realjimjim's Pickup Build - A Pictoral "Thank You" Thread

cooljuk

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In another thread, forum member realjimjim casually mentioned that he had an old cream Super Distortion that some knucklehead had painted the bobbin tops black. Seeing that, and that his location was set to VA, I couldn't help but wonder if it just might have been the very same old Super Distortion that I had painted black many years ago when I was a young knucklehead living one state over in MD.

Now, I should go on a tangent here for a moment to give a little background that's important to this story: This Super Distortion may have been just like every other one made at that time by Dimarzio, but this particular one started its life with me when I was about 13 years old and found it in a bin of used Kramer parts at a local M&P shop called, "Victor Litz" in Gaithersburg. I was after "a humbucker" to play around with because I had, up to that point, only played with single coils. I didn't know or care anything about it other than I wanted to know what a humbucker sounded like. I bought it, for probably about $10, and cut the PG on my Strat with an exact-o knife that I held over a lighter to heat it up. That Strat's body was factory routed for a HB in the bridge. Well, it sounded so powerful and awesome to me when I fired up that Strat! So much more balsy and just pure "Rock n' Roll" compared to those Strat single coils. I was in tone-love! Through highschool that humbucker, that turned out to be a Super Distortion, went into pretty much every guitar that I bought or traded my way into, at least TEN among mine and some friend's guitars. It escaped me more than once by trading or selling a guitar that had it installed to a friend, but it was never far. I played my first on-stage show with that humbucker. Recorded my first band's demo tape with it, too. At one point though, I lost track of it entirely. A couple years back, on two different occasions, this pickup came up in conversation between two different friends from high school that owned it at points. They both asked if I still had it or knew where it was in the course of another conversation about pickups. Unfortunately, I hadn't a clue but I had not forgotten about it! I figured it was just gone. No big deal, just an old Super Distortion, right? Well, yes, but this one had sentimental value attached.

So the chances were slim, but I asked Jim a few follow up questions about the hookup lead and where he acquired the pickup, got some nice photos from Jim, and in the end it turned out that it really was my old pickup! It's very unique looking with the wear markings and painted bobbin tops. Once I saw the photos, I was stunned. I sent it to both of my two old friends who confirmed my suspicions.

Jim was kind enough to send it home to me. I'm flattered and honored by that. I offered to make him any standard or custom ReWind pickup in return. We talked a little and I think I have an idea of just the sort of kickass pickup he'll appreciate.

This is the build thread for Jim's custom ReWind Electric - well, let's call it the "Jimbucker." I'll post some photos and descriptions here and share progress. It was very selfless of Jim to send the Super Distortion back to me and I will do everything I can to make his pickup special and give him something truly heartfelt in return.

First, here's the old ugly Super Distortion. My first humbucker:
e1633ac0.jpg


Here's the first photos of the Jimbucker. It's gonna be hot!
The design drafted, here's the bobbins prepped for winding:
b754cd4e.jpg


CBDB-CUST-103
 

LtKojak

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James, what a great story!

I'm pretty sure Jim will get a heck of a lot kick-*ss p'up in return and then some!

Keep up the good work.
 

realjimjim

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I gotta say just this: I'm so pleased to be able to do something like this for another guitar player . .. serious, I really am thrilled to do this.

James, I'm so glad you are getting your baby back!

Oh, wait a minute! You promised me a hook up with Joany Jett!!!
 

cooljuk

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Cool deal James. So what are you gonna do with it for a wind now.

Ah! I got a bit inspired with this one and did something new for me. This is cool, check it out...

I decided to tap the slug coil and give this pickup two voices. A typical PAF voice and a HOT voice. :naughty: I tapped it at 3700 turns, then put on an additional 4000 turns!

Here's the thing that makes this a unique of a design. At least for me. The first (inner) 3700 turns is wound on the bobbin with a TPL ratio that favors a lower voice. The final 4000 turns is wound with a different TPL that favors a brighter voice. I did this with the idea in mind that when the outer/final portion of the coil is added to the circuit, the brightness of the that coil will offset or compliment the lower resonant peak caused by the added amount of wire.

This will be awesome.

Here's the inner portion of the coil and the tap tapped off before getting the final 4000 turns.
1e36a570.jpg


The outer 4000 turns wound on top of the inner portion.
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Its just bulging on that bobbin! I didn't use a thinner gauge wire for this. This is full size 42AWG PE wire. That's allot of turns to put on a single bobbin.
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Here's the finished coil with the tap. Three hookup wires.
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Soooooooo, with...

5700 turns on the slug coil reading 4.8k Ohms
3700 turns on the inner portion of the screw coil reading 3.1k Ohms
7700 turns total on the screw coil reading 6.8k Ohms

...the Jimbucker in "PAF Mode" will run as a 9,400 turn 7.9k humbucker with an offset favoring the North/slug side and a screw coil with a warmer TPL coil. In "Kill Mode" it will run as a 13,400 turn 11.6k Ohm angry bastard with an offset favoring the South/screw coil and a screw coil with a brighter overall TPL, but also two different TPLs giving it a complex and unique voice.

:shock: Shit. I'm stoked to plug this mofo in and see what sort of monster I've created.
 

cooljuk

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btw - those DCR readings above are likely to tame down a bit after a good night's rest. I read them right after winding. They always drop a little. DCR doesn't mean much anyway. It's included, along with the more important turn counts, for reference.
 

cooljuk

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I need to get my recording equipment set back up so I can get some demos of this one. That's one thing I've still not put together since the move. My shop is up and running, but there's still much work to do before I get it how I want.
 

captcoolaid

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Hey James. Here is what you may find with the PAF xtra wind on the slug coil you may find because of the massive turn count diff that it will act more like a fat single coil. Which is not a bad thing, just not what you may expect from a 11k pup. I rather liked the few I have done. If you do not like it do not abandone it. Use 43 for the upbuild for the slug and drop about 6 hundred turns and it will be more or less p-90ish.
 

cooljuk

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Thanks, Rayne. I think the greatest coil offset I've done so far is about 1200 turns on a setup that was:

Screw 6200
Slug 5000

I did like the somewhat single-coil-like qualities that that one had and it was still hum-canceling.

