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Make My Own Pickup


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some question on pickup

1) if i want to make my own pickup, what parts i need?

2) how many covers i need to do when i do a pick up?

3) after i finish the pickup, i want to check it with multimeter. how much i need to see in the display?

4) i saw in the internet that after the pickup is finish, they put the pickup in a liquid. what is this liquid? and why we need this?

5) what is the thickness wire i need?

6) do you have a drawing with sizes? i want to see what part is plastic and what part is a metal.

7) what is the diameter of the hols in the pick up?

8) if i want to build a "gibson lespaul" guitar, what pickup i need?

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Some answers om pickups:

1. depends on what type of pickup! Try a kit from Stewmac.


Not cheep but instead of getting parts from every were they are OK and the parts are decent quality. Another place to check out is Mojo:


2. I have no idea of what you mean

3. Depends on type of pickup. A Strat pickup is generally in the 5.0 to 7.0 kohms range (7 kohms is a really hot version) and traditional humbuckers (PAF style) is starting on 7 kohms. But if we are talking vintage style FilterTron HBs it will be closer to 4 kohms. So you need to specify what you plan to make before that question can be answered.

4. It's called wax potting. It is not necessary but especially for HBs with covers it will help prevent microphonics.


5. I guess that question refer to the magnet wire. The thickens of the magnet wire depends once again of what you are going to wind. The most traditional wire to use is called 42 AWG. The Tele neck pickup is traditionally made with a slightly thinner 43 AWG wire, Filtertrons are made with 44 AWG wire, early Charlie Cristian pickups were made with 38 or 39 AWG wire (and modern replicas often the same) and high output distortion type HB pickups can be made with 43 or even 44 AWG wire. But that is only the size. Then we can get into the type and thickness of the insulation. There are three main type of insulation being used. The modern solderable Polysol (there are other names being used), the traditional fender type Heavy Formvar and the traditional Gibson wire Plain Enamel. They all have different build and thus affect the size of the coil resulting in different sounds. We can also have a debate on the different dielectric properties of those insulations resulting in changes in the sound, but I think we drop that part for now. I would recommend that you use Polysol for the first couple of pickups


simply because it is much easier to handle. I remember my first try with Heavy Formvar. I had made a complete set of Strat pickups and when sanding of the insulation to be able to solder I broke the inner lead on two of the pickups. I had to start all over on those two. So stick with Polysol for the first couple of pickups as there are so many other variables to try out first before you start playing around with wire insulation type.

6. Once again: What pickup are you going to make? This is how a HB looks like:


And this is how a Tele bridge pickup looks like:


For a Strat pickup remove the bottom steel plate and for a Tele neck add a cover. Then there are more pickup types like the P90, the Filtertrons I come back to all the time, the fender Wide Range HBS and so on. Please be more specific.

I have CAD drawing of most of those pickups but I'm not willing to share those at this particularly moment It will not do you any good at this point. If you are starting out do yourself a big favor and get a kit. It will save you a lot of time, trouble and money. Yeah money! It might cost a few bucks to buy a kit but it is nothing compared to the cost to make the metal parts your self. And the plastic bobbins. Hey the mold for them will be like 10 000$.

7. I think you know what will come: Depends on the pickup type. Fender type magnets range frome .195" to .187". In HBs the so called slug poles (non adjustable) are .187 and the adjustable screw can be either metric M3 or imperial (5-40 if I remember correctly but I probably isn't). There there are pickups being made with Allen screw pole pieces, with adjustable threaded magnets (original Fender wide range HBs) and so on. More info needed.

8. At this point I got so tired of the basic questions that I almost deleted the entire post. It is obvious that you have not spent much time at all gathering information before you burst into this place asking tons of really basic stuff like "what type of pickup is used on a Gibbo LP". Please spend a minimum of time to try to find out some things for your own before you want us to provide all the fact. I have given you a bit of "harder to find" info but this is so basic and you need to do some work yourself.

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  • 11 years later...

So I've been building guitars and experimenting with a lot of things... there was this single coil seven pole pickup at the music store I frequent that had been sitting there forever! So the wheels began turning... Now I know the idea is to have a string under every pole piece, but SEVEN pole pieces gave me that NIGEL TUFNEL moment,...  mine would have SEVEN! So I theorized that if I angled the pickup like a TELE, the pole pieces would be irrelevant because at a certain angle there would be nothing but pole piece coverage for the length of the pickup... and IT WORKED... but the problem was, there seemed to be a phase cancellation between the pole pieces... meaning whatever GAIN was achieved, was cancelled out by the pole pieces being on either side of the string... so the string would vibrate one direction and the phase of the other pickup cancelled it out ! 

Just as a first concept... WHAT if you were to make the pole pieces like that of a JAZZ BASS... I have heard and seen a few things that make me think it's the case... that the pole pieces of a jazz bass, which are basically set on either side of the string, are actually REVERSE phase... meaning, one north, one south, per string, That way when the string vibrates one direction, the other pole piece doesn't cancel that out... has any one ever tried to experiment with a PUSH PULL design pickup? Was the information I got on the Jazz bass incorrect? I only ask because I saw a video on youtube and it seemed like the guy was changing the direction of the Dyminium magnets for each pole, as he was charging them with a Dyminium magnet... I'll have to look it up again... but I was wondering if it could be done, so that my DREAM neck pickup could have 12 poles or I think I could get away with 11, technically speaking.... in a push pull, alternating layout. It seems like it should work... 

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