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Winding technique or pole diameter?


tparker
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Just getting into pickup winding. Got lucky and spoiled with first attempt and created my favorite pickup of all times. So my second attempt was of course doomed to be much less impressive. Which it is.

I'm trying to create something that complements a TV Jones P90 neck pickup. That thing sounds like an orchestra of different overtones. Mine....... not so much. It of course sounds a thicker and muddier in the neck, but it also has a "honey sweat" nature to it. I played around with different magnets and settle on a A5 & A2 combination. Noticed that the pole pieces on the TV Jones are larger. What effect does that have? I'm guessing the nature of the metal also changes things.

Does the scatter winding technique matter much? Can't find much writing on how to scatter wind things. The only other thing I can think is that the first time I used soap to lube my hand. Second time I used lip balm which, at least for my hand was much better. Think I read somewhere that others use cooking flower.

Guess I'll keep experimenting, but wanted to see if others had to say on this.

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gawd I hope some folks who have winding experience will chime in as I'm terribly fascinated by many of the questions you've asked... that said I have never even attempted a wind.  Mostly because I have attempted to convert from 2 conductor to 4 conductor on at least two occasions and have wound up with wire broken off somewhere back where I can't even see it.  Damn you sausage fingers! 

I don't know what physically changes when you go to A2... but I def gravitate towards the sound of it.  have two guitars with A2P90s that I' love the sound of, some singles that are A2 and resonate with me... and my fav seymour pickup is the A2 Pro.  Lots of others I like but I don't think it's a coincidence that most of my favs are A2.

I don't think it's common to hear about scatterwound on a p90 but given the time period?  Then again afa I know no one ever talks about scatterwound in pafs either... perhaps gibson had more consistent winders?  well, in the context of single coils it afaik it refers to the inconsistencies in the wind (moving it randomly up/down the bobbin as it winds).  I guess you likely already knew that.  It might not be common on a  p90 because afaik it makes for a larger footprint and most p90s don't have room to spare no? 

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I've seen a couple of videos about Fender's long time pickup winders. Looking at how they do it with the ancient spinners I dare say that all pickups made by hand are more or less scatterwound. Back in the 40's, 50's, 60's they most likely didn't have accurate enough ways to mechanically guide the wire into the narrow slot as neatly as on storage spools, at least not at the speed a pickup is wound.

At least a little inaccuracy is recommendable in winding pickups. If the wire rounds are uniformly side by side, layer by layer, there's a lot of contact surface between adjacent loops and layers which may cause leaking issues if the insulation is thinner at some spots. Also, if the wire is spun uniformly, an accidental tightening during the winding may cause the wire to cut through the layers, again potentially harming the insulation. A transverse loop every now and then prevents the wire from cutting deeper than that. So far it's just about structural integrity. When we start talking about how scatter winding affects tone, it's a different story. It's about finding the recipe by trial and error and painstaikingly making notes about how much extra wiggling you do and at which stage.

As for the size of the polepieces, a larger piece logically thinking most likely has a larger magnetic field to gather the vibrations with weaker magnets. You can also enlarge the field by using stronger magnets but at some point they'd start pulling the strings, thus killing the sound. Following that logic a weak magnet with a large polepiece should gather more harmonics.

 

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I hear ya about wire breaking the wires Mikev. I've killed 3 pickups this past month. No big loss in that I made them..... but frustrating.

I'm going to try a new method tomorrow. It's the inside coil wire that is always the killer in that if it breaks, game over. Going to try something new tomorrow in terms of connecting to the solder point to the wire. Saw a pickup that had the 42 gauge wire going directly to a larger gauge wire instead of a eyelet. Game me an idea to protect the inside wire.

I'll try bigger screws Bizman. If that doesn't work I'm kidnap Tom Jones. ;) 

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8 minutes ago, tparker said:

I hear ya about wire breaking the wires Mikev. I've killed 3 pickups this past month. No big loss in that I made them..... but frustrating.

I'm going to try a new method tomorrow. It's the inside coil wire that is always the killer in that if it breaks, game over. Going to try something new tomorrow in terms of connecting to the solder point to the wire. Saw a pickup that had the 42 gauge wire going directly to a larger gauge wire instead of a eyelet. Game me an idea to protect the inside wire.

I'll try bigger screws Bizman. If that doesn't work I'm kidnap Tom Jones. ;) 

i only have one question... like... "what's new pussycat" tom jones?  and what's he got to do with all this!!  anywho... here's hoping that goes smooth as silk for you.  would love to see your pickups and hear a demo!!

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4 hours ago, tparker said:

Saw a pickup that had the 42 gauge wire going directly to a larger gauge wire instead of a eyelet.

Changing the gauge is another method of fine tuning the sound of pickups. You can do it anywhere in the winding process and the results may vary accordingly. The idea of having thicker wire for the last rounds and through the eyelet has the stamp "durable" on it.

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Success!!!

1. I added a second brass plate to the bottom of the pickup. I read in other posts that people added steal to the bottom of their bridge pickups to mellow them out. Maybe this is similar to effect of the Tele bridge plate?

2. I swapped the position of the A2 and A5 magnets. Now A2 is closer to the neck and the A5 is a the bridge. Maybe this helped mellow the 5 and power the A2. But anyway, I'm done messing with the thing. Time to have fun playing it.

 

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