#1
hey folks, the title pretty much explains, it's just a kind of thought experiment, but i was thinking, what is it that makes a pickup cheap? I mean, in a guitar inself you have dodjy necks, tuning stability,cheap wood, etc. (and of course, cheap pickups!), but a pickup is just wire, a magnet and pole peices in a case. i can't think of what differences there are between an expensive one and a cheap one and how this effects the tone.
#3
OK, i was thinking you could re-wind the pickups in question, as a sort of compramise between getting new ones or making your own, mabie give it slightly more windings, and pot it too.
#4
yeah it would be a great idea... dunno of it's possible tho
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#6
Quote by jimRH7
OK, i was thinking you could re-wind the pickups in question, as a sort of compramise between getting new ones or making your own, mabie give it slightly more windings, and pot it too.
You might be able to do some good, or you might be wasting your time. It really depends on the other parts in the pickup. The pole-pieces and magnets play a huge role in determining the character of a pickup. And putting all the same parts on a baseplate of a different shape and alloy will also make it sound very different.

A pickup is a complete system.
Meadows
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#7
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
You might be able to do some good, or you might be wasting your time. It really depends on the other parts in the pickup. The pole-pieces and magnets play a huge role in determining the character of a pickup. And putting all the same parts on a baseplate of a different shape and alloy will also make it sound very different.

A pickup is a complete system.


I'm intrigued, i know that big, heavy guitar pickups tend to have big pole pieces, as do bass humbuckers, But i can't see how the magnet could effect the tone appart from it's strength, obviously, or the shape of the field, but surely a stronger magnet would not be a massive step in price difference?

what is coil tape? can i not just use black electritian's tape?
#8
Quote by Invader Jim
Of course it's possible. Just get a 2-pound roll of 42 AWG wire, some coil tape, and something to wind it with (like a sewing machine).


I tried it with a record player, but the wire kept snapping. I ended up doing it by hand (8000-9000 turns). I do not recommend it. The pickup sounds great now, though.
#9
Quote by mr_hankey
I tried it with a record player, but the wire kept snapping. I ended up doing it by hand (8000-9000 turns). I do not recommend it. The pickup sounds great now, though.


Re-winding old pickups or starting from scratch?
#10
Quote by jimRH7
I'm intrigued, i know that big, heavy guitar pickups tend to have big pole pieces, as do bass humbuckers, But i can't see how the magnet could effect the tone appart from it's strength, obviously, or the shape of the field, but surely a stronger magnet would not be a massive step in price difference?

what is coil tape? can i not just use black electritian's tape?
lol

Yes, it would. Of all the things on a pickup, magnets and pole-pieces can have the highest range in price.
Meadows
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#11
Quote by mr_hankey
I tried it with a record player, but the wire kept snapping. I ended up doing it by hand (8000-9000 turns). I do not recommend it. The pickup sounds great now, though.

That's how Seymour got started.
#12
There is wide range of magnets used in pickups. Cheap pickups use cheap magnets. Could use refrigerator magnets for all we know in some of the chinese stuff. But rewinding a cheap pickup with crappy magnets will still sound like a cheap pickup.
#13
Quote by jimRH7
Re-winding old pickups or starting from scratch?


Re-winding. The wire broke when one of my strings got snagged under the bobbin, so I decided to give it a go instead of just throwing it away. It was a GFS pickup.
#14
here's some thoughts:

if it has alnico pole pieces, you could throw in ceramic magnets underneath for a different sound. you'd want to drop the pickup height some I imagine because of the string pull....

if it has ceramic bar magnet underneath, you could *possibly put in charged magnet pole pieces, or grab some guassing (sp?) magnets and magnetize the poles...

thoughts?

I rewound a couple pickups by hand once. it took forever. and they were weak because I didn't wind enough turns. so the whole experience sucked and I definately know that it's waaaay too time consuming by hand to be fun at all. most guitar working is fun to me, but not winding pickups. soooo boring. good machines like at stewmac would make it neat to design custom pickups... but if we all had the money to buy the tools we wanted, we'd be alot happier.
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#15
hey, if magnet strengh is a magor problem, could you make an electromagnet, and just have a battery like an active pickup, i would imagine it's cheaper to make an electro magnet than buy a good permanent one, stupid idea?
I just had another, similar idea: If you were to make up the entire pickup, but without the magnet, then pass about 9 volts DC or something though the coil, it'd eventually turn the pole pieces into permanent magnets, right?
Last edited by jimRH7 at Mar 16, 2008,