I've written about the wonderful Guyatone LG-20 before and have owned a few of the over the years. There's lots of info on that blog I linked to so I won't bore you with all those details again. This blog is more about the pickup rewind I did on this one so strap yourselves in.
I've rewound plenty of pickups over the years and as I've said many times, I don't really want to be a pickup repairer or builder. I started more out of necessity as for some strange reason I decided I was going to get into guitars that DIDN'T use commonly available pickups that I could just order online and retrofit to guitars I was building or repairing.
When I wanted Mosrite pickups for my builds, I made Mosrite pickups and when I wanted something a little different for my other builds, I made them. Of course having all the equipment here to make pickups means you also have the equipment to repair pickups and since I had so many vintage Japanese guitars around that had unique and crazy pickups I figured I'd just rewind/repair them to keep these old things as original as possible.
The Guyatone LG-20 has, despite the initial look of them, quite unique pickups. At first glance they look pretty much like Fender Jaguar pickups, which of course they are definitely kinda based on but, they are actually completely different on the inside and are part of what gives this great hybrid Tele-Jaguar a big part of its sound.
While the Guyatone pickup obviously has slug magnets and the magnetic claw (which I'm a BIG fan of) that's about where the similarity stops.
The coil on the Guyatone is a more complex multi piece plastic assembly and is taller and thinner than the Fender unit. This of course focuses the magnetic flux in a tighter field than the Fender unit. Add to that the claw and you have a unique unit quite different from the original Fender Jaguar unit.
All the ones I've owned have been very nice to play and sound amazing but this one has been sitting waiting for me to fix the neck pickup for some time. The guitar itself is in amazing condition, probably the best one I've owned but that failed neck pickup meant it sat here while I found the inspiration to repair it.
I ended up having a few rare pickups to repair so I figured it was time to take a look at this one as well and maybe get the guitar ready for sale. I ALWAYS try and repair a pickup first, so I start by unwinding the coil from the end, once I've established it's not something simple like a lead wire or such.
After unwinding several hundred winds it was obvious this one was not going to be repairable, so I cut the coil off and cleaned up the bobbin to rewind it.
The original used AWG42 and measured at about 4.5K so I set up my winder with 42 and started winding until it looked about the same as the original coil.
Most of these Japanese guitars had the same pickup or coil for both bridge and neck but if I'm rewinding I'll "underwind" the neck a little (or overwind the bridge) so it plays better with the other pickup. This one took 7500 turns and came out at 4.3K. Perfect.
With the original lead wires attached and the coil and cover glued back together it was back into the guitar for a little bit of audio testing. While you can't tell visually or sonically from the outside this guitar has been listed with the clear description of having been rewound. It's always kind of sad to see these go but, there's plenty more out there for an obsessed idiot like me to collect.