#1
Handwound pickups aside, what really separates, say, a Seymour Duncan from a generic chinese pickup?

If they're both wound with the same wire and magnets (which are manufactured consistently) would it be possible to have a good sounding pickup for a fraction of the price?

I understand that there are a lot of variables involved in getting the pickup to sound right, but considering the consistency of Duncan's pickups, it's something that can be controlled and mass produced.

Is it possible to cheaply manufacture good-sounding pickups?

Do companies deliberately avoid doing this to keep people buying their american pickups?
#2
well yea i mean if gibson told you that their pickups are exactly the same as some stuff made in korea. YOull have to go through the small guys though ssmii.com has cheap pickups made in korea or china.... Yea i know that 300 dollar pickups (set) are gonna prbly be a little betterthe difference imo is not worth it
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#3
Quote by brownsfan456
well yea i mean if gibson told you that their pickups are exactly the same as some stuff made in korea. YOull have to go through the small guys though ssmii.com has cheap pickups made in korea or china.... Yea i know that 300 dollar pickups (set) are gonna prbly be a little betterthe difference imo is not worth it

have you ever changed pickups? it makes a huge difference. i changed them from big company to big company. there's a reason there're so many type of pickups made by each company. the tonal charasteristics can be completely different. of course they aren't the most important factor in tone. but they're in the top five imo.

edit: with the first line, didn't mean to sound like a jackass.
#4
They definitely AREN'T all manufactured with the same wire and magnets, and they're wound using different machines and winding patterns as well.

A lot of the extra $ involved in getting high-line pickups is a part of the resaerch and testing that they can do.

That said, extremely good hand made boutique pickups can be found for not much more than large mass-produced high line pups, and you can even specify extra options you may desire.
#5
Quote by Rutch
They definitely AREN'T all manufactured with the same wire and magnets, and they're wound using different machines and winding patterns as well.

The machine can be programmed to wind differently. How complex does a machine have to be to wind 8000 turns of thin wire onto a spool?
And how different can the wire be? It's still enamel coated copper of the same diameter. Provided it isn't defective, does it make any difference if it's the same material?

A lot of the extra $ involved in getting high-line pickups is a part of the resaerch and testing that they can do.

This makes sense, but what if you apply the research you've already done to cheap overseas manufacturing?
#6
irongears and toneriders are meant to be pretty nice, and in the UK anyway are a lot less than duncans. haven't tried them, though.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#7
^Are toneriders an english company?
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#8
Quote by sashki
The machine can be programmed to wind differently. How complex does a machine have to be to wind 8000 turns of thin wire onto a spool?
And how different can the wire be? It's still enamel coated copper of the same diameter. Provided it isn't defective, does it make any difference if it's the same material?
How do you know it's the same material? Not every Duncan uses plain enamel. Only their PAF style pickups are wound with it. And I have yet to see a cheap Chinese copy use plain enamel on their pickups. It's more expensive than poly wire, more difficult to work with and is a health hazard. Duncans PAF style pickups are also wound on old Gibson Leesona winders, not the CNC machines that cheap Chinese pickups use. If you can acknowledge the difference between a hand wound pickup and Seymour Duncan due to wind pattern, then you should certainly appreciate the difference in how the Leesona and CNC differ in terms of how wire is put on the coil.

And yes Duncan does produce cheap Chinese copies of their pickups. All those "Duncan Designed" pickups that you see on cheap guitars are all basically chinese made pickups to the same Duncan spec.
Last edited by al112987 at Oct 16, 2009,
#9
Quote by Jak Archer
^Are toneriders an english company?


i don't think so, i think they're american. The products are made in china, though. I know the pedals are nice, I've got the chorus. with any luck, the pickups might be, too.

Quote by al112987
If you can acknowledge the difference between a hand wound pickup and Seymour Duncan due to wind pattern, then you should certainly appreciate the difference in how the Leesona and CNC differ in terms of how wire is put on the coil.


good point
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#10
Could a chinese company, if they used the same magnets, wire, screws, machines etc as seymore duncan lets say, make a decent pickup probably. Companies like celestion have moved their equipment to china, trained the workers properly and didnt start pumping out crap. Problem is most chinese companies tend to go with lowest supplier prices or substitute parts. Cause hey a refrigerator magnet is the same as an alnico 2/3/5 right I mean they both stick to metal right. Or just because the specs call for a particular grade of steel in the pole pieces, bicycle spokes work just as well. This is the way most chinese companies think. My wife is chinese and she will tell you never buy a chinese product unless there is no other choice.