c.1940 Gibson P-13 Pickup & Wiring Harness

How often does an original P-13 pup and wiring harness complete with bakelite knobs pop up? Like, dude, never!

This most likely came off of an early-40s Gibson ES-150, and though this variant of the pickup has raised polepieces for each string, the poles are non-adjustable. A similar version of the P-13 was also used on Gibson lap steels, most notably the EH-125 from the same time, but most of those have the "speed bump" covers.

Regardless of origin (I pulled this out of a wrecked 50s Framus archtop guitar to which it had been crudely screwed-onto), it's cool to see that the components remained together and unmolested. Everything works and a light cleaning and a bit of contact cleaner was all that was needed for this guy to perform exactly as intended.

Essentially an early-style P-90, the P-13s (to my ears) are sweeter, creamier, and well -- more "jazz" in flavor. They're warm but don't lack clarity and have a great sound for swing or early blues styles, too. This guy registers as 6.2k ohms in output but from my experience they tend to sound hotter than their output suggests.

The nickel plating and deco design winds up looking great with all the age that's been heaped on it!

I'm shocked that all the original wiring is in good health. Don't you love those bakelite "radio" knobs?


TrueNorth17 said...

Wow, cool find. Is this for sale, Jake? Just wondering about it as a nice back up for the ES-150 I bought from you last year. Jim from Lincoln

Antebellum Instruments said...

Hi Jim -- yup, but it's costly -- $300 for the unit.

I miss that ES-150... :D ...but am glad it's in good hands!

Vijaya Prabhu said...
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