Older SD '59 worth repairing?

Roxy13

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I have an older SD '59 B pickup wound by Jaurez that is from 83-88 based on the large Seymour Duncan logo on the baseplate, no MIA stamp and the small sticker that says 59B J on it. However it reads dead on the lead. I haven't checked the solder joints yet, but let's say I reflow the solder and it's still dead. Would this be worth being rewound?

I've never gotten to hear it since it was dead on arrival in one of my late 80s MIJ guitars. It was not original to the guitar so someone in Japan put it in there. The neck 59 is the later one from 88-02 and that one is working. I know these have a following but their value doesn't seem to be that high, like $100-150. And I'm reading rewound pickups are only worth maybe half of original anyway.

So how good do these things sound that it might be worth repairing if I have to send it off?
 
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ARandall

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All Duncan's are auto machine wound. The part the 'winder' plays in the process is loading the bobbin and then taking it off the machine once done.
If the dead coil is broken near the end wire or in the hookup, then it's obviously well worth the time as the pickup is almost unaffected......both from a sound or tone aspect - and perhaps even resale value.
A break near the start is new coil time. Depending on your enthusiasm level you could send it back to Duncan, or any winder. Its probably about the same cost for a 1 coil rewind vs a s/h 59 whole pickup.
 

Roxy13

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Yes, I realize new 59s are pretty cheap. Supposedly they don't sound as good as the old ones? I really don't know because I haven't actually listened to any of my old ones but I now have a collection of 3 of them. There is another bridge that is functional, also from 88-02. Speculation is that the older ones have the butyrate bobbins and US cast magnets as opposed to Asian sourced ones.

I'm going to try to reflow the solder first. And then I'm willing to look for a break in the first 100-200 winds, but anything after that is beyond my capabilities of repair.
 

freefrog

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I have an older SD '59 B pickup wound by Jaurez that is from 83-88 based on the large Seymour Duncan logo on the baseplate, no MIA stamp and the small sticker that says 59B J on it. However it reads dead on the lead. I haven't checked the solder joints yet, but let's say I reflow the solder and it's still dead. Would this be worth being rewound?

I've never gotten to hear it since it was dead on arrival in one of my late 80s MIJ guitars. It was not original to the guitar so someone in Japan put it in there. The neck 59 is the later one from 88-02 and that one is working. I know these have a following but their value doesn't seem to be that high, like $100-150. And I'm reading rewound pickups are only worth maybe half of original anyway.

So how good do these things sound that it might be worth repairing if I have to send it off?
Hello,

1) Yes, these pickups are frail... 2) no, they don't sound like recent 59's. 3) yes, they're worth a repair, even if you can keep only one of the original coils.

Thx to add "IME" and "IMHO" to each of these sentences. :)
 

Roxy13

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That was another question going through my head...how do I know which coil to even start looking at? Obviously I have never done this before lol.
 

freefrog

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That was another question going through my head...how do I know which coil to even start looking at? Obviously I have never done this before lol.
In a HB, the end of a coil goes to "hot". The opposite end of the other coil goes to ground. In pickups exhibiting a coaxial cables (with braided shielded wire), the junction between coils is soldered then hidden in a black adhesive tape.
If you remove this tape (cautiously) you'll be able to put a probe of your multimeter on the junction between coils. It will allow to put the other probe on the "hot" wire then on the ground, showing if the dead coil is the one between ground and center junction OR the coil between center junction and hot.
Hope it's clear...
 

Roxy13

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In a HB, the end of a coil goes to "hot". The opposite end of the other coil goes to ground. In pickups exhibiting a coaxial cables (with braided shielded wire), the junction between coils is soldered then hidden in a black adhesive tape.
If you remove this tape (cautiously) you'll be able to put a probe of your multimeter on the junction between coils. It will allow to put the other probe on the "hot" wire then on the ground, showing if the dead coil is the one between ground and center junction OR the coil between center junction and hot.
Hope it's clear...
That sounds so obvious now, but yes, thank you so much! It's the vintage braided wire.
 

cooljuk

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@Roxy13 , if you'd like to send me the pickup, I'll be honored to restore it for you for free.

Your contributions to this forum are valuable, regular, and positive. Please allow me to repay a fraction of that via a simple repair, if it might benefit you.

A rewind may not be needed but, if it is, I can replicate the coil patterns and select a spool of wire with similar copper core and insulation properties to the original.

email me at info@re-wind.net for my Repair & Mod Request Form, if you'd like to take me up on this.
 

cooljuk

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In a HB, the end of a coil goes to "hot". The opposite end of the other coil goes to ground. In pickups exhibiting a coaxial cables (with braided shielded wire), the junction between coils is soldered then hidden in a black adhesive tape.
If you remove this tape (cautiously) you'll be able to put a probe of your multimeter on the junction between coils. It will allow to put the other probe on the "hot" wire then on the ground, showing if the dead coil is the one between ground and center junction OR the coil between center junction and hot.
Hope it's clear...

