1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)


Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Kelu, Jun 14, 2003.

  1. Kelu


    Dec 6, 2002
    Lille in France
    I'm sad, My Musicman pickup is all rusted because of the sweat I put on when I play !
    Can it change the tone of the bass?
    Can it change anything??
    Need I change them?
    Can I clean the rust?? How??
  2. do you hear a difference.?
    dont think it could be a problem...
    but a thin coat of laquer on the pup poles should protect..otherwise what else is there to rust...or corrode:)
  3. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    You can use a ScotchBrite pad to remove any rust, and as mrcrow states, lacquer will protect against rust... Clear nail polish also works well...

  4. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    Try cleaning them with some ultra-fine steel wool (#000), available at almost any hardware store. Make sure you are only scrubbing the pots and not the plastic covers (the wool might scuff 'em or it might not. Try using some masking tape on the covers, just to be sure) and scrub 'em just hard enough and just long enough to get the rust off. Now, you could do as mrcrowUK suggested and paint your pickups with some clear lacquer (that might affect your tone or it might not), or you can try what I am about to suggest: Paint the poles with a very light coat of gun oil.

    I am quickly becoming a fan of the gun oil. I've put it on my bridges and recently, my Washburn's neck and frets. When everyone and their brother starts using gun oil to protect and condition their necks, remember where you heard it. You can get a small bottle of gun oil at the same place you get your steel wool. Use an old (but clean) paintbrush or new Q-tip to apply it. One or two drops on the tip of the paintbrush should be more than enough (use one drop on the Q-tip, if that's the way you choose to go).

    Good luck!
  5. Bonafide

    Bonafide Rodney Gene Junior Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2002
    Artist for: Nick Silver Pickups, Free The Tone Effects, Carr Amplifiers, PG Music BIAB, Ethos OD +
    Although you may not have experienced a problem yourself yet, it isn't a good idea to use steel wool on-near-or around pickups with exposed poles period, unless for some chance you MUST clean your frets with it in which case you need to cover your poles completely.
    Poles are magnetic and steel wool is very attracted to them. I have seen countless pickups in for repair because the coils were shorted out by the steel wool.
    The rust on the poles isn't any thing to worry about except for the cosmetic appearance and would be better removed with any non-ferrous material. The worse case scenario with rusty poles is that they will rust all the way down to coils and eventually eat away the coil wire insulation causing the pickup to short out. This is called ICPC (inner coil pole corrosion) and usually takes years and years of consistent sweat and rust.
    Reted Basshead likes this.
  6. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    Man, I never thought of that. Now I feel like a total ass-boob!

    Forget the steel wool and use one of those green scuffy pads.

    Thanks for the heads up, Bonafide.
  7. Westie808


    Sep 25, 2011
    u can also try bronze wool! its more expensive but it wont react or stick with magnetism!!
  8. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    After you clean them, apply some clear nail polish.
  9. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Now there's a bad idea. It's going to be hell getting the steel wool out of those pickups. Maybe use the synthetic steel wool.
  10. Yeah, clear polish, not the glittery ones they're too old school. hehe:D
  11. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    ha! some Urban Decay colors, anyone? make your pickup goth.

    anyway, pop the pickup out and slip off the cover before scouring with anything (not steel wool!) to avoid scratching up the cover.
  12. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    seriously though, are the poles actually rusted, or just kinda blackened?

    the dark metal look is normal, and nothing to worry about.

Share This Page