Magnum Opus set

The Gen-3 Kinman Magnum Opus ’59 is the new Gold Standard for Strat* pickups.
If you believe your boutique vintage scatter-wound Stratocaster* pickups are the finest vintage pickups money can buy …. think again!

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Magnum Opus 59 (Gen-3) – the attaining of 50’s sonic perfection

Sold only in a set of 3 direct from this site, not by Dealers

The new violet Synergy baseplate – see bullet point on this page

It’s official ….

The Gen-3 Kinman Magnum Opus ’59 is the new Gold Standard for Strat* pickups.
If you believe your boutique vintage scatter-wound Stratocaster* pickups are the finest vintage pickups money can buy …. think again!

Sonic characteristics: if you know genuine ’50’s Stratocaster* sound you’ll immediately understand our Magnum Opus ’59. Super fast attack response (snap) which is great for super fast picking (and yes, even shredders will love it), outstanding presence factor with crystalline pristine highs, low mid scoop and crisp, sharp twangy lows all the way down to the open E-6th. Outstanding clarity and transparency. 3D dynamics and highly touch sensitive. Exceptional note separation and beautifully balanced string levels. Absolutely authentic Knopfler-esque position 2 & 4 sounds ,,,, all of that with absolute Zero-Hum and none of the traditional nasties such as warbling notes, buzzy string crash and icepick and overpowering G-3rd string. In esssence, 50’s Strat sound perfected ,,,, what more could you want from a vintage pickup? Hum you say, well, with our Synergy baseplate you can have that too. Be aware the MO ’59 produces a very pretty sound, should you want more bite and cut on the plain strings choose our noticeably more powerful MO ’56 model. And you can also ask for a Magnum Opus MV or Texas J bridge in the Order Notes box, no upcharge.

The story behind the magic of the Magnum Opus The year is 1959 in England and Hank Marvin of The Shadows was given a ’59 Fiesta Red Stratocaster* by Cliff Richard. Hank and The Shadows went on to become world famous with their brand of instrumental rock and Hank became a living legend because of his distinctive sounds and skills and finesse on lead guitar. Guitar heroes of the caliber of Dave Gilmour, Mark Knopfler, Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa, George Harrison and countless others believe Hank is one of the most influential guitarists of the 20th century. The Magnum Opus is our Pièce de résistance, our masterpiece; the most memorable accomplishment of one’s career or lifetime, our Magnum Opus of Stratocaster* pickups.

Hank’s distinctive twangy sound sprang from his ’59 Stratocaster*, it turned heads at the time, and still does. Hank knows ’59 Strat* sound like the back of his hand –and– he hates mains hum. Although he waited patiently for years, Hank says our Magnum Opus is the finest ‘50’s Stratocaster* pickup he’s ever heard and he and his inner circle now prefer it over any other Stratocaster* pickup regardless of brand or price (noisy or noiseless). That’s because it boasts an incredible list of refinements.

More importantly, listen to this Play List of Shadows tunes and listen to the wonderful sounds of our Magnum Opus ‘59 pickups. There is no greater test for 50’s Strat sounds than Shadows tunes. Since the pickups sound this good in these tunes you can be assured they sound equally great in your guitar for what ever music you play.

Play List of 10 Shadows tunes

These new pickups pass any blindfold test and interestingly, not one critic has disagreed that we have nailed perfection in ’59 Strat* sound. This is quite an achievement for a Zero-Hum pickup and positions the Magnum Opus to be the pinnacle of 50’s vintage Stratocaster sound for many years to come.

Kinman is the King of Noiseless and the King of 50’s Stratocaster sound.
As if that’s not enough the Magnum Opus also has the following benefits …

