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Old 10-14-2007, 10:27 AM   #81
xpander
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Originally Posted by J Kennedy View Post
Let me know if the scematics were not up to speed also.
Oh, they are just fine for me. I like those had drawn ones sometimes better, they literally give some personal touch into these subjects.

The only problem I had was that I have already amassed quite a lot of knowledge about all this, in it's own "left brain" language and way. You are sharing from the experience, and I love the storytelling style you have....but somehow the more intuitional, free flowing right brain stuff seemed to mix in a funny way with the things already categorized in my head.

I was already going to reply to this thread earlier on, when you asked where to get the replacement magnets for the pickups, but
felt that this story was unfolding in mysterious ways. I collected couple of old nuggets to share, but you have found one good supplier already. Here's some options anyway, just in case.

http://allstarmagnetics.com/magnets/specialty.asp

The old guitar builders favorite, Stewart-MacDonald:
http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Electron...ps:_Parts.html

They have some basic info also:
http://www.stewmac.com/freeinfo.html

--

More basics from GuitarNuts
http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/pickups.php

And another specialty of theirs, wiring and shielding:
http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/index.php

--

And yet more information, this one about Vintage Fender pickups, like touched on this topic.
http://www.provide.net/~cfh/pickups.html

Still wanting to go deeper? Seymour Duncan should be a familiar name to anybody interested in guitar pickups, and Seymour's Q & A pages sure have a massive wealth of information on anything and everything about pickups.

http://www.seymourduncan.com/support/faq/seymours-q-a/

--

But all the above is just the usual boring stuff, and you JK know this stuff through your experiences. That's what I like about this thread, so please do continue.
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Old 10-14-2007, 03:18 PM   #82
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Xpander,

These are great sites you’ve given and will make for good links to graphics for the Gibson rebirth. Great resources for materials and information. The Neodymium thing looks like a cross between blood diamonds and the mp3 codec litigations.

I’ve got probably 4 or 5 posts left to cover all the stuff needed and the hotwire secrets can rest in peace. On your good advice, I’ll modify the format a bit. I’ll do a “background” section with all the theory and trivia, then an “application” section for the direct nuts and bolts. The theory part is meant to globalize the soldering iron process to a principle, so that the Strat mod for instance can be applied to any 3 pickup guitar. It just has to be more organized. Anyone then can skip the theory stuff and hit the drill motor. Like you, there are a lot of experienced people here who don’t have to be taught what a capacitor is.

What I’ve got left is what capacitors are and how the filtration systems work (and how to keep dogs and cats from pissing on your car tires!!), the Rickenbacker and Telecaster outliers, the mod for 3 pickup guitars with only 3 knobs (unfortunately including Stratocasters which I found out 40 years too late). There’s the construction of a passive, external selective tone and Tele filter box so you can design the specs for RC filters before taking the guitar apart. (You can use the box live onstage also as the first or last effect in the chain). There’s the rework on the Gibson. Update on the new N52 3/8" Neodymiums (losing sleep over this one). That should cover everything that I can give on this. I had been hoping that guys like you could have dived in more with references and your own experiences. This is the way I did it and it worked, but you guys could know a better way and advice to improve things. Maybe in time.

Oh…uh…Claw. Still don’t know where this renegade is, but he’s due to trade in his orange jumpsuit and handcuffs, and surface for the OSU tour any time. The guy will probably never use Reaper or anything dealing with computers, but when we nail him down, it would be a collective blessing to have him sign on to the forum. Tips and Tricks would go thru the roof. He discovered a key to changing the individual’s creative insight, breaking bondages and blocks in the flow of artistic expression that may be the most important layperson contribution to the knowledgebase here, or anywhere. He left me piles of proactive “scripture” on a 3.5 floppy that explains the processes of personal transformation in cold simplicity. I’ll post this material, probably as a zip attachment on another forum, is the lounge about right? There’s not many chances in the journey of existence you will read two thousand year old documents that will be life changing, but here's the portal. Oh yeah, and how to tell if you’re going to heaven or hell from your guitar. Somewhere else, not here, right?

Xpander, Twoleftfeet, friends. Hope you guys are all doing great. Glorious, flippin’ glorious stuff still in the wings.

John K

Last edited by J Kennedy; 10-15-2007 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 10-15-2007, 07:10 PM   #83
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why not continue here J Kennedy? i'm all up for reading anything on breaking creative barriers. btw, this thread is insane. thanks.
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Old 10-15-2007, 09:07 PM   #84
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Brainwreck,

Got to agree that this is insane and if folks want to explore inner space, it will get a lot more insaner. What I want to pass the torch on about is transformation. The guitar can be modified to get ethereal sounds way beyond the stock setup, because the potential was there all the time, just in an unmanifest state. It took the application of some rational steps to get to the extended possibilities. Anyone who has pulled off the guitar mod can tell you how the before and after compared.

Same is even more radical with the human condition. Under normal circumstances, dormant creative insight remains buried and chained. If we’re lucky enough, some will trickle to the surface here and there over a lifetime and we can get a couple tunes or oil paintings out of it. There are methodologies to roll the stone away from the portal and free up the hidden resources. It's there all the time, just buried under psychic rubble. Our moms and dads, our school teachers didn’t know about this, so we never got a chance to learn.

Takes a serious commitment of about an hour a day practice, direct application of sublime science. Mental stability can be weakened a bit for several months as the individual adjusts to new energies, so there are dangers…just a heads up warning.

