MIJ Pickup Data thread

reborn old

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As over 95% of MIJ Les Pauls are constructed basically the same, with mahogany necks + backs + maple tops, (the main exceptions being mahogany topped Customs and Standards) I think it is fair to say, pickups and the magnets they use, are largely responsible for how our Les Paul's sound, and why they sound different, and the biggest variable to changing your LP sound. If you disagree, no problem, this thread is about pickups and how they change your LP sound. (guitar wood, amps, strings, picks, playing style, all subjects for a different thread :)).

With that in mind, I thought it would be helpful to start a database of pickup information for all MIJ brands. I have included a list of major MIJ brands and their pickups as an attachment below for your convenience. This will be a work in progress. Hopefully members with multitmeters will help by adding their pickup data either by PM ing me or posting data below.
You can also open the attached text file, add your data and attach it with updated info, to the bottom of your post if you prefer.
Posters are welcome to add other MIJ brands + pickups I've overlooked.
It will be added to updates. I have added Edwards guitars to the list and Gibson pickups, because they are popular to some, and included on select MIJ guitars.
I will post the updated list from time to time, as data is added.
Currently, there is little or no data, and spec ranges are approximate ranges provided by the manufacturer, By all means, add data for any pickup or brand, as this will result in more accurate posted ranges.
If you suspect your pickups are not OEM or don't know the pickup model, please refrain from adding information for that model to avoid corrupting data.

How to interpret the data:
Generally pickup resistance ranges will put your pickup(s) within a certain category or somewhere in between:
PAF pickups generally fall in the 7.0 to 7.5 ohm range.
Slightly hot pickups (but clean sounding, like highly regarded Maxons) often in the 7.5 to 8.75 ohm range.
Hot, distortion pickups generally fall in the 10 to 18 ohm range
Other factors like type of magnets used, scatter winding or asymmetrical bobbin winding can also affect sound within these ranges to a lesser degree.

How to measure resistance of pickup coils: With all control pots set to "maximum" or 10, and multimeters set to 20k ohm range, plug a cord in and touch multimeters leads to each side of the other plug end, making sure your skin isn't touching metal on one side. (touching metal on both sides would lower readings and pots not set at maximum would increase them)
The neck pickup reading is with toggle set to Rhythm. Bridge pickup reading is with toggle set to Treble. If you are in doubt, or think your LP is wired incorrectly, tap a tuning pole using a pick, on either pickup with the volume up. Pickups can also be measured directly (and more accurately) if not installed, I would just ask that you note this with your results.
Really cheap, accurate multitmeters are available for about $5 or less here if you're looking for one: Search results for: 'multimeter'

Some might debate resistance vs impedance arguments, but because cheap multimeters are the basis for all our readings, for the purpose of this data sample, we are dealing with resistance values. My hope is that it will bring all MIJ LP owners to a greater understanding of why all our LP's sound the way they do, which models produce the sound we are after, and most importantly, why.
Exploring pot and/or capacitor swaps, to tweak achieved tone, magnet swaps, and other related topics will hopefully be discussed here as well.
Some 3rd party Boutique brands have been added to the bottom of the updated list attachment below. SD, Lollar, Fralin Sheptone + others.

Thanks in advance to all contributors.
 

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Udonitron

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Nice idea man, this info will be useful.
For the most part, we know a good chunk about the makes, models, and years of our guitars but little is known overall about pups.

Here are some nice 76ish Maxon pups out of my Tele Deluxe that I had never seen prior.
Cool Pat Pend stamp too.



I will go test the resistance now and EDIT once obtained.

EDIT
Neck 10.91 Ohms
Bridge 10.56 Ohms
 

reborn old

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Thanks, by all means post pickup pics guys. Definitely useful for identification purposes.

Posted below are some Greco EG and EGF pickup backs:
The UD from an EG-480
PU-0, PU-2, Dimarzios and Dry Z

U-1000 and U-2000 pickups have an inked serial # only,
U-3000 and U-4000 pickups have a large imprinted back stamp like PU-0 + PU-2 do.
as explained by Wulfman below.
 

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dead end horror

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This thread is a gread idea!

When I have some informations and/or pictures, I'll post them!
 

reborn old

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Thanks to Japan Vintage Guitars for the dry-1982 pic and to other Greco owners for theirs.
Here are some of the Mint series Greco pickup backs:
(harder to identify without black labels, but hopefully, resistance readings might help along with other identification cues.)
The last pick is a 1988 Greco Dry with plastic covers and no black sticker.
 

