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Kloppmann Pickups: Premium Pickups made in Germany

Kloppmann Pickups: Premium Pickups made in Germany  · 

A. Cordes

In this article, I’ll tell you who Andreas Kloppmann is, the secret behind the Kloppmann pickups, and which pickup sets he offers.

As Andreas Kloppmann’s factory is not far from my hometown Bremen, meeting him was the perfect opportunity to write an article about his success story. I have known him for many years. Furthermore, I also own a set of PAF HB 59 in my Gibson ES-339 and I just love their sound! So, Andreas took two hours of his time for an interview so that I could take you behind the scenes and find the answer to the question: why are his pickups so good?

Our interview with Andreas Kloppmann

The story behind the Kloppmann pickups

Andreas Kloppmann became interested in pickups at a young age. This was back in the 1980s when he was working as a service technician for electric guitars in a music shop in Bremen. Even then, he had a keen interest in pickups and, together with his colleagues, began to explore the secrets of the individual components.

In the mid-1980s, Kloppmann began collecting and analyzing measurement data from different kinds of pickups. Through years of research and fine-tuning his measurement methods, he gained valuable insights into the electro-acoustic characteristics of these pickups. This experience later helped him use measurement data to better judge which pickup sounds pleasant and which one doesn’t. As a result, the Kloppmann pickups consist of only the best components.

Kloppmann further deepened his knowledge by analyzing and dismantling defective pickups. This allowed him to learn more about various pickups’ construction and tonal characteristics, including legendary models such as the Gibson PAF humbucker and various Strat pickups.

Andreas Kloppmann at work.
Andreas Kloppmann at work. · Source: Kloppmann Electrics

The production of Kloppmann pickups

All Kloppmann pickups are handmade. To start with, Andreas uses a coil-winding machine from the 1960s and winds the wire by hand. Thanks to his many years of experience, he is able to shape the tonal parameters during the winding process and create each pickup’s unique sonic characteristics.

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Kloppmann’s extensive database of frequency response curves of various pickups from several decades enables him to produce customized products and compare them. Each pickup is assigned a specific sound based on its measurement data and frequency response curve and is given a unique production number.

Andreas Kloppmann’s handmade pickups are renowned for their precision, quality, and unique sound. As an experienced guitarist, he also tests each product by ear to ensure it meets the highest sonic standards. His Kloppmann pickups are technological masterpieces and tonal works of art that meet the needs and preferences of discerning guitarists worldwide. Close collaboration with prominent German musicians such as Thomas Blug, Marcus Deml, and Peter Weihe helped Andreas Kloppmann build a prestigious customer base early on. These partnerships have also influenced the development of his high-quality pickups.

In the beginning, he started his career by handcrafting custom pickup kits, which he personally created over several days. These kits were only ordered 4-5 times per month. Today, his company produces an impressive 200 sets a month. Thanks to the highly trained staff who understand the craft and simplify component sourcing, Kloppmann Electronics is able to achieve such a high output.

A workstation for the production of Kloppmann pickups.
A workstation for the production of Kloppmann pickups. · Source: Kloppmann Electronics

Kloppmann helps you find the right sound

Here is an example of what happens when you contact Andreas Kloppmann: Suppose you are unhappy with the sound of your Telecaster. You like the bridge pickup but not the neck pickup. But you have an idea of what it should sound like, and you can put it into words. Then Andreas is the best person to talk to. The master is not primarily interested in selling you his Kloppmann pickups but in finding a solution for you.

The first step is to check the existing components. This includes potentiometer values, capacitors, pickup cap material, etc. Before the pickup question arises, a number of different settings need to be checked.

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If all the changes you have made to the peripherals have not produced the desired results and a pickup change seems unavoidable, you can be sure that Andreas will produce the best-sounding, most fitting pickup to your setup. The range of Kloppmann pickups is extensive. Classic pickups from a particular era are mixed with signature models, and crossbreeding different characteristics is never forbidden. Your ear decides.

Kloppmann pickups for Telecasters

BC 49: The BC49 set pays tribute to the first pickups Leo Fender designed for the Broadcaster. Inspired by the early days when some of these pickups were wound with AWG 43 wire and reminiscent of his lap steel pickups, the BC49 set brings the legendary “original tone” of the Telecaster back to life. The neck pickup is fitted with an original brass cap and offers an authentic, powerful, and jazzy sound, setting it apart from the modern Tele neck pickup. The BCB49 bridge pickup, on the other hand, has a fuller midrange than the TLB50 bridge pickup and seduces with a tantalizing sound of sweet highs, and a hint of “brown sugar” in the bass.

TL 50: The TL50 bridge pickup has “flush poles” like the original models. Its construction and winding produce the characteristic “early quack” tone. The neck pickup delivers a powerful and crystal-clear sound. The unmistakable Telecaster sound of the ’50s has been made famous by country greats such as Vince Gill, Redd Volkaert, and Arlen Roth. But that’s not all. Other legendary heroes of the ’50s Telecaster and Esquire include artists like Jeff Beck, Keith Richards, and Bruce Springsteen. They all appreciate the unique sound of a ’50s Telecaster, and the TL50 pickups are the ideal replacement for the most versatile guitar in music history.

