Noob Reverse Polarity/Reverse Wound questions

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Neener, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. Neener

    Neener Tele-Meister

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    I fell in love with an early 90's Tele neck PU and have been on the hunt ever since. I haven't been able to find one yet so I've been looking other options.

    I don't want noiseless pickups. I'd like to keep it as vintagey spec as possible. Or at least as close to the specs of my beloved 90's PU.

    After doing some research I think I read the Am Std are RW? 90's Am Std Noiseless? Did I fall in love with a noiseless pickup?

    I have so many questions

    1. Are 90's American Standard pickups Reverse Polarity/Reverse wound?

    2. Does reverse polarity/reverse wound mean they are noiseless?

    3. Are vintage Fender pickups RP/RW?
     
  2. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Holic

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    "Reverse wound" and "reverse polarity" are only relative to your other pickup(s).

    There are 4 possible configurations North Up/Clockwise; North up/Counter- Clockwise; South up/Clockwise; South up/Counter-Clockwise.

    But it's not entirely about the wrap direction, it's about current flow. The wrap start wire does NOT HAVE TO be the ground wire. In fact, on most humbuckers they are WRAPPED the same direction, but the start and end of one of the coils are reversed.

    Even Fender is not consistent. For example if you take a vintage reissue '64 pickup and try to use a vintage '62 reissue, they will be out of phase with each other.

    And you can't always just flip the wires (like one of the coils on a humbucker), because on Fender's bridge pickup the ground wire is attached to the base plate and the neck pickup the ground wire is attached to the cover.

    Here is a long thread I wrote a while ago explaining it. If you have the patience to read it.

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/who-wants-to-finally-understand-pickups-wind-etc.991802

    Edited to fix link, hopefully.

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  3. dan40

    dan40 Tele-Afflicted

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    Not sure if they had started doing the reverse wound in the 90's but someone will come along that will know. For question 2, when you purchase a set of rp/rw pickups, they will only be noise cancelling in the middle position on a Tele and switch positions 2 & 4 on a Strat. Both pickups must be engaged at the same time for the noise cancelling benefit to work. For question 3...vintage pickups were not rp/rw.
     
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  4. kbold

    kbold Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Answers are: Yes, No, No.
     
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  5. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    All Fender Fullerton era single coils were south orientation clockwise winds IIRC. So they weren't hum cancelling at all.

    In the post CBS Corona era both standard Teles and Strats use one pickup with reverse wind/orientation so that when two pickups are selected they act like a big humbucker. Otherwise they're just single coils and not noiseless. In the Strat, it's the middle so if you select bridge- middle or neck-middle it will hum cancel.

    Does that affect tone in that mode? Possibly in that position. Not otherwise. Difference in tone is down to pickup wind, to tone cap, pots, bridge, body wood etc.

    Noiseless pickups are two coils in one pickup. Like a Gibson humbucker but the coils are stacked instead of side by side.
     
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  6. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Holic

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    My understanding was that the only RWRP Fender sets were Texas Specials and Nocasters.

    All other Fender pickups/sets are BOTH North/Counter-Clockwise.

    The exceptions are the aforementioned Texas Specials and Nocasters which have a North/Counter-Clockwise Neck and South/Clockwise bridge...

    ...AND the pickups I mentioned in my previous post, the 1964 Vintage Reissues which are BOTH North/Clockwise!

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  7. kbold

    kbold Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    You could be right. Carry on without me.
     
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  8. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Holic

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    Heck, I liked your answer, actually....

    My first post I went on and on and didn't answer the OP's question.

    When I saw your answers I said to myself "sh**t" (shoot)! I'm an idiot, I never answered the questions.

    Your participation is important as this is a discussion. I'm always hoping to learn something new.

    Sent from my LG-H932 using Tapatalk
     
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  9. kbold

    kbold Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Well, I guess my score was 66%, so that's a pass. Guess I'm the one learning today.:):)
     
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  10. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Holic

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    The only reason I know about the 64's is because the little bugger caught me by surprise.

    I was building a replica of a 60's telecaster and the '64 bridge pickup fit the bill for the sound and look I wanted, with the white string over wrap... Imagine my surprise when I flipped the amp switch and was out of phase!

    I couldn't just swap the wires on either pickup because then the hot would be touching the base plate on the bridge pickup or the cover on the neck pickup.

    If I wanted to use that bridge pickup, the only solution was to flip the polarity.... Which I did. It gave me South/Clockwise to go with my North/Counter-Clockwise '62 reissue neck pickup and the accidental benefit of hum cancelling.

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  11. kbold

    kbold Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    How did you flip polarity??
    I ask because I believe you can flip polarity by forcing the poles to flip by using a stronger magnet. (e.g. South to south forces the alnico's to flip).
    Curious because I have never done this myself.
     
  12. Neener

    Neener Tele-Meister

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    Awesome info. Honestly I really had no idea pickups worked liked that.

    I was looking at some after market “vintage spec” pickups and they were all RW/RP. I didn’t fully understand what that meant. But now I do (for the most part. Science hurts my brain). You guys are the best

    The pickup I’m trying to replace is a copper wound, Am Std (I think)
    With the single wire coming off it...(I’ll just post a pic)

    Again, thank you guys for responding and clearing it all up for me

    6F249B70-29C6-44B5-9C93-B964C1C2BA5C.png
     
  13. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Holic

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    Neodymium N52 magnet!

    Here's an example of how I did it on my Squier SSH bridge pickup (Fender's little brother really messed up the factory wiring on that one.)

    On the '64, I actually had the pickup out of the guitar and was able to pass it through two magnets.[​IMG]

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  14. Neener

    Neener Tele-Meister

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    So vintage pickups were out of phase in middle? Did the guitar explode?
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
  15. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Holic

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    Something does not look Fender about that pickup.... Fender doesn't use shielded wire (shielding wire weave around an insulated core wire), it uses two separate insulated wires, usually one black and one white or yellow.

    Looking at the bottom, the ground wire is on the left, which means looking from the top it's on the right... That would mean the wrap starts on the right and goes counter-clockwise.

    If the South Pole of a compass points at the top of that pickup then it is a typical Fender N/CCW configuration.

    If you replace them as a pair, I highly recommend BYO Guitar Vortex pickups.... RW/RP (neck - N/CCW; bridge S/CW) Alnico 3, cloth pushback wire, vulcanized fiber flatwork, AND the neck pickup comes with a separate ground for its cover to do 4 way switching to give you the addition of humbucking in series. They are a great price on top of all that.

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  16. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Holic

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    No, they were both the same polarity and direction... In phase but not noise cancelling.

    But vintage Fenders didn't have a "both" setting. The switch was 1. bridge with tone control, 2. neck with tone control, and 3. neck with a fixed dark muddy capacitor!

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  17. Neener

    Neener Tele-Meister

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    Interesting. It’s in a ‘93 Am Std. I have seen similar pickups with that wire sold on Reverb from same era...Pre-94
     
  18. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Holic

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    Fender American Standard Telecaster Neck Pickup 1993
    https://reverb.com/item/25974505-fender-american-standard-telecaster-neck-pickup-1993

    Two insulated wires, this is how it should look.


    Edited to add.... The rest of the pickup does look Fender though... the flatwork and the soldering, for example. It looks like somebody changed the wire which is real delicate work, actually.

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    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
  19. Neener

    Neener Tele-Meister

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  20. kbold

    kbold Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    If you are thinking of replacing a pickup, do your homework and check the polarity/winding of the pickup you intend to keep (and therefore what you need.

    There is no consistency wrt manufacturers.
     
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