1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Explaining blackguard variances

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by GuitarJonz, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. GuitarJonz

    GuitarJonz Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,393
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    MA
    One thing that I've been curious about is the variances in blackguard tele pickups. For example, I believe that most blackguard style tele replacement pickups seem to be wound in the low to mid 7k range. Then you hear about Roy's Nancy coming in at 5.9k.

    One pickup winder told me that these blackguard pups were originally wound with varying resistances, all over the map. Another guy told me that "the pickups in the '50s were most likely very consistent when they left the pickup winders at Fender, but after some time (dependent on climate) the wax starts to dry out and deteriorate, the enamel insulation starts to delaminate and deteriorate, moisture and oxidation gets in to the windings, and results in the resistance going up or down." If thats true, then maybe that explains why some teles (like Roy's) come in at 5.9k, or other such lower readings, maybe they were 7.5k-ish when they left the factory? Also, are were some virtually non-potted from the factory, explaining their current microphonics, or is that due to the wax drying out and breaking down over the years.

    I'm hoping that this will all be discussed in the new blackguard book. Hey, if we call the Tele Book the bible, what the nickname for Nacho's book gonna be?
     
  2. gls500

    gls500 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    892
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Doesn't make sense to me.

    DC resistance is a function of the length and diameter of the conductor of the coil. The wax, enamel, etc are non conductive and have little to do with the DC resistance.

    At least how I see it.
     
  3. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    6,512
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    - The Black Guard Book / Bible?

    :D Peter
     
  4. tellypicker

    tellypicker Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    335
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Regarding Ohm readings on pickups, I want to state I know nothing about electronics at all, but I do recall reading something on here from some folks that DO know about electronics and it was stated that Ohm readings weren't that much an indicator of tone or output and the like. I do know that I just swapped out pickups in the past week, and I put in a Broadcaster bridge that was in the 9+k range in one guitar, and a Blackguard type that was in the 7+k range and volume wise, they are about the same. Tonally, they differ, but volume output they are very close. I took out pickups that were in the 4+k range and those were louder. They were the Bardens so maybe dual coil was the factor in being louder, as I said , I am electronically challenged. IMHO if the issue is "that" tone, I'm not sure ohmage is the factor, the bigger factor may be aging, magnets being degaussed, less wax potting, actual material used for bobbins, wire and magnets, things of that nature. I think that's where the magic, or dumb luck resides. After all, we're chasing tone that came from 50 year old pickups and even though I am near 50, I can't tell you what the sound of those original blackguard pickups were. I first heard them when they were over 20 years old. I've noticed in my own guitars that pickups do change over the years, they do get better sounding as the years go by. Or maybe that is just what I want to believe so I allow my ears to fool me. I don't know.
     
  5. gls500

    gls500 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    892
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    tellypicker - you're right. The magnet has just as much to do with output. The DC reading only tells you how many winds. More winds=more output, but the strenth of a magnet is also a major factor.

    I believe the bardens have ceramic magnets, right? They are typically much stronger than alnico magnets.
     
  6. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    31,491
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Location:
    Bakersfield Ca.
    Bardens are about 4.5-4.7k ohms.

    What I have always thought might not be right is the resistance is just what it says its the amount of resistance an electrical signal needs to pass thru.

    From my experiences a pickup with a lower dc resistance usually has more highs and a pickup with higher resistance has more mids and less highs. The magnet has alot to do with the sound.

    I have seen pickup measurments taken from 50's Teles and they are all over the map from 5.8k to 10k.
     
  7. gls500

    gls500 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    892
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Maybe, probably, but not always.

    DC resistance doesn't care what frequency is passing through, but a coil with a higher DC resistance will have more winds, and the electrical length will be longer. This means that the series inductance and wind-to-wind capacitance will also be increased, which is frequency dependant. That means that a coil with less winds will likely have more highs, but exactly how the coil is wound and where the winds are placed in relation to another have a lot to do with it as well.

    Make sense?
     
  8. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    31,491
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Location:
    Bakersfield Ca.
    Makes some sense I know pickups have a resonant peak but what I wanna know is how the electricity knows if the coil is wound scatter with more or less tension or machine wound. Doesnt electricity just follow the least path of resistance to ground?
     
  9. gls500

    gls500 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    892
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I'll try to explain it as basically as I can (or as clearly as I can remember ;) ), but you have to understand how an inductor, or coil, works.

    A changing current (one that alternates at some frequency, or is not DC) will create a changing field. This changing field will induce a current in a conductor that is within this field, at a level proportional to how far away that conductor is from where the field originates. This conductor can be the same wire that the field originates in, at any length away from it.

