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Cavalier - light wax or vacuum wax

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by AndrewCW, Jan 25, 2021.

  1. AndrewCW

    AndrewCW TDPRI Member

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    I’m planning on getting some Cavalier pickups to upgrade either an existing Tele (MIM maple fingerboard) or a non Fender tele style (Cole Clark Offender with Rosewood fingerboard). Just wondering whether anyone has opinions on whether the vacuum wax or light wax option is better. It’s my first exploration of non-stock pickups. I’m leaning towards twin Bakersfield/Fat and Twin Lioness (or Twin Lion King) with 4 way switching and tap controlled by push pull tone pot. I probably play mainly pop/rock/blues and would like good versatility of sounds. Rarely anything too heavy, definitely not metal, and not much country.
     
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  2. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I'll watch this with interest as I find the site and info completely baffling.

    Someone will advise you to call Rob - who is a delight to deal with - but that could be tricky based on your location.

    Good luck. :)
     
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  3. Piotr

    Piotr Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Rob replies to email quite quickly, too, so if calling is not an option, just drop him a line.
     
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  4. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Cavalier Pickups employ a blend of pure beeswax and canning paraffin wax for pickup coil, plate, and cover potting.

    Light wax potting (which is the default for all Cavalier Pickups) will suppress feedback and microphonics well enough for the vast majority of guitarists and will allow pickups to render "lively" and "resonant" sounds with increased harmonics.

    Vacuum wax potting full saturates the coil and will greatly help those who play at really high full tilt boogie volumes with gobs of gain. In doing so, some of the "liveliness" of the overall sound is somewhat suppressed.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2021
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  5. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Rob and I are in 'conversation' at the moment. :)
     
  6. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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    I don't wax mine at all.

    I used whale blubber, by crackey.

    :oops:

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's

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    I don’t see a reason to go any way other than the stock based on what you are saying.

    I play with a bunch of fuzz into a loud, overdriving amp and still rarely get any squealing.
     
  8. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    American Wax
     
  9. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I've always had the light wax potting. Like Rob said, if you're playing at higher volumes, vacuum potting would be advised.

    Never had any problems at any volumes I play.

    You're going to love the Fat/Bakersfield. I know I do.

    I'm also interested in upgrading my Lion King neck in my Deluxe Nashville to the Twin Lion King.

    Also have Rob make you a no load Bourns push/pull for your tone pot. You could either do a P/P for the volume or a DPDT switch and keep a full size volume pot.

    When Rob went to the winds instead of DCR values. That might be confusing to those that have been somewhat brainwashed by the pickup industry as to what a particular pickup is going to sound like.
     
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  10. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .

    As Rob noted, you'll be ok with regular wax dipping as long as you are not a high gain gigging player.

    For me, I'd get vacuum wax potting just because it allows all the playing styles without fear of noise.
    If you need more "liveliness" then I'd just lower the pickup(s) to improve the tone.

    "liveliness" from a light or no wax potting (60s MIJ pickups were often not wax dipped) or 'remove the humbucker cover' type of trick is really introducing more environmental noise to your signal.

    I'd also ensure you have shielded cable from your volume pot to the jack, not the typical Fender two wires, to cut down on noise -- you don't use a pair or twisted pair of wires from the guitar to the amp ... why give yourself half a foot of uncontrolled antenna right at the beginning? The 1950s didn't have everyone around you with computers and wifi/cell signals constantly running in their pockets getting updates on their buddy's check in locations or twitter news.

    .
     
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  11. AndrewCW

    AndrewCW TDPRI Member

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    Thanks Rob and others for the quick replies and great info. I guess what threw me a little was that the website says vacuum wax as the default in the description at the bottom but has light wax as the default in the ordering. As I don't do much really high gain, high volume playing the light wax might be the way to go.
     
  12. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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  13. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I just bought a set of Cavaliers, and didn't even know there was an option for waxing. Good pickups, I like them. I got the Fat Lion/Lion King.
    Just a question for the OP: why do you want them tap controlled? They are SCs....
     
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  14. AndrewCW

    AndrewCW TDPRI Member

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    Cavalier has tapped single coils. I like the idea of having the option to switch between a more traditional tele pickup and a fatter one. So two different single coils from the one pickup - eg a 7500 wrap and 9500 wrap.
     
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  15. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    Light wax all the way.

    I even once had a set by Fezz Parka that was only lightly lacquer potted that had great microphonics (very sensitive and 'lively').
     
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  16. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I’ve both loved the lively literally microphonic nature of the Tele bridge pickup, and also found squeal very distressing when it suddenly pops up.
    Choose your weapon!
     
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  17. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Wonder where those are now.:rolleyes::)
     
  18. JKjr

    JKjr Tele-Holic

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    Loaded to the gun'ls, against the current both ways...and we LIKED it!!!
     
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  19. Diegoas

    Diegoas NEW MEMBER!

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    Fun coincidence! Just bought a second hand Cole Clark CulprIt I that has a set of Cavalier Lions loaded in, with a Nocaster in the Bridge - not sure about the neck yet. Sadly the guitar is quite beaten up, rusty and the Nocaster seems dead - I can't get any reading. Neck reads 8.3k measured at the jack. Did you end up deciding or ordering (testing them yet maybe?). Keen to hear what you think - I'm debating whether to replace the Nocaster with another or to try something else. I have no experience with Cavaliers or Tele's before...

     
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  20. AndrewCW

    AndrewCW TDPRI Member

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    I’ve ordered a Bakersfield/Fat Lion tapped Cavalier. Just the bridge pickup as it will be an Esquire build. I haven’t got it yet so can’t comment on whether I like it but I know lots of people on this forum have had very good things to say about Cavalier pickups. I have a Cole Clark Offender which was before the Culprit - serial number 15 so fairly early in the run that I’m thinking about whether to upgrade pickups on.
     
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