Greco U2000 vs PU 0 - stop me if it's been asked before ...

Roxy13

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Name recognition probably. Most of the Maxon pickups though are wonderful.
 

EG700

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Dimarzios were the rage at the time.
Indeed. That's why I bought one in 1980, and I still have it here rattling around in my spare parts drawer.

But your view is to stick with the alnico Maxons in a Greco?
 

EG700

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Name recognition probably. Most of the Maxon pickups though are wonderful.
I've only received one Greco so far. I bought it knowing nothing about them except by reputation, and wanted to try one out. On the basis of that one guitar, I've gone on a bit of a spree and now have another 4 of them on the way. Including, at last, what I hope will definitely turn out to be a genuine Mint Collection Standard (thank you Wulfman, for the i.d. of it before I bid!). The last month has been a steep learning curve for me about Greco lore.

This one Greco that I have here right now is a 1977 EGC. No fret binding, so probably a 500 or similar. It's a heavy mutha, so not hollowed-out. I was not expecting much pickup-wise, and was ready to put a Duncan JN/JB set in it straight away. Having now heard it through an amp though, I'm not going to bother. It's fine as-is. The bridge has a double-white with the steel semi-cover, the neck has double-black bobbins, and I haven't pulled them out to see what they are. I probably couldn't tell what they are anyway, without dismembering them to examine magnets. I'm assuming for now that they're U1000s. What I do know is that the neck pickup has one of the sweetest jazz sounds for chord-melody style that I've yet heard on a solid-body guitar! Switch to the "dirty" channel on the amp, and the bridge pickup does mighty fine, thank you very much. I don't see myself wanting to change out pickups on this thing anytime soon. I can't even be bothered to open it up and try to figure out of they're U1000, U2000, or whatever. I'm just going to play it.
 

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EG700

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I had not. Good stuff. I just did an intro video for the Greco vs the Epi 59 test. Part one featured the Greco and its U1000 pups.
I really enjoyed your youtube vdo, it's great entertainment. I've subscribed to your channel.

Your grasp of historical accuracy about Greco guitars and their pickups is somewhat approximate, but you can't be blamed for that. It's a very complex and tricky subject to (1) even get one's head around in the first place, and (2) to try and impart to a millennial audience in under 8 minutes! I for one am simply satisfied that, in your coverage of them, Greco guitars are getting the credit they deserve instead of being labelled "cheap copies". These are historically very significant guitars, because Greco forced both Fender and Gibson to lift their game and revitalise their own operations and their guitar quality. Both of the concepts of having a Custom Shop, and of having beginner guitars that were inexpensive versions of the high-end models (rather than namby-pamby "baby" guitars like Mustang, Duo-Sonic, or Melody Maker) were innovations started by Greco, not by Fender or Gibson. When the US Big Two finally got with the program in the '80s and contracted Fujigen to make Fender Japan, Squiers and Epiphones for them, it changed the world! I know. I was there. In the '70s me and my high school friends could only dream of getting a Fender or a Gibson with our allowances, whereas an Ibanez was within our grasp (barely).

If you really want to do some serious homework to know what you're dealing with each time you hold a Greco or one of its pickups in your hands on-camera, then either read this https://jk-guitars.jimdofree.com/ and other links posted around here, or ask Wulfman. Others here too are very knowledgeable.

I've not been here very long myself, but long enough to know that Wulfman, who writes with great economy of style (unlike me), is a person who really nails it. Every time. If Wulfman says something, I listen carefully.
 

BadMongo

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I've only received one Greco so far. I bought it knowing nothing about them except by reputation, and wanted to try one out. On the basis of that one guitar, I've gone on a bit of a spree and now have another 4 of them on the way.
Gooba gobba one of us, one of us!
 

EG700

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Gooba gobba one of us, one of us!
Infected ... seriously infected.

I will actually take them out of the house and go play these, which I'm too scared to do nowadays with my "real" (not "Super", merely "real") Gibson LP. Not coz of COVID, but coz of the $$$ tied up in it.

And now, all because of me, one other guitar player here now has a Greco (Rock Spirits bolt-on - he loves it!), and another has asked me to find him one. Both are serious working musicians.
 

