Another Gibson QC laugher

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Bluewail, Dec 18, 2019.

  1. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Supporting Member

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    Gibson always marked polarity on their magnets or as far back as original PAFs which I had taken apart to inspect and photograph. I know nothing of these pickups though, so I can't say how they are put together or if they are magnetized when in the bobbin (that makes more sense than individually putting them in and orienting the polarity. Wax potting can be easily made to cover up any wax that was disturbed, so I wouldn't rely on that alone.
     
  2. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Supporting Member

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    So, what do these pickups sound like?

    I should ad that If you go to the Telecaster forum or other such specialty forums, you'll see a ton of QC topics for other brands too.
     
  3. cosmic_ape

    cosmic_ape Supporting Member

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    Not talking about the players who made the Les Paul famous.

    I am talking about the fan boys.
     
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  4. Elantric

    Elantric Silver Supporting Member

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    I always assumed the Gary Clark SG had three P90s - it seems these are more like Jazzmaster type pickups ( with individual slug magnets under the covers)
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Bluewail

    Bluewail Tone curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    The pickups are low output P-90’s. They measure in the low 7k range for the neck and high 7k range for the bridge. Can’t get a middle reading without disconnecting it from the circuit. I was looking for a fatter Strat type tone and that’s pretty much how I’d describe it. Less grunt for sure than Gibson’s normal P-90. With the middle pup blended in you get that position 2 and 4 flavor but it really doesn’t quack like some strats do. I like the way the guitar sits in a live mix with a bit more authority than a strat on solos but enough articulation to be heard on comping. Lots of compliments on the tone from my guitar geek buddies.
     
  6. Tidbit

    Tidbit Member

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    Exactly. I'm amazed that despite so much bashing Gibson gets for poor quality control, people keep buying them. Apparently there are untold numbers of happy owners that are perfectly fine with their Gibsons. They are probably sitting around enjoying the hell out of their instruments instead of complaining on a public forum so perceptions of the QC issues are skewed.
     
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  7. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Silver Supporting Member

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    Not many. Most techs wouldn't know, either, IME.

    They may have. See response below.
    I don't know if Gibson pre-magnetizes or not. If you forced me to pick, I'd say they do, but pickups can be unmagnetized, or re-magnetized just from being stuck together in a box. Maybe someone pulled one of the pickups in the Clark and set it on the other?
    I had a guitar with Lipstick tube Dano style pickups on the bench, and had a similar problem. No matter what polarity, it sounded out of phase. After a bit of futzing, I figured out that part of the alnico bar in one of the pickups had been reversed. I had been aware that Strat style pickups with individual poles shouldn't be stuck together due to the risk of altering strength or polarity, but hadn't considered the possibility on a bar mag inside an assembly. Once I thought I'd figured it out, I fished around and found some green magnetic "viewing film" that kind of show magnetic fields. You can see a dividing line between polarity and sure enough, one end of the lipstick was reversed. I used neodymium magnets to re-magnetize the lipstick and everything was fine.
    Now, I usually check pickups that are supplied by a customer, or that have been shipped in a wad, stuck together.
    Again, I'd put the money on assembly error, but there's a significant possibility the pole(s) got magnetically boogered after assembly, before, or after they were installed in the guitar and this particular issue is one that QC would likely miss. These are the people who shipped a 335 without soldering the switch.
    If the original purchaser had taken it to a warranty center, I'd guess that the majority of those wouldn't have been able to diagnose the problem and if they had or not, likely, Gibson would simply ship new pickups.
    I can tell you this: The ol' got a magnet reversed issue is one that will stick in your mind if it happens to you. About the third time you've rewired a guitar with this kind of problem and you're starting to gaslight yourself wondering if you've lost your sanity, skills, hearing, whatever. It's quite insidious. The customer says there's a problem. You swap phase. Your guy says he swapped the phase. You check. It's out, and swap it back. Customer says it still sounds weird. You check, it's out. Customer didn't do anything. Where did you put the "demon be gone" annointing oil, left in the suite next door by the fly-by-night holy-rollin' church when they moved out of the property in the middle of the night a couple years ago? It's exorcism time!
    I was saved! ...by the green magnetic viewing film.
     
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  8. Bluewail

    Bluewail Tone curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    Well I did it in my sleep - literally. After I got the guitar and discovered the problems with the D & G strings I went to bed that night thinking about it and whether I would have to be sending the guitar back to the seller. I knew the problem had something to do with phasing because I recognized that typical "Peter Green" hollowness. So i thought about the pickups being slugs vs the typical P-90 bar mags with pole adjustment screws. Poles! That's right the pole pieces are the magnets. Maybe the poles are flipped. So at about 4:30 in the morning I got up and grabbed a magnet and checked against the bridge pickup. Low E string pole = attract, A string pole = attract, D string pole = repel, G string pole attract, B string pole = attract, high E string pole = attract. Same story on the middle pickup except since its RWRP, it was E = repel, A = repel, D = repel, G = attract, B = repel, E = repel. So out came the pups, pushed offending pole piece out (btw their are no markings on the slugs), flipped it and put it back. All good.
     
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  9. BlueRiff

    BlueRiff Member

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    If the names are prominently documented, why did you ask for the names?
     
  10. BlueRiff

    BlueRiff Member

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    Not nearly as many? Please share the data with us.
     
  11. BlueRiff

    BlueRiff Member

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    I bought a messed up Gibson once and brought it back for warranty service - it came back perfect. They stood behind their product.
     
  12. BlueRiff

    BlueRiff Member

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    I bought a Super 400 in ‘97. Tuner holes were slightly too big causing posts to lean a bit a making tuning hard. Tailpiece was not aligned fully with neck. Gibson did warranty work and it came back pristine.
     
  13. BlueRiff

    BlueRiff Member

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    I need his name, address, type of car he drives and what time he leaves work. :D:D
     
  14. Blackmoreguitar

    Blackmoreguitar Silver Supporting Member

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    He didn't, he asked Gibson if they would like to know the names of the inspectors who had signed off the various inspections.

    I work in QC, and know that if something can go wrong it will. Relying on inspectors to catch faults at the end of the process always ends badly, at least some of the time.
     
  15. Switters

    Switters Member

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    Unless I am missing something -
    He was offering to give customer service the names of the people who are documented on the QC checklist as having put their mark to something they seemingly didn’t do, so that they might be reminded to do it next time.

    Actually a pretty pro-Gibson thing to do.

    Seems like a good guy.
     
  16. musekatcher

    musekatcher Member

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    With all respect, I'm allways skeptical of these stories. They just about always end up being post ship tampering, returns, or other errors. Its not like gibsons qc department is a couple part time students who surf tgp at work, lol.
     
  17. Bluewail

    Bluewail Tone curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    I did not ask for names. I asked if The person in customer service if they would like to know the names of the QC folks on the documentation in order to follow up with them.
     
  18. BlueRiff

    BlueRiff Member

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    Ah - misread it. Thanks for clarification.
     
  19. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Member

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    The guitar division has been consistently profitable. It had nothing to do with their bankruptcy, which was caused by debt incurred in purchasing unprofitable acquisitions.
     
  20. Guitarworks

    Guitarworks Member

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    ^ Consistently profitable due to Epiphone sales. No, I don't have sales numbers on that. But there are enough people in the industry who sell both that can vouch for it.
     

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