'Oily Towers' ... all the latest from Oil City Pickups

What's Hot
TheGuitarWeaselTheGuitarWeasel Frets: 3705
edited May 2014 in Made in the UK
image
For your delectation ... a Topless Angel!
yer actual basic Oil City HonkyTonk Angel alnico 3 Tele neck pickup ... with larger top flatwork, a classic string wrapping ... and its naughty, pert little pole pieces on display phworrrrrrrr ....
(I must remember to take my pills).
Sweet, clear and defined, with plenty of authority for clean work ... and quite surprising when when you add some dirt. For everyone who thinks Tele neck pickups are boring.

Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

0reaction image LOL 2reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
«13456717

Comments

  • Adam_MDAdam_MD Frets: 2999
    I'd love to hear 2 clips of the same guitar featuring a Honky Tonk Angel with cover and one of these for comparison. Would be interesting to hear the difference without a cover.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • I'll have to arrange that. The guitar is a customers so don't have it to hand at the moment ...but I usually have a fair few Teles through. The poles are actually longer too on a 'Topless Angel', I saw in opportunity to break the mold a bit . There's definitely more straight out oomph there a touch more bite ... perhaps a hint more openness.
    I plan to try and get a series of caparisons done over the next couple of months: my alnico 5 Tele neck pickups like the Delta and the HardMan ... and my alnico 3 Angel in covered and topless guises.

    Soon to be some new alnico 3 Strat pickups joining the lineup too ...
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • rprrpr Frets: 157
    Any idea when the high output Cowtron is gonna be available? What are the specs of it by the way ?
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Technically it should be available now! But my workload is a tad silly at the moment. I have the super sized magnets ready to go ... just need to get around to building the buggers.
    On paper the output will still be fairly modest ... as DC resistance doesn't take account of the stuffing HUGE alnico magnets that will be going in. In actual terms they will be subjectively louder and fatter than the standard Cow-T-Rons.
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • firstly, i'm so glad that i found this forum...where everyone that i liked has migrated to.

    secondly...Ash, i saw that you now do Alnico 8 pickups...its really piqued my interest. 
    0reaction image LOL 1reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Good to see you as part of our 'rebel crew' :)
    Yep, I finally got to sourcing regular, high quality supplies of alnico 8, so not only can I make many of the bridge humbucking pickups I have done fore some time available as an '8' option ... but I've also introduced the 'V' which is around 19k and fairly brutal. My own favorite is arming a NightFighter bucker (normally 14k and alnico 4) with a 8. Keeps the balance and adds 'gurrrrrrrrr.'
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • sounds good man...my current dilemma is either my LP and V and buying another guitar...or selling the V and getting some new pickups in the LP...in which case i would do the A8 pickups...
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Did you never get the V firing on all cylinders? That's a shame ... it is a real looker.
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • EdGripEdGrip Frets: 720
    Today I got home from work to find a rather lovely string-wrapped strat pickup waiting for me. Pictures may very well follow.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • TheGuitarWeasel;29697" said:
    Did you never get the V firing on all cylinders? That's a shame ... it is a real looker.
    You know what...i did...i got tone zone in the bridge and it was all great until i got my SG with p90's. Now the V sounds dead and flat compared to the SG and the LP also feels great but sounds dead too.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Hummmm not tried Tone Zones ... but I could see how a really live SG with P90s could spoil you :)  It's a shame though ...
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • i may still not sell...i'm still in two minds...since both guitar feel amazing to play.

    so...tell me about A8 pickups...how lively are they compared to my stock epiphone pick ups in my LP?

