Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

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Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by gittarasaurus on Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:19 pm

this is an installment from:

The Insomniac Guitar Shack Cool

this got started because there was some discussion in another thread about how useful was the coil split function.
so i whipped out a bunch of westones and lined em up and started noodling about on each to get a feel for how much it affects the sound on each different guitar. so as i go through the lot there, i come to the genesis I.

http://www.westoneguitars.net/guitars/genesis/

i picked up my genesis from another member here at the westone forums. thanks to brainfertilizer!

if you look at the website listing, this model has a pretty standard set-up, with S-S-H pickups, 5-way switch, volume and tone, with a p/p on the tone pot for coil splitting. i was playing around to sample the genesis I sounds with coil splits and all that, and i discovered the p/p was not quite performing the right function.

so i decided to give a look under the hood to see what i could see....
typical foil backing on the cover plate, and foil strip to tone pot...

everything looks pretty normal. all connections are good, wiring seems all original and no apparent evidence of tampering of any sort.
but the humbucker isn't working in the split position, so i'm still wondering where is the problem.
i check with the meter and find a open on one coil. so now i have a little more in depth work than i thought when i started....

now check these pickups!


as i said before, everything looked original in the wiring cavity so i'm wondering if the shielding is original too. looking at the work, it is a pro job for sure.
so off to westoneguitars i go.....
nothing mentioned on the regular model page.....
no wiring or other special documents for the genesis......
a few pics in the catalog scans, but still no mention of the special treatment of the pickups.......
and then in another of the scans, hmmmm, what's that one, spring 1987 Westone Tech News.... let's look at that one, *clik*
cheerscheerscheers
amazing once again!! westoneguitars †has everything!!!
there it is on the front page of that publication. a short description of the new genesis guitars -
poplar body - check!
bendmaster deluxe - check!
foil shielded pickups!!! - BINGO!!!
http://www.westoneguitars.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/0110.jpg



i found a couple of things on this guitar i have never seen on another westone.
the foil shielded pickups
the connector for the humbucker wiring
i'm not sure what the numbers on the bottom of the pickup indicate, it is not an ohm reading.
anyway....all this started because the coil split wasn't working correctly, so i am trying to find the problem....
i unwrapped all the tape †to expose the bobbins, i had to un solder the wire on the outside of the copper foil shield.
i then unwrapped the foil shield and there was some fiber tape beneath that. i found a broken wire and re soldered it back, then wrapped up the fiber tape and the foil shield.
screw the bobbin back in place, re solder the bonding wire, wrap it up with the black tape and check with a meter.....

cheerscheerscheers

everything is good now.
sorry about the last bit with no pics but that tiny little wire takes some serious concentration to get it done without breaking it.... Sad
but the good thing is that the pickup is working correctly, and now all the switching and tone controls work properly.

but now since i had to check the pickups, i have removed the strings, and the bendmaster needs some cleaning so on to that....





to be continued....

study

now on to the bendmaster setup ->

i took off the strings so i could check the pickups more easily. it was time for some new ones anyhow. as i was preparing to put in the new strings, i noticed the sustain block was not completely tight to the main plate on the trem unit. i figured that this might contribute to tuning instability, so i needed to fix it.

the only way to tighten up the screws for the sustain block is to remove the saddles, which means re-setting the intonation too. so at this point i decided to just take it all apart and clean and polish it nicely before re-installing it.

so here is a close look at what makes up a bendmaster deluxe.

at first it appears there are two different types of saddles for the bendmaster....
but on closer inspection we can see that each of the six saddles is different and each one must be for it's designated position for proper intonation. you can see that even the holes in the base plate are not straight across the bridge.
these saddles pushed all the way up tight to the screw and you can see how each piece is already compensating for the different string lengths. in addition, you can also see here the saddles are designed to mimic the radius of the fretboard.

put it all back together and then back on the guitar.
first i just held it in place and measured for scale length (25 1/2", actually a tiny bit over).
after getting the first saddle set correctly, the others can be placed accurately by measurments.

here is a short tutorial to set up a guitar that i found on the DeArmond website. step 2 describes how to do intonation.

