Friday, September 27, 2013

Little Blue Strat, Part 2

For part 1:

My next part of the project was wax pot the pickups.  It helps protect them, as well as subduing microphonic feedback. 

So I have my trusty pan of wax.  25% beeswax and 75% paraffin wax.

As you can see it is in a double boiler.  You don't want the wax directly on the stove.  If it gets too hot, and catches fire then you're in trouble.

This is a Dimarzio Blue Velvet neck pickup.  I really like them.  Too bad they did away with them, and started a new line call the True Velvet. 

Here you can see the wax melting slowly but surely.

You can see just a little bit of unmelted wax left in the pot.  This is when I like to get it off the stove.  To wax pot pickups, you want the wax thin enough to penetrate the pickup, but not so hot that it destroys the pickup.  So you have to hit the temperature of the wax just right.  Not too hot, not too cool.

Here I am adding the Dimarzio Blue Velvet and a Schaller Golden 50 to the wax.  It helps to move the pickup around a bit to let the air out.  If the air is coming out, then that means the wax is penetrating.  I also have a Fender Texas Special that is going into the middle slot, but they are already wax potted really good. 

Here's what they look like after wax potting.  I like to wipe the wax off the top so that it's not globbed up on there.

Here's the electronics all put together in the pickguard. 

Next I did something I had never done before.  After I had put the guitar together I tested it.  It was extremely, overly bright.  I thought maybe the pots where 500K instead of 250K ohms.  But they were as they were marked, 250K ohms.  So I checked the net on what to do to tame the brightness.  I could replace the pots, but I found an easier solution.  Radio shack has 47K ohm resistors.  I could drop them in, and they would reduce the pots' value down to 203K ohms.  So I put them in.

I gotta say, it worked.  It tamed the brightness just a hair.  They are still bright, but not ear splittingly so.  I was happy that a 5 pack only cost $1.49.  That was much cheaper than trying to replace all the pots. 

Stay tuned to part 3, where I will put the guitar together.

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