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What to do with old UBC's?

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Post by Barry Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:57 pm

I've lost count for the moment, but I have something like 7 or 8 UBC pickups which I've removed from Westies over the past few years. I'm too cheap to toss 'em so they sit in boxes on the shelf waiting for...?

I suppose they have scrap value, but when all's said and done they're still pickups and must be useful for something. The only thing I can think of using them for is in cigar box guitars or something similar.

Short of changing magnets or rewinding, has anyone found a useful application for these things? Don\'t Know
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Post by Meadows Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:58 pm

Never heard them first hand Barry but are they really so bad??

Have we just been spoilt by the 45's etc
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Post by Barry Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:22 pm

Meadows wrote:...Have we just been spoilt by the 45's etc
Yup.  Twisted Evil

Put it this way.
The UBC is like a little anorexic girl trying to climb the stairs. You want to force feed her a cinnamon bun for energy!
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Post by Meadows Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:07 am

Barry wrote:
Put it this way.
The UBC is like a little anorexic girl trying to climb the stairs. You want to force feed her a cinnamon bun for energy!

That analogy works for me Shocked , shame really given I presume, the build quality of the rest of the guitar. Maybe  flipping a preamp into the circuit might provide the required extra calories? or would that still be like Head Bang

Maybe you could send them over to a luthier school where students can practice their skills at rewinding etc
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Post by Meadows Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:13 am

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/aa/dc/97/aadc9702516141160d90317efebd0bd0.jpg

or even

http://teslapickups.ru/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/DSCN6996.jpg
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Post by Barry Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:03 am

Roll on Floor Laff
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Post by Barry Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:27 am

Meadows wrote:...shame really given I presume, the build quality of the rest of the guitar. Maybe  flipping a preamp into the circuit might provide the required extra calories?...
That's pretty much what you need to do. The tone of these things isn't all that bad, if you boost 'em enough.
It's just there's not a lot of range, and not enough "umph" for anything demanding.

I've mentioned elsewhere that when I was actively playing I had replaced the bridge UBC in my ST with a Schaller "Hot Stuff". That pickup smacked my two Strat playing buddies up-side the head and allowed my Westie to cut through.

The problem for me was to keep things balanced. With the remaining neck UBC putting out a max of only 6 KΩ and the Schaller about 14.2 KΩ you can appreciate what happened when I hit the toggle switch! Not often did I use both pups in the same song. tongue

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Post by Meadows Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:13 am

Barry wrote:


The problem for me was to keep things balanced. With the remaining neck UBC putting out a max of only 6 KΩ and the Schaller about 14.2 KΩ you can appreciate what happened when I hit the toggle switch! Not often did I use both pups in the same song.  tongue

I know what you mean, you can't really gig guitars like that, ok for some studio work/over dubs but not for the road Mad 

Other than your initial thought of cigar box pickups, what about a funky fridge magnet design, or pop one on your desk to keep your paper clips safe or a key fob?.... Don't think you have enough to build one of these yet  Rolling Eyes

http://www.howmagnetswork.com/images/categories/crane630.png
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Post by Westbone Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:56 pm

There was a UBC that was rewound a little hotter.
Barry owns it... Wink Would go well with a 'Hotter than Hell' Schaller.... Wink.... the split gives you the hot coil 

Wish I would've kept it, he don't use it... sounds ok!

With a split Schaller,,,,,,,,,worth a go! BIG sound.
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Post by Barry Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:44 pm

Westbone wrote:There was a UBC that was rewound a little hotter.
Barry owns it... Wink Would go well with a 'Hotter than Hell' Schaller.... Wink.... the split gives you the hot coil 

Wish I would've kept it, he don't use it... sounds ok!

With a split Schaller,,,,,,,,,worth a go! BIG sound.
Damian, I was talking about a condition which no longer applies, my old ST gigging setup. It now sports 2 MMK45's.

