60's Hofner 510 Repair

Posted by Martin A Smith on

These had come out of an old 60's Hofner that had been kept in storage for a couple of decades, and while the neck pickup was still working, the bridge was not. Old Hofner pickups have a reputation for giving up the ghost due to the type of solder flux they used back in the day, which causes corrosion over time that leads to shorts in the windings.

After carefully removing the polepieces and the cover I could see a fair bit of rust and corrosion on the metal parts. Hoping that it might just be a problem with the hook-up wires, they were tested first.

They were fine, so I started to carefully peel off wire to see if the break was in the outer windings, meaning it could be fixed without resorting to a full rewind. The start hook-up wire on these is buried under the coil, so if the break is at that end, there's no way to avoid a rewind.

Unfortunately, after peeling off a couple of hundred winds, testing every 20 or so, it became apparent that the break was going to be too far in the coil (probably right at the start) to fix like this without significantly altering the tone. So, after consulting with the owner, I went ahead with rewinding it using 43awg SPN wire. About 5,000 winds were needed to bring it up to just over 5.0k, to balance with the 4.6k neck.

While I had it apart, the other components received a good clean.

And here it is all assembled with a new lead. After replacing the cover, I gave the pair a quick spin, and was pleased to hear I'd matched the tone nicely, and for what were budget pickups, they actually sounded pretty good - clear and chimey.

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