To add a little to this, the coil "starts" are the "hot" and "ground" of a PAF style humbucker and the coil "finishes" are both tied together in the middle. That's a simple way of winding all coils in the same direction but getting a humbucking effect by sending the signal through each coil in opposite directions. That's been the most common way of noise cancelling coils since even before PAFs.
 

freefrog

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To add a little to this, the coil "starts" are the "hot" and "ground" of a PAF style humbucker and the coil "finishes" are both tied together in the middle. That's a simple way of winding all coils in the same direction but getting a humbucking effect by sending the signal through each coil in opposite directions. That's been the most common way of noise cancelling coils since even before PAFs.
Yep, the word "end" in my post was functional but ambiguous. I've felt that something was not right in my attempt to translate my thoughts but English is still not my mother tongue. So, thx for your linguistic help and precision(s). :cool:
 

BigJim

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@Roxy13 , if you'd like to send me the pickup, I'll be honored to restore it for you for free.

Your contributions to this forum are valuable, regular, and positive. Please allow me to repay a fraction of that via a simple repair, if it might benefit you.

A rewind may not be needed but, if it is, I can replicate the coil patterns and select a spool of wire with similar copper core and insulation properties to the original.

email me at info@re-wind.net for my Repair & Mod Request Form, if you'd like to take me up on this.
I came in to suggest sending it to @cooljuk, he has repaired and wound a few pickups for me, always fast, reliable and affordable.

Seems he has it covered!
 

Roxy13

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@Roxy13 , if you'd like to send me the pickup, I'll be honored to restore it for you for free.

Your contributions to this forum are valuable, regular, and positive. Please allow me to repay a fraction of that via a simple repair, if it might benefit you.

A rewind may not be needed but, if it is, I can replicate the coil patterns and select a spool of wire with similar copper core and insulation properties to the original.

email me at info@re-wind.net for my Repair & Mod Request Form, if you'd like to take me up on this.
Wow, I'm so appreciative I don't think I can come up with a gracious reply!

I think it's the coil on the pole screw side.
 

Roxy13

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A HUGE thank you to James for repairing my pickup. Hopefully he will elaborate on it as he found some interesting things about it. As it turned out I had no hope of repairing it as one coil had cut wire all through it. He thinks someone tried to put a used cover on it that still had solder inside that just cut the wire.

Also the hot leads were not wired correctly when I went in and I didn't know any better so I didn't realize that either.

This is what he found though that was interesting about it: the winds and pattern was the same as some vintage PAFs. And yes, it's not like newer Duncan 59s so that probably explains why so many people like these older ones so much more.

I'm really excited to get it back and try it out :)
 

DADGAD

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100% recommend James. He has fixed a few pickups for me as well
and saved them. I even think one might have been an 80’s 59BJ as well. I think it might have been converted to 4 wire. I had a fixation with the mid 80’s 59’s. Butyrate bobbins and a lot
of people say they sound better.
 

cooljuk

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I've already shared this with @Roxy13 and, at her suggestion, I'll share here, as well.

So, there were a few things wrong with it. At first, I thought it was just the wiring, as both of the coil finishes were soldered to ground. Those should be soldered to each other, but not ground, and just tapped off and tucked between the two coils.





Once I separated them, slug coil was reading open, though. I touched up the finish lead, but it still read open. I soaked the coil in a very mild solvent blend to soften the tape glue.



I discovered a number of external breaks and abrasions on the coil, all on the side that would be exposed when assembled as a pickup.



That can happen when a cover with a rough solder joint slides over the coil and scrapes it through the tape. I thought I'd be able to save the coil by removing those outside turns, so I did. After unwinding half of the coil, it was still reading open, however. There was more damage inside. I had to cut off what was left and rewind the slug coil. It couldn't be saved. I tried.

The good news is I had the opportunity to count turns and learn the coil pattern while unwinding that first half. The coil pattern was one I already had set up on a winder. It really was a coil pattern and TPL I've seen on original PAFs, not commonly, but still a true PAF pattern, unlike modern Duncans and Gibsons. It's a pattern I actually use on one of my own models. It makes sense that people would prefer these over the modern ones. I have a spool of wire that matched perfectly to the original wire (it was a hair on the thin side of the tolerance for AWG 42 copper).

I potted it in a wax compound I've copied from 60's Fender pickups, which is probably similar to what Duncan would have used.

Finally, I installed a new full length lead and new brass screws. I used some older screws I had with a nice dull patina to match the pickup. The original parts are in a baggie inside the box with the pickup.

At least as good as new, now. On the way back to Roxy!
 


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