An article from GITEC about the Fender Wide Range humbucker

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Antigua Tele, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    CuNiFe is a lot weaker than AlNiCo 5. It's closer to, but still weaker than, AlNiCo 3.

    As far as the magnetic circuit goes, it's still pretty much the same as a PAF, due to the fact that the pole pieces are in almost the same places. The other differences, a lack of bar magnet, low permeability, don't really matter, aside from how the different materials influence the Q factor.

    By and large, a Wide Range Humbucker is a PAF rip off. It's not fundamentally different.
     
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  2. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks! So it really is those magnets/materials.

    I do wonder, however, whether some of the changes were to get around Gibson’s patent as much as keeping a Fender sound, as the article suggests.
     
  3. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Tele-Afflicted

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    The WRHB modders generally use FeCr2 for the magnetic poles, not Alnico, from my reading. Alnico is not as easy to make into threaded polepieces. Obviously the WRHB was an attempt to make a more Fender-sounding humbucker, with magnet poles. And there is no reason that Fender can't do what the modders are doing, and using other magnet materials to make a more original WRHB that is voiced similarly to the old ones. They instead keep using a standard humbucker construction, which they have changed at least 3 or 4 times, each time saying they now sound closer to originals, reportedly they have not succeeded.
    Al
     
  4. Marquee Moon

    Marquee Moon Tele-Meister

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    i have three vintage WRHB's. I wondering if i should get some vintage pots to go with them...hmmm
     
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  5. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    The Jazzmaster and Jaguar have 1 meg pots also, I just find that I have to keep the tone backed off a bit to get a more Strat / Tele-like sound. I would imagine the same is true with the WRHB paired with 1 meg pots. I bet they sound better with the tone rolled back a little anyway.
     
  6. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Holic

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    That is the exception rather than the rule AFAIK. While some (rare?) original WRHBs had odd magnetic patterns (see the one in Appendix 2in the GITEC PDF), most have all North-up polarity for one full row/bobbin (3 screw heads up / 3 screw heads down) and all South-up for the other full row/bobbin AFAIK. Mine is like that.

    Telenator noted that he often found old WRHBs where the pole pieces had inadvertently been mixed up by users messing around with them ...
    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/wide-range-humbuckers-the-difference.307722/#post-3837750

    Further re both magnet strength and polarity of the originals, Telenator talked about the need to re-magnetize old WRHBs if they have lost some of their magnetism. That process involves passing one bobbin (ie a whole row of CuNiFe pole pieces) through a strong magnet and then repeating the process for the other bobbin, except turned the other way up to produce the opposite magnetic polarity. That will obviously magnetize each whole row/bobbin with the same polarity for the whole row.

    The 1971 WRHB blueprint on p61 of the Duchossoir Telecaster book includes the manufacturing instruction 'magnetize pickup with poles as shown before installing cover'. ie the poles were magnetized in situ. Both rows were magnetized at once with a magnetizer of two opposite polarity magnets arranged adjacently as shown there. The only possible result of this process would be one whole bobbin with one polarity and the other with the opposite polarity.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
  7. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Holic

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    Re the reissue magnets in the neck and bridge pickups, Telenator said:
    "If I recall correctly, the difference is that the neck pickup has an alnico II bar magnet and the bridge pickup has an alnico V bar magnet.
    Of course, you'd have to test the gauss to know which one was which. "

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/fender-wrhbs-which-is-which.576236/#post-6524540

    The physical size of the reissue magnets may also have varied ...
    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/mim-wrhb-reissue-magnets.350408/#post-4442392

    Fender's new Vintera WRHBs may have several bar magnets ...
    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/vintera-wrhb-is-a-new-design-it-appears-so.969376/
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
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  8. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Holic

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    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  9. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Holic

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    Duchossoir's book quotes the construction specs and states that Seth Lover aimed for "a brighter sound and a higher resonant peak frequency than a Gibson [PAF-style?] pickup." with the original WRHB.
    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/fender-wide-range-humbuckers.102490/page-3#post-1201021
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  10. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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  11. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's what I was trying to explain re: magnet orientation.

    In one row are three north and three south - arranged so that all the polespieces are north, or south.

    Three slots up, three slots down. And if one bobbin is South-up, the other is North-up in one pickup.
     
  12. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    That wouldn't be a desirable state of affairs, because you'd get a magnetic null where they meet in the middle, a huge drop in volume when you bend a string into that area. It's the problem that plagued the Super 55 noiseless pickups, and other of that design.
     
