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Help identifying old strat pickups 1965?

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  • Help identifying old strat pickups 1965?

    PHOTOS BELOW***

    I saw these on eBay from a seller who recently inherited a bunch of his dads old guitars. Among his listings were a bunch of 60's Fender gear and pickups, then he had these listed as an 'Unknown Brand' Stratocaster set that 'needs rewind'.

    Looking at his pictures, I noticed in particular that this wire looks like some of the old 'maroon-colored' Plain Enamel, so I thought, eh what the heck, they look old, I think I'll try 'em. They were on the expensive side for 'dead pickups' though.

    Now after doing a bit of research, I'm starting to find that they look an awful lot like a lot of the early Strat pickups from 1964-1966, and it would make sense for these to be in that era, given the sellers other listings. My guess is that they were probably rewound a long time ago, and that whoever rewound these removed the original signature and date (ARGHHH!!)

    Some things that looked good:

    1. To ME, This Plain Enamel wire looks OLD. After comparing the color to some other 60's/70's Plain Enamel and some modern stuff- I'm pretty sure that's what is on this bobbin. Probably a rewind, but a vintage one at that.
    Wire specs: .00285" (min), .00305" (max)
    Pickup spec's (from the 2 that are working):
    6.06k - South Polarity UP (was in the Middle pos.) - This is the Reverse Wound one - Still South UP
    6.20k - South Polarity UP (was in the Neck pos.)
    The other pickup looks to be about the same amount of turns, same wire, also South Polarity UP

    2. The Black/White Lead wires look to be the same age. Very worn and somewhat stiff, definitely vintage
    3. They do have really old-looking gray bobbins, with a natural patina on them. They are light gray in color
    4. They were potted, and the potting material looks just like what Fender would have used at that time
    5. There is a pencil-written signature on the back that looks very old - but it has no date. Signature reads 'BWP'
    6. There are other markings underneath that signature, but they are far too faint to make out, even with a Hi-Res photo
    7. There is no bevel on the gray bobbin around the height screws - an identifier for '64-'65 strat pickups (and post 70's)
    8. I saw a listing on Reverb sell for $895 for a pickup identical to one of these in pretty much every way except the signature
    9. The bevels around the magnets are definitely hand-cut, and not one of the newer Tone-Krap bobbins that are totally even and a bit more beveled than vintage pickups

    Some things I'm concerned about:

    1. The big red flag and reason I got these so cheap is that there are NO Dates visibly written on any of these in the set.
    2. The next big red flag is that one of these is definitely 'Reverse-Wound' - it uses the same wire, so my guess is that all of these have been rewound ) :
    3. The sides of the bobbin are very sharp and look laser cut - I've seen one other example exactly like this that sold for around $900 per pickup - but that was one listing of many. If anyone can verify whether this is authentic or not, that would pretty much be the nail in the coffin for me.

    Most bobbins I've seen have a 'rough edge' going about halfway up the bobbin.

    4. There are 'razor marks' around the edges of each bobbin - looks like from a long-ago rewind? Unfortunately this is on all of them ) : and pretty much guarantees that even if they are original bobbins, this is most likely not the original wire.

    I'll post some better pictures once I get them uploaded to my computer.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by ZRGuitarPickups; 06-25-2019, 11:49 PM.

  • #2
    Here's a photo of another pickup that I found that has a bobbin exactly like mine. Notice how sharp the edges of the gray bobbin are:
    [ATTACH=CONFIG]54119[/ATTACH

    The pickup in this listing below (somehow) sold for $895.
    https://reverb.com/item/22903709-vin...show_sold=true

    Every other Fender pickup I've found from this era has a rougher appearance around the edge of the bobbin - I think this is going to be the 'make it or break it' characteristic for this pickup. Whether that is original or not is currently about a $1000 question for me.

    That seller claims that the pickup was removed from an original 1966 Stratocaster - so IF that this is true, then that helps to authenticate that my pickup bobbins are real indeed Fenders.

    If that's a fake 'vintage pickup', someone got seriously ripped-off, and this (well-known) seller should be ashamed for claiming that they removed it from an all original Strat
    Attached Files
    Last edited by ZRGuitarPickups; 06-26-2019, 12:06 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by ZRGuitarPickups View Post
      Here's a photo of another pickup that I found that has a bobbin exactly like mine. Notice how sharp the edges of the gray bobbin are:
      [ATTACH=CONFIG]54119[/ATTACH

      The pickup in this listing below (somehow) sold for $895.
      https://reverb.com/item/22903709-vin...show_sold=true

      Every other Fender pickup I've found from this era has a rougher appearance around the edge of the bobbin - I think this is going to be the 'make it or break it' characteristic for this pickup. Whether that is original or not is currently about a $1000 question for me.

