Inside a '78 Ibanez Super 80 "Flying Finger" pickup

kboman

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Aside from that, the thing I found most interesting is that there were THREE types of tape used in the assembly!
Three different stations on the assembly line?
 

geetarfreek82

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The slug in the bottom right corner - what's happening there? Looks like it was cut for a woodruff key, but I can't make sense of that. I notice it's the same one painted red on the bottom. Any ideas?


Aside from that, the thing I found most interesting is that there were THREE types of tape used in the assembly!
I saw that. I was like "why is there a Les Paul inlay on that slug?" :rofl: There was one slug on each pickup that was colored in red on the underside, I'm assuming it was just denoting the north side bobbin. As for the tape, I thought the same thing. The coils were wrapped in paper tape,vinyl tape held the magnets on, and the top of the coils had cloth tape. Good eye James! That also made no sense to me. :hmm:
 

cooljuk

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I saw that. I was like "why is there a Les Paul inlay on that slug?" :rofl: There was one slug on each pickup that was colored in red on the underside, I'm assuming it was just denoting the north side bobbin. As for the tape, I thought the same thing. The coils were wrapped in paper tape,vinyl tape held the magnets on, and the top of the coils had cloth tape. Good eye James! That also made no sense to me. :hmm:
The cloth tape makes sense to me on top - more padding and more absorbent to hold onto the hot glue. The vinyl tape makes sense around the whole assembly - less chance of stretching or tearing to keep things tight until it's assembled.

What's most interesting to me is why they didn't just use either of those two tapes for the coils. I've seen both types used on other coils. The paper tape looks to be razor cut, not torn, so ease of tearing by hand wasn't the reason.

Three stations, sure, but somebody in purchasing would have been asking the same question. They put thought and purpose into that decision. That's why it caught my attention. Very cool.
 

cooljuk

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Yes, the red mark indicating which coil was which makes sense, since they look similar from the bottom. Still, the start/finish wires coming off the coils would also indicate which side is up and orient the assembly. "North is left" is just as simple as "North is red" to remember.

I'm most fascinated by the cut in the top of the same slug. It looks like it was done before plating, but I can't say for sure from the photo. Did both pickups have that? If not, perhaps it was just the end of the rod stock and aided in processing the rod before it was ever destined for use in a pickup. That would be a neat coincidence, but seems to make the most sense to me at the moment. Especially if it was done, pre-plating.
 

geetarfreek82

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I'm most fascinated by the cut in the top of the same slug. It looks like it was done before plating, but I can't say for sure from the photo. Did both pickups have that? If not, perhaps it was just the end of the rod stock and aided in processing the rod before it was ever destined for use in a pickup. That would be a neat coincidence, but seems to make the most sense to me at the moment. Especially if it was done, pre-plating.
Yeah, it was definitely done before plating. I did look at it closely, and it was only on that one slug. Looked to me like a machining mark, reminded me of the "L" tool marks on a P.A.F. baseplate... You can kind of see in the photo that the left side of the mark is shallower than the right. Maybe the steel rod got loaded into a tube and something pushed it through the lathe, and that mark is from whatever fed it through?
 

cooljuk

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Yeah, it was definitely done before plating. I did look at it closely, and it was only on that one slug. Looked to me like a machining mark, reminded me of the "L" tool marks on a P.A.F. baseplate... You can kind of see in the photo that the left side of the mark is shallower than the right. Maybe the steel rod got loaded into a tube and something pushed it through the lathe, and that mark is from whatever fed it through?
What you just described exists and is called a "bar feed" and I use one, myself. As do several machine shops I've worked with. Mine is small and air pressure actuated and has a collet that grips hard on the rod and releases it during movement of the bar stock, then grips down again to hold it in place. It's possible that a keyslot was machined into the end of the rod stock for use in a similar but different system with the intention of keep the rod from slipping (in a rotational axis) inside the collet or pass-through chuck of a lathe. That's sort of what I was thinking might have been the case, if it was only on one pickup and not both, and was done pre-plating. Just a neat coincidence that that one ended up with the red on it also.

Isn't it fascinating? I love that we share this passion for reverse engineering history, Noah. I think that reverse engineering the whole unit sitting right in front of you will always trump second, of even first, hand interviews or even having the original machine or shop tools. There's so much room for human error, distorted memories, alternate setups, and speculation with the later two. When you have the actual product right in your hands and take it apart, there's no doubt where every little turn was laid down and how each piece was placed and what it was constructed of. It doesn't even matter who did it or in what way, as long as you can recreate it to that exact detail without assumption :cheers:
 

FUS44

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VERY cool information. Glad you posted this.

I picked up a 1980 Ibanez AR50 Artist earlier this year, and it had the stock
Super 70's HB's.

These pickups are amazing. You can get some great cranked overdriven tones,and the notes have clear articulation.

The pickups do bring out the upper mids, so I guess that why you get a lot of note definition when you play heavy overdriven chords.

I don't have another guitar in my collection that can do this.

I'm on the lookout of another Ibanez Artist guitar.

Hopefully I can run into one like yours.
^^Nailed it.

The Super 70's are by far my favorite PU's and they translate well to other guitars. The ones in my Rocket roll are unmatched. they bridge the gap from clean, to overdrive to more gain than most PU's can handle.
Anyone making decent Super 70's knock off these days?
 


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