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How Hot?

Trixie Cant Act

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Sometimes yes and sometimes no. See dimarzio.com, they have info on their pickups along with the impedance and output voltage levels that will give you a better frame of reference for output vs impedance.

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Impedance (Z) is the function of three different things:

-Resistance ®

-Inductance (L)

-Capacitance ©

The formula is:

Z = √(R2 + (ω*L-1/(ωC))2)

ω = 2πf

f is the frequency of the signal

R is easy to boost without added output. Just use a thinner wire and the resistance is upped.

Inductance is more or less the amount of magnetic material inside or in close proximity of the core. Can be upped by adding the traditional steel base plate under the Tele pickup. But I have no real experience about how a changed capacitance will change the output…

I have a LCR meater and if I use it on a Duncan 59 I have here I get the readings

R = 7530 Ohms

C = 0.000000033F

L = 3.92 H

That should mean impedance at 1000Hz of 21.18 Kohms

If we play around with those numbers we see that adding 10% on the resistance Boost the impedance with 0.6%, adding 10% on the inductance add 10.9% on the impedance and lowering (to boost the impedance) the capacitance with 10% rise the impedance with 2,1%. In my experience an added steel base plate (boosted inductance) like on a Tele bridge pickup doesn’t really boost the output that much for the bass and mid, but mostly in the treble range (and yeah the formula says it would do that). The conclusion is that you could probably get really high impedance without a higher perceived output. There is much more to it. In my experience the turn count on the coil and the magnetic flux is much more important. And remember a ceramic magnet will boost the flux but lower the impedance as it means less steel in the pickup. I have published the turn count/flux formula before on this forum. Make a search if you want more information about that.

And generally I think that you have mixed up impedance with the much more often published DC resistance...

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ok so a basic question (I think) is it so that a higher impedence is a hotter/louder pickup? Like 11k is louder than a 6k pickup?

For what it's worth, "hot" is not always "good" depending on your set up. From my experience if you're into straight tube amps, then using a hotter pickups will allow you to push the amp to "break up" earlier. Even then, that depends on the amp circuitry, tubes, etc. The pickup ultimately acts as an other gain factor. If your using transistor or power amps with processors for gain or overdrive, a really hot pickup is the last thing you want a high volume levels. It turns into a real squellarama. In this case, you start having to sacrifice or "detune" your tone via the guitars volume. Case in point; I use 2 different rigs. One consists of a Traynor Custom Special head, and a 4X12 cab. The other is a stereo setup, GNX3, GR-50, EQ, and several delays and othe noise makers fed to a QSC RMX1450 feeding 2 2X12 cabs (left and right channel). Now, I have one guitar loaded with Motherbuckers which weigh in at around 20K on the ohm scale. The Traynor will just scream with these suckers, but I don't even think about using them with my other rig unless I'm running hyper clean, or standing about a half-mile away from the cabs. With my stereo rig I've found that 10 or 11Kohm is the MAX that I want to run and still have enough flexibility to really play with the gain. 6 to 8Kohms really allow me to explore the tone spectrum from one end to the other with the stereo rig, but sound really lethargic with the Traynor.

In a nut shell, a friend of mine who is also an avid golfer remarked once; Finding the right pickup is like finding just the right club. Part style, part feel, part trial and error, and part black magic.


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But don't forget that a higher DC resistance doesn't necessary means a higher output either...

As above; use the same turn count but go to a thinner wire will boost the DC resistance but will, if anything, reduce the output. At least the perceived output.

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