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1973 Strat Pickups? 7/17/10...
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74 Strat



Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 5639

PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:45 pm    Post subject: 1973 Strat Pickups? 7/17/10... Reply with quote

I just got a loaded 1973 pickguard. The pickups, 3 way, potts and cap are from the same guitar and date from '73, but I am not sure about the pickguard itself.

The guard is old and has a few of the typical stress cracks. There is one across the middle pickup from the screw to the edge of the guard as well as the horn tip is broke. The thing that makes me unsure is that the screw holes are beveled (counter sunk?). The edge is rough as is the notch for the trussrod access (Definitely not something with a bullet trussrod). I am thinking 60's, but it is not Nitrate nor green. Looks cream maybe from age, but the bottom is white.

The pickups read 4.25 in the neck (seems a little weak) 6.5 in the middle and 5.40 in the bridge. What can I do to get the neck hotter without rewinding? Can I have the magnets charged? A guy who built me a custom set said he could rewind and charge the magnets for $20 each. Obviously the 2 other than the neck are OK, but I am not really wanting to rewind. I would like to keep it original.

Any thoughts? Thanks...Dean


Looks like this to me.

http://cgi.ebay.com/1965-fender-stratocaster-pickguard-original-/390151439068?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Guitar_Accessories&hash=item5ad6d682dc


Last edited by 74 Strat on Sat Jul 17, 2010 4:06 pm; edited 3 times in total
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sonicblue



Joined: 15 Mar 2007
Posts: 935
Location: CT

PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, you can't make the pickup hotter without rewinding. At 4.25K it must be super bright. That's way under spec, possibly some issue with the coil and should be rewound any way if you want a usable tone.

I'd swap the middle and bridge as they will balance out much better. The 6.5K should give you some more useful tones in the bridge position than the lower output pickups.

Better yet, put the 6.5K in the bridge, the 5.4K in the neck, and have the 4K pickup rewound to about 6K and stick it in the middle. (You could even have it rewound as RWRP for hum cancelling). That will really give you a balanced set.

As for the pickguard, could be late 60's or just a reissue. Can't tell without pics.
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74 Strat



Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 5639

PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I'll take a photo at some point. Looks like the back of the guard has foil tape that is not original because of how crumpled up it is.

As far as the pickups, I will have to have to think about it. I never use the bridge and may end up just putting the 4k in the bridge for now. The guy who would do the rewind has the correct wire, which makes me glad. I have seen the correct type with a slight different color. I would want it to be exact...Dean[/code]
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Structo



Joined: 21 Nov 2004
Posts: 26415
Location: Salem, OR

PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's very weak for a bridge pickup.
Not sure when Fender started winding bridges hotter but it should read more than a neck pickup.
So you probably have a shorted winding in there that is not reading properly.

Sonicblue is right, the 4K in the bridge is going to sound very bright, not exactly what you want for a strat bridge pickup.
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Home Grown Tele



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 5603
Location: The Queens ;-)

PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I were you I'd get that pickguard in a guitar and try it before you do anything with it.

For the record, Roy Buchanan's pickups in "Nancy" were both extremely low (sub 5k). Sometimes even pickups like that can create a unique tone that would be ruined if you have them mucked with.

I've got a set of Don Mare's 2324's in one of my Tele's that are wound to "Nancy's" specs and believe me they don't suffer from being that low a resistance. DC resistance for measuring what a pickup will sound like is not always the best way to judge them.
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I freeze all the electronic parts of my guitars. It gives them a piquant, morsellated quality, with none of the unctuousness of more garrigue components.
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sonicblue



Joined: 15 Mar 2007
Posts: 935
Location: CT

PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Home Grown Tele wrote:

For the record, Roy Buchanan's pickups in "Nancy" were both extremely low (sub 5k).


I suspect those may have been (accidentally?) wound with a heavier wire than the standard AWG 42 (43 for neck). Hence the "unique" reputation. With a heavier wire the resistance will be lower than an equivalent wind with the normal, thinner wire. Any way Roy and "Nancy" are definitely outside the norm.

Tele and Strat pickups are really apples and oranges even though they look similar. Totally different design and bridge assembly. You can get away with a lower wind on a Tele lead and it'll seem more "spanky". But try that with a Strat lead at 4.5K and it'll be weak and brittle and probably not very pleasant unless you're into that sort of thing.
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74 Strat



Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 5639

PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I put the loaded guard on my Strat. I have posted in the past that I bought a loaded 77 Pickguard as my Pickups that came with the guitar were Texas Specials and the potts were not working right (original 74). I kept the 77 guard as it sounded great and all of the solder joints were original.