TL Real 65: The TL Real 65 delivers the crisp Telecaster sound, the warm midrange reminiscent of the legendary PAF pickups, and the characteristic Telecaster bite, but a little softer. With the TL Real 65, you can experience that magic sound. Housed in a high-quality Telecaster body with an alder neck and rosewood fretboard, the TL Real 65 takes you back to the era of precise vintage sound of the ’65s. And then there are the tantalizing “sweet highs” of the TL Real 65 – simply irresistible! The Real 65 set is available at Thomann*.

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Kloppmann pickups for Stratocasters

ST 56: The ST 56 pickups deliver the legendary sounds associated with the Stratocaster: dry twang on the low strings, punch in the midrange, and just the right amount of sparkle in the highs. References? Clapton, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Vaughan – they all play maple neck Strats. Clear, fresh, with a fast attack – and definitely not for the faint-hearted, as they capture every nuance of the player with merciless directness.

ST 60: The ST60 set is an absolute bestseller! It combines the best features of the legendary early ’60s Stratocaster with a rosewood fretboard and is a versatile all-round set. It pays tribute to the best pickups found on these guitars. Whether you’re after the sound of Ricky King, Hank Marvin, Rory Gallagher, Mark Knopfler, or Stevie Ray Vaughan, the ST60 set is your ideal companion. Its sound always remains clearly defined and offers excellent string separation, even with high compression and gain. The ST60 set, available here at Thomann*.

ST Real 62: The ST REAL 62 set is named after Kloppmann’s ’62 Stratocaster, which has long been his absolute favorite. These pickups produce a clear, full, and round sound with slightly softer highs compared to the ST 60 set, but without losing the characteristic glamour of the pre-CBS era. George Harrison bought an early ’60s Stratocaster in late 1964 and used it on the albums “Help” and “Rubber Soul.” From 1969 onwards, Harrison used the “Rocky” Strat for his crystal clear and slightly sweet slide licks, such as on “My Sweet Lord.” For those searching for these early 60s sounds, the REAL 62 set, available here at Thomann*, is an absolute must.

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PAF pickups from Kloppmann

HB 57: The HB 57 set is one of Andreas’s favorites. It was inspired by a 1957 Les Paul Gold Top that impressed him with its clear and smoky tone. This tone was something else, a little heavier than what he had heard from Les Pauls before. Famous musicians such as Robben Ford, Snowy White, and the legendary slide guitarist Duane Allman are known to use a ’57 Goldtop. The neck pickup of the HB 57 set sounds a little “lighter and clearer” than the bridge pickup.

HB 59: The HB 59 set is his interpretation of the legendary ’59 PAFs. After being lucky enough to play several 1959 Les Pauls in 2005, he realized that the tone of these guitars was different from the 1958 models he was familiar with. This experience led to the development of the HB 59 set. It produces a more direct sound, more earthy blues & rock – from the legendary Beano sound of Eric Clapton and Gary Moore to the sound of Billy Gibbon’s ’59 Les Paul called Pearly Gates. This set is also available in Zebra or Double Cream as an LC version (without covers). The HB 59 set is available here at Thomann*.

HB 60: The HB 60 set features a powerful bridge pickup. Ideally installed in a high-quality Les Paul and connected to a Plexi Marshall amp, the HB 60 bridge pickup is the ideal partner for playing Paul Kossoff’s legendary “All Right Now” riff. It sounds more earthy and a little harder than an HB 59 bridge pickup but retains the same quick response. The neck pickup of the HB 60 set is an ideal companion for fans of heavier sounds and provides a stable foundation for wonderful jazzy sounds à la Wes Montgomery or Joe Pass.

Signature models from Kloppmann Pickups

HB PW: The HB PW set was specially designed for Peter Weihe. These pickups are extremely sensitive and allow the volume control to create a wide range of sound colors – from creamy with gain to airy and clean. Peter Weihe is delighted with the result: “The HB-PW set delivers carrying, singing lead tones in the high register without the lows sounding muddy when distorted. The Weihe set masters this demanding challenge with a beguiling sound. The HB-PW set is available from Thomann.

Blue Poet Set: The Blue Poet Set for Marcus Deml offers the full spectrum of tonal nuances of a vintage Stratocaster set, especially flavored and tuned to Marcus Deml’s taste. The bridge pickup sounds full and almost reminiscent of an excellent P-90 pickup without denying its clear and classic Stratocaster roots. The middle pickup offers a wide range from pearly shimmering sounds in the mid positions to mid-range 60s Strat crunch. Even with singing high-gain sounds, the clarity remains intact as the neck pickup sounds open and free like the legendary sounds of Blackmore, Hendrix or Gilmour. The Blue Poet set is available here at Thomann.

In conclusion

The manufacturer’s website has more information or contact details for Kloppmann Electrics. There, you will also find the complete range of Kloppmann pickups, audio samples, and much more.

Finding the perfect sound for your guitar is a journey, but it’s fun to go on. And with someone like Andreas Kloppmann as your guide, you are in the best of hands. This service comes at a price, but it is quickly put into perspective as Mr. Kloppmann’s years of experience and trained ear are well worth it. Made in Germany is still a seal of quality. I would like to thank Andreas Kloppmann for this exciting and informative insight into his world of pickups.

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This feature was first published by Andreas on Translation by Julian Schmauch.

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Kloppmann Pickups: Premium Pickups made in Germany

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John Smith

My John Smith is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for unraveling the complexities of the digital world. With a background in computer science and a keen interest in emerging trends, John has become a sought-after voice in translating intricate technological concepts into accessible and engaging articles.

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