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Wildwood Spec Custombucker Specs? Looking for clarity and chime

Bulwark

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Jun 22, 2019
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48
Hmm? I have a bog standard 2019 60th Anni R9. The only difference to those are mine aren't potted - 7.98k bridge, 8.02k neck.

Figured that’d be the only thing they’d change. Damn, wish mine weren’t potted, if it weren’t for that difference mine would be perfect. They have that... closed and shut lid, or mask over a face, opposite of “openness” that results from potting, but otherwise their character, dynamics, etc. are all otherwise marvelous.
 

goldtop0

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Aug 19, 2003
Messages
8,437
Figured that’d be the only thing they’d change. Damn, wish mine weren’t potted, if it weren’t for that difference mine would be perfect. They have that... closed and shut lid, or mask over a face, opposite of “openness” that results from potting, but otherwise their character, dynamics, etc. are all otherwise marvelous.


I've 'unpotted' mine over the years with the three '13 and '14 CB loaded guitars I have.............take the covers off and un-wax them carefully......in doing this I've found that most of the wax is on the inside of the nickel covers and easily removed.
 

El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
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5,186
I’ve got a pair of Wildwood spec custombuckers that I pulled out of my 2018 Tom Murphy’d ‘59. When I spoke w/ the salesperson leading up to the purchase, he said they were better front-to-back matched on output and a pinch underwound for more “harmonic life” I think he said.

Due to their year, they’re definitely wax potted, though newer ones may not be. I’ve read them both on my multimeter, and they come in at an extraordinarily precise 8.00k, neck and bridge both. In all likelihood, the magnets are A3, though I’ve no idea how to measure that for myself.

I’ve now had those, PG-102 (w/o the magnet flip) ThroBaks, and Doyle Coils through that instrument.

Doyle Coils are without a doubt the clearest, though perhaps to an extent that is almost sterile. The neck pickup far outshines the bridge pickup as well, so given what you’ve said about where you spend your 3-way switch time, these definitely aren’t for you.

The wildwood spec ones were great, they just had that, “I have a wool blanket over me b/c I’m wax potted” thing. If it weren’t for that, I probably would’ve left them in.

The PG-102 had the most impressive character, I just think maybe they were a pinch too much output for me personally (8.2k in the neck, like 8.6k or so in the bridge?) with A5 magnets. If they were an actor and I was a director, I’d say, “That’s the flavor I wanted exactly, just give me... less.”

Hope that helps you on your journey. I think ThroBak has the lightning-in-a-bottle right now, it’s just a matter of choosing the right flavor for you.

I just have to say that with a 8.00k ohm reading that to me is not an underwound Wildwood CustomBucker , as I believe that is pretty normal output for a CustomBucker Pickup . Wildwood aficionado's feel free to correct me if I misspoke please ? Everyone in these parts knows my fondness for everything Throbak . I do have to say that last year when I was in the Windy City and visited Chicago Music Exchange ( what a fine shop who let me hangout and play as many guitars as I wanted without hassling me one bit ( after I got back home I did buy a Vintage Dan Armstrong Plexiglass guitar from them that I spied on ) I played one of there CME Gibson Custom R9's that came with S Custombucker pickups which I was told were underwound and I played thru a boutique high gain amp that was similar to my Marshall's 2555X's and the pickups worked for me and I don't know why as they sounded good to my ears thru the high gain amp that I played thru . Personally myself I like a hotter wind pickup with A5 magnets and ThroBak MXV-SLE-101 Plus really work well for me . As tone is subjective it is a personal choice best left to the individual and there needs and ears , as what sounds good to me might sound different to the next person .
 

Bulwark

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Jun 22, 2019
Messages
48
...Personally myself I like a hotter wind pickup with A5 magnets and ThroBak MXV-SLE-101 Plus really work well for me . As tone is subjective it is a personal choice best left to the individual and there needs and ears , as what sounds good to me might sound different to the next person .

I’m so glad you brought those up specifically! I’m considering picking up a pair of those or the reg SLE-101 pair, and trying to avoid just buying both and selling the ones I don’t keep. You mentioned the A5 mags, you’re using the ones that came in your set?

1. How do you like the middle position tone of your set, and for that matter, do you use it much / is it important to you in the first place?
2. Assuming you dial each in to their individual “sweet spots,” how do you find the bridge and neck volume difference?
 

El Gringo

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5,186
I’m so glad you brought those up specifically! I’m considering picking up a pair of those or the reg SLE-101 pair, and trying to avoid just buying both and selling the ones I don’t keep. You mentioned the A5 mags, you’re using the ones that came in your set?

