OFC pickups

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OFC pickups

Post by Guest on Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:28 pm

Does anyone have any details on the OFC pickups that are in some of the higher panteras?
Just curious about the advantages/disadvantages of oxygen free copper pickups.
I see some of the Pantera owner posts on the forum where they have replaced the orginals with their prefered PUP of choice.
Can anyone shed some light on the sounds, styles and preferable some examples of what these rare PUPS sound like?

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Re: OFC pickups

Post by Westbone on Sun Sep 05, 2010 6:43 pm

http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#oxygenfree

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Re: OFC pickups

Post by Warrn on Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:01 pm

You may want to note that that says the difference is insignificant in speaker wire, but it doesn't say anything about pickups.

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Re: OFC pickups

Post by Westbone on Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:25 pm

Yes of course I noticed that, It's only a brief explanation of OFC, try this

http://forums.audioholics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8852

In other words it won't make a dot of difference in a pickup, not to the human ear anyway.

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Re: OFC pickups

Post by Warrn on Mon Sep 06, 2010 3:22 am

Well alright then. Good to know!

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Re: OFC pickups

Post by corsair on Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:30 am

I read that somewhere, too, many years ago; possibly in an electronics magazine or the like, which begs the question; was the whole OFC pickup thing just a cynical marketing ploy?

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Re: OFC pickups

Post by Steve777 on Mon Sep 06, 2010 6:38 am

That'll be the Kings new clothes then?

I remember a review in a Hifi mag years ago for the Nakamichi Dragon. Apparently, not happy with a tape reversing and the tape head moving across as in conventional tape machines, they advocated that the whole tape came out of the machine, spun 180 degrees on a carousel, and then went back into the machine to be played on fixed position tape heads. The review ended with " a £1000 machine to crack a £2.99 tape". Sort of said it all for me.

Our hearing degrades as we age therefore audio beauty is in the ear of the beholder. If OFC floats your boat, who am I to complain.

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Re: OFC pickups

Post by corsair on Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:03 am

Steve777 wrote:That'll be the Kings new clothes then?

That'd be my POV, yes...

the whole tape came out of the machine, spun 180 degrees on a carousel, and then went back into the machine to be played on fixed position tape heads.

Sounds more like a "Look at me! Look at me!! See how clever I am!!" scenario!!! Laughing I'd love to see one working, eh!!

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Re: OFC pickups

Post by Dragondreams on Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:04 pm

Very Happy
I'm of the same opinion as my peers here, most of it is hype and spin, usually to sell a product. I'm afraid I rank Gibson's Robotuning along with the Nakamichi Dragon. A solution for which there's no problem... Laughing

With pups, I'm of the opinion that the "sound" is down to the manufacturing process more than the materials used.

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Re: OFC pickups

Post by Steve777 on Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:26 pm

Err .. Nakamichi in action ( just to prove a point) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lf4eR3ZkvoY&feature=related

However, I do believe there is a distinct sound difference between Ceramic and Alnico magnets, alnico V shod Pups sounding warmer and less aggressive than their counterparts. What I would like to hear would a side by side comparison between a scatterwound and a machine wound Pup. Anybody done this yet?

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Re: OFC pickups

Post by corsair on Mon Sep 06, 2010 3:33 pm

Bwahahahahahaha - that's outrageous!! I want one!!

Nope; sorry Steve - never wound a pickup, scatter or otherwise!! Laughing

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Re: OFC pickups

Post by grogg on Mon Sep 06, 2010 3:59 pm

I agree the magnet quality and physical construction ie layout and tolerancing of pups make a difference. Cant believe the hype about hand/scatter wound versus machine, having said that I have a guitar with hand wound pups and they sound much better than any of my other guitars through a good clean amp. There are too many other variables to draw any conclusion from that though seeing as theyre mounted on a guitar hand made of very fine materials. (Im not gonna hack them about to prove the point tho)

Also the hype over wires/cables in general I think is tosh at audio frequencies.


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Re: OFC pickups

Post by Dragondreams on Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:17 pm

I've wound my own pups... and it's an exercise in humiliation that I can recommend to anyone who has a masochistic streak! Very Happy

I think the main difference between hand-wound against machine-wound is the short-circuits that are introduced from breaks in the coating on the wiring. You get much less consistency when hand winding.

I have a bit of a soap-box when it comes to different magnets making the pups sound different. A magnet is a magnet, no matter what it's made of. The big thing is the strength of the magnetic field for a given size of magnet that varies with the different materials. To my mind, THAT'S what makes the difference, not the actual "flavour" of the magnetism. Wink Which is why I get wound up about the way the different types of magnet are used as a marketing tool.

I'm of the view that you choose the pup that sounds "best" for your own application and style. I'm a huge fan of Iron Gear pups in the guitars I build myself. And I, hand on heart, couldn't tell you what magnets they use. I liked the sounds of the different models, so I bought them without looking at the specs.

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Re: OFC pickups

Post by grogg on Mon Sep 06, 2010 6:41 pm

Hear here

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Re: OFC pickups

Post by Steve777 on Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:23 pm

Totally agree with you, and as I said "Audio beauty is the ear of the beholder". And as far as variables are concerned, your Iron gear Pups might sound excellent in one guitar but **** in another.

Strange that I can go to a shoe shop try as many shoes as want on MY FEET, yet when it comes to PUPs we have to go predominately off website sound clips or trying them in someone else's guitar.

After 70 years of electric guitar development, we are still soldering bits of PUP wire ! It would be great if all Pups came as units that are simple slotted and clicked into place as one might do with a memory chip. Plug and Play? Take your guitar to the Pup shop and try out as many as you like ! Now wouldn't that be progress ! Yes I'll take the SD JB and DM Distortion thank you very much. Wrap them up sir! Nah, I'll take them as they are.

