The Guitar Gallery Forums - The Guitar Legacy of Matsumoku

Q&A, discussion, and information for the labels covered by The Guitar Gallery (Specifically and exclusively guitars made by Matsumoku up to 1987)
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Sep 2009 09:04 PM 
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I have a Epiphone model 5102TE. Both original pickups still work. But if they give out, I do not know what would fit in place of them because their diomensions don't seem compatible with PAF style, P90 or mini-hum standard sizes.

Have any of you succesfully found current-production pickups that will mount in place of them? I'd be open to dogear P90 style or surface mount Rickenbacker or Gretsch types as well, if that would be necessary.

In fact if any of you have a similar model that clearly has a different non-original style pickup installed please share.


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PostPosted: Wed 23 Sep 2009 12:17 AM 
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Joined: Tue 19 Feb 2008 04:58 AM
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Location: That "cultural nerve center", Mid-Atlantic U.S.
Is there a chance you could post a pic of one of the pickups? Pics of the guitar?

I've only seen one of these in 20+ years of playing guitar. I had the chance to buy it, but it had a tremolo I didn't care for. If I had it to do over again, I'd snatch it up in a minute. If I'm not mistaken, the 5102TE was a re-branded MAT 5102 contract build in the 70s.

Are the pickups those narrow humbuckers with the solid top plate & the narrow rectangular poles on the slug coil?

If those are the pickups--& they ever go--you might try having somebody repair them.

If they can't be repaired & a P-90 or Firebird-style (same size as the Les Paul Deluxe) mini-humbucker isn't a direct fit (& I don't know why they wouldn't be), remove the four screws that hold the existing surrounds & see if the hole in the top of the guitar is big enough to accommodate one of those 2 pickups. If the hole is big enough to accommodate the pickup, it should be easy enough to fashion new custom surrounds to fit the existing [screw] mounting holes so that you can return the guitar to "original specs" at a later date.

For future reference, try not to post duplicate topics on multiple threads. It clutters the boards, leads to confusion for us all, & causes headaches for the moderators. If you read this before someone replies to the ones under the "Aria" & "Other" sub-groups, it might be nice to delete the other two.


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PostPosted: Wed 23 Sep 2009 09:50 AM 
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Joined: Mon 21 Sep 2009 06:53 PM
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My apologies. Being new to this forum, I am not sure how closely the participants keep their viewing to the page for their favorite brand. So I posted on the pages that have similar models to increase my chances for a response.

Is it generally acceptable to cross-post with a link to the main thread rather than duplicating the text of the post? As in "please see the thread on the Epiphone page (link)". Or is it preferred to post only on one page?

I don't have a photo handy, but it is the dual-coil pickup with a screw poles in one coil, a slotted blade in the other coil, and a black plastic cover. They still work but the assembly does not seem really rugged, and there are many types of plastic that deteriorate over time. I do not know what type of plastic is in these pickups.

It is narrower than a PAF but longer, so a PAF style would need the top cutout widened in the center, but still leave the outer ends of the cutout sticking out past the mounting ring. I saw some pictures of this type of installation in the treasures page and would not want to do this style.

The proportion also doesn't quite seem to match the sizes of the P90 pickups I have on another guitar. I don't have any mini-humbuckers so I can't say if those would match up.

If the distance between the suspending screws is close enough, I guess it would be possible to hang a dogear P90 or minihum from the original stock mounting rings...provided that the mounting rings are not the part that gives out.


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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep 2009 02:32 AM 
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Location: That "cultural nerve center", Mid-Atlantic U.S.
First, allow me to apologize for not first saying, "Welcome to the boards."

Welcome to the boards!

There's really no need to post to multiple threads here. This isn't so large a board that topics get buried, & the active guys on this board are Matsumoku enthusiasts regardless of the label on the headstock. Just post under the most appropriate thread, & most of the time somebody will reply within a few days (for the record, I'm not a moderator--& as members go, I'm way down the list in terms of Matsumoku expertise; I'm just a musician who also happens to be a guitar nut).

