New cover on vintage wide range humbucker ?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by TimTam, Jun 26, 2010.

  1. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Holic

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    I have read all the threads here on the WRHB, but couldn't find a definitive answer on whether a new Fender cover fits an original vintage 1970s WRHB.

    It sounds like they probably do, but I'd like to be sure before ordering a new cover. My vintage WRHB cover is seriously distressed. But it's a nice pup, mine is wired with a 5-wire coil split, and I'm considering putting it into a shiny partscaster (or selling it on ebay !).

    Can someone tell me if a new cover would fit ? I know the MIM / MIJ WRHBs are completely different internally to my vintage one, but presumably the covers are built to match the originals ... eg pole hole spacing ?

    I have seen some of the new gen WRHBs advertised as 'neck' and 'bridge' versions. If they are actually different, are they just wound differently, or is the hole spacing different too ?

    I believe that the Fender part# for the cover may be 0054199000. But I've seen that number used for a 'neck' cover. And I've also seen a new cover advertised with no such description.
     
  2. copperheadroad

    copperheadroad Tele-Holic

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  3. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Holic

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    I know there are some guys on here that have dissected every little bit of both the vintage WRHBs and the reissue versions. So someone must know the answer to my question ...

    Do the new covers fit the vintage WRHBs or not ? :)
     
  4. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Yes, the new covers will fit but it may be a little bit of a struggle. The dimensions of the holes vary slightly and the fortunately the skirt on the re-issue cover is flared a little bit.

    While you have the pickup apart, I would also suggest that you have the magnets re-charged by someone who knows what they're doing. A lot of the complaints your hear concenring vintage WRHB's are because the magnets start to loose their charge after 20 years or so.

    The reason the re-issue WRHB's are bridge and neck specific is because the neck pickup uses an alnico II bar magnet while the bridge uses an alnico V. Personally, I think that should be reversed but, what do I know?
     
  5. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Holic

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    Thanks very much for that.

    Coincidentally I was just checking the polarity of the magnetic pole pieces with a compass. So I think I could recharge the two coils separately and correctly if I put my mind to it.There is some instructional material around, eg
    http://www.stewmac.com/freeinfo/Electronics/Pickup_building/i-5967.html

    And the strong neodymium magnets are not too hard to come by (cheaper than buying a 'remagnetizer').

    But some questions remain:
    - how does one know when a pup needs recharging ?
    - what is the required procedure for 'sufficient' recharging ? (eg magnet strength required, number of passes, proximity etc)

    Is there any science to this, eg gauss meter readings ? :)
     
  6. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    The gauss reading on that should be around 600. All of the vintage ones we've tested were between 200 and 300 which is pretty weak.

    I would charge the magnets one at a time unless you have the coils separated from each other.

    One pass through the neodymiums should do the trick.

    Hey, I just noticed you're in Australia and you didn't call the magnets "neodyminium." :lol:
     
  7. spankdplank

    spankdplank Tele-Afflicted

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    Telenator--I have a 75 custom that I have had since 81 and still gig with regularly. I have never recharged the WRH magnets. I wind my own pickups so I have some neos for charging magnets, but don't have a gauss meter. I always thought my WRH sounded fine, but I have been listening to it for almost 30 years so I can't be objective as to what it sounded like when the magnets had a fresh charge.

    Should I recharge the magnets anyway and just assume they have gotten weak, or should I leave it alone? Short of a gauss meter, is there any other way to tell if they actually need a re-charge?
     
  8. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    I would check it with a gauss meter before doing anything. Re-charging the magnets will change the sound. The sound will become more robust and the output will be stronger.
     
  9. spankdplank

    spankdplank Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks Telenator. I'm inclined to leave it alone, but that just may be due to the excessive number of screws in the Custom's pickguard.
     
  10. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Holic

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    Yes, I guess with the vintage WRHB I do have some choices there (not that I've tried any yet) ....
    (1) if you don't want to take the cover off, you can unscrew the 6 magnets out through the top and 6 through the base, and then charge each separately, making sure you keep track of polarity !
    (2) take the cover off, separate the coils (taking care of the one thin wire that links them) and re-charge the two coils separately, using the correct polarity for each.
    (3) take the cover off but unscrew and remagnetize all 12 magnets separately as in (1).

    Since mine is wired for split coils, 2 is probably the best option for me as there is no short linking wire between the coils. So separating the coils is easy.

    Might see if I can get hold of a gauss meter first and see how weak they are.

    Ah yes ... but I will be sure to use some aluminium somewhere in the
    process ! :) As they say of Britain and America - two countries, divided by a common language !
     
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