Anyone tried the Fender WRHB CuNiFe Reissue?

geetarguy24

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oh crap. for the record - I take no responsibility for any disappointed customers !!! :D

I stand by my comments... but everyone is different and has different ears!! I sincerely hope those who opt for the Fenders are as happy with them as I have been.

Best of luck - and lets hear your opinions... whether they differ or not.

Lol you're off the hook if I hate it, but I doubt I'll be dissapointed. Unlike you, I haven't ever even played an original WRHB, but I did see some hipsters playing them in the 2000s :D

I always thought they were cool, but I never really lusted after them until I fell in love with every part of my Jag except for the bridge pickup. I think I can pretty honestly say this purchase just seemed like the best solution to that problem for me.

As I said, I won't have a point of reference to compare to the old ones, but I will be sure to update with my thoughts once it comes in. Thanks again for your words of wisdom!
 
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variantboy

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Lol you're off the hook if I hate it, but I doubt I'll be dissapointed. Unlike you, I haven't ever even played an original WRHB, but I did see some hipsters playing them in the 2000s :D

I always thought they were cool, but I never really lusted after them until I fell in love with every part of my Jag except for the bridge pickup. I think I can pretty honestly say this purchase just seemed like the best solution to that problem for me.

As I said, I won't have a point of reference to compare to the old ones, but I will be sure to update with my thoughts once it comes in. Thanks again for your words of wisdom!


hah!! whew !!!

ok.. as requested - I am using 1meg pots for sure - as were used in the original thinlines (and deluxes if I recall correctly). I think that's the safe bet.
 

geetarguy24

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.

Great write up there variantboy.

I would add though for the OP .. verify what volume pot kohms you have for that WRHB bridge pickup you are ordering and what you have now. I assume you have a 500k volume pot and if so, find a 470k fixed resistor and clip it temporarily across the outer two lugs of that volume pot to drop it to 250k. Does the bridge pickup you have work better? The neck will be darker, maybe too dark, but test it. If that works then you'll want to figure out the switching circuit that gets put on some HS Telecasters to handle separating volume pot values by pickup. I'd be concerned that your new WRHB will be brighter (and thinner) than your current bridge humbucker so do some testing before that arrives.

.
Thank you for the tip, my Jag should have 1Meg pots currently, which I was intending to keep with the WRHB when it arrives. I am also planning on changing both pots in the rhythm circuit to 1Meg, wiring only the WRHB to them, and making the slide switch into a blower switch to bypass those pots. That way if I want to balance the volume of the pickups, or bleed out some high end, I can do that easily, but keep those extra pots out of the circuit when I dont want them.
 

Fearnot

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Where did you read that? To my knowledge (I could be wrong), and based on the press release when they came out, they are CuNiFe.

Novak didn't (and doesn't) have access to CuNiFe rod magnets and never claimed he did. Telenator was the only maker that used it and he had only a very limited supply before he had to shut down production. Most of the threaded magnets used now are FeCr (forgive me if I have the alloy wrong there) which work, but do not sound the same as CuNiFe.

Fender has likely spent a small fortune putting CuNiFe back into production, and reportedly has an exclusive on the supply. I'd presume they'll be making pickups with it till people stop buying them. Time will tell.
 

E5RSY

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Novak didn't (and doesn't) have access to CuNiFe rod magnets and never claimed he did. Telenator was the only maker that used it and he had only a very limited supply before he had to shut down production. Most of the threaded magnets used now are FeCr (forgive me if I have the alloy wrong there) which work, but do not sound the same as CuNiFe.

Fender has likely spent a small fortune putting CuNiFe back into production, and reportedly has an exclusive on the supply. I'd presume they'll be making pickups with it till people stop buying them. Time will tell.
FeCrCo, now that you mention it.
 

SbS

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Got one in the neck of Thinline style T.

Kind in a middle of the adjustment process still. They're very sensitive for height adjustment, I'm using Telenator's instructions mostly.

Then the wide distance of pole pieces create some issues too, because Tele's string spacing is narrower than that. Plus I think I actually need to carve my cavity bit deeper. There's not enough space for wires underneath when lowering the pup and pickguard startd to bend if going too low.

But all in all, I think it's just what I ordered when finding the sweet spot. Some tones in certain spots have already been amazing.