1. How do you like the middle position tone of your set, and for that matter, do you use it much / is it important to you in the first place?
2. Assuming you dial each in to their individual “sweet spots,” how do you find the bridge and neck volume difference?

Greetings, Some very good questions I must say ! The middle position on the 101 Plus is nice and has that nice balance between the 2 pickups . I do use the middle , but not as much as the bridge and neck . To answer your second question I would say that the neck pickup has more bottom to it without being overpowering as some neck pickups can be . It is a clean sound as where other pickups can be really muddy in the neck , it is very articulate . The bridge pickup is the best where it really screams with tone and sustains very easily and is a great sound . I like that this set comes with the A5 Magnets ( you can request a different magnet if you choose ) which enhance the middle to lower register versus some that are more treble oriented . This set works well for me thru my Marshall 2555X's and Celestion Vintage 30 speakers . The pickups are wax potted (which they come unwaxd but you can request them to be wax potted ) as the amps are high gain amps and this works very well for me and because of the volume levels on both heads this compensates for any loss on the upper end of the tonal spectrum . For me this works very well . The regular ThroBak MXV-SLE-101 pickups come with A2 Magnets which compliment more of the upper end of the tonal spectrum versus the A5 magnets which give more to the lower to mid range end of the tonal spectrum . If I were to make a suggestion on which pair to get I think I would want to know if you are playing thru a 5E3 type tweed amp circuit ( regular 101 ) or a high gain amp ( 101 plus ) that would be one of the merits I would go by . I know both sets would work well thru the 5E3 tweed circuit . It's just a question of your preference . I hope I have been helpful ? One thing to mention is that Jon Gundry @ ThroBak is the best and can even better advise you on what will work best for you and I would not hesitate to reach out and contact him and you can even mention me that I suggested his most wonderful pickups also ! I would love to know what you choose ultimately ? Best wishes on this most happy adventure .
 

Bulwark

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Joined
Jun 22, 2019
Messages
48
If I were to make a suggestion on which pair to get I think I would want to know if you are playing thru a 5E3 type tweed amp circuit ( regular 101 ) or a high gain amp ( 101 plus ) that would be one of the merits I would go by . I know both sets would work well thru the 5E3 tweed circuit . It's just a question of your preference . I hope I have been helpful ? One thing to mention is that Jon Gundry @ ThroBak is the best and can even better advise you on what will work best for you and I would not hesitate to reach out and contact him and you can even mention me that I suggested his most wonderful pickups also ! I would love to know what you choose ultimately ? Best wishes on this most happy adventure .

Playing through a pair of 100-watt Jubilees sounds badass, good sir! I don’t have a need for that much torque, or the space to let a beast like that off the leash. I’m curious, with not one, but two such monsters, do you just run in stereo for thickness or do you use some kind of airy/watery stereo chorus wash with them?

My amps of choice are the Fender ‘64 Custom Deluxe Reverb (bone stock and loving it, see no need to fool with it) and the Marshall Studio Vintage (planning to experiment with tube choice and what not later) w/ the matching 1x12” cab (stock speaker, though that definitely deserves exploration). It’s a very prototypical clean/dirty A/B rig. Classic fuzzes and a TS-808, and others. So I’m not exactly using a 5E3 type circuit, but I’m also not going as deep into high-gain as you are either. I spend most of my playing time between not-quite-clean and “Zeppelin tones” (even though, yes yes, Page used Hiwatts and etc...), with the occasional foray into GnR, AC/DC, The Darkness, etc. territories.

I find myself in a 3-way tie between the DT-102 set, the SLE-101 set, and the SLE-101 plus set. The SLE sets (both) have the mismatched coil thing (separate winding machines and all) and all the associated harmonic complexity going for them, while the DT-102 has the closer bridge-to-neck DC resistance (and therefore output? Would there be an output difference due to the magnet difference?).
 

El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
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5,186
Playing through a pair of 100-watt Jubilees sounds badass, good sir! I don’t have a need for that much torque, or the space to let a beast like that off the leash. I’m curious, with not one, but two such monsters, do you just run in stereo for thickness or do you use some kind of airy/watery stereo chorus wash with them?

My amps of choice are the Fender ‘64 Custom Deluxe Reverb (bone stock and loving it, see no need to fool with it) and the Marshall Studio Vintage (planning to experiment with tube choice and what not later) w/ the matching 1x12” cab (stock speaker, though that definitely deserves exploration). It’s a very prototypical clean/dirty A/B rig. Classic fuzzes and a TS-808, and others. So I’m not exactly using a 5E3 type circuit, but I’m also not going as deep into high-gain as you are either. I spend most of my playing time between not-quite-clean and “Zeppelin tones” (even though, yes yes, Page used Hiwatts and etc...), with the occasional foray into GnR, AC/DC, The Darkness, etc. territories.

