BYO Blizzard of 59 pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by ii-V-I, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Member

    Messages:
    540
    Likes Received:
    168
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    Either the coil wire, or the cover, or even the baseplate can act as a microphonic element, because if they're free to jiggle around, they can cause a voltage in the coil that corresponds to the frequency of their movement. In order to prevent feedback, its good to have some wax covering all those surfaces.

    I don't believe there are any sonic benefits to having a microphonic pickup. I think that's a myth. Logic says that if the pickup is microphonic enough to pickup of the sound of the guitar strings, then you should be able to talk into the pickup as if it were an actual microphone, and with even a light amount of gain it should feed back like crazy, the same as if you cranked the gain on an actual microphone. I don't know why people believe a non potted pickup sounds better, but I don't see any rationale as to how it could be tonally beneficial.
     
  2. charlie chitlins

    charlie chitlins Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,790
    Likes Received:
    2,228
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    The way I see it is...
    A microphonic pickup "hears" what's around it.
    That great "woody" tone from an original PAF is likely partly a microphonic pickup "hearing" that great old piece of wood.
    That's why they sound SO different in a hollowbody.
    My favorite guitar now is a '65 Firebird III non-reverse P90.
    It has a strap with a vinyl backing. At volume, you can hear the squeak of the vinyl on the body through the amp.
    I had to put felt washers between.
    I've had a LOT of P90s since about 1981, and I've never heard a sound like these.
    Very musical, touch sensitive and...yes...woody.
    Feedback is still less of a problem than gigging a hollowbody.
    And, yeah...I've gigged guitars that if you talk into the pickup, it came out the amp.
    A '59 Melody Maker.
    I used to turn the amp way up and sing a verse of Who Do You Love into it.
     
  3. bucklester

    bucklester Senior Member

    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    51
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    guys i got a problem, my tech just called and told me the holes
    on the base plate of the neck pickup of the blizzards of 59 I just bought were not tapped.
    I called BYO and had to leave a message. now my guitar is apart at the shop with the bridge pickup in, waiting
    for BYO to get back with me. and I bought them through amazon,will that be a problem?
    this can either go easy or be a nightmare. any advise because I just read byo's return policy and it's pretty strict.
    also the tech does not have the tools to tape the holes so that's not an option.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  4. charlie chitlins

    charlie chitlins Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,790
    Likes Received:
    2,228
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    That's annoying
    A tap is a couple bucks.
    Another reason to buy direct and leave Amazon out...one of many.
    Just as I was thinking that this isn't a helpful post, I got an idea.
    I have, numerous times, made my own taps out of bolts and screws for various reasons.
    This is a small screw and would be fiddly, but if one filed the end of the screw to a taper and cut maybe a 5/16" long lengthwise slot or 2 in the screw with a dremel cutoff wheel, it would be a self-tapping screw.
    Get a little oil on it when running it in.
    I don't know if it sounds complicated to you (or your tech), but I could get this done on both screws in about 5 minutes.
    Frankly, if your tech can't swing it, I'd find a new tech.
     
    bucklester likes this.
  5. bucklester

    bucklester Senior Member

    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    51
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    I e-mailed BYO though amazon and they responded,just send it back and they'll exchange it.They even offered to ship it to the guitar shop.
    but my wife wants to ship it back though amazon to save on shipping.After 40 years of marriage I learned you can be happy or you can be right.
    So luckily I'm not in a hurry.
     
  6. charlie chitlins

    charlie chitlins Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,790
    Likes Received:
    2,228
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Cool.
    I think these are great pickups and the company was SUPER attentive when I had a wiring question.
    Very personal customer service.
     
  7. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Member

    Messages:
    540
    Likes Received:
    168
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    I got an untapped set from the Seymour Duncan Custom Shop, and I had waited about three months at that point and didn't want to wait another three, so I just used smaller diameter screws and nuts to mouth the pickups. One visit to Home Depot versus who knows how long of a wait. It not only goes to show that this sort of thing can happen at any price point, but that when this sort of thing does happen, the discount companies can possibly set things right that much faster, since they're working with bulk volumes of product through mainstream online vendors.
     
  8. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member

    Messages:
    14,702
    Likes Received:
    19,806
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    I believe you. ...but it wasn't the coils becoming "unpotted" then. Something else was loose that the wax was holding in place like the magnet, keeper, slugs or screws. ...or the cover, which then became microphonic. Taking the cover off will definitely change the sound. Taking the cover off and putting it back on without clamping it down from two directions and/or no longer having wax between the cover and pickup will almost certainly change the sound as well.

    The only way to "unpot" a coil is to cut it off and rewind it.
     
