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Thread: Danelectro 59 M-NOS pickups

  1. #1
    Member Alberto's Avatar
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    Danelectro 59 M-NOS pickups

    Hello there,

    a customer asked me to modify his Silvetone's lipstick pickups to sound like the Danelectro 59 M-NOS' pickups. He says that the Dano's pickups are fuller and rounder than his Silvetones.

    Anyone has the specs of these lipstik pickups? i can't find anything on the net. I guess they're Alnico VI, but I'm not sure about it...

    Thanks!

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    I did a quick search, and found mostly nonsense like this:
    Opportunity knocks! Danelectro's pickup supplier "misplaced" a load of lipstick pickups in their warehouse only to discover them recently 15 years after they were manufactured.

    When the folks at Danelectro listened to them they realized that these "New Old Stock" wonders have more twang than any Lipstick ever. Is it because of the aged magnets? Or the materials used 15 years ago? Who knows. Who cares. They just sound great.
    Reportedly, these Korean pickups were discovered in 2014. Doing the math, they were made all the way back in 1999!
    No one knows the secret of their magic mojo. Perhaps they were stored underground with jars of kim chi.

    Should you agree to take on this silly project, here's a suggestion:
    Ask to borrow one of the customer's Dano pickups, and measure its inductance.
    Add wire to the Silvertone until its inductance is in the same ballpark.
    As a general rule, more turns equals "fuller and rounder".

    -rb

    EDIT:
    Alternate suggestion: Try potting the Silvertone with kim chi.

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    Last edited by rjb; 05-31-2016 at 04:22 AM.

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    Member Alberto's Avatar
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    Thanks rjb. I found that "nonsense" on the net as well, but nothing else.
    I think I'm just going to see how the Silvertone are made and try to increase inductance, most likely adding more turns of wire. Is there enough space to add some steel in there? I doubt it...

    Although potting the Silverton with kin chi sounds like the most simple and sensible solution

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    I built a lipstick kit once.
    My kit looked like this.
    http://www.guitarpartsusa.com/media/...%202_300px.jpg
    If I made another one I would scrap the bobbin, and wind just around the magnet.
    I would replace the bobbin with fish paper glued to the magnet edges.
    Tape the magnet and go with that.
    Keep checking to see if your bobbin will fit into the lipstick case?
    T

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    Last edited by big_teee; 06-01-2016 at 11:47 AM.
    “When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging.” WILL ROGERS

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    Terry

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    big_teee.

    The vintage ones were made without bobbins and with the wire wound around the magnet, and then the whole thing was taped and stuffed in the lipstick cover. They may have used collapsible formers to wind them also, but I am not sure on that point.


    Alberto,

    Why your customer would want to emulate a 15 year old Korean pickup and not a vintage one is beyond me! The vintage ones did use Alnico 6, but many makers these days try to make do with Alnico 2 and 5 and degauss, which won't sound the same since the metallurgy is different between different grades of alnico.

    Greg

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Mine was unusually bright.
    If done again, I would go with A2 or A3 magnet.
    Especially in the bridge position, if you want a warmer tone.
    T

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    “When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging.” WILL ROGERS

    Keep Rockin! B_T
    Terry

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    Member Alberto's Avatar
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    big_teee I had already read about your lipstick pickup kit in a old thread Thank for your suggestion about fish paper glued to the magnet. The customer is sending me his pickups, I'll take a look at them and maybe post some picture once they're "dissected".

    soundmasterg He likes warm sounding pickups and those NOS Korean lipsticks are fuller sounding than his. We'll see...

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    Alberto,

    I have a late 90's Korean Danelectro DC3 that I've had since new. I got rid of the original pickups as they were very thin and weak, only about 3.3k. I got some lipstick pickups from Seymour Duncan's custom shop. I insisted on Alnico 6 magnets with the pickups made the same as vintage ones and they did a fabulous job as they sound great, much warmer, and compare well to vintage ones. Wolfe Macleod from Wolfetone pickups had to send them the alnico 6 magnets as they wanted to use degaussed alnico 5 or 2 and didn't have the correct alnico 6.

    Greg

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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    I have an original unmolested 1959 Danelectro DC from 1959. I have also owned several old Silvertone Danelectros back in the day when they were still cheap in thrift stores. Honestly, I never noticed a lot of variation in the pickups. I think your customer is looking for magic that isn't there.

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    Senior Member Jim Shine's Avatar
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    I had so many old ones. I had to fix a ton of them. The solder connections would frequently go bad inside. Opening up an original was scary. Just a wad of coil wire wound around a magnet wadded up with tape. The first few I worked on ended up being disasters. At the time it was barely worth the effort. You would go find a guitar with bad pickups for $15-30 at a flea market, spend hours getting it working just to maybe squeeze $75-100 out of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by olddawg View Post
    I have an original unmolested 1959 Danelectro DC from 1959....
    I think your customer is looking for magic that isn't there.
    You don't understand! Only the Korean '59 reissue has the magic kimchi mojo.

    Something for the random information pile:
    Alberto wondered if there is enough room to raise inductance by adding metal inside the tube.
    This site ST1449hosang1 shows the bridge pickup of a Hosang-badged Dano model 1449 guitar, with a steel "coupling plate".
    So, apparently, there should be room enough.
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	39405

    - rb

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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Shine View Post
    I had so many old ones. I had to fix a ton of them. The solder connections would frequently go bad inside. Opening up an original was scary. Just a wad of coil wire wound around a magnet wadded up with tape. The first few I worked on ended up being disasters. At the time it was barely worth the effort. You would go find a guitar with bad pickups for $15-30 at a flea market, spend hours getting it working just to maybe squeeze $75-100 out of it.
    I paid $80 for mine in a hard shell case in unplayed condition around 1981. I've been thinking of replacing the bridge with a more friendly modern drop in. I had a Dan Arnstrong acrylic that had the same wood block bridge.

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    Member Alberto's Avatar
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    Thank you all!

    By the way, the customer is a luthier and sometimes he winds his own pickups. I guess he's definitely hearing "something" in them. Maybe just a different alnico grade…

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