Fender is producing CuNiFe WRHBs again

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by logans_tele, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Using that argument, then Fender should only ever make Strats and Teles.

    Clapton made his name in the Bluesbreakers using a 60s Tele. Later on he was known for his Frankenstrat composed of 50s-60s bits.

    In 1961 Gibson dropped the carved maple/mahogany Les Paul. It was regarded on both sides of the Atlantic as 'not all that'.

    If they'd ignored what happened in 1969 with Page and others they'd probably be like Gretsch, with licenced offshore assembly of hollowbodies.

    The people like Dan White at Fender in 1980-83 were busy resurrecting their legacy with 4 bolt Strats and vintage Reissues. They had no funds or staff to keep anything on board that didn't sell in volume. So they concentrated on higher quality heritage product in guitars. After that, they had a new factory with new tools and products. Given the WRHB came in CBS era it took a long time for that stigma to evaporate, even though work started when Leo was around.
     
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  2. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Do you mean the Lawrence Gibson HB tarbacks with black epoxy backs?
     
  3. nico

    nico TDPRI Member

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    If these pickups are so lame, why have they held a steady (and pretty high) value on the used market?

    Why have reputable companies cloned them?

    I'm just trying to understand the genesis of the nay sayers. There are plenty of pickups I find unremarkable, but it would never occur to me to trash them in a forum.

    On the other hand, please keep nay saying, I wouldn't mind picking up another pair for a future project!
     
  4. dodona

    dodona Tele-Meister

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    these pups are very cool!
     
  5. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    No, tarbacks used standard T-top bobbins, with adjustable polepieces, removable covers and basically designed sonically similar to PAFs. They're sealed with epoxy because PAFs weren't potted and could squeal.

    images (5).jpeg

    The L6S expounded on Lawrence's theories about inductance and output. Lawrence designed the guitar and pickup system but Norlin took over around then and dollar-and-cented the guitar to be completely different to his prototype.
    unnamed~2.jpg
    The DC resistance was low compared to conventional hummers but output very high. Three magnets epoxied into the base. Chrome cover with no visible adjustable/poles. d5777ec6a055ce498f4c75a03d8dd8dd.jpg.528dafd83489f3b75bdc3f76a9377153.jpg

    gibsonL-6SPickup_3.jpg

    https://www.vintageguitarandbass.com/gibson/parts/gibsonL-6SPickup.php

    Playing these is interesting. They're very full and trebly but bassy, and can sound both bright but also dark - the switching system uses an inductor and theres a two band tone control system which is confusing and fiddly when coupled to the six-way switching. I think they are designed deliberately to lack mids so you can choose how hard you hit your amp input - they're loud but don't breakup. Most users used to other Gibbys hated them.

    The 'bass' control is a cut or notch filter depending on who you ask. Very interactive with switching. Not a set and forget guitar.

    I had a play with one and would have bought it except for the slim taper neck that is a no deal for my sausage fingers.

    Santana was an endorser. His tone is what I remember - singing lead and burst.

     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
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  6. Golem

    Golem Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    It's funny that someone here quoted Bill Lawrence as if he claimed all magnets were the same. Yet, Bill Lawrence designed pickups with exotic magnets as Neodymium magnets (Microcoils), Samarium Cobalt (Fender's SCN), Alnico, and Ceramic magnets. What he was trying to debunk in the article he posted isn't that choice of magnets matter but that Ceramic magnet pickups are harsh and that all alnico is sweet-sounding.

    He very much did design great sounding pickups that took advantage of the different properties of each.

    People acting like these WRHB pickups are using some kind of snake oil with CuNiFe magnets are crazy. I just hope the RIs with CuNiFe sound 90% as good as the set I had in my 74 Tele Deluxe. Who cares if they were discontinued as they didn't sell well at the time. The Les Paul was discontinued once. So was the Jazzmaster. I'm sure we could name a few others.
     
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  7. Anacharsis

    Anacharsis Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I have Mojotones in my Squier VM 72 Thinline. They have the original construction, but not the magnets. I'm not going to swap them. Still, I'll be interested in hearing what magnet composition really accomplishes in this context.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  8. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    This is just the "appeal to popularity" argumentative fallacy. But I'm not saying that they aren't probably good pickups. With so much uniformity and repetition of designs in the market, it never hurts to have one more real option.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  9. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Holic

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    Hey, I love the classic guitar players as much as anybody, but I don't really give a hee haw about what Clapton or Page or Beck used or didn't use or if players in the 70s yawned when the WRHB was debuted. All I know is I've loved the sound of these pickups whenever I've heard them and to get a guitar with them in it you're looking at this point at dropping 3 grand or so.