I find myself in a 3-way tie between the DT-102 set, the SLE-101 set, and the SLE-101 plus set. The SLE sets (both) have the mismatched coil thing (separate winding machines and all) and all the associated harmonic complexity going for them, while the DT-102 has the closer bridge-to-neck DC resistance (and therefore output? Would there be an output difference due to the magnet difference?).

Greetings , as far as the magnet goes the way I would explain it would be and correct me if a am wrong , that the A5 Magnet favors more of a lower to mid range tone , where the A2 Magnet I believe compliments more of the upper range of the tonal spectrum . So for me along with the Marshall 2555X's I believe the A5 Magnets along with the increased output of the SLE-101 Plus compliments the lower to midrange spectrum that I favor , not to least forget the Celestion Vintage 30's speakers that also compliment this equation . Now to answer your first question about how I run both half stacks together I use the Radial Big Shot ABY True Bypass Switcher Pedal https://www.americanmusical.com/radial-big-shot-aby-true-bypass-switcher-pedal/p/RAD-BSABY-LIST which allows me to run them together and to be in phase with each other . That is the selling feature of this ABY Pedal , to be able to run them together and to be in phase . I do not run them in Stereo , I have had the thought from time to time to experiment , but it works well this way and the tone is thick and luscious which I do love . This was all born out of trying to figure out how to run the 2 half stacks together and someone suggested this ABY Pedal and it just works so well and easy . I forgot to add that I do footswitch between the 2 channels to go from clean to lead on the Marshall 2555X's . That works very well . I hope I have been helpful .
 

RocknRollShakeUp

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Jul 7, 2006
Messages
701
Holy Slow Smolder thread Bat Man!

Interesting conversation, thanks everyone.

I still haven't been able to measure the DC resistance on my Wildwood AIII under-wound Custombuckers...because I still need to get a meter!

Once I do, how do you all measure the DC resistance?

Also, I've generally liked light wax potting because I used to play loud with high gain, and lots of fuzz at certain points, on small stages, and needed the extra help to control squealing. But..alas, now I play clean to edge of break-up, and mainly for home recording, so I am interested in trying no wax potting for extra clarity, although I know that this is a controversial subject.

How would I safely remove some wax from my Wildwood Custombuckers? Some use a blow drier to melt it out...is this safe? I may want to do this in the meantime, before I try another set of up-potted pickups.
 

Bulwark

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Jun 22, 2019
Messages
48
...Once I do, how do you all measure the DC resistance?

Set the probe to DC resistance in the 1-10kOhm range and place one probe on the hot lead (center, wrapped in black cloth), one probe on ground (braided metal exterior) when they’re not soldered to anything. When they are, probes on the points where the aforementioned are soldered in (so braid against the back of a pot, hot on one of the pot terminals)... as for whether or not the knob settings could impact, someone else will need to chime in here.

Also, they’re EXTRAORDINARILY temperature sensitive, so the temp in the room when you do the measurement matters.

Fun experiment, put the probes in place, then press your palm against as much of the pickup as you can and watch your meter’s measurement climb.
 

somebodyelseuk

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Jun 10, 2020
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RocknRollShakeUp;2868296 How would I safely remove some wax from my Wildwood Custombuckers? Some use a blow drier to melt it out...is this safe? I may want to do this in the meantime said:
Hard truth is, you can't.
A pickup is either potted or it isn't.
Once it's potted, thanks to surface tension and capillary action, it's not possible to remove it from the coils without unwinding them.
The only chemical method would also remove the coating from the wire.
Many will say they've done it. They haven't.
 

El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
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Hard truth is, you can't.
A pickup is either potted or it isn't.
Once it's potted, thanks to surface tension and capillary action, it's not possible to remove it from the coils without unwinding them.
The only chemical method would also remove the coating from the wire.
Many will say they've done it. They haven't.

I think you are correct .
 

RocknRollShakeUp

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Jul 7, 2006
Messages
701
Set the probe to DC resistance in the 1-10kOhm range and place one probe on the hot lead (center, wrapped in black cloth), one probe on ground (braided metal exterior) when they’re not soldered to anything. When they are, probes on the points where the aforementioned are soldered in (so braid against the back of a pot, hot on one of the pot terminals)... as for whether or not the knob settings could impact, someone else will need to chime in here.