EG700

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I think it was sometime around then. I know I had ceramic mags in the pickups in EG-500s I’ve had from 1980 which had U-1000s.
Wulfman, may I ask, do you know who is this "JK" who authored this blog https://jk-guitars.jimdofree.com/? It's a mine of accurate information.

Is he an industry insider?

Or a very meticulous amateur historian and hobbyist?
 

wulfman

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I don’t know who it is. Good information there for sure though on the history of Japanese guitars.
 

EG700

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I can
I don’t know who it is. Good information there for sure though on the history of Japanese guitars.
I can only read the Google translation into English, and am sure that much nuance is being lost. He has a humble demeanour about what he knows, but I not not fooled by it. His is a very scientific approach - he reaches conclusions based only on evidence he has seen with his own eyes. in the internet world, this is refreshing. His blog has cleared up many mysteries for me about Greco pickups. A lot of youtube channels are recycling inaccurate information.

JK-san also raises important questions. Like, what IS the difference between a UD, U1000 and U2000? I mean, really? And if there IS a difference, then why didn't Maxon make each one identifiable with a model number (or at least a unique serial number that links to a model number) instead of just a date stamp shared with every other pickup made on that machine on that day?

I'll bet the workers in Nagano in 1970s never imagined that such questions about their work procedures would be placed under the microscope like this, 50 years later!
 

Roxy13

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Obviously I have no expertise whatsoever in pickup winding but I have wondered if most of the Maxon pickups are pretty much the same but with different magnets. And perhaps some name changes from the 70s to the Super Real series.

My view is probably too simplistic because of my lack of knowledge ,and I'm not willing to actually start unwinding my pickups :rofl: The most I've done to them is clean them up and look at magnets or send magnets to someone.

And yes, that is a great resource. I bookmarked it a couple of years ago when I came across it.
 

EG700

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Obviously I have no expertise whatsoever in pickup winding but I have wondered if most of the Maxon pickups are pretty much the same but with different magnets. And perhaps some name changes from the 70s to the Super Real series.

My view is probably too simplistic because of my lack of knowledge ,and I'm not willing to actually start unwinding my pickups :rofl: The most I've done to them is clean them up and look at magnets or send magnets to someone.

And yes, that is a great resource. I bookmarked it a couple of years ago when I came across it.
What Greco models do you now have? And which gets played the most?
 

Roxy13

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What Greco models do you now have? And which gets played the most?
Currently I only have a few Grecos although pickups are kind of all over the place lol

For example I have a 1991 FA 95 but it was in a shambles when I bought it. Everything in or on it has been changed except the body and neck! New frets, nut, hardwarre, plastics, electronics. I didn't know at first for sure what the pickups were and they were pretty scary. Everything metal was heavily corroded. They were set aside for awhile as a nice person here gave me some BK Stormy Mondays for it. Later I determined they were Dry 82s (although a late version of them). And once I had the pickups all cleaned up with new covers and screws too they moved into the 1982 ECG 500.

So another Greco is the 1982 EGC 500. That's the one that came with the mystery pickups that might be made out of whatever was laying around before Greco switched to Fujigen made pickups. All I can tell you about it's original pickups is that htey have alnico 2 magnets instead of ceramic and the odd line 8 production code. That guitar came originally too with 300k volume pots and 100k tone pots. So I have yet to hear these pickups in a better wiring harness. While the magnets were out I had put the Drys into the guitar and they sound fantastic in it so they will stay. Eventually I'm sure I'll use the original pups in something.

1989 Greco SS63-60S with the Hot Licks p90s. Very nice P90s and no need to change those!

1977 Greco SA 900 Project Series. The original U-4000 are still in it and I like them very much.

I've also owned a 1983 57-60, a 1990 EG600C/68-60 (transition time so model number is ?) and the late 80s Cort black beauty.

I found a set of Dry Zs in the 57-60 when it arrived and they currently reside in one of the Bacchus Classic Series BLPs. And my mid 80s Burny RLG 90 showed up with 1976 S stamped Maxons (U-1000s basically I believe) and they still live in that guitar.
 

