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Deacon/Preacher/Breadwinner Mini Humbucker Pickups Info

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Johnny Alien
Posted 2017-12-30 11:20 AM (#538567)
Subject: Deacon/Preacher/Breadwinner Mini Humbucker Pickups Info


Joined:
November 2017
Posts: 16

So I have been spending some time with my Preacher with the mini humbuckers found in many Ovation models. These pickups seem to be tolerated well with the preamp but most people tend to not care for them in the non-active models like I have. I actually liked the tone but they were uncontrollable even with them cranked all the way down and the further down they were the less I liked the tone. There is a guy who winds offset guitar pickups that I love so I sent him the pickup to see what he thought.

So both the neck and bridge measure over 20k. Yes...over 20k. Very powerful. He spent some time reverse engineering them and found that they were wound with 43awg wire at a whopping 10,000 turns per coil. Essentially like two Fender Nocaster tele pickups wired together like a humbucker. But with a stronger magnet. It is a massively overwound and overmagnatized pickup. I guess that is cool with the active electronics but it's a bizarre decision for the Preacher. He said that essentially it's like a Fender WRHB but extremely overpowered. He is going to rewind it for me with lowered specs to match closer to a standard Fender WRHB.

I thought everyone would be interested in what he found out while digging into the pickups and I will let you know how it ends up. If anyone else is interested in getting this done I can provide the guys info. It should make the pickups way more useful but still look correct in the guitar.
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alpep
Posted 2017-12-30 8:55 PM (#538577 - in reply to #538567)
Subject: Re: Deacon/Preacher/Breadwinner Mini Humbucker Pickups Info


Joined:
December 2001
Posts: 10143

Location: NJ
interesting information
I have some pickups I may want modded
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numbfingers
Posted 2017-12-31 8:46 PM (#538587 - in reply to #538567)
Subject: Re: Deacon/Preacher/Breadwinner Mini Humbucker Pickups Info


Joined:
January 2006
Posts: 1076

Location: NW Washington State
Johnny-

Here's a thread where the pickups are discussed and the specs are posted:
http://www.ovationfanclub.com/megabbs/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=34...

20K DC resistance is a lot, but what we don't know is the inductance (in Henries), and that is often a lot more important. Measuring DC resistance can tell you something about a Strat pickup or a PAF humbucker if you know the wire guage, but it's meaningless for an oddball pickup like the Ovation mini. Bill Lawrence would precision wind some pickups with relatively high DC resistance, but relatively low inductance, that could give a very bright sound.

If the pickups have the typical ceramic looking polepieces- grayish and non-conductive- they don't seem to be highly magnetized when you stick a screwdriver on them. I have Preacher Deluxe and Breadwinner Limited pickups that have shiny, conductive polepieces, maybe Alnico, and those seem more magnetic in the screwdriver test.

I vaguely remember that my Deacon pickup was potted with something like silicone- no fun to disassemble.

I wouldn't send an Ovation pickup to be torn down and rewound unless it was dead. Instead I'd buy some "normal" mini-humbuckers and make a custom backplate/mount to fit in the pickguard without drilling, or just have one of the pickguard makers cut a guard with standard mini cutouts instead of Ovation. Maybe your pickup guy could make some nice replacements that would fit the various Ovations. Then he could sell them to everyone who wants to change their Ovation without serious mods.

-Steve W.
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Johnny Alien
Posted 2018-01-01 7:37 AM (#538595 - in reply to #538567)
Subject: Re: Deacon/Preacher/Breadwinner Mini Humbucker Pickups Info


Joined:
November 2017
Posts: 16

"20K DC resistance is a lot, but what we don't know is the inductance (in Henries), and that is often a lot more important."

I have that information from him as well. 90 henries. Which is nuts. Maybe they are all slightly different but for sure I was told that the magnets were powerful on mine. Alnico 5 not ceramic.

I totally understand about not wanting to mod the stock pickup but when most people remove them automatically I didn't see any major reason to not do it. I mean they are unusable with gain the way they are unless you drive them all the way into the body and at that point they sound worse. Basically what I am having done is rewound to have the amount of turns cut in half and the Alnico 5 magnets replaced with Alnico 3/2. The 2 will be used on what would be the exposed poles on a WRHB. It should retain the original idea but in a way more usable format.

I think his plan is to make something similar to sell in the right size for Ovation users that would want them. That is why he spent so much time reverse engineering them.

Thanks for the link I am going to check out that thread.

Edited by Johnny Alien 2018-01-01 7:40 AM
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Johnny Alien
Posted 2018-01-01 7:59 AM (#538596 - in reply to #538567)
Subject: Re: Deacon/Preacher/Breadwinner Mini Humbucker Pickups Info


Joined:
November 2017
Posts: 16

Just read through that thread which was an adventure with some great photos at the end. The pickup info in there is based on limited published specs and speculation so just for the record I will post the legit info below based on the pickup being opened and reverse engineered.

- Slightly under 20K neck pickup and slightly over 20K bridge pickup. Ovation might have just wound them all to around 20K which would yield some under and some over and then just matched them as they came out. I think Ovation specs just said 20K.

- Both pickups are around 90 Henries

- 43amg wire wrapped at 10,000 turns per coil. In the other thread the theory was that it was 10,000 total and 5,000 per coil. That is incorrect and it's 10,000 per.

