25. The volume control on my vintage 56 Stratocaster is bad and I can't find another potentiometer to use. How can I keep it original?
The easiest thing to do is exchange volume control with one of the two tone control in the same harness. I seldom use the tone control that is in good condition. It may be a little dirty but can be cleaned with a quality cleaner made especially for volume controls. I would ask a electronic supply house for the best chemical to clean the volume controls. You can visit a television and radio repair shop and they can help you. If you want to keep the original solder joints
the following can be of help. I have removed the "can" from the bottom of the potentiometers and taken out the carbon wafer and exchanged it with the needed potentiometer. Try experimenting with some old pots and see what they look like inside. Some are easily removable and other may be more difficult.
26. My Fender Telecaster Deluxe has a humbucker with threaded pole pieces. What Kind of magnets are they?
Magnets that can be machined and threaded are called Cunico (copper-nickel-colbalt) and Cunife (copper-nickel-iron). The magnet material is very ductile (meaning it can easily be drawn thin or round). The slotted end can easily be magnetized north or south polarity. If you take the adjustable magnetic pole pieces out of the pickup, make sure you make notes where each magnet goes. The best magnetic properties for Cunife are obtained in a round wire form which has been "cold reduced" and elongated in one direction. The Cunife compares favorably in magnetic properties with cast Alnico 3.
27. I would like to experiment with making pickups, where can I find various size magnets?
A good place to go look for suppliers is the reference department in your library. Ask for a book called Thomas Register and look magnet suppliers. Another good company that has a large assortment of magnets is Edmond Scientific and a company called Magnet Sales & Manufacturing, 11250 Playa Ct., Culver City, California 90230. I like getting catalogs and info to help find different sources for experimenting. There are many types of magnets available some can be
quite expensive. Maybe you can find some broken pickups in your local music store to experiment with. If you have a good working pickup, leave it alone. It may not be worth anything now but in later years it could be quite collectible.
28. When I do "dive bombs" with my vibrato arm, I find my strings attach to the pickups, why does this happen?
I often find musicians confused by the term tremolo and vibrato. Vibrato is the rapid slight alteration of pitch and tremolo is the rapid repitition of a single note. String pull usually happens when the pickup has a strong magnetic field. As the vibrato arm is moved in such a way to loosen the strings, the magnetic field is actually pulling on the string that is made up of ferrous material (reacts to magnetic fields). The plain and inner core of wound strings are made from spring steel with is attracted to magnetic fields. Magnets are used in pickups to magnetize the string. When the string is plucked, it generates an alternating
current which is then amplified many times. Some vibratos can loosen the strings beyond any tension. When they are in that position, the strings will naturally be attracted to the pickups. This will cause all kinds of pops, clunks and harmonic overtones. If used and controlled, it can produce some pretty amazing sounds.
29. I want to change the pickups in my old pickguard, what would you suggest?
No matter what old pickups you have and if you don't like the sound, always try and keep the pickup original. I would try find a source to get another pickup that may be broken but could be wound to the sound you are looking for. A good pickup builder usually has supplies to make various types of custom pickups. Every year there are more and more vintage guitar & bass pickups that become destroyed. Several years ago a young player was given a 58 Stratocaster from his father. He came me and wanted to put humbuckers in it. I told him it was a bad mistake and try to get another inexpensive guitar to modify. He said he would look into it. Several months went by and I saw him at a local club. To my amazement he had chisled the body out with a screwdriver and hammer (beyond the pickguard) and put in three humbuckers! I couldn't believe it and he said "nobody wanted to do it", so he did it himself! If you want to change your pickups, please buy a new pickguard and keep the original in a safe place. You may decide to go back to it someday. And if you decide to sell it, keeping the original parts will make the buyer quite happy, and bring you top dollar.