  • Kinman’s advanced technology is the result of Clarke’s second law and is indistinguishable from magic according to Clarke’s third law. Clarke’s second and third law
  • 40% less magnetic string pull. The sound is remarkably clean of string crash and fret rattle and you can adjust the pickup higher to maximize touch sensitivity and dynamic range without the usual dire consequences. Also you’ll have longer sustain and a lower action (string to fret gap).
  • The rogue G-3rd string, the source of Ice-Pick harshness and the one that usually dominates the sound has been tamed and is balanced with the other 5 strings.
  • The E-6th string has more snap with a tight twang and can be picked normally with both ‘up’ and ‘down’ strokes without causing severe TCS
  • Absolute Zero-Hum. 99.8% free of hum. The most silence you won’t ever hear. Typically 5mv** (comparatively dimarzios Area ’58 produces 68mv** of hum)
  • All 6 strings sound loud, clear and balanced on all 3 pickups regardless of bridge spacing (wide Vintage and narrow Modern). Super pristine Fender sound with clarity and presence that makes all other Strat pickups sound ordinary and harsh in actual side-by-side comparisons.
  • The best test is clean, undistorted sound where you can hear the piano mid-tones and the bite and the marvellous twang …. listen to the play list of Shadows Tunes and pristine 50’s Strat* sound from bottom to top with no evidence of TCS on Dance On and Peace Pipe and others. Brands such as Mojotone Quiet Coils and regular models, Duncan Classic Stack, Zerhyr & their regular models, dimarzio’s Area & their regular models, and even Fender claim their Gen-4 noiseless are great but try achieving a sound like these demos with any of them and you’ll quickly hear they’re not what they are claimed to be! Not one of them cuts it like the Kinman, and according to customer Stuart from England that’s also true of Bare Knuckles Apache and 63 Veneer Board pickups and all other copies of the original 50’s Fenders.
  • The Kinman name, and that says it all. Chris Kinman has single handedly done more to improve Strat pickups than all the others put together and has been awarded 7 Patents with more coming along soon. Come out of the dark ages with these technical and sonic Masterpieces.
  • Synergy baseplate. All models in the Alchemy group have a Violet Synergy Gen-3 baseplate that allows hum-cancelling to be switched off as well as switching to Synergy mode for a noticeable extra magic, also it’s phase reversible. Synergy is a non-noiseless mode that enhances the sound of the pickup in a general way, thus it has “extra magic”. It is a very noticeable change, but so too is the hum level more noticeable than non-noiseless mode. Good only for clean room-volume playing. We feel that Violet implies the electric vibrancy of the Magnum Opus.

There are three Alchemy symbols printed on the basplate, these translate to “Equal to or greater than Gold“. Magnum Opus is an Alchemists term for Masterpiece of beyond excellence, an event so rare it occurs only once or twice in a lifetime.

Other Zero-Hum Magnum Opus models in the line up which sprang from the Gen-2 Impersonator models are …

  • Magnum Opus ’59 A Hank Marvin model and our equivalent of, but better than, Fenders CS54 definitive 50’s
    twangy Strat pickup.
  • Bonza Massa ’55 Authentically replicated Joe’s ‘Bonnie’ 1955 pickup sound.
  • Magnum Opus ’56 Our equivalent of, but better than, genuine ’56 Strat with bell ring
    with extra bite and chunky girth
  • Magnum Opus MV Modern Vintage. Higher output model for the bridge mixed with MO 56, outstanding trebles
  • Magnum Opus Texas-J Even higher output model for the bridge mixed with MO 56 & 55, thicker sound

*Stratocaster is a registered Trade Mark of Fender Musical Instrument Corp. Kinman is not associated with Fender but they kindly allow us to refer to their Trade Mark names

** our hum measuring apparatus amplifies hum by a factor of approximately 100 so in reality our measured 6mv is inaudible. But 68mv is audible and by our standard where we think anything over 15mv is unacceptably noisy and not really fully hum cancelling.

Technical Stuff

The fine craftsmanship, careful design and excellent engineering are evident everywhere you look. The Magnum Opus inherits it’s pedigree from the long line of fine Kinmanusa pickups and incorporates advanced new technology. Chris Kinmanusa has thought of everything and gives you a perfect Strat pickup that has absolutely none of the usual issues with Strat pickups. Think of anything to complain about and you’ll find it doesn’t apply to our Magnum Opus.

Patents 5,668,520   6,103,986   8,791,351 Patents Pending

To cancel hum we add a sonically transparent 600 Ohm Hum Sensor coil to the bottom of the pickup which is designed with a low profile coil so it doesn’t make the pickup too tall. This Hum Sensor is extremely efficient and uses big wire and low turns count to minimize parasitic coil capacitance so there is no impact on the string signal as it passes through. The Hum Sensor is so transparent it can be disconnected without causing any difference to the sound of the pickup (except it will have hum of course). Additionally, the low profile Hum Sensing bobbin allows us to make a taller string sensor which in turn, and in combination with a Patented magnetic invention along with our low capacitance magnetic shields, both made of transformer grade grain-oriented Silicon Steel, and our special semi-isotropic rod magnets, allows the pickup to produce non-aged sound. That is ….. bright and sparkly with varying degrees of mid scoop just like the best 1950’s Strat pickups.

Footnote: Transformer grade Silicon Steel is extremely troublesome to make our magnetic components with, it comes with a thin glass-like insulating coating that is almost impossible to remove. Way back in 2003 we designed and constructed in-house a very special continuous feed machine that strips the coating off both sides and leaves the strip shiny and ready for laser cutting and the subsequent black-zinc non-conductive coating process. We have recently added another 1 ton of Silicon steel to our 10 ton stock of various grades. Yup, we never want to run out of this stuff so we buy up big. Out stocks will last for 120 years.

Kinman, like no other noiseless Strat pickup, has broken through the technical barriers and now you can compare ‘Apples that hum’ to ‘Apples that don’t hum’. We believe the Magnum Opus is the most remarkable vintage pickup among a plethora of ordinary copy vintage pickups and so we give it vintage cloth covered Push-Back hookup wires, the only Kinmanusa that has it.

