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Thread: Johnny Smith pickup identification

  1. #1
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    Johnny Smith pickup identification

    I have had this pickup since about 1978 when my friend gave/traded it to me. He said it was from a Johnny Smith guitar. He unfortunately had mounted it on a mandolin and bent the legs and theypict0347.jpgpict0339.jpg broke when trying to straighten them back. There are no obvious ID marks on it. How would I verify that it is really from a Johnny Smith?

  2. #2
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    If you can crack it open, the two bobbins should have a magnet inside them and there should be a ferrous shim connecting the magnets or "closing the magnetic circuit" between the two magnets on the side that doesn't face the strings.

  3. #3
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    open the Johnny Smith pickup

    To crack the cover it would appear I would have to remove the 2 large globs of solder joining the backplate and the gold cover. What is the danger of melting something inside? Are there typically no identifying stamp/marks on the back? thanks

  4. #4
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    You can also slice or saw through the solder with X-acto knife/saw or with the dremel tool. Just look out for the exposed coils underneath. To de-solder best to have a de-soldering pump or squeeze bulb or wick handy and get a 100W model so you don't linger too long in one spot and melt the bobbins.

  5. #5
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    And nobody noticed the error in my first post... There should of cause not be two coil with a magnet in each, but one coil with a magnet inside, screw in the other coil (anchored into the baseplate and a ferrous shim that magnetically connects the screw to the magnet. Must have been thingking about the firebird pickups

  6. #6
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    inside the Johnny Smith pickup

    Here is what is inside. I have solder sucker and a very good soldering station so getting in was easy.
    Does this look like an original "Johnny Smith" pickup? I soldered a cable on it and placed it on my ES 175 and it sounded good.

    Thanks for the input so far.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails pict0354.jpg  
    Last edited by neville; 10-19-2010 at 02:19 AM. Reason: forgot the picture

  7. #7
    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Boy, that's a weird little pickup.
    It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure. Albert Einstein

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  8. #8
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    Sure looks like a Johnny Smith to me. Is the base plate ferrous? The only thing that makes we wounder is the magnet(s). It almost looks like three magnets in there. Or are that two strips of black tape that makes it look like it is more than one magnet in there?

  9. #9
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    Looks like a Johnny Smith to me. Those black "strips" are sharpie marker or something similar that Gibson uses to mark N/S.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for your input. I believe the black marks on the magnet are sharpie or something similar. I would have to pop it open again to refresh my memory to be sure.

  11. #11
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    A bit of a coincidence, I had my Johnny Smith apart last week and it is the exact likeness to Neville's pickup.
    In the future it will be paired with a Deluxe mini-humbucker in a Les Paul.
    Best

    Grungy

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