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GammyBird

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Here is what Bacchus says about their pickups that are in the Classic BLP-STD-H Series

BHV-A5 (Neck)
Magnet: Alnico 5
Wire: # 42 enameled
Number of turns: 5,300
Resistance: 8.5kΩ

BHH (Bridge)
Magnet Ferrite Wire: # 43 Polyurethane
Number of turns: 7200 inner bobbin, bobbin outer 7300
Resistance: 14.7kΩ

EDIT: There are no markings on the pickups.
 

reborn old

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Thanks Pat, good info.
I think Rich is on the fence regarding buying a multimeter.

Here are a few Tokai pickup backs:
Vintage Mk II's
57 PAFs in early LS-80's and 184-85 LS-60's
Dimarzios found in some earlier LS flametop models
Keiyo Mk2 PAF's found on later LS models
 

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GammyBird

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Thanks Pat, good info.
I think Rich is on the fence regarding buying a multimeter.
I will have all my pickups tested sometime in the next week or so, including the Burny VH-1's. I believe I may even have the old Orville pickups here somewhere too.
 

reborn old

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Good stuff, Thanks! .... it's meant to be a work in progress, so only if + when convenient to everyone..:)
 

slapshot

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Edwards 1980's Goldtop
both pups 15K+
stock uncovered double blacks
 

reborn old

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Thanks slapshot.
Is there a model number associated with early Edwards GT's ?
 

JamesT

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Greco Dry Zs from 1980.

Neck: 7.27K
Bridge: 7.72K

The best sounding Japanese stock pickups I have ever heard, hands down. They really are worth the hype and the price.

 

slapshot

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not that I'm aware off
no serial # ,nibs,1 piece back,fat neck,poly,grover style tuners,no pick guard ,short/(medium?) tenon
 

Ohjay

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Here are some nice 76ish Maxon pups out of my Tele Deluxe that I had never seen prior.
Cool Pat Pend stamp too.

I'm curious, I can't see a Maxon there, how do you identify them as Maxons? By the guitar they were in?

I got these a couple of weeks ago and they look a lot like yours but I have no clue what they are:

(click for bigger image)

They measure about 8.06 kOhm if I remember correctly.
 

reborn old

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Greco Dry Zs from 1980.

Neck: 7.27K
Bridge: 7.72K
Thanks James,
Neck is lower than Maxon's reported 7.5-8.0 k ohms range, and mine both higher. (which they claimed for their entire pickup line however).
I imagine dry Z's sound pretty close to some of the favored original Gibson PAF's , never had the pleasure of demoing any yet.
Definitely one of the benchmarks of good tone out there.
 

Udonitron

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I'm curious, I can't see a Maxon there, how do you identify them as Maxons? By the guitar they were in?

I got these a couple of weeks ago and they look a lot like yours but I have no clue what they are:

(click for bigger image)

They measure about 8.06 kOhm if I remember correctly.
Well because they have the same font type stamp as the mid 70's Maxon's had and Maxon seemed to be THE pickup used most during the mid to later 70's, regardless of the model.
Most Maxon's from this era seem to not have 'Maxon' stamped on them, from what I have observed.
DRY Z, PU-0, PU-2, U-1000, U-3000, etc etc.
Some PU-2's were embossed with a PU-2 etc but others were not, just a black Maxon serial # stamped.
I saw a Greco thin line on the Tele forum and the pups in his were the same.
This came out of my El Maya Deluxe
 

JamesT

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I have a list of demos to do so maybe I will do a Dry Z demo as there are not a ton of them floating around. The best thing I can say about them is that they are never harsh but they also have amazing definition and they cut through and sound very rich and sweet.

I agree with Chris on the Maxon ID as well. The give aways are the type of wax used, and the large base plate holes surrounding the poles as well as the font used Check out the Ibanez pickups from the era for more examples.
 

reborn old

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Sound clips would be great James ! They can actually be saved as Zip file attachments below your posts, in case anyone else is interested in doing this. but they would each have to be under 97.7kb limit :(

I'm curious, I can't see a Maxon there, how do you identify them as Maxons? ... they look a lot like yours but I have no clue what they are:
Both are Maxon custom made pickups with Udonitron's being only 6 months newer than yours Ohjay.
Aug 27th 1975 for yours and Udonitron's were produced on Feb 23rd 1976.
The 1st digit is usually a 1 or 2 on Maxon ink serial pickups

Dry 82 ink stamps which begin with "82" were produced by Greco in house, and not by Maxon, as with all Mint series pickups,
I have heard or read.
 


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