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Thread: Pickup Coils

  1. #1
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    01.11.08 @ 09:17 PM
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    What do these do to make the pickup work? What happens if I take some of the coil off?

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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    DO NOT TAKE PART OF THE COIL OFF!!!!!
    DO NOT TAKE PART OF THE COIL OFF!!!!!
    DO NOT TAKE PART OF THE COIL OFF!!!!!
    DO NOT TAKE PART OF THE COIL OFF!!!!!
    DO NOT TAKE PART OF THE COIL OFF!!!!!
    DO NOT TAKE PART OF THE COIL OFF!!!!!
    DO NOT TAKE PART OF THE COIL OFF!!!!!
    DO NOT TAKE PART OF THE COIL OFF!!!!!
    DO NOT TAKE PART OF THE COIL OFF!!!!!
    DO NOT TAKE PART OF THE COIL OFF!!!!!
    DO NOT TAKE PART OF THE COIL OFF!!!!!
    DO NOT TAKE PART OF THE COIL OFF!!!!!
    DO NOT TAKE PART OF THE COIL OFF!!!!!

    [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img] [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img] [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img] [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img]

    That coil is what makes a pickup work! You have a magnet, insulated by a bobbin, surrounded with a copper coil. The copper coil is what induces the current! The ends of that coil are your pickup leads; one is the start wire and the other is the finish wire. A pickup is just an electromagnet. Even harming one wrap of wire can be enough to destroy your pickup!

    So, DO NOT SCREW WITH THE COIL!!

    What are you trying to accomplish by this? I am curious, coz if it were possible to remove part of the coil (which it really is NOT!!), you would get a brighter sound with less output. There are many other ways to modify a guitar's sound; tampering with a pickup coil is not one of them.
    Don't bark at me...<b>I</b> didn't name ya.

  3. #3
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    I believe some pickup manufacturers make tapped pickups, but I can't remember which right off. These allow you to use either all or half of the windings on the pickup. But like Abe said, do not mess with the windings. Sure you can get some of them off, and you may even be able to get the thing to work again, but why take the chance? If you want a different sound, just go out and buy a new pickup. If you don't like the way it sounds, and you don't screw it up installing it, more than likely the place you bought it at will let you swap it for a different one.
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    I have to disagree Kenyon.
    Like Abe says you'll possibly screw it up, but if it's a cheap single coil(humbuckers are harder to work with), and you have the patience, as long as you're aware of the consequences, and it's not wax potted, go for it.
    I used to buy cheap pickups for 5. and unwind them, and then rewind them a no. of times. I still have my "tester" guitar. It's an old kramer with the back routed out partially so I can install a pickup quickly, attached to a wood plug from the back without having to restring.
    I've rewound and destroyed some of the pickups but got some good results too, even joining different sets of humbuckers together to see what the result would be.
    I made sets of single coils into humbuckers as well and got some strange results there too. You can add or remove windings, or even criss cross them which will change the sound dramatically depending on how it's done.
    You'll need a low power soldering iron, to reattach the lead to the bobbin wire, and like I said, patience. If you unwind follow the pattern for when you're rewinding.
    I got some really strange results at times as well. I don't have the time (or patience)for it anymore, but if the pickup is cheap and you're carefull why not experiment.
    Get used to working on a single coil before you try a humbucker, and if it's a decent pickup that you can trade back in I'd go that route, but there's no reason not to try something new with a cheapo. You don't have to worry about electric shock as long as you don't have wet hands, and you never know what you'll come up with.

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    09.05.15 @ 12:20 PM
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    hehe, I remember when I was that adventurous Tribb!

    These day, unless you want to experiment, there's ne real need to fuck with your p/u's.

    Most Duncun p/u's come with the specs on how to coil tap your p/u, and it works like a hot damned.

    In my Robin, I have 2 Duncan humbuckers, but they're wired so the coil of each p/u is tapped. This give me (via a 5 way selector switch) 5 different tones, ranging from balls out humbucker to strat and tele single coil tones.

    At the end of my fucking around with p/u's period, I had completely unwound a humbucker and was rewinding it when I broke the copper wiring. I took the p/u and all the wiring, and fires it into the garbage! That was the last time I messed around with the windings! lol
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    LOL..Right into the garbage eh HU.
    You wouldn't believe the coils of copper wire I had left over from the ones I fucked up. It's a tedious process and the wire has to be constantly tamped down to keep it tight and even without breaking, but it was wild to take a stock pickup and make it sound different without knowing what the hell you were doing.
    I was doing it back in the 80's when there weren't as many to choose from, and the ones that were around sounded like shit for the most part unless you wanted a standard sound.
    Nowadays there's so many types and coil taps available that it's easier to pick one up and test it. If you don't like it sell it.
    It's still pretty cool to see what you can come up with.

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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    SHEESH! It's hard enough winding a pickup with the right machines, and you guys did it by hand? [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img] Out of curiousity, how many gray hairs did that give ya?

    The furthest I've ever gone was trying to get the magnets out of a pickup (single coil) to make a dummy coil to cancel hum. It would have worked too, except there wasn't enough room in the guitar for it when I was done! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] I ruined 4 of them doing it! (they were freebies, so it was no real loss)

    But rewinding by hand? Hell, that damn near merits an M.D. with a concentration in surgery! You guys got balls, I'll tell ya that!
    Don't bark at me...<b>I</b> didn't name ya.

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    01.11.08 @ 09:17 PM
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    Well I'm glad I asked. It's just the middle-position pickup in my Standard Strat. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

 

 

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