Oil City Pickups: Joe Barden ... the rewind from hell!

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OilCityPickupsOilCityPickups Frets: 5384
edited September 2017 in Made in the UK tFB Trader
Last Week a customer sent me a Joe Barden Tele neck single coil size humbucker for rewind. Little was I to realise what a nasty little job this was to become ... follow me into the Oil City workshop ... I promise to filter out the swearing!
Bottom view of the barden red and green and red are the start and finish colours of one coil, black and white ... the other. One coil was reading a healthy 2.2k (Bardons are very low output), the other was open circuit. 
Right ... remove the tape covering to let the 'dog see the rabbit'!
And 'hummmmmmmmm' ....

First ... and major issue ... both coils were firmly and permanently stuck together at one end with some sort of green epoxy resin putty ... super hard and unaffected by solvents ... BIG PROBLEM.  It was clear that in pulling the coils apart or trying to remove the putty the good coil would be wrecked too.
I cursed ... and frankly wondered why any manufacturer would use such a fumble-witted method of 'fixing'  the coils that wouldn't allow for future repair? It was clear too why the 'duff' coil had gone open circuit ... little pins with flat ends passed through the lower plastic flatwork and had the output wires soldered to one end and the fine coil wires to the other. These pins were loose in the flatwork, no doubt because the act of soldering the wires to the pins in the factory had partially melted the plastic and made them a slack fit. If the pins could rotate ... they would simply snap the super fine 43awg coil wires. 
Anyway in for a penny ... that putty must die!

Off came the putty ... and shooooo nufff ... now two duff coils ... gurrrrrrrrrrr!!!
You can see two of the offending pins at either end of the coils.
After cutting the wire off both now deceased coils ... I find another problem ... the bobbins have no plastic cores, the blades are taped and the top and bottom bobbin plates are simply 'washers' that are slid and glued over the blade core. This means the blade is non removable ... and so I would have to fabricate a jig to be able to mount the piddly little blade/bobbin on my winding machine. Double gurrrrrrrrrr!!!!!
Luckily I have a fair bit of scrap mahogany about in my workshop ... so a half hour with saw, superglue and hot melt glue ... and I have a pair of 'shoes' that allow me to centre and hold the bobbin firm .... phew!

And wind ....times two.


The 'north up' coil ... all wound, its pins re installed, and soldered to the start and finish wires ... and that ceramic magnet re attached. 
Both coils wound and reunited ... no epoxy putty for me :-)
New four conductor hookup wire attached ... and strain relieved with a cloth tape binding to the base frame ... 
And now to pot the little beast ... yes it's a little chip basket ... we have lots of them :-)

Potted and ready to tape .....

And now to solve the problem that originally killed one coil of this pickup ... those pesky rotating pins ... 
And hey presto ...
 Hot melt glue to encapsulate the pins and both strain relieve hookup wires and stop the pins ever rotating again.

Job done .... man I earned my keep on this one :-)
Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
Formerly TheGuitarWeasel ... Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

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Comments

  • impmannimpmann Frets: 9863
    Cool story... I can't help thinking (and it pains me to say this as I hate throwing anything away that could be fixed) that surely the cost of rewinding this would have been about the same as replacing it with a new one?
    Never Ever Bloody Anything Ever.

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  • OilCityPickupsOilCityPickups Frets: 5384
    edited June 2017 tFB Trader
    impmann said:
    Cool story... I can't help thinking (and it pains me to say this as I hate throwing anything away that could be fixed) that surely the cost of rewinding this would have been about the same as replacing it with a new one?
    A new Bardon is around £140 ... The rewind around £55 ... 
    I'll be honest and say I can't see the build quality in the Bardon to justify that price ... but hey ... 
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Formerly TheGuitarWeasel ... Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 20529
    Nice job! You sure know your stuff.
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  • monquixotemonquixote Frets: 13598
    Well that's put me off buying any Joe Barden pickups.

    I shall be sticking to my oil cities.
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  • impmannimpmann Frets: 9863
    impmann said:
    Cool story... I can't help thinking (and it pains me to say this as I hate throwing anything away that could be fixed) that surely the cost of rewinding this would have been about the same as replacing it with a new one?
    A new Bardon is around £140 ... The rewind around £55 ... 
    I'll be honest and say I can't see the build quality in the Bardon to justify that price ... but hey ... 
    Looking at that Ash, I'd say you under charged them!! ;-) I wasn't aware they were so damned expensive these days...

    I had a set of Barden Strat pickups in the late 90s that were very nice sounding but looking at that set of pictures, I can't see where the money went!


    Never Ever Bloody Anything Ever.

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  • earwighoneyearwighoney Frets: 2871
    Fascinating repair thread.  IMO it's as interesting to read to a repair thread about a really well constructed pickup like a PAF and one of let's say a more questionable construction.  
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 17275
    I really liked the Bardens I had a few years back, but I've heard several accounts similar to this before. 

    I'd love a UK winder to offer a similar concept (noiseless but still Tele-sounding pickups), with maybe a smidgenly fatter sound. 
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  • OilCityPickupsOilCityPickups Frets: 5384
    tFB Trader
    impmann said:
    impmann said:
    Cool story... I can't help thinking (and it pains me to say this as I hate throwing anything away that could be fixed) that surely the cost of rewinding this would have been about the same as replacing it with a new one?
    A new Bardon is around £140 ... The rewind around £55 ... 
    I'll be honest and say I can't see the build quality in the Bardon to justify that price ... but hey ... 
    Looking at that Ash, I'd say you under charged them!! ;-) I wasn't aware they were so damned expensive these days...