http://www.dearmondguitars.com/setup.html

once i had all the saddles in place it was time to get some strings on. i am using Ernie Ball 10- 46 strings on this one. once all the strings are in place and tightened up it is time to get the right balance of tension from the strings and the springs, so that the baseplate of the trem is parallel to the body of the guitar. just a few tweeks on the screws and keeping the strings up tight, close to tuned, it only takes a couple minutes to get things balanced nicely.


after getting the baseplate level, it is time to adjust string height. i like very low action on a guitar with a tremolo because any bending of the strings pulls on the trem and makes all the other strings go flat when i bend up a note on a single string. so i go for the lowest action i can achieve without causing any buzzing or fretting out.


once i get the string height to a good place, i give the strings a little bit more stretching and then tune up well and check intonation. if the intonation is good then a little playing time, a bit more stretching and then the string locks can go on.



once locked down and strings trimmed up, everything is ready for action.
here she is ready to rock once again....




just like so many others, this one is missing the string locks and the whammy bar. it works ok for me because i don't really have good whammy bar techinque. i am more of a string bender, so no bar and no locks doesn't really bother me too much.

one alternative to having the tremolo floating is to install more springs or increase the spring tension to pull the trem down tight against the body so that there is more stability of the trem unit and possibly better tuning stability as well. i like to have the trem floating because it allows me to do some extreme bends without breaking strings, and with no string locks and a graphite nut it returns to original pitch pretty well, considering the missing pieces.

----->> this has been an installment from the Insomniac Guitar Shack †<<-----
i was awakened at about 3am by a phone call and couldn't get back to sleep. since i can't really crank up a guitar amp in the middle of the night i decided to do some repairs. this one needed some help. i figured it would be quick and easy. it turned out to be more than i expected when i began but i am happy that everything came together and the guitar plays like a dream now.
i just need the usual pieces to make it complete: string locks, whammy bar, and the little grub screw to hold the whammy tight. it works great without them but someday it would be nice to have it complete like the original.


Last edited by gittarasaurus on Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:15 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : to finish the posting of the project details, repair photo links)

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by Guest on Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:35 pm

Nice work eh

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by Barry on Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:43 pm

Good stuff.
Now, go get some rest!

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by Westbone on Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:33 pm

http://forum.westoneguitars.net/t2220-the-mystery-humbucker-in-my-genesis-i

Iceman had the same problem with the bridge p/up.
Looks like standard stuff, he's are copper foil shielded as well.


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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by Iceman on Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:00 pm

Good post here, Mike. And nice tie-in to my thread too, Damian.

Yeah, I've picked up two more of these since that first one and all the humbuckers are the same construction as you have outlined.

I was enjoying some seriously AWESOME deja vu reading your OP and you did a superior job detailing my exact experience. My troubleshooting (and soldering) skills are somewhat subpar to others here but Damian was quite kind to extend me a helping hand with my repair.

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by beavis on Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:32 am

Great info, love the pics and the detailed review. Can't wait for episode 2!

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by gittarasaurus on Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:52 pm

to add a couple things to the long post.....

neck pickup - 4.76kohm
middle pickup - 4.66 kohm
bridge pickup - 11.26 / 5.74 kohm

i don't know what the markings on the neck indicate. when i removed the neck there was a shim installed. i removed it because i did not see any need for it. i was able to get the action set up very low without it.
the color in the pic is slightly off, but, in person, the color of the wood in the neck pocket looks like poplar for sure

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by Barry on Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:47 pm

gittarasaurus wrote:...i don't know what the markings on the neck indicate...
My guess is that it's a part number of some sort.

Really nice work there Mike, and great pix too.

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by grogg on Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:21 pm

Great stuff and close up pics, what camera you using?

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by gittarasaurus on Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:51 pm

grogg wrote: what camera you using?

it is actually an HD camcorder but it takes pretty good still shots.

it is a JVC Everio
(HD AVCHD) [model # GZ-HM440BU]

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by Iceman on Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:55 pm

Great post again, Mike. Your observation about the body looking like poplar is of course 100% correct...

http://www.westoneguitars.net/guitars/genesis

It really is a shame that those sweet looking v-cut rollers do not actually roll. At least they can be indexed to a new position if ever one were to develop a wear spot.

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by The Chad on Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:15 pm

Now THAT is a useful post brother! Keep them coming. Cool

Seeing those closeups and disassembled views are amazing, the commentary too. Especially on the Bendmaster. I'd never seen one in person, now I feel like I have. Great work man, I'll be on the lookout for anything else you offer like this!


