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Anybody ever re-wound/un-wound a pickup?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by charlie chitlin, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    OK...I'm on one of those weird, late night maneuvers...
    I have a vintage P-90 that sounds so amazing...clear as a bell...no woof.
    On my analog meter (!!) is shows about 8 ohms.
    The ones on my Epi sound a little muddy and dull.
    They measure at about 13 ohms.
    I'm thinking that I could just unwind them to get them down to where they might be less muddy.
    The only problem could be that they're potted.
    I'm thinking the wire would come right through the wax and unwind OK.
    Any suggestions/experience?
     
  2. RockinCarl

    RockinCarl Tele-Afflicted

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    Before I started winding my own, I used to do this a lot, actually. Just becareful when you start unwinding the wire that you don't break it short enough that you can't find it in the coil! That always sucks.
     
  3. Rich Rice

    Rich Rice Poster Extraordinaire

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    I used to unwind pickups regularly. It's a crapshoot on whether the wire comes off easily or not. Your P-90 is probably wound with 42AWG, which is still pretty delicate. It can work, but any kind of excess pulling can break the strand- which can be disastrous. Worst case scenario, you get to try your hand at a rewind. You might even find that you enjoy it!
     
  4. spankdplank

    spankdplank Tele-Afflicted

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    I have done it successfully and unsuccessfully. It is tricky and as Rich and Carl said, if the wire breaks in the coil, you may have trouble and may have to peel off more wire than you want to get to the break. I have a tele neck pup I wound to 6.8 with 42AWG as an experiment. 6.8 of 42 was too much so I was going to unwind it to about 6.2. The wire broke in the coil several times and by the time I could get to a clean break I was in the low 4's--too low to use. To get a 13K P-90 down to 8K you will have several thousands wraps to unwind. On the positive side, a machine wound pickup should have the wires laying evenly next to each other and should not be as difficult to unwind as a hand guided or scatterwound pickup.
     
  5. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I wouldn't mind re-winding altogether if I screw up.
    Just have to figure out some kind of counter.
     
  6. MR Pickups

    MR Pickups TDPRI Member

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    First post here, when I wind pickups, I use a veeder root mechanical counter on my winding machine. works great! I am curious as to what sort of winding machine you will use.

    here's a photo of mine with the counter.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Cool homebrewed set-up!
    I like the orange juice lids.
    What drives the counter?
    BTW...I did unwind 2 of the pickups today.
    It's a scary process.
    On the first one, the "inside" wire broke off very short and it was very hard to get it soldered to the lead.
    The second one was much easier, but the magnets hit the bench and it took me couple tries to get them in correctly.
    The pickup read the proper resistance, but sounded very weak.
    The 3rd one should be a snap!
    I have them at about 10 Ohms now, and they sound much sweeter.
    I would have gone lower, but that short lead on the one pickup was making me so nervous, I figured the sooner I got it back in the guitar the less chance I had of damaging it further.
    I did the 2nd one bout the same so it would match.
    As far as I can guess, it takes considerably more time to unwind a pickup by hand than it would to just cut all the windings off and re-wind with a proper (or even improper!) machine
     
  8. MR Pickups

    MR Pickups TDPRI Member

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    I have an arm attached to the crankshaft of the machine. it works similar to a piston in a internal combustion engine. It is a ratcheting counter. It sounds like you've been having fun today.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2009
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