Here's the back story on Damian's "true UBC": LINK
I measured it as 8.6 KΩ /5.24 KΩ
note: I see that Photobucket has removed his image links, I guess mine will soon follow. Crying or Very sad

Mate, you sent the UBC as a gift and said you could always make more. Just because I don't have anything to pop it into right now doesn't mean I don't appreciate it. But if you want it back, let me know.
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Post by Westbone Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:17 pm

No, it's yours! was just joking.... Laughing...It's a neck pup and is a lot more defined than a MMK 45 and at the neck it does sound fine...I've tried it....but to be honest, anything sounds better than those plastic UBC's... Cool
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Post by Barry Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:32 pm

Glad to hear it. Coffee Drinker

So, do you have any ideas for the orphan UBC's? Besides catapulting them into the English Channel let's say?
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Post by Westbone Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:54 pm

Nope! besides over winding the tapped coil... Wink
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Post by DimensionIV-addict Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:26 am

Hey Barry, you can always make a buck and send them to the makers of Fendars and Givsons... Laughing
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Post by Rob78 Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:59 pm

One question. .. are all ubc picups crap?  Any difference in crapiness between ubc / ubc 2 and so on...? I ended up with dimebucker from seymour duncan in my spectrum dx.....but it was due to the fackt that i like them so much
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Post by Rob78 Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:01 pm

....I think the original was ubc, right?
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Post by Barry Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:40 pm

Rob78 wrote:....I think the original was ubc, right?
Can't tell for certain without looking at them.
The "crappy" UBC's normally have a plastic bottom and typically test out at around 6 KΩ. They seem to have proliferated from about late 1985.

Prior to that time the standard pup was the highly regarded MMK45 which have a metal bottom and are stamped as "MMK45". Sometimes the UBC referred to in the literature was an MMK45.

Do a search on our web site for more info on the UBC and Tom Presley's (very clever) idea which didn't seem to work out quite as planned. Neutral
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Post by DimensionIV-addict Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:57 pm

All kidding aside, the idea is sound but I haven't come across one yet.
Were they standard and as common as in the guitars' literature / advert's?
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Post by Barry Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:14 pm

As far as I know, nobody has found one in the wild!

The only true UBC we have is the one that Damian wound, and it's quite a nice performer, so I don't understand what the hell happened at Matsumoku. They sure advertised it but seemingly did not produce it.

TP had a good idea there and it looks like Mats didn't follow through on it. Too labour intensive perhaps?
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Post by Rob78 Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:41 am

This is the one I had in myspectrum  DX.  Magnaflux 1 UBC acc to the spec. No plastic and no stamp. Have not measured it. What to do with old UBC's? 20170733
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Post by Rob78 Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:43 am

What to do with old UBC's? 20170734
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Post by DimensionIV-addict Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:09 am

You've pulled them out of Westies and they're UBC? So they are out there then.
What's their resistance, 6K and they are OE Mats?
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Post by Barry Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:41 am

That does not appear to be OEM.
Too new looking, no markings, and no coil split wiring which the DX would have had.
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Post by Westbone Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:44 am

Sorry Barry but those are originals on some of the later 85/86 models.

The white wire is full on and the red is coil tap(for what it's worth tapping for) 

They are CRAP pickups and appear on some Aria's also  like the Laser range.

Here's the so called UBC plastic pups.
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Post by Barry Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:51 am

I stand corrected. So much went haywire for Mats about 1986.
It's still a messy pile 'o poo. Chores 3
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Post by Rob78 Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:02 pm

I will measure them and letar you know. One more thing. ...I filen to mension that this is actually from a Concord Dx from 84 so it is a Spectrum labeled as a Concord.  Sorry if this add any confousion to this topic  Very Happy
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Post by Westbone Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:34 pm

Sad days... affraid  '84.  Who knows? Still crap pups.Strange year indeedy!
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Post by Westbone Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:38 pm

Rob78 wrote:I filen to mension that this is actually from a Concord Dx from 84 so it is a Spectrum labeled as a Concord.  Sorry if this add any confousion to this topic  Very Happy

Not at all, never seen a crappy pickup like that in a transitional model of that era.