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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by grogg on Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:33 pm

Interesting you took out a shim, where was it in the neck pocket? Im about to add one as I cant get my Floyd bridge low enough.
Not that your guitar's shim will be relevant to mine, just curious.

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by gittarasaurus on Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:31 pm

grogg wrote:Interesting you took out a shim, where was it in the neck pocket? Im about to add one as I cant get my Floyd bridge low enough.
Not that your guitar's shim will be relevant to mine, just curious.

it was a very thin piece of plastic and it was taped on the back at the bottom of the neck at the heel. it had covered up the markings on the neck so when i removed the shim, all the writing there was a surprise to me . i don't know if it was original or not, i have never seen any westone that needed to be shimmed, not that there aren't any, i don't know, just haven't seen one. none of the other westies i own have a shim in the neck. this guitar has had at least 2 previous owners, so not sure where it came from.

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by hobster on Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:13 pm

Barry wrote:Good stuff.
Now, go get some rest!

lol! cheers

Just caught on to this thread. Nice work and photos, great job.

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by corsair on Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:18 am

I'm disappointed, man - you didnt dismantle the saddles!! Laughing I did, just to see if I could get the rollers rolling.... Posted here somewhere...

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by Barry on Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:27 pm

corsair wrote:I...just to see if I could get the rollers rolling....
"The wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round..." Except when the King of the Kiwis is driving! clown

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by gittarasaurus on Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:08 pm

Westbone wrote:http://forum.westoneguitars.net/t2220-the-mystery-humbucker-in-my-genesis-i

Iceman had the same problem with the bridge p/up.
Looks like standard stuff, he's are copper foil shielded as well.


reading back through that older thread i see that Tom Presley had this to say about the genesis:

Re: The mystery humbucker in my Genesis I
tpresley on Tue May 17, 2011 3:50 pm

Ice,

I'm a bad one to comment about the UBC PU since they are my kids. I've done a bunch of comparisons and still go back to them whenever I can. Have you looked into doing a rewind on the PU - IF YOU HAVE THE ORIGINAL? The core is likely OK and I suspect that there's a break in the wind at the tap. The OFC wire is still out there and it will require a careful count of the winds but with a bit of patience, you could likely fix it. Already I can hear the group saying "Presley, you're nuts"! Ok, so we agree on that! However, I'd really like to see the Genesis go back to original if at all possible. These are marvelous instruments that were limited in production, have a great character and look great, in my humble opinion.

------------------------


---ok, so does that mean that the humbucker in the Genesis I is a UBC pickup ? scratch
i have to go back and check readings on both coils of the humbucker now......

and he mentions that the Genesis model is "limited in production"... i guess meaning only one year of production?

i have to agree on the 'great character' too, the back of the neck is the exact same shape as my thunder I neck and the body has that narrow waist the way the earlier models like the Concord and Paduak. but the Genesis also has a more modern look, giving hints of the pantera models to come. it is a great playing guitar and quite a notable model in a line of many notables.

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by Barry on Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:26 pm

gittarasaurus wrote:...ok, so does that mean that the humbucker in the Genesis I is a UBC pickup ? scratch...
Ya know, looking back at the picture, I think it may just be a UBC. It looks the part alright, especially with the telltale green dollops of epoxy(?) on the screws on the back.

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by Westbone on Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:45 pm

I've yet to see or read a UBC mythical pup. on any Westone.
Genesis pups are not 'true' so called UBC, just sales blab...just coil tapped. Appx. 5.7 there abouts each coil.

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by Barry on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:06 pm

'Bin my sad experience also Damian.
Not much of an output to begin with, and downright pitiful on the tap.
Not too bad sounding mind. Still my ST Spectrum could not complete in a live band situation without a bridge pup transplant to something much hotter!

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by Iceman on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:21 am

Well Mike, the Genesis model did not foreshadow the Pantera. Elsewhere in Tom's posts someplace he states that they were built at the same time on different production lines, or something to that effect, if my memory serves.
One other bit of info to contribute here I gleaned from the Westone Demo CD I recently bought on ebay by Tim Harman. His explanation of the design and function of the UBC, which he clearly states are found on x189 and x199 Spectrums, I summarized here...

http://forum.westoneguitars.net/t2835-interesting-info-on-my-westone-x189-x199-cd

How much stock to put in it I am not certain of right now. Check the VOLTAGE output of yours to see if it measures up. How that differs from RESISTANCE readings??... I am not sure.

