What to do with old UBC's?

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What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Barry on Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:57 pm

I've lost count for the moment, but I have something like 7 or 8 UBC pickups which I've removed from Westies over the past few years. I'm too cheap to toss 'em so they sit in boxes on the shelf waiting for...?

I suppose they have scrap value, but when all's said and done they're still pickups and must be useful for something. The only thing I can think of using them for is in cigar box guitars or something similar.

Short of changing magnets or rewinding, has anyone found a useful application for these things? Don\'t Know

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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Meadows on Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:58 pm

Never heard them first hand Barry but are they really so bad??

Have we just been spoilt by the 45's etc
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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Barry on Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:22 pm

Meadows wrote:...Have we just been spoilt by the 45's etc
Yup.  Twisted Evil

Put it this way.
The UBC is like a little anorexic girl trying to climb the stairs. You want to force feed her a cinnamon bun for energy!

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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Meadows on Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:07 am

Barry wrote:
Put it this way.
The UBC is like a little anorexic girl trying to climb the stairs. You want to force feed her a cinnamon bun for energy!

That analogy works for me Shocked , shame really given I presume, the build quality of the rest of the guitar. Maybe  flipping a preamp into the circuit might provide the required extra calories? or would that still be like Head Bang

Maybe you could send them over to a luthier school where students can practice their skills at rewinding etc
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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Meadows on Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:13 am

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/aa/dc/97/aadc9702516141160d90317efebd0bd0.jpg

or even

http://teslapickups.ru/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/DSCN6996.jpg
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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Barry on Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:03 am

Roll on Floor Laff

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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Barry on Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:27 am

Meadows wrote:...shame really given I presume, the build quality of the rest of the guitar. Maybe  flipping a preamp into the circuit might provide the required extra calories?...
That's pretty much what you need to do. The tone of these things isn't all that bad, if you boost 'em enough.
It's just there's not a lot of range, and not enough "umph" for anything demanding.

I've mentioned elsewhere that when I was actively playing I had replaced the bridge UBC in my ST with a Schaller "Hot Stuff". That pickup smacked my two Strat playing buddies up-side the head and allowed my Westie to cut through.

The problem for me was to keep things balanced. With the remaining neck UBC putting out a max of only 6 KΩ and the Schaller about 14.2 KΩ you can appreciate what happened when I hit the toggle switch! Not often did I use both pups in the same song. tongue


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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Meadows on Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:13 am

Barry wrote:


The problem for me was to keep things balanced. With the remaining neck UBC putting out a max of only 6 KΩ and the Schaller about 14.2 KΩ you can appreciate what happened when I hit the toggle switch! Not often did I use both pups in the same song.  tongue

I know what you mean, you can't really gig guitars like that, ok for some studio work/over dubs but not for the road Mad 

Other than your initial thought of cigar box pickups, what about a funky fridge magnet design, or pop one on your desk to keep your paper clips safe or a key fob?.... Don't think you have enough to build one of these yet  Rolling Eyes

http://www.howmagnetswork.com/images/categories/crane630.png
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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Westbone on Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:56 pm

There was a UBC that was rewound a little hotter.
Barry owns it... Wink Would go well with a 'Hotter than Hell' Schaller.... Wink.... the split gives you the hot coil 

Wish I would've kept it, he don't use it... sounds ok!

With a split Schaller,,,,,,,,,worth a go! BIG sound.
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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Barry on Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:44 pm

Westbone wrote:There was a UBC that was rewound a little hotter.
Barry owns it... Wink Would go well with a 'Hotter than Hell' Schaller.... Wink.... the split gives you the hot coil 

Wish I would've kept it, he don't use it... sounds ok!

With a split Schaller,,,,,,,,,worth a go! BIG sound.
Damian, I was talking about a condition which no longer applies, my old ST gigging setup. It now sports 2 MMK45's.

Here's the back story on Damian's "true UBC": LINK
I measured it as 8.6 KΩ /5.24 KΩ
note: I see that Photobucket has removed his image links, I guess mine will soon follow. Crying or Very sad

Mate, you sent the UBC as a gift and said you could always make more. Just because I don't have anything to pop it into right now doesn't mean I don't appreciate it. But if you want it back, let me know.

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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Westbone on Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:17 pm

No, it's yours! was just joking.... Laughing...It's a neck pup and is a lot more defined than a MMK 45 and at the neck it does sound fine...I've tried it....but to be honest, anything sounds better than those plastic UBC's... Cool
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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Barry on Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:32 pm

Glad to hear it. Coffee Drinker

So, do you have any ideas for the orphan UBC's? Besides catapulting them into the English Channel let's say?

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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Westbone on Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:54 pm

Nope! besides over winding the tapped coil... Wink
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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by DimensionIV-addict on Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:26 am

Hey Barry, you can always make a buck and send them to the makers of Fendars and Givsons... Laughing
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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Rob78 on Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:59 pm

One question. .. are all ubc picups crap?  Any difference in crapiness between ubc / ubc 2 and so on...? I ended up with dimebucker from seymour duncan in my spectrum dx.....but it was due to the fackt that i like them so much
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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Rob78 on Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:01 pm

....I think the original was ubc, right?
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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Barry on Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:40 pm

Rob78 wrote:....I think the original was ubc, right?
Can't tell for certain without looking at them.
The "crappy" UBC's normally have a plastic bottom and typically test out at around 6 KΩ. They seem to have proliferated from about late 1985.