Of course there's like amp and other stuff too..
 
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ruger9

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For anyone who doesn't know, the above bass blocking capacitor idea is used in Rickenbacker basses. In that case its a .0047uF.

That's the value I start with for neck humbuckers, and adjust from there. Interestingly, there's a Seymour Duncan article online that says to use a .047uf, but alot of us feel like that HAS to be a typo, as we agree the .0047 (.0015-.0047 actually) is the best range for this capacitor.
 
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Piotr

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This can be fixed by adding a capacitor in series with the neck pickup's hot lead. I've done it several times, to WRHBs (not CuNiFe) as well as PAFs. It's simple, cheap, easy, and it works. It's called the "de-mud mod" if you look it up. Capacitor value depends on the pickup (how much low end it has, how much you want to remove).

That's very useful, cheers!
 

Fearnot

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Seems logical, $400.00 worth of pickups in a $200.00 guitar! I've totally done things like this:D

And then I'll have a $700 Starcaster, as opposed to buying a 'real' one from the '70s for $2k.

If I ever sell the guitar, the pickups will go separately. Count on it.
 

SbS

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Got one in the neck of Thinline style T.

Kind in a middle of the adjustment process still. They're very sensitive for height adjustment, I'm using Telenator's instructions mostly.

Then the wide distance of pole pieces create some issues too, because Tele's string spacing is narrower than that. Plus I think I actually need to carve my cavity bit deeper. There's not enough space for wires underneath when lowering the pup and pickguard startd to bend if going too low.

But all in all, I think it's just what I ordered when finding the sweet spot. Some tones in certain spots have already been amazing.

Of course there's like amp and other stuff too..

I think I'm getting close to the sweet spot. Although at home got only headphone amps / Focusrite, so not moving real air when recording. And actually using 2 analog cab sims together (Mooer Audiofile, Palmer Pocket Amp) because that just gives more organic feeling than a single one.

But, there's already nice bloom and clarity together with reasonable sustain. Without any pedals / digital effects. Still lots of work to be done with the guitar, nut is not finished, nor frets polished so intonation is off.. especially near the nut.

So very good recordings do not exist.





Edit: Fender CuNiFe WRHB neck pickup (2020), 1M vol + 500K tone pot with 0.01 uF capacitor
 
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SbS

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Just to tell.. I wasn't even close there.

It's kind of similar process than trimming the nut for me. Not routine yet. Taking very little at a time and being careful. Making adjustments, play and listen and play and listen. So next day, or next week realise I can go even brighter. Also ear fatigue comes in question

My recording gear / skills can't replicate what I hear, but Now it's better than week ago. Next thinking may try 1M tone pot too , volume already being there...

This pickup doesn't go ice pick although it goes clearer and brighter. I like it very much. But it takes time to understand it better and to have enough courage to keep on going.

So hard to say yet where we end up ;)
 

SbS

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Latest change

Cunife WRHB 2020 neck:
A1000K vol pot + A500K tone with 10 nF capacitor ->
A1000K vol pot + A1000K tone with 22 nF capacitor

This could be mind and ears playing too, but feels more open now. Hard to say are higher highs any higher they were ;), but like some curtain has been removed. Of course it's not as clear and trebly as bridge when wide open (P-92). But at least upper mids and highs sound more open. Bass response isn't muddy either. Easier to find balance (bass/treble) and match volumes with bridge pickup.

Maybe it's those singing qualities. But one thing I've learned. Need to play and listen and see.

So far i can too recommend 1M pots, both vol and tone. Was it mind tricks or real, it seems to work..
 

MilwMark

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@variantboy - FWIW I totally agree with your assessment. I'm fortunate to have (all beaters/modded before they got to me/players):

- '69 Tele modded with 2 vintage WRHBs.
- '73 Thinline Deluxe (Model?) with 2 vintage WRHBs
- '73 Custom with vintage neck WRHB

All have 1m pots all around. The Custom was the first one I got. The neck WR had been rewound by a noted manufacturer (which was disclosed to me). I always thought it was a nice, low output vintagy humbucker. Little dark. Little flat.

Then I got the '69. And I thought "wow". There's a lot of variation among vintage WRHBs. The '69 ones were dynamic (almost to a fault), lively, bright, and do that think kinda like great old p90s where they "push" the amp a little even when set clean (which I love).

