#1
Is a pickups out relative to volume in the same way as watts in an amp?

I'm not sure if all pickup output is measured in the same way, so I'll give an example.

Dimarzio d-activator bridge output is 470
Dimarzio Air Norton output is 270

Does this mean the d-activator will be nearly twice as loud?
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#2
Quote by ThrashIsWin
Is a pickups out relative to volume in the same way as watts in an amp?

I'm not sure if all pickup output is measured in the same way, so I'll give an example.

Dimarzio d-activator bridge output is 470
Dimarzio Air Norton output is 270

Does this mean the d-activator will be nearly twice as loud?


if it was measured in decibels yes.
it is not so no.
Output does give an indication to volume but raising/lowering pickups can balance different pickups to a point.
#3
higher output means that the pick up is hot... this is usually used in the bridge position of the guitar... higher output is good for twangy country and it is good for distorted stuff...

lower output is mainly for the neck position to get a more warmer, bassier type of sound..
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Ok can we stop sucking this dudes dick and deal with my question?
#4
The output as the others have mentioned is an indication of the level of volume that the pickup will be able to put out.

Assuming that you have two identical guitars, with the two pickups mounted at the same position, and of a identical height.

In that situation, the hotter (D Activator) would sound louder than the Air Norton.

However, the volume difference will not be double as the human ear hears difference in volume in a logarithmic form, not a linear form.

For pickups, output pickups means that for a given string attack, the hotter output will generate a louder signal. Whereas a lower output pickup will, for the same string attack, generate a weaker signal.

A louder signal will push the preamp section of the amplifier harder, generating greater gain. For high gain music, this translates to higher levels of distortion.
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#5
A better place to start would be to measure the relative impedance of the pickup (ohms). God only knows how Dimarzio got those numbers. But really, the impedance should be taken with a grain of salt and the only effective evaluation side by side.

And to the guy on about decibels, no, about 3 decibels yields twice the volume, and as RK said, this is because the decibel scale is based of the human ear and is a logarithmic function requiring a specific reference point.
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#6
No. They're measured in milivolts.


Besides, wattage is multiplied by 10 if the volume doubles.
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#7
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And to the guy on about decibels, no, about 3 decibels yields twice the volume, and as RK said, this is because the decibel scale is based of the human ear and is a logarithmic function requiring a specific reference point.


I r learn somthing lol.
Good to know, I was just trying to point out the output is measured in a completely different scale to actual volume.
#8
I posted this in another thread earlier today:

A lot of things can affect how they sound, like the previously mentioned magnet type (the most commonly used magnets are alnico II, V and ceramic magnets) and also how the amount of turns of wire on a pickup, which is generally (but inaccurately) measured by the pickup's DC resistance, and the winding pattern (how the wire is laid down in a coil).

If you think about how a pickup works, it makes sense that if you have more winds on a coil (more loops), then you generate more overall voltage which creates current. Obviously, the more current, the larger the signal, so the more turns on a pickup, the more output you get. A lot of things kind of determine the output though, a stronger magnetic field will create a larger voltage in a closed loop, so an alnico V magnet will result in higher output than an alnico II magnet in the same pickup. However theres a downside and several things come into play when talking about the winds on a coil. 1) the more wire you lay on the coil, the most resistance you're going to have (obviously, as there is really no perfect conductor), and resistance reduces the amount of current for a certain voltage. So, you have this balancing act of sorts between the number of turns and the resistance in a coil. Another thing that affects DC resistance is wire gauge, thinner wire has higher resistance than thicker wire, but on a coil, you can create more turns with thin wire, so in that regard, a pickup that is wound to 9k ohms with 42 awg wire is not really going to be lower in output than a pickup wound to 13k ohms with 43 awg wire, even though we guitarists have this nasty habit of associating DC resistance with output. However, there are going to be different sonic qualities. Generally, the more you wind a pickup up, the less high end there will be, and you will increasingly add more and more mids. This is just a general thing as you will find a lot of really high output pickups that are very bright and also low output pickups that might have a softer high end, different things contribute to this, such as winding pattern and magnet type and strength.
#9
Quote by al112987
I posted this in another thread earlier today:

A lot of things can affect how they sound, like the previously mentioned magnet type... such as winding pattern and magnet type and strength.


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#11
Quote by ThrashIsWin
Is a pickups out relative to volume in the same way as watts in an amp?

I'm not sure if all pickup output is measured in the same way, so I'll give an example.

Dimarzio d-activator bridge output is 470
Dimarzio Air Norton output is 270

Does this mean the d-activator will be nearly twice as loud?

well, the strings vibrate more and produce a louder signal in the neck pickup area of a guitar. So technically, if that's gonna be bridge and neck, that's fine. The volume difference will be minimal, and it can be fixed with a simple height adjustment too.
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#12
Quote by ThrashIsWin
Is a pickups out relative to volume in the same way as watts in an amp?

I'm not sure if all pickup output is measured in the same way, so I'll give an example.

Dimarzio d-activator bridge output is 470
Dimarzio Air Norton output is 270

Does this mean the d-activator will be nearly twice as loud?

DiMarzio has a weird way of measuring output. The more accurate way is to compare magnet type and DC resistance (you generally look for a neck pickup with about 70% of the DC resistance of your bridge pickup, IIRC). Alnico II tends to be a weaker magnet, with each higher grade having more pull, Alnico 8 being the highest with a stronger pull than Ceramics (which are stronger than Alnico 5). Then you have much harder pickups like Samarium Cobalt, Neodymium, Rare Earth, etc. which all usually have more pull than Ceramics, and even A8.

Higher DC Resistance usually will mean more low end and mids, but sometimes not. There are certain ways to wind pickups that scoop out the midrange with a higher DC resistance, and there are ways to add more highs as well. You really have to know everything about the pickup and its construction to get an idea of why it sounds the way it does and tell what the output is.

But really, if you want lower output from a pickup, there ARE adjustment screws on either side for you to lower the pickup, moving it away from the strings. And if you want more output, move it closer.

Personally, I don't think pickups should be used as a gain stage or a gain device... They are used as tone shaping tools. I get higher DCR pickups for more low end and mids, or Alnico pickups for a certain effect that the specific grade gives to the sound.

But no, the D Activator is not twice as loud as the Air Norton.
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#13
ok, lem'me try. from the book of KISS (keep it stupid simple):

hot pickups --> stronger signal --> higher gain ("gain" IS SIGNAL STRENGTH) --> hits your preamp harder --> eats up your headroom --> makes your amp raunchier quicker (good or bad depending on your style/taste/etc.).
#14
I think it's fair to say my question has been answered. Thanks guys.
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