The Electra Forums

Guitar Talk about Electra and other vintage imported guitars
Home
Index of Models
The Electra Forums
PM Inbox
It is currently Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:10 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 28 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:28 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:52 am
Posts: 1924
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
This is not the definitive MMK story, but I have noticed a number of differences in MMK's depending when they were made, and have put together a quick photo essay here. The first MMK's appear around 1980, possibly slightly before, but the dating of the guitars by the serial numbers are sketchy before January of 1980. Here is a MMK45 out of a January 1980 Invicta, early one with the Mahogany body and neck. These pickups almost look like they were a handmade affair with soldered on nuts to secure the mounting ring screws, also notice that although they have the '45' stamped in ink, no MMK is stamped into the metal base:
Image

Here is a MMK53 out of a X960 Ultima, also from January of 1980, again we see no metal MMK stamp, and the hand soldered nuts, this also confirms that the X960 Ultima was one of the few MPC's that actually had MMK's in it!
Image


Here is a pair of MMK's out of a X150 Active Phoenix from May of 1981, by this time we see that the metal base is threaded for the mounting screw and that MMK has been stamped into the base:
Image

Here is a MMK45 out of a 1983 Dynasty, now we start to see the more square font being used for the numbers, as well as a Box drawn around them, probably the most common MMK pickup markings:
Image

Finally I have a rare MMK61 out of a 1983 X420 Custom Pro, Block numbers with box around them:
Image

I still to this day don't know the specifics of the materials and windings used for the various models, MMK45, MMK53, MMK61 and I think they even had a MMK72. It's tough to compare the tone of the different vintages because of guitar wood, scale, etc, but I've always had a hunch that the older ones have the hottest output, your milage may vary. By the Westone Era, the MMK's almost sound laid back. To my ears the 53's are a bit more refined than the biting 45's, but I've never done extensive testing with a multimeter or anything. Your thoughts? Cheers, Mike.

_________________
Electra Guitar Videos ===> http://www.youtube.com/user/mjm33mjm?feature=watch


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:48 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:21 pm
Posts: 470
Location: south o' St.Louie,home of SLM
If memory serves correct,I believe the MMK53's were ceramic magnets,the MMK45's and MMK61's were alnico magnets-of course the windings were different,MMK61's being a lower output PAF style while the MMK45's were a hotter Dimarzio distortion style. Just my .02 :oops:

_________________
"If it ain't been in the pawnshop,it can't play the blues" R.L.Burnside


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:50 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:23 am
Posts: 970
Location: Oxford, MI
Anyone ever contact Tom Presley about his memories of these pickups?

_________________
"This is the way that pop ends, Not with a BANG but with a box set whose fourth disc you never get around to playing” - Simon Reynolds

"My guitar wants to kill your Mama" - Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 4:11 pm
Posts: 657
Location: Tenn.
Any way to set up a spread sheet and have info added when possible? When some of the guys here get new models they pull the pick ups and test them. Might be a way to follow up on your findings and get more facts. Discribe all markings or better yet send a photo and add ohms readings. Guys do that here all the time. Just a thought.

_________________
SlmGuy


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:36 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2007 2:06 am
Posts: 1040
Location: Hervey Bay, Australia
There was the MMK 75, too, though aFAIK it has been only found in the Westone X350/390 Panteras.

Yeah, TP gave us a run down on the p'ups some time ago; let me try and find it!

The values of the MMK 45s are quite variable with mine varying between 10.7Ω ('84 Westone Spectrum) and a whopping 17.4Ω (8? Vantage Avenger AV310)....

1st edit...

http://westone.netboarder.com/t4112-mat ... gnet-types

2nd edit

http://westone.netboarder.com/t971-west ... nt-history

3rd edit...

http://westone.netboarder.com/t971-west ... nt-history

4th edit...

http://www.matsumoku.org/ggboard/viewto ... =26&t=3762

_________________
Every guitarist I would cross paths with would tell me that I should have a flashy guitar, whatever the latest fashion model was, and I used to say, 'Why? Mine works, doesn't it? It's a piece of wood and six strings, and it works.'

Angus Young


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:03 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:19 pm
Posts: 676
Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
So then BOTH 45's and 53's are ceramic. Ferrite.

According to Duramag.com...
Ceramic (Ferrite) Magnets are produced by calcining a mixture of iron oxide and strontium carbonate to form a metallic oxide. A multiple stage milling operation reduces the calcined material to a small particle size. The powder is then compacted in a die by one of two methods.

In the first method, the powder is compacted dry which develops an isotropic magnet with weaker magnetic properties. (this would be MMK45's)

In the second method, the powder is mixed with water to form slurry. The slurry is compacted in a die in the presence of a magnetic field. The applied field creates an anisotropic magnet which exhibits superior magnetic properties. (this would be MMK53's)

Pretty cool.

_________________
"GREAT Googiley moogilie Jack...jumpin jehosephat, hot dang and all".
- jdwhealton


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 6:33 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 5:47 am
Posts: 6
Location: Scotland
This is my first post on your forum and I do hope this particular part of your forum is still a live issue.