No doubt the music industry would then get into standards mode and we would revisit a version of the Betamax V's VHS marketing war.

Oops ... I digress. Anyone feel particularly strong about string makes? I cant find a particular difference myself. Twang Twang !

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Re: OFC pickups

Post by corsair on Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:25 am

Steve777 wrote: Anyone feel particularly strong about string makes? I cant find a particular difference myself.

Oh, yes!! Dean Markley Blue Steel for this kiwi!! I like their sound - very bright, almost too bright but very very lively.... I have a very heavy set of D'addarios on the LX atm, and I'm liking them but they're not as "twangy" as the DMs....

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Re: OFC pickups

Post by Dragondreams on Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:27 am

Steve777 wrote:Totally agree with you, and as I said "Audio beauty is the ear of the beholder". And as far as variables are concerned, your Iron gear Pups might sound excellent in one guitar but **** in another.
Very true. So far, though, I've tried all sorts of combinations of IG pups in different tone woods and constructions of body. They've sounded great in all of them. Very Happy And I'm NOT affiliated with Iron Gear in any way! Wink

Love the shoe shop/modular p'n'p idea!

Steve777 wrote:Anyone feel particularly strong about string makes? I cant find a particular difference myself. Twang Twang !
Now you're just being controversial! Twisted Evil Wink

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Re: OFC pickups

Post by corsair on Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:39 am

... but we like it!! Twisted Evil

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Re: OFC pickups

Post by Dragondreams on Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:51 am

corsair wrote:... but we like it!! Twisted Evil
Laughing

I'm a born and bred Yorkshireman (definition = a Scot with all the generosity squeezed out) so I tend to go for cheap. But I appreciate good quality, so I generally end up with either D'addario or Ernie Ball strings, since they're the ones I can get in bulk at a reasonable price. I haven't noticed any difference in tone or "feel" between the two brands.

My bass is a different animal though. I used to string it with Maxima Golds (when they were still in business). It helped that I played in a band with a salesman from a local music shop though, and he used to get me a hefty discount... Cool


Last edited by Dragondreams on Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:52 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Typo - must wake up in a morning...)

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Re: OFC pickups

Post by Warrn on Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:53 am

I've never noticed a difference in string brands, just the different metal mixtures of the strings. I tend to prefer the brightest round wounds on my basses, regardless of who made the strings.

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Re: OFC pickups

Post by Barry on Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:58 am

Steve777 wrote:...It would be great if all Pups came as units that are simple slotted and clicked into place as one might do with a memory chip. Plug and Play? Take your guitar to the Pup shop and try out as many as you like ! Now wouldn't that be progress !
Your whim is Bob Taylor's command: Plug n Play Loaded Pickguards!

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Re: OFC pickups

Post by Barry on Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:10 am

Dragondreams wrote:...I have a bit of a soap-box when it comes to different magnets making the pups sound different. A magnet is a magnet, no matter what it's made of. The big thing is the strength of the magnetic field for a given size of magnet that varies with the different materials...
Yeah, I tend to feel to way too. For me it really does depend on context; what they're installed in to.

Good output? Sure, but does it sound 'right' for what I'm playing? No point having 11K if it sounds like marbles rolling on a tin roof. I couldn't tell you just from listening whether it's an Alnico or ceramic pup, only that it sounds "warm" or "bright" in a particular guitar. What I do notice lately, however, is the difference that potting makes! That might be more of an influence than the magnet type.

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Re: OFC pickups

Post by Dragondreams on Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:13 pm

Barry wrote:[What I do notice lately, however, is the difference that potting makes! That might be more of an influence than the magnet type.
I'd go along with that. Smile

I had a bit a "debate" with Keith at Axetec (the guy I buy my pups from). I mentioned to him that a particular pup was just getting better and better the more I played the guitar. He assured me that it wasn't possible. My theory is that it was "settling in". Perhaps the potting wax was softer than normal and my perception of "better and better" was the coils settling through mechanical action, altering the tonal response of the pup. I've since sold that particular guitar, so I can't draw further "aging" comparisons.

I wonder, though, whether this is why there's a rose-tinted hankering for older pups. That they sound good now because of all the "work" they've done. Which brings us back to marketing hype and the whole realm of "vintage re-issues". Making a new pup in the old ways is surely not going to make it sound like a 50 or 60 year-old veteran of serial guitar abuse... is it? I'm not aware of any pup manufacturer that artificially ages their products (beyond the cosmetic stuff like rusting the covers), but I stand to be corrected.

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Re: OFC pickups

Post by Westbone on Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:33 pm

The older a AlNiCo magnet gets the more it loses it's magnetic properties.
Alnico 2 as fitted in the prestige 250 and other models have a sweeter, mellower sound.
An older alnico 5 will sound 'sweeter' than a new one due to the reduced magnetism.
I'm no expert but this is what I beleive.

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Re: OFC pickups

Post by Steve777 on Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:19 pm

Yup, I read the same.

Actually, when Barry said "re-potting" , I thought he meant changing the value of control pots. My Custom built Rob Armstrong came with Dimarzio a Dual Sound and a Super Distortion managed by 260k Ohms pots. Although powerful at the time ( 1980's), and enough to blow away my Gibson Vee ( yeh, yeh I was a Wishbone Ash die hard ), I always felt that there was more in there. So I wrote to Dimarzio a couple years ago with the wiring schematic and they recommend upgrading all the pots to 1 meg Ohm. It seemed to lift the lid off Pandoras box, more mid tone and more attack at the treble end. Well, Like it ....


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Re: OFC pickups

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