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The G&L Z-Coil pickup isn't weird at all (once you know how it works)


Looks odd but does make total sense.

The G&L Z-Coil pickup only appears on the G&L Comanche model as far as I'm aware. You'll notice some Comanches are really expensive and some aren't. The reason for that is the less expensive models are "Tribute" import builds while the "Made in Fullerton" are crafted in the USA (as in Fullterton, California) with full USA-everything in it. There was the G&L ASAT Z-3 (single cut shape) that had a trio of Z-Coils in it at one point, but I don't think G&L makes that anymore. But I'm certain their Custom Shop would happily build you one if you asked.

Side-by-side instead of stacked

The first advantage of the Z-Coil is that they do not exhibit 60-cycle hum; the reason for that is similar to why the Fender Precision Bass doesn't hum either. The coils are placed side-by-side in staggered formation. In other words, a split humbucker.

However, there's a second advantage, and that's more "true" single-coil pickup tonal character. With a stacked single-coil, it can be difficult to find one that truly has that single-coil "jangle" some players go for. Sure, the hum is gone, but the stacked single-coil sound can leave a little (or a lot) to be desired. Z-Coil on the other hand keeps the jangle and is hum-free at the same time.

Is the Z-Coil a total vintage-style sound? No. You're not going to get that super-jangly '50s Stratocaster alnico III magnet sound out of them. The Z-Coil has a more modern sound with greater output compared to "true vintage" traditional Stratocaster style pickups.

Is the Z-Coil a new thing?


As far as I know, the first Comanche with the MFD (Magnetic Field Design) Z-Coil pickups was made in the late 1980's (about 1988?), so Z-Coil is definitely not a new thing.

And there's more. The modern Comanche doesn't have typical Stratocaster electronics. You also get the PTB (Passive Treble and Bass) system and an expander switch so you get neck + bridge or all 3 pickups engaged all at once.

"Vintage correct" the Comanche is definitely not, nor is it meant to be. Again, it's a modernist electric guitar for sure.

The Comanche has the mods built right in

A Comanche with Z-Coils more or less addresses every single thing most Strat guys do for mods. The bridge is thicker and better, the pickups have no hum along with better output, and the switching is there for Telecaster-ish sound or all 3 pickups if you want in addition to the regular pickup switching...

...and the Tribute import version is less in price than the Mexico made Fender Player Stratocaster.

Pretty good deal if you asked me.

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