Weak & Low Volume on Gen1 Bridge Pickup

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Alejandro
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Weak & Low Volume on Gen1 Bridge Pickup

Post by Alejandro »

I have a mint Deluxe in Red Ruby that has a very low volume on the bridge pickup. I realize this may be less of a Fly question than it is a regular guitar pickup question, but I'm hoping I can get ideas here.
My suspicion is the magnet has lost magnetism. If I put an iron-ore type metal on the pole pieces of the neck pickup, I feel a strong pull. But there is almost no magnetic strength or pull coming from the pole pieces of the bridge pickup when I try the same thing. So that tells me the magnet may be weak and is thus responsible for the low output volume and overall thinness of the sound. I already have it quite close to the strings. There are lots of videos on youtube about magnetizing pickups, but they're all single coil pickups. Any ideas on how to fix this issue without pulling the magnet out of the bridge humbucker or replace it?

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mmmguitar
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Re: Weak & Low Volume on Gen1 Bridge Pickup

Post by mmmguitar »

The same magnet you use to gauss single coils can be passed over the Gen 1 humbucker (it’s a single Alnico V bar magnet under the coils). That said, unless you already have the necessary tools on-hand, it’s simpler to just swap the magnet with a gaussed one either donated from another pickup or bought cheaply.

This is assuming the problem is indeed a degaussed magnet. Comparative Ω measurements and a look at the pickup with the baseplate off will diagnose whether the entirety of the problem lies within the pickup or not.
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jb63
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Re: Weak & Low Volume on Gen1 Bridge Pickup

Post by jb63 »

i love this place and its knowledge base!
just plain lost
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Re: Weak & Low Volume on Gen1 Bridge Pickup

Post by vjmanzo »

Awesome, @mmmguitar!
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Alejandro
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Re: Weak & Low Volume on Gen1 Bridge Pickup

Post by Alejandro »

I pulled out the pickup.I'm trying to magnetize it with neodymium magnets I got from amazon. So far, I would say I'm unlucky, because the pole pieces are still pretty weak compared to the magnetic strength from the neck pickup or even compared with the bridge pickup of my 97 Classic. I may have to pull the magnet out and replace it. I think I need to start by getting a tool to measure the gauss or magnetism. Otherwise I may be replacing a bar magnet that may not need replacement.
I read somewhere that these pickups were based on the AirNorton (neck) and the ToneZone(bridge). Is that correct? If so, they're both Alnico 5 magnets, but they probably come magnetized to different strength. I have to figure that out before swapping magnets. I treat the Flys like collectible Ferraris. I want the same OEM stuff in; no mods or alterations of any kind. period.
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vjmanzo
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Re: Weak & Low Volume on Gen1 Bridge Pickup

Post by vjmanzo »

Alejandro wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 4:04 pm I read somewhere that these pickups were based on the AirNorton (neck) and the ToneZone(bridge). Is that correct?
Yes, that’s correct.
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Alejandro
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Re: Weak & Low Volume on Gen1 Bridge Pickup

Post by Alejandro »

Do the Gen1 pickups are marked on the back (where the sticky padding is) with capital letters N or B (assuming for Neck and Bridge). Maybe I'm going crazy but the "weak" bridge pickup has a capital N on the back and the strong neck pickup has a B (lol, could it be that a prior owner swapped them?
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Re: Weak & Low Volume on Gen1 Bridge Pickup

Post by vjmanzo »

Yes, that is absolutely possible! I have a few extra sets of Gen 1s and the bass pickups say B underneath and the neck pickups say N.
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jb63
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Re: Weak & Low Volume on Gen1 Bridge Pickup

Post by jb63 »

I swappnd them once on my 96 deluxe, and the neck pickup sounded great in the bridge. I had to lower the bridge pickup in the neck position quite a bit to get balance. It was fun, but not as "usable".

pretty easy to swap them back.
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Alejandro
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Re: Weak & Low Volume on Gen1 Bridge Pickup

Post by Alejandro »

Well I guess I found what I was looking for. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the bridge pickup, and it won't get any stronger regardless of how many time I pass it through improvised neodymium magnetizer. It will always sound thinner and weaker than that beefy neck pickup, which turns out to be the one with a "B" behind. I was suspicious as to how beefy and strong that neck pickup was, but I blamed it on a possible demagnetized bridge pickup. I'll just have to learn to live with it. Raise the bridge as much as possible and lower the neck the same way. At some point I'll have someone swap them back. On a positive note, I'm a neck pickup person and I love the strong fat sound that the ToneZone produces there!
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Musikron
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Re: Weak & Low Volume on Gen1 Bridge Pickup

Post by Musikron »

Yes someone swapped those pickups around at some point. If swap them back, reset EVERYTHING to noon and start over, but that's just me.
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jb63
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Re: Weak & Low Volume on Gen1 Bridge Pickup

Post by jb63 »

now i want to try installing TWO bridge pickups!
just plain lost
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