- Alnico 5 magnets

I think that covers most of everything but if someone has a specific question let me know and I can find out. They are sized pretty close to mini humbuckers as most people know.</p>







Edited by Johnny Alien 2018-01-01 8:14 AM
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numbfingers
Posted 2018-01-01 12:32 PM (#538598 - in reply to #538567)
Subject: RE: Deacon/Preacher/Breadwinner Mini Humbucker Pickups Info


Joined:
January 2006
Posts: 1076

Location: NW Washington State
Johnny-

"43amg wire wrapped at 10,000 turns per coil. In the other thread the theory was that it was 10,000 total and 5,000 per coil. That is incorrect and it's 10,000 per."

Mr. Ovation posted the correct winding info on page 2 of the thread. The original poster was someone who started the :"definitive" thread before they had purchased their first Preacher, so their posts are questionable. You gotta watch out for newbies and their speculation. The pickup chart and the patent

"Both pickups are around 90 Henries"

Not a chance. Maybe something got lost in translation and they're around 9H, the upper end of what most people wind. Not even the aerospace guys at Ovation could wind a 90H pickup in that package with that wire.

"Alnico 5 magnets"

Probably so, but there's a chance that Ovation could have used some other Alnico mix- they did a lot of things differently.

"Basically what I am having done is rewound to have the amount of turns cut in half and the Alnico 5 magnets replaced with Alnico 3/2."

1/2 winding sounds reasonable. I wonder if it's possible to degauss or charge the original magnets to get the same effect? I'd be worried about breaking the bobbin trying to get the magnets out.

"I think his plan is to make something similar to sell in the right size for Ovation users that would want them. That is why he spent so much time reverse engineering them."

That would be great! My set would have fewer winds than the original and a bridge pickup wound a bit more than the neck. 4 leads for coil splitting would be nice.

You might have your guy check the polepiece spacing- seems to me the bridge is a little wider- not looking at set right now.

By the way, you might like the Viper single coils in your Preacher. I guess that's another thread.

-Steve W.
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Johnny Alien
Posted 2018-01-02 11:43 AM (#538613 - in reply to #538567)
Subject: Re: Deacon/Preacher/Breadwinner Mini Humbucker Pickups Info


Joined:
November 2017
Posts: 16

He sent me this photo. Said he recalibrated it to make sure.

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numbfingers
Posted 2018-01-02 2:15 PM (#538618 - in reply to #538567)
Subject: RE: Deacon/Preacher/Breadwinner Mini Humbucker Pickups Info


Joined:
January 2006
Posts: 1076

Location: NW Washington State

Johnny-

Yep, he got that measurement, but I think it's meaningless. I've got a couple of cheap LCR meters that are so confused by the Ovation pickups that they can't even settle on a reading. I've always thought it was due to the relatively high resistance and perhaps distributed capacitance in the pickup. I like B&K stuff, but I don't think the meter is up to the task.

Read the post by Joe Gwinn on the pickup makers forum where he mentions that his 875B gave wildly incorrect readings: http://music-electronics-forum.com/t3616/ (look toward the bottom of the page)

Most of the people on that pickup makers forum seem to like an Extech meter.

The specs on the B&K 875B show a test frequency of 120Hz @ 0.5v. It might be that the test is intended for power transformers and filter chokes.  1kHz is more typical for pickup testing. I'm not sure about series vs. parallel mode for pickup testing.

Look at it another way.  The specs for a Lace red/red dually show a whopping 30.5K DC resistance and 10.6H inductance: http://www.lacemusic.com/Dually_Red_Red.php   Not similar in design to the Ovation pickup, but it's stupidly overwound and I think muddy sounding.  Do you really think the Preacher pickup has ten times the inductance?

-Steve W.

 

 



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Johnny Alien
Posted 2018-01-02 4:46 PM (#538619 - in reply to #538567)
Subject: Re: Deacon/Preacher/Breadwinner Mini Humbucker Pickups Info


Joined:
November 2017
Posts: 16

Honestly I have no idea. I do know that it sounded good raised up but had uncontrollable feedback and squealing so the only way to subdue it was to bury it in the body and at that point it sounded bad. It's obviously way overpowered and as we all know was specifically designed for a preamp. I am not sure what Ovation was thinking about using it passively. The reading could be wrong but I don't think it changes the fact that it's stupidly overpowered for this purpose. I honestly think they cranked it up for no other reason that to brag about how stupidly overpowered it was.

I do know he said he recalibrated it and checked against other pickups as well but it could be that however it's wired and whatever Ovation has going on is giving false readings.
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numbfingers
Posted 2018-01-02 7:52 PM (#538630 - in reply to #538619)
Subject: Re: Deacon/Preacher/Breadwinner Mini Humbucker Pickups Info


Joined:
January 2006
Posts: 1076

Location: NW Washington State
Johnny-

The Henries aren't that important anyway. I'm aware of the measurement problem because I got the latest LCR meter from China a few years ago and tested a couple dozen pickups, carefully noting the results. Then I found some data online and learned that all the readings were wrong. Then I bought another cheap one somebody recommended and it seems OK with most pickups, but can't deal with the Ovations. So lived and learned that I didn't have the right tools.

By the way, the pictures of the disassembled pickups are great. MWoody posted pics of a Viper single-coil here: http://ovationfanclub.com/megabbs/photos/photo-thumbnails.asp?album...

Let us know how the finished product turns out and if you like the results.

-Steve W.

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numbfingers
Posted 2018-01-02 8:08 PM (#538631 - in reply to #538619)
Subject: Re: Deacon/Preacher/Breadwinner Mini Humbucker Pickups Info


Joined:
January 2006
Posts: 1076

Location: NW Washington State
double post



Edited by numbfingers 2018-01-02 8:11 PM
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