30. What are some of the screws used on popular guitars and pickups?
A variety of different screws can be used in guitar pickups. Screws used for pole pieces should be made of a carbon steel that will conduct the magnetic field to the strings. The majority of screws used in guitars are made out of steel and plated to eliminate oxidation. Here are a few pickup and hardware specs that can come in handy when trying to find a replacement screw. I use a screw thread checker by Ruelle Brothers Company. Starrett Company has a good assortment of thread gauges. Contact a good machine shop supplier and they can help you.
|Gibson Traditional Humbucker||5/40 MS||fillister/slotted||3/4 inch|
|Gibson height adjustment||3/48 MS||round head/slotted*||1 1/4 inch|
|Gibson Mini Humbucker||5/40 MS||headless/slotted||3/4 inch|
|Gibson Mini-height adjust||3/48 MS||round head /phillips||1 1/4 inch|
|Stratocaster-height adjust (vin)||6/32 MS||oval head/phillips**||7/16 inch|
|Stratocaster-height adjust (new)||6/32 MS||round head/phillips||5/8 inch|
|Stratocaster-string intonation round
||4/40 MS||head/phillips||5/8 inch|
|Stratocaster-string height adj.||4/40 MS||hex socket||5/16- 3/8 inch|
|Stratocaster-tremolo (6 used)||# 6 WS||round head/phillips||1 1/4 inch|
|Broadcaster-height adj.to 1953||6/32 MS||round head/slotted||1/2 inch|
|Telecaster-height adj. 1953 on||6/32 MS||round head/phillips||1/2 inch|
|Telecaster-neck P.U height adj.||# 3 WS||round head/phillips ***||1 inch|
|Telecaster-intonation (bridge)||6/32 MS||fillister head/slotted||1 1/2 inch|
|Telecaster-bridge height adj.||6/32 MS||headless/slotted||3/8- 1/2 inch|
|Telecaster-bridge plate||# 6 WS||oval head/phillips **||7/8 inch|
|Jazz Bass/Precision Bass||# 4 WS||round head/phillips||1 1/4 inch|
|Jaguar-height adj.||# 4 WS||oval head/phillips||1 1/4 inch|
|Misc. Common Screws|
|Telecaster Knob screw||8/32 MS||headless/slotted||3/16 inch|
|Telecaster lever switch screw||6/32 MS||round head/slotted/pan||3/8 inch|
|Fender pickguard screw||# 4 WS||oval head/phillip/slotted||3/8- 7/16 inch|
|Stratocaster tremolo block||8/32 MS||flat head/phillips||1/4 inch|
|Stratocaster tremolo arm||10/32 MS||threaded tremolo block|
|Fender Amp mounting screw||8/32 MS||oval head/phillips||3 inches|
|Fender Neck Screw||# 8 WS||oval head/phillip **||1 7/8 inch|
|Fender Strap Button screw||# 6 WS||oval head/phillips **||7/8 inch|
|Fender Tuning Key screw||# 3 WS||round head/phillips **||3/8 inch|
|Gibson Mounting ring screw||# 2 WS||flat head/phillips||7/16- 5/8 inch|
|Gibson Back Plate screw||# 3 WS||oval head/phillips||5/16 inch|
|Gibson P-90 pole piece||5/40 MS||fillister head/slotted||3/4 inch|
MS: machine screw
WS: wood screw
* Phillip head screws were also used
**First productions used oval head slotted
*** Early production used round head
All the measurments I took were from actual guitar screws. The diameter and thread were pretty standard but I have seen the length change.
On a 6/32 screw the 6 is the screw diameter and the 32 is threads per inch. The distance from thread to thread in a screw is called the pitch. A screw is an inclined plane that spirals around a pole. The larger the pitch the faster the screw will travel in or adjust something.