Must have been changed out at some time. They used MMK45's at the time, when things were good!... Cool

Those pups only appeared much later on.
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Post by corsair Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:28 pm

Just thinking on about this, I know we eulogise the 45s - and they do deserve a little kudos, considering the era they were introduced - but, you know, I've got about 7 or 8 guitars out on a rotational basis trying to find "a sound" and without a certain amount of outboard EQ, the MMKs seem a little muddy at the bottom end?! Anyone else come across that? The top end just sparkles at any of the settings I've used and experimented with but the bottom end... not so much. The Tonerider in the Corsair Avenger, on the other hand, is as taut as can be and the APII LC440, which is not marked MMK, is also a really good performer without EQ'ing the daylights out of it. This is both through a tube amp miked up to the PA, and DI'ed into the board.

And for the record, I think the faux-UBC pickups are OK - not great, but OK... as long as you add outboard EQ and some boost, they're alright.
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Post by DimensionIV-addict Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:30 am

I could use one of these to magnetize my small electronic type screwdrivers...

It would look good beside my electric hammer....

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Post by Westbone Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:29 am

DimensionIV-addict wrote:I could use one of these to magnetize my small electronic type screwdrivers...

It would look good beside my electric hammer....

What to do with old UBC's? Elect-10
You'd be lucky even the magnets are crap..

Do like the hammer, great,  lol!
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Post by Adey Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:53 am

Regarding the hammer, that looks like a 110v version. Do they make 230v for UK, with a 3-pin plug?
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Post by Westbone Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:17 am

corsair wrote:Just thinking on about this, I know we eulogise the 45s - and they do deserve a little kudos, considering the era they were introduced - but, you know, I've got about 7 or 8 guitars out on a rotational basis trying to find "a sound" and without a certain amount of outboard EQ, the MMKs seem a little muddy at the bottom end?! Anyone else come across that? The top end just sparkles at any of the settings I've used and experimented with but the bottom end... not so much. The Tonerider in the Corsair Avenger, on the other hand, is as taut as can be and the APII LC440, which is not marked MMK, is also a really good performer without EQ'ing the daylights out of it. This is both through a tube amp miked up to the PA, and DI'ed into the board.

And for the record, I think the faux-UBC pickups are OK - not great, but OK... as long as you add outboard EQ and some boost, they're alright.
http://www.westoneguitars.net/fixme/restorations-modifications/mmk45-modification-magnet-change/
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Post by Barry Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:59 am

Love the hammer!  Pirouette

(Looks like it's missing a ground lug though.)
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Post by DimensionIV-addict Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:04 pm

Now I'm curious to try one!

Will trade for electric toothbrush... (not grounded)
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Post by monkey Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:05 am

you can get half magnets to put either side of the main magnet. that'll give them a bit more oomph.
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Post by Westbone Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:26 am

monkey wrote:you can get half magnets to put either side of the main magnet. that'll give them a bit more oomph.
Not worth the hassle!
They'll still sound like dog dirt....or cow crap... BS

It's not all about the strength of the magnets.
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Post by monkey Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:22 am

Westbone wrote:
monkey wrote:you can get half magnets to put either side of the main magnet. that'll give them a bit more oomph.
Not worth the hassle!
They'll still sound like dog dirt....or cow crap... BS

It's not all about the strength of the magnets.
... it seems that you basically have 2 choices: drop them in the bin or put them on eBay. of the latter, someone will buy them. you can get all the parts to make a humbucker on eBay. no doubt, someone will buy them for that, if nothing else.
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Post by Westbone Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:53 pm

Here's the UBC on the left MMK45 on right.
There's no wire on the bobbins of the UBC. Talk about penny pinching.
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Post by Barry Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:47 pm

The windings are certainly lacking Damian, but are the coils in fact "unbalanced"? Might just be the picture but the right side appears to be fatter.
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Post by Westbone Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:51 pm

6.42,,3.24

Just the tape making it look a little fatter on one side.

So the only thing unbalanced here is the sales patter.
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Post by Westbone Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:28 am

Just for the record here's a MMK45, Magnaflux II UBC(so called) from an X300

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Post by Barry Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:14 pm

The Mats marketing was really an uncoordinated effort eh? So much confusion over the same basic part.
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Post by Westbone Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:21 am

found these photos of the UBC that I rewound to a true UBC.
Barry has it now.
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Post by monkey Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:32 pm

curiosity kills but what's the pole piece spacing on the UBCs?
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