      That seller claims that the pickup was removed from an original 1966 Stratocaster - so IF that this is true, then that helps to authenticate that my pickup bobbins are real indeed Fenders.

      If that's a fake 'vintage pickup', someone got seriously ripped-off, and this (well-known) seller should be ashamed for claiming that they removed it from an all original Strat
      Hi Zr
      I would say that these are fakes. An easy way to tell non fender pickups is with the smooth edges Either cnc routed or laser cut. The originals were always stamped and have quite a rough edge and also the hole for the wires is smaller than with current stamped pickup bobbins. Also the magnets don't look right. Grey bobbins usually had the date stamp stamped with a rubber stamp usually black or red. I can send you a photo of a broken one thats been rewound with green ?? wire if you need to see it.

      Cheers

      Andrew

      Comment


      • #4
        Some pics of one of my '68 PUs:

        Click image for larger version

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        The '66 Strat PUs I had looked identical, also pencilled date. The bottoms may have been a little lighter.

        The early '64 PUs I inspected had black bottoms, formvar wire and yellow date stamps.
        - Own Opinions Only -

        Comment


        • #5
          You can still see some of the dark goo on the grey fiber from the laser cutter ....I'd say FAKE .
          "UP here in the Canada we shoot things we don't understand"

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          • #6
            I'm pretty sure they are fake. Here's one reasonably reliable way to tell.

            The old pickups have a hole in the center of the bobbin to mount it via a screw to the winding machine. As a result, you will notice a thread cut into the bobbin...as visible on vintage pickups like so
            Click image for larger version

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            If you look at the pickups being questioned you will note that the central hole is a clean cut, there is no thread cut, because most likely it was stuck to the winder with double sided tape.
            Click image for larger version

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            This combined with the missing date stamp or hand written date pretty much signals to me they aren't original. In fact I'd say they are relatively recently made.

            Hope this helps
            Steve

            Comment


            • #7
              Hey everyone,
              Thanks for your replies!

              Yes, these are definitely NOT Fender pickups.
              They do come pretty close in spec - BUT, (I think I mentioned this somewhere above) they really don't sound that great (just muddy) - Maybe time to remagnetize?

              The easiest way to tell was by the CNC cut - I double-checked with an employee at the Fender factory, and they confirmed that Fender had no CNC/laser machine's around back then that would have been able to cut the bobbin like this.

              I didn't think about the threads being cut through the center.

              I'm going to rewind these and turn them into "replica's" (except with clear labeling and todays date, so there is no confusion to anyone else in the future) - I'll also add a slight bevel around the edges of the gray bobbin, as per the original design of a handwound '65 pickup

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Lyrebird Steve View Post
                I'm pretty sure they are fake. Here's one reasonably reliable way to tell.

                The old pickups have a hole in the center of the bobbin to mount it via a screw to the winding machine. As a result, you will notice a thread cut into the bobbin...as visible on vintage pickups like so
                [ATTACH=CONFIG]54267[/ATTACH]

                If you look at the pickups being questioned you will note that the central hole is a clean cut, there is no thread cut, because most likely it was stuck to the winder with double sided tape.
                [ATTACH=CONFIG]54268[/ATTACH]

                This combined with the missing date stamp or hand written date pretty much signals to me they aren't original. In fact I'd say they are relatively recently made.

                Hope this helps
                Steve
                I'm not sure about the thread in the hole. I've just had a look at a 1974 grey bobbin strat pup that i've got here and there's no sign of a thread in the middle hole (the pups pretty knackered but original apart from the green wire) But you can see the wire size hole on the original (just under 3mm) new one just under 5 mmClick image for larger version

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                Cheers
                Andrew

                Comment


                • #9
                  Don't overlook the Vintage Magnets.
                  Some of the old Fender Pickups, had the great sounding Magnets.
                  T
                  Last edited by big_teee; 07-12-2019, 03:10 PM.


                  "If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride!" Scottish Proverb 1600s
                  Terry

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by the great waldo View Post
                    I'm not sure about the thread in the hole. I've just had a look at a 1974 grey bobbin strat pup that i've got here and there's no sign of a thread in the middle hole (the pups pretty knackered but original apart from the green wire) But you can see the wire size hole on the original (just under 3mm) new one just under 5 mm[ATTACH=CONFIG]54275[/ATTACH]
                    Cheers
                    Andrew
                    I'll perform an audit on my collection of 60's and 70's pickups when I get a few minutes and report back. I'll see if I can spot when they may have changed the manufacturing technique. Pretty sure I've seen the thread cut on my 60s ones.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I just inspected some 60s and 70s strat PUs. The 60s PUs have the threaded center hole, the (early) 70s PUs not.
                      But of course the threads would be easy to fake.
                      - Own Opinions Only -

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