Author Topic: Wax Potting vs Lacquer Potting....  (Read 261 times)

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Offline BluesJam

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Wax Potting vs Lacquer Potting....
« on: July 11, 2019, 12:37:21 pm »
What do you think about lacquer potting? Leo Fender did so in the 1950ís. Is one method better than another?

Offline RavenMoon

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Re: Wax Potting vs Lacquer Potting....
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2019, 04:42:47 pm »
It doesnít get very far into the coil, and sometimes doesnít dry fully. Fender also used self bonding wire.

They eventually went back to wax potting because it works better.


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Offline gtrjunior

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Re: Wax Potting vs Lacquer Potting....
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2019, 04:43:03 pm »
Not sure if you saw my wax potting thread on he Duncan forum.
Anyway, I have a pickup that needs to be potted. In my research Iíve learned the main reason that most prefer wax is that once you lacquer a pickup, there is no fixing it if anything should ever go wrong in the future. With wax you can always carefully pick it away if you ever needed to.
Iíll be potting my pickup this weekend. Fingers crossed....Iíll be busting my cherry.  Lol

Offline RavenMoon

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Re: Wax Potting vs Lacquer Potting....
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2019, 05:50:01 pm »
Not sure if you saw my wax potting thread on he Duncan forum.
Anyway, I have a pickup that needs to be potted. In my research Iíve learned the main reason that most prefer wax is that once you lacquer a pickup, there is no fixing it if anything should ever go wrong in the future. With wax you can always carefully pick it away if you ever needed to.
Iíll be potting my pickup this weekend. Fingers crossed....Iíll be busting my cherry.  Lol

Iím a pickup maker. Back in 2005 I experimented with using lacquer, varnish, or polyurethane for potting. Even did one with super glue!

The problems I found were that the inside wraps were left unpotted. So you still got squealing, and as you said, you need to cut the coil off as you canít unwind it. Not that I ever unwind coils.

I went back to wax because other methods didnít stop the microphonic squealing.

Iíve got a Parker P-38. It has my own pickups in it. They are all potted and outside of the guitar wonít squeal if placed by the speaker. 
But in some situations that guitar cab make a lot of noise near the amp.

Itís a very light weight and acoustically lively guitar. So I also hear my pick tapping the body.

But the high pitched feedback is usually lose parts near the pickup. Sometimes just tightening the screws that hold the bobbins in place helps.

I had a customer with a single coil size humbucker that would squeal near the amp. It was potted but I ended up firmly wrapping black cloth tape around it to stop any vibrations in the structure of the pickup, and that fixed it. The bobbins where able to vibrate a bit. 


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Offline gtrjunior

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Re: Wax Potting vs Lacquer Potting....
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2019, 06:13:15 pm »
I was hoping you would respond here. You know soooo much more about this than I do.  Iím still learning how all of this works.
I did discover that somehow I lost the spacer in my pickup when I was mag swapping. I searched for it but just canít find it. Thereís a better than probable chance that, that is causing my squealing. I ordered a couple which arrived today and this weekend Iíll install it and pot the pickup and see how it goes.
I bought a small crock pot and 2 lbs of paraffin, which I have already melted. Iím going to make a jig to hold the pickup submerged in the wax!

Offline BluesJam

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Re: Wax Potting vs Lacquer Potting....
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2019, 06:13:44 pm »
Bill Lawrence used epoxy, but Iím unsure if he used wax as well.

Offline RavenMoon

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Re: Wax Potting vs Lacquer Potting....
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2019, 06:44:29 pm »
Bill Lawrence used epoxy, but Iím unsure if he used wax as well.

I use epoxy on my bass pickups. They still have to be wax potted. The epoxy doesnít deep in.


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Offline RavenMoon

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Re: Wax Potting vs Lacquer Potting....
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2019, 06:49:41 pm »
I was hoping you would respond here. You know soooo much more about this than I do.  Iím still learning how all of this works.
I did discover that somehow I lost the spacer in my pickup when I was mag swapping. I searched for it but just canít find it. Thereís a better than probable chance that, that is causing my squealing. I ordered a couple which arrived today and this weekend Iíll install it and pot the pickup and see how it goes.
I bought a small crock pot and 2 lbs of paraffin, which I have already melted. Iím going to make a jig to hold the pickup submerged in the wax!

Ok, you took the pickup apart and lost the spacer. So the parts are not secure.

So you need to get something in there so no part of the pickup can move. A little wiggle translates to a lot of squealing.

You can buy the spacers on line.


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Offline gtrjunior

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Re: Wax Potting vs Lacquer Potting....
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2019, 07:20:48 pm »
I was hoping you would respond here. You know soooo much more about this than I do.  Iím still learning how all of this works.
I did discover that somehow I lost the spacer in my pickup when I was mag swapping. I searched for it but just canít find it. Thereís a better than probable chance that, that is causing my squealing. I ordered a couple which arrived today and this weekend Iíll install it and pot the pickup and see how it goes.
I bought a small crock pot and 2 lbs of paraffin, which I have already melted. Iím going to make a jig to hold the pickup submerged in the wax!

Ok, you took the pickup apart and lost the spacer. So the parts are not secure.

So you need to get something in there so no part of the pickup can move. A little wiggle translates to a lot of squealing.

You can buy the spacers on line.


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Yeah, I grabbed a couple from Mojotone.
When I originally put the pickup back together, I noticed it had a little wiggle. Once I took it back apart I saw that the spacer was gone...