Jump to content

Custom pickup winding


Polymaker
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I've recently started guitar building and I've begun with a starter project: an electric ukulele (les paul type).
It's going well for now and I will post my build log soon, but I've hit a wall regarding the electronics .

Since electric ukuleles are not mainstream, I couldn't find any pre-made pickups (aside from acoustic pickups) and from what I've seen by googling many tend to use regular 6 strings pickups. But personally I find it too large and it takes-up too many space on the body. So I've decided to build my own pickup (I'm aware it may be a little too complex for a beginner...) 

I plan (in fact I've started) to mod an humbucker pickup kit by cutting down each piece and removing a section to bring it to 4 strings.

Now my question is about the winding of this thing, From what I've gathered, the "standard" winding is about 7000 turns. But I'm wondering how it scales to a 4 strings pickup. From my little knowledge of electronics, I understand that the resistance of the pickup is related to the total length of the wire. So since the bobbin will be smaller, does it means that I need to do more turns (to get about the same length) or because it is a smaller pickup maybe I don't need that much resistance.

Any help an general advice on pickup winding would be appreciated!

(As a bonus I've attached a picture to show my progress so far)

les paul ukulele.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A pickup's output is proportional to the number of turns of wire wound on the core. The resistance of the coil is a byproduct of the length of the copper wire used. So assuming the cut-down pickup bobbin has the same height and depth as a full sized one, you should be able to fit the same number of turns on.

Same number of turns on a smaller bobbin means less wire used, which on turn means less resistance. Lower resistance with same number of turns won't mean that the pickup has weaker output, but it will probably make the pickup sound different. My gut feel is that it will sound brighter than the equivalent full sized pickup.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, curtisa said:

A pickup's output is proportional to the number of turns of wire wound on the core. The resistance of the coil is a byproduct of the length of the copper wire used. So assuming the cut-down pickup bobbin has the same height and depth as a full sized one, you should be able to fit the same number of turns on.

Same number of turns on a smaller bobbin means less wire used, which on turn means less resistance. Lower resistance with same number of turns won't mean that the pickup has weaker output, but it will probably make the pickup sound different. My gut feel is that it will sound brighter than the equivalent full sized pickup.

Thank you for the explanation. Would using 43 gauge wire would be advisable to achieve a more warmer sound in this case?

Your answer also made me wonder how the number of turns and the target resistance scales up for different sized pickups. Because in the first place I tried to find information on building 7 or 8 strings pickups to see how they scale so I can make the calculation and apply it to 4 strings. But I found this kind information to be very scarce on the internet. I looked on the seymour duncan website and it seems the resistance is increased relative to the number of strings but dimarzio ones seems to lower for 7 strings but increase for 8 strings (IRC).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...