions Selector Swich:

= I was able to Play Apache from The Shadows with it (& the 2DiMarzio pu's..)..!

> I'm trying to Reproduce the same Bass Pot System to put it on an "superstrat" ('cause there's 3 Pots: Vol, 1Tone for Bass, & the 0ther for Treebles..), or any other guitar,

+ the Keystone MS-500 System: To change HB mode to SC mode Gradually (good for "superstrat" or 0ther: which got an HB in Bridge + 2SC..)..

- I like to Customise Sounds to go where what you need, to get good Sounds..

- Bob Morane (France).

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