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Thread: T-Top construction details

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    T-Top construction details

    I know that Gibson made T-Tops for many years--Did they use the same materials through the years?--Were the bobbins butyrate? Was the wire plain enamel or poly? What is a typical turn per layer count? Did they always use short A5 magnets?

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    Were the bobbins butyrate?
    Look here: https://www.mylespaul.com/threads/wh.../#post-9355728

    The bobbin material of my '67 T-Top looks identical (shiny) to my PAF bobbins. Just looked at a '78 T-Top and the bobbins look different (this is just an observation and can't replace a proper material analysis) and have different tool marks. Also the base plate is different. And the '78 has zinc plated slugs.


    Was the wire plain enamel or poly?
    The T-Top wire looks different from original plain enamel but changed color (getting brighter) over the years.


    Did they always use short A5 magnets?
    Yes, all T-Tops I analyzed had short A5 magnets. But I think it is possible that very early ones also used A2 or A4, though not very likely.


    PU covers and pole screws were typically chrome (or gold) - not nickel - plated.

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    Last edited by Helmholtz; 01-06-2020 at 07:17 PM.
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    T-Tops are generally rewound with red Poly.
    Gibson also used green wire (probably poly) on some.
    Gibson generally used what they had on hand.

    T

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    Have quite a few T-Tops on hand ranging from '68 to '80.

    I've seen all types of magnets in them and all kinds of wire.

    Here is a side by side of one from around 78 and the other from around 74.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The colour of the Poly wire changes from a pink to an orange. I've seen close to red.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I've had short and long magnets. Of course it's difficult to tell whats been swapped out post factory.

    What certainly changed was the spacers which changed from single (sometimes double) maple to white plastic in around 77

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    Of course it's difficult to tell whats been swapped out post factory.
    That^^^^!

    I have opened many original T-Tops in the 70s and early 80s, older and more contemporary ones. All of them had short magnets. Actually I am "guilty" of having swapped the magnets in some. Some customers even wanted a stronger ceramic magnet being installed (always thought it spoiled the sound character).

    Judging from the magnets' strength and the lab analyses of some leftovers, all of these original magnets were A5.
    All original Gibson PUs I inspected had short magnets after 1960.

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    "T-Top" isn't a model of pickup. It's one part- the bobbin. The early Dirty Fingers pickups had T-top bobbins. I would expect that you'd have to narrow down the time period for the specs you're looking for, and, for lack of better term, model.
    What plastic through the years? That, I don't know. I'd guarantee that for your interests, unless a weird model like the Dirty Fingers or "Super Humbucker", they had short sand cast Alnico and whatever wire.

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