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Home Made Pickups Peavey Vandenberg

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So i am a proud, scratch that very proud owner of a first generation Peavey Vandenberg serial no. 00000840.ok that wasn' the original reason for posting but after a bit of probling i was looking into the pickups and i dig the single coil but its very, very weak. peavey documentation describes both pickups as medium high output alnico 2. and this is a 6.8k pickup in the neck i have had squier pickups hotter than that. however i digress after a closer listening and inspection i thought that it was a short because sometimes it sounds better than usual and sometimes its thin city so i checked all the wiring and the pickup itself and nothing seems wrong same reading as a few weeks ago when i bought it.

So i am going to wind an old replacement pickup a bit hotter with some heavier wire and then drop it in. of course keeping the original pickup. but for a quick drop in single coil what kind of replacement would be good? the body is poplar and i have no solid experince with this wood and the last time i had a non traditional strat with a neck single was years ago so i am a bit at a loss.

also i have a few pics of my 37ga wire p-90 and Single Coil that i wound by hand and potted tonight. i have yet to install them as the wax is drying and they still need leads soldered on. but the weirdest thing is i wound both of these rather quick piling on way more wire [well there is more wire bulging off the form than before. i realize that it is a bigger wire but the p 90 from duncan only had on its form half of the space used and measured 11.1k. i wound it till it was spilling off the sides and got about 1.5k so we will see if these little buggers will even do anything lol] super low resistance, i know the larger wire you get less resistance but i wonder if there is a formula for gauge vs winds vs resistance or simply guage length resistance. well any help would be appreciated and i will post some better pics of pickups and guitar soon my phone is dying ciao for now

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update photos uploaded but photobucket is down for maintenance. so have to post those later. however i did manage to get the pickup working today. i was worried about the low dc resistance. well i had no reason to fear this pickup is a beast. i am going to cut some sample as soon as i finish gluing a new magnet to it. it is clear as can be on the top end without being shrill. i placed it in the neck pickup position and was i shocked just held over the strings it was nearly as loud as my Duncan hot rails. which is just under 12k. the pickup measured exactly 478 ohms. yep ohms. and i hooked it up to a test rig set the volume to the same as i would normaly and then a/b compared them. the Duncan had a bit more low end BOOM but this was so clear i could not believe it. well anyway enough of my ranting i am going to finish my pickup winder and start cranking out my prototype humbucker. one coil 42 guage wire second coil slightly larger with a bar pole piece instead and wound with 37ga wire. well the real test comes when i get my p-90 godin out of hock.

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Great to se more people trying out pickup winding!

i wonder if there is a formula for gauge vs winds vs resistance or simply guage length resistance.

There are a few coil calculation orograms. This one is used for backwards engineering:

http://www.salvarsan.org/pickups/Coil_Estimator.html

if you know a pickup size, wire and resistance you can calculate the number of turns. So you probably made around 1800 turns according to tis tool.

This one:

http://pickups.myonlinesite.com/pickup.php

Is for calculating a shape of the coil based on bobbin size and shape and the wire used.

It would be graeat to hear the results of you work

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actually no i made over 6000 wraps on the single coil. i counted them but after 6000 i got bored and only wound a few more minutes cool links i will check it out. i think this is some seriously low resistance wire

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used the first one. got out the digital callipers and used 1967 strat and entered my measurements and it came up with 1904 wraps but i think part of that is that you have to know the resistance per foot and the insulation size. it called for .0055 on the insulation core size but the 37ga i have is only .003 with this type of differences i think the best way is to simply measure out how much resistance for foot i will have to do it manually and compose a formula for this particular wire. thanks again for the links though i will use it to tailor my results

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Hmmm, 6000 turns and 478 Ohms just don't add upp. As I know that you know how to use a muli meter properly I'm sure the measurement is right. However I can't really understand how that much wire can yield a pickup with that low resistance.