This is a little more extreme though. :naughty: We'll see what happens. I'm actually hoping for a brighter and more detailed (as well as hotter) voice than one might expect when I have the full screw coil in use. Damn - if it actually did sound a little P-90ish I'd love it! I don't expect that though. I'm finding that P-90s are very sensitive to coil shape/size and that two magnets are a must.

I have to admit, I love building PAFs and I think there's a great deal of creative freedom in that one narrow element due to how non-standard Gibson's results were over the years, if that makes any sense, but I do jump at the opportunities like this to break some rules and just do whatever the F comes to mind. I've ended up with some cool results by just playing around with scrap parts and doing things the "wrong" way. The "Fullertons" I'm working on are another example of a bad idea that turned into a great result. lol
 

cooljuk

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Pressing the slugs in place:
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The bulging screw coil tapped up and secured over the steel keeper bar to the baseplate.
93368a5d.jpg


I used some 4 conductor wire for a hookup lead for the most versatility. It's actually 5 conductor, since the shield is a conductor also.

I hardwired the screw/South coil start to the baseplate like a PAF and have the hookup lead shield connected to the baseplate as well. I used the remaining four conductors to connect to the screw/South finish, screw/South tap, and slug/North start and finish. This will allow a number of wiring options.
bee263aa.jpg
 

geetarfreek82

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Better send him a diagram! LOL That is pretty neat, I love outside the box thinking. The only downside to that internal wiring set up is that he won't be able to reverse the phase of the pickup if needed, but if he's using it with any standard humbucker it will be fine anyway.
 

cooljuk

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Better send him a diagram! LOL That is pretty neat, I love outside the box thinking. The only downside to that internal wiring set up is that he won't be able to reverse the phase of the pickup if needed, but if he's using it with any standard humbucker it will be fine anyway.

Ya, I'll definitely put together a diagram, and also send it out with the wires twisted together that put it in normal full-bore badass 'bucker mode by default.

No, you couldn't flip the phase on THIS humbucker, without using 6 conductors or giving up other wiring options. BUT - since it's the only one like it, you can always flip the phase of the other pickup(s) in a guitar to get the same result. ;)

Hoping to get some testing in tonight and try this baby out! I might not be back at the shop until very late today though so it could end up later in the week. I'm really stoked to hear the difference between the inner/outer coils on the slug side.
 

geetarfreek82

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Hoping to get some testing in tonight and try this baby out! I might not be back at the shop until very late today though so it could end up later in the week. I'm really stoked to hear the difference between the inner/outer coils on the slug side.

Me too... We need vids, we need vids!
 

cooljuk

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Me too... We need vids, we need vids!

I don't have my recording gear setup yet. :(

I have some really nice pres/mics/converters, though. I can try to slap something together this weekend. My rooms sound like shit still (open, empty, hardwood floors, totally untreated acoustically) but I can do a close-mic setup or use software emulation for now.
 

cooljuk

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Well, I did a little testing with this guy last night! HOTDAMN! I'm onto something with this. I can guarantee you fellas I'll be building more like this.

It sounds really great as both 9,400 turn humbucker and a 13,400 turn humbucker. I was pretty sure it would.

What I hadn't counted on was how cool some of the other wiring options were. Shorting one of the screw coils to ground was thin and single-coil-ish as expected. Shorting part of the screw coil to one of the slug coil terminals was AWESOME! Very single coil like without having the thin "half bucker" syndrome. Throwing a cap in the circuit at different points had some pretty wild results too. I didn't even get a chance to mess around with phase flipping a coil, or all the series/parallel options possible.

I've got some multi-position rotary switches around the shop somewhere. I'm going to try to dig up one and map out several wiring options on it.

Still aiming for an audio, if not video, demo this weekend. After all, I have to stop playing around with Jim's pickup and get it out to him!
 

realjimjim

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Well, I did a little testing with this guy last night! HOTDAMN! I'm onto something with this. I can guarantee you fellas I'll be building more like this.

It sounds really great as both 9,400 turn humbucker and a 13,400 turn humbucker. I was pretty sure it would.

What I hadn't counted on was how cool some of the other wiring options were. Shorting one of the screw coils to ground was thin and single-coil-ish as expected. Shorting part of the screw coil to one of the slug coil terminals was AWESOME! Very single coil like without having the thin "half bucker" syndrome. Throwing a cap in the circuit at different points had some pretty wild results too. I didn't even get a chance to mess around with phase flipping a coil, or all the series/parallel options possible.

I've got some multi-position rotary switches around the shop somewhere. I'm going to try to dig up one and map out several wiring options on it.

Still aiming for an audio, if not video, demo this weekend. After all, I have to stop playing around with Jim's pickup and get it out to him!

James,

Take your time, I'm in New York until 8/20

thought about you as I went through MD, and Tim Fezz going through Philly too
 

cooljuk

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Cool, man. I'll get some nice demos together and figure out the best ways to wire this up for a few different sounds, then. I'll make a wiring guide, of course.
 

Sinster

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I purchased my first Jackson at Victor Litz.. I waited a in line that day, they were having a huge sale and only let a few people in at a time. Some people even camped out. But anyways great kick ass story!
 

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