Depotting Step 1


after all my wankage on this subject...

I unscrewed my HS Filtertron and decided - what the heck , and applied the blow dryer treatment to the bridge pup

BIG difference

Before when you tapped it, it gave a muffled thump

To quote Insp. Clouseau : 'not anymore'

the sound is clearer and twangier

I always prefer the bridge in combo with the neck pup and the combo sounds better too

The one drawback?

I do not have flatwounds on this guitar and the sound on my fingers sliding on the strings , especially in punk stuff, is noticeably louder

I'd say - it's a consideration

So now, I will do a controlled experiment with the rhythm pup

I kept all variables the same - pickup height, I kept the same strings on, etc

The differences so extremely obvious when you 'thump' il

'Better' is subjective

But the pickup has a loud 'snap' now when you thump it with your finger vs the muffled 'whump' I got before ... And still get with the rhythm

It wasn't a hy000ge amount of wax that came out

I will be using either Reaper or a tape 4 track and will set this experiment up - I swear

No... More... Lagging!!!


I'm glad your experimenting!


How long and how hot? I love the added top end of a non potted pup


I didn't time it

I just kept it hot until I noticed the wax stopped drooping out

I did apply heat, then backed off, then more heat

Wax melts at relatively low temperatures and there is no benefit and some risk in cooking a pickup, so I erred on the side of caution

If liquid wax is dripping out the pickup - it is hot enough!

Between my new amp and my depotted pup, my tone has improved substantially

Btw, one of the reasons I was inspired was I pulled out my 1980 AS200 which is the warmest and sweetest guitar I have ever played - bar none

I wanted to sweeten up my Annie


I'm a firm believer that the reason there's such a huge market for vintage pickups is because of their lack of wax potting.


change in tone can just as well be that you have degussed the magnets by applying heat to them…

magnets are extremely sensitive to excessive heat



Interesting point neatone. Do you have any idea what temperature needs to be reached to begin the degaussing process?

I'm not sure how Filtertrons are constructed, but perhaps the way to do this with an uncovered PAF (Gibson) style humbucker would be to remove the magnet prior to heating then reinstall it afterwards.

However the tone change Whittle is describing seems to suggest increased sensitivity, clarity and brightness. If the magnet had been weakened by the heat, I would expect the sound of the pickup to have moved in the opposite direction.


I doubt that depotting the pups would reach the curie temperature of the magnet materials My trusty old weller magnastat soldering iron makes use of that phenomena and that about 350 celcius for melting solder

I guess melting the plastic bobbins is a greater risk.

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