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i was wondering the same thing but i think its the wire. i wound another coil last night and i will admit i wasn't perfect at counting the wraps but hey at 5am and over 5000 turns i stopped and haven't reached 1k on the meter yet. perhaps because this was used to wind coils in electric motors? not sure the wire was a gift from my shop buddy. soon as i find the master spool [moved the master spool last year and don't quite remember where i put it] i will post the info on the spool. this time i wound it slower than usual and made doubly sure of no kinks or anything and its very well insulated takes quite a bit of effort to sand off without breaking the wire

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That quantity of winds, equalling that resistance, makes it 37-38AWG wire. Most likely 38, unless you wound it real tight, then 37AWG.

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I thought about the broken wire idea. Actually that was my first thought which is why I never potted it or took it any further. So I just wound a new one and another. All of them have low resistance including themachine wound coil for the device. And yes I am sure its 37 guage and your right perry I did wind it tight. Going to look fit spool tonight after work

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well I was thinking that instead of a broken wire it might have been k I n k e d or broken but exposed and with the tightness of the rap periodically touching. but then I thought that would give me sporadic resistance. probly wanting another oil tonight. sorry for misspelling voice to text on my phone is crazy and I am driving now

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I'm a bit confused here. I'm not sure we are talking about the same pickup(s):

i have a few pics of my 37ga wire p-90 and Single Coil that i wound by hand and potted tonight[…] i wound it till it was spilling off the sides and got about 1.5k

the pickup measured exactly 478 ohms. yep ohms.

actually no i made over 6000 wraps on the single coil. i counted them but after 6000 i got bored and only wound a few more minutes

If you say that you got 6000 turns of AWG37 on a P90 style bobbin (and I’m not sure I follow you here…) and it measured 478 ohms something are wrong. The resistance per meter for AWG 37 is 1,72:

http://www.daycounte...ators/AWG.phtml

That means with 478 ohms you got 278 meters or 912 feet of wire there. On a "normal" pickup bobbin you get roughly 10 cm or .1 meter of wire for each turn (very rough here, I agree). So 278 meter will yield in the area of 2500 to 3000 turns and not even close to 6000 turns of wire???

However if you say that this is a traditional Single Coil (as mentioned, I cannot really follow what pickup has what mesurements…):

over 5000 turns i stopped and haven't reached 1k on the meter yet

It makes a bit more sense. ~1 kohm is 550-600 meters of wire and that will for sure end up in the 5000 turns range.

However in the end there is only one thing that counts: if the pickup sounds good then everything is fine. The thing concerning me is that some day in the future you might want to replicate those pickups and then you need to have those things figured out. Repeatability is one of the hardest things in pickup winding. I’m still struggling a bit with that…

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i have made multiple pickups with this wire. the first one was a single coil and the 478 ohms and if starting at one end of the coil lets say the far left of it and going all the way around the coil till you stop where youstarted is one revolution or wrap or turn or whatever we would like to call it [ps this is the internet so i feel i must say i am not being an ass only trying to make sure we are using the same terms to kill confusion] ie 360 degrees of rotation then yes the single coil i did indeed make over 6000 turns on it. i am a pretty good counter. the p 90 was pickup no. two as outlined in i thought i screwed up when i got a low reading so i wound another picukp. that one has more than the single coil on it although i am not sure by how much exactly but its wound off the bobbin because at that point i figured the wire was crap and it would never work so i just kept going for giggles sake

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Most winders refer to it as "turn count" and turns and that’s what I call it, no problem using any other term that you feel comfortable with.

OK, I think I get it. Then it is the first one, the SC measuring 478 ohms with 6000+ turns that I don't understand. The others numbers make more sense and are in the ballpark. My suspicion is that the first one was a traditional SC with bare rod magnets as part of the bobbin. Is that right? If so you might have a short were the wire has rubbed against the rough surface of the magnets and worn through the insulation. That might explain the low DCR reading of that pickup. Many winders lacquer the assembled bobbin to prevent that or (my method) use masking tape to protect the wire.

