I had a 1975 Wide Range’ humbucker in for a rewind the other day and took the chance to take some pictures. I thought I’d explain why these are different from ‘normal’ humbuckers and show you what its innards look like.
The main difference is with the magnets. A tradition ‘Gibson ‘ style humbucker has a single bar magnet underneath the coils with the pole pieces ‘conducting’ this magnetic flux up through the coils towards the strings.
The Wide Range is much more similar to a Fender pickup (like a Strat) with the poles being individual magnets, 12 of them. This produces a more trebly, percussive, clearer tone than a traditional humbucker. To offset this high end Wide Ranges have overwound coils. The more wire you put on a coil the more bass you get so Wide Ranges are wound to around 10.6KOhms where as a traditional humbucker is closer to 8KOhms. This adds bass and balances out the tone from the magnets giving a balanced, full, clear tone. To give space for these extra windings the pickup was made physically bigger.
Oh, and the magnets have a different chemical composition, but that’s another story.
Just published Ep#7 of “MrGlyn Meets Your Maker” with Kiran from FirehorseFX in Hamilton. We talk about his range of pedals, how he develops them and what cool stuff is in the pipeline including a Mu-Tron Phaser that’s got my GAS going.
This old Telecaster pickup came to me for a re-wind but the problem turned out to be outside the coil. You can just see the broken wire on the left. By the look of the solder joint it’s been messed with. I managed to replace the end of that fine wire and it’s all good now.
Just posted Ep#5 of “MrGlyn Meets Your Maker” on Youtube. In this one I talk with Russ from Mattsen Guitars about his handmade Resonator guitars. If you have any interest in Resonators, Slide guitar or guitar construction this one is for you.
I’ve been doing a fair few re-winds recently, saving old pickups. This nice old bridge pickup had stopped working. You can see the corrosion around the pole pieces. This corrosion had spread through the pole and caused a break in the windings.
Once I’d stripped the wire off and cleaned the rust away I lacquered the inside of the pickup and then wrapped a very thin tape around the poles to protect the new windings.
It was just a case of winding it with AWG42 plain enamel wire to the original spec, wax potting and testing it.