Other Guitars

Kay/Silvertone Hot Rod (Kleenex Box pickup content)


Looks n sounds great. Is it gritty through the amp or pedal?

– eCastro

No pedal involved, clip is a Fender Reverb tank and a Headstrong tweed Bandmaster replica.


That guitar sounds incredible Walter. Very cool mod I think.


I think CN was just restoring a kleenex box. I don't see them listed.


the pickup itself would not be the problem to reproduce..the intricate cover would!! at least on a small scale level

epiphone std import casino pickups have p90's wound with thinner #43 wire for resistances in the 11-12 k area..same principle



That guitar sounds incredible Walter. Very cool mod I think.

– Shuggie

Thanks Shuggie, I'm really happy with it too.

I'm going to have to get the whole mess out of it again one of these days to wax pot at the very least the loose mechanical bits of the pickup (the coils are actually very neat and tidy), because I'm finding out they're a little too microphonic. once it gets a little loud the whole guitar body is like an amplified drum, and the selector switch goes "KLUNK!!" when you switch pickups.

I'll probably lower the pickups a hair too - it's almost hard not to overdrive an amp now, haha. So it'll take a little tinkering still, but overall I'm super-happy I went ahead with it - it plays great, has bags of character, sounds different than anything else I have, and I can't think of anything I'd rather have for the money I have in it.


Think twice before potting those lovely, touch-sensitive microphonic pickups! One of the first thing I do with a guitar is to tap the body with a pick and listen hopefully for the sound to come out the amp.


Uh oh, here comes the anti-potting coalition.

You can always remove it with a hairdryer, right WB?


Just sayin.... And...no...you can never completely remove the wax with a hairdryer. When you do, you may have what's referred to a "light potting." I think it's definite that unpotted pickups are more alive than potted ones. The jury is out on lightly potted. I have, though, melted wax out with a hairdryer and I think the pickups woke up a little.


I know what I'm doing Charlie, no worries. You'd have to drown these things in epoxy and wrap them in wet clay to get the life out them. I don't mind a pickup that's a little lively, but I like to be able to use my guitars on stage, and this one might not make the cut if I don't do at least a little bit of something.

I've potted the pickups in my Franz equipped Guilds and they're still plenty microphonic, but at least I can use them. If I can't play a guitar through something like a Bassman or a Super Reverb on six without squeal, it's of no use to me - and I haven't had anyone tell me yet I sound bad.


And done! Took it all apart, dunked the pickups in hot wax, made them reverse wound/reverse polarity while I was in there, and I'm happy!

The pickups are still microphonic, tapping on the guitar is still very audible through the amp, but now they only squeal when I lean into the amp. I didn't leave them in the wax for too long, but now the polepieces and magnet assembly/baseplate are nice and tight. Worked like a charm, guitar is still very lively, but not impractical any more. And the no-hum middle pickup position is nice to have too.


Glad it worked Walter and I never doubted you for a second

Microphonic/non-microphonic isn't a binary thing IMHO. The degree of microphony can be determined by controlling the depth of wax penetration and the tightness of the coil itself. Things seem a tad more complicated with DeArmonds though...

If a pickup squeals at the volumes you like/need to play at, it's too microphonic for you. If it doesn't squeal but sounds bland and lacking in upper harmonic sheen and complexity, then it's probably not microphonic enough.

Just an observation but every big brand pickup from the early 50s up to the early 60s that I have tried, has been microphonic to a greater or lesser extent. It matters.

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