A New Pickup Winder Scratch Build!

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Barncaster, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Sorry, no pics allowed. They were spinning wire down to about 0.6mm, I think. Didn't ask about that, because mostly they were making stuff closer to about 2mm.
     
  2. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Hi All,
    It's been a while but I'm working on something a little different. I'll take folks along for the ride. Yep, you are looking at the beginnings of a set of Fender Wide Range humbuckers. Made for about 10 years, they are a very unusual beast. Seth Lover, the designer of Gibson's PAF was supposedly hired away from Gibson for a 25% pay increase to do the job.

    The bobbin length and width dimensions are essentially Tele bridge but with a PAF bobbin like 3/8" height. The bobbins were injection molded however and my guess is the winding land is 0.250" tall like a PAF. Winds were supposed to be on the area of 5000 per bobbin of 42AWG with a resultant resistance of about 10.8k.

    The odd thing about this pup is the magnet array. Unlike the PAF which used an Alnico bar magnet contacting the pole pieces and slugs, the WRHB has CuNiFe threaded magnet pole pieces arranged so that only 3 poles per bobbin are adjustable from the top.

    For this build, I'm going to do what Seth probably did for his early feasibility builds. I bet he grabbed some Tele bridge coil flatwork and cobbled together som BIG humbuckers.

    I luckily have a friend who has an original Thinline in pristine shape and I was able to characterize the CuNiFe magnets with a gauss meter. Very interesting. They are substantially stronger than I anticipated and like so I may tone the A5 rods I'll be using down a bit. I'll also do a stock wind bridge and underwind the neck a fair amount to balance the set. They'll be going into a Shoreline gold Deluxe partscaster. Stay tuned.
    IMG_3718.JPG
    Rob
     
  3. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    When I did my first humbucker dubbed a " slugbucker" way back when with the Plexiglas, I stuck in the magnetic slugs instead of steel slugs and a bar. I never knew that the Fender pickups were built similarly. While I never used that first pickup in anything, I did jam some A5 magnets into regular humbucker coils a couple of times. That pickup in the neck produces a nice compromise between a Fender and Gibson tone. I'm not sure why that hasn't been explored more in today's market. Basically I wanted a humbucker that could be tapped and truly sound like a Fender single coil.

    I saw the threaded magnets at philadelphia luthier supply, so one of these days, I'll do another like that with threaded magnets to have more of a true PAF look instead of the current one.

    I never did end up tapping them because they sounded so good as is. The ribbon got switched out for pickup tape...LOL.

    bucker.jpg

    bucker2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
  4. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Hey Marty,
    When Seth originally designed the PAF, it didn't have adjustable pole pieces. That was supposedly a request from marketing. The original per the patent was double slug and looked like this.
    IMG_3722.JPG
    I too am surprised rodded humbuckers haven't caught on more. Are we going to get to hear your creations?
    Rob
     
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  5. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I know Rich rice is doing some humbuckers like that in his guitars now. When I first searched the idea on Google ( a couple of years ago), only one guy came up that had pursued it. That surprised me because when you have the magnets and bobbins in front of you....it's a no brainer.

    I did a slugbucker neck pickup to go with the black and white one and stuck in this, which is my current favorite couch guitar.

    gold top.png
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
  6. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Slugbucker, it brings bad garden images to mind.
     
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  7. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    About the CuNiFe: is it fair to say that when it comes to polepieces, the key is more strength of charge than the material they are made out of? I mean, is there any magic mojo to CuNiFe as opposed to AlNiCo, if they are charged to the same level?
     
  8. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    In my experience Jup, I've played magnet swap with various PAF style humbuckers. I can definitively say equivalently charged magnets of different grades can alter the tone of a pickup markedly.

    Concerning the vintage WRHB, I plan on evaluating them tonally in the near future in an attempt to determine what grade of Alnico I feel they most sonically resemble. For this build, I am defaulting to my tried and true low gauss A5 to get a general feel for the beast.

