This is probably my last project for 2021 and it's been something I've wanted to make for quite a while.
After finally finishing my Wosrite '64 pickups recently I decided I was also going to make a version of the non pole piece Mosrite Mk II/V pickup while I was channeling Semie's genius.
When I got my pickup winder up and running again a few years ago to make pickups for my new TMI guitars I had intended to make a version of this great pickup but at the time needed to find P-90 covers with no holes in them to achieve them and the idea got jammed in the back of my puny brain for later.
Well, it's later and since I started making my own covers again I thought I should just make a cover that fits directly into a P-90 rout which will allow me to make a few different types of pickups to drop straight in. The issue was that making a P-90 cover with such square edges proved difficult with my primitive "plastic formed over timber molds" technique and while a few have turned out very close, there's too many misses in the hits.
Then I thought, "maybe I'll make a cover that looks more like a Mosrite cover, but fits in a P-90 rout" which proved a little easier and more consistent. The original slab body Mosrite covers were formed in this fashion and show signs of being stretched over molds but the later Mk II and MK V covers were the standard die cast Mosrite covers with no pole piece holes drilled in them and these were of course more consistently like P-90 covers. So, I decided to make a cover that's more like the original slab body cover that drops straight into any P-90 rout.
The pickup itself is a simple blade style pickup which Mosrite used in all their "cheaper" guitars as they had less parts and were easier to make, They used the same segmented bar magnets as the pole piece pickups, but, instead of lying them down horizontally like a P-90, they stood them vertically with a piece of maple separating the two magnets. It was the same maple off-cuts used for bobbins in the pole piece pickups but this time there was no drilling or shaping needed.
With a piece of maple cut to size, the magnets were glued to each side and then 2 thin clear plastic sheets as used on all Mosrite pickups were hand cut and glued to form the top and bottom of the bobbin. The magnets and maple core were then wrapped in tape and the bobbin was wound.
This one got 10,000 winds of 43AWG to give me a clean 10K output and then everything was wrapped in white tape again with thin black and white lead wires just like the originals.
This is a very simple "blade" style pickup which gives great output, sustain and clarity and was used on many great Mosrite guitars. The original slab body pickup, while being physically smaller, is made the same way with a slightly thinner piece of maple between the 2 magnets but when Mosrite went to the bigger version to utilize the die cast covers they were already getting made, they didn't need to squeeze it all in and the timber spacer got wider. These spacers vary in size as they were all hand cut but all tend to be "about" 5-6mm wide.
As I've mentioned before the segmented magnets are not, in my opinion, crucial to the tone of a Mosrite pickup but I have had these made for me to keep the aesthetics (even though they're not seen) right and so when people ask "does it have the segmented magnets?" I can say yes.
By using stainless steel (or brass) screws the magnetic flux is not disturbed and since the bobbin/coil is identical to an original Mosrite one this will get a Mosrite pickup into any guitar with P-90's with no modifications at all.
This pickup was used by people like Johnny Ramone, Kurt Cobain and Ricky Wilson among others and although it won't give you an exact Mosrite tone because it's not in a Mosrite, it will get you close. I've fitted this one to one of my "testers" I use for P-90 style pickups and with a bit of Marshall gain it get's pretty Johnny.