#1
Good Day

For my Extended Essay at school, I'll be doing an experiment on guitar pickups, and I'll be winding a few of my own, varying the number of winds on each.

I only have one roll of wire, enough for about 4 pickups. I was wonder how I should vary the windings.

Originally, I was thinking having them with 3000, 4000, 5000 and 6000 winds per coil (they're single coils. I've heard that a strat pickup can be between 6000 and 8000 winds)

I have a few questions:
-Will the underwound pickups be strong enough to pick anything up? They don't have to sound good as long as they work
-Could I have a smaller difference? Say 500 more winds each time? How much of a difference to the DC resistance do 1000 or 500 winds make?
-If I vary the number of winds, but keep everything else (bobbin shape, magnet type, size and strength, wax potting) the same, will I get different tonal properties? I need that for the experiment.
-I've heard a lot that more winds = more output, but less treble, whereas fewer winds = less output, more clarity. Will I be able to demonstrate this with these pickups?


Thanks to everyone who bothered to read!
Last edited by sashki at Apr 12, 2008,
#2
Quote by sashki
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#5
Well its an experiment so the outcome isn't terribly important. If it doesn't work the way you anticipated then you learned something and it shouldn't really matter grade wise.

EDIT: I personally might do something like 6K, 7K, 8K, and 9K winds or if you have some normal wound pickups already you could make some underwound and some overwound and compare them.
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Last edited by a4lrocker at Apr 12, 2008,
#6
Quote by a4lrocker
Well its an experiment so the outcome isn't terribly important. If it doesn't work the way you anticipated then you learned something and it shouldn't really matter grade wise.

EDIT: I personally might do something like 6K, 7K, 8K, and 9K winds or if you have some normal wound pickups already you could make some underwound and some overwound and compare them.

I don't have any pickups to compare, and even if I did, they would have different parameters to the one's I'm making. I should only change one variable for the experiment. I'd do more than 6k but I don't think I'll have enough wire...
#7
Quote by sashki
I don't have any pickups to compare, and even if I did, they would have different parameters to the one's I'm making. I should only change one variable for the experiment. I'd do more than 6k but I don't think I'll have enough wire...

Ah...I see. Well at least you have it thought out pretty well. The underwound ones should pickups the sound but might need a bit more amplification. It sounds like a pretty cool experiment. Good luck.
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#9
The number of winds for your coils depends on how tall your bobbins are, what thickness wire you have, and the type of insulation you are using. If you have formvar then you should be able to cram around 8,800 winds on a 1/2" tall (inside diameter) bobbin. If you are useing poly then you should be able to get around 9,200 and for PE you could et around 9800 (give or take). If you change the bibbin size so it's just a touch taller, you can get a lot more windings on there.

Because you said you have enough for about 4 pickups I'm guessing you got yourself a half pound spool of 42awg poly from stewmac. Keeping this in mind I would advise you shoot for 7000, 8000, and 9000. For your 1st few pickups you are going to break a lot of wire so don't plan on getting more than 3 pickups. If you get for you will be lucky.

To answer your questions:

1 Your underwound pickups will easily pickup up the strings.

2 you need about a 10% change in windings to really hear a difference. So if you have a coil with 5000 winds and a coil with 5,500 winds you should hear a small change. If you have a coil with 8000 winds and a coil with 8500 winds it would be hard to hear much of a difference.

3 Yes, if each pickup is at least 1000 winds different, you should hear a significant change in tonal characteristics of each pickup.

4 Yes and no. Greater resistance does filter off treble, but there are a lot of things that can add it back in again. You also have to keep in mind that pickups produce a lot of frequencies that we can't hear so sometimes when you lower the pich of the pickup it'll sound brighter not darker. Also, there gets to be a point where you go from being muddy to being tight and compressed when you start overwinding. It's not going to happen with 42awg wire, but it will happen with 43awg wire. My 10K swingin' hot sounds brighter and clearer than my 6.2K swingin' warm but my 5.8K swingin' cool sound brighter and clearer than my swingin warm as well. So what you hear isn't always what the pickup is really doing.
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#10
Quote by mr_hankey
IB?

Yep.


Thanks, Corduroy
The thing is, it being an experiment for school, I can only change one variable, that being the DC resistance. I can't use different bobbins or magnets and stuff. I'll try to get as many pickups as I can to have more results for the experiment. I think I need a minimum of 5, but I can't make that many with decent-sized coils
#12
Unless you have a lot of money for test equipment then you don't. There is no standard or accurate way to test for resonant peak but if you make yourself a dummy coil and can get your hands on an oscilloscope and a signal generator then you can connect the dummy coil the signal generator and place it over the pickup you want to test. The pickup is connected to the oscilloscope. You then run a signal through the dummy coil and slowly change it from low frequency to high frequency. When the oscilloscope reads the highest output, that is where your resonate peak is. There are a lot of variables that cause the results to be inaccurate but it’s what most people that test this stuff do.
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#13
I do actually have access to both an oscilloscope and a signal generator, by way of my school's science department.

I read about this procedure, which said it is used to find the 'peak frequency'. Is that the same as the resonant peak?

Also, does the dummy coil contain a magnet?