31. Why do the magnets in my pickup rust?
A typical Alnico magnet used in the majority of guitar pickups consists of several different alloys. Aluminum, Nickel, Cobalt, Copper, Silicon, Titanium and Iron. With the presence of Iron, a magnet can rust due to moisture in a case, high humidity in the air and most likely the sweat coming from your hands. Moisture contacts the pole piece and can cause it to rust. Most companies do not plate the Alnico pole pieces in their pickups. Fender plates their Cunife magnet pole piece used in their guitar and bass humbuckers. Gibson plated the magnets on their rectangular adjustable Alnico Pickups, used on the 56 (neck position) Les Paul Custom . Nickel, Gold or Chrome plating helps reduce the oxidation (rust) unless the plating is worn off from extensive playing. Rusting of the poles is why many Vintage Pickups stop working. The rust continues into the bobbin where the coil is wound, breaks down the insulation until the copper magnet wire becomes exposed and shorts out then there's no reading in the coil To help prevent this in single coils it is best to keep your instrument's case dry especially in hot humid areas. Try to keep your guitar in cool areas (not in hot car trunks) so the case doesn't sweat. It's amazing how much moisture your case can absorb. Wipe down the strings and pickups after playing with a dry cloth. I've put my guitar case in a room with a dehumidifier to take the mosture out. Always keep your case closed when rehearsing. There are special potting processes that can help keep your pickup working longer. If you have specific questions you can write me. I'd be glad to help.
32. I have a Fender Jaguar guitar and the pickups sound real bright what can I do?
A friend of mine had the same problem and the first thing I did was to remove the metal claw that's around each pickup. When I removed it you could really hear the difference. The pickups are wound hotter than the traditional Stratocaster so you can get a pretty neat sound out of them. The metal claw keeps the magnetic field close within the coil giving a stronger magnetic field and making the pickup sound brighter. I also changed the bridge rollers with a set from a Fender Mustang guitar. The Mustang rollers are solid and non adjustable. The radius of the Mustang bridge is made from different diameter rollers. Stock Jaguar's use a threaded saddle, each being adjustable. They always flop around and the saddle height would always drop. I've used candle wax to help reduce the vibration on the stock Jaguar bridge but still found the stock Mustang bridge to be the best. The Jaguar has a 24" scale as compared to the Stratocaster, Telecaster and Jazzmaster which has a 25 1/2". If you change your parts always keep the old ones.
33. I have a broken pickup and I'd like to find out if it was hand wound or automatically wound by a coil machine?
The easiest way is to start unwrapping the pickup turn by turn and counting the number of turns per layer. I would go down a layer or two before you seriously start counting each turn per layer. As you unwrap you will soon begin to see a pattern of how the wire was put on. To start lets say the bottom edge of the bobbin is where the eyelet would be in a Fender style pickup. The top edge is the closest part of the bobbin that is nearest the strings. On humbucking pickups the bottom is where the mounting screws are fastened to the bottom of the bobbin. The top is again the area nearest the strings. Pickups are usually put on the winding machine with the top of the bobbin Facing Left or Facing Right. The coil can be rotated either Top Coming or Top Going As you unwrap the coil make notes on the relationship between the layers and number of turns per layer. As you count the number of turns per layer and each layer has the same average number of turns, you can be pretty much assured the bobbin was automatically machine wound. When unwinding you see that one layer has 46 turns and the next has 58 and so on, you can usually assume that it was scatter wound or hand wound. I like hand winding better because you can control the tension as you like it. With automatic coil machine winding you can't tell or feel the amount of tension that is on a paticular pickup. You can use magnet wire tension gauges but they can be quite expensive. I keep books of information and it helps for future research.
34. I made a custom guitar using three different kinds of pickups. I have a humbucker in the bridge, an old Fender Strat pickup in the middle and a Gibson P-90 in the neck. When I use a five way switch the 2 & 4 positions are out of phase and sound real thin. How can I make them in phase?
You are electrically out of phase, not magnetically but you can reverse the magnets in the neck and bridge pickups to correct this. The Stratocaster pickup
is wound (top left/ top going) and the humbucker and P-90 coils are wound (top left/ top coming). The P-90 and Humbucker are out of phase with the Stratocaster. You could reverse the lead wires in the Stratocaster but this would make the magnets hot and would buzz if you touch them. Starting with the P-90 you have to loosen the bottom plate and carefully slide the (two) bar magnets out one at a time and flip them each over (180 degrees). Slide them back in and tighten the bottom plate. This will now make the pole piece polarity (North). This will be opposite of the (South) polarity of the Stratocaster. Loosen the four (4) small screws on the bottom of the Humbucker and carefully loosen the bottom plate. The six (6) adjustable pole pieces might have to be unscrewed to help release the pressure on the bar magnet inside the pickup assembly. Slide the magnet out (away from the hookup wires) and flip over (180 degrees). Replace the magnet to it's previous position and tighten in place. Now everything will be in phase. Note: Do one pickup and magnet at a time. Keep notes and good luck.
