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Microphonic wax treatment

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by nicoli, Apr 18, 2005.


  1. So the J pickup on my Yamaha P/J RBX270 has gone (very) microphonic on me, to the point where it's not useable at gig volumes. I did a search and came up with the information that a wax treatment can fix this problem, but didn't find any info on how to give the pickup this treatment.

    Is there a tutorial somewhere online, or is someone willing to explain it? Thanks.
     
  2. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE

    FWIW:

    you can check out my experience with a search for Dimento's pup dip experiment. Do a google search for pickup dipping, wax dipping pickups, or the like and it will pull up some info but there's one site in particular that has a step by step with pics. Didn't make note of it in my experiment. So I'd appreciate it if you'd post the link when you find it so I can stick in my shpiele so the next time someone asks or looks the experiment up, they can go right to it. It wasn't a hard link to find - came up early in the search. Not hard to do and kind of fun actually. I didn't use the beeswax and it came out fine but I'd recommend it if you can find it cheap. Not cheap stuff but you don't need much.

    Good luck
     
  3. I'm not finding any 'how to' style links yet, but I'll look around some more when I have some more time.

    Most of what I've found so far are either repair shops charging for the service or people saying don't bother because it's tough to do and it'd be easier to just replace the p/up. Regardless, I'd like to give it a go just to say I did it.

    This is kind of a beater bass and I think it should be used for a little experimentation such as me attempting to do the potting myself... but I guess I may think twice once I find what's actually involved.
     
  4. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Nah,

    chimpanzee could do it. You may not get the results you want from it but the process is a cakewalk. I may see if I can find the site later - took maybe 10 minutes last time.
     
  5. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Here's a how to. Parrafin wax can be had easily at a grocery store around canning supplies. You will also need a double boiler. You do not want to directly heat the wax, as it is flammable. You need to get the wax just hot enough to melt. You should get a candy thermometer, as well. It is good for monitoring temp. You shouldn't have to get any warmer than about 140 degrees farenheit. When it is melted completely, you can dip the pickup in, and leave it. I usually use a butterknife across the top of the inner pan and wrap the leads around it to keep the pickup off of the bottom of the pan. Either let it sit, or agitate it a bit until the air bubbles go away. Then bring it out, and put it on some aluminum foil to cool. Then you can use a terry cloth towel to remove excess wax from the top of the bobbins when the wax has cooled.
     
  6. What's a double boiler?

    The only picture I've found associated with this process online basically had a pot of water boiling, and a bowl of wax sitting in the heated water...
     
  7. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    That's a double boiler. A pan of boiling water with another pan inside it sitting in the water that you heat another material without putting the heat source directly on the pan of material (wax, in this case.)
     
  8. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Just be careful with this stuff. If you splash any wax near a flame, it could catch fire very easily.
     
  9. Right... so leave the rest of my gear in the van while I attemp this procedure. ;)

    I won't have any open flames necessarily, just stovetop burners... if that helps at all. I'll be careful.
     
  10. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Yeh,

    you DO NOT want to get the wax into the flame but you really have to do a Malcolm to pull that off. I dipped P pups and used a dog food can inside a good sized pot.

    Find some specific instructions cause they will point out things you wouldn't think of till it's too late. For example, you really need a cooking thermometer to monitor the water temperature cause there's a narrow band of operating room and it will cuase you grief if you screw it up. It's not something you want to wing. It's not hard but you need to know what your doing - like cutting the lawn - real easy, unless you run over your foot.

    Pickup potting is another search term. I just spent a few minutes and couldn't find the one I used with pics (which really helps) but there were several just listing the step on the first page.
     
  11. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Guitarnuts is a good site. I reccomend their guides. I have personally done this, and their guide is accurate, and has very good results.
     
  12. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    I couldn't find the link I used which is unfortunate cuase it was a photo tutorial with just enough verbage to fill in the gaps. Imagine the guitar nuts job with a dozen photo's. Perhaps it's been disabled since. Anyway, here are some other links in additon I found in the process. The stewmac. one is Frailins sphiele on dipping.

    http://www.stewmac.com/tradesecrets/electronics/ts26fralin/ts26fralin.html

    http://www.guitarnuts.com/technical/electrical/index.php

    http://www.projectguitar.com/tut/potting.htm

    http://www.harpamps.com/micKguitars/Potting-Pickups.html

    I really did a pretty useless and cursory job on my pup dip thread but it didn't seem worthy of much else at the time. I'd have done it right if I had it to do again cuase it would have been very useful to somebody.
     
  13. Thanks a lot, you've both been most helpful. Appreciated.

    Now, to find enough free time between working and gigging to pull this off...
     
  14. RobertUI

    RobertUI Thumper Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2005
    Herndon, VA - NoVa
    Without a doubt, you need to check out The Guitar Nuts (http://www.guitarnuts.com/index.php) site . While it's a 6-string micro scale (aka electric guitar) dominated site, there's some incredibly good advice/information/instruction there on wiring and shielding. They also have a section on potting (waxing) traditional coil pickups. (http://www.guitarnuts.com/technical/electrical/index.php)