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Get That Rickenbacker Sound


WDP59
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Hello there, after lurking here for some time and after doing a search I have couple of unanswered question

involving a guitar project I'm working on.

I'm planning on winding a set of pickup with the goal of getting that vintage Rickenbacker 325 J. Lennon sound.

I have read articles about early 325's and here is what I've found that they had.

.0047ufcapaciters

250K tone/volume pots

44 gauge wire (per J. Hall), 43 per StewMac.

P/U's wound to the 4.8-5.0 range

Okay here are my questions:

1. Pictures of vintage toasters that I've seen look to have 1/4 dia. magnets is that critical factor or will

3/16 dia. work?

2. will alnico5 magnets work? Seems like I remember reading the the vintage toasters were of a different (2/3?)

variety.

3. Does that 44 gauge wire sound right? I've read where Mr. Hall claims that his company has ONLY used 44, the

Stew Mac. catalog claims 43. What size would be best? Mr. Hall wouldn't try to mislead anyone would he?

A little about myself:

I'm 52 years old, I've been playing guitar for a 1 and 1/2 years. Like new wave, Beatles and Buddy Holly.

I always wanted to learn how to play and I hate the winter time (Seattle area) so with some encouragement from

some guitar playing coworkers November before last I bought cheapo guitar from Target and lessons from YouTube,

I'm having a allot of fun along with a case of tendonitis.

I love to build (race boats etc.) and my guitar is complete less the electronics.

P.S. I ditched the cheapo guitar and have since bought a mim strat. One day would like to get a Taylor

acoustic just because they play so nice!

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One thing to remember is that winding a pickup to 4.8k with 43 gauge wire is going to have more output than a pickup wound to 4.8k with 44 gauge wire. This is because wire has a hire resistance per foot as the gauge increases (diameter decreases). Therefore, you get fewer wraps of 44 gauge, resulting in lower output. However, Ricks and Danos had famously low output pickups, which is one big reason why they are so sparkly clean (more windings will tend to make high end roll off). Also, your capacitor won't matter much to your circuit as long as the pot is on 10. 250k pots should be fine, but if you need more high end, swapping for 500k's is easy.

P.S. Welcome aboard, the addiction has just begun.

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Hello there, after lurking here for some time

Welcome!

1. Pictures of vintage toasters that I've seen look to have 1/4 dia. magnets is that critical factor or will

3/16 dia. work?

Yes, yes and yes again. The original Toasters were indeed made with 1/4" diameter, pretty tall rod magnets (made from Alnico2) 3/16 magnets will work, but at the same time they will make the pickup sound slightly different. I have some 6mm magnets that is very good as substitute for 1/4"

2. will alnico5 magnets work? Seems like I remember reading the the vintage toasters were of a different (2/3?) variety.

Sure, but as the vintage once were made with A2, using A5 will change the sound. You can always degauss A5 a bit to be closer to A2 but it will not be 100% the same.

3. Does that 44 gauge wire sound right?

Yes

I've read where Mr. Hall claims that his company has ONLY used 44, the Stew Mac catalog claims 43. What size would be best? Mr. Hall wouldn't try to mislead anyone would he?

I’ve seen the Stumac claim that the old Toasters were made with 43 wire, but that is mainly because they don’t sell 44 wire and would like you to buy their 43 wire... OK, there are some claims out there that the very early Toasters were made with bot 42 and 43 Formvar wire, but I have not seen those claims confirmed by a reliably source. I think I would trust Mr Hall on this one.

Generally, try winding to turn count and not to DCR (DC resistance) as DCR will change if you streach the wire, if you use a slightly off spec wire and even when doing two "identical" pickups from the same roll of wire. The original turn count for Toasters are ~5000 turns

From my notes:

"The bobbin is shallow at .185" interior height, 2.165" length, and .50" width."

But they are old and have not been confired against a vintage Toaster

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