    Clearly some people are enamored with these pickups. Who cares why? I'm excited about this news. Let some people be happy about something once in awhile.
     
  10. Cicada Nation

    Cicada Nation Tele-Meister

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    I put Lollar Regals in my AVRI 72 Thinline and they are spectacular. I have to wonder how these new fender WRHBs will compare to those. Maybe Lollar and other makers will be able to get their hands on cunife now too.
     
  11. Jim622

    Jim622 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I have a 72 Thinline RI MIM. I have been very happy with the sound for the last 15+ years. If the new WRHBs are made available individually I may try one, but the vintage or the vintage replacements are not worth it to me.
     
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  12. Mart the Hat

    Mart the Hat Tele-Holic

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    I haven't followed all the Wide Range threads, so this may have been covered. But I'm curious if there are specific unique magnetic or electrical properties of Cunife magnets, other the mechanical ability to take a machined thread for adjustable poles? Would a pickup with the same wind but non-adjustable alnico poles sound and measure very differently?
    I'm curious, as "clear, bright humbucker" is a tonal ballpark I often enjoy, though there are a few different routes to get there.
     
  13. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Holic

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    For me it's personal experience. I have owned an original 70's Tele Custom and an original 70's Tele Deluxe and currently own a '78 Tele Thinline, all with original WRHB pickups...I also purchased a set of the Fender reissued WRHB pickups when they were first introduced...

    Don't get me wrong. I'm glad Fender is making so many different products available, since we don't all like the same things...
     
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  14. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    The measurements would be nearly identical, because of the nearly identical mechanical construction. There is not enough difference in magnetic materials to uniquely characterize a pickup by magnet type alone. The difference would change the inductance and string pull, both of which can be adjusted by changing the wind count and pickup distance from the string.

    There is no "CuNiFe sound", just as there is no "A2 sound". There is only the means by which CuNiFe or A2 affect a given pickup (producing different outcomes in different pickups).
     
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  15. knavel

    knavel Tele-Meister

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    It's a pretty good spec sheet, not just the WRH, but nitro finish. Is it correct to say that "nitro" from Fender today means poly entire finish but a clear coat of nitro on the top?

    (I've never bought a new guitar so sorry if this is an inane question) - does Fender allow for orders to cross the spec sheets?; specifically it would be nice to have the blonde version with the rosewood neck that only comes on the sunburst version.
     
  16. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Holic

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    Some CuNiFe physics from Zollner's "Physics of the Electric Guitar" (other magnet types covered in other sections) ...
    https://www.gitec-forum-eng.de/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/poteg-4-4-2-cunife-magnets.pdf
    https://www.gitec-forum-eng.de/the-book/

    Also, some recent ongoing experimental work from same GITEC group on original WRHBs vs Fender and other resissues .. see under "Investigating the Fender “Wide Range” CuNiFe Humbucking Pickup, and some clones" here ..
    https://www.gitec-forum-eng.de/repository/
     
  17. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think when Telenator was making his pickups, he experimented with low-gauss alnico slugs and came up with a similar tone, on video recordings it was very close. His opinion was it's partly the way cunife charges - it can't hold as much charge as a alnico 5 slug of similar size.

    So it's appears to be partly the larger fatter bobbin with more winds, and partly the lower gauss of the magnet.

    If you do a thread search he's gone into these pretty comprehensively.
     
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  18. Mart the Hat

    Mart the Hat Tele-Holic

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    Ah, interesting reading there. So it seems like they are a genuinely interesting pickup design that does something unique, but the strong focus on that one magnet material is at least partly hype driven. It's a shame Fender went for the look over the sound on the earlier reissues with the bar magnets and steel poles...
     
  19. Cicada Nation

    Cicada Nation Tele-Meister

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    Right. I think once these aren’t unobtainium anymore, the hype will subside.
    Any word on whether these are being constructed the right way instead of simply swapping out the slug material?
     
  20. Ripradiant

    Ripradiant Tele-Afflicted

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    Urban myth, limited supply and web lore have made the original WRHB the unicorn! Good for fender for coming out with a "reinterpretation."
     
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