Fender Wide Range Humbuckers

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Telenator, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. OaklandA

    OaklandA Friend of Leo's

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    I'm not a pickup winder, nor an expert on the technical aspects of any pickup. But from anecdotal experience i can tell you that a properly wound bar magnet WRHB format pickup can be full, quiet with great clarity. As mentioned earlier in the thread I have a Pete Biltoft/Vintage Vibe set with A5 bar mags which sound tremendous in my '72 Thinline RI.

    The set also came with a set of A3's which I could try, but just haven't felt the need to.

    Do mine sound like the originals? Not completely....in some ways I would say better. But they do sound great. My purpose for this post is to say that generalizations along the line that bar magnets can't have clarity unless you kill their fullness is simply not true in all cases.

    There are more than one way to skin a cat. The only way IMO to accurately capture the characteristics of the originals would be to have threaded Cunife magnets.

    Not to say that you can't have a great set of WRHB's otherwise.
     
  2. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Well, we have CuNiFe threaded magnets and we have alnico rod magnets. If you put our Limited Edition CuNiFe pickups and our MOD2 alnico side by side it'd be real hard to pick the CuNiFe from the alnico.

    I think that perhaps the biggest reason the re-issues sound like dogmeat is because of the size of the pole screws. They're BIG and of course, that makes a difference in the sound. PAF style pickups use much smaller screws, hence much less mass inside the coil. The purpose of the screws is to help disperse the magnetic field from the bar magnets underneath the coils. But since the screws are not magnets themsleves, they act differently on the coils.

    When you take a set of coils "like the ones in the re-issue WRHBs that are essentially wound like a PAF and then stick a massive amoung of metal in there, it's going to change the sound. It will in fact dull the sound of the pickup. If you want to try something really interesting, plug the holes in your re-issue pickup with epoxy, then re-drill them to take the small screws you find in a PAF style pickup. The re-issue pickup wakes right up and gets it's chime back.

    As for a bar magnet pickup producing the same articulation, low end clarity, and note separation as a pole magnet pickup, no way. In the bridge position it's not nearly as critical, but in the neck position you can't beat a pole magnet pickup for low end clarity.

    In fact, it might be really interesting to try a bar magnet humbucker in the bridge position with a pole magnet pickup in the neck spot. That way you'd get the smoothness of a bar magnet humbucker at the bridge, where you often need a little less focused sound, and that great bass note articulation found in a pole magnet pickup in the neck position.
     
  3. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    For those of you wanting to build your own, here's a few drawings that will get you there.

    I made these drawings from measuring several vintage parts and they are accurate with a few tiny exceptions where the design needed a little help. We're talking just a few thousandths of an inch in two spots.

    Enjoy!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. photogijoe

    photogijoe TDPRI Member

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    Are these still available to look at?
     
  5. Hack On Wheels

    Hack On Wheels Tele-Meister

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    Any chance the links could be fixed? Thanks!
     
  6. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Hi guys, I took them down after a while because as much as I enjoy talking shop, I have to do some work too. It seems like everyone was going into the WRHB business all at the same time and it became a bit much to keep up with all the questions and technical info.

    Sorry, we have to devote our time to our customers and the several other ongoing projects from this point forward.

    Thank you to everyone who has supported us!
     
  7. Buzz Lightyear

    Buzz Lightyear NEW MEMBER!

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    I read a lot about these pickups lately, because I own a MIJ Custom myself. It's a really interesting en complex subject. The previous owner of my guitar told me the wrh is a original 1978 one. Now, I was wondering if that's true. The pole screws are alot longer (and look newer?) than the one ezrydr measured on page 2. His are 16 mm, mine are 20 mm. Also, all 12 screws are facing the same direction, head up and tail down. I hope someone can help me.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
  8. hongaku

    hongaku Tele-Afflicted

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    Looks like a Japanese ceramic magnet reissue version to me...definitely NOT an original 70s WRHB.
     
  9. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    It's very difficult to tell from the photo.

    It looks like the frame has been repaired and has two extra holes in it that you won't find on an original.

    The original magnets are 5/8" long, or .625 which is almost 16mm,
     
  10. Buzz Lightyear

    Buzz Lightyear NEW MEMBER!

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    Thank you for the comments. So it looks like the magnets are not original cunife magnets, as mine are 20 mm.
     
  11. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    If you remove one of the magnets you can test it to see how strong it is.
    If it clings tightly to a screwdriver, it's a magnet.

    If it's just light attraction to the screwdriver, it's a steel threaded rod and you will find a ceramic bar magnet laying underneath the coils.

    If you're into it, we could do our MOD1 on that pickup and it will sound absolutely killer. It will be non-reversible though.
     
  12. caliban335

    caliban335 Tele-Afflicted

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    This one of the all time great threads on TDPRI. It should be bumped every few months so new members can easily find it.
     
  13. marsbel

    marsbel TDPRI Member

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    It looks like at least the cover is original; the logo is very fine. If you look at the reissues (both Japan & Mex) you'll find the logo's much coarser.
    The backplate and magnets don't look original. It even looks like the right(on picture) mounting ear is brass or copper and has been soldered on. Could still be a repair though.
    Do the magnet test as Telenator suggested.
    I have the Japanese and Mex reissues and the coils and magnets from an original. I'll measure the polepieces when I get home this evening.
    Still, I'm pretty sure your cover is original.

    Rgds,
    Mark

     
  14. fauxsuper

    fauxsuper Tele-Afflicted

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    What's the state of the market these days?

    Has anyone actually done this? I'm surprised at the lack of follow up comments. This guy knows a TON about pickups and is well respected as an expert on all things involving pickups.

    I have a set of re-issue pickups that I'm contemplating up-grading. So far, it seems that Telenator and Novak offer upgrade services for these. Has anyone been able to compare/constrast the two? Or are there other, newer alternatives, DIY approaches, or things not mentioned so far in this epic thread?
     
  15. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Jason Lollar and The Creamery also offer WRHB alternatives to Fender's re-issue pickup.

    We have three different offerings for WRHB's so it would be difficult to really compare us to anyone else.

    If you're searching for the absolute, real deal, our CuNiFe repro stands alone. Nothing else compares. (except a vintage Fender WRHB from the 70's) But it's obscenely expensive.
     
  16. slapshot

    slapshot Tele-Meister

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    good idea :idea:
    at least google images tells me
     
  17. Swampash&Tweed

    Swampash&Tweed Friend of Leo's

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    You can always tell a great company by a person who offers alternatives to his own! That right there speaks volumes about your product to me. I don't think I'll ever be able to afford real culnifes, but I believe a modded set of Fender repro's is definitely on the horizon for me! You always post so much info about the fender Humbuckers and it does not go un appreciated. :D
     
  18. hongaku

    hongaku Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm looking forward to the Mod3 Telenator recently informed us all about, and then I'll subsequently look forward to being able to scrape enough $ together to actually get a couple of them done up ;-)
     
  19. Glen Smith

    Glen Smith RIP

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    Would it be possible to fix the broken photo links?
     
  20. Bill Scheltema

    Bill Scheltema Tele-Afflicted

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    I am quite interested in this thread, I will likely be doing a thinline for a customer and since I wind my own pups will look into a similiar version as well.
    Thank you so much telenator for your knowledge and legwork.

    Bill
     
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