Generally regarding thick vs. thin wire:

Heavy wire will give you a physically bigger coil (wider) as the wire is thicker compared to winding the same amount (number of turns) on the same coil. That will affect the sound in that a wider coil ”senses" a wider part of the string (generally considered to give a fuller/warmer sound). At the same time a coil made from the same number of turns of a thicker wire will have a lower DCR. Now DCR isn't the main factor to focus on. There is a well known equation that gives the direct correlation between turn count and general output of a pickup (well at least indirect) but I cannot dig it out right now (I've posted it before so it is possible to search). However a lower DCR with the same turn count will also affect the sound in that the DCR is part of the filter system that the complete guitar electronics make up (And I'm way out of my comfort zone here, talking about filters in analogue electronics). Probably the most obvious thing that heavier wire does is that it prevents you from getting a full coil.

Regarding the P90, the standard value is 10 000 turns of (AWG42) wire and even though a P90 with anything from 5-6000 turns and up will produce a signal loud enough it will not produce a traditional P90 sound (but maybe something that suits the player much better). Anyway it is perfectly fine to use different type of wires and there is no such thing as "the one and only way" to make stuff. I think more people should go off the beaten path and try new stuff. If possible it would be very interesting to hear your pickups as I haven't used as thick wire as AWG37 and I'm really curious about the end result.

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lol king of double posts my friend. no the strat pickup is a magnet on bottom one. i think photobucket is done now so i should be able ot get the pics done

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i didn;t measure this pickups coil ie the space that it had before i wound it but after looking at it i remember why i chose this one because it has pretty flat pole pieces across and it seemed like it was a bit larger than the other ones i had lying around. the p-90 however was a duncan with 42ga wire and it was 11.7 or 11.1 k something like that it was 11+ and 15+ i pulled the bridge pickup and pt it in the neck pickup to give me that sweet singing lead tone. and i put a dimarzio humbucker that looks like the p-90 it came out of a yamaha pacifica that had three of them i should have got the hottest one but it crunches quite nice in the godin les paul copy and the neck pickup sings. but anyway i digress so when i pulled the pickup apart i was shocked to see that this thing was only wound half way that high of an output and there was easily twice the space left on the spool. i measured it but i didn't have digital calipers or calipers at all back then but once i cut off the old wire i found that i did indeed have twice the depth available than what the used so i decided pickup no. 2 would be that one and as you can see its quite fat. don't be fooled by the pick there was no more room on the coil thats not loose winding that was tight as you can get without breaking the wire. i still haven't played that one. yet, and don't worry i am going to post some clips i think we are going to use my buddies strat as a test rig. i am waiting on my new magnets to get here as well as my gauss meter. as soon as i finish my pickup winder i will wind another strat pickup with over 6000 turns and measure again. i wish i could find that wire spool i don't know where it is now i have something like a 30lb role of it.

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hey swedishluthier i have a question for you. its pickup related but instead of starting another topic i will ask here i don't think the topic starter will mind :)

i am in the process of designing a new neck pickup tone for my Parker fly. i started with the original air Norton clone [which btw for all those looking to know its just an air Norton same wire same magnet strength so unless they used a different alnico same pickup.] totally hate the Norton series but that's my opinion. i got the second generation set of pickups which is a better neck definitely and a different bridge. i personally like the tone zone in there but if i go back to that then i am stuck with an output imbalance. well anyway i like to drop my neck pickup real low on the bass side and i add a hpf in series with the pickup so i get a major freq shift going on i get a nice grind on the low strings but then as i go up in the freq range it gets more gain and smoother. now i know how to do all this on a regular guitar but the fly you can't lean the pickup its kind of there. so i was thinking of making a special bobbin. slightly less winds on the bass side say like a sloped bobbin kind of like the lace sensors only not sideways. and with more room on the treble half of the bobin think like staircases. e and the a would get the least winds the d a and g more and the b and e the most. or would it be simpler to just make a four pole pickup and a two pole one if i have to go to the trouble to make the thing from scratch. what do you think? btw i post this publicly cause i would appreciate anyones answers so long as we understand that this question is about the parker fly. as its a different beast all together.