Definitely more on this if even one person is interested.

Best to all,
John K
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Old 10-15-2007, 09:39 PM   #85
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i'm in the car, motor's running, let's go........i'm serious
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Old 10-15-2007, 09:43 PM   #86
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Fun thread. I hope to read it all.

Let me know if the Claw is playing Portland any time soon.
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Old 10-16-2007, 01:52 AM   #87
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I'm following along too ... Very interesting! Maybe I'll have questions or something to add later, but right now I'd just rather not interupt.
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:23 PM   #88
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Default introspection

Folks,

I’ll finish with the guitar mods and then get into the introspective discipline. You get a new guitar and become a new player. This is good all way around.

In honesty, I’ve left behind me a lot of successful guitar mods, but fewer successful people mods, because taking a cognitive hyperleap requires a lot of rough internal work. Success and an outrageous outcome is assured because what you will get is science and there is a predetermined outcome to the process. Creative and intuitional insights flow like honey, but getting there can put you thru some fast and serious changes, not all happy ones. Emptying out ghosts and rubble from the subconscious can get scary and uncomfortable at first. We leave behind the weight that was dragging everything down, but old habits and ways of looking at the world don't go down easy. Increased health, creativity, intelligence, and regaining a child's ability to just have fun in life are on the other side of the quest..

Complete discipline is required, regardless what the process feels like it’s doing for the first few weeks or months. After you've beaten yourself into clarity, a high is produced that is greater than any drug you can put in your body (and I’ve probably done them all and a few more). So, there’s an ultimate, raging high to be had, any time, any place and for free. Control over autonomic processes will be such that you will shift metabolic gears and gain the revitalization of several hours sleep in a few minutes.

I found out that this was possible in a lab environment 35 years ago, and chased the swami gurus all over the world to be able to learn what they knew and get their abilities.

My buddy Claw went thru his own hell on this side of the planet and got to virtually the same technologies but by an entirely different pathway.

Maybe the best for right now is for me to search thru the 3.5 floppies and post his introduction. You can read thru and I can direct to the high points. This is absolute revolutionary info, making the point that we are not stuck with what we were given by birth, and backing up the claim with methodology. I’ll then go thru my variant on the technologies of the ancient heathens, step by step in detail so that all may have the tools for individual rebirth in their possession.

You guys want to get high, REAL high? You’re in the right place.

Best to all,
John K

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Old 10-16-2007, 03:45 PM   #89
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am greatly appreciative of all your info / energy
looking forward to journeying with everyone
ps....is this..the right place for this thing ? i mean i don't care but.....okay i'll shut up
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Old 10-16-2007, 06:48 PM   #90
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why not continue here J Kennedy? i'm all up for reading anything on breaking creative barriers. btw, this thread is insane. thanks.
Ditto that, please continue John. Your posts make me feel like I'm
listening to an old friend, a very wise one.

Best Regards, Jeff
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Old 10-16-2007, 08:37 PM   #91
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Default on the border

Friends,

It’s probably best that the meditation technologies be started in another forum. This pathway is radical, heavy, mind blowing, and the stuff of which dreams are made of. The life is permanently changed and all areas of existence are made better. I’d like to get thru the guitar stuff and then devote focus to this ultimate science. Maybe the lounge, or a spot where the methods can be posted and discussed. We can collectively figure out what is the best way to enhance this community without getting in the way of it.

It may be better also for me to give the formal practice the way I trained before Claw’s process, since Claw’s system is a bit more unstructured (sorry Claw) and because it would be a blast to get him in the ring to give his spin on this personally (and squeeze a few guitar lessons out of him).

The first necessary step for those wanting to explore this is to look at daily schedule. Success requires a minimum of two half hour periods a day in sitting practice, best morning and evening, and has to be done like clockwork if you are to prevail. You are mastering a new cognitive skill, which requires concentrated practice like anything new worth learning. There are various peripheral support techniques to be added that eventually demand more time if you want to take them up also. Paradox is that the quality of the waking state is enhanced so you gain back far more time than was given away.

Meher **** said once that humans would some day walk on the surface of distant planets, but ultimately find that they were there themselves unchanged, and so the real final frontier is the voyage to inner space. You are very fortunate, because you are on the threshold. My role in this is only to pass on what was freely given to me.

Bear with me please with a depraved work schedule over this month. Plan is to get the guitar mod finished so we can move from the transient to the real. Extreme celebration is completely in order.

Best to all
John K
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Old 10-17-2007, 03:26 AM   #92
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I've read a few good reports that say the Electro Harmonix Hum Debugger actually eliminates noise - "Absolutely eliminates hum from any audio source. Not a noise gate and not a suppressor. Dead silence in your signal chain courtesy of a little EH magic" - some people are saying it actually works.
A bit late to the party over this, but I've got a EH Hum Debugger and can confirm it does work. It does 'exactly' what it claims to do, the 60hz hum is completely eliminated here, even using single coils with as much distortion as I can throw at them.

The only drawback that I can see/hear, is that it also introduces a slight 'echo' effect into the signal path, virtually unnoticable thro' monitors, but plain to hear thro' headphones. This probably makes it better for chords and riffs rather than lead work, but even then the 'echo' would likely go unheard in a mix.

I think I'm right in saying it's a notch filter, but whatever the magic is, it works.

