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Thread: Humbucker Bobbin Screw and Slug Alloy

  1. #1
    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Humbucker Bobbin Screw and Slug Alloy

    A magnet seller lists Humbucker adjustment Screws and Slugs in 1018 &1022 alloy.
    He lists these alloys for both Plated and non plated parts.
    Which alloy would have the best magnetic properties?
    I presume it would be 1018. 1018 has less carbon than the 1022?
    Is this correct?
    Thanks in advance.
    Terry

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    Woodgrinder/Pickupwinder copperheadroads's Avatar
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    yep lower number= lower carbon & more magnetic

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    Just keep in mind that these tolerances can be very loose. No one is going to test every batch of steel to make sure it's got exactly .018 or .022% carbon because no one else in industry is going to give a hoot. There may be a few here who can claim to hear a difference of ..03% carbon but I can't, I doubt I could hear a difference between 1005 and 1022.

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    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Lower carbon steel will sound warmer than higher carbon steel. You may, or may not, want that. So try both and see what works in your formula.
    It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure. Albert Einstein

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    Supporting Member belwar's Avatar
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    1018 is a great humbucker slug alloy. PAF's traditionally used a quick machining steel which is even lower in carbon.

  6. #6
    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Well actually I'm considering buying a batch of slugs, and they are 1010 vs. 1018.
    So I guess your saying for low output humbuckers the 1010 would sound warmer, than the 1018.
    Most of my humbuckers are less than 10k.
    I will probably order the 1010 nickel plated.
    Terry

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    Old Timer RedHouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    Well actually I'm considering buying a batch of slugs, and they are 1010 vs. 1018.
    So I guess your saying for low output humbuckers the 1010 would sound warmer, than the 1018.
    Most of my humbuckers are less than 10k.
    I will probably order the 1010 nickel plated.
    Terry
    That reminds me, Jimmy Page once.... oh, sorry.

  8. #8
    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedHouse View Post
    That reminds me, Jimmy Page once.... oh, sorry.
    I give up, am I missing something here?
    Help!
    Terry

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    Old Timer RedHouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    I give up, am I missing something here?
    Help!
    Terry
    Sorry, a mix-up of threads.

  10. #10
    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedHouse View Post
    Sorry, a mix-up of threads.
    Hello Brad:
    No problem.
    Tell me more about Jimmy Page.
    You know how I like anything to do with Zeppelin
    Terry

  11. #11
    Old Timer RedHouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    Hello Brad:
    No problem.
    Tell me more about Jimmy Page.
    You know how I like anything to do with Zeppelin
    Terry

    Does this ring any bells...?

    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    Hey Brad, I like the post's where it doesn't matter how they start, but they always end up on Jimmy Page & Led Zeppelin!
    Terry

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedHouse View Post
    Does this ring any bells...?
    Hey that does ring a bell.
    You can also include Cream and Free in there, as far as I'm concerned!
    I'm a huge Paul Rodgers Fan!
    YouTube - Free - Ride on a Pony
    T

  13. #13
    Tone Mechanic
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    +1 on this one. Even screws made of the same alloy can sound different. I can hear drastic changes in tone within the same alloys that I wouldn't attribute to head/shank size/shape differences. IMO, can only be attributed to alloy tolerances.

    Quote Originally Posted by David King View Post
    Just keep in mind that these tolerances can be very loose. No one is going to test every batch of steel to make sure it's got exactly .018 or .022% carbon because no one else in industry is going to give a hoot. There may be a few here who can claim to hear a difference of ..03% carbon but I can't, I doubt I could hear a difference between 1005 and 1022.

  14. #14
    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    I still haven't heard any of the experts divulge their recommendations, of what alloy slugs, and screws, to use for a normal humbucker.
    I guess its all top Secret!
    Terry

  15. #15
    Supporting Member belwar's Avatar
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    Actually I know for a fact that some do check...

    TV Jones's screw maker checks every batch of steel for the pole screws on the filtertron. Tom pays a premium for the service, but it ensures the same alloy every time. Most *good* metal working places have a little handheld device that does a quick vapor test of the alloy and reports back its make up.

    I know I did it when I ordered a custom batch of screws for my bass pup

  16. #16
    Tone Mechanic
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    yep. some fastener manufacturers will provide a certification.