His explanation does makes sense to me of attempting to design a humbucker that when split is roughly outputting the same as a single coil instead of only about 60-70%. As far as how successful the design is in practice??... the answer seems from many to be not very.

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by gittarasaurus on Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:22 am

none of the literature seems to mention a UBC on the Genesis models, and all the pictures given of the mythical pickup in question, seem to have one bar and six pole pieces.

my readings of the Genesis pickups matched the readings by others of 5.74 kohms for split coil. it seems reasonable to assume they are the magnaflux pickups named in the catalogs etc.

to check the voltage output of a pickup requires testing equipment i don't have. it requires a signal generator to induce a constant frequency (like maybe 1000hz) to the coil and then measure the output voltage from the coils. this constant signal gives a snapshot view of the output signal from the pickup in a way that can be used to compare it with other pickups. the output voltage is a more in depth analysis of the pickup output, because the measured output is determined by all the components of the pickup, the magnet(s), pole pieces, substrate, wire, wrapping patterns, etc., accounting for all the dynamics involved

the resistance on the other hand, is easy. that is simply a function of the length and diameter of the coil wire. ohm readings are a crude (but common) way to quantify the output of a pickup. because there are so many other factors involved in what gives each pickup style it's characteristic sound, it doesn't tell all that much.

if anybody wants to totally geek-out on pickup theory and design, i found a website by an engineer that describes in great detail how it works. even if you don't get the math, just skip over it because the explanations are all in plain language. his whole purpose is to debunk the sales talk and report the physics of it all. lots of good diagrams too, makes it all quite understandable.
study
http://www.moore.org.au/pick001.htm

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by Westbone on Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:05 am

This is supposedly a genuine UBC pickup on a Pantera X300 Pro.
Measures 11.02. Split 5.4/5.6 , suppose you could call that unbalanced, not!



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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by Barry on Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:48 pm

Westbone wrote:...Measures 11.02. Split 5.4/5.6 , suppose you could call that unbalanced, not!...
Readings sound good. Strange it has a rail though. scratch

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by Iceman on Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:23 pm

Barry wrote:
Westbone wrote:...Measures 11.02. Split 5.4/5.6 , suppose you could call that unbalanced, not!...
Readings sound good. Strange it has a rail though. scratch

That combo rail was stock on x300's, in fact I've not seen a Pantera Pro yet that didn't have one. I have a spare MMK45 that is double railed that came off an APII Knight Warrior, and I believe they were found on other Mats guits as well.

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by Iceman on Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:33 pm

Mike,

Very good link. I love that sort of stuff.

I've not found any direct statement on the Genesis models that states conclusively UBC either, I am only going by what Tom himself posted in my thread.

I have a spare UBC as well that is marked with a Sharpie pen LD 101 rather than the LD 104 found on yours and the one of mine that Damian troubleshot and repaired. Tom has posted in the past that a variety (as many as 6??) of pups were used in the later models during the last days of Mats and after, it would be interesting to find out what those markings indicate.

I really want to find a Westone with pups marked FTB on them. That signifies a pickup that Tom built and wound personally. He has stated that some did make it into production models so hopefully someday...

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by Barry on Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:51 pm

Iceman wrote:......I have a spare MMK45 that is double railed that came off an APII Knight Warrior, and I believe they were found on other Mats guits as well.
I know that MMK45 rails exist, I've just not seen them in the context of a UBC.

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by Iceman on Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:19 am

Ah... I misunderstood your statement above. Thanks for following up and clarifying that Barry.

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by Barry on Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:41 am

Iceman wrote:...I really want to find a Westone with pups marked FTB on them. That signifies a pickup that Tom built and wound personally....
+1
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Last edited by Barry on Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:38 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by Iceman on Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:37 pm

[quote="Barry"]
Iceman wrote:...I really want to find a Westone with pups marked FTB on them. That signifies a pickup that Tom built and wound personally..../quote]
+1
"From Tom's Basement" Razz

Somebody give that man a cheroot! Can't get much past you.