Ian
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Old 10-17-2007, 03:40 AM   #93
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Suhr seems to have nailed removing the hum while keeping the tone of single-coils:

http://www.suhrguitars.com/pickups.aspx#bpssc
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:39 AM   #94
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A 60 hz signal has a period of 16 2/3 ms. If you fed a delay back at 8 1/3 ms then wouldn't it cancel the 60Hz out and introduce a delay? You might want to filter the delayed signal as well, but with something smooth so you didn't get ringing
Hi gregh,

Hmmmm, that's beyond my limited comprehension I'm afraid LOL.

To be fair, I don't need the Hum Debugger now. I only bought it after having new GFS pups (S/S/H and coil tapped) fitted on one of my guitars, and due to problems with what turned out to be brittle wires on the pups, I got the 60hz hum even using them in humbucker mode. Now they have been finally sorted, the pedal is pretty much redundant.

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Old 10-18-2007, 12:12 AM   #95
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Default to the real

well, i did get hooked on this thread because you were showing me cool ways to alter my strat, which i'm still very into doing, i understand a busy work schedule, no prob
twoleftfeet

Bear with me please with a depraved work schedule over this month. Plan is to get the guitar mod finished so we can move from the transient to the real. Extreme celebration is completely in order.

Best to all
John K[/QUOTE]
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:27 AM   #96
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Default New Lounge Thread

Friends,

I started a new thread, barely more than a place marker at this point on the Lounge forum. It is simply “Yoga 101…Secrets of the Universe”. I’ll get that one rolling soon while the guitar mod process is developed here. An old saint from Norway called the specific process you will learn “a royal swift chariot into the heart of the sun”. My promise that a wild ride will be had by all.

John K
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:22 PM   #97
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Default they're here !

The larger, higher strength N52 grade Neodymium discs are now available. These have got to be killer.

http://www.kjmagnetics.com/products.asp?cat=168

part number D62-N52

John K
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Old 10-30-2007, 07:52 PM   #98
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Default another magnet

http://www.kjmagnetics.com/products.asp?cat=168

Another magnet of possible interest.

Part# BX041-N50 (1 x 1/4 x 1/16 bar)

It would take two to cover the poles of a single coil, or 4 to cover both bottom plates of a saddle. These are N50 grade and one quarter inch wide, which would relate to an overall volume boost with emphasis on the high end. Would also have beneficial effects under the inert poles in double coils and would be thin enough to fit in a humbucking pickup without having to rework the case.

Got several of these on the way with the D62-N52's and will let you know how they work.

John K
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Old 11-02-2007, 01:02 PM   #99
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Default schematic

Hi Folks,

Here is the modified mod of the previous schematic for any generic 3 pickup guitar, so ALL phases and mixes can be had. I short changed you previously on the strat with the blend possibilities missing with middle and neck pickup. This does require placing another switch, a miniature Radio Shack type, two position, three prong. Aesthetics would move the two phase switches between two knobs and the third switch in the remaining space between the knobs. I added a graphic of the Vox Bulldog that I tore up awhile back. It is set up in this manner.

Idea here is to still think of the guitar as two pickup. Adding the switch and modifying the second knob as in the schematic allows the lead position to be any mix of bridge and middle. Third knob allows any mix of bridge/middle and neck, so we’ve got all the combinations covered. The new switch determines if you are working with the middle or bridge pickup as the lead reference.

Best,
John K
Attached Images
File Type: jpg schematic.JPG (44.3 KB, 259 views)
File Type: jpg Vox.jpg (81.8 KB, 266 views)

Last edited by J Kennedy; 11-02-2007 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 11-02-2007, 02:36 PM   #100
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Default Telecasters, Rickenbackers, Tone Controls, Cats

Capacitors, rolled layers of foil and a paper dielectric inbetween. No direct connection, but inductances are set up that let selective frequencies thru. The larger ones can hold a near lethal charge from a 9 volt transistor radio battery.

Larger the farad rating, the wider range of frequencies that are induced and passed on. Lower the values and less gets transmitted, with the lower frequencies being blocked with progressively smaller capacitance ratings. The useful range in a guitar for tone control or different filters will be usually between 0.1 and 0.0001 microfarads. Starting from 0.1, a lot of frequencies get passed thru. Using 0.0001, most of the low frequencies are blocked but the hi frequencies still get thru.

Tone controls use the capacitor, usually a 0.01 mcf to shunt the high frequencies to ground with the pot restricting how much can be sent to ground. Turning down the tone control opens the capacitor to ground and the sound gets dull. Turn tone to 10 and you have mainly isolated the filter from the circuit and the tone is brite. Here is where you can experiment with various values to change the nature of the tone control. 0.005 mcf to 0.001 give a punchy midrange. 0.1 mcf gives almost pure bass.

Get a bunch of cheap waxed capacitors (Radio Shack deluxe again) and just start experimenting.

Fender Telecasters have their signature twang partly from using a small capacitor, not to ground, but to bridge the two non-grounded prongs of the volume control. The small capacitor blocks lo frequency as the master volume is turned down but allows a path for the hi frequencies to phase back into the signal. (I think the bypass is 180 degrees out). This is why the sound gets more tinny as you turn the volume knob down. The Fender amps use the same principle with a capacitor on a switch across the volume control. This is what the brite switch is and how it works. Here is another area for stage amp modeling, by going in and installing or changing the volume bypass filter to different values.

