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Scatterwound Vintage Pickups for Stratocaster

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JCvintage Stratocaster Pickup Specifications:

 -Black vulcanised fibre flatwork (bobbins) - to original specifications.

 -Staggered AlNiCo 5 pole pieces, hand magnetised and bevelled.

 -South Magnetic polarity

-Clockwise winding coil direction

 -Formvar insulated 42AWG  copper winding wire. Handwound (scatterwound)

 -Waxed cotton push-back output wires - 12 long"

 -Latex tubing spacers and nickel plated mounting screws included

 -Black, White, Off White, Mint Green or Cream covers included

 -DC resistance (approximate) neck 5.9k,  middle 6.2k,    bridge 6.5k

 These pickups are carefully hand built to authentically match the characteristics of the early 60's Fender stratocaster pickups.

 

 

Building a Vintage Strat pickup - the main steps.

I start with flatwork of the original shape, thickness and composition - black vulcanised fibre material known as "Forbon". The Alnico 5 magnet poles are bevelleled by hand using a bench grinder then pressed into the base. The top flatwork is then pressed over the poles, forming the bobbin assembly. Next, a thin layer of clear laquer is applied over the end pole pieces - this is to protect the wire which will wrap directly around the poles. Most strat pickups that die do so because the wire breaks where it contacts the poles - due to corrosion (beer, sweat etc) and/or movement of the poles over time. The laquer coat prevents such problems. Next comes the most important task - winding the coil. I use wire of the original spec - 42AWG Formvar insulated winding wire. The Bobbin is mounted onto the winding machine, and the wire is guided onto the bobbin by hand as it spins. This is a very delicate job - the wire is Hair-thin, and around 8000 to 9000 turns are required. This process is most important to the resultant tonal quality, and this is where the term "scatterwinding" comes from. It is crucial during the winding to ensure each turn is physically seperated from the preceeding turn, and that the turns cross over each other in a random manner - it's also called "twineball" winding. See the paragraph below for an explanation of how scatterwinding affects the tone. After the coil has been wound and soldered, the pole pieces are magnetised by passing the assembly through a strong magnetic field set up by neodium magnets. The Alnico becomes fully charged to the the desired polarity. The waxed cotton vintage connection wires are then soldered in place, the mounting holes taped for 6/32 UNC thread.

 

What do these specifications mean for you?

It is generally agreed that the great clarity and chime of the original early Stratocaster pickups is largely due to the fact that they were scatterwound by hand, with Formvar insulated 42AWG copper magnet wire, directly around AlNiCo pole magnets. The enemy of clear tone in pickups is the presence of inter-layer and inter-winding capacitance. Put simply, increased capacitance in the winding = less top end. With a computer controlled mass-produced, winding, the inter-winding capacitance sums, because the windings are so uniform, and the result tends to be a muted, sterile sound. With scatterwinding, the small variations in hand tension and the un-even layering during the winding process give rise to a distributed range of inter-layer capacitance, effectively cancelling out some of the total capacitance of the winding - the result is sound "character" that is simply not obtainable on the machine wound mass-produced pickups. JCvintage pickups have great clarity and bite, strong output across the full range while mainting excellent string definition.

Listen to sound samples of JCvintage Strat pickups here

Read my Customer Feedback here

See Custom winding options here