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Vendors with most thorough and consistent potting?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by 11 Gauge, Nov 29, 2020.

  1. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm playing probably 60% dirty tones these days, really mostly with a Marshall Origin 20 head. I'm also mainly playing on the bridge pickup.

    I've got some cool Tele pickups by Bootstrap and Tonerider, but the bridge pickups are just way too microphonic.

    I think the only vendor's Tele pickups who've been the most consistently non-microphonic have been those made by DiMarzio. Some pickups I've had made by Fender or SD weren't microphonic, but others were (going by memory).

    I don't want to have to re-pot any of these pickups, and would prefer not having to specify to any vendors to thoroughly pot them.

    So, other than DiMarzio, does anyone know of vendors who thoroughly pot their pickups, as the default? And are they then consistently free of microphonics?
     
  2. Bootstrap

    Bootstrap Tele-Meister Vendor Member

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    More often than not, microphonics in T-bridges can be traced back to the bridge pickup baseplate, or the bridge plate of the guitar. Potting the bridge pickup baseplate can help this because wax gets between the baseplate and the bottom of the pickup, but the baseplate can often still vibrate, especially if the seal with the wax is broken. We've recently started using a cushion in addition to glue between the bridge pickup baseplate and the bottom of the pickup to prevent feedback on our higher output T-bridges. This seems to have helped quite a bit. Please feel welcome to exchange your bridge pickup with a new one at no charge if you're having trouble with feedback/microphonics.

    Another thing that can help really any type of T-bridge pickup microphonics is to fill the pickup cavity with an open-cell polyurethane foam so that it presses up against the bottom of the pickup somewhat firmly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
  3. Blues Twanger

    Blues Twanger Tele-Holic

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    Potting can also be performed at home quite easily if you suspect your pickup is inadequate.
     
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  4. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    You might have missed that I said:

    To reiterate, I'd rather just go with a vendor who consistently and thoroughly pots their pickups, as the default. So far, IME, DiMarzio does exactly that, but they don't offer something like the Tonerider Hot Classic bridge pickup, which is possibly my favorite Tele bridge pickup. Unfortunately, mine is microphonic. I had Bootstrap custom wind me a pickup to similar specs, but it's also microphonic.

    ...I got the BYOC equivalent of the Hot Classic bridge pickup - the Vortex. It's absolutely free of microphonics, but has a cheesy looking (IMO) bobbin. I'm also wondering if it was a fluke that I got one that just happens to be thoroughly potted.

    I'm also interested in the Tonerider Alnico II Blues set, and BYOC doesn't offer an equivalent.
     
  5. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    Harmonic Design Pickups, Bakersfield CA:

    https://www.harmonicdesign.net/allpages/custom_shop.html

    "High Pressure Wax Potting

    This is the same process we use on all our pickups (at no extra charge, of course).

    We'll do yours, too. It’s icky work but we’ve got the machine going already, so what the hell. If your pickups are squealing like a pig, send 'em in and we'll dunk 'em for you. It’s the only sure cure.

    High-pressure wax potting is $10 per pickup.
    "

    https://www.harmonicdesign.net/faqsfolder/faq13.html

    "Q: What's up with this "high pressure potting" of yours?

    A: A pickup can soak for days after it's stopped bubbling, and then the second it's in a vacuum chamber, it will erupt in a sea of air bubbles,foaming the wax like cheap champagne...and all that air is coming from someplace, places inside the coil that were not waxed.

    NO amount of soaking in hot wax can do more than penetrate merely the innermost, and outer layers of the coil. That's enough for most manufacturers and most pickups, most of the time.
    And, most often when an old pickup squeals, re-waxing it will re-melt
    and solidfy things enough to stop the problem. -usually.

    But, the ONLY way to fully 'Pot' any guitar pickup, is with a vacuum/pressure system (like we use). It's too expensive and time consuming for big manufacturers and usually not necessary, unless it's YOUR pickup that starts squealin'

    The proof is to cut apart the coil, and then one can plainly see that coils soaked in wax, even for 2-3 DAYS, are still mostly un-waxed, while a vacuum/pressure potted coil will saw apart like one solid piece of copper."
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2020
  6. Blues Twanger

    Blues Twanger Tele-Holic

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    Yes, but all it really takes is a stovetop and a couple hours of time. If I had a pickup I liked and it needed potting I'd pot it instead of hoping to find something similar and hoping it's also potted well.
     
  7. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    Harmonic Design let their pickups reside in there for 2-3 days. Hence consistent and they'll never squeal again, or even if they didn't squeal ever from the start on.
     
  8. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    I've never ever heard of any Harmonic Design pickup that went microphonic. However, they got 3 variants of Tele bridge pickups, and 3 neck pickups for Tele. Not that much to chose from...compared to DiMarzio and SD.
     
  9. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    PRS vacuum wax pots the Tremonti and H-something signature guitar pickups, all the others are dipped.

    .
     
  10. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I had a couple of their Super 90s, years ago. For hard rock stuff, they work well, but I couldn't really get much of a traditional Tele bridge pickup sound from them.

    I never tried their 50's Broadcaster, that I can remember. And I still have some of their Vintage Plus Strat pickups, but I've never had many problems with a microphonic Strat bridge pickup.

    Anyway, I don't recall any of the Harmonic Design pickups that I had were ever microphonic.
     
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