I bought some of these pickups for a project guitar. These pickups are close to the same output as the original Danelectro pickups. They don't use the same magnets. Dano used Alnico VI and then settled on Alnico V while these pickups use a ceramic magnet. Not that ceramic magnets are bad(these are good pickups), the Alnico magnets give a sparkle-bright tone to these pickups with low wind output.
I got these pickups because they have a Strat type mount, however, they don't fit in the Strat pickguard without some carving modifications. Original Dano pickups had different mounting that mounted to the back of the guitar cavity. Those would work in a CBG very well because it wouldn't add weight to the top.
One issue with these pickups is they are all wound the same direction and have the same magnetic polarity. So if you have more than one in a guitar, you'll have that out of phase sound playing both pickups that some people like and some don't. You also won't have noise free humbucking in the middle position.
Original pickups had a bar magnet with wire wrapped around it and wrapped in paper, then stuffed into the tubes. So I was interested in how these were put together. First I looked at the wire and they have 3 wires. A bare ground wire and 2 coated wires for coil start/hot(red) and a coil end wire/ground(white). That makes switching the wind direction easy, you just switch the Hot/signal(red) wire to ground and the coil end/ground(white) wire to hot/signal. That'll end the out of phase sound, but you'll still have noise/non-humbucking issue. So first I checked the polarity with my compass.
Then I took it apart.
These come apart easy, but you always want to go slow and easy when taking a pickup apart because the wires are delicate and easy to break. Also voids any warranty or replacement from the seller.
Flip the pickup over to see the bottom. It has wires coming out on one side and 2 nuts holding the mounting plate to the pickup. one of the wires is bare and short with a small connector on it that goes under the nut closest to the wires.
Then you gently slide the cover tube off the non-wire side first and gently pull the coil assembly out of the other side. It will not come all the way out because of the eyelet, but far enough to do what you need to do. This coil is basically half of a dual rail humbucker for a Strat or Tele. It has a bobbin coil with the bar magnet in the middle of the bobbin like a Firebird pickup is made. The side where the magnet is flat with the bobbin is the bottom screw mount side and the side with magnet protruding out is the top.
Next, you place the coil face down on a hard surface with the protruding magnet side down. Gently push the coil bobbin downwards with as much equal force on all sides forcing the magnet to be flush with the bobbin on the bottom side and protrude out of the top.
Next step is to gently turn the coil 180 degrees and push back into the tube(new bottom flat side towards the screws) while guiding the wire through the hole in that tube. Push the other side tube on. Feed the bare eyelet and insulated wire through the baseplate. Note that the baseplate has 2 ridges that face the tube and flat on bottom side. open the bent eyelet without damaging it and put on screw. Attach nuts without over torquing them.
Then recheck with Compass. It should read opposite of what it did before and recheck the coil wires to insure the coil wasn't damaged. Success, With wiring it up White hot & Red ground, this pickup will be RWRP and hum-cancelling/humbucking when played with another pickup.
Very cool, Paul!
Not everyone needs to do this, but if they do need it they'll have a visual and read out to make it happen.
I plan to show how to convert a dual rail minibucker into a real Firebird soon and how to wax pot pickups too.
I enjoyed this thread and am looking forward to both of those others. Rather timely with the wax potting especially.. Going to be winding some hotter pickups soon and will probably have to start using the wax.
I have a small Crock Pot for Potpourri I plan on using to dip the pickups. Also thought about dipping the pickups in varnish like Gibson and Fender did back in the day.
Thank you for the reference Paul!!
Very nice. I make and experiment with all kinds of pickups myself, I know this will be remembered when I come to such situations.
Your welcome and I hope it helps, just remember to go easy and slow with it as not to damage the coil wires.
A forum discussion on the pros & cons of wax vs varnish.