This history of MMK pickups is fascinating and resolves some of the issues I have had with a match set of what I thought were MMK pickups, they have been lying in one of my boxes for years.
As you can see from the images I have posted the pickups fall into the pre 80's era, they have the soldered nuts, the colour of the lead wires is also like other MMK pickups and they have a recognizable stamped model number and there are no MMK impressed marks.
So far so good, the issues that arise are two fold, firstly the number appears to be upsides down, is it a 61 of an unknown model 19, the other issue is the construction of these two pickups has an uncanny resemblance to pickups made by Nisshin Onpa or more popularly Maxon, the leaking gope from the screws is a Maxon characteristic! The pickups are in the PAF range with the bridge at 8.30 KOhms and the neck at 7.96 KOhms, both have a coils split.

I would be obliged if your knowledgeable forum members would have a look at the images and let me know their thoughts on the pickups, are the MMK or Maxon.

To add to the confusion this website say that the Matsumoku made Riviera 1975-79 had Maxon MMK61 fitted (http://epiphonewiki.com/index.php/Riviera), this would suggest that MMK pickups were being made as early as 1975.


Image, Image
Image
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 9:44 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:19 pm
Posts: 676
Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
The "19" thing made me laugh! Reminds me of the oil dipstick in my Subaru. Upside down it looks just looks like "710". :)

_________________
"GREAT Googiley moogilie Jack...jumpin jehosephat, hot dang and all".
- jdwhealton


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 12:05 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 5:47 am
Posts: 6
Location: Scotland
I agree but I did post shots of these pickups on another forum a few years back and I was told it was not an MMK-61 and that it was made by Maxon. Maxon numbering happens to fit in that the 19 would indicate that the 1 represents a prototype and the 9 would represent 1979, no one has seen a two digit stamped pickup starting with 1 but some how they know Maxon did have such a pickup and coincidentally both the Maxon and MMK argument end up being in the same time period!

I suppose it all depends on which end of the telescope you are looking from.

Anyway it is an interesting set of pickups in that they predate the period that MMK are supposed to have started making pickups and if it is an MMK they actually changed the production method because the later MMK-61's do not have any sign of the gope oozing from the screw holes.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 1:18 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2007 2:06 am
Posts: 1040
Location: Hervey Bay, Australia
61s without a doubt, and probably from a semi; that's the only place I've ever seen 61s all through the Matsumoku range!!

It could be that Matsumoku out-sourced the lower volume (number-wise) pickups to Maxon but given the companys penchant for doing most things in-house, I'd be a little surprised if they did!

We're probably never going to know for sure; TP has dropped out of sight and I shall respect the mans privacy!

_________________
Every guitarist I would cross paths with would tell me that I should have a flashy guitar, whatever the latest fashion model was, and I used to say, 'Why? Mine works, doesn't it? It's a piece of wood and six strings, and it works.'

Angus Young


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:32 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2016 11:32 pm
Posts: 28
Location: San Rafael, CA
I just bought an MMK45 humbucker on Ebay for $20. The seller wondered why there was solder on the mounting plate around threaded screw holes, and this could be seen in one of the pics.
I'm guessing that the nuts came off or the threads got stripped, and someone re-drilled and tapped the plate, for mounting screws
There didn't seem to be MMK stamped in the plate, just printed 45.
Not sure about that, as I had trouble seeing the stamped MMK on one of my own pickups. It has the slotted screws on top of one side and plain posts on the other. Anyway, I figured it was a very early pickup, which may have more punch, and was worth a try for $20. Not sure what I will do with it, yet.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:06 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2016 11:32 pm
Posts: 28
Location: San Rafael, CA
Here are some photos of the MMK45 mentioned above. Sure looks similar to the ones Proendorser posted, minus the nuts. A two wire pickup - shielding for ground and one white wire


Image


Image


Image


Last edited by Sailrick on Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:06 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 4:11 pm
Posts: 657
Location: Tenn.
Does the cloth tape change through the years or does it stay the same?

_________________
SlmGuy


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:11 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 5:47 am
Posts: 6
Location: Scotland
From the side view of your pickups it looks as if they have been re-taped, the blackish line in the brass edge is the give away


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:10 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2016 11:32 pm
Posts: 28
Location: San Rafael, CA
Interesting about the cloth tape. I wouldn't have known that.

What I would like to know is if you can tell if a pickup has been potted, by looking at it with the cloth tape on. The reason I ask, is because I recently bought an x260 Invicta on ebay and the sound seems compressed, not nearly as dynamic as my two Workingman guitars. It seems to lack sustain also. It's a pleasure to play (love the neck) and produces some nice tones. I especially like the clear notes in the upper frets. But, I thought it would have more sustain, given the set neck, brass nut, etc.
I played it today through a DOD Overdrive preamp pedal and that sounded good to me. I don't usually use such heavy distortion. My amp is a Peavey Backstage Plus, which is not bad for a solid state amp.

So I have bought two pickups in the last week. The MMK45 above, which I now realize won't work with coil splitting in the Invicta, having two conductors. I also bought an MMK53 with four conductors. I would like to see if it makes a difference and wondered if the 45s that came in the guitar have maybe been potted. I know potting can lessen the higher frequencies, but wonder if it can reduce sustain as well?


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 28 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 6 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
Fatal: Not able to open ./cache/data_global.php