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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:51 pm 
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Hi. New user. Please look at this diagram that I created and tell me who made what. I need this straightened out. Because it looks to me like the rounded corners of the pickup frames are really the only difference between the Magnafluxes and the Maxons.

Please note that the lower pat. pending pickup with the blue tape on the wire is most likely out of an Electra and is a Magnaflux, and that the stamping serial number font, 5-digit numbering system, and positioning appears to be identical to the Maxon above it (although the 5th digit is worn off in the 2411x Maxon photo).

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:10 am 
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Ok I guess this forum doesn't get much activity. I'll repost in the Matsumoku forums instead. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:07 am 
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Magnaflux was just a marketing name used for the pickups. could have referred to the number of windings, magnet type, strength, etc...
and just like guitar manufacturers in Japan in the 70's, a request for pups could have been placed with certain specs to be used in certain guitars...

and similar to guitar builds, the early 70's pickups were sometimes microphonic and windings seemed to break easier...

the pups in your pic could all be the same electric-wise, with just different housings.... hard to say...

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:05 am 
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This is an active forum for certain but you must account for the fact that there was a holiday weekend involved. Welcome to the forums and you will find out the pickups are very simular if you ever get the chance to rewind one or break them down for comparison.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:13 am 
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I saw this post, and wanted to thank you on the nice pictorial comparison. I didn't comment because I don't consider myself a real authority on early pickups. The terms 'magnaflux' and 'super magnaflux' are just marketing terms as McB points out. They very likely changed specs, materials and manufacturers over the years. In most 80's Electra Literature we see them still using the super magnaflux term, and we know that most of these pickups were MMK45's or MMK53's. Many Aria and Vantage guitars used these same MMK's and their marketing departments likewise came up with their own brand pet names for them.

Before 1980 Electra was using the pickups you have pictured above, which I believe started out as Maxon's, but who knows who was making them after about 1975. The reoccurring theme with these pickups seem to be the square pole pieces and (usually) 5 digit 'serial' number on the bottom, which I think are date/manufacturing codes. Sometimes they have zebra dual color bobbins, sometimes dual creme, and once in a blue moon you'll see clear bobbins. Often you will find that both pickups have the same number stenciled on the bottom in a given vintage guitar... pointing to the number indicating a batch or build code as opposed to a serial number per se.

I have not taken enough of them apart to tell you if they all had square pole pieces. Many Electras for example had chrome or gold covers, and only the screw pole pieces are exposed. The black exposed covers did vary from a rounded edge to more of a rectangle as your photo essay shows. I don't think this is necessarily a completely different pickup, just a different cover, probably from a different year. You can also see that the screws were for the most part flat tops, but you do see rounded top pole piece screws also, like the one on the flame top in your picture.

The univox could be a completely different animal however. It has the rounded pole pieces and the 'three point' mounting ring. Never was a big Univox fan.

The reviews are all over the place on the Maxon pickups as far as sound quality and usability. I can tell you first hand that the Fidelity isn't that bad and they can sound pretty respectable. The frequency response is good and they can have a overall bright sound to them, which as my ears age, I personally like. However, none of these early Japanese pickups were waxed, or sealed, so some of them are painfully microphonic (noisy, overly sensitive) and they will squeal at anything louder than vacuum cleaner volumes, which makes them almost useless for Live or even band practice volumes. I've had a few of my pickups waxed, and even then they still can be prone to feedback when played loud or heavily overdriven. I hope this helps, Mike.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:19 am 
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Thanks a bunch, this is very informative information.

Question: You said these pickups were not waxed. But were these pickups potted with epoxy or anything at all?

If not, I could wax pot them with a double boiler on the stove. Has anyone waxed these Maxon / Magnaflux pickups here?

My friend has a set-neck lawsuity headstock Les Paul MPC. I think it's from 1975. I forget the model number. Anyhow, the Maxon/Magnaflux pickups sounds great, but yes, they do squeal when close to the amp.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:13 pm 
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Waxed, potted, paraffined, all names for the same process and no, Electra did not pot any of their pups at the factory that I know of.

But plenty of folks have and do wax them as a means of combating the microphonic tendencies that they are prone to. They generally respond well to that treatment too. One of our longer standing members (Thorny I believe) posted an excellent method for the process either here or on his website. I need to dig for a link to it unless someone else has it handy.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:25 pm 
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Found it. The link was actually on his website to the article he wrote elsewhere...

http://www.guitarnuts.com/technical/ele ... /index.php

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:55 pm 
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I potted a pair of MMK 45's a few weeks ago. Aim for about 150 degrees with the double boiler but don't worry if you get as high as say 180 (it's hard to maintain a steady temp with those new-fangled electric stove tops that cycle on and off) you should use a candy thermometer that your local grocery store would probably have for about $8.

I think the wax process tames just a little brightness (but that could all be in my head).


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:50 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:47 am
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I see on that auction site currently that there is a mid-70's Yamaha pickup that is identical to the ones that I posted above as well, so Yamaha is another piece of the puzzle somehow.


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