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MG.ORG Tubular
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. Apologies for not posting here more often, I do find it a great source of info and humour.

I'm talking to Tony (F1Filter) about some of the Duncans in the classified section and his offer of getting Wolfe to do rewinds on the JBs.

I have a few questions:
Just how much of a difference will I notice in a rewound JB to a standard one? Tony's already suggested that (quote) the main "problem" with JB's is that it seems Seymour Duncan has hyped the highs and lows a lot more on the later versions of the pickup. So you're getting a lot more top end "fizz" and the lows are a lot looser than the "original" spec. (/quote).......but is there more to it?
Does it add any particular value to the pickup or is the process expensive?
Is the turnover time long or is it a long winded process for someone like Wolfe?
Is the gauge of copper wire altered in any way or is it the exact same copper wire used in the rewind as on the original wind? Scatter/hand wound or similar to the JB winding, just a bit tighter or something?

Please assist, I am a rewind noob, I guess I just need to know just how different it's gonna sound to a normal modern JB, and if it's worth it.

Any help is greatly appreciated, and shall be rewarded with the hollow promise of cookies.
 

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Premium Member
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Before a Mr. Frank Falbo comes in here and rips me a new one. :lol: That's based on what I've been told by several members on here and SS.org in the past. (re: hyped fizz and loose bottom end).

Personally I just don't get along with JB's for that reason alone. Never heard an "earlier" version of the JB or a rewind. So at least in my case that's a primary reason why I've looked elsewhere.
 

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MG.ORG Tubular
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ah, cheers Tony.
 

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Reverend Secret Flower
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11,837 Posts
I think wolf does rewinds for 55. and i think BKP will rewind for you too, not sure about that though(i know you can get custom wounds from them new, so i'd assume they do rewinds). And i want to say wolfe's wait is like a month give or take
 

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MG.ORG Tubular
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cheers for the info, Chris. Very much appreciated.
 

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Slow Money
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14,612 Posts
I havent gotten to play a rewind, but ive gotten to spend time on a few old JBs (namely on my brothers kramer) and theres definitely a difference in sound. Now if thats from a new overwind or just a change in the exact wire used or what, i dont know, but its readily apparent if you compare them. Still has that lower midrange growlysnarfysnarl, and some of that sizzle on top, but without the lowend wool, and less fizz up high.

Now, if wolfe nails this, i cant say, but im inclined to trust dave and mike on that one, and if they ARE right, then its well worth $50 or $60 for the upgrade, if you like the JB in theory but it just doesnt jive right with you
 

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MG.ORG Tubular
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
if you like the JB in theory but it just doesnt jive right with you
Thanks for the info, and this last part is definitely my experience with the JB.
 

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Slow Money
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then go for a rewind. If its any where near as close to the oldschool JBs as dave and mike claim, its worth it
 

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Reverend Secret Flower
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From what they said, you can describe the tone your looking for or referance a certian tone on a certian song/album and wolfe is able to nail the tone
 

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Dream Crusher
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21,053 Posts
The Aldrich to me almost feels like a "fixed" JB... like they took all of what was awesome about it and removed the harsh bits.
 

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Premium Member
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47 Posts
No worries, Tony!

JB's are made the same as they ever were. The older JB's sometimes have a unique quality about them, but from a manufacturing standpoint there is no difference whatsoever. I have an old one (JBJ) that I brought in for analysis. I know it's only one, but it was worth the effort. Derek Duncan is assembling a collection of older Duncans to do a more in-depth study, but so far we're finding the same thing. The bobbin dimensions, coil thickness (which makes reference to wire thickness, insulation thickness, perhaps pitch) were all the same. The DC resistance was within spec.

The MAJOR difference was the magnet. The magnet was not only degaussed, but awkwardly degaussed. As you ran along the edge the gauss strength fluctuated quite a bit, and near the treble side was the weakest. This would make the pickup "warmer" and shave off the highs, which is what I heard when I played this pickup. I recharged the magnet, but because it had probably been bounced around in someone's pickup drawer (with other ceramics?) before I got it, the magnet didn't come back 100%, but it was close. The sound was also WAY closer to a new JB out of stock, maybe 95% there. Old JB's can and will have environmentally affected magnets. I can't speak for 30+ years of production, but I can say today's JB's are made the "same" as they were back then.

A coil wound 25 years ago can change a little. The bobbin material, especially if exposed to heat, can shrink back a little, and the coil tension relaxes a little. That can change the sound. You can lose some wax to a hot automobile stay as well.

If you want to shave off some harshness from the JB, do what Seymour does in his Tele-Gib and use it with 250k pots. You can also degauss the magnet, or install an Alnico 4 magnet. I would start there before incurring the expense of a rewind.