35. Where can I find brass and steel rod to make replacement bridges for my guitar and bass?
A great catalog to order raw material and tools is McMaster-Carr Supply Co. P.O. Box 54960 Los Angeles, Calif. 90054-0960. They have the best catalog I have seen and are very helpful in finding supplies. If you're trying to make brass bridges for your Telecaster I would suggest using a "Free Cutting Brass". It's great for drilling and tapping. For making the vintage type rollers use a 5/16 inch rod. For the steel 1/4-inch rollers use the 1010 cold drawn steel. For Jazz and Precision Bass you can use 5/16 inch 1010 cold drawn too. 36. I have a 1958 Fender Stringmaster Steel Guitar with two pickups per neck that look like Fender Mustang pickups. What are they and how are they hooked up? Stringmaster Steel Guitars were made with either 6 or 8 strings. The instrument had pickups similar to old Duo-sonic and Musicmaster Guitars. They had Alnico rod magnets cut to .625" and diameter of .192" in the early models down to .187" in the later ones. The pickups were flat on top and the ground end of the magnets extending out the bottom slightly. (Note) The two coils were mirror images of each other. One pickup was TG-N (top going-north polarity) and the other coil was TC-S (top coming-south polarity). One unique item was the control under the bridge plate cover. When rotated, it would blend the two pickups together making it humbucking and when rotated in the opposite direction it would ground one coil out and make it like a single coil pickup. It would sound thinner and also have hum.
36. I have a 1958 Fender Stringmaster Steel Guitar with two pickups per neck that look like Fender Mustang pickups. What are they and how are they hooked up?
Stringmaster Steel Guitars were made with either 6 or 8 strings. The instrument had pickups similar to old Duo-sonic and Musicmaster Guitars. They had Alnico rod magnets cut to .625" and diameter of .192" in the early models down to .187" in the later ones. The pickups were flat on top and the ground end of the magnets extending out the bottom slightly. (Note) The two coils were mirror images of each other. One pickup was TG-N (top going-north polarity) and the other coil was TC-S (top coming-south polarity). One unique item was the control under the bridge plate cover. When rotated, it would blend the two pickups together making it humbucking and when rotated in the opposite direction it would ground one coil out and make it like a single coil pickup. It would sound thinner and also have hum.
37. What are the Source Code and Date Code?
Determining the age of various guitars and pickup models can be difficult; knowing the approximate age of the instrument can determine the specifications on pickups made during that time frame. I have used this for years in determining the type of pickup in a certain year of production. When at all possible use the dating system used on the actual body or neck of the instruments. There are many good books with photos that help you know where to look and also the serial number is another important factor. Pickups in an old Telecaster or Stratocaster can vary from year to year. For instance in 1953 the poles in the Telecaster are all flush with the surface of the bobbin and in 1955 the pole pieces can be raised. If a customer gives me the numbers on the potentiometers and they are original, it usually gives me a close age of the instrument. You must remember, if the code on the pot date is 1956, it doesn't mean the instrument was made at that time. When builders order components such as pots and capacitors, they may order thousands and only use hundreds over period of time. Again it is best to become familiar with all specifications of that particular instrument. A good source book for dating and specs is VINTAGE GUITARS by George Gruhn.
The Source Code and Date Code are under the framework of the Electronic Industries Association which is a non-profit organization representing manufacturers of electronic products. The EIA Source Code is a numeric symbol, assigned and registered by EIA Headquarters, which may be stamped or marked on any or all products to identify the production source or vender assuming product responsibility.
I spent time talking to Eyvette Bottoms who works in the Engineering and Publication department for the EIA. Eyvette informed me that it has been published annually since 1924. After 20 years if a Source Code number is not used by a company or if the company goes out of business it can be assigned to a new manufacturer. The EIA has developed and issued Standard EIA-476-A on Source and Date Code Marking. The Standard outlines requirements for source and date code marking on component manufacturer identification numbers and their sequence on the component to be marked, along with the lot date code.
