#1
Did they work? Did they sound good? How did you make them?

It seems like most regard pickup making as a dark art practiced only by the select few.
#2
I made five pickups for a school project. They didn't sound good, but that wasn't the intention, anyway. The spools were made of wood and card, and the magnets were bought at a hardware store. I had to buy special wire for them, though.

Actually winding them isn't difficult, it just takes ages. All of mine were underwound by guitar standards. The real voodoo comes in when you try to achieve a certain tone, but that's another story that I'm afraid I can't help you with.

There are some professional pickup winders here, I think CorduroyEW is one of them.
#3
Ive heard its incredibly dificult to do... and that it takes loads of practice. A friend did it once (
P-bass copy) and he said after like 5 tries with the winding he gave up and bought some.

As a side note... he also screwed the wiring up, and made the cuts in the wrong spots. so theres no electronics on it anymore... its the "acoustic bass". plays wicked though
GUITARS
Burswood Acoustic
Squier Affinity Strat
Fender Tele Deluxe
BASS
Ibanez Jetking bass
AMPS
Marshall MG30DFX
Peavey max 158 bass amp
Fender Bassman 250
1979 Carvin of some sort
And some pedals
#4
Quote by Charleston
Did they work? Did they sound good? How did you make them?

It seems like most regard pickup making as a dark art practiced only by the select few.
You're kidding, right? Try Google. There's tons of info on winding your own pickups. Lots of people do it.

There are several people in GB&C who have wound their own. Will they give you all the data they gathered from their experience? Nah. That takes time and experimentation and an organized approach. They aren't likely to just hand over their work.

But in terms of the basics, you can learn a lot from reading what's already there on the net. You can buy supplies from StewMac and several other place. Some basic info from those vendors, too.

Meadows
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I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#5
There's a whole bunch of variables involved, where one affects another, so it's hard to model a pickup without experience. I can try to give an overview, though:

Wire coil: More wire = more efficient, but also higher DC resistance and capacitance to ground. This results in a higher output pickup, but because of the resistance and capacitance, there is less high end to the tone.
For reference, A Gibson Humbucker has a DC resistance of about 7-8kOhms, with about 5000 windings per coil (although on older guitars, this value is inconsistent). A P-90 pickup has 6-7kOhms with 10000 windings in total. A modern high output humbucker has 12-16kOhms, with fucking huge coils.

Magnets: Stronger magnets = more output. A strong magnetic field causes the strings themselves to be more magnetised, and the amount of flux change is increased, so a larger voltage is induced.

Magnet types: Alnico II is the warmest, Alnico V is brighter, Ceramic magnets are considered the brightest. I don't know why this is, but in my experience it's mostly been true. Actually, instead of bright, I guess I'd describe ceramic pickups as having more of a harsh sound. I think this is because ceramic magnets can be made stronger than Alnico magnets of the same size, making the pickup more sensitive and the induced voltage larger. This also means there are more frequencies to filter out, so there is still "brightness" to it despite the resistance and capacitance of the coil.

Spool shape: Not many people seem to mention this, but aparently the shape of the spool onto which you wind your coil affects the tone. Taller spools = more clarity. Short fat spools = more warmth. I would guess that this is because the shape causes the wire to be distributed differently between layers, which also affects the capacitance.
However, Seymour Duncan pickups all seem to have spools of the same size, so I guess it's not that important a variable.

Wire thickness: Most pickups use AWG 42 guage wire. Some, like Tele neck pickups, use 43 guage, which is thinner. Thinner wire = more resistance, fewer high frequencies.

So yeah, I hope that's correct. There's probably more that I can't think of right now.

Also, this might be handy
http://europa.spaceports.com/~fishbake/fpickup/pickup.htm
Last edited by sashki at Jan 7, 2010,
#6
Quote by sashki
Spool shape: Not many people seem to mention this, but aparently the shape of the spool onto which you wind your coil affects the tone. Taller spools = more clarity. Short fat spools = more warmth. I would guess that this is because the shape causes the wire to be distributed differently between layers, which also affects the capacitance.

this is where inductance comes into play. coil shape has a big effect on inductance. Higher inductance=warmer sound. Too high and it becomes muddy and plain bad. Low-inductance pups have nicer cleans, but higher inductance pups have better distortion characteristics. i'd say it's a fairly important variable. maybe not as much as magnet and wire types, but still a great way to shape the pup's tone.

of course everything affects inductance. coil shape, coil form material, wire guage, wire type, magnet type...

ts, peruse this site. lots of useful info.
http://www.skguitar.com/SKGS/sk/winding.htm