Guys, correct me if I'm wrong, but one 0.01 mdf capacitor will flip the phase of what is passed thru 180 out. Series two 0.005 caps and you get the original 0.01 with the bypass back in phase with minimal damage. This has never been a problem in my experience regardless.

Experimenting with different capacitors across the guitar master volume knob opens up a lot of neat rolloff possibilities and also can be used to offset guitars that tend to lose treble as the volume is turned down. You can use a resistor in series with the capacitor across the volume control to moderate the amount of capacitance in the circuit. Use a test potentiometer in series to adjust the right amount of capacitor bleed and then replace with a fixed resistor close to the value you want. (Use the ones with the gold band convention for higher precision, just a few pennies more). Small "trimmers" may work if they are within range and fit under the pickguard as permanent hardware. Gibsons have an extra knob to play with in the Gibson mod, so a variable rolloff knob can be used very nicely.

Rickenbackers get their characteristic sound partly with filters also. There is a fixed capacitor in series with the bridge pickup, essentially filtering out most of the bass response. When this is mixed with the neck pickup, you end up with a resulting sound that is heavy on the hi end and low end but not a lot of middle. Downside to this is that the filter makes the bridge pickup weak in volume and you have to be careful blending in the neck pickup without blowing a speaker. I had my bridge pickup on a switch to override the filter when needed. This approach can get some awesome sounds out of about any guitar. It simply requires an inline series capacitor on the hot lead of the bridge pickup and a switch to bypass the capacitor. Each guitar is entirely unique and so the choice of capacitors to give the best sound will be different for each.

As far as tone controls and Telecaster filters, these can be auditioned without taking the guitar apart first. A metal box with two potentiometers, two 12 position rotary switches and a bunch of capacitors is a must have tool if you do much of this. In the box, have one pot connected to a rotary switch that selects several gradients of capacitor values (0.1 to 0.0001). Run the output of the rotary to ground (capacitor and pot in series). The pot will now allow you to test different values of the tone control. This pot is set up (minus the rotary) identical to your tone control in the guitar, just outside. On the second setup, wire the pot just like your guitar volume control. Use the rotary and second set of capacitors to shunt across the two ungrounded leads of the volume control. This will allow you to test different rolloff filters and get the best choice for the specific guitar.

Rickenbacker filters can’t be put in an external box since you are not globally affecting the signal. Got to get inside for that one.

Hmmm..Looking back, I was going to explain how Claw tuned his guitar to let you know if you were going to heaven or hell. I should wait on this and let him address the collective himself. He’s got a much better handle on the fine points.

I can tell how to keep cats from pissing on your car tires. You need one of the bigger capacitors. Smaller capacitors like inside the guitar resonate down but can’t hold much of a static charge across the dielectric. Items like a car ignition capacitor can hold a good jolt. If you have the neighborhood pets doing their thing on your tires, here’s how to put an abrupt stop to the practice. Don’t know what it is about tires and cats, but once they start, you’re a target for as long as you own the car or kill the cat.

Take the capacitor and short it across the car battery for about 10 seconds. Bend the lead carefully back so that it almost touches the metal case. Clip the capacitor case to the metal tire rim or hub cap at the lowest point. Come sundown, the cats will start to do their tire ritual and the capacitor will discharge, frying their pecker instantly. It doesn’t take long to modify behavior.

Let me know if any of the schematics are unclear or any clarification needed.

John K

Last edited by J Kennedy; 11-02-2007 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 11-02-2007, 03:07 PM   #101
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Default mixed and angled pickups

I wanted to add a note on mixing pickups on a guitar and the physical placement of the pickups. With few exceptions, mixing different type pickups does an inferior job of presenting a sound type if you are controlling phase and blend. One bad example is a strat with a double coil in with the single coils, not that you can’t get interesting sounds, but the pure prototypes don’t get represented right.

The other thing that knocks the sound down are guitars that have a pickup or pickups angled against the convention of the other one or two. This may benefit the individual pickup, but damage the mix. Unfortunately, this includes my Squire strat and the Vox. There are strat models and of course non Fender brands that have 3 pickups evenly spaced and aligned. You also have the option to cut a new pickguard and get the pickups symmetrical. The final end product will be improved and allow the max range out of the modification. This is one of the reasons my Hagstrom III gets a better Fender sound than the Fenders.

John K
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Old 11-02-2007, 06:41 PM   #102
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Default Gibson modification

Friends,

Two pickup humbucking Gibsons even look great and minimally hacked from the outside in spite of a comprehensive mod. They already have enough knobs, and only one switch needs to be added unless you want to go nuts. That is the DPDT phase switch, which goes gracefully in the center of the 4 knobs. Stretch two rubber bands across the pot posts to get dead center for the drill.

You have to unsolder and take the cover off one of the pickups if you want to rephase, because the ground wire is internally soldered to the casing. Least noise is accomplished by routing the hot and ground wire just outside the cover and picking up the wires with thin double lead coaxial with the braid grounded to the casing (Radio Shack deluxe). You can cover the joint with some good electrical resistance RTV. Gibson grounds their body cavities better than Fenders, so minimal extra tin foil is needed to quiet things down.