The EIA Engineering Department operates in a comprehensive standarization program as evidenced by over 1,000 standards and publications currently available through the EIA. Anyone interested in joining can contact the:
ELECTRONICS INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION
2001 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20006
38. How does the Date Code work?
This is information from the Engineering and Publications department. In addition to a source code, it may be desired to identify the date of production. This can be done by adding, following a hyphen (-), the last two digits of the production year plus the number of the week of that year. Here is hypothetical example of the application of the EIA date code to the source code as follows: A company is assigned the source code symbol 134 (which is for the potentiometer manufacturer CentraLab). Then two more numeral digits are added for the year such as 63 and another two are added for the week of production. All combined the number would be 134-6320. Again the 134 represents CentraLab for the potentiometer manufacturer, the 63 stands for the year 1963 and the 20 represents the 20th week of production. If a component manufacturer is unable to use the four (4) digit code date, an alternate three-digit (3) code may be used by taking only the last digit of the year. Then 134-6320 would become 134-320 and the specifications of the instrument should be used for determining the approximate year or decade the particular instrument was build.
Here is a brief listing of the manufacturers Source Code numbers:
34 - Cornell-Dubilier Electronics (made capacitors used on early Fender Guitars and are the ones that were paper and wax coated. They now make polyester film capacitors)
106 - Allen-Bradley Corp. (Make potentiometers and from El Paso, Texas)
117- Credence Speakers, Inc (Kevil, Kentucky)
124- Alpha Wire Corp. (Makes various hookup wire and cable. You can find old spools of wire and see codes and dates on the reels)
134- Mepco/CentraLab, Inc. (Made many of the early musical instrument and amplifier potentiometers. Now a division of N.A. Philips Corp.)
137- CTS Corporation (made amplifier and instrument potentiometers and are based in Elkhart, Indiana)
140- Clarostat Mfg. Co. (made pots for early Fenders and had code stamped in blue ink)
145- Illinoise Capacitor, Inc. (various capacitors and from Lincolnwood, ILL.)
213- Dearborn Wire & Cable Co. (Now owns Lenz Wire and is renamed Dearborn and makes all types of instrument wire and cable)
220- Jensen Speaker Co. (made the sought after Alnico Magnet speakers in the early Fender and various other amplifier companies)
230- Littelfuse, Inc. (made fuses that were used in the early amplifiers)
235- North American Capacitor Co. (Various components for amplifiers and makes Mallary Electronic Products)
251- Ohmite Mfg. Co. (makes capacitors, resistors, switches and knobs)
304- Stackpole Electronics, Inc. (made pots out of Raleigh, North Carolina)
328- Utah Sound Products/ Division of Oxford International, Ltd., Chicago, ILL.
381- Bourns Networks, (makes quality potentiometers, out of Logan, Utah)
416- Heath Company (made early test equipment kits and electronics)
465- Oxford Speaker Co./ McGregor Loudspeaker Mfg. Div. of Oxford Int.
579- Belden Wire and Cable/ Cooper Industries (makes various cable and magnet wire)
736- Sprague (now called Allegro MicroSystems, Inc. makes capacitors)
The EIA Weekly Date Code always uses a two-digit number with week #1 starting with 01 to 52 and never higher than 52 weeks. Eyvette Bottoms at the
EIA office said that there are now four (4) numbers that can be used for the Source Code and there may or not be a hyphen (-) used between the companies Source Code and Date Code. The popularity of a particular instrument could change the Source Code and Date because a company building instruments might not be able to get enough products from one supplier and have to use another. You would then get a different Source Code and Date used on the same instrument. On potentiometers you may have other numbers besides the Source and Date Codes. Often the manufacturer of the potentiometers may put a part number for the company making instruments so they can better identify the particular part for a certain specification. If all the parts had no spec information you wouldn't be able to determine which pot was a 250k Audio from a 100K Audio. In manufacturing it is important to have part numbers for the builders of the guitars or amplifiers. If not you would have to manually measure each part one by one and this can add a lot of cost to the manufacturer.
Below is the Date Code for 1993 and will give you information on your newer instruments which will one day become Vintage.
