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P Pickup rewinding

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by berwick63, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. berwick63


    Apr 19, 2011
    Bellmawr, NJ
    *Sorry, figured the "repair" section was where this went. Thanks for moving it for me*

    I bought some used P/J pups on here a week or so ago, everything worked out great, except half the P Pup seems to have a internal wiring issue(I believe they are about 20 years old)

    Obviously each set of the P pup design picks up 2 strings. So the issue is with just one half of the pup, which led me to believe that it was an issue with that one particular half.

    So, long story short, I'm going to venture on a rewind of the pickup, but had a few questions I figured I'd run by everyone here.

    First: Will I need to rewind both halves of the P pups, or could I just do the one thats not working?

    Second: What wire do you recommend using? I had planned to go with StewMac's Poly-coated pickup wire, but have seen other choices.

    and Third: If I measure the impedance on the working half of the P, would that give me the correct impedance for the other half as well?

    Thanks for your time.
  2. tomatmojotone


    Jun 2, 2011
    Manager Pickup Division Mojo Musical Supply
    You don't need to rewind both halves.
    The wire is dependent on the year of pickups.
    70's Fender is 42 gauge plain enamel 50-60's is 42 Formvar.
    The ohm reading on the first half will give you a close estimation of the number of turns needed IF you are certain of the gauge. Typically you will find 9 to 10 thousand turns of wire per side on vintage Fender.
    I have seen them both under and over that spec though.
  3. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    you might be able to fix that pickup, rather than re-winding it.

    try re-flowing the solder connections to the hookup leads.

    then, look at the ends of the coil wire where it goes into each eyelet. one might be broken; if it's the "end" wrap, you might be able to unwind it a turn or two and re-attach. if it's the "start" wrap (which goes underneath and can't be unwound from the outside) you might be able to rig a length of thin jumper wire to reconnect the coil to the outlet.

    next, look closely at the sides of the coil stack; you might find the break on the outside surface, at which point you can pull off the dead section of wire, then un-wind the "live" wire a turn or two and re-attach. (even a hundred turns of that wire removed won't really change the sound.)
  4. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Try what Walter said.

    Otherwise a P bass pickup is 10,000 turns of 42AWG wire. Makes no difference what the insulation type is, unless it's a heavy build, i.e. heavy formvar. But that wouldn't fit on that bobbin.

    Now the question I have is; if you have the two coils wired in series, and one half is bad, you shouldn't get any sound at all.

    So what are the symptoms? Is it dead?
  5. berwick63


    Apr 19, 2011
    Bellmawr, NJ
    The one half's volume is just severely decreased. Barely even audible. I thought the same thing that is one isn't working neither should, but they both technically "work" just one halves volume is low. I know it's not the height of the pup. I tapped on the poles and you can hear a significant different in output of the two. Would that be something other than the winding?

    Thanks, I appreciate the help!
  6. If the coil is dead, you will get no sound.
    From what you described, it sounds like you have a short in the coil.

    Have you checked the DC resistance of each coil with an Ohm meter to be sure they match?
    That will immediately confirm that the coil is not dead, and whether or not there is a short in the winding.
  7. berwick63


    Apr 19, 2011
    Bellmawr, NJ
    I haven't gotten that far yet. The bass is in the practice room at my buddy's place. It's a backup beater, so I wasn't too worried about it. Just wanted to get an idea of what exactly I should be looking for when I go to do it. A short is what I presumed as well. If it's a short, you're saying I can basically just unwind the bad and leave the good? I definitely appreciate the input:)
  8. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    only with an open coil, not with a short, and only if the break is on the outside where you can get to it.

    are these pickups the kind with ceramic magnets stuck to the bottom? is the magnet maybe missing off of one coil?
  9. berwick63


    Apr 19, 2011
    Bellmawr, NJ

    I will check this once I get a chance to pull it apart again. Will keep an update. Thanks guys.

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