If anyone claims they have the "real" recipe for an old JB it has to be snake oil. It doesn't mean Wolfe or someone else can't rewind you a killer sounding pickup that sounds more like what you remember an old JB to sound like, but no one is going to "out-Duncan" Seymour Duncan. The Custom Shop has tons of pickups that they'd call "JB's" because they are all within spitting distance of the stock JB, but maybe they'll do one with a degaussed A5, or Alnico 2. They'll do them over and under-wound, and if you say "I want it to sound like an old one" they'll do it, because it's the same sort of processes as when someone says they want to duplicate the sound of an old P.A.F. The magnet might be charged slightly differently, maybe it's a little more loosely potted, etc.
 

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Premium Member
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If anyone claims they have the "real" recipe for an old JB it has to be snake oil. It doesn't mean Wolfe or someone else can't rewind you a killer sounding pickup that sounds more like what you remember an old JB to sound like, but no one is going to "out-Duncan" Seymour Duncan. The Custom Shop has tons of pickups that they'd call "JB's" because they are all within spitting distance of the stock JB, but maybe they'll do one with a degaussed A5, or Alnico 2. They'll do them over and under-wound, and if you say "I want it to sound like an old one" they'll do it, because it's the same sort of processes as when someone says they want to duplicate the sound of an old P.A.F. The magnet might be charged slightly differently, maybe it's a little more loosely potted, etc.
Wolfe actually doesn't claim it sounds like an "old" JB - that's actually Dave and I saying that. What we had Wolfe do was rewind the JB7s to have about 14.4K of resistance, with a specific wire he likes to use (which you'd have to ask him about), and whatever he does when he winds them. It ended up sounding almost identical to a very early ('85 or so) JB I have in another guitar - plenty of punch, but "sweeter". I have little doubt the Duncan CS could do exactly the same thing, I just happen to have JB7s around, and it's cheaper. :lol:

That info about the magnets is pretty interesting. I suspected age really did have something to do with it. Interestingly, the best sounding "newer" JB I have is now 12 years old, so I wonder... ;)
 

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MG.ORG Tubular
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow, thanks a lot Frank. That's an incredible insight, thanks heaps for the information. Outta curiosity, what kinda price would someone expect to pay to get an oldschool JB like that made at the Duncan custom shop?
 

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I just got a set of DD's I'm sending to Wolfe, as well as 4 other pups for rewinds. I don't know what the old JB sound/feel was like, but what I do know is that I really dug the JB7/59-7 that I got back from him.

As it's generally said in the Harmony-Central review areas, if they were stolen, I'd get them replaced. Well, they were, so I am :agreed:
 

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Premium Member
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Wolfe actually doesn't claim...
And I hope it didn't sound antagonistic. If you tell a winder to get you a certain sound, and he does it, then the recipe is completely irrelevant. I don't care if there's Play-Doh and Mountain Dew in there somewhere. Sonic success IS success.

But a 7-string wound to read 14k has no physical connection to a JB. It either has far less turns of the same gauge of wire used on a JB, or it has thicker wire. The math is undeniable. But it's cool that it sounds good, it's just that the DNA is not a match you know?

I was mostly referring to someone who would tell you that the old JB's are different, and that they can wind a pickup that is somehow "more accurate" than ours.

Wow, thanks a lot Frank. That's an incredible insight, thanks heaps for the information. Outta curiosity, what kinda price would someone expect to pay to get an oldschool JB like that made at the Duncan custom shop?
Custom Shop HB's are about $160 wound to whatever you want. So you just describe it and they take it from there. If your description is "a JB but with more ______ or less ______ etc." then that is what you'll get. Saying you want one that sounds like a vintage one is a good start, MJ will know what you probably mean, and make adjustments to get you there. They also do rewinds for less than that.
 

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Premium Member
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And I hope it didn't sound antagonistic. If you tell a winder to get you a certain sound, and he does it, then the recipe is completely irrelevant. I don't care if there's Play-Doh and Mountain Dew in there somewhere. Sonic success IS success.

But a 7-string wound to read 14k has no physical connection to a JB. It either has far less turns of the same gauge of wire used on a JB, or it has thicker wire. The math is undeniable. But it's cool that it sounds good, it's just that the DNA is not a match you know?
Exactly. I pretty much told him I wanted the "vintage" six string JB sound in a 7 string pickup. I don't know how he got there. I *do* know he nailed it. The JB was just the base, and I know he didn't change the magnet.

I was mostly referring to someone who would tell you that the old JB's are different, and that they can wind a pickup that is somehow "more accurate" than ours.
Yeah, that's crap. :lol:

Custom Shop HB's are about $160 wound to whatever you want. So you just describe it and they take it from there. If your description is "a JB but with more ______ or less ______ etc." then that is what you'll get. Saying you want one that sounds like a vintage one is a good start, MJ will know what you probably mean, and make adjustments to get you there.
Like I said - if I didn't already have JBs to play with, I might well have gone that route myself - and there's a good chance I'll go the "Lee route" and get Duncans custom made under covers if I ever buy an EMG-equipped 7 string.

That's highly likely, given the builders' infatuation with the damn things. :lol:
 
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