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Thread: Gibson HB-L

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    CNC Trial by Fire kayakerca's Avatar
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    Gibson HB-L

    On vacation, but I have a request from a local luthier to have a look at a dead Gibson HB-L. From what I read, it was a Bill Lawrence design while he was with Gibson in the late 80's. The picture sent to me of the bottom shows a PCB type base which is consistent with what I see from other sources on the interet. I am assuming there are no electronics on the top side of that base. I am seeing 2 different DCR levels being quoted on the internet from various sources, one group in the +/- 9K range and another group in the +/- 14K range. I would have thought the lower range to be for a neck version, but they seem to show the "L" on the bottom of the baseplate. Since I won't be back in the shop for a couple weeks, I was curious about the experiences others may have had working on this pickup.

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    Last edited by kayakerca; 07-22-2015 at 01:30 PM.
    Take Care,

    Jim. . .
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    I don't have any experience with these pickups but after a quick google search I am fairly confident that the L (bridge) version has the higher DCR and the R (neck) version is lower. I saw only one account that differed, and that was on eBay - consider your sources.

    Unless that pickup set was very strange, indeed, then those are also logically the proper associations for the dcr .

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    If they are dead?
    it looks like a good time for him to start over fresh, and an opportunity to sell him a pair of regular pickups?
    Just Saying!
    T

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    It's only Rock and Roll, but I like it!

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    CNC Trial by Fire kayakerca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    If they are dead?
    it looks like a good time for him to start over fresh, and an opportunity to sell him a pair of regular pickups?
    Just Saying!
    T
    Ya, it is pretty much the same cost for one of my humbuckers as for a rewind of both coils, but the owner wants to retain as much of the original as possible. I can understand that. But it is funny how many people think a pickup rewind should cost about $20 or so max.

    I'm still hoping that at least one of the coils only has a broken lead so I can measure it up to get some good data for a rewind if necessary.

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    Take Care,

    Jim. . .
    VA3DEF
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    In the immortal words of Dr. Johnny Fever, “When everyone is out to get you, paranoid is just good thinking.”

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    CNC Trial by Fire kayakerca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbarrow7625 View Post
    I don't have any experience with these pickups but after a quick google search I am fairly confident that the L (bridge) version has the higher DCR and the R (neck) version is lower. I saw only one account that differed, and that was on eBay - consider your sources.

    Unless that pickup set was very strange, indeed, then those are also logically the proper associations for the dcr .
    I tend to believe that the +/- 14K range is where it should be as the owner was telling the luthier that the pickup was a little hot for his liking and wouldn't mind it dialed back a tiny bit.

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    Take Care,

    Jim. . .
    VA3DEF
    ____________________________________________________
    In the immortal words of Dr. Johnny Fever, “When everyone is out to get you, paranoid is just good thinking.”

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    I've got an HB-R/HB-L set that came out of a 1989 Les Paul Standard.

    The HB-L measures 14,041 Ohms DCR (actually AC @ 120 Hz, but close enough), 8.171 H @ 120 Hz and the resonant peak is at 5234 Hz.

    It's the bridge pickup.

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    Senior Member LtKojak's Avatar
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    Yeah, they're 2 x 7000 turns of AWG#43 Poly wire.

    Pretty much a standard recipe nowadays.

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    Pepe aka Lt. Kojak
    Milano, Italy

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    CNC Trial by Fire kayakerca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottA View Post
    I've got an HB-R/HB-L set that came out of a 1989 Les Paul Standard.

    The HB-L measures 14,041 Ohms DCR (actually AC @ 120 Hz, but close enough), 8.171 H @ 120 Hz and the resonant peak is at 5234 Hz.

    It's the bridge pickup.
    Appreciate you passing along the specs. I'll definitely be heading in the direction of the 14kΩ wind.

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    Take Care,

    Jim. . .
    VA3DEF
    ____________________________________________________
    In the immortal words of Dr. Johnny Fever, “When everyone is out to get you, paranoid is just good thinking.”