    I can make some inferences from the 1 meg pots that Fender used with the WRHBs that the pups were natively very midrange heavy and this value was used to bring a bit of clarity. I might also make some inferences about CuNiFe for the same issue. Following this line of reason, Alnico 2 would be my first substitution choice but I will hold judgement till listening tests.

    Rob
     
  9. epizootics

    epizootics Tele-Meister

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    I am curious to hear what your take on the WRHB is going to sound like! There are a few slugbuckers out there, but they mostly use standard hb bobbins. Yours should be somewhere between those and Fender's WR with the Alnico 5 pole pieces. There seems to be a regain of interest for those these days, which is nice because those sound good and are an interesting design. It would be nice to see CuNiFe magnets become more available.

    Cool inference about the Tele flatwork too!

    Funnily enough, I have been researching those recently, as I am tempted to make an Alnico 5 version for Jazzmaster. There are plenty very cool WR options for Jazzmaster out there (Curtis Novak has had quite a bit of success among the noise scene with them), but few that use unthreaded A5 rods. The closest I found was this -

    [​IMG]

    ...but it seems to be a very niche model and I don't expect to find samples of it anywhere!
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
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  10. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yes, yes, P90s and Jazzmaster covers are large enough to fit two single coils in there to make a humbucker. The beauty of using rodded bobbins like above is that if you want more wraps on the bobbin, just make it with taller magnets. There is a lot of flexibility in the design. Keeping the humbucking tone close to the single coil tone however is the trick!
    Rob
     
  11. Mark Grant

    Mark Grant Tele-Afflicted

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    Hey Rob, one thing...There are 6 magnetic pole pieces on each bobbin. Three adjustable from the top, three adjustable from the bottom. Can't wait to hear what you come up with. I know a guy with an original we can A/B them with! ;)
     
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  12. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Hey Mark,
    The guitar will be done hopefully by this weekend! I'll post an update today with the build that went late last night. Am a little foggy right now!
    Rob
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
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  13. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Bobbin build! For this build I had a bunch of leftover Tele bottom flatworks due to many stack builds so they were belt sanded to size.

    Magnets used were 24 beveled .531" A5s and magnetized. This length is the classic Jazzmaster length
    IMG_3725.JPG

    With the magnets installed and the bottoms flush, the tops ended up about .080" proud of the flatwork.
    IMG_3726.JPG

    Research indicates 5000 wraps per bobbin. With a little offset, that's what the bridge got and the the neck was underwound for balance.
    IMG_3731.JPG

    Rob
     
  14. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    It's always a good idea to mock assembly your pickups as tolerance stackups can cause fit issues. Sure enough, the covers and base plates didn't dimensionally play well with each other so the base plates and ferrous plate needed relieving.
    IMG_3739.JPG

    With that dealt with, on we went to loading the base plates. Stock, these pups measured about 10.8k. My bridge which was wound to the information found measures about 8.3k which in retrospect is about right in relation to PAFs. I don't know why that didn't ring a bell initially, but If I find them lacking, the bridge bobbins will get about 6500 each. I haven't done the calculations but I will. At 5000 winds, there's a lot of room left on the bobbins to do this.
    IMG_3741.JPG

    And with the covers we have this.
    IMG_3745.JPG

    And in the pickguard, we have this!
    IMG_3746.JPG

    Time to put things together!
    Rob
     
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  15. epizootics

    epizootics Tele-Meister

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    Wow. Those look pretty damn great, and something tells me they sound just as great as they look...Don't forget to post some samples!
     
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  16. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Schweet. Say, did you move your whole vast pickup empire to Espanya?
     
  17. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Thanks! I have a Fender Shoreline Gold Tele Deluxe body that just arrived at home today. Hopefully the demo video will be posted by no later than Saturday. Humbuckers with a 25.5" scale. This could be fun!
    Rob
     
  18. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Hey Rick,
    No, I'm back in the states now. Went there for vacation. One of the finest places I've ever visited. I'm smitten.
    Rob
     
  19. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Got your Med-side retirement villa all picked out?

    Mrs. Stratenstein and I found a couple places we liked in Alicante, but the yacht slips were just too small.

    BTW have you checked your email?
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
  20. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Thanks Rick! I have some reading to do....
     
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