So I'm getting a new pickup for my Jackson soon, so I'll have the cheaper stock pickup to tinker with that I potentially will use for a guitar I'm building. I'd really love to make it really hot and heavy-toned, but I'm not sure how to do it as I have no experience with pickup modification. How would I go about doing this? Thanks
Doesnt the number if woundings around the poles determine the output of the pickup? So i dont think you can make it hotter unless you rewind the wires. Also, i have never actually heard of anyone modifying pickups, only either building them or just wiring them into strange combinations, so im curious as to what other people have to say.
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
Well, here's an "anatomy of a humbucker" image:

Obviously they've not put the wires on, but this is essentially what you've got to play with.
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Unless you own a pickup winder (a fairly expensive tool) and know what you are doing, there isn't much you can do to modify a pickup. A pickup is designed for a certain type of output based on the number of winds on the bobbin (that's usually a few thousand winds) and the thickness (gauge) of the pickup wire used on the bobbin and type of wire. Once a pickup is created there isn't a lot you can do to it that will make a difference to the sound. Changing magnets, pole pieces etc. won't make a significant difference in tone.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Mar 24, 2016,
I can also speak o the topic of reversing phase. I introduced a phase-reverse switch for one of the coils on the same pickup. In reverse phase it sounded very weak and 'plinky' since most of the signal was canceling itself out when combined with its inverted version, which has its uses but would generally not be desirable (I still use it at times in combination with the other pickup on the guitar for some different tonality and emphasis). It was very different from the result I hear with more physical separation between the phase-reversed coils, such as between two different pickup locations.
Quote by Rickholly74
Unless you own a pickup winder (a fairly expensive tool) and know what you are doing, there isn't much you can do to modify a pickup.

But if I were to learn about pickups and figure out how to do what, and somehow get to use a pickup winder (I know where I can get to use one), could I technically modify the tone to make it hotter?
change the magnet inside of it , alnico 8 is arguably the heaviest sounding in my eyes. Ceramic is probably what the stock pickup is. Swapping magnets makes a big difference, alnico 2 and V (5) versus 8 or neodymium or ceramic all do different things.

you can add more magnets too . problem is getting them in the right way because to my understanding you have to glue them in the way they repel the magnet instead of the way it would naturally attract to the other magnet. I hope that makes sense but don't quote me on it.

flip the magnet to reverse the phase, p90s were famous for this, use a compass or be really really meticulious to remember which "direction" the pickups in. phase reversal only affects the middle position as we know.

different pole pieces are always an idea m even adjusting the pole pieces helps, you can get some on ebay

depending on how the pickup was made or how hot it is you can change the humbuckers to 4 wire, it's tedious but if the pickups hot enough why not

and lastly..winding the more windings the higher the resistance, usually hot pickups have super thin copper windings. but seriously everything and anything to do with pickups can alter the sound. How you wind, how much/long you wind, the coating that is on the copper wires, pole pieces, whether or not the wire inside the pickup is shielded or not. I kind of wish I could wind pickups as I'd do stuff like the kent armstrong motherbucker or the seymour duncan slug but honestly pickups bore me, when i got into electronics i've done 2 pickup swaps ever in personal guitars. I have installed enough pickups into peoples guitars to build coffee tables.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Mar 25, 2016,