I have been trying to get a 74 or earlier loaded guard but they are going for way too much.

Tom, glad to see that you are better. I measured the pickups again and the bridge is just under 6k. The middle pickups and bridge sound great, the way a vintage Strat should sound. The neck is loud but way too much bass, not real bright at all. Is it possible that the tone pot isn't right? It works and is not noisy but no treble at all.

Here is the dilemma, I am not sure about having it rewound, I like it being original. I use the neck pickup mostly but occasionally I will use the middle. I never use the bridge, but this one sounds excellent. I am wondering if I should just move the bridge to the neck position? Now the solder joints to the 3 way are original. What to do?


I have been sunning my 70s reissue and it is now beat up and has my 77 electronics in it. I may have to post a pic as it is Olympic White (yellowed) with a mint guard and rosewood neck which is my favorite color scheme...Dean
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sonicblue



Joined: 15 Mar 2007
Posts: 935
Location: CT

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

74 Strat wrote:
The neck is loud but way too much bass, not real bright at all. Is it possible that the tone pot isn't right? It works and is not noisy but no treble at all.



What effect does the tone pot have when you turn it? Lower the pickup down as far as possible and see if the tone clears up. Also, test the magnets to see how much pull they have, and compare with the good pickups.

Since you say the bridge sounds good maybe you could switch it with the neck (remember to flip the 3-way around) without having to re-solder anything.
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74 Strat



Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 5639

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will try lowering it. Right now it goes from bass to more bass when I turn the pot.

Now if I rotate the 3 way I will still have to rewire the pots or the tone will control the bridge pickup. As far as the magnets go it seems to be very strong...Dean


A few new developments:

I raised and lowered the pickup and the only difference is that I am getting more volume when it is raised. Doesn't change the sound at all just the volume. I noticed tonight that the tone pots were not doing anything at all. I pulled the pickguard and didn't see anything wrong. However I noticed that if I turned the volume pot the tone pots would work. only for a few minutes then it would do it again. The middle and bridge pickups are real strong and real bright. The neck sounds very bassy and the tone hardly does anything. Could it be a bad cap? What about the potts? I may break the solder joints and try the neck hooked up to the pot for the middle pickup.

Any thoughts?....Dean
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74 Strat



Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 5639

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy
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sonicblue



Joined: 15 Mar 2007
Posts: 935
Location: CT

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well then your next action should be to clean and lubricate the pots and see if that jump starts them again.
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tangelolemon



Joined: 26 Jan 2009
Posts: 2691
Location: Brooklyn, NY

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds like you might have a weak ground somewhere. Look for cold or cracked solder joints.
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74 Strat



Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 5639

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, well looks like I have a little more work to do tomorrow. I clean the pots, but they are not noisy at all.

On a side note. I put the 77 electronics in my 70's RI and I can't believe how bright and loud the guitar is. Maybe the wood and rosewood neck?

Thanks...Dean
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sonicblue



Joined: 15 Mar 2007
Posts: 935
Location: CT

PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'77... I think they were using 1M pots at the time. Yeah, that'll be bright. Laughing
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74 Strat



Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 5639

PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sonicblue wrote:
'77... I think they were using 1M pots at the time. Yeah, that'll be bright. Laughing



I had the 77s in my 74 Strat for at least 4 years now. They just seem a lot brighter in the 70s reissue guitar. Just trying find out why the sound brighter from one guitar to the next? Now, the humidity is low today so I am going to spray a coat of clear on my son's Ibanez and then I am going to mess with the Strat...Dean


***UPDATE***

Ok, I did it. I swapped the neck pickup with the middle pickup. I had to add a little wire as the middle wasn't long enough to go into the neck position. It sounds a lot better. At some point I will have it rewound.

Last year I had a guy make me a set of 70's clones, They looked real good, but I never put them in my guitar. I was ready to drop them in and realized that all of the solder joints were untouched. I sold them to a kid for the same price I got them for. I put them in his guitar and they sounded real good. He has the correct plain enamel wire. For $20 he will rewind it and use the correct wire and age it to boot. Really wasn't looking to do it, but oh well.

Once I move to ong Island I will strip the finish on my 7's reissue neck and put a correct logo (The reissues are not correct) and d the headstock in amber Nitro like my 74. I can get them with a serial number from 77 on them...Dean
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