Only one pickup has to be taken apart to switch phase. Connection and wiring of the DPDT is the same as with the strat. Ground all casings together. You can go overboard by adding DPDT and pots to one of the internal coils as well. DPDT should be center off if you do this extra route so you can run the humbucking as a single coil taking one coil out of the circuit. You get some very strange sounds when phase canceling coils so close together.

The idea is to use one knob as master volume, one as master tone, one for blend and one for a variable Telecaster rolloff, which in essence acts like a treble boost when the volume control is not all the way open.

I always used the nearest knob for volume, the knob right below as mixer, upper right for tone and the lower right for the Tele filter. You will notice that this setup allows you to get a specific ratio of pickups in any phase and turn the master volume up and down without altering the ratio. You can’t do this on a stock Gibson since raising or lowering volume in the standard configuration changes the proportional gain of the pickups. The only way you can keep a certain mix is to turn the amp up or down which is a drag.

Graphic is attached. This will radically change the Gibson. This design can be used as a prototype for other guitars. Last advice is that with the new Neodymium magnets available, the pickups themselves can be given a major overhaul as well. Humbuckings are okay stock, but they have an inferior magnet system and don’t output their real tonal quality and gain potential. Replace the inert poles with real magnets and change the bar to a Neodymium class N42 or greater. Now you have a real pickup to get full advantage of the mod.

Best to all,
John K

Maxed Out is a pix of a Gibson I went overboard with. Sounds great when I can remember what all the switches are for. The small double coil selects either coil and mixes the coils in and out of phase (at the expense of excess hardware). Went back to simpler designs after this creation.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Gibson.jpg (64.3 KB, 275 views)
File Type: jpg Maxed Out.jpg (72.2 KB, 302 views)

Last edited by J Kennedy; 11-03-2007 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 11-02-2007, 08:11 PM   #103
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Default Neodymiums arrived

That was quick.

Neodymiums arrived, and these are some powerful little flyers. I thought I was having trouble keeping the N42s under control. I could feel the knife getting sucked into the package while opening it. Their bigger sizes are considered hazardous enough that they can only be shipped by ground.

Pix is a comparison. The discs are bigger and a stronger grade (one under each pole of a pickup). The small bars attract end to end, my only initial worry that they would not. Perfect for placing across the discs or replacing stock bars. The previous N42 bars should be considered as well for a bit weaker but wider field boosting a wider bandwidth. The N42 is still many times stronger than any stock bar you have.

Guys, this is about all I can give on this thread. This is what I did by trial and error till I stopped wrecking guitars and got it right. This is offered for the joy and progress of all guitar players wanting to get a better sound out of their axe.

Maybe the moderators could move this thread to another location so it doesn’t drop off the end, this for anyone needing reference now, or for new folks in the future wanting to creatively mangle their guitars into shape.

Back to the studio with a stack of Neodymiums and a fleet of guitars to zap. Vox Bulldog is about to get its coils lit up..

Best to all of you.

John K
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Old 11-03-2007, 10:00 PM   #104
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Default Vox Rocks!

Update on the Bulldog. Rebirth is impressive. The base of the pickups are such that to get at the magnets, the pickups would be destroyed. I used the N42 bars and let them suck onto the back with Elmer’s glue. This left about a sixteenth inch of plastic barrier without contact with the original poles.

The sound was still transformed. Now I’ve done the Fender and a Vox and will definitely be doing the rest. I’ve got to agree with the web blogs on these things. There is a specific sound quality with Neodymiums that is different from the alnicos and iron. It is a kind of bite and clarity that wasn’t expressed with the weaker systems. Thumbs up on these. KJ Magnetics seems to be the least expensive source. You can turbo charge three pickups with discs and a bar (21 magnets total) for under 20 bucks currently.

John K

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Old 11-05-2007, 10:23 AM   #105
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John,
really appreciate your vast amounts of info here, i will either tear into my strat or get a yarmouth tele thing to experiment with.
since i lack experience with this stuff, any pics anyone has (John i know you've shared some) of the process of switching out the poles and mags on a fender type single coil, would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-07-2007, 10:15 AM   #106
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Twoleftfeet,

Good thing about the strat single coils is that you don’t have to do anything to change the magnets already there. It is quick, easy and can be undone if you want. It takes more time to loosen the strings and take off the pickguard than to turbo charge the pickups.

The best I’ve found so far is to place one Neodymium disc under each pole of each pickup. The polarity has to be right, and you will feel this if it is correct by the Neodymium disc pulling toward the installed pole. Once all 6 discs are in place, put one of the 2 inch N42 bars across the 6 discs, polarity correct if the bar pulls to the discs. This completes one pickup with 7 magnets, six discs and one bar. If the magnets are too hard to control, you may want to use some wood or Elmers glue to secure the discs first, then place the bar.

The benefits are that the gain and clarity will be major increased. The wider field will also bring in more of the tone range that you can't get out of the narrow field from stock poles alone. If you go forward with the phasing mod, the extra gain and bandwidth will help offset some of the subtractive combinations that reduce gain to get their effect.

Please let me know if you are going to remagnetize a Telecaster. There are a couple complications that require a bit more rework.

Regards,
John K

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Old 11-13-2007, 06:00 PM   #107
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Default Not so great mod

Was going nuts with the Neodymiums. Drew first blood when I got a finger pinched between two bars and wrecked my thumb trying to pry the things apart all day yesterday. Lost a couple of them as they flew off into something and shattered. They are brittle.

