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I'm positive there are a ton and a half sites out there on guitar wiring, how pickups work, etc. Guitarnuts.com comes to mind, and googling 'pickup construction' or similar, and searching archives should help.

Basic 'for dummies' approach to pickups, as I understand it: you wrap a bunch of fine guague magnet wire (insulated, thin copper wire) around either magnets directly (Fender-type pickup), or apply a magnet (Humbucker) or magnets (P-90) to the bottom of a coil of wire wrapped around a bobbin, with metal/magenetic slugs/screws of some kind to 'guide' the magnetic field into the coil.

So, basically, wire wrapped around magnetic metal bits.

This entire assembly is creating an electromagnetic field. Put ferromagnetic things in there (strings, in this case), and let them vibrate, and they'll 'distort' the magentic field/flux lines the pickup's created. This flux creates current (electrons moving) in the pickup. The two ends of this big looped wire contraption with magnetic cores that's 'sensing' string vibration are the ground and hot leads, and hooked up to your controls, and ultimately your amplifier. Problem with single coils: in addition to desired 'interference patterns' (ie, string vibrations), they also pick up electromagnetic interference from lights, power supplies, refrigerators, the list goes on. That's why you want shielding, to keep most of it out.

What humbuckers do is stick together two of these coils, that have both opposite magnetic and electrical polarity (I think; if I'm wrong, someone correct me please!), and puts them in series. This cancels out the hum, but not the signal. You get a similar effect from 'reverse wound, reverse polarity' pickups on strats when combined with neck and/or bridge pickups.

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Hi I'm trying to understand how pickups work. So far i can understand there is a magnet, steel strings some winding wire and a magnetic filed and a pull on the steel strings and humbuckers have less hum and noise due to the presence of two single coils which cancel each other out? I Don't understand.

I'm still learning myself

Check out the link to a guy that explains quite a lot about pickups

Electric Guitar Pickups :D

dayvo :D

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