Height adjustment:

With the 12th fret closed the all three pickup gaps between top of magnet and bottom of E-6th and E-1st should be 2.2mm. This is our experience and a good starting point but might need to be tempered somewhat for different amps, strings and guitar responses.

Mixing and matching with other Strat pickups: Most players will love the Magnum Opus in all 3 positions (bridge, middle and neck) to get nicely balanced authentic 50s vintage sounds from all 5 positions and this is the purpose of the Alchemy Series sets. This yields absolutely authentic Knopfler-esque sound from positions 2 & 4. For players who want a more powerful and thicker sounding bridge pickup the Magnum Opus ’56 is slightly more robust and significantly louder than the Magnum Opus ’59.

Synergy mode (Synergy)

  • One the baseplate there are 2 preset miniature SPTP surface switches (another Kinmanusa invention) that configure the connections of the two coils
    • Zero-Hum mode1
    • Non-noiseless mode
    • Synergy mode (provides extra magic in the sound)
    • Phase reversible
    • Consult the Install Guide for instructions on using these switches


  • Special Kinmanusa cover with 1.7mm height extender bushings.
  • Available in White, Parchment, Old Strat, Aged White and Black.
  • With Kinmanusa logo ONLY.
  • White covers can be tinted with food stains such as Coffee and Tea for that old look. Click to learn how to
  • Fender and Generic covers will not fit Kinmanusa Strat pickups. We sell replacement covers in five colors.


Number of component parts

  • Magnum Opus 46 parts / 99.8% hum cancelling
  • Other noiseless dimarzio area 28 parts / 78% hum cancelling
  • Non-noiseless Strat pickups 9 parts / no hum cancelling

Pot & Capacitor values

  • Best with 250k Ohm (measured minimum) volume pot. Less punch and more bright with 500k.
  • Tone pot is usually the same value as the volume but can be 500k, 1meg or a No-Load.
  • Stock pots can actually measure as low as 175k. Pots in our Goodbye-Soldering Harness are guaranteed to measure no less that 250k.
  • Normal tone cap value of 0.022uF, 63 ~ 100 volt Polyester. Smaller uF value lessen the severity of Treble cut, higher values increase it.
  • The voltage rating of Caps is not important but 63 ~ 100 volt have thicker lead wires that result in a neater job.

Magnet spreads

  • Magnum Opus sets come only with the following magnet spreads (ensures optimum string-over-magnet alignment in each position regardless of type of bridge -vintage 56.4mm or modern 53.4mm)
  • Narrow 49.5mm for Neck position
  • Intermediate 51mm for Middle position
  • Standard 52.5mm for Bridge position
    • all magnets and mounting screws are grounded to avoid electrical buzz when touched with fingers

Magnet Staggers

  • Normal improved Stagger to suit 7″ ~ 14 inch uniform radius fret-boards
  • Flat Stagger 14″ ~ 20″ for specific compound radius fret-boards (Warmoth 10 ~ 16 inch and Post 2010 Fender Deluxe compound 9″ ~ 14″)
  • Option to choose your magnet stagger in our ‘After-Payment Supplementary Questions‘ email we send you.

Gold plated magnets

  • Option to choose Gold plated magnets or regular non-plated magnets
  • includes matching Gold or Nickel plated mounting screws in the order form

Connection means available

  • Wires for soldering.
  • Kinmanusa harness plug for plugging into any Kinmanusa Goodbye-Soldering Harness.

Hook-up wires

  • Single White & Black vintage Push-back cloth covered wires are standard for soldering connections.
  • Optional 2 conductor shielded. For guitars where body cavities are not shielded.
  • Middle pickups when supplied with a K9 harness have 3 conductor shielded cable.
  • Optional 3 conductor shielded cable by request with Order.
  • Custom lengths by request with Order.

Output Polarity:

  • in-phase with all other Kinmanusa pickups
  • in-phase with Gibson and Copy humbuckers
  • opposite phase to Fender Stratocaster, but …
  • phase reversible

Mounting hardware included

  • Per each pickup there are 2 Pan head mounting screws for modern guitars and 2 Countersunk heads for vintage guitars (one set only with Gold plating)
    • Each mounting screw is grounded to prevent electrical buzz when touched with fingers
  • Per each pickup there are also 2 Silicon Rubber tube springs.

We highly recommend consulting the Install Guide in the Technical section, even if you think you know it all. Kinmanusa’s require some specialized knowledge and sometimes there is updated info. There is also a handy wiring diagram available.

We also highly recommend consulting the Adjust & Set-up page in the Technical section so you get the best out of your Kinmanusa pickups.

*Stratocaster and Strat are a Trade Marks of Fender Musical Instrument Corp. Kinmanusa is not connected to Fender.

** Alnico-K is a unique proprietary rod magnet developed by Kinmanusa in 1985. It has 40% less string pull than Alnico-5 so sustain is longer and there is much less clatter from string crash and no Strat-itis string warble.

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