MIJ Pickup Data thread

Greco

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Alright, I got one question. My new 1976 EG-900 has Maxon pickups. Can anyone help me identify what kind? I think they are U-3000 and they are dated to 1976. Just wondering if they are confirmed U-3000 without disconnecting them. Any help is much appreciated
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Roxy13

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Could anyone give me their opinion on Dry 82s, especially if you have both these and Dry Zs?

I should probably put them into my other Bacchus and have a shootout with the Zs myself, but before I do it, I wouldn't mind hearing what other people have to say about them.

And if you've had any boutique pickups what is your opinion on the Dry 82s compared to the other pickups you've had?
 

wulfman

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If they are stickered ones they are fairly early. Same recipe as DRY-Z (same wire, mags) but a modified bobbin.
To me, 99% the same. But let your ears be the judge of whether or not you like them. Remember to turn your tone down to about 7 and roll off the volume a touch to give you to sound of a Super Real era Greco tone/volume combo.
 

Roxy13

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If they are stickered ones they are fairly early. Same recipe as DRY-Z (same wire, mags) but a modified bobbin.
To me, 99% the same. But let your ears be the judge of whether or not you like them. Remember to turn your tone down to about 7 and roll off the volume a touch to give you to sound of a Super Real era Greco tone/volume combo.
Not stickered. So did they change the recipe later?
 

red_bull

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Anyone do the Ibanez V1 and V2?

For the sound I'm after (mostly heavy but responsive to touch for changes in dynamics), I've found these to be the best.
 

wulfman

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Not stickered. So did they change the recipe later?
From what the designer Jun Takano wrote on a blog, they started using a different wire once the particular wire they had from the US ran out. All the Dry-Z, Stickered DRY1982 and non-stickered comparison seems to be like the PAF, early PAT# and later PAT# debate for Gibson pickups.
 
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Greco

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Thought I would drop this information because I think I haven’t seen it or lost in this thread. Before 1977, Greco used U-3000s in their EG-900 models and higher. However, these pickups are slightly different to the later models as these pickups were not stamped or embossed with U-3000 on it, instead left unmarked to look similar to U-1000s or U-2000s. On top of that, these pickups seem to be less hot then their later models and are between 7.6-8.0 so please be wary. The final thing I must mention is that sources on the pickup information varies from source to source. Some claim the magnets are ceramic while others say Alnico VIII. Please note that both types of magnets might have been used a different points in time. Please check your magnets with the associating pickup of the year.
 

kakerlak

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I've been trying to narrow down manufacturer of the pickups in my Argus over on another thread and have been trying to sort through features from images in this thread. Can anybody offer a breakdown of things like lead wire type, long/short legs, etc? For instance, my pickups have short legs and braid-insulated leads with what looks like black plastic-insulated wire inside.

From what I've pieced together, it looks like Maxon/Greco was using braided wire with long legs and Tokai/Gotoh was using grey/brown plastic leads, but I'm not sure that's right. How many different Japanese companies were actually making PAF-ish pickups in the late '70s/early '80s?
 

Greco

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I've been trying to narrow down manufacturer of the pickups in my Argus over on another thread and have been trying to sort through features from images in this thread. Can anybody offer a breakdown of things like lead wire type, long/short legs, etc? For instance, my pickups have short legs and braid-insulated leads with what looks like black plastic-insulated wire inside.

From what I've pieced together, it looks like Maxon/Greco was using braided wire with long legs and Tokai/Gotoh was using grey/brown plastic leads, but I'm not sure that's right. How many different Japanese companies were actually making PAF-ish pickups in the late '70s/early '80s?
Sounds like you are on the right track. Unfortunately, the only company I have a real understanding of is Greco. Btw, it should be said that the coveted Ibanez pickups in their lawsuit era guitars are the same as the lower end Maxon pickups (I believe the PU-1 and PU-2 are the pickups in mind) it’s important to cross reference if Maxon decided to use a different wire with Ibanez than Greco. We can collaborate research if need be.
 

kakerlak

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Sounds like you are on the right track. Unfortunately, the only company I have a real understanding of is Greco. Btw, it should be said that the coveted Ibanez pickups in their lawsuit era guitars are the same as the lower end Maxon pickups (I believe the PU-1 and PU-2 are the pickups in mind) it’s important to cross reference if Maxon decided to use a different wire with Ibanez than Greco. We can collaborate research if need be.
Yeah, my general understanding of the MIJ market in that era is that there were far fewer actual distinct factories than there were brand names (for guitars and component parts). But this guitar doesn't look like it was spec-built by one of the larger factories, so there may be some chance they were making their own pickups, but that starts to seem like an awful lot of tooling up for what must've been a pretty small total run of instruments.