  9. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member

    Messages:
    14,702
    Likes Received:
    19,806
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    A good example of showing the sonic differences of a potted and unpotted pickup is to take a well-working, clear and articulate sounding, non-potted pickup and pot it. The sound will change. You won't be able to undo it, either, and that's shown with recordings, like this... Take some install measurements for distance from poles/cover to strings, use the same strings/setup, and make a few recordings of all three states. Then shuffle those clips so you don't know what you are listening to and take notes. There ya go!

    If anyone actually attempts this, be sure the pickup is cooled and at the same temperature for all three, as heat can change the sound.
     
    Stinky Kitty and JohnnyN like this.
  10. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Member

    Messages:
    540
    Likes Received:
    168
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    I wonder if there isn't a way to chemically dissolve the wax without ruining the plastics. The trick would be to find something that breaks up the wax without ruining the plastics, or the insulation on the wire. Obviously acetone is a no go, but based on a quick google search, a couple promising possibilities might be vegetable oil or denatured alcohol.

    Even though I'm skeptical it makes any difference, it would be pretty awesome to come up with a surefire way to de-wax a pickup, just so that you can have your pickups however you want them.
     
  11. charlie chitlins

    charlie chitlins Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,790
    Likes Received:
    2,228
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Well...a roll of lacquered magnet wire and some wax, and some experimenting could be done.
    I'm not sure what kind of wax is used for pickups.
     
  12. charlie chitlins

    charlie chitlins Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,790
    Likes Received:
    2,228
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    I'm not disagreeing with you.
    As I said, I understand that a pickup can't be unpotted, and assumed that the main difference that could be made from melting wax is to get it out from between the body and the covers. Of course the other areas (slugs, screws, etc) could make a difference.
    In the absence of the ability to "un-pot" a pickup, I'm glad that a real difference can still be made by melting the wax out...even if it's not ALL the difference.
     
  13. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member

    Messages:
    14,702
    Likes Received:
    19,806
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    That's come up before. The major problems are how would you get the chemical deep enough into the potted coil to get the wax out from the inside of a coil which has already been deep-vacuum potted with all the air cavities removed and filled with wax? Once/if you did, how would you get the melted wax and chemical out?

    It's an interesting idea, but the reality is that liquifying the wax isn't the problem. That's easily enough done with heat, instead of a chemical. It's getting the wax out that's still the problem.

    Considering how easy it is to simply rewind a coil, I don't see a more simple or economical solution on the horizon. In cases where preserving the original coil is more desirable (like some of the fools who have potted real PAFs - I've seen this, personally, more than once, I'm sorry to say), the above roadblocks still stand.

    If you're skeptical about potted v unpotted pickups sounding different from each other, I outlined a real simple procedure above for doing your own blind A/B comparison. All the supporting gear must be of a quality and have bandwidth to actually show the differences, of course.
     
  14. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member

    Messages:
    14,702
    Likes Received:
    19,806
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    You might just get more squeal/feedback than "desirable" or "musical" microphonics, but sound is very subjective, of course, so all that really matters at the end of the day is if you prefer it or not. :thumb:
     
  15. charlie chitlins

    charlie chitlins Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,790
    Likes Received:
    2,228
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Yeah...I suppose this is possible...but it hasn't been my experience. Although I've only done 8 pickups, I think.
    The unpotting thing is just musing for me...It's not worth the effort.
    If I was that serious about it, I'd buy some snazzy pickups from a boutique winder...like Re-Wind ;)
    For now I'm stuck between, "Why would I spend $400 on pickups for a $400 guitar?"...and..."I really dig this guitar, and it only cost $400...I should probably get some kickass pickups for it!"
    Right now I'm settling for "surprisingly damn good" for $70.
    Maybe someday I'll try "killer" for $400.
    It helps to have an amp that makes ANY guitar sound good ;)
    DSCN0008_zpscz1oxy0l.JPG
     
    JohnnyN, Antigua and truckermde like this.
  16. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Member

    Messages:
    540
    Likes Received:
    168
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    I definately agree about the Bassman. I went on a vintage tube amp binge and bought several classic Fender models, and the Bassman is definitely the Swiss Army Knife of the bunch.
     
  17. charlie chitlins

    charlie chitlins Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,790
    Likes Received:
    2,228
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    I don't know about Swiss Army Knife...IME, they do a lot of different things...barely adequately.
     
  18. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Member

    Messages:
    540
    Likes Received:
    168
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    Are we talking about the same amp?
     
  19. charlie chitlins

    charlie chitlins Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,790
    Likes Received:
    2,228
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Yes...but I would never compare it to a Swiss Army Knife, which I described above.
     
  20. bucklester

    bucklester Senior Member

    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    51
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    Update, got the blizzard of 59's installed and played them in my epi les paul for a couple of days.
    first they are much clearer than the stock epi's and much more responsive to the volume and tone knobs,
    if that makes sense. how ever living in an apartment with small amps on low volume I don't think
    I'm pushing them to their full potential. but for $79 they are a great value.
     

Share This Page