    So if you tightly wind a pickup with all the winds more or less right next to each other, the distance from the originating field will be different than if you had them scatter-wound with varying distances.

    If a physical model helps, think of the coil as a number of series inductors and parallel capacitors. The amount of capacitance is varied by the distance of the coils, and the inductance is varied by the length of the inductor.
     
  10. rtantna

    rtantna NEW MEMBER!

    Posts:
    2
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Bill Lawrence, who should know alot about pups, makes the point that neither Roy B or Jimi used "high powered pickups".
    Both players are associated with "high powered" tones created with "rough" techniques. Lots of attack and power from the hands creates handling noise with microphonic pups. Not that all high powered pups are microphonic, but the point is, "high powered" pups don't always answer the search for the perfect tone.
    Modern players try to reduce "handling noise" as a mark of professionalism. Pups that are "hand" friendly really help here. Funny about that noise thing, Zappa had a contact mike installed in the neck of his guitar-listen to Zoot Allures-great tone and handling noise aplenty...[/quote]
     
  11. Freddy Fender

    Freddy Fender Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    245
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Where is this information from? I thought this bridge pickup
    was messed up and no proper reading could be taken from it?
     
  12. CC

    CC Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    171
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Surfland USA, Hawaii
    I guess there are a number of explanations.

    I heard old Fender pickups often develop shorts where the windings make contact around the magnetic pole pieces. Oxidation (on the magnets) is supposed to contribute to break down of the lacquer insulation around the wire. If this is true, one should wonder about those holes in the middle of the bobbins. Those holes would certainly promote more weathering inside the pickup.

    I've also been told over the years, the windings in old Fender pickups become fused together. My friend showed me the coil from his '58 strat pickup. Lindy Fralin rewound the pickup and returned the original shorted coil to him. The coil (wire) kept its original shape. I tried squeezing it and it wouldn't budge. The windings were indeed solidly fused together.
     
  13. GuitarJonz

    GuitarJonz Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,393
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    MA
    Thats what Buck Cannon claimed after checking Nancy out. I can't imagine that he pulled the pickup out to measure, so I'm not sure exactly how he knew that.
     
  14. Chris S.

    Chris S. Asst. Admin

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    6,995
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    Location:
    Near TELE-Town (Wash. DC)
    Uh... I believe he believed he could HEAR it... whee. :) CS
     
  15. Don Mare

    Don Mare Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,641
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2003
    Location:
    CA.
    Buck Cannon=Don mare, Can hear wind variences,

    opps-ChrisS- you were just being funny right?-- I'm so sorry--LOL!

    In Fact the Early Teles were low for the most part,
    My friend Brian Hall hes worked in the larger of the Guitar Center Vintage rooms for many years,hes a killer Tele Guy and a great player! he loves to take apart thoise old Teles that come thru there and he loves pups and he measures all of them and records the wind.
    He told and Rick Holmstrom and myself that most all his earlier Teles he's took in were infact measuring around 6.5K
    And since then most the guys I can get to measure theres for me will also measure 6.5k

    a friend just measures a 54 for me--it was 6.2K

    Most Vintage owners & repair / sales shops measurments are usally. 5.5k to 6.5k with Blackgaurds.
    their was only an occation Rare-- 7 or 8k

    I was told you didn't work at Fender too long winding pups if you wound 7k's all day-back then. you were considered wasting money.

    One of the ladys winding back them ( maybe all of them)
    They sure knew how to make a Yarn ball, becasue you'll see a nice yarn ball shape on some in the mid section, you'll also see and nice yarn ball type whip to the scatter wind, that ball shape forms up in the middle section and it adds a nice midrange bark.-- I got a 51' here last week in for a restore-- it two like Nancys begain to read loads of 200k-300k-- then eventially die total -- snaping apart deep in the coil.. perhaps against a magnet?

    BTW, the Blackgaurd book is sadly by no means Thee Bible, when it comes to these pups, I've already been totally bummed out by some of the writings in there and the total "LACK OFF" early pickup history-- why I don't know-- I was expecting some great stuff and found it was not to be read..
    its too bad the book didn't come out after I finished working with Lollar.Hamel.Stuart.Oc Duff .Seymour Duncan. Jim Rolf on Roy Buchanan's early tele pups-

    because every one of those guys told me they have heard of the lower DC's yet ---had never wound them that low -- that most guys ask for overwinds-- no one ever asked for an underwind-- Intersting eh?--that I was the first -- then we learned to skip the wax on the base plates and also lighten up on the wax itself in the coil -- if not skip it all together.. then the Magnets AlNiCo III's with the larger dia.were found untill the end of 53'

    Never forget the 10K 43 gauge Broadcasters-- a Bitchen pup and a favorite of Keith Richards.