    I had a set of Barden Strat pickups in the late 90s that were very nice sounding but looking at that set of pictures, I can't see where the money went!


    Bardons sound lovely ... super low wind 42awg is uncommon on neck SC sized humbuckers, and gives a sparkly, clear tone ... most companies build SC sized buckers and assume the customer wants em as hot as hell ... so kudos to Bardon for sticking to their formula.  
    In effect you are paying for the name and the idea and the whole thing being made in the US ... the construction is very similar to a £20 Artec when all's said and done. 
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Formerly TheGuitarWeasel ... Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

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  • OilCityPickupsOilCityPickups Frets: 5384
    tFB Trader
    I really liked the Bardens I had a few years back, but I've heard several accounts similar to this before. 

    I'd love a UK winder to offer a similar concept (noiseless but still Tele-sounding pickups), with maybe a smidgenly fatter sound. 
    Want one you got it ... 
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Formerly TheGuitarWeasel ... Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

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  • AlegreeAlegree Frets: 546
    tFB Trader
    Note to self: never accept Barden repairs.
    Thanks for making that mistake for me :)
    Alegree pickups & guitar supplies - www.alegree.co.uk
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  • OilCityPickupsOilCityPickups Frets: 5384
    tFB Trader
    Alegree said:
    Note to self: never accept Barden repairs.
    Thanks for making that mistake for me :)
     :-) Any rewind that gives you the turn count, wire gauge and constructional details of a well loved design is never time wasted. A customer will be happy ... and that's ultimately what counts ... as he will probably buy products in future. I've done many rewinds that others have turned away ... like Shergolds and early 'air coil' Hofner semi acoustic pickups ... they all require special jigs and tools to be made ... but once made, you are set up to do the next one that comes in ... and you have gained a hell of a lot of valuable information.
     
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Formerly TheGuitarWeasel ... Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

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  • osborne900osborne900 Frets: 15
    And I am that happy customer. I'm glad you see it as a learning experience Ash! This is a great sounding pickup but, as others have pointed out, the quality is pretty poor for what is marketed as a premium product. I'll be in touch elsewhere re payment and a couple of other things.
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  • jpfampsjpfamps Frets: 2637

    I can imagine there was a quantity of industrial language.

    I'm not generally a fan of this style of pickup, ie a humbucker pretending to be a single coil, but  really like the sound of Bardon Tele pickups.

    If they are good enough for Gatton....................
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  • Jimbro66Jimbro66 Frets: 2082
    The Barden is possibly my favourite sounding Tele pickup in the neck position which belies the substandard build that Ash has discovered. Interestingly I did have one go O/C some years ago. Now I know why.
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  • OilCityPickupsOilCityPickups Frets: 5384
    tFB Trader
    Jimbro66 said:
    The Barden is possibly my favourite sounding Tele pickup in the neck position which belies the substandard build that Ash has discovered. Interestingly I did have one go O/C some years ago. Now I know why.
    jpfamps said:

    I can imagine there was a quantity of industrial language.

    I'm not generally a fan of this style of pickup, ie a humbucker pretending to be a single coil, but  really like the sound of Bardon Tele pickups.

    If they are good enough for Gatton....................
    I'm a huge fan of the 'Gatton' sound ... and Bardon pickups ... 
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Formerly TheGuitarWeasel ... Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

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  • jpfampsjpfamps Frets: 2637
    Jimbro66 said:
    The Barden is possibly my favourite sounding Tele pickup in the neck position which belies the substandard build that Ash has discovered. Interestingly I did have one go O/C some years ago. Now I know why.
    jpfamps said:

    I can imagine there was a quantity of industrial language.

    I'm not generally a fan of this style of pickup, ie a humbucker pretending to be a single coil, but  really like the sound of Bardon Tele pickups.

    If they are good enough for Gatton....................
    I'm a huge fan of the 'Gatton' sound ... and Bardon pickups ... 

    I played one of Danny Gatton's old teles recently, with Bardon's installed in it.

    For some reason I didn't sound like him......

    Wrong amp?
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  • OilCityPickupsOilCityPickups Frets: 5384
    tFB Trader
    Four years later .... Stand by for another Barden rewind ... lets see if the quality of construction has changed from the original :-)
    I swore I was never going to touch another of the things ... but never say never 
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Formerly TheGuitarWeasel ... Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

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  • Jimbro66Jimbro66 Frets: 2082
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot, recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict and masochist ;)
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  • OilCityPickupsOilCityPickups Frets: 5384
    tFB Trader
    Jimbro66 said:
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot, recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict and masochist ;)
    Well I kinda look at this as 'taking one for the team'. It's impossible to take a Barden pickup apart to look inside without destroying it ... so this gives others a chance to see what they never would otherwise. 




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

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  • prowlaprowla Frets: 3775
    JB pickups are weird things - the Rickenbacker bass ones require you to dismantle your existing pickups (which means cutting wires on one of them) to use as the mounts for theirs; given the price of the things, you'd think they'd include the fittings with them!
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