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Tony Raven
#1 Posted : Tuesday, August 05, 2014 5:56:02 PM(UTC)
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Okay, NUMBER ONE --

I've been spotting more than a few "super-Strat" h-s-s guitars that I really like... except I'd like 'em better if I could get a true s-s-s. Every guitar I've tried, a"coil tap" obviously just takes out one coil -- even to my not-too-fussy ears, this always sounds like a blown pickup, NOT a single-coil.

Is it feasible to assemble an hb that's got Alnico slugs in one coil, & use this to "power" the other (either air- or steel-slug)?

#1A -- it's possible I'm the only player whacky enough to occasionally LIKE the sound of a ceramic. Could an hb config be two independent coils, one Alnico slugged & one with ceramic bar? This came to me as a way to spice up the OLP StingRay bass which, far as I can tell, is just out-of-phase twin Alnico coils with a pot on each lead.
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Tony Raven
#2 Posted : Tuesday, August 05, 2014 10:59:42 PM(UTC)
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Loving it! If I could get my "THANK" button to work...

The whole coil-tap thing has always struck me as a kludge. In a Stratoclone, if the hb is a near-match to the singles' output, then one coil alone would have to be much quieter, right? An actual solution seemed to be going h-x-s to a five-position, with the coils semi-independent, though convincing players that this is a good idea might be a slog. (Seems like the only time I use pickup #2 on a Strat is in the 2 or 4 switch position.)

A concern that popped into my wee head is that, with six Alnico slugs AND a bar, it might be a bit gauss-heavy & limit high-highs & sustain. That's why I was thinking that maybe letting the F-type single carry the burden would minimize this. The pull isn't half so critical for bass, where we tend to trim the high-highs anyway.

Lots to think about...
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Axeman69
#3 Posted : Wednesday, August 06, 2014 7:53:12 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Tony Raven Go to Quoted Post
Loving it! If I could get my "THANK"


I thanked him FOR you and me! Wink
Tony Raven
#4 Posted : Saturday, August 09, 2014 3:17:06 PM(UTC)
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Okay, to renew an old discussion, QUESTION #2 --

How difficult would it be to turn pickup #2 on a Strat into a hum-killer coil?

Ritchie Blackmore has for years had his middle pickup cut out of the circuit, which is preserved on the Fender signature model. But I remember how Alembic was seen as radical for making instruments that had a small reverse-wound coil to cancel mains hum.

In the past couple of years, after a fling with h-s-s, I've gravitated back to single-coil joy, but I noticed how I really don't use the middle pickup much on its own & mostly with switch positions 2 & 4, to kill hum. So, I figure maybe I can getthe best of all worlds: the snap of the bridge & neck pickups, no noise, & no need for fancy-schmancy pickups. A three-position Tele switch, & I'd be ready to rock.

Apparently, the easiest way to "passivate" a Fender-type pickup is just to press out the Alnico slugs. Is this so?

Alternately, I've got a few spare singles that're steel-slugged & have a magnet chunk on the bottom. Would it be okay to just remove the magnet & leave the slugs?

(Before you ask: yeah, easy enough to experiment with, but then how would we all learn anything?)
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Tony Raven
#5 Posted : Sunday, August 10, 2014 3:58:43 AM(UTC)
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Yeah, Blackmore just cuts the poor thing completely out. Kinda sad, like an ugly puppy.


I heard of a design that uses an underwound passivated single (hidden in the body). Course, now that I think of it... at center setting the two pickups should be out-of-phase series to buck hum, with the passive out of circuit. Not too tough with the "super switches" now on the market.

Oh, heck, I gotta go to bed.
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Axeman69
#6 Posted : Sunday, August 10, 2014 6:53:58 AM(UTC)
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I think knock the slugs out of the middle pick-up. This will pull it out of the circuit but still hum cancel.

That guitar nutter Scott Grove, on Youtube, showed how to turn humbuckers into single coil sounding pick-ups by removing the screws from the screw coil, effectively taking that coils output out of the circuit but still providing the hum cancelling function of the opposite wind!
Warped
#7 Posted : Friday, August 15, 2014 9:49:48 PM(UTC)
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Tony, you're not crazy enough to like ceramic pickups. I actually prefer them. I really like the Gibson 500T. I just bought a Squier bullet HS Telecaster and I believe it to be a ceramic humbucker in the bridge. I really dig it. I was fully expecting to replace it but for now I think I'll keep it.
AGFers Unite
Tony Raven
#8 Posted : Friday, November 14, 2014 12:40:48 AM(UTC)
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Weird stuff that wakesme up in the middle of the night...

QUESTION #3 -- I had a flashback to wrapping up a long extension cord around a winder, something like this:

No matter how tight you pull the cable, though, it quickly starts to belly out after a few turns. Soon enough, you end up with something that resembles an over-stuffed joint (yes, once upon a time I indulged) which we sometimes called a pregnant guppy -- as it turns out, the term was used elsewhere too:


Anyway, if you put too much cable on one of these winders, the belly gets so big & floppy that a minor shift results in the whole mess falling off, sorta defeating the purpose of using a winder in the first place.

At the time, I thought "Why doesn't someone make a winder that's got a slightly oval core?" For that little bit of extra plastic, I'd be able to put more cable on because the tension would be more overall even & the bellying -- though not eliminated -- would ramp up less rapidly.

And so it occurs to me: wouldn't a bobbin with a slightly oval core greatly reduce the need for wax potting by reducing the floppiness of the wire? Without the copper dancing so freely, microphoning should be greatly reduced without the tone-darkening of wax.
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Axeman69
#9 Posted : Friday, November 14, 2014 3:44:24 AM(UTC)
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GOOD question!

I'm sure Terry and John will pipe in soon.

Your suggestions make sense! ThumpUp
Tony Raven
#10 Posted : Saturday, November 15, 2014 1:31:30 PM(UTC)
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Many years ago, I used to have a basic coil winder, just because it looked cool. You know, from the big days of ham radio, an arm with an eyelet that slowly paid the wire back & forth across the bobbin. Anyway, I've dissected a few radio coils in my day, & was facinated at how overbuilt some were, with like 40ga black enamel wire, dozens if not a hundreds layers, & a layer of thin waxed paper between each copper layer.

The problem for pickup coils, of course, is that the Big Thing is random-winding, rather than radio-coil precision.

QUESTION 3.A -- I vaguely recall someone saying that the trick with wax potting is to first (of course) soak the coils well, tapping frequently to get rid of as many air bubbles (resonant little tone-suckers!) as possible, but THEN to drain out as much wax as possible, so most of it stays between conductors rather than soaking up the vibrations you kinda WANT.

Your impression as well, Terry (& whoever else wants to chime in)?
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