I redid a 3 pickup Hagstrom III with N42 bars. Sounds fantastic. Started on the Gibson SG and a 3 pickup Fender Mustang and problems started. Bigger and stronger is not necessarily better it seems. Scrap the idea of the N52 discs and the small N50 bars. The N52 discs may work on bass guitars. I’ve got a couple of them in line for a makeover and will let you know what results.

I screwed up the Gibson pretty bad at first. The SG single coil pickups have a system of two weak bars magnetized thru the width. The poles are screws that go thru an inert bar in the center. The stock system has an alternating north and south pole down the side in contact with the inert bar. The bar/screw combination channels the flux.

Ripped out the stock and replaced them with the N42 bars. Wow, what a sound!! Only problem is that it was unusable because of the variation in gain. Hi E and lo E and A were several times louder than DGB. I tried several alterations and did get a boost and sound/gain improvement by using two of the small N50 bars against the screws in addition to the stock magnets reinstalled.

I tried to redo the small humbucking with discs and small bars and came up with a weird option that picked up every sound of the wood or plastic being touched but had very low gain and knocked the lights out of any pickup it was mixed with. I ended up epoxying the small N50 discs on the bottom end of the protruding screws, with the small N50 bars across (two bars, each across 3 discs). This looks like a Lego setup but turbo charged the one coil so much that the second coil is barely functional in comparison, in or out of phase, the neo magnetized coil takes all the presence. This guitar now sounds incredible, but not easy to initially configure an optimized magnet system.

Struggle with the Mustang was getting the larger discs to stay still. Another factor comes into play that the edges of the disc repel each other, so there is some clash and inevitable phasing warp in the fields. I did finally get all 3 pickups redone, N52 3/8 discs and the N42 bars across. Once again, sound is fantastic and gain is way up.

The small N50 bars also have a problem with end to end placement. They attract and slam together on the ends only if the thickness field polarity is reversed, which would give too weird phasing cancellations.

Point of all of this as I am finding out, the strong N52’s are great, but much harder to work with. I can’t tell any real advantage over the smaller quarter inch N50’s. Optimum setup I’ve found so far with these things is still the quarter inch N50 discs on each pole of the pickup and the 2 inch N42 bar centered over the discs. I haven’t experimented with the Neodymium rods yet, but these hold promise.

Best,
John K

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Old 11-15-2007, 10:13 PM   #108
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John
i'm dreaming of a tele project but i think i may initially apply your magnet madness to my strat. appreciate the update. i'll post if i end up with something usable..........time to peruse over to your spiritual thread.............
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Old 11-16-2007, 11:27 AM   #109
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John,

Thanks alot for the interesting thread. I've just added a touch of book larnin' to your mojo, from my aborted attempt at a degree in Electrical Engineering:

Quote:
Originally Posted by J Kennedy View Post
Capacitors, rolled layers of foil and a paper dielectric in between. No direct connection, but reactance is set up that let higher frequencies thru. The larger ones can hold a near lethal charge from a 9 volt transistor radio battery.

Larger the farad rating, the lower the frequencies that are passed on, when a capacitor is connected in series. Lower the values and less LF gets transmitted, with the lower frequencies being blocked with progressively smaller capacitance ratings. The useful range in a guitar for tone control or different filters will be usually between 0.1 and 0.0001 microfarads. Starting from 0.1, a lot of frequencies get passed thru. Using 0.0001, most of the low frequencies are blocked but the hi frequencies still get thru.

Tone controls use the capacitor, usually a 0.01 mcf to shunt the high frequencies to ground with the pot restricting how much can be sent to ground. Turning down the tone control opens the capacitor to ground and the sound gets dull. Turn tone to 10 and you have mainly isolated the filter from the circuit and the tone is brite. Here is where you can experiment with various values to change the nature of the tone control. 0.005 mcf to 0.001 give a punchy midrange. 0.1 mcf gives almost pure bass.

Get a bunch of cheap waxed capacitors (Radio Shack deluxe again) and just start experimenting.

Fender Telecasters have their signature twang partly from using a small capacitor, not to ground, but to bridge the two non-grounded prongs of the volume control. The small capacitor keeps passing the higher frequencies as the master volume is turned down. This is why the sound gets more tinny as you turn the volume knob down. The Fender amps use the same principle with a capacitor on a switch across the volume control. This is what the brite switch is and how it works. Here is another area for stage amp modeling, by going in and installing or changing the volume bypass filter to different values.

Guys, correct me if I'm wrong, but one 0.01 mdf capacitor will flip the phase of what is passed thru 180 out. Series two 0.005 caps and you get the original 0.01 with the bypass back in phase with minimal damage. This has never been a problem in my experience regardless.

What a capacitor does to a signal is entirely dependent on how the capacitor is connected (inline or as a shunt) and the net reactance (resistance/inductance/capacitance) of the rest of the circuit. So it's really hard to generalize, like the above about phase. Not so useful anyways. Also, net capacitance increases when capacitors are hooked in parallel (two .005 capacitors in parallel = .01) and is the "inverted sum of the inverses" when you hook them in series (Two .005 capacitors in series = .0025)

Experimenting with different capacitors across the guitar master volume knob opens up a lot of neat rolloff possibilities and also can be used to offset guitars that tend to lose treble as the volume is turned down. You can use a resistor in series with the capacitor across the volume control to moderate the amount of capacitance in the circuit. Use a test potentiometer in series to adjust the right amount of capacitor bleed and then replace with a fixed resistor close to the value you want. (Use the ones with the gold band convention for higher precision, just a few pennies more). Small "trimmers" may work if they are within range and fit under the pickguard as permanent hardware. Gibsons have an extra knob to play with in the Gibson mod, so a variable rolloff knob can be used very nicely.