Note! Add the 1993 EIA Weekly Date Code Chart...
39. What is a Soapbar Pickup?
This is a nick name given to a Gibson P-90 Single coil pickup. The cream cover looked like a bar of soap. This style of pickup can be seen on the first production of Les Paul Guitars. The soapbar pickups can be seen on Les Pauls made from 1952 to late 1956 and on Re-issue model thereafter. They pickups are mounted to the solid body guitar by two wood screws that are located between the A & D and the G & B poles.
40. What is a Dog Ear Pickup?
The bobbin is the same as a typical Gibson P-90 (Soapbar) with a single row of adjustable 5/40 Fillister head machine screws. The bottom plate has extended legs to keep the pickup from falling through the cutout in the body. The bottom plate on the neck and bridge pickups have a pre-shaped angle to allow the desired depth for mounting each pickup. The neck bottom plate allows the pickup to sit deeper into the cutout. The bridge bottom plate keeps the pickup closer to the strings due to the neck angle. Many early Gibson electrics had Black Dog Ear pickup covers. The pickup cover is wider and longer to cover the bottom plate and cutout on the body. The dog ear pickups were used on early Gibson hollowbodys and Gibson solid bodys. Some examples are the 1955 single cut-away Les Paul Jr., the 1958 double cut-away Les Paul Jr. also SG Jr, Les Paul TV, and Les Paul Special. Some later model ES-330's had chrome pickup covers that would often corrode after lots of playing.
41. What is a Charlie Christian Pickup?
This was the first pickup used on Gibson Electric Spanish guitars shown in the 1935 catalog and named the ES-150. The pickup was made famous by the Jazz Guitarist Charlie Christian. The pickup was beautifully hand made using an Ivoried binding. The pickup was mounted into the hollowbody instrument by a 3 point adjustment for height and tilt adjustment. It uses a Cobalt Steel magnet that was very unstable and can loose much of it's magnetizm through time. The pickup was designed by Guy Hart who was a designer for Gibson Guitars at the Kalamazoo, Michigan factory. The patent was applied for on February 8, 1936 and granted July 13, 1937 and given Patent # 2,087,106.
42. What is a Lipstick tube pickup?
The Lipstick tube pickup were designed for the Danelectro guitars. The Lipstick tube pickups were designed by Nathan Daniel. Nat designed a winding system using a photographic timer and winder that would rotate to the desired number of turns depending on the time that was pre-set. The magnets are wrapped with a black electrical cloth tape and after the coil is wound the hookup wire is put on and then rewrapped with electrical tape to protect the coil and to make it fit snugly in the 2 halves of the pickup covers (lipstick lids). The pickups are used on all Danelectro instruments from guitars, bass and longhorn basses. The chrome halves were pre-drilled for lead wires, mounting legs and springs.
43. What is a Patent Applied For Pickup?
This is the nickname given to the original Gibson Humbucking pickup desigend by Seth E. Lover. The patent was filed on June 22, 1955 and granted on July 28, 1959. The actual pickup patent number for the pickup is 2,896,491. On the patent application it's called a "MAGNETIC PICKUP FOR STRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENT". Some of the principal objects of the invention are:
First, to provide a magnetic pickup for a stringed musichal insturment which is not affected by adjacent electrical devices and whcih does not pick up and transmit to the amplifier the hum of such devices.
Second, to provide an electromagnetic pickup for stringed musical instrument with magnetically opposed pickup coils that neutralize the effect of currents induced by adjacent electrical devices.
Third, to provide a hum neutralizing magnetic pickup that is efficient in producing electrical vibrations in response to the playing of a stringed instrument.
Fourth, to provide a magnetic pickup that effectively employs relatively small masses of permanent magnet material and is easily mounted on a stringed musical instrument in proper relation to the strings of the instrument.
Fifth, to provide a magnetic pickup having a metallic magnetic return circut between a pole of the permanent magnet and a coacting string of a musical instrument to increase the strength of the magnetic field around the string and improve the efficiency of the permanent magnet.
