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 Post subject: 'Fender Am Std sized' J/J pickups?
PostPosted: June 13th, 2014, 6:58 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA USA
Any interest in a Fender Am Std sized 5-string J/J pickup replacement set?

These will be made like a vintage J4 set with AlNiCo V magnet poles and 42 awg heavy Formvar insulation wire. Black plastic covers with a satin surface texture and exposed pole pieces.

Neck dimensions: 3-15/16" long x 3/4" wide x 13/16" deep, ~1-13/16" ctr-ctr mounting screw spacing
Bridge dimensions: 4-3/32" long x 3/4" wide x 13/16" deep, ~1-15/16" ctr-ctr mounting screw spacing

This will upgrade your Fender 5-string J-bass with a pickup set that is like the original J-bass design of the 60's. It is quite different than the cheap 'slug and bar magnet' style pickups (see image below) I've seen factory installed in many Fenders from the 90's to current.

Attachment:
SlugAndBarMagnetStyleFenderPickups.png
SlugAndBarMagnetStyleFenderPickups.png [ 251 KiB | Viewed 3166 times ]


At this point we're measuring market interest in this pickup design and size. Thanks for your feedback

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: 'Fender Am Std sized' J/J pickups?
PostPosted: July 2nd, 2014, 7:26 am 
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Joined: March 12th, 2008, 5:13 pm
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Well, the problem is that Fender has never made a lefty MIA 5-string. . . so in Leftyland, you are talking about just very few people who might have basses like a Lakland 5-string Jazz type, or maybe a Warmoth, or a Nordy, Alleva-Coppolo ( :x ). Carvin and Mike Lull, for example, who are popular lefty 5-string Jazz basses don't use those pickup dimensions. . .

But definitely a question to ask at Talkbass if you haven't already.


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 Post subject: Re: 'Fender Am Std sized' J/J pickups?
PostPosted: December 24th, 2014, 3:24 pm 
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thanks for your feedback on this. thought you might be interested to know that I've been working to address the sizing topic since my last post

undrilled pickup covers continue to be difficult to source without going the custom injection molded route. there are a couple undrilled plastic covers available, but they are very square and shiny. definitely not something I'd want to use as a long-term solution

I've been working on the workflows for epoxy casting pickups similar to what you would get when using a Bartolini pickup (not the pickup coil, just the casing) The first step was learning how to create a clean silicone mold

Attachment:
TintedEpoxyTestPour_1.png
TintedEpoxyTestPour_1.png [ 382.32 KiB | Viewed 2956 times ]


The second step was finding the right epoxy that cured solid without a lot of thermal buildup (to protect the coils) and that also tinted well without any significant loss of mechanical properties. Based on my testing so far, I believe I now have the right epoxy resin/hardener and tinting medium for a consistently black encapsulated pickup. Here's a peek at a test pour of the encapsulating material we'll be using as it appears freshly plucked from the mold

Attachment:
TintedEpoxyTestPour_1_FreshFromTheMold.png
TintedEpoxyTestPour_1_FreshFromTheMold.png [ 351.09 KiB | Viewed 2956 times ]


There's still some detailing to be done to the final finish. With this method of encapsulating the pickup coil, I'll soon be able to offer pickups in sizes that are impossible to find covers for as well as custom sizes and designs for those wishing to step out of the norm

More to come in a follow-on post, including an image of a fully encapsulated coil ready for installation

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 Post subject: Re: 'Fender Am Std sized' J/J pickups?
PostPosted: December 25th, 2014, 4:42 pm 
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Rod,
couldn't you use something like a drill press or a punch tool to cut out the holes for the pole pieces?


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 Post subject: Re: 'Fender Am Std sized' J/J pickups?
PostPosted: December 25th, 2014, 6:31 pm 
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unlike a traditional plastic cover which typically has holes to expose the coil pole pieces thru the top and slips over a potted pickup coil, with this method I am completely encapsulating the coil into the epoxy. something like this

Attachment:
FirstMold_JcoilSetInPlace.png
FirstMold_JcoilSetInPlace.png [ 399.48 KiB | Viewed 2936 times ]


where the coil is set into the mold, slightly elevated off the 'bottom' so that the magnet rods don't protrude past what will become the top surface once it's been installed into an instrument.

not seen in this image is the actual jig used to set the pickup coil in a precise location after about 30% of the epoxy used has been poured into the mold. the coil in the above image also doesn't yet have its copper foil shielding installed and grounded


epoxy encapsulation is a one-way trip for the coil, rendering it completely protected from the sweat and other body fluids that the outer surface will come into contact with over its service life.

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 Post subject: Re: 'Fender Am Std sized' J/J pickups?
PostPosted: December 29th, 2014, 10:46 pm 
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here's the first test article of an encapsulated pickup set, fresh out of the mold (and still covered with mold release) after 9-10 hours of cure time

Attachment:
PickupCoilEpoxyEncapsulation_Test1.png
PickupCoilEpoxyEncapsulation_Test1.png [ 1.03 MiB | Viewed 2909 times ]


there's a couple small flaws in this proofing set -

- in the upper coil, the lower right mounting ear has a imperfection where a bubble remained against the silicone mold during the curing cycle. more care when pouring should eliminate this from happening in future castings. (a similar casting flaw can be found on the lower coil's upper right mounting ear)
- also in the upper coil, it appears that magnetic attraction from the neighboring pickup pulled the coil slightly off center while the epoxy was curing. I'll address this in the next proofing article with a different type of spacer to keep the coil centered.

overall I'm pleased with the results of this first test, and nothing of significant concern has come to light during the process. there's still a lot of detailing to clean up the excess epoxy (including from the pole piece tops) and to give the visible surface area a satin texture. these will be heading to a player in Chicago for some live and studio field testing ahead of finalizing the coil wind details for his final pickup set.

more on this later ...

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 Post subject: Re: 'Fender Am Std sized' J/J pickups?
PostPosted: December 30th, 2014, 11:29 am 
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initial rough trim of the new pickup completed

Attachment:
PickupCoilEpoxyEncapsulation_Test1_InitialRoughTrim.png
PickupCoilEpoxyEncapsulation_Test1_InitialRoughTrim.png [ 248.63 KiB | Viewed 2899 times ]


it'll be another day or two before the epoxy is fully hardened to where I can apply the final detailing and surface finish

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 Post subject: Re: 'Fender Am Std sized' J/J pickups?
PostPosted: January 9th, 2015, 12:58 pm 
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If you could stagger the pole pieces for even response and then enclose them in epoxy that matched the radius of fingerboard, that would be absolutely mental.

I've been waiting 20 years for a pickup like that.


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