Mini-humbuckers or P-90s may work in this guitar even though the surrounds (the pickup rings) aren't exactly right (these pickups are narrower than PAFs, & if they aren't the same dimensions as the originals in your guitar, they'll be a whole lot closer). If this was my guitar & a pickup happened to go bad, I'd want to keep the guitar as original as I could.

The first thing I'd try (if a pickup was to go bad) would be to look for used original pickups. These guitars are often maligned in Gibson & Epiphone circles, & there may be people who have pickups who've scavenged guitars for other parts--not realizing what they had--& kept the pickups "just in case".

If I couldn't find replacements, I'd disconnect the entire pickup assembly (leave the pickup in the ring & remove the 4 screws that hold the surround in place), lift it out, & see if a mini or a P-90 would fit in the hole cut in the top (wood) of the guitar.

If the pickup would fit the guitar but didn't fit the surround, I would think it would be easier to make new surrounds (out of heavy pickguard material or similar plastic or PVC--one sheet of blank pickguard material would be cheap, & you'd have plenty of material for "do-overs" if you don't get it right the first time) than trying to force an ill-fitting pickup into the existing rings.

I do this kind of work with a Dremel tool (Multi-Pro) & a mini-router attachment. It's easier than you might think, but if you're not comfortable doing it yourself, you could take one of your surrounds to a repair tech & ask him to duplicate the outside dimensions & mounting holes, but cut the pickup & pickup screw holes to fit a mini (or a P-90) instead of the original pickups. A good tech should be able to make a set of 2 of this style of surround for no more than $15 or $20 US (I'd save the old pickups & the old surrounds, though).

If you don't have access to a competent tech, you could take the 2 surrounds, put them on a copy machine, & send the photocopy to any of a number of places (just be sure to instruct them to cut the pickup & pickup screw holes to fit the pickup you will be using). For example, Chandler cuts custom pickguards & does this kind of work, but they are probably the most expensive company to deal with.

If you absolutely want a pickup that fits the original surrounds, you might try contacting Seymour Duncan & seeing if he could custom wind a mini or a P-90 to the dimensions you need (but expect to part with a huge wad of cash if you choose to go this route--it might be less expensive to look for another 5102TE).

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep 2009 02:56 PM 
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There are other people around who would likely do a rewind for much less than Seamor Duncan. Try a google search.


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PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep 2009 12:09 AM 
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Location: That "cultural nerve center", Mid-Atlantic U.S.
RSBBASS is definitely right about the cost of a rewind. LOTS of people can do it for less than Seymour.

Actually, if all you're worried about is the plastic that covers the pickup, that is completely unnecessary to the function of the pickup. Gibson built a few (maybe more) models of acoustics with uncovered P-90s in the 60s to get around the microphone/feedback problem (they didn't use the covers so the pickup wouldn't be as obvious)--& plenty of players take the covers off of their "T" style neck pickups & PAF style pickups.

If the pickup covers go, you could play the guitar without them (although the pickups may look a little bit funny & the pole-pieces would be more exposed). If the covers go & you'd rather have covers over the pickups, a blank cover could be easily modified to cover the pickups you have (it would make your guitar look like it had active pickups, but it wouldn't affect the sound at all).


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PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep 2009 11:03 AM 
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Where I work they were THROWING AWAY (!!!!) A coil winding machine so I took it home and gave it to a tech who did work on some of my guitars. I'd say he owes me a rewind if the pickups ever need it.

It's not so much the covers that concern me. It is that on my pickups it seems like the cover is the only thing holding them together. The slotted blade polepiece is floating around loose. If this is normal maybe I'm OK. If it means the original adhesives are totally degraded then....we'll see. I'm leery of monkeying with it myself because I've learned the hard way how fragile that magnet wire can be.

If worse came to worst I suppose another remedy would be to take off the bobbins and magnet, and attach a soapbar pickup to the base plate.


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PostPosted: Sun 27 Sep 2009 01:50 AM 
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Joined: Tue 19 Feb 2008 04:58 AM
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Location: That "cultural nerve center", Mid-Atlantic U.S.
Are you saying that the pickup is loose inside the cover? That's an easy fix for a competent tech--& he should be able to fix the pickup so you never have this problem again. Get your guitar to a tech before the individual little wires in the leads wobble around too much & break.


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