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Pickup Slugs And Led Electrical Interference...


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How much effect do the mass of the slugs in a humbucker count? I'm talking the non adjustable pole pieces here. Could I dismantle a pickup, remove the slugs and drill the hollow? Would this create an adverse effect on the pickups sound?

Also, do LED's have an effect on hum or tone or something, especially when in close proximity to the pickups? Even inside them?

I had a idea that would look awesome if it worked, drilling out the slugs and putting LED's inside them, but it woulnd't be worth trying if it would create any hum or buzz.

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Hi AG...

Well your idea is possible but not advisable...those slugs are there for a reason you know. They transfer the magnetic energy through the core of the pickup's coil. One side of a hmbucker is north the other sounth. If you remove the slugs you turn the pickup into a kind of single coil with a dummy (non-sensing coil) beside it. It will drastically effect the tone and reduce the humbucking effect, not to mention output, etc.

However it would look cool. This idea has been discussed in the sustainer thread a while back when i added lights to show when the sustainer was activated...here's a pic of one...


Notice what i did is put 5 lights between the strings instead of where the poles would be. Looked pretty cool...got a bit of flak cause it had no bearing on the working of the device...but certaily looked amazing.

Now lights between the poles would work on a pickup too...but...if you so much as touch or heat the coil you risk destroying it through breakages and shorts. If you were into winding your own coils and were starting from scratch there would be no problem...it would still be do-able...but would be of some considerable risk.

The lights instead of poles would look even more effective as they would shine on the strings but as i say, is not really practical. We discussed some other ideas along this line too and there are some graphics of what the thing would look like that were pretty special. One idea wes to have underlights that would shine out around the pickup (like some pimped out cars)...this might be more possible with a uncovered pickup but not shure if it would look so good really.

Nice idea though isn't it and may even be possible with some inventiveness with a wholey custom designed pickup concept...i'm thinking two thin blades in the core with a lighted strip between on each coil, for instance...but would require a bit of R&D there...pete

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Ahh, thaks for that post.

I have seen the LED's behind the pickups, and it looks pretty fly, but I was going for something a little more unique.

Another idea I had along these line was with fibre optics. I know very little about F.O. but I would assume, as it is just light, it wouldn't effect the sound of your bucker, but perhaps even the very small hole in the slug (needed to install the fibre optic) would?

Also, I know fibre optics are used in fretboard side inlays, but do they heat up?

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No fibre optics dont heat up. LED's are pretty cool too. Drilling the whole is what will cause the heat! I'dont like your chances of getting a neat hole down the centre of a slug...however...

How about this...the slugs in a humbucker (not a traditional fender single coil BTW) go through the bobbin and dont make contact with the coil itself. They can therefore be removed. Now, how about replacing them with hollowed out cores as you describe. Get some steel rivets (not aluminium) of the same diameter and long enough and cut off the flat end and file to the right length...instan hollowed core. Now you could use fibre optics or SMD or just very small LED's glued into them. You will need to plan the wiring/optics feed carefully so as not to interfere with the pickups magnet and such. I used rivets as cores in some pickup design experiments and they worked fine. You may well find LED's small enough (certainly SMD's) to fit down the rivets to achieve the effect and these would be much easier than optics i suspect...good luck though...pete

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