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Yeah, I don't understand why I keep double-posting all the time...

With that type of coil (the strat type pickup) it is of cause not a case of short circuit against the magnets. Then it can be that the insulation is bad and you have section of the wire were it flakes of/wears thin and causes shorts. Then I should discard that spool of wire and get a new fresh one. If it's not a problem with the insulation I really don't understand the low DCR of that pickup.

A pickup with two different coils for bass/treble strings can and have been done. I make a hum-free strat pickup that does really sound like a traditional Strat pickup (I try to avoid the "vintage" word...):

DSCF3625.jpg

There is also some makers that manage to fit them in a straight line (I have seen both Strat and J-bass pickups that fit in traditional covers) and I think that with careful planning it should also be possible to fit them into a HB shape. The only issue I can think about is that if you place the coils in a straight line and bend a string so that it ends up exactly between the two outer poles of each coil the signal will be 100% out of phase and canselled. Thats why I have my coils offset so that doesn't happen as the two coils will sense different parts of the string.

Making one coil with a lower part and a higher part (if I understand you right) with a slanting upper flange is simpler in that you just need two custom made coils and not four and you avoid the problem with string cansellation. On the other hand it is extremely hard to wind a coil like that on a machine without a CNC controlled traverse or you will need to do it completely by hand. Anyway, it's do-able and and I would love to se it made.

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well i guess the only thing now is to just go ahead and try it. i decided to go ahead and rewind this humbucker i have sitting at the shop its a real piece of doo doo. so i am going to try something different i have a few little neo mags lying around and i was thinking of winding one coil with the lower ga string and the other with the higher ga and just putting the two together and see what kind of nonsense i can scrape up. the idea for the heavier gauge wire came when i decided to keep a single coil in the bridge of my new stratocaster i am working on a nice purple beauty with a maple neck and fretboard with a huge headstock. this thing is getting all the stops pulled out on it, Freezer and uv treatment on the body and neck. new fret wire 6105 to be exact. scalop fretboard on the last half of the board. extra fret tacked on to the end of the board, extended scale length and a killer pickup treatment the bridge will be a nice fat single coil on a bobbin i am making. 10% longer 15% wider and 30% taller it will have about 6000 winds of 42ga, coupled with 4000 winds of 37ga and then another 4000 of 44ga. the end of the 37ga will be my tap point [as i am quite fond of multi tap pickups] and the push push pot will give me the last 4000 winds of the 44ga. just need to order some more wire and i finish my winder and i will be off. i already got my my reed relay, my motor and my wood for my winder just need the rods and the pulleys and the rheostat

here is the pickup idea i am talking about except in a humbucker form.

pickupidea.jpg

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Love to see/hear the reasult of that. Innovations are just to scarse in pickup winding these days.

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well i started on it last night i am still gluing the pieces on trying to make them stick is a little tough being so thin. i am figuring i will make a plaster cast of it and make a wax replica and smooth it down a bit and make one last mold and pour my bobbins.

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ok well things have been slow here in pickup land. i was waiting on a check to clear to get my wire from stewmac and well that kind of went south when the router took a dump ie computer router. so hooray 85 bucks on a new d link at least its the top of the line. and for now i am possibly going to have to switch jobs but hopefully a little bench time will open up soon. i finished the first prototype single coil it is a single split instead of the triple layer i posted previously. still looking for a killer single that's loud enough for the ole vandy. i might actually shoebox the whole pickup set and just go completely custom on it. had to put it up for now since i am fixing the slight chip on the headstock as well. oh well sleep time cometh

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ok i finally got my wire in. well it was more waiting on cash to come available and to stop buying guitars on my one off day. well then i glued up the prototype bobbin and broke my first bit of wire and decided that when my shop outside is finished i will work on it some more. by then i hope to be down to one job a week

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Recently there were a thread about a similar concept, although with concentric coils over at the pickup winding forum:

David Schwab's DeArmond repair

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