Then I got the Thinline and thought the same thing. So I took a leap of faith and had my local shop install a new cunife Fender. Boom! Sounds and plays just like the old ones in my '69 and Thinline. So I had them send the rewound one from my Custom to Tom Brantley to re-rewind it back to vintage Fender specs. He'll also tell them why the first rewind killed the magic.

So if someone wants authentic vintage Wide Range sound and feel, to my (somewhat experienced) mind, they are spot, spot on.

FWIW I've tried many of the non cunife alternatives mentioned here and while many are nice humbuckers, they were not really much like the vintage ones or the new Fender cunife reissues. Much more like the "interim rewind" in my Custom actually.

YMMV
 

MilwMark

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Also, I get what people are saying about balancing a true cunife neck and bridge wide range. I used to think it was not really possible to optimize both. But I've learned two things:

1. Most 2 WR Teles do not have the neck route deep enough.
2. Cunife WRHB's are more "adjustable" than most pickups. Meaning they can sound great closer and farther than the strings than some other pickup types. But tilt (lateral) and tilt (forward/back), pickup height and polepiece height all seem to make more obvious sound/feel differences than in other pickups. Which can be daunting.

Knowing these two things, getting a good balance where each is optimized is possible IMO (without resorting to adding caps, different value pots, etc.). It just takes some patience, an open mind (and maybe a router an longer neck pickup "suspension" screws than stock. :lol:

Of course, those are just my ears. YMMV
 

Piotr

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@MilwMark, great summary. So the new ones are that accurate? Nice! They do overwind the bridge pickup, though.
I managed to balance the neck and bridge to my liking, but I do hit the bridge pickup cover with my pick from time to time. By the way, the double volume pots do wonders to pickup balance. Don't hesitate to use them, guys ;)
 

Telecaster88

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Don't know if this has been posted yet, but I found this demo SUPER helpful, the best one yet. To my ears the Vintage pickups sound just slightly best (due maybe to the magnets getting a touch weaker?), but the new CuNiFe's are dang close. As soon as Fender gets around to making more I'll be putting some in my MIM Classic '72 Thinline to see what happens. I love the clean tones in this demo.

 

fender4life

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Novak didn't (and doesn't) have access to CuNiFe rod magnets and never claimed he did. Telenator was the only maker that used it and he had only a very limited supply before he had to shut down production. Most of the threaded magnets used now are FeCr (forgive me if I have the alloy wrong there) which work, but do not sound the same as CuNiFe.

Fender has likely spent a small fortune putting CuNiFe back into production, and reportedly has an exclusive on the supply. I'd presume they'll be making pickups with it till people stop buying them. Time will tell.
Yeah, not cunife and i had a pair, one of 2 boutiques WRHB i tried. Thing about novaks is they sound really really good. But they don't sound like WRHB's, they just sounded like regular HB's to me. I had an original 72 back in the late 70s and while theres no way i can comment on how the original cunifes sound in detail, what i CAN say is to this day i remember being in awe of how that tele sounded. I had no idea at the time what a wrhb is and knew almost nothing about pickups in general, but In 50 years of playing that may be the only guitar i ever owned who's sound left such an impression on me so many years later.
 

ruger9

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Don't know if this has been posted yet, but I found this demo SUPER helpful, the best one yet. To my ears the Vintage pickups sound just slightly best (due maybe to the magnets getting a touch weaker?), but the new CuNiFe's are dang close. As soon as Fender gets around to making more I'll be putting some in my MIM Classic '72 Thinline to see what happens. I love the clean tones in this demo.



Yes, I saw this a few days ago. The new Fender CuNiFes and the Brandonwounds sound better TO ME than the vintage ones, but we know from Telenator here the vintage ones were inconsistent.

When did BW start using A3? They sounds awesome! I had a set of BWs, but I think it was when they were all FeCrCro? Not sure, but I don't remember A3 being part of the formula when I had them???
 

Dion

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Bought a new 2020 bridge CuNiFe WRHB. Turns out it measures 10.2k not the advertised 11.4k. So I decided to try another bridge and see what I get.
Got the new bridge today. It reads 10.5k.
I don’t have an inductance meter, so really not sure what I ended up with.

Any reason I can’t pair these up in a 72TL reissue?
 




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