Rickenbackers get their characteristic sound partly with filters also. There is a fixed capacitor in series with the bridge pickup, essentially filtering out most of the bass response. When this is mixed with the neck pickup, you end up with a resulting sound that is heavy on the hi end and low end but not a lot of middle. Downside to this is that the filter makes the bridge pickup weak in volume and you have to be careful blending in the neck pickup without blowing a speaker. I had my bridge pickup on a switch to override the filter when needed. This approach can get some awesome sounds out of about any guitar. It simply requires an inline series capacitor on the hot lead of the bridge pickup and a switch to bypass the capacitor. Each guitar is entirely unique and so the choice of capacitors to give the best sound will be different for each.

As far as tone controls and Telecaster filters, these can be auditioned without taking the guitar apart first. A metal box with two potentiometers, two 12 position rotary switches and a bunch of capacitors is a must have tool if you do much of this. In the box, have one pot connected to a rotary switch that selects several gradients of capacitor values (0.1 to 0.0001). Run the output of the rotary to ground (capacitor and pot in series). The pot will now allow you to test different values of the tone control. This pot is set up (minus the rotary) identical to your tone control in the guitar, just outside. On the second setup, wire the pot just like your guitar volume control. Use the rotary and second set of capacitors to shunt across the two ungrounded leads of the volume control. This will allow you to test different rolloff filters and get the best choice for the specific guitar.

Rickenbacker filters can’t be put in an external box since you are not globally affecting the signal. Got to get inside for that one.

John K
A great one-stop electronics reference is The Art Of Electronics - probably the single best electronics book out there, with lots of practical info, but maybe more depth than most people need. More basic books like Getting Started In Electronics make great starting points. Also search for Craig Anderton books like DIY Projects for Guitarists.
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Old 11-17-2007, 11:28 AM   #110
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Kenn,

Much appreciated, anything that can bring in some science to the trial and error, and my vague understanding of the principles. Also, looks like the references would be a lot of help.

Regards,
John K

(edit) damn, I did have the series/parallel sumation explained backwards. Thanks for the correction.

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Old 11-17-2007, 12:14 PM   #111
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My pleasure, John. I'm looking forward to more of your tips.
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Old 05-03-2008, 02:59 PM   #112
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up above regarding your method for forming or shaping themal plastic using a electic cook pot and motor oil, i cant see why using vegtable oil or just cheap cooking oil wouldnt work, and its not toxic, some motor oils have things(chemicals) added to them that are probably not best to handle with your hands.

also just a tip regarding oils , if your sanding something using silicon water paper, the water may dry up on you quicker than you want , i like to use odourless baby oil to lubricate my silicon sand paper to keep it from clogging up to quickly...i also use the baby oil to keep my diamond files form clogging up..some people use spray oils like WD40 , or lemon oil but they both smell bad and are toxic, baby oil is a good safe alternative.....i tried vegetable oil but its just a bit too thick, it does work though, but its not to my liking...

just thought id mention some safer and less toxic alternatives.
cheers.
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Old 05-04-2008, 06:34 PM   #113
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Default yep, greener is better

Supro,

Good point. I was an aircraft mechanic for a bunch of years. Two of the reasons I jumped the field were constant layoffs and the toxic environment. We used the motor oil and crock pot to shape acrylic items like temporary contoured plates to patch windshields hit by bullets or birds. The industry in general didn’t give a fuk. We died of cancer or went crazy from the heavy metals in the paint fumes and solvents. No big loss to the bottom line. There always was some poor young kid next in line to take our place.

Vegetable oil would probably work great and be a lot safer.

Best,
John

Got some wet/dry sanding projects ahead and will try the baby oil

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Old 07-12-2008, 04:58 PM   #114
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Default strat on steroids

Gentlemen,

Another success to report for the guitar heroes among us (and there definitely are some). Dealing with the 2008 American Standard Strat (maple neck). Installed the new neodymium bars over the discs and the sound is impressive. Some initial rework is required.

Reference KJ Magnetics at

www.kjmagnetics.com

Specs for the magnet:

Part # BZ082. This is a 3” long x ½” wide x 1/8” thick bar, thickness polarized. Rated N42, so not the strongest but still puts a good meth rush on the pickup. Costs $5 apiece.. Not cheap, but better than blowing 20 times as much for a replacement pickup that probably won’t sound as good

I’ve encountered problems on some pickups with the 2 inch bars creating too much field on the end poles resulting in uneven response. The 3” bar is too wide to fit though, so will have to be broken to size.

Optimum coverage is 2.75” so you’ll have to break off 1/4”. Damn, would someone in Europe reclaim the colonies here so we can get the metric system imposed on us?

This method works to break them. The magnets are very fragile so they’re coated with a hard nickel alloy. You can score one side with a hack saw 1/4” in from the end. Probably best not to use vise grips to hold because overstress can fracture. Use a large crescent wrench to hold the magnet exposing the excess to one side and snap off with a large set of pliers. Then try to unscrew the crescent wrench enough to get the bar out. Magnet tends to keep the wrench shut tight.

