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Barcus Berry Electric Guitar pickups.

FZ had these somewhat ugly Barcus Berry electric guitar pickups fitted to his Gibson ES5 Switchmaster and his Fender XII 12-string guitars. They are normal magnetic pickups, and were made in the 1980's. Similar in design to the dobro and pedal-steel pickups that Barcus Berry made for a while, they were intended to be a hi-fi jazz pickup and the coils were potted in epoxy, much like an EMG.

... and that's the pretty much the sum total of my knowledge at present! I've spoken to various guitar techs who worked on these guitars, the current owners of the Barcus Berry brand, and Dweezil Zappa - and no-one remembers anything about them. Note that the neck pickup on the Switchmaster has a different logo. I had heard it said that they were made specifically for FZ, but thanks to the Zappa's Gearheads who have contacted me, I have seen pictures of them installed on a few custom guitars. They certainly didn't sell in anywhere the quantities of the Barcus Berry contact pickups that FZ used on percussion instruments.

If anyone can help with more information please email me at

ES5 Barcus Berry PUs  XII Barcus Berry PUs