LB-1 Reissue teardown

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I finally got some time to diassemble the reissue LB-1 bridge and neck picks that I had laying around the house. It seems to be pretty much what I expected. The reissues are very close to the originals in most aspects. The most notable differences are the chrome plating instead of nickel like the Hoboken/Westerly minibuckers, and the use of wax potting in the reissues instead of the epoxy.

More later, at work now.
 

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Red wire is a Fender era neck pup, blue wire is a bridge pup from CMG.

mT1CLhi.jpg
 
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R is for Rut Row? The CMG pup has red for the hot lead. Good to know.
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On the Fender pup, the leads from the coils are both black. I tried to mark which was which. Desoldering the coil leads means you don't need to touch the quick-connect, and it will let you switch the leads in case you install them and have accidentally wired the pup out of phase.
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Lead free solder sucks. I could not get the solder hot enough to free the covers, so I had to do things.
Unspeakable things to get them free. (not shown)
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Once the solder joint was broken, the baseplate dropped off with the magnet, leaving the coils in the pup cover. that rectangular shape is the metal slug, in the other coil is the gap resulting from using the same former for both coils of the humbucker. The grey material around the polepieces is the wax used to pot the pickups. IMHO, it doesn't serve a function, so I won't mess with it one way or another.
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The neck pickup coils dropped out of the pickup cover cleanly and easily
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The CMG bridge pickup adhered to the cover and took some, uh, body english to get it out. In retrospect, I probably should have used a hair dryer on it, and it probably would have come out almost as cleanly as the Fender.
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The Fender neck pup potting was solid, the new pup had some air pockets. The magnets are held on one side by the slug, on the other side by the polepieces. the black spacers on the baseplates are the same thickness as the magnet. this allows the whole kit and kabootle to be held together without screws, the soldering of the pup cover to the baseplate is sufficient.
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Wax on, wax off!

I think I am going to need more q-tips. ;-/

You can swap coils 5k - 7.5k pretty easily, but the leads will end up on the wrong side of the coil. What you will have to to do, is putting the coils on a flat surface, push down to move the slug to the other side of the coil, like adjusting a Strat polepiece. then you can flip the coil and the leads will be where they should be.
 

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Thanks for all the pictures!! Loved seeing the dissection. You're so detailed!
 

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Let's see if I can get them back together again. Then maybe a testbed guitar so we can hear the difference with matched sets? Or should I just send the 5k neck pup to Gad? He's far better at describing sound than I am.
In any case, you can see why using a neck pup in the bridge is not a problem. That slug in the coil acts as a blade pickup. The pole pieces are mostly cosmetic.
 

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Now this is my kind of thread! VERY well done! I'm going to add a link to my blog about the LBs to this thread.

One question, though. What prompted you to want to swap the coils and not just the entire pickup? Or do I misunderstood?
 

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Cosmetics, mainly. I have a T-400 that I can't play because of the pickup mismatch. It's criminal how nice that guitar is. Also, because I am pissy about how easy this is to correct in production. It's chimp-simple. Put the 5k janglers in the 12 strings and harps, put the 7.5ks on all the stoptails and rockers.

But Cordoba? If you are listening? Just offer LB-1s and LB-2s. Please? High outputs and low outputs. Sell them in the store, for pete's sake. Shoot me your address, Gary and I will mail off the 5k neck pickup while you still have the NS SFlll.
 

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Cosmetics, mainly. I have a T-400 that I can't play because of the pickup mismatch. It's criminal how nice that guitar is. Also, because I am pissy about how easy this is to correct in production. It's chimp-simple. Put the 5k janglers in the 12 strings and harps, put the 7.5ks on all the stoptails and rockers.

But Cordoba? If you are listening? Just offer LB-1s and LB-2s. Please? High outputs and low outputs. Sell them in the store, for pete's sake. Shoot me your address, Gary and I will mail off the 5k neck pickup while you still have the NS SFlll.

I guess I mean, why pull them apart when you could have just swapped the entire pickup? Reading the thread again I think I was mistaken in somehow thinking your goal was to take the bridge coils and put them into the neck covers or vice-versa, which I don't think would work anyway. I may have woken up a bit foggy after a five-cocktail night with friends...

Thanks for the offer, but I already have additional 5k and 7k LB1s that I bought for my comparison articles that I can use.

And Yes, Cordoba, it seems to me that just offering a 5k pair and a 7k pair based on what already exists makes a huge amount of sense.
 

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Polepiece spacing is different on the bridge and neck pups and I want my 3k guitar to look less halfassed than it would with a neck pup in the bridge slot. Sonically, it wouldn't matter, but visually, it would trigger my ocd.
 

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Steve, are you swapping the slug coils around here or am I misunderstanding? If the former…what a cool idea! I'd be really interested in finding out how the pickups sound with "mismatched" (both in terms of wire thickness and number of turns) coils.

-Dave-
 
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