  9. #9
    CNC Trial by Fire kayakerca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottA View Post
    I've got an HB-R/HB-L set that came out of a 1989 Les Paul Standard.

    The HB-L measures 14,041 Ohms DCR (actually AC @ 120 Hz, but close enough), 8.171 H @ 120 Hz and the resonant peak is at 5234 Hz.

    It's the bridge pickup.
    The magnet is in backwards in this pickup (slug side south, screw side south). Are the magnets reversed in your HB-R/HB-L pickup set?

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    Take Care,

    Jim. . .
    VA3DEF
    ____________________________________________________
    In the immortal words of Dr. Johnny Fever, “When everyone is out to get you, paranoid is just good thinking.”

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    Supporting Member SonnyW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayakerca View Post
    The magnet is in backwards in this pickup (slug side south, screw side south). Are the magnets reversed in your HB-R/HB-L pickup set?
    I repaired a neck version of one of these last month. The slug side was south, 9.04K ohms, resonant peak 5.9kHz. Don't know if that helps but it is data.

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    Hi

    The usual cause for these pickups dying is the coil ends are soldered directly to the pcb base, any kind of expansion or movement in the pickup causes the coil wire to snap (there's usually no slack on the wire going into the pcb, bad design!) You might be able to catch the coil ends and splice a little extra leadout wire, normally ends up melting the groove in the bobbin end standoff a bit. I have rescued quit a few of these pups before. Basically a dumb design made to be easy to manufacture and difficult to repair (what's new)

    Good luck
    Andrew

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    CNC Trial by Fire kayakerca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonnyW View Post
    I repaired a neck version of one of these last month. The slug side was south, 9.04K ohms, resonant peak 5.9kHz. Don't know if that helps but it is data.
    Thanks Sonny. A definite help. I'll stick with the slug side south and flip it if necessary.

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    Take Care,

    Jim. . .
    VA3DEF
    ____________________________________________________
    In the immortal words of Dr. Johnny Fever, “When everyone is out to get you, paranoid is just good thinking.”

  13. #13
    CNC Trial by Fire kayakerca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the great waldo View Post
    Hi

    The usual cause for these pickups dying is the coil ends are soldered directly to the pcb base, any kind of expansion or movement in the pickup causes the coil wire to snap (there's usually no slack on the wire going into the pcb, bad design!) You might be able to catch the coil ends and splice a little extra leadout wire, normally ends up melting the groove in the bobbin end standoff a bit. I have rescued quit a few of these pups before. Basically a dumb design made to be easy to manufacture and difficult to repair (what's new)

    Good luck
    Andrew
    Thanks Andrew. Yes, 3 of the 4 coil ends were broken off and 2 of 3 were start ends of the coil. The start ends had about 1/16" available which just wasn't enough for me to work with. I agree, probably not the best design. The top of slug side bobbin was cracked right through at both ends and hair line cracks between the slugs. A standard 50mm slug bobbin fits in the space nicely with the mounting screws lining up near perfectly. I rewound both coils and went old school with pigtails on the coil ends. The 28 gauge pigtails fit nicely in the PCB holes along side the small pins that slide into the tabs on the ends of the bobbins. Just the magnet polarity alignment that I was unsure of.

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    Take Care,

    Jim. . .
    VA3DEF
    ____________________________________________________
    In the immortal words of Dr. Johnny Fever, “When everyone is out to get you, paranoid is just good thinking.”

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    CNC Trial by Fire kayakerca's Avatar
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    Geeze am I ever stupid some days! The original bobbins were wound CW not CCW, which means the polarity was correct with the slug side south and the hot lead as the slug winding start and the ground as the screw side start.

    Geeze am I ever stupid some days. . .

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    Take Care,

    Jim. . .
    VA3DEF
    ____________________________________________________
    In the immortal words of Dr. Johnny Fever, “When everyone is out to get you, paranoid is just good thinking.”

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    Happens to all of us.

