With our extensive experience rewinding original vintage pickups, we've used our knowledge to create a series of 50's(RV-5661) and 60's (RV-6264)series pickups that comes as close to the original as anyone.
Staggered magnetic pole pieces are one of the characteristic traits of vintage Stratocaster pickups. For the Raw Vintage Pickups we used a magnet known as "Tall G", which has same height for 3rd and 4th string.
For Raw Vintage Pickups, we used the Alnico 5 Magnet and our unique staggered process stabilizes the magnetic flux to balance each string. For RV-6264, we were able to simulate the original sound by controlling the magnetic flux density to be higher.
Direct current resistance value for Raw Vintage Pickup's coils are determined by careful selection of number of turns and type of wires. Resistance is set to be approximately 5.8~6.1Kohm for RV-5661 and 6.0~6.3Kohm for RV-6264. For the coil's magnet wire, we used AWG-42 gauge wire, which is the same heavy formvar magnet wire used on the original vintage pickups but due to the error range allowed by the industry standard, there is an inconsistency in the thickness of the wires in AWG-42. Therefore, for RV-6264, we carefully select wires that are thinner with smaller than the RV-5661. Also for RV-6264, tension and layer is set slightly tighter than RV-5661.
We have extensive experience in rewinding original vintage pickups. In order to obtain proper amount of mid range while maintaining high frequency that is pleasant to ears, we have a unique layer method Ô sometimes with wires tightly together, and sometimes with more spaces between the wires Ô and winding is done by the winding machine programmed to recreate the perfect tension of a hand winding.
After the coil is wound, we apply a unique coating to the coil and then they are impregnated (process known as "potting".) We use our original blend of wax that is similar to the original, but with lower melting point and viscosity. For RV-5661 we mix more black carbon powder to the wax and less for RV-6264.
Raw Vintage Pickups- description of each part
1. Pole Piece
Each magnets are magnetized and stabilized through unique process before the bobbins are put together in order to make sure each strings are well balanced. With ordinary magnetizing machine, magnets are magnetized until they are saturated, but we are able to magnetize RV-5661 at lower setting than RV-6264 through our unique method that allows us to control the strength of magnetization.
2.Magnetic field direction
In 1961, Fender reversed its magnetic field direction by 180 degrees. With this in mind, RV-5661 has North Pole on top surface and RV-6264 has South Pole on top surface.
To accurately recreate the original pickups, Raw Vintage Pickup's middle pickup (center pickup) is not reversed, which means that the direction of coil winding and magnetic force is the same as front and rear pickups. Although reversing middle pickup is effective for reducing the nose for half-tone settings, we wanted to avoid creating the disturbance to the magnetic field line caused by the reversed middle pickup, which essentially spoils the tone.
3.Pole Piece configurations
For Raw Vintage Pickups, we have reflected the change in the texture of the magnet used for the Fender's original pickups since 1961. For RV-5661, both top and bottom surfaces of pole piece are very roughly finished using the grinder, and for RV-6264, both surfaces are finished very smooth using the barrel finish. Also, all edges of top surface of pole piece are hand chamfered the same way the original pickups were on both RV-5661 and 6264.
Development achieved by disassembling and analyzing the authentic vintage pickup coils.
For the coil's magnet wire, we used AWG-42 gauge wire, which is the same heavy formvar magnet wire used on the original vintage pickups from1954~64, but there is an error range allowed by the industry standard. Therefore, upon receiving the wires from the factory, we measure the diameter of wires including the coatings, and the direct-current resistance under same condition. And according to the result, we select the appropriate wires for each models and positions.
For RV-6264, we select wires with smaller diameters than RV-5661. Coil tension and layer is set slightly for RV-5661 compared to RV-6264. By carefully making these selections, direct current resistance value of RV-5661 is approximately 5.8~6.1ohmand 6.0~6.3ohm for RV-6264.
5.Wax potting of the coil
As in vintage pickups, after the coils are wound, they are wax potted. With this method, since the wax is not fully saturated into the inside of coil, howling margin is decreased. And the overtone structure in the mid-high frequency becomes more complicated, bringing out that distinctive glossiness you hear in vintage pickups
6.Wax used for coil potting
Wax used for coil potting is an original blend with lower melting point and viscosity. Modeling the original pickups, we mix more of the black carbon powder into the wax for RV-5661, and less for RV-6264.
For the output cable, we use AWG-22 gauge/cotton cross wire braided with 7 strings. Unfortunately, cables available to us today have significantly smaller diameter of cotton coatings compared to the vintage. So, we have come up with a unique way to modify its thickness and color to match the vintage before they are used for our pickups.