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Frankenstrat Just Beat It

Such a great collaboration history made when the king of pop Michael Jackson meet Eddie van Halen in one stage and performed "Beat It". Yes, that song is legendary and Eddie van Halen was the guitarist who fill the guitar solo track for that song.and you know what? EVH and the frankenstrat guitar appeared on MJ concert. The frankenstrat has magic spells which brought guitar into new steps and inventions.

eddie van halen and michael jackson
Eddie Van Halen and Michael Jackson perform "Beat It"
well, surely it brings back some memories. i just wanna say:

Happy birthday Michael Joseph Jackson 
(August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

and i destroyed my guitar pickups! - fail guitar pickups wax potting

well, this is embarrassing. i read some pickups modification and had decided to do pickups wax potting. actually it was my fault. i just didn't get the thermometer and my wax was overheat. here i share you the pics:


they are destroyed Fernandes pickups. the plastic shrunk and i totally fucked up this time. they are not in reversible shapes. but one thing that interested me.
Fernandes pickups destroyed after wax-potting, only G&L pickup were survived

from all those destroyed pickups, there is one survivor. i have a G&L pickup which is not affected by the heat.. it is in great shape and ready. it was the same process since I've put them together in the same time and duration.

from this DIY guitar stuff this is my worst ever. actually i kept the wax in moderate heat.. but the pickups plastic material just couldn't stand up against the heat. well, thanks to G&L pickup which stand by my side. it is tough enough to defend me against the shrunk pickups case.


it's a hard lesson for me. and all i can conclude are:
- depends on what kind of pickup plastic materials, wax potting could be freakin dangerous to your pickups.
- MAKE SURE THE HEAT IS APPROPRIATE. it's 65 degree Celsius or better below.  don't worry about pickup magnetism against the heat. i did this and check the magnet were totally fine. you need to pay attention more to pickups plastic material.
- be ready to buy new guitar pickups. if you're in low budget, postpone the wax potting until you get enough money to cover your loss.
- if you consider your pickups are antique, just let them be. or you can take the chance to be like me, who curious about any guitar stuff.

well, since I'm a curious guy, I'm gonna put those destroyed pickups into my guitar (my first guitar, which become my lovable experiment objects.

shoot, it was a big failure but i feel so HAPPY ... this is what I'm talking about in guitar learning process.


Problem solution possibilites for humming Pickups

what makes me wonder is, how all virtuosos can be hum-free? i have an old 90's Fernandes guitar which has noise-pickups. it is HSS and still i couldn't find solution possibilities for this until couple hours ago. this is what i got so far in searching the hum problem for my guitar Fernandes FR-55. it's been over a year ago and finally i got the closest possible solution on this.

at very first i thought it was the circuitry. so i learn about soldering the components and find out what caused the hum. as far as i could get before the next one is 60Hz cycle hum. It's called "60 Hz cycle hum" because it's a signal that oscillates at 60 Hertz - sixty cycles a second. too complicated, why is it audible, since 60 Hz is so low in frequency range? here's why. we can hear it because it cycles, its harmonic notes is what we heard. 60, 120, 240, 480, 960, 1920, 3840, 7680, 15360, 30720,.. there we can hear them all ringing loudly. creating ground loop is the very first idea in my mind for my guitar, and hum cancelling with humbucker pickups came to next.
but, it against the fact that my guitar is HSS which means i got humbucker, why is it still humming?

so i went deeper search about it and still, i couldn't find the solution. I've double-checked the soldering part and grounding, and my fernandes was very neat and i couldn't take soldering/grounding as the main problem. (it's japan-made and its circuitry is one of the most neat working i've ever seen). even i considered to change the pickups, while i know my fernandes pickups sounds good actually , no need to replace the pickups with the expensive one (Seymour Duncan® works best on my spalted maple tele, but...it means more $$$!!!! ) ...

    the best thing i got so far from learning soldering and grounding is how to keep bright tone when guitar volume knob is being lowered.
if i just could remove the hum...


then, out of nowhere (actually like something already deep inside was screaming).. i had a thought to do modification on pickups and DIY pickups making, and i began to analyze what exactly was wrong with my Fernandes. I've written it on paper somewhere which i lost it now, but here they are:

- my pickups can't stand the high gain
- it has very low noise in clean tones, but it gets humming when i raised the amp volume
- when i had fun with the whammy bar, the guitar springs sound creaking into pickups
- when i knocked the body, the pickups deliver the knocking sound, louder than my other guitars

it's like my pickups act like a microphone. so i whine to Google , just write these words "guitar pickups act like microphone!"


and the miracle came.. this guitar-pickup-act-like-microphone problem is called microphonic feedback, which is unacceptable for pickups. a normal pickups will deliver the strings vibration only, and that is what should happen, it is just the very basic idea for guitar pickups.

back to my pickups problem which has the very similar symptoms, the best solution for my fernandes problem is pickups potting. the idea is to wrap the pickups with wax in order to make them in fixed position, so they can't vibrate and deliver sound other than guitar strings vibration.

now i know exactly what I'm gonna do this time for my Fernandes FR-55. i'll get the "pickups potting process" into preparation right away. hopefully it works. wish me luck