    Cheers

    Andrew
    Quote Originally Posted by kayakerca View Post
    Geeze am I ever stupid some days! The original bobbins were wound CW not CCW, which means the polarity was correct with the slug side south and the hot lead as the slug winding start and the ground as the screw side start.

    Geeze am I ever stupid some days. . .

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  16. #16
    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayakerca View Post
    Geeze am I ever stupid some days! The original bobbins were wound CW not CCW, which means the polarity was correct with the slug side south and the hot lead as the slug winding start and the ground as the screw side start.

    Geeze am I ever stupid some days. . .
    Polarity is relative to a second pickup. There is no correct polarity. It just depends on if it matches another pickup. If it doesn't you can just as correctly say the other pickup is reversed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    Polarity is relative to a second pickup. There is no correct polarity. It just depends on if it matches another pickup. If it doesn't you can just as correctly say the other pickup is reversed.
    Absolutely agree. Unfortunately, this was a double handoff. The pickup had not been in the '89 LP for years because of being dead. It had been taken to another luthier years back, but he couldn't repair it. The owner took the pickup to his current luthier, then that luthier brought it to me, so I didn't have the opportunity to see the guitar (or neck p/u) to determine the polarity of the mate. That would have made it too easy!

    This luthier is a very young and talented guy, but not interested in doing pickups, either repair or winding. Of course that may change with all the extra time he has on his hands in 5 months when he takes deliver of the Plek Machine he has on order. Apparently it will be only the second Plek in Canada and the first in Canada in a luthier's shop. I can't wait to see that unit in action!

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    Take Care,

    Jim. . .
    VA3DEF
    ____________________________________________________
    In the immortal words of Dr. Johnny Fever, “When everyone is out to get you, paranoid is just good thinking.”

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    Hi,
    I’m sorry to unearth this post but the thing is I have the same problem.
    I just bought two pair of « the original » Gibson pickups by bill Lawrence. 2 chrome and 2 gold.
    As far as the two HB-Ls are concerned, the chrome one shows a nice 14 Ohms impedance when the golden one shows less than 10 Ohms.
    Any idea if it’s normal, or if that could be fixed?
    I need a gold covered one to put on a 1980 Les Paul Custom...

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exhorter69 View Post
    Hi,
    I’m sorry to unearth this post but the thing is I have the same problem.
    I just bought two pair of « the original » Gibson pickups by bill Lawrence. 2 chrome and 2 gold.
    As far as the two HB-Ls are concerned, the chrome one shows a nice 14 Ohms impedance when the golden one shows less than 10 Ohms.
    Any idea if it’s normal, or if that could be fixed?
    I need a gold covered one to put on a 1980 Les Paul Custom...
    10 & 14 ohms, or 10k & 14k ohms?
    Also can you post a picture of front and rear?

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    It's only Rock and Roll, but I like it!

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    Must be k Ohms

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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    10 & 14 ohms, or 10k & 14k ohms?
    Also can you post a picture of front and rear?
    Difficult to post picture!

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  22. #22
    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exhorter69 View Post
    Hi,
    I’m sorry to unearth this post but the thing is I have the same problem.
    I just bought two pair of « the original » Gibson pickups by bill Lawrence. 2 chrome and 2 gold.
    As far as the two HB-Ls are concerned, the chrome one shows a nice 14 Ohms impedance when the golden one shows less than 10 Ohms.
    Any idea if it’s normal, or if that could be fixed?
    I need a gold covered one to put on a 1980 Les Paul Custom...
    By what I read the HB-L is a lead pickup and the HB-R would be a Rhythm pickup.
    The 14k is probably 43 awg wire,
    Not sure on the 10k, if it is a HB-R then it would probably 10k of 43.
    If it is a HB-L probably full coils of 42.
    All just a guess.
    GL,
    T

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    It's only Rock and Roll, but I like it!

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    Member Electricdaveyboy's Avatar
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    Ha a Set of those in for rewind. I used 42 and wound the neck to paf and the bridge to Hot VH PAF style. They sounded good after all. I always replace the bobbins on those because that Lawrence Abs always cracks...

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