If you love guitars, tone, and modifying your instrument, this book is a must-have. But it has a couple of problems that keep it from being perfect. Hopefully a revised edition will take care of these issues, but as is, it's still worth getting if you're interested.
Even if you're just considering ordering a set or two of pickups, it's worth the $17 to read this book, and make sure you're getting the right set for you and your guitar. There's a lot of great information here.
Dave Hunter has (once again,) done a great job with this book. It discusses the history of pickups, from all the major companies. Then goes on to describe most of the major pickup makers, as well as many big boutique names like Lollar and Fralin.
His writing is clear, and to the point, and makes a sometimes tedious subject fun and interesting.
What's very useful is that it breaks down the specs of almost every pickup made by these makers, and gives a good description of the tone they produce, (the descriptions are independent of the makers descriptions.)
There's a lot of useful tech info, and specs, but plenty of stuff for just interesting reading.
The best part, imo, is the in-depth interviews with the makers.
Dave HUnter talkes to Kent Armstrong, Joe Barden, Larry Dimarzio and Steve Blucher, Seymour Duncan, Mike Eldred, (Fender Custom Shop,) Lindy Fralin and Jason Lollar.
It's interesting, for example, that Seymour Duncan designed the Alnico Pro II's for Billy Gibbsons, (as well as the Pearly Gates later on,) the Duncan Custom was for Santana, the Full Shred for Nancy Wilson, and his strat and tele pickups had input for Eric johnson, Mark Knofler, Ralph Trower, James Burton, Jerry Donahue, Albert Lee, on and on.
It's a recent book, and mentions the TQR articles on PAF's, and has a lot of information on Gibson's pickup history.
There's also a very useful CD that demos many different kinds of pickups, from several vintage PAF's, to boutique stuff and production line pickups. However, I DO wish the CD would separate the introductions, *which can be rather lengthy,) from the actual recordings of the pickups. This way, it would be much easier and more accurate to do side-by-side comparisons of pickups.
The big downside is that there appears to be an editing problem. I have a version with a black cover, and in the Dimarzio section, it seems like a page is missing,( pg. 134-136 don't follow.)
You could also argued that with the huge numbers of small hand-winders, it would be nice if the covered some of these makers as well, (WB, WCR, Tom Holmes, etc.)
I wouldn't be surprised to if save space, they cut out some of the more obscure names in pickup making.
That said, it's a very comprehensive book, and for the majority of its audience, it covers more than you'll ever need to know.
Anyway, the editing and CD track setup aside, it's a great resource, a fun read and provides great answer for many common pickup questions.