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by The Chad on Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:11 pm

Aren't the "rails" just covers? So they could've covered any pup, UBC or not.

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by Barry on Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:46 pm

The Chad wrote:Aren't the "rails" just covers? So they could've covered any pup, UBC or not.
Nope, not really. A real rail is wound over two pole pieces lengthwise, which forms the "rail". That "cover" is actually part of the structure, sort of like the "I" cross-section of a piece of steel I-beam if you like.

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by beavis on Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:07 am

Barry wrote:
The Chad wrote:Aren't the "rails" just covers? So they could've covered any pup, UBC or not.
Nope, not really. A real rail is wound over two pole pieces lengthwise, which forms the "rail". That "cover" is actually part of the structure, sort of like the "I" cross-section of a piece of steel I-beam if you like.

But isn't this rail business just aesthetic? I mean the rail replaces the pole pieces and fills the same function no? I always thought that rails were simply better in covering the magnetic field or something, meaning that there is no loss during bends and stuff, hence that rail pickups generally come only in one size, none of the F-spaced non-f-spaced to deal with.

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by The Chad on Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:22 am

I know what a true rail pickup is, but what I meant was aren't the Westone (Matt) rails just an aesthetic cover which covers the pole pieces underneath? Somebody said that once I think... I never dismantled one so I don't know.

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by gittarasaurus on Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:15 pm

The Chad wrote:I know what a true rail pickup is, but what I meant was aren't the Westone (Matt) rails just an aesthetic cover which covers the pole pieces underneath? Somebody said that once I think... I never dismantled one so I don't know.

and the answer is...(well, some of it)...




the first two pics are from a Spectrum FX. the third pic is from a pantera x300 pickup that i got from ebay. i pulled up the shielding tape to see what is under and it looks like the single coil rail, with large screws passing thru the wire coils up to a "rail" on top. i have not disassembled one to find out how the rail and the screws are connected.

another detail that can be seen in the 3rd pic, is the use of 3 magnets below the coils, unlike most humbuckers which use only one. i do not know the orientation of the magnets.
i also notice that the screws are much longer below the coils and have much more contact with the magnets as compared to the more typical looking slugs on the other coil. it seems that the different materials and construction of each coil creates different sensitivity and different output from each coil.

maybe the engineering is the key to a UBC, that different structure of the two coils, rather than only just a different amount of winding resistance in each coil is how it works.

two different sources say that the difference is the 'voltage output' of each coil. (TP's discussion with Iceman, and the recent CD Iceman picked up too)

in the link about pickup theory, the guy calls a guitar pickup "a multi-frequency voltage generator"

and then there is this bit from the electra site, describing UBC pups....
"The new MMK45 pickups that were included in all the Electra Phoenix had a pair of coils with different cores, magnets, and windings. One coil was wound for rich high frequencies, the other for lower response. The effect was akin to upgrading from a single stereo speaker to a woofer and tweeter- both ends were better represented. When coil tapped, MMK45ís drop the bass coil, and the remaining treble coil is more like a tele neck pickup- strong and sweet. "

http://www.rivercityamps.com/electrapage/comments.php?y=08&m=01&entry=entry080123-091934



these are links to a site by Bill Lawrence, the guy who holds the patent for the first rail pickup.
http://billlawrence.com/Pages/All_About_Tone.htm/Patent1.htm
http://billlawrence.com/Pages/All_About_Tone.htm/Pickupology.htm

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by Barry on Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:46 pm

I'm not seeing anything akin to a cover, aesthetic or otherwise, in those pix. (thanks by the way Mike).
This is an integrated design.

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by The Chad on Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:17 pm

Good to know! Where did I read that it was a cover?! I really thought it was someone on here, but don't remember. Good to have some evidence anyway, thanks for the work! So it actually is a rail of some sort, cool.

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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

Post by Westbone on Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:25 pm

I thought there were 3 magnets as well, same colour from the end veiw.

On this MMK 53 you can clearly see the difference between the magnet and hard plastic. There again it is a MMK 53.


This one was open due to the solder joints rotting away and had to be resoldered.
You can just make out the ultra fine wire of the windings.

Same problem as you started the thread with gittarasourus.
Seems a common problem on quite a few Westone pickups.



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Re: Genesis I and foil shielded pickups

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