44. What is a Mini Humbucker?
A Mini Humbucker is similar to a Firebird and Epiphone pickups. The Firebird has non-adjustable pole pieces and the Epiphone has 6 adjustable 5/40, headless, slotted, machine screws. They measure about 2- 5/8" long, 1- 1/8" wide, 1-1/8" high. The Mini Humbucker is also called the Deluxe Humbucker as used on the Les Paul Deluxe guitar. The Firebird and Epiphone pickups use a 3/48" threaded leg for height adjustment. The Les Paul Deluxe Mini Humbucker has the pickup mounted to the modified P-90 mounting ring and it threads into threaded ferrules inserted into the body of the instrument.
45. What is patent # 2,737,842 on the decal on the bottom of a Gibson Humbucking Pickup?
The "Patent Number" decal used after the "Patent Applied For" decal. This was a patent number for a "Combined Bridge and Tail Piece for a Stringed Instrument". The Bridge/Tail Piece was applied for on July 9, 1952 and granted March 13, 1956. The Bridge/Tail Piece was designed by Lester W. Pulfuss better known as "Les Paul". The bridge was used on the "1952 Les Paul" and other Gibson models.
46. I have a humbucking pickup that works when I split it, but when I use both coils it becomes inoperative. What can I do?
Either one of the two coils in the humbucking pickup doesn't work properly or the switch is bad. When you split the pickup, you activate one good coil and cutting out the bad one. The two coils normally work in series when not splitting. To see if the coil or switch are bad, you'll need to check it with an ohm meter. It's less expensive to replace the switch than rewinding your pickup. Check solder joints to all connections and make sure you have followed the wiring instructions properly. Sometimes the fine hook up wire can hit another contact or short out to ground. Make sure you check everything before pulling your pickup apart.
47. Who has been the most influential in starting your pickup business?
Without a doubt it would be Les Paul. I would go to Steel Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey and sneak back stage with Pat Martino (a jazz legend) when we were kids. We'd ask Les all kinds of questions and he'd show us his recording equipment, guitars and the electronics he had in them. I always liked seeing him and Mary Ford perform and liked the microphones they had connected to the top of their guitars. What really fascinated me was the little box on Les's guitar. It was nick-named the "Paul-verizer" and he could switch tracks on his recorder and do over dubs on previous tracks. There are many Les Paul recordings available and any guitarist should sit down and listen to what Les has done. Through out the years I would call Les and he'd tell me what recordings would be released and where to find them. I owe Les many thanks for all the help and inspiration he has given me. Les is a great man!
My Uncle Bid Furness talked about Les Paul all the time and played trumpet with Paul Whiteman, Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians. When my Uncle Bid retired from music he became master decoy maker. I would watch him carve and he taught me about Bass Wood (great for making decoys and guitars) and using wood working machinery. My Uncle Howard Duncan taught me my first chords and gave me my first guitar records of Chet Atkins, Jimmy Bryant and Speedy West (Two Guitars Country Style).
48. Why can't you use acoustic guitar strings on an electric guitar?
The wrapping around the inner core (spring steel) of most guitar strings are made from a non-ferrous material such as bronze. Bronze is an alloy of copper, tin and zinc. Bronze is not attracted to the magnetic field in a guitar pickup. You can get sounds out of a acoustic guitar string because the inner core of the wound strings that are made of spring steel. The core is the same material used on the B & E strings, and are attracted to the magnetic field in a pickup. Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon and contains between .02 to 1.5 percent carbon.
49. What happens if the insulation is removed from the copper insulated magnet wire?
When the insulation is removed from the copper magnet wire the copper becomes oxidized under ordinary exposure to air. Copper becomes coated with green basic carbonate when exposed to moist air containing carbon dioxide. That's why protecting the coils from moisture is important and potting solutions are used. Copper wire is said to be hard-drawn, medium-hard or annealed and the latter being the softest condition. Annealed copper wire used in coils has a tensile strength of about 30,000 lb. per square in.
50. What is the A.W.G used in determining the gauge of magnet wire?
The American Wire Gauge (A.W.G.) is the approved name for that previously known as the Browne & Sharpe Gauge (B.& S.) and is practically the only gauge used in the United States for wire used in electrical work. The majority of pickups use 42 A.W.G. and the nominal diameter is .0026".