  13. J-fish

    J-fish Tele-Meister

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    Unfortunately I never opened the pickguard on that one, so I'd never know what was going on there. I'd bet it didn't have 1Mohms like the originals, though. 1Mohms plus humbuckers seems too much of a strange thing for manufacturers these days, I can't remember of one single guitar which comes stock with such wiring. I'd bet at Fender these days it would seem too much of a step away for a Gibson wannabe these guitars would be ideally
     
  14. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Holic

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    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
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  15. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    The best band I played in 40 years ag0) wasa happy band with an eclectic bunch of instruments. A Hagstrom Bass and a Hi-watt amp. My L6-S and Fender twin, our other guitarist had a Musicman 135/65 watt switchable amp. , can't remember the drummers gear. Anyway we were happy and nearly went pro but two of us had safe careers that paid well.
    Okay my point. The leader, a guy who wrote stuff for TV shows had made his Thinline. Ash body, maple neck, Mighty Mite gear he'd gotten from a 2nd. hand store. Anyway he had a single coil in the bridge and an original Widerange pickup in the neck. Old school elongated pickguard and second hand Fender tuners. It was the first all parts partscaster I'd seen. He inspired me to build my own ( I got lucky and got used '62 pickups in an Ash Tele.
    His guitar was unbelievably good and it is still a partscaster I want to build. A famous Australian guitarist, Kerryn Tolhurst, also had the same type and those early WR pickups sound great.If you can get the old ones, grab 'em.
     
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  16. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, I mixed them up accidentally - lemme tell you, it creates a very low output twanky pickup with no cojones that a US Standard 6kohm Tele bridge pup overpowers. I only transposed one magnet on each row. It's also noisy as hell.

    Previously on the Custom I built the neck pickup needed something like a SD hotrails to live with it in output.

    I'm only telling you what I found. I took the magnets out to pot the windings because it's fairly microphonic, and my friend uses a bit of gain at times. I thought I'd set them aside so they went in the same way but I wasn't careful enough.

    Because (probably) the magnets are quite weak wolf tones aren't apparent. Also, it sits quite low on the guard. Besides - whether you mix the magnets up or not, or even if you switch the pickup off or turn that volume down - wolftones are a physical pull on the strings that is always there I would have thought.

    With the magnets mixed up, it sounded like a standard humbucker with windings switched out of phase. I'm presuming it's phase cancellation.
     
  17. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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  18. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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    From Mr Lover:

    Tell me about the Fender humbucking pickup you designed. They used that on quite a lot of models in the '70s, like the Telecaster Custom and so on.

    The sales force wanted a copy of the Gibson humbucking, wanted it to sound exactly like that. The patent had not quite run out—it had one more year to go—so I designed them a pickup, but I made it different. I didn't want to have an exact copy of Gibson's. They wanted it to sound exactly like Gibson. I hesitated there. I figured Fender is known for his brilliant type sound, so I kept a little more brilliance in the pickup than what there was in the Gibson.

    How did you do that?

    By making use of cunife magnets. They don't increase the inductance of the coil, so the inductance of the coil was lower than the other, so higher frequencies were more pronounced. And by winding on extra turns, I was able to get very good bass response with it—and I not only made a guitar pickup with it, but a bass pickup with the same idea. So about the only difference between the Fender and the Gibson humbucking pickup was the appearance and the type of magnet used.

    I used the same style on the old Epiphone pickup, three and three [pole pieces]. The one I designed for Fender had three-and-three, but it was a little bit larger. And this [points to yet another pickup on the table] was the original bass humbucking pickup that I built for Gibson. The coils are sideways, and there were so many turns on that, you had all the volume you needed. It wasn't the most efficient way to do it, but it worked. Two number 55 magnets, one on each side there, set sideways.

    Which models was that used on?

    The early Gibson bass, I think the EB series. Not the first electric [Electric Bass/EB-1]—for that I'd wound a single-coil pickup. I know that I designed this one to fit exactly in the space that it took for the old-style pickup, which was single-coil. It may have been the EB-2.

    https://reverb.com/news/interview-s...-why-he-left-gibson-for-fender-bacons-archive
     
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  19. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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  20. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's

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    My ‘73s are all north or all south in each bobbin. The manufacturing method described seems the most efficient. Perhaps odd arrangements missed that step accidentally.
     
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