Prior to that time the standard pup was the highly regarded MMK45 which have a metal bottom and are stamped as "MMK45". Sometimes the UBC referred to in the literature was an MMK45.

Do a search on our web site for more info on the UBC and Tom Presley's (very clever) idea which didn't seem to work out quite as planned. Neutral

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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by DimensionIV-addict on Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:57 pm

All kidding aside, the idea is sound but I haven't come across one yet.
Were they standard and as common as in the guitars' literature / advert's?
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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Barry on Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:14 pm

As far as I know, nobody has found one in the wild!

The only true UBC we have is the one that Damian wound, and it's quite a nice performer, so I don't understand what the hell happened at Matsumoku. They sure advertised it but seemingly did not produce it.

TP had a good idea there and it looks like Mats didn't follow through on it. Too labour intensive perhaps?

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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Rob78 on Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:41 am

This is the one I had in myspectrum  DX.  Magnaflux 1 UBC acc to the spec. No plastic and no stamp. Have not measured it. 
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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Rob78 on Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:43 am

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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by DimensionIV-addict on Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:09 am

You've pulled them out of Westies and they're UBC? So they are out there then.
What's their resistance, 6K and they are OE Mats?
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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Barry on Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:41 am

That does not appear to be OEM.
Too new looking, no markings, and no coil split wiring which the DX would have had.

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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Westbone on Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:44 am

Sorry Barry but those are originals on some of the later 85/86 models.

The white wire is full on and the red is coil tap(for what it's worth tapping for) 

They are CRAP pickups and appear on some Aria's also  like the Laser range.

Here's the so called UBC plastic pups.

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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Barry on Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:51 am

I stand corrected. So much went haywire for Mats about 1986.
It's still a messy pile 'o poo. Chores 3

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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Rob78 on Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:02 pm

I will measure them and letar you know. One more thing. ...I filen to mension that this is actually from a Concord Dx from 84 so it is a Spectrum labeled as a Concord.  Sorry if this add any confousion to this topic  Very Happy
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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Westbone on Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:34 pm

Sad days... affraid  '84.  Who knows? Still crap pups.Strange year indeedy!
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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Westbone on Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:38 pm

Rob78 wrote:I filen to mension that this is actually from a Concord Dx from 84 so it is a Spectrum labeled as a Concord.  Sorry if this add any confousion to this topic  Very Happy

Not at all, never seen a crappy pickup like that in a transitional model of that era.

Must have been changed out at some time. They used MMK45's at the time, when things were good!... Cool

Those pups only appeared much later on.
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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by corsair on Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:28 pm

Just thinking on about this, I know we eulogise the 45s - and they do deserve a little kudos, considering the era they were introduced - but, you know, I've got about 7 or 8 guitars out on a rotational basis trying to find "a sound" and without a certain amount of outboard EQ, the MMKs seem a little muddy at the bottom end?! Anyone else come across that? The top end just sparkles at any of the settings I've used and experimented with but the bottom end... not so much. The Tonerider in the Corsair Avenger, on the other hand, is as taut as can be and the APII LC440, which is not marked MMK, is also a really good performer without EQ'ing the daylights out of it. This is both through a tube amp miked up to the PA, and DI'ed into the board.

And for the record, I think the faux-UBC pickups are OK - not great, but OK... as long as you add outboard EQ and some boost, they're alright.

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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by DimensionIV-addict on Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:30 am

I could use one of these to magnetize my small electronic type screwdrivers...

It would look good beside my electric hammer....

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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Westbone on Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:29 am

DimensionIV-addict wrote:I could use one of these to magnetize my small electronic type screwdrivers...

It would look good beside my electric hammer....

You'd be lucky even the magnets are crap..

Do like the hammer, great,  lol!
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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Adey on Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:53 am

Regarding the hammer, that looks like a 110v version. Do they make 230v for UK, with a 3-pin plug?
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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Westbone on Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:17 am

corsair wrote:Just thinking on about this, I know we eulogise the 45s - and they do deserve a little kudos, considering the era they were introduced - but, you know, I've got about 7 or 8 guitars out on a rotational basis trying to find "a sound" and without a certain amount of outboard EQ, the MMKs seem a little muddy at the bottom end?! Anyone else come across that? The top end just sparkles at any of the settings I've used and experimented with but the bottom end... not so much. The Tonerider in the Corsair Avenger, on the other hand, is as taut as can be and the APII LC440, which is not marked MMK, is also a really good performer without EQ'ing the daylights out of it. This is both through a tube amp miked up to the PA, and DI'ed into the board.

And for the record, I think the faux-UBC pickups are OK - not great, but OK... as long as you add outboard EQ and some boost, they're alright.
http://www.westoneguitars.net/fixme/restorations-modifications/mmk45-modification-magnet-change/
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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by Barry on Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:59 am

Love the hammer!  Pirouette

(Looks like it's missing a ground lug though.)

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Re: What to do with old UBC's?

Post by DimensionIV-addict on Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:04 pm

Now I'm curious to try one!

Will trade for electric toothbrush... (not grounded)
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