EG700

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Currently I only have a few Grecos although pickups are kind of all over the place lol

For example I have a 1991 FA 95 but it was in a shambles when I bought it. Everything in or on it has been changed except the body and neck! New frets, nut, hardwarre, plastics, electronics. I didn't know at first for sure what the pickups were and they were pretty scary. Everything metal was heavily corroded. They were set aside for awhile as a nice person here gave me some BK Stormy Mondays for it. Later I determined they were Dry 82s (although a late version of them). And once I had the pickups all cleaned up with new covers and screws too they moved into the 1982 ECG 500.

So another Greco is the 1982 EGC 500. That's the one that came with the mystery pickups that might be made out of whatever was laying around before Greco switched to Fujigen made pickups. All I can tell you about it's original pickups is that htey have alnico 2 magnets instead of ceramic and the odd line 8 production code. That guitar came originally too with 300k volume pots and 100k tone pots. So I have yet to hear these pickups in a better wiring harness. While the magnets were out I had put the Drys into the guitar and they sound fantastic in it so they will stay. Eventually I'm sure I'll use the original pups in something.

1989 Greco SS63-60S with the Hot Licks p90s. Very nice P90s and no need to change those!

1977 Greco SA 900 Project Series. The original U-4000 are still in it and I like them very much.

I've also owned a 1983 57-60, a 1990 EG600C/68-60 (transition time so model number is ?) and the late 80s Cort black beauty.

I found a set of Dry Zs in the 57-60 when it arrived and they currently reside in one of the Bacchus Classic Series BLPs. And my mid 80s Burny RLG 90 showed up with 1976 S stamped Maxons (U-1000s basically I believe) and they still live in that guitar.
That's pretty varied! Nothing with Screamin' in them?

I've invested in a couple more '77 and '78s, Standards this time, but they're still on their way to me. And what I hope is finally a Fujigen Mint Std. But it's a lottery what pickups they'll have in them. A bit like pulling a Christmas cracker, I suppose.
 

Roxy13

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That's pretty varied! Nothing with Screamin' in them?

I've invested in a couple more '77 and '78s, Standards this time, but they're still on their way to me. And what I hope is finally a Fujigen Mint Std. But it's a lottery what pickups they'll have in them. A bit like pulling a Christmas cracker, I suppose.
Oh, it's totally like Christmas! That's part of the fun. What pickups will I find in this? Half of them have had pickup changes.

The 57-60 had a Screamin still in the middle position and then I bought 2 more from a member here to return it to stock since I was keeping those Zs. I wasn't sure if I was keeping the 57-60 although I kind of regret letting that one go.

The 1990 600 should have had Screamins but if I recall now it had one working SD APH2 I think? And the other pickup was also a SD, old 59 but it was dead. That did eventually get rewound and repaired by James at ReWind and he posted a thread in the pickup area documenting that.
 

Roxy13

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I've been told U-4000s are essentially the same pickup as PU-2s. That adds to my theory that names changed when the Super Real series began.
 

EG700

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I've been told U-4000s are essentially the same pickup as PU-2s. That adds to my theory that names changed when the Super Real series began.
Ok, but to add to the fun: all the PU pickups got changed from alnico to ceramic magnets in Nov 1978, at the same time as the U1000s changed (due to a global cobalt shortage). However ... PUs did get changed back to alnico again during the pre-SuperReal era (1980-ish?), whereas the U1000s remained ceramic until they were phased out.
 

zeneffect

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If someone can measure the u-4000 I can measure the pu-2 in the egf850
 

Roxy13

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Ok, but to add to the fun: all the PU pickups got changed from alnico to ceramic magnets in Nov 1978, at the same time as the U1000s changed (due to a global cobalt shortage). However ... PUs did get changed back to alnico again during the pre-SuperReal era (1980-ish?), whereas the U1000s remained ceramic until they were phased out.
I have no pickups from the cobalt shortage area. I can't verify any of those, sorry.

My Maxons and Fujigens are 1976, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1989 and 1991.
 

rayspang

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I've read that the original Ibanez super 58's are the same as dry Z's, but I don't know anyone that can afford a set of Z's to test the theory? LOL
 


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