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Remagnetize WRHB CuNiFe Polepieces

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by DrBoBo, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. DrBoBo

    DrBoBo TDPRI Member

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    My '72 Telecaster Thinline has been in the closet since 1989. I bought it new and played the crap out of this sucker daily from 1972 to 1989 when I had major surgery on both hands. After that it was too painful and difficult to play and sadly, I lost interest. Now that time has passed and most of my hand strength has returned I have started playing again and am restoring this guitar to playable condition. So far it has had a complete check, refret, a new nut and a professional setup by a luthier. The pots are scratchy, have dead spots and DeoxIT was no help, so I ordered new CTS 1M pots to replace the originals.

    The guitar sounds quite thin on some, but not all of the strings. The luthier said the pole pieces on the pickups seemed uneven and very weak, especially when switched to the middle position. He tested the resistance of the pups and got 10.7 Ohms on the rhythm PU and 10.9 Ohms on the bridge PU. Unfortunately, he does not work on pickups. I swapped one of the strong pole pieces with one of the weak ones and it fixed the problem. I also noticed that the pole pieces seem to have different polarities, i.e. some attract top to bottom and some top to top. I've read on this forum and others that the pole pieces can be remagnetized and I saw the magnets at Stew Mac. Problem is I don't know if they should all be remagnetized to the same polarity including the pole pieces which can only be accessed from underneath the pups, or is there a correct orientation based on the pickup and its position?.

    Can I get some help with this? I really, really don't want to let these things out of my possession. Thanks.

    DrBoBo
     
  2. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    If you're willing to remove the magnets from the pickup, we'll re-charge for you for free and send them back in a cardboard template that has them arranged the way they belong in the pickups.

    It's something we do for people with original WRHBs. Just trying to support the longevity of these awesome pickups.
     
  3. DrBoBo

    DrBoBo TDPRI Member

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    Telenator,

    What an extraordinary offer. While I am a little nervous about mailing these I kindly accept your offer. Please PM me with the details. Thank you!

    DrBoBo
     
  4. spankdplank

    spankdplank Tele-Afflicted

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    Just curious. I have a 75 Custom which I have had since 81 and still play it regularly. The WRH still sounds as good as ever. What would cause the CuNiFe in DrBoBo's guitar to demagnetize, especially if it was simply sitting in a case for years, and is this something that happens with CuNiFe--i.e., is it less stable or permanent than AlNiCo magnets? Thanks.
     
  5. DrBoBo

    DrBoBo TDPRI Member

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    I'll let the experts speak about the magnets, but I can tell you that my Tele was stored in a closet in the utility room of an apartment building I own. My son, who is an engineer, believes it could have been caused by it's proximity to the 50HP electric boiler recirculating pump; about 3 feet away.

    DrBoBo
     
  6. adjason

    adjason Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    telenator is a class act all the way!
     
  7. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    The CuNiFe magnets in the original pickups will sometimes not hold a charge as long as other magnetic materials. We recharge them with a commercial electric magnet charger and they're right back to where they should be.

    We've done this for several people and all have been very pleased with the results.

    Some magnetic materials hold a charge better than others.
     
  8. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

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    Go Bob!:D

    DrBOBO, trust in Bob. He'll do it right.
     
  9. 1cpw

    1cpw TDPRI Member

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    Any danger of them breaking, stripping on removal/ reinstall? Any tips? Penetrating fluid/oil before removal?
    Thx
     
  10. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    If the magnets have never been moved in a WRHB, they can be very stiff and require a little finese to remove them.

    Do not use any fluid on the magnets. It's very important to use a proper size, flat blade screwdriver that fits the slot snuggly.

    Most original WRHBs have very loose magnets that will even rattle a little at high volume.

    When we have our custom bobbins made for our repros, we use Delrin, a far more resiliant plastic, and we spec that the holes be tapped with a slight taper to them so our customers will enjoy a pickup that holds it's adjustment and magnet tension much better and longer than the originals.
     
  11. 1cpw

    1cpw TDPRI Member

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    Is there a way to check the strength of the magnets without removing them to see if re-mag is even necessary? Am I correct in assuming the half unscrew from above and the other half from below?
     
  12. Jason Lollar

    Jason Lollar Tele-Meister

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    sounds to me like someone took some of the magnets out and got them pout back in the wrong way which results in some strings being very weak. I have repaired probably 100 of the originals and find this is a very common occurance. Worth checking out
     
  13. DrBoBo

    DrBoBo TDPRI Member

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    In my case that could be true. The luthier that did my frets told me there was a problem with the pole pieces. He told me that several of them were also loose and swapped some of them around to see if he could isolate the problem. I used to adjust pickup height AND screw them up and down quite a bit searching for more balanced tone, but frankly it was the 70's and it always sounded just fine to me. :lol:

    My son, who's an EE, said it's _possible_ they were messed up by storing the instrument in a closet in the utility room of an apartment building in close proximity to an old, large electric boiler recirculating pump. Sounds plausible, but what do I know.

    How are these pole pieces oriented? My guess, since they are humbuckers, is that six across are N oriented and the other six are S.
     
  14. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    This is true, however, in a given coil 3 will have the slotted side polarized north while the other 3, (hidden under the cover) will have blunt side polarized north.

    When your magnets are returned to you they will be labeled as to exactly where they belong in the pickup. Get ready for some serious improvement!

    As for the magnets being loose, you might try a tiny piece of pipe dope on the threads to snug it up a bit. Pipe dope is a very thin plastic, non-adhesive tape used for sealing pipe threads. Be careful not to use too much. You won't even need a full a wrap around the magnet. If it feels like you're forcing the magnet, STOP! Remove some tape and try again. You don't want to ruin the bobbin.
     
  15. DrBoBo

    DrBoBo TDPRI Member

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    Thanks, Telenator. Being a landlord I am familiar with pipe dope. The luthier gave me some cheese wax which he recommends. Unlike parrafin or pure beeswax it is somewhat soft and sticky and does not crumble, but I will go with your recommendation.

    DrBoBo
     
  16. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Whatever works. The wax is a good idea too.
     
  17. DrBoBo

    DrBoBo TDPRI Member

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    I feel like a kid waiting for Chirstmas!

    DrBoBo
     
  18. limbe

    limbe Tele-Afflicted

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    I bought a used 77 Deluxe Tele with two Wide Range Humbuckers.Some of the strings were much weaker than the others.I borrowed a meter to measure the magnets strength.To my surprise,some of the magnets had wrong magnetic polarity.Obviously the former owner had taken them out and put them back the wrong way.
    When I had put all magnets back the right way,the pickups worked perfectly.Nowadays I use a small compass to check magnetic polarity.

    You write that the luthier swapped the magnets around.If he did that without checking the magnetic polarity of the pole pieces chances are that some of them have wrong polarity now.
     
  19. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    This is a common problem with WRHBs. People just can't leave things alone!:lol:

    I think it's part of the reason there are some people who have very negative things to say about them. Once you mess with it, the pickup just doesn't sound the same. We've had several examples come through our shop that, once straightened out, the owners couldn't believe how awesome the sound was.
     
  20. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    For those of you wondering if your pickups have the magnets installed properly, I whipped up this little chart that will hopefully help you sort yours out if needed.
    [​IMG]
     
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