Couple drops of wood glue on the discs. Keep your fingers out of the way and try to lay the bar across without ripping out the discs.

Got one of the most beautiful sounding guitars in the world. Now if I could just play as well as some of you guys.

Best to all of you,
John

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Old 07-12-2008, 07:54 PM   #115
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Wow John, I just read this whole thread front to back.

I have some small neodymium discs on hand (from KJ magnetics no less) already for a completely non-related project. Now you have me wanting to tear into my strat copy and install them.

Please accept my words of encouragement towards continuing the thread. I found it valuable. (And I'm not even a guitar player)
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Old 07-12-2008, 08:31 PM   #116
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Rob,

Thanks for the encouragement. Your guitar will be very much improved on the sound front. The application of the magnets is non-destructive. They are easy to install and if it doesn't sound right, easy to uninstall. Before and after is significant.

Best,
John

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Old 07-13-2008, 06:55 AM   #117
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Yeah, I got that loud and clear from the original thread. I appreciate the demystification of pickup tech.
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Old 07-13-2008, 01:11 PM   #118
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Default notes on wood

Friends,

I wanted to add some information on wood. This had been partially mentioned elsewhere but is added here to get everything in one place. You’ve got to have a lot of spare time on your hands and an old beater of a guitar to work on, so this is probably more for information only. It does work. Given the time and a paintbrush, you can significantly alter the sound of an electric by doing nothing else.

The things that affect sustain most are likely in order string height and gage, properties of the neck, body construction and wood type, pickups. String height is major as well as neck wood because here is where the string energy is absorbed most. Higher action, heavier gage strings and heavy lacquered neck, heavy lacquered body, light magnets with wide coils increase sustain at low volumes.

The way we interpret the sound is that lighter gage strings, lower action, porous neck (eg unlaminated rosewood), light body wood decrease sustain and increase the sense of funk, country twang. This is because the faster rolloff accents initial pops, initial attack and artifacts. Longer sustain can have the same tone characteristics but will sound deeper and darker. My strat is stock finished like a heavy cake of urethane. It sounded more like a Gibson next to the same rosewood version before redoing the pickups to compensate.

I’d mentioned the Highwayman Telecaster series as a prototype for the funk effect. Microcellulose finish (meaning thin coating and less hard finish compared to urethanes). The neck and light body soak up the sound and the country effect is classic.

At higher stage volumes, the effect can go opposite. The body can pick up resonances from the amp better and reinforce the string vibration. Sustain and feedback can be better, especially in a light hollow body design.

Increasing sustain, bells at the expense of funk, can be got from refinishing the neck and body.

Urethane coating on the neck is about the best thing for increasing sustain. You can’t undo this though. Rub-on type urethanes applied with a cloth (Minwax brand) do the job nicely if the neck is open and unfinished. Neck has to be cleaned several times with acetone if the guitar is old because there is an inspiring amount of oily organic debris worked into the fret board. Several coats needed until the wood stops soaking it up and all crevices, pores filled.

Light body coatings, light cellulose and less-light acrylic finishes are removed with paint stripper or a heat gun. Apply sealant first to the bare wood. Use an oil based compatible sealer and dilute about half and half with mineral spirits. Several coats applied until it stops soaking in. The mineral spirits help deeper penetration into the wood. Finish with about 3 coats of hard urethane paint, brush applied. Body should be horizontal during drying and rotated every few minutes till tack free to keep finish from sagging. Neck plate area and shoulder strap pin area are good props to stabilize.

Bit of an unattended fire hazard, but after the last coat is dry several hours, freely support the body under a large cardboard box with a couple 60-100 watt light bulbs and cure for about 12 hours.

Urethane evens out very nicely as it gels, so if the surface is kept clean, it’s hard not to get a good looking and very functional result.

Last note on acoustics. Urethane on the neck increases sustain and volume. This will almost always improve things. Redoing the body itself could mess up the sound permanently.

Hope all are well,
John

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Old 08-02-2008, 12:46 PM   #119
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Friends,

Tweaking my Strat which had a couple flaws from the factory, one of which was the cut being too deep in the nut at the low E string. Fixed now and here’s the way to go if you ever need to fine tune the nut. Works on metal and plastics. Where you might run into this is in case of a factory defect or if you are adjusting the depth of a string and cut too deep. Cutting the nut is best done with a blade from a saw plastic cutter (round needle blade type).

Use a 5 minute, good grade epoxy and a sliver of newspaper. Also needed a nail the thickness of any wound string you are adjusting and some cooking oil.

To build up the groove, precut a square of newspaper the size that will sink into the contour of the groove covering the length without going over the top after being seated. Clean the groove with alcohol or acetone and mix the epoxy. Soak the newspaper sliver in the epoxy and make sure that the piece goes translucent from being soaked. Apply the paper to the groove with a pin and quickly clean off any excess.

Have the string diameter nail slightly greased with oil and watch the original blob of epoxy to see when it becomes tack free (bulk will harden slightly ahead of the newspaper patch because of heat generated in the blob). You’ve then got about a minute to press the nail into the groove and get a channel formed. Wait too long and the epoxy will still deform but be weak. Wait about an hour before putting the string back. Use the needle blade to cut down any excess. Works great.

John

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Old 08-02-2008, 03:40 PM   #120
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Hey, don't go John. Your crazy magnets revitalised my Squier
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