Also, they’re EXTRAORDINARILY temperature sensitive, so the temp in the room when you do the measurement matters.

Fun experiment, put the probes in place, then press your palm against as much of the pickup as you can and watch your meter’s measurement climb.

thank you !
 

Bulwark

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Jun 22, 2019
Messages
48
thank you !
You are quite welcome! I’m quite eager to hear what your readings are, do share when you can. And when you’re taking said measurements, do take note of the temperature in the room. And while you’re at it, if you can secure the probes in such a fashion that they don’t need your hands, try wrapping up the measured pickup in your hands and watching the measurement change. I did that once and was fascinated.

Edit: oh whoops, the monitoring of reading during temp. change I’d already written. Sorry. Been a while, forgot. Hope all is well! Hard not to harbor some degree of concern for another after such a long delay, especially with the world still mostly aflame.
 

RocknRollShakeUp

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Messages
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You are quite welcome! I’m quite eager to hear what your readings are, do share when you can. And when you’re taking said measurements, do take note of the temperature in the room. And while you’re at it, if you can secure the probes in such a fashion that they don’t need your hands, try wrapping up the measured pickup in your hands and watching the measurement change. I did that once and was fascinated.

Edit: oh whoops, the monitoring of reading during temp. change I’d already written. Sorry. Been a while, forgot. Hope all is well! Hard not to harbor some degree of concern for another after such a long delay, especially with the world still mostly aflame.
Thank you for your concern friend! Yeah I totally lost track of the thread. Before the new forum software I found it very difficult to keep track of threads and responses. Also life can be such a crazy distraction! Especially nowadays.

I ended up not ordering a meter but my pops is an electrical engineer that moved near by recently so I get to borrow his as soon as he finds it! 😅

But I still want to check.

In the meantime I’ve seen a few of these pickups on Reverb and the reported resistance varies quite a bit... I had no idea how much temperatures and touching the probes could matter ! Which is probably why I’m seeing such variable readings from people! I’d think Gibson can wind a consistent pickup!
 

goldtop0

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Aug 19, 2003
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Okay so I'm mistaken in thinking that the small amount of wax on the inside of the pup covers is a 'wax potted' pup. :oops:
Well you learn something new every day........thanks for the explanation somebodyelseuk.
Given that my CB gibbys are a '13 and '14 they're potted and sound just great............I'll be getting a '21 335 soon hopefully and that will have unpotted CBs so will find out if there's a difference in the sound and tone at all.
 
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EXPLRGAB

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Jul 4, 2020
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There is just something about the Un-potted Custom Buckers...that draws me to play and just listen to the sound of them and the excellence of the guitar... sometimes.......just to linger in the tone of them whether it be a clean chord, clean or driven note....or following the sound of a bent note, especially a bent note....the sound, bite and tone are more than pleasing to the ear, I can be playing a passage and all of a sudden just stop on a note and listen to it bloom and just feel it......IT's just that damned good......there is a certain..Je ne c'est quoi ....going on.....i have heard various descriptions of ..open..... airiness ...etc....There is definitely along side of those qualities a clear/clean focus and tone of the note and a hollow quack...the bridge is absolutely tele on steroids.
I feel fortunate to own such a guitar. Also, It does not hurt to have a couple of excellent amps. A lot has been reasonably said about various boutique pickup brands....and there must be something to it. I have investigated various earnest reviews and a plethora of comparative sound bites simply out of curiosity. So far, none would impress on me the need to change.
 

goldtop0

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Aug 19, 2003
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There is just something about the Un-potted Custom Buckers...that draws me to play and just listen to the sound of them and the excellence of the guitar... sometimes.......just to linger in the tone of them whether it be a clean chord, clean or driven note....or following the sound of a bent note, especially a bent note....the sound, bite and tone are more than pleasing to the ear, I can be playing a passage and all of a sudden just stop on a note and listen to it bloom and just feel it......IT's just that damned good......there is a certain..Je ne c'est quoi ....going on.....i have heard various descriptions of ..open..... airiness ...etc....There is definitely along side of those qualities a clear/clean focus and tone of the note and a hollow quack...the bridge is absolutely tele on steroids.
I feel fortunate to own such a guitar. Also, It does not hurt to have a couple of excellent amps. A lot has been reasonably said about various boutique pickup brands....and there must be something to it. I have investigated various earnest reviews and a plethora of comparative sound bites simply out of curiosity. So far, none would impress on me the need to change.
Yes they're a step well ahead of the Burstbuckers..........I get a very nice nasal quack from these CBs as you also experience (y)
 
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