Photos of a Genuine '55 Precision Pickup?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Bongolation, Sep 5, 2013.


  1. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2001
    Location:
    California
    If you can provide a good, detailed picture or a link to one, I'd be grateful.

    I'm trying to confirm some claims about the design and reissues.

    As always, thanks for any useful input! ;)
  2. George Mann

    George Mann

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado
    While I cannot supply the specific photo you requested, I do however know a great deal about vintage single-coil pickups if you have any questions?
  3. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2001
    Location:
    California
    My main question is about the magnets used on these, their placement and diameters.

    I have been told by SCPB mavens that the pickup that Dyna-Gakki places on the FJ SCPB variants imported by FMIC is a fairly religious copy of a 1955 Precision pickup. I do know that it certainly looks very different from the authentic 1951-1952 pickups I've seen in pictures.

    The A and D poles are not only raised, but appear to be of larger diameter than the E and G poles.

    Any thoughts on that? :confused:
  4. Cadfael

    Cadfael

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Location:
    Germany, EU
    Yes, A+D are raised.
    But they have the same diameteras E and G as far as I know.
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  6. Bongolation

    Bongolation

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    If they are, the FJs are producing one of the most remarkable optical illusions I've encountered in the wild.
  7. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

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    Jan 21, 2006
    Location:
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    Here is what I have without getting out my bass and camera.
    A and D poles raised, diameter the same on all four magnets.
    Hard to see in these photos. I played this bass for a living between 1973-1978.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  8. iiipopes

    iiipopes

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
  9. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

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    Jan 21, 2006
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    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    ???

    Pain?

    Joy?

    Release?

    I suppose I could take some close-ups later this week.
    BTW, here is the '55 without the brushed-on polyurethane hippy refin. :cool:

    [​IMG]
  10. Cadfael

    Cadfael

    Joined:
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    Germany, EU
    I think Jim Carr and I am right.
    A+D higher but all the same diameter ...

    I have a photo of a 1955 PU but this is not my photo ...

    AND - think like Leo Fendder ...
    In 1955 the number of sold instruments and amps got bigger and bigger. Leo had problems to build as many instruments as required. How to improve the Precision without complicating production? (and this is a key to many Leo Fender decisions)
    Answer: You can raise the inner magnets - but different diameters would mean a new bobin-manufacturing-tool as well as complications for the unskilled workers (mixing the diameters. It also is a question of stockroom and stock costs!
    Raising the inner magnets is the cheapest way - but can be sold as an improvement ...
  11. iiipopes

    iiipopes

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    May 4, 2009
    All the above. Great bass.
  12. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

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    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
  13. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies

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    Seweracuse, NY
    Now Jim, if you could kindly unwind that pickup and take some pictures of the bobbin, we would appreciate it.
  14. Bongolation

    Bongolation

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    Nov 9, 2001
    Location:
    California
    Back on topic, I finally gave up and got the calipers out.

    I'm not losing my mind, nor am I hallucinating:

    This P-series MIJ has a stock pickup with ~0.175" diameter E & G flat-pole magnets and ~0.195" diameter (raised) A & D beveled-pole magnets.

    It appears, then, that these are not extremely accurate copies of a 1955 pickup.

    It does appear that whoever actually made these, Dyna or someone else, they went to some trouble with the design.

    If you have a MIJ SCPB handy, check and see if this is what's in it.
  15. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

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    Actually, in 2000 (if I recall correctly), the pickup output dropped to near zero. I sent it to Lindy Fralin, and he rewound it himself to vintage specs—using the original magnets and bobbin.
  16. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    Location:
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI

    If you wish, I can whip out my '55 this weekend and take some pics and make a few measurements. :cool:

    Sorry to hear about the absence of hallucinations, LOL.
  17. Bongolation

    Bongolation

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    Nov 9, 2001
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    You won't need a caliper to tell the difference. The size differential looks greater than it actually is.

    I'm just curious if this is a typical MIJ SCPB pickup. I have some suspicions that it's not, though it's 100% original to the instrument.
  18. Cadfael

    Cadfael

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    Jan 4, 2013
    Location:
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    There have been two different MIJ "early Precisions" ...

    The mostly known is the P51 MIJ copy.
    Its wiring has NOTHING to do with the original Fender wiring.

    The less known is the P54 MIJ copy.
    This has a shaped body like the P basses from 1953/54 to 1957 (and beyond). The wirings of these MIJ basses were "more like the original" but not a 1:1 copy.

    Even Fender Custom Shop Reissues don't give a da... dime about the original wiring (including brass plates etc.). These are all new basses in an old looking suit.

    In my compilation you find a 100% original 1955 P-Bass wiring.
    This was made like wirings from 1952 and 1953 - only with a different resitor value.

    Yes! The (or at least many) 1955 P-Bass(es) had an additional 22k resistor at the volume pot. This resitor was in series with the pickup. It could be bridged by a totally open tone pot but when the tone pot was turned down, not only the cap was parallel but also the 22k resistor in series with the pickup.

    It may be that MIJ P51 pickups have different inner magnets. But as far as I know and have seen, this is not historic but only the result of a Japanese R&D departement.

    It isn't tragic at all because there are much more important "historic mistakes" in the MIJ P51. BUT the MIJ P51 is a great bass anyway - no matter if it is "a similar looking bass" and not a copy.
  19. Bflat

    Bflat

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    Feb 5, 2008
    I have a 55 original at home will measure the poles as soon as I get there, couple of hours
  20. Cadfael

    Cadfael

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    Jan 4, 2013
    Location:
    Germany, EU
    Hi Bflat,

    does your 55 also have the (dark brown) 22k resistor (red/red/orange/silver) at the tone pot and is HOT of the pickup soldered to this resistor (outer contact of tone pot)?

    I saw this at two 55 Precisions and a third one would be nice ...
    I know that some 51-57 had the "easy P bass wiring" (cap to middle contact of tone pot) or the "easy plus version" (cap to outer "left" contact of tone pot) ...
  21. Bflat

    Bflat

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    I don't have a 55 bass just the pickup in my pile of used parts, sorry can't help with that

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