  17. #17
    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by belwar View Post
    Actually I know for a fact that some do check...

    TV Jones's screw maker checks every batch of steel for the pole screws on the filtertron. Tom pays a premium for the service, but it ensures the same alloy every time. Most *good* metal working places have a little handheld device that does a quick vapor test of the alloy and reports back its make up.

    I know I did it when I ordered a custom batch of screws for my bass pup
    That's great!
    Now what alloy do you recommend for a humbucker???
    T

  18. #18
    Supporting Member belwar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    I still haven't heard any of the experts divulge their recommendations, of what alloy slugs, and screws, to use for a normal humbucker.
    I guess its all top Secret!
    Terry
    A good alloy combination is usually found though a lot of hard work - And can also make for a somewhat signature sound in a pickup. Giving it up easily seems counter productive. I usually tell people my opinion on what alloys sound good "to me". For example, I didnt like 1010, but love 1018. 12L14 is another great alloy.

  19. #19
    Supporting Member belwar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    That's great!
    Now what alloy do you recommend for a humbucker???
    T
    what part of a humbucker?

  20. #20
    Tone Mechanic
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    And you probably won't because folks have spent a lot of time, effort, and funds to find this out. They're not going to give the results of thier research away that easily. My recommendation is try what's already out there, which is mostly 1018 and 1022, and also get some stuff made. This is all a part of discovering what you like in your formulas. Do some searches on the forum. There is a lot that has already been said on the subject.

    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    I still haven't heard any of the experts divulge their recommendations, of what alloy slugs, and screws, to use for a normal humbucker.
    I guess its all top Secret!
    Terry

  21. #21
    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    A magnet seller lists Humbucker adjustment Screws and Slugs in 1018 &1022 alloy.
    He lists these alloys for both Plated and non plated parts.
    Which alloy would have the best magnetic properties?
    I presume it would be 1018. 1018 has less carbon than the 1022?
    Is this correct?
    Thanks in advance.
    Terry
    This is the original post, made by me.
    You can get screws and slugs in 1010,1018, & 1022.
    This is just a hobby for me, I'm no threat to any business, and just wanted an Idea if it was better to stay on the low end 1010, or the high end 1022.

    Terry
    Last edited by big_teee; 09-25-2010 at 12:16 AM.

  22. #22
    Old Timer RedHouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    This is the original post, made by me.
    You can get screws and slugs in 1010,1018, & 1022.
    This is just a hobby for me, I'm no threat to any business, and just wanted an Idea if it was better to stay on the low end 1010, or the high end 1022.

    Terry
    And now you've come full-circle on this forum...welcome home.

    So if you go down to the local O'Rileys you can get a Fram filter, it's the same filter at Car Quest, PEP Boys etc _but_ if the usual suspects on this forum were selling filters they wouldn't tell you what it was, just hint about an off-red package.

    Alternatively, as a side note I've been sending out email questionairs to my (paying) customers for four years now, I ask if they considered or tried other pickup makers (besides the top 5) funny thing is NONE have ever mentioned any of the other winders here on this forum (except Lollar).

    So in my mind this whole keep the secrets and cut down on competition thing is BS as far as I'm concerned, but yet in a forum of peers many will still keep silent about specifics hoping you will fail and they will not.
    (as if your customer is their customer)

    Ach well, to each his own.

    BTW, buy some 1018 and 1022 and give them your listening test, you'll decide which you like for what.
    Last edited by RedHouse; 09-25-2010 at 05:17 AM.

  23. #23
    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Thank you Brad!
    That's all I wanted was a little shove in the right direction!
    Later,
    Terry

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    I really like the 1019.5...

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    Rick, we should get into the the custom designer alloy screws & slugs business. I shouldn't reveal my secrets, but I use the "scatter slug" technique.

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    Alloys mixed by hand, one lost and carbonized finger at a time...

    You only get to wind ten batches of pickups, and then you have to get apprentices. Worker's Comp bills are a bitch, though...

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    Member hariossa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Turner View Post
    I really like the 1019.5...
    what about 1019.31416? that one will deliver a much rounder high end.

