Pretty subjective thing to be labeled as "faulty." Theres no right or wrong here, IMO microphonic pickups sound better than non microphonic precisely because it's mixing basically the normal signal with a microphone rendering a more complex sound. Issues arrive when you start using higher volumes of course, but for most peoples applications they can be a benefit.A microphonic pickup is a faulty pickup.. now that does not mean one cannot make great music with one... but as a flawed device, it becomes impossible to duplicate the sound from one to the next.. it is purely the luck of the draw...
and since a microphonic pup functions as a microphone, the venue and everything in it impacts the voice... it's about as random as it gets.
I've played a lot of Dynasonics, they were all microphonic. I could tell they were all microphonic, could I tell the difference in how microphonic they were? Nope. I don't think the majority of microphonic pickups will have such large differences between them that anyone could tell the "sonic quality"...I think people are able to perceive the overreaching sonic characteristic but nuances between each? Eh...well a fault can be designed in, but since there is no way to pre calibrate the fault.. the results are not specific.. one would have to sample a box full of "faulty" pups to find one who's faults resulted in a sonically impure sound they preferred..
I know of no acoustic transducer that is designed to incorporate a microphonic flaw.
In critical audio, everything is engineered to reduce microphonics, and/or feedback of any kind.
this is like saying distortion is a flaw, from a techinical point of view I guess it is, but that doesn't matter to people.
Off subject, but, did a tour of vandenberg, they had the old launch consoles still. With built in ash trays. Yea, not going outside during a launch. Now we need to discuss whether the winders were smoking filtered or unfiltered - never mind the menthol. ;-)The idea of someone in the 1960s going outside to smoke just sounds ridiculous.
Well, I was kinda talking about the boutique market in general, not just the boutique pickup market. Anyway, I'm not going to argue about what's better, but I still contend that the quality of the metal was much higher than of off the shelf parts of today. I'm talking about the '50s and early '60s here, the original "vintage" era, not just anything that's "old".This is all marketing magic.
The boutique market started with Fender et el replacing vintage spec pickups with plastic molded pickups, and pickups with ceramic bars and steel pole pieces. People with American Standards wanted vintage looking pickups, and people with MIM Fenders wanted actual AlNiCo pickups. It has nothing to do with higher quality materials, it has to the with the material itself, AlNiCo versus ceramic, fiberboard versus molded plastic. And who's to say it was about sound? People like vintage for it's own sake, they can say it sounds better, but that's not objective anyhow, it's not provable or disprovable.
In the case of Gibson and T-tops, the T-tops were consistently underwound by today's standards. That gave way to wanting high output pickups in the 80's. The love for PAF pickups, again, the idea that they sounded better is probably a myth, there's just no proof, it's something people say to justify the act of doing something that doesn't make logical sense otherwise, chasing vintage specs for the sake of it.
I think it is. As others have said, the pickups were much less consistent back then, but when you got a great one it really is magic. And I think the quality of the metal is a part of that.This is an interesting point of view, I didn't think about that. Is it the same with pickups?
Over the years I have chased vintage "stock" pups to replace the ones in guitars I was rescuing, refurbishing, etc. as I've bought and soldMaybe there is the same topic somewhere, but I couldn't find it.
In the old times pickups on Gibson or Fender factories were manufactured by cheap workers, who could go smoke outside in the middle of the winding process and those pickups were all over the place in terms of specs. Manufacturers chose components trying to make it as cheap as possible. And yet we hunt for those old pickups. Or there are companies like Throbak who sell their recreations of vintage pickups not for cheap at all.
So why then today only boutique winders can recreate those pickups like PAFs, P90s and others, when factories today have access to more consistent components like magnets, wire and all this stuff and also have quality control?
Probably I'm wrong, but this is the impression I have on this question.
Please describe your unpotting procedure. I believe in unpotted pickups but have never been able to remove the wax.For Gibsons, unpotting makes ALL the difference, especially in the neck pickup. I’ve done this with Burstbucker Pros.
It makes the pickups more open, articulate and airy. In the middle position, there’s more “quack.”
I haven’t used Throbaks. Vaughn Skow and Mojo Tone also make fantastic PAFs. Since I unpotted mine, I’m really happy with them — enough to not spend a ton of money for the incremental difference.
And if you don’t like it, you can always re-pot them.
I would imagine the replacement pickup business is low volume, high margin business. Consider your own annual wage and think of how many sets of pickups you would need to sell to make that much money, in a year, if you made $50 per set. Probably an impossible number for a small builder. Now do the math if you made $250 (fictional numbers, I dont know how much pickups are marked up, I'm just explaining a point). Although pickups are popular I dont thinking is a really high volume business. It's hard for small companies to pay their overhead. Bigger companies should have it better but then you get into all the administration costs and discounts to dealers (as opposed to small guys selling direct). There is no free lunchBut why does it cost so much to replicate those inconsistent vintage pickups?
To me it looks like Wilkinson of GFS products should be the closest to PAFs or P90s of yesteryears, but there is Throbak with magnets gaussed to vintage specs and whatnot...
Don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing Throbak, I see a lot of happy users in the internet, so probably they know what they do. It's just the amount of resourses to get it done, that puzzles me.
I know that making something like original Fender WRHB is tough due to CuNiFe inaccessibility. There are probably some problems with recreating Tarbacks (I have two in a 70s SG by the way, and they are awesome, the bridge particularly). But talking about other pickups - it doesn't seem to be such a problem. But it is somehow.
Picking up only on "most people" - strongly disagree microphonic pickups are beneficial for the majority - there's an excellent reason that nearly all pickups are potted these days....IMO microphonic pickups sound better than non microphonic... ...for most peoples applications they can be a benefit...
It can't be done. Once it's permeated the coil, it isn't coming out again....I believe in unpotted pickups but have never been able to remove the wax...
The reason potting pickups became common place was because they can squeal at high volumes. There are a lot more people playing in their bedrooms than arenas these days. I think most people would prefer a more complex sound if they can get away with it like you can in your bedroom.Picking up only on "most people" - strongly disagree microphonic pickups are beneficial for the majority - there's an excellent reason that nearly all pickups are potted these days.
Back when unpotted pickups were common, you had to keep your double boiler handy. I'll echo the other poster that microphonic pickups are faulty.
"most people" should use potted pickups. The people who want unpotted quirky pickups can get them, but default should be potted. Start from something that works, and deviate if desired. Microphonic is a bad starting place.
It can't be done. Once it's permeated the coil, it isn't coming out again.
You can remove the excess from the cover, that's about it.