Decembers pickup is the Gretch Filtetron. The Gretsch line of guitars were well received in the 1950's but was soon eclipsed by the likes of Gibson and Fender. Since then it has always been a bit of an obscure and rare bird despite enjoying the attention of the likes of Chet Atkins, Brian Setzer, George Thorogood and even the Beatels. Recently Fender bought the company and is trying to return it to it's 50's glory.
A little while back I was sent the neck pickup from a 1998 Gretsch. It had a dead coil and was only reading 4K Ohms. I rebuilt it to the vintage 1950s specs.
First thing we gotta do is pull the cover off. It's not so different that a Gibson PAF construction wise. But it's much smaller. This 1998 version also used a huge ceramic magnet. In the 50's this would have been an Alnico magnet.
Perhaps one of the most unusual aspects of Gretsch pickup construction is their use of these top plates. The top plate uses the pole screws to hold the bobbins together.
The original Filter trons were very low output pickups. Because of the small bobbins about 4K ohms was all they could reach with 42GA wire. In the 90's they started using 45GA wire and made pickups that read about 8K ohms.
When it comes to fixing a dead pickup there's nothing like a good set of dikes and an Exacto Blade.
Once it is loaded up with the 42ga wire and taped it's time to solder the connections back.
Ray Butts invented this thing. He and Chet Atkins worked together on the design for the Filter-Tron. It seems that Ray came up with his design without any prior information of Seth Lovers work at Gibson. His claim was that he knew about hum canceling coils because of his work making transformers for his line of amps. So it's possible the Ray invented the humbucker.
Once it's all back to normal it gets a test ride in "The Booger". My pickup tester guitar.
Then it goes back to Cali to the tech that sent it to me so it can be returned to the guitar it came from.
Hope y'all get one of these for being a good boy! ;D
Guitar Yoda wanted the flexibility of 4 wire leads. This allows phase switching and coil splitting that is not available on a 2 wire humbucker.
The first set of these I made were a bit funky. Cramming all that wire under the plastic case made it bulge out a little which made the pickup a bit too tight in the route. Benford took issue with that and asked me to fix it. After some trial and error I worked out this way of installing the 4 wire leads. Works like a top now.
The fun part of building some one else's idea is that it forces you to get better.
Clint, what is the difference between the Bolero and the Obsession?
The Obsession and the Bolero are the two newest pickups to be added to the line. The Obsession is a straight up copy of an old 1960's Gibson humbucker but with the addition of a 4 wire lead. It's named after a great UFO record.
The Bolero is a hot humbucker with about twice the out put of the Obsession. It's my copy of the pickup that Jeff Beck has used in many of his Les Paul's. It also has a 4 wire lead and is named after one of Becks songs.
They work great as a set if you use the Obsession in the neck position and the Bolero in the bridge.
Steve Clark: I'd rather be playing guitar
Nov 12, 2015 5:38:31 GMT -5
Steve Clark: Counting down to my new guitar
Dec 22, 2015 2:51:07 GMT -5
Steve Clark: Happy new year!
Dec 31, 2015 16:00:56 GMT -5
tricky: Just passing by so thought I would drop in and say a big Hiya to the hard core keeping the board going. Hope you are all well, have a great 2016 and keep it real(ish)!!
Jan 19, 2016 18:21:19 GMT -5
rhod34: Richard, none of us are real. I'm my own imaginary friend
Jan 21, 2016 11:44:24 GMT -5
Steve Clark: I've never met Rhod. I assume he's just some Welsh computer 'bot'
Jan 22, 2016 4:53:37 GMT -5
rhod34: you leave my bottom out of this, ya perv!
Jan 22, 2016 15:25:24 GMT -5
Steve Clark: In Wales bot-net has a very different meaning
Jan 26, 2016 5:21:44 GMT -5
Steve Clark: My guitar is in the UK! Awaiting news from customs
Feb 9, 2016 6:30:31 GMT -5