Seth Lover’s love of electronics lead to along and very productive career at both Gibson and Fender. While at each company, Lover designed a pickup that change the sound of the electric guitar forever. His most revolutionary design, the Humbucking Pickup, was designed while at Gibson in 1955 but it wouldn’t go into standard production until 1957. His patent for the Humbucker wasn’t approved until a few years later so they affixed a “PATENT APPLIED FOR” sticker on the bottom. The initial run of the PAF pickup is likely the most collectible pickup ever made and can fetch upwards of $1000 for a good example on the vintage parts market.
The Fender Musical Instrument Company eyed the talented engineer in 1967 and decided to recruit him to design their own humbucking pickup. Lover’s tenure at Fender resulted in another iconic pickup design: the Wide Range humbucker. Like the original humbucker, The WR pickup utilized two coils to cancel out the hum inherent in a guitar pickup but replaced the single bar magnet with 12 individual CuNiFe threaded magnets. This pickup went into full production in 1972 and was used throughout the 1970s. The WR pickup too has become very collectible especially since the original CuNiFe magnets are no longer manufactured.
Check out more information on Seth Lover from this interview of him by Vintage Guitar Magazine: Seth Lover Interview. Don’t miss the last paragraph and the marketing gaff that Gibson made when they reintroduced his pickup in 1980!