At the end of the day, I'm super happy with the guitar and its pickups -- it's just that stupid insatiable curiosity, lol.
 

Greco

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Yeah, my general understanding of the MIJ market in that era is that there were far fewer actual distinct factories than there were brand names (for guitars and component parts). But this guitar doesn't look like it was spec-built by one of the larger factories, so there may be some chance they were making their own pickups, but that starts to seem like an awful lot of tooling up for what must've been a pretty small total run of instruments.

At the end of the day, I'm super happy with the guitar and its pickups -- it's just that stupid insatiable curiosity, lol.
Ditto, I have a thread here trying to identity the pickups in my Greco EG-900. Because they were not stamped or embossed, we ranged between U-1000s to U-2000s. However my research led me once again to U-3000s. Seriously just check the thread and it’s all in there. It was one hell of an adventure!
 

Roxy13

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Yes, all my Maxon/Fujjigen pickups have long legs and most have braided wire. The Scream'in in the middle position on the 3 pickup Greco 57-60 has black plastic on the lead.

All of the Gotoh L8000 series pickups from my Burnys have gray wire and gold/brass baseplates. I'll have to look at the legs as I can't remember.
 

Frankie_B

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Greco EG380S - 1976 U1000 Bridge
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Greco EG380S - 1976 U1000 Neck
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Greco FV600 - 1977 U1000 Bridge
Greco FV600 Bridge Pickup.jpg


Greco FV600 - 1977 U1000 Neck
Greco FV600 Neck Pickup.jpg


Bacchus BSG-68V 1997 - Unmarked Bridge pickup but possibly VH-59 (manufacturer ???)
Bacchus BSG68V Bridge Pickup.jpg


Bacchus BSG-68V 1997 - Unmarked Neck pickup but possibly VH-59 (manufacturer ???)
Bacchus BSG68V Neck Pickup.jpg


1976 Maxon Super 70
Super 70 1976.jpg


1978 Maxon Super 70
Super 70 1978 1.jpg
 

Roxy13

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My non stickered supposedly Dry 82s:

Neck: 7.28k ohm

Bridge: 7.29k ohm

Solder joints were original when I took them out of the guitar and baseplates definitely match up to Fujigen made pickups for Greco. They have black plastic coated leads.

Readings were taken over the summer at approximately 70-75 degrees.
 
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Major GAS

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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.
Hi there. Wondering about these pups in my early 80s Greco SA 64-60...
IMG_1272.JPG
IMG_1272.JPG
 

Matt K

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I have a set of UD's in a 1979 Greco SS500/600 (SG), will get some resistance readings soon, these are ceramic magnets, I also have a set of U4000s from 1976,in an Ibanez ART320, will also get readings from these soon and I'm not certain on the magnets that these have as the covers appear original and have never been removed. Along with these I have a UD - U2000 (1976) in the post to me now (ignore the allen key on the bottom in the sellers photo), will take readings and check magnets when this arrives.
And some Goto PAFs in a Fresher FL-1005 and one spare in my draw, these are all ceramic magnets and read around 8Kohm and the covers on these are not usually soldered on they are screwed to the feet.
IMG_20180706_081912.jpg
My 1979 Greco SG.jpg
UD-2000.jpg

U4000.jpg
Fresher Les Paul Artist.jpg
 
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Matt K

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The 1976 U-4000s both Neck and Bridge read 7.6Kohm
The 1979 UD's Neck: 7.54Kohm and the Bridge: 7.73Kohm

The pickup arrived today, 1976, Alnico magnet, so U1000 or U2000 as I don't know what Alnico it is, replaced the lead wire with the correct braided one (it had been cut off and extended, so I cut the extension off and reconnected it to the original braided wire) Reads 7.8Kohm with what appear to be maple spacers
 
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Over Drive

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What a great resource this thread is. It took a while but I read it from start to finish. Many thanks to the very knowledgeable people sharing this information.
 

ThePanda

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I need some help identifying the pickups in my EG59-70.
The previous owner mentioned they were factory DiMarzio's. I didn't expect them to be completely unlabeled.

I am curious what model they are.

Neck: 7.54
Bridge: 7.51

Pickups sound great though.

[UPDATE 15 July 2020] Found out through the 1989 Greco Catalog that the EG59-70 has DRY pickups stock.

 
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Tokai Hunter

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My confusing Dry Z pickups... 8 serial number... one has 2 hole bobbins and the other 3 hole bobbins... any guidance! O
 

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