Safety Warning -- If you feel the need to "adjust" the pole pieces on your Strat's single coil pickups to get a little extra zing, the result will likely be a dead pickup.


The owner of a local guitar shop sent me this dead pickup for repair.  The reason?  The guitar's owner decided his high E string wasn't loud enough and tried to raise the magnet/pole piece under the string.   Remember -- on these pickups the wire is wound directly around the magnets, and if you decide to move one of them, the very, very thin wire will likely break.

We rewound the coil and it sounded great.  But there is more -- read on.

The patient!


Obviously a weak attempt at potting.  Check this out; when we got the pickup apart, this blob was the only wax on the inside, and the wire was floppy.

Lesson Learned:  It takes more than a few seconds in the hot wax bath to have a properly potted pickup. Jeff Beck

But this is more interesting -- there was a line of corrosion starting on the inside of the pickup and on one of the outside magnets.  This would have surely lead to a dead pickup when the corrosion made it through the wire's very thin insulation.  The yellow circle shows the dark line in the wire.

Lesson Learned:  Prior to winding, spray the inside of the pickup with a light coat of lacquer to insulate the wire from the magnets.

I was only a matter of time!

Events like this one keep me in pickup work, but please be careful out there!

Keep checking back for more pickup adventures.


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