    i'm really after clarity and a bit on the bright side, whilst still maintaining a good bottom end.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • TheGuitarWeaselTheGuitarWeasel Frets: 3705
    edited September 2013
    There are a couple of different stock pickups used in Epis ... none of which are particularly bright or powerful if I remember correctly. Your Epi may be fitted with alnico 5 with possibly a ceramic pickup in the bridge position.
    Alnico 8 is not far short of ceramic for power ... but has a much more 'organic' tone. It's a very well balanced magnetic alloy, the top end cutting but not screechy (like a ceramic), the middle and bass nice and even and 'vintage' feeling ... while still being FOOKIN loud.
    I've sold a few combos of pickups for LP ... and my own favorite mix up is a Scrapyard Dog Plus alnico 5 in the neck: 10k ish and plummy, taught in the bass, a cutting top end and a really 'open' sound.
    In the bridge I like a custom 14k NightFighter ... normally fitted with alnico 4 ... I replace with an alnico 8 bad boy: this gives a balanced pickup with plenty of top and bottom end, mid sustain ... and loads of power to spare.
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Dear Guitar Weazel, what would you advise from you line up to go in an (otherwise) excellent Korean Epi 335? grateful to hear
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Adam_MDAdam_MD Frets: 2999
    If it was me I'd stick a set of blitz spirits in a 335 low wind alnico ii. I had a set of tonerider alnico ii classics in mine and it was ace. I regret selling that guitar but if I'm being honest I miss the pickups more than the guitar.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Yup ... Id stick with alnico 2 certainly in the neck ... with  an alnico 2 or even alnico 4  - it's a custom option for Blitz Spirits, and gives a slightly fatter bottom and more even balance in the bridge position. It depends on what you play: for clean and driven blues I'd go alnico 2 in both positions. If you want  a little more fire in the bridge (without going more windings) for rockier stuff ... I'd take the   alnico 4 option.
    If PAFness is your goal then it really should be 2 all the way ... though if you have a slightly darker 335 - as some are - you might consider a Scrapyard Dog ... it's more like a T Top Gibbo pickup (still low output) with lots of top and bottom and an aggressive bark (hence the name).
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • A cautionary tale for all bass players ... and all pickup swappers in general. This Rickenbacker ceramic magnet Hi-Gain bass pickup wound up on my bench today. The owner was careful taking out the pickup for some work on the pots etc ... but not careful enough. The Rick bobbins are very full ... not well potted, and only covered by a thin layer of poly tape. The poor chap caught some windings that had worked their way out from under the tape (it was a really loosely wound coil) and managed to break them in three places. Luckily for him all three breaks were in the first 100 turns so I carefully unwound past them, then spliced in some 44awg to replace the trashed coils.
    image
    The guy was quite lucky, as it would have been pretty easy to catch some deeper windings ... and then a complete rewind would have been necessary.
    Often Bass pickups are more susceptible to damage than guitar ones. Rick pickups in particular are quite vulnerable ... very fine wire indeed ... very full bobbins ... little protection. But then again I just re wound a jazz bass neck pickup that had suffered from chopped windings ... unfortunately that one was damaged further in. But there is little scope for error in putting on a JB cover ... plastic edges are sharp ... YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED :)
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • image
    For those of you who like a bit of pickup porn ... here's my new updated and upgraded Mighty Ninety.
    Shown is a bridge position example ... a hybrid that uses one alnico 4 and one alnico 5 magnet to smooth the top a little and let all that nasty bridge P90 growl out.  Seen under lovely, shiny new nickel covers,  the bridge has resistance of 8k while the neck is  7.6k and is an alnico 2/5 hybrid. Other magnet combos are available at no extra charge :)

    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

    0reaction image LOL 1reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Nice. :)
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Really like seeing your work, and I love your branding
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Why thank you :)
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • image
    For some while I thought I would do a little mini series about building one of my more 'involved' humbuckers: the Buccaneer Wide Range.

