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Pickup Rewinding Newbie


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I am brand new to lutherie, but I have been accepted to lutherie school for next year, and I am trying to be as prepared as possible for the course.

I've refinished my old Peavey guitar with a lot of help from the lessons on projectguitar.com, but I'm getting into pickups now. My ultimate goal is to be able to make them entirely myself, but I think I'd like to work my way up. First I'd like to just rewind my Peavey's pickups as I hear this can stop them from being so microphonic. I really don't care much about that guitar, but I think it would be a good practice step before my ultimate goal of overwinding my MexiStrat pickups to give it a more bluesy feel, like John Mayer's signature strat. My Strat's had a few operations to date, including the addition of another string tree and the elimination of the floating bridge, but I want to be careful with her. Does anyone know the best way to go about this, and how many times I should wind the pickups to give them the sound I'm looking for?



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your questions are a bit vague reguarding what they are about. are you talking about the peavey pickup rewind or the strat pickup rewind? for the amount of turns, 8000 is probably the amount of turns a vintage strat style pickup would have, so to get a bit hotter and a bit less treble maybe add another 1000 or so, say 9000 give or take a few, provided you can fit that into the bobin safely with the gauge of wire you plan on using. im not sure how many you will get as i have only wound my own bobbins. i can guess that the sound you want would be around 9,500 - 10,000 with 43 awg but i dont really know. id give it a go and rewind if nessiasary. remember that more winds (as a general rule) will give higher output, and start rolling off the high frequencies. smaller gauge (43 is smaller than 42, which is standard for strat pups) will tend to roll the highs off a bit, but you can fit more on as its smaller. thats assuming everything is the same aside from the no. of winds.

a humbucker will have 5000 turns per bobbin for a vintage style pickup, but you can go higher as always, and the rule from above still applies.

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Regarding the microphonic issue with your Peavey:

Rewinding will not change how microphonic a pickup is. But when rewinding a pickup it is more or less standard procedure to pot the pickup with wax. And it might be that part that is confusing you a bit. Potting is done by immersing the pickup in heated wax so that the wax seeps in between the wire and in between the cover (if any) and the rest of the pickup. This will hold all those part firmly to stop the vibrations caused by high volumes. It’s those vibrations that feeds back into the pickup and give a very unpleasant squeaky noise.

Regarding strat pickups:

I have managed to get 9200 turns of AWG42 wire onto a start bobbin. So you do not have to use AWG43 to make a high output strat pup. But IMHO the sound produced by that pickup is not very bluesy at all. It is a nice, creamy, thick rock sound, but nowhere close to what I think is a blues sound. I think SRV when I think blues and strat. A fat, rich but still scooped out sound. So you see it is a bit risky to assume that everyone associate the same sound to such generic description as “bluesy”.

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