Repairing/Rewinding a Vintage early ’60s Strat Pickup

Repairing/Rewinding a Vintage Strat Pickup and Replacing Pickup Magnets

Repairing and Rewinding a Vintage Strat Pickup

Repairing and Rewinding a Vintage Strat Pickup

Here’s an interesting pickup that came in for a repair & rewind – An early ’60s vintage Strat Bridge pickup. The thing is, its a left-hand stagger, meaning the shortest magnet sits under the ‘A’ string rather than the usual ‘B’ string. Either a mistake back in the factory many years ago or simply a pickup from a left-handed strat that was fitted to a right-hand guitar at a later date. Either way, the pickup was in a sorry state.

The coil wire had been cut right through and one of the magnets had cracked and split so not only did the pickup require a rewind, it also needed a new pole magnet. The owner asked me to swap the poles around to make it a standard right-hand stagger.

Creamery - Repairing and Rewinding a Vintage Strat Pickup

Repairing and Rewinding a Vintage Strat Pickup

Replacing the cracked magnet involved gently pushing out each end without forcing it. As the flatwork was coming loose already, using too much force could have pushed the flatwork in, giving a shorter area in which to re-wind the coil.

Checking the remaining magnets with a gauss meter showed that they were still pretty much fully charged so selecting the correct size vintage style cast Alnico 5 magnet from my stock and charging it to pretty much full spec would allow for a very close match to the original.

Once the pole magnets were in place, and with the help of a little superglue to hold the loose flatwork down, the hookup wires could be carefully uncoupled, taking care not to loosen the eyelets. The pickup was rewound to around 6.4k as requested by the customer. The hookup wires were re-used as per request.

A quick test on the multimeter showed everything was working ok so after wax-potting and a final check on my test guitar, the pickup was ready to send back.


If you have a pickup that needs a repair or rewind, just get in touch. You can find more details of my pickup repair service here:

The Creamery – Pickup Repairs & Rewinds

Leave a comment


  1. Neil Robinson

     /  28/02/2011

    Excellent – but was it worth the work?

    Hardly anything left to provide the original tone, apart from five old magnets. Replacing a broken magnet, changing heights L to R, repairing the fibre core – rewinding – Wouldn’t it have meant more sense to start from scratch to get a more controlled result from your amazing new products?

  2. Perhaps yes, but when the customer want to try and keep as many original elements as possible that’s their choice – They were under no illusion that it would be the same pickup though, just the sentimental factor.

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