    Lastly YES I swear to the star's that I can -hear right down to a .02k Winding varince when dialing in pups-- when thats all you do all day for 6 years at The Lace Sensor Factory -- ya get really good ears after a while..
    I left there leaving 17 Designs that also was leaving them nice Million dollar chunk of profits to chew on!
    I work with others too and have made some killer Blackgaurd pups working with others.. "the Boutiquies"..!
    So i don't consider myself to have just fallin off the turnup truck here.. and its not my ego talking out of the rear ehaust pipe eaither..these are just happinings that took place--
    I like to think of them as truths and facts but some folks prefer others info over mine-- and thats fine.

    FYI, Yes I actually knew just from listining that Roys Nancy Bridge although it was loading up and reading 200-300K that the pup was infact a low 6 or slightly lower.
    6.1K even or 5.9K,

    SEYMOUR DUNCAN IS A CLOSE PAL, he took Nancy apart long ago. I told him I felt Nancy was a low 6.k he said lower I said 5.9K he smiled and said "yes" I said yep I could hear it. FYI Seymour has always been pretty impressed with my ears and my memory fror specs.. I never forget spec's.. Duncan was where I first started to really get into pickups.. I always have remained loyal to them for it all too-- ( this would BTW. piss of Lace to no end sometimes too-- LOL! he he ! )


    but the truth is always out there for those who trully really seek it..

    Ya just have to really want it.. If you try to piece all the info you had out their together "from just last year"- you may not have never gotten the full skinny--
    I tried no one had it all they all had parts that need colabrated and put together-- thats the beauty of being friends with other winders-- ya may all help on another eventually--- Far as Blackgaurd Tele info goes,, this year rocks its the best year ever to call hamel, lollar, oc duff, sturat, Jim Rolph. and ask for what would be considered Blackgaurd type tone... cause ya just very well may get just that indeed!
     
    SixgunElectric and monkeybanana like this.
  16. beez

    beez Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    804
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Location:
    Peoria IL
    Slight hi-jack of thread......

    Recently I have been reading that people in search of the early 50's tele tone /Roy B tone want their pickups to be "slightly microphonic".

    What is that, what does it do to the sound, and is that just a case of not wax potting the pickup?

    thanks,
    George
     
  17. Don Mare

    Don Mare Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,641
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2003
    Location:
    CA.
    thats no hi-jack your dead on!

    yes-- Seymour Duncan was the one who told me -- at the same time 5.9K was it-- that when I was walking away he said NO WAX ON THE base plates..

    this is where the microphonic's lay..
    the coils can sometimes on there own never be microphonic and not even require wax.. others do.. it depends on the wind.

    the base plate as soon as you remove the wax its like YIPPIE there it is all those pretty micrphonics ..

    the trick is to get it flush-- otherwise its going to allow the signal to bounce around in there and turn into microphonic squell.

    What I do is grind a magnet here and there if its holdin up the plate-- then I'll sand the pups bottom on a metal sanding board to get it as flush as I can.. then I bent the plate tio fit it without any air showing thru when held up to a light.--
    On a few occations I've had to drip wax on too the pups bottom and then flat scrape it -- ust so it only stays in the valleys-- hole..etc.. that the plate itself could not sink into or fill - or go flush with it.

    next Steel springs over rubber to help get the sound to transfer..

    Man when you do all this you got a Tele baby!

    this is what Teles were like-- amazing creatures!
     
  18. beez

    beez Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    804
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Location:
    Peoria IL
    Thanks Don

    That's good stuff Don. I for one appreciate your posts!
     
  19. GuitarJonz

    GuitarJonz Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,393
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    MA
    measuring pickups

    Probably a dumb question, but Buck mentioned techs he knows at GC and elsewhere measuring the pickups on the various vintage blackguards that come through the shop. Can you measure DC resistance on a pickup while it is still installed in a guitar?? I always thought that you needed to take the pickup out first, to get the caps, pots, resistors etc out of the circuit before measuring it. With the vintage mania about original solder joints, I can't imagine a tech de-installing a vintage pickup just to measure it. Or can you get an accurate measurement at the eyelets while the pup is still installed? Fill me in, thanks.
     
  20. plaintop

    plaintop Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    281
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
    Location:
    Maryland
    "then the Magnets AlNiCo III's with the larger dia.were found untill the end of 53' "

    Hi Don, what happenned after '53, and what was the tonal difference?
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.