More Harmony Mods


Magnet Swap

The Harmony is outfitted with GFS Crunchy PAF chrome covered humbuckers. Last month I swapped the ceramic magnets with AlNiCo 8 ones. This inspiration came from a 1977 Ibanez Les Paul Copy. Those pickups are wound to about 7k resistance (both the neck and bridge, pretty evenly) with AlNiCo 8 magnets. I noticed that they are brighter with a boingier, more dynamic, musical quality. The GFS Crunchy PAFs are wound to about 10k neck and 14k for the bridge. Out of the box they have a thick, meaty tone. The magnet swap was relatively easy to do without even disconnecting the pickups.

Some interesting observations about the swap… The pickups aren't really any brighter, but I wasn't really expecting that anyway. They are however more dynamic, musical and boingy. Because the pickups are overwound, there is still a lot of “meat” also… I haven't yet established a preference for the overwounds vs the ones in the Ibanez. The wiring itself has already been heavily modded and in this guitar I normally favor the outer coils in series to a standard middle position. With the original magnets, the middle position had a lot of mud whereas outer coils in series is much cleaner (and almost tele-middle) sounding. The mud has really cleared up with the AlNiCo 8s in the standard middle position.

I tend to shy away from the bridge pickup but I'm finding that position more attractive as well.

Wax Potting

One unfortunate side effect of the magnet swap was a loosening of the coils or the cover of the bridge pickup. Found this out on stage doing the solo for Alice Cooper's School's Out (check out feedback @ 1:05). Normally the guitar note bleeds into feedback which has to be regulated by position in front of the amp. Instead, I got blasts of unmusical squealing as something in the pickup went haywire.

I found this link and re-potted the bridge pickup last night. Since there is about 2 pounds of copper wire in the cavity, and 5 connections per pickup I was really trying to avoid unsoldering them. Put together a simple double-boiler and mixed about 60-40 parafin to beeswax. Managed to do this without frying the guitar body although I almost burned it on the stove. The final test will be tonight when the Boneheadz play at “Del Ranch”

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