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Question for Rick Turner about early Alembic pickups

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:00 am
by zambiland
First off, Happy New Year!

To get right to it, my '67 Starfire has a Series II setup in it with the old caramel pickups that are trapezoid in a rectangular shell. They sound simply amazing, but they are susceptible to noise. Folks over at Alembic ascribe this to the brass bar that is glued to the bottom of the pickups and acts as an antenna for noise. they said they could make me some replacements with out the bars, but given that you probably wound them, I wondering what your take is. They suggest prying or dremeling off the bar and replacing it with plastic or some other eletronically inert materials.

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?

I've got it as quiet as I can and it does sound just simply wonderful, so I'm hoping not to lose the sonic nature of the pickups. The noise isn't terrible, but if I'm not quick with the off switch between songs, I can get some nasty looks.

Thanks,
Edwin

Re: Question for Rick Turner about early Alembic pickups

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:08 am
by mkaufman
Assuming it would be acceptable, would a dummy coil be an option? You can add it w/out changing the existing pup.

mk

Re: Question for Rick Turner about early Alembic pickups

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:32 pm
by Rick Turner
Have you tried grounding the brass bars? They should be grounded; they need not be replaced.

Does the noise get worse if you touch the brass or the mounting screws? If so, it's a shielding issue, see above.

If the noise changes when you turn the bass one way or another, it's a hum-cancelling issue. Does the bass have one or two dummy coils? In series with the pickups or electronically done with hum trimmers?

Too little info for an accurate diagnosis.

I cut the magnets on a diamond saw and hand-guide wound those pickups probably on my first real winder...a sewing machine motor with a counter. Probably about 3,000 turns of #38 wire.

Re: Question for Rick Turner about early Alembic pickups

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:40 am
by ugly rumor
Noise gate works wonders, and gives much freedom. Back in the nineties I had issues with a bass similar to your issues. Loved that noise gate....

Re: Question for Rick Turner about early Alembic pickups

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:25 pm
by zambiland
Rick Turner wrote:Have you tried grounding the brass bars? They should be grounded; they need not be replaced.


I'm pretty sure they are grounded, but I will make sure.

Does the noise get worse if you touch the brass or the mounting screws? If so, it's a shielding issue, see above.


It's hard to tell when it's all together as the mounting screws don't reach the surface of the pickup rings, they are just screwed into the bottom of the wooden rings.

If the noise changes when you turn the bass one way or another, it's a hum-cancelling issue. Does the bass have one or two dummy coils? In series with the pickups or electronically done with hum trimmers?


The noise is directional. The bass has one dummy coil which is electronically added to the other pickups via a PF6 card. It's pretty much a standard Series II setup. The main cavity could use some more shielding work, so that might be an issue as well.

Too little info for an accurate diagnosis.

I cut the magnets on a diamond saw and hand-guide wound those pickups probably on my first real winder...a sewing machine motor with a counter. Probably about 3,000 turns of #38 wire.


Thanks for making them! They do sound fabulous! Everyone who hears and plays this bass loves it.

I'll try running ground wires straight to the brass bars and see if that helps at all. If it is a hum-cancelling issue and I already have a dummy coil, I'm not sure what else can be done to improve the situation.