    Most people know the story: Fender produced a couple of shoddy and lackluster 'reissues' of the WR ... that were in reality no more than conventional humbuckers inside that huge WR shell ... with the spare space filled with wax and wadding.
    A stock pic to illustrate:
    image
    In the background a proper WR ... in the foreground what looks like a standard bucker wrapped in a wax soaked sanitary pad!
    Worse still these 're issues' had bar magnets under the coils ... rather than individual CuNiFe magnetic pole pieces ... and no steel plate under the coils to boost the inductance. In short not a WR at all!
    When I designed the buccaneer I took a cold hard look at the options: bobbins could be made from scratch to the original Fender spec ... but magnets were a problem. The originals were ... as I said ... made from CuNiFe ... a magnetic material soft enough to thread and make the slugs adjustable. Sadly CuNiFe is hideously expensive and rare these days, so I took the decision early on to use fixed alnico slugs with dummy screw slots. This enables the choice of many more grades of magnet than the threaded non CuNiFi WRs that some of my competitors make. It also allows tailor made flatwork that can again be adjusted for customer's preferences in sound.
    image
    Most of my flat work is laser cut these days ... but as the pole spacing of the WR is a one off ... my vulcanised fibre sheet is cut for them the way I started way-back ... using a routing jig. It's noisy and dusty ... but it gets the job done :)

    See you in the next part when the magnet slugs get all beveled and slotted.
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

    0reaction image LOL 2reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Alnico magnets are extremely hard and brittle ... shatter easily (and somewhat explosively when they go) and don't like to be got too hot while being worked. The only way to cut and shape them is with grinding tools ... and even then it's a bugger of a job! Each Buccaneer uses 12 alnico rod magnets ... six plain, as they will be under the nickel cover, and six bevelled and slotted to resemble the Fender WR's CuNiFe slugs. For the record alnico is all together a 'better' and more stable magnet material ... many old WRs have magnets that are nearly dead now, as they lose their charge much more readily. image

    Six magnets all with their south poles up ... ready to be beveled

    Done exactly as Fender did in the fifties: a power drill, a bench grinder, a VERY steady hand and some serious goggles ... cos if these puppies shatter everyone gets a bit!

    image



    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • image
    Just prior to adjusting the jig ... and getting some coolant on the magnet as I slot it. see all the filings? They must all be removed before the pickup is assembled: for that job I use large quantities of Bluetack ...

    One set of slotted magnets

    image
    next episode shortly :)
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

    0reaction image LOL 4reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • ddloopingddlooping Frets: 320
    edited September 2013
    next episode shortly :)
    Enjoying it so far. :)
    I hope it has a better ending than Dexter. ;) 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • ddlooping;41869" said:
    TheGuitarWeasel said:

    next episode shortly :)










    Enjoying it so far. :)

    I hope it has a better ending than Dexter. ;) 
    Not seen it yet. Don't ruin it.

    But if it's rubbish, I'll be genuinely upset.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • ddlooping;41869" said:
    Enjoying it so far. :)

    I hope it has a better ending than Dexter. ;) 
    Not seen it yet. Don't ruin it.

    But if it's rubbish, I'll be genuinely upset.
    You might really like it, it's all very subjective. :)
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Just wish they'd end the effin Walking Dead ... jeez, even hearing that they have another series of that on the box boils my gonads!
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Here are the parts that Fender 'Forgot' in the first generation of Wide Range 'reissues': the reflector plates. Here we see a pair of rough cut and drilled ones for the Buccaneer being built in the earlier part of the thread.
    This plate sits under the coils and pushes up the inductance of the pickup by adding ferrous mass in the magnetic field. This gives a little 'free boost' in power ... but it's major effect is to smooth out the top end frequencies while adding a little beef and girth to the low end. Tele pickups get a great deal of their characteristic sound from the baseplate ... as to Wide Ranges ... so god knows why Fender left them out! For the record I use steel basplates on several of my designs ... the BrassKnuckle and my Winterizer Firebird pickups being two.
    Don't worry the plate will be buffed and made prettier ... though with the cover soldered on the pickup nobody else will ever see it :)


    image
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Nice. Dedication!

    By the way, get ready for me to purchase another set from you. Probably a high output bridge bucker and either a p90 or matching bucker for the neck. I'm planning my next build, and I'd like it to have a chance of sounding good, even if I can't make it play well :)
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Sign In or Register to comment.