List junk parts/supplies you've tried to save forum bros from the same fate.
AllParts Gold Humbucker Covers. If you want your pickups to sound like mud, use these. I noticed they seemed very thick an heavy right off the bat.
This also raises another question...anyone know of any more transparent sounding gold covers?
It wouldn't surprise me if they are brass, you might want to scratch into them deep and see what you find. Their undrilled covers are brass, they do have their uses but they probably still insist they are nickel silver even after I sent them a photo of the top sanded off and nice yellow metal underneath.
I ordered gold covers from Guitar Jones and they were so poorly plated they looked awful. Its the only stuff from him I ever sent back and won't order again.
You also need to know that gold is a super conductor and is a tone killer itself. Gold plated bucker covers is just a stupid idea really it never lasts and dulls the tone.
I used a full-strength A5 wound to 8.25k and it just sounded like mud. I removed the cover and there was a huge improvement--the tone really opened up.
And since I'm an A2 guy I swapped mags and it sounds even better yet...
...but that's a personal preference thing.
Last edited by PoorMan; 12-31-2007 at 02:41 AM.
I ground it down with my dremel and it does indeed appear to be nickel silver(or at least not brass). But it is very thick and heavy. And perhaps, as Dave noted, gold being a "super conductor" has something to do with it.
There is a simple way to tell if a cover is nickel silver, versus plated brass. Wind an air coil on a pickup bobbin, using #42 or heavier wire. Coil details are not that important.
Measure inductance and AC resistance with an Extech LCR meter at 1000 Hertz, with coil out in the air well away from metal.
Put coil in a plated brass cover, make inductance and AC resistance measurement.
Put coil in a nickel silver cover, make inductance and AC resistance measurement.
Compare measured values. In general, the no-cover AC resistance will be lowest, and will be very close to the DC resistance. The nickel-silver cover will yield an intermediate value of AC resistance, and the plated brass cover will yield the largest value of AC resistance.
The inductance will be highest for the no-cover case, and will be reduced some by the nickel-silver cover, and even more by the plated brass cover.
The main problem with this approach is that it is relative, and so can be difficult to use to convince a wayward supplier. The advantage is that the cover is not damaged.
And there is one oddity -- a stainless steel cover may behave the same way as nickel silver.
Its real obvious when you put a brass cover on your pickup when using the Extech, it will go way higher on AC resistance. If you have a nickel silver cover handy put that one first then the suspect cover, it the ACR jumps alot you got BRASS, of course AllParts and others often call brass, nickel silver but it ain't....
Here's what Wikipedia says about German silver http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel_silver
Here's what they say about 300 type stainless steel:Many alloys fall within the general term of "nickel silver". All contain copper and nickel, while some formulations may additionally include zinc, antimony, tin, lead or cadmium. A representative industrial formulation, Alloy No. 752, is 65% copper, 18% nickel, and 17% zinc. In metallurgical science, such alloys would be more properly termed nickel brass. The white alloy of 75% copper and 25% nickel used in coins, such as the United States nickel, is better known as copper-nickel, cupro-nickel or cupronickel.
Some nickel silver alloys, especially those containing high proportions of zinc, are stainless (corrosion-resistant).
Nickel silver alloys are commonly named by listing their percentages of copper and nickel, thus "nickel silver 55-18" would contain 55% copper, 18% nickel, and 27% other elements, most probably entirely zinc. A two-element alloy may be named for its nickel content alone, thus NS-12 is 88% copper and 12% nickel.
Austenitic, or 300 series, stainless steels comprise over 70% of total stainless steel production. They contain a maximum of 0.15% carbon, a minimum of 16% chromium and sufficient nickel and/or manganese to retain an austenitic structure at all temperatures from the cryogenic region to the melting point of the alloy. A typical composition of 18% chromium and 10% nickel, commonly known as 18/10 stainless is often used in flatware. Similarly 18/0 and 18/8 is also available.
Brass comes in lots of flavors but if it's going to be formed in a press it's probably this stuff:
"Cartridge brass is a 30% zinc, 70% copper brass with good cold working properties."
or Alpha brass...
"Alpha brasses (Prince's metal), with less than 35% zinc, are malleable, can be worked cold, and are used in pressing, forging, or similar applications."
A good resource for engineering materials info is MatWeb over at
I generally don't have a problem with most of stewmac's stuff but thier humbucker metal spacer bars are pretty crappy and don't fit properly.
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