Decaying P-90 Problem

Discussion in 'Vintage Les Pauls' started by captain tightpants, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. captain tightpants

    captain tightpants Banned

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    Hey fellas, quick question. The bobbins of the P-90 in my '55 Junior are slowly shrinking/decaying and I fear it's eventually going to fail, any ideas on how to stop this from getting worse? The pickup still sounds great, I don't want to have to search the' bay for a replacement, and a new one won't do in a 52 year old guitar. It's hard to dupliucate that kind of mojo. Thanks!!
     
  2. ptate

    ptate V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    Take a look at this guys pickups, they're the dog's bollox:

    Shed Pickups

    Maybe he can do something?
     
  3. Unknown

    Unknown Guest

  4. captain tightpants

    captain tightpants Banned

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    Thanks, fella's, I've emailed them all.
     
  5. captain tightpants

    captain tightpants Banned

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    Update... I emailed Wolfe and you're right Kenny, really nice guy. Said he couldn't really do anything for it, but he forwarded my e-mail to Seymour Duncan, who very kindly e-mailed me with a few helpful hints. Nice to know no matter how big some names get, they are still just really cool people.
     
  6. HolyGrail

    HolyGrail V.I.P. Member

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    And that is the Same Model that we want to follow on this forum .:)
     
  7. captain tightpants

    captain tightpants Banned

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    You got it brother!!!:cheers:
     
  8. BCRGreg

    BCRGreg V.I.P. Member

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    I have had a few metric tons of Les Paul Juniors, rarely have I seen a pickup fail spontaneously. The less you mess, the longer it plays.

    If you must remove the pickup, be aware that the coil has been pushing out on the plastic bobbin for 50 years, and the corners of the bobbins will jump into a far corner if you handle the pickup with less skill that the bomb squad.
     
  9. captain tightpants

    captain tightpants Banned

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    Hey, BCRGreg, thanks for the suggestion and welcome!!

    I was actually thinking along the same lines when I first got it and saw the shape the bobbin's in. If it ain't broke don't fix it and all. Well I've had it ten years ,and the shrinkage and decay is getting worse now, to the point that the poles are staring to move towards each other. I'm worried that another ten years of uncheked deterioration is going to eventually short the coil. Spontaneuos failure is not what I'm worried about.

    To be honest, I've never seen a pickup's bobbin look like this before. The guitar's been refinished more than once before I got it, I think somebody spilled some paint stripper or something on it. The cover has some ugly spots on it that look all for the world like acid was flowing around the polepieces, like a stream around a rock.

    Taking it out won't be a problem, it's been out before, once by me and quite a few before I got it. Seymour suggested spec'ing it out completly in case it does die, so that's the first order of business. He suggested soaking it in light oil to help with the plastic drying out, and maybe finding a plastic conditioner, too. Maybe with a little luck it will be fine. If not, Wolfe's got some business coming!!
     
  10. BCRGreg

    BCRGreg V.I.P. Member

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    I've done the light oil trick. It will kill any bacteria that may be eating the plastic.

    With the pickup in the guitar(and the cover removed), remove the D or G polepiece and screw in a longer screw of the same thread. THIS will be how you handle the coil. Pour the oil into a tupperware 4X8 plastic dish and submerge the coil (and as little lead as possible) until the bubbles stop. Lift it out and lay it on a pile of 10 paper towels folded over and leave it for a day or so. The absorbency of the towels will remove any loose oil and keep your guitar from peeeing on you at the next gig!

    DO NOT shake the coil dry. (Don't ask how I know that! LOL)

    I have a box of original P-90s, if you need one....
     
  11. captain tightpants

    captain tightpants Banned

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    Thanks I may take you up on that. Might be a good idea to swap it out for a while, give me a chance to stabylze it for later.
     
  12. WBPickups

    WBPickups Guest

     
  13. Nugget

    Nugget V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    I don't recall your email Captain. However, I'm always happy to help.
    Spence
    Shed Pickups
     
  14. Nugget

    Nugget V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    Thanks for the plug Peter. I appreciate that a lot!:wave:
     
  15. captain tightpants

    captain tightpants Banned

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    Not surprising, I have e-mails I send come back with an error message all the time, sometimes not at all. This ancient computer is completly jacked up!!
     
  16. Nugget

    Nugget V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    So did you get a result?
     
  17. ptate

    ptate V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    No problem Spence. You've done wonders for my set ups, so I'll gladly vouch for the help and workmanship I received.

    When I eventually get around to building my Aristocrat copy, I intend to give you a shout for a couple of them aged P90's (cream). They look nice and tidy.

    Keep busy.

    :cheers:
     
  18. captain tightpants

    captain tightpants Banned

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    Got some tips from Seymour, but I haven't had a chance to try anything, been working 6 and 7 days a week on Graveyard Shift, haven't had time. In the meantime, any hints you've got would be most welcome.
     
  19. Nugget

    Nugget V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    I haven't seen your bobbins Captain so I'm guessing at what degree they have shrunk. You can't ever expand them again but you may try to stabilize them. If they are still in one piece, ie not cracked I would do nothing at the moment but any cracks can be drop-filled with super glue. They're not wax potted are they? I've seen plenty of them that have been shruken by being left in very hot wax for too long.
     
  20. Nugget

    Nugget V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    That would be a pleasure Pete.:thumb:
     

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