  28. #28
    Woodgrinder/Pickupwinder copperheadroads's Avatar
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    lets give up all this shenanigan's & start using 3 1/2" common nails for pole pieces & save the zinc nails for our deluxe models
    CheopisIV likes this.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedHouse View Post
    Alternatively, as a side note I've been sending out email questionairs to my (paying) customers for four years now, I ask if they considered or tried other pickup makers (besides the top 5) funny thing is NONE have ever mentioned any of the other winders here on this forum (except Lollar).
    It just goes to show that there is a lot more marketing work to do for winders here.


    Quote Originally Posted by RedHouse View Post
    So in my mind this whole keep the secrets and cut down on competition thing is BS as far as I'm concerned, but yet in a forum of peers many will still keep silent about specifics hoping you will fail and they will not.
    (as if your customer is their customer).
    For me, it's not about competition, I welcome it. Only the strong willl survive anyway in a pickup business. The market will weed out the non-serious folks. Folks that are serious will do what they have to do to succeed. If they fail, it isn't becauase someone on the forum wouldn't provide certain info. There is tons of info archived on this forum if folks did some searching. Folks are too lazy to even search for the info that they're looking for. It's unacceptable to me. If they can't find the info after searching, then pose the question.

    It's about paying your dues. I think most folks here would agree that why should anyone hand out all of their knowledge that they have gleened over years of trial and error, money, and effort to someone who has just popped up on the forum. I would not expect Jason, Wolfe or Gundry or anyone else to hand over all thier knowledge to me..... Brad if I visited your shop, would you show me how to build an amp and tell me all that you know about building amps? I think that you would be reluctant to do it.

    My pholosophy is to provide guidance and direct folks to information and then let them do it for themselves...and not do it for them. You're actually doing folks a disservice by doing the work for them. They miss out on a lot of knowledge during the process of making pickups.

  30. #30
    Old Timer RedHouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevinT View Post
    ...why should anyone hand out all of their knowledge that they have gleened over years of trial and error, money, and effort to someone who has just popped up on the forum...
    Well, if you come here and make posts you should post relevant info, or not post if you want to keep your info to yourself.

    My opinion above clearly reflected people who come here and say "I know ...but I'm not going to tell you... pay your dues...yadda yadda" that's rediculous and there are a few who do that regularly here.

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinT View Post
    ... Brad if I visited your shop, would you show me how to build an amp and tell me all that you know about building amps? I think that you would be reluctant to do it...
    Sure I would, but you better bring a sleeping bag and tooth brush, it's going to be a long build if you want to learn.

    See that's the difference in attitude, I make other things besides pickups, most other things are reverse-engineer'able and so I have learned to just do my best and move forward. I've followed the efforts of many who try to keep things a secret, like for instance in the effects biz people often try potting circuit boards in black epoxy to prevent people from learning their secrets, well in no time at all someone buys one, dremels the epoxy off and posts the "tricks" on the internet. Whoop-t-freekin-dooo. The more one tries to hide what one does, the more people focus on discovering your secret (and then find it wasn't a big deal anyway).

    But I digress, all I meant to say was that if people post about a subject it should be relevant, not a quip neener-neener, I know and ain't tellin kind of BS. If we want to keep our hard earned info to ourselves, we should, and not post about it don't ya think?
    nickc35 likes this.

  31. #31
    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Sounds like everyones been having a good time with the alloy thing!
    I took a stab in the dark and ordered the 1018s.
    Thanks to all of you that did offer your sincere help!
    Peace,
    Terry

  32. #32
    Senior Member LtKojak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    Sounds like everyones been having a good time with the alloy thing!
    I took a stab in the dark and ordered the 1018s.
    Not bad, but it's 1022 where it's at...
    Ward likes this.
    Pepe aka Lt. Kojak
    Milano, Italy

  33. #33
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    big_teee;

    The truth is that when you ask us a question such as "which would sound better, 1018 or 1022 alloy slugs?"......The answer is that we don't know. It isn't really that we're trying to be secretive or mean to you. The difference in tone between 1018 and 1022 is going to be small at best, and will depend on many other factors in the "formula" of pickup that you're building. If you were to buy some slugs of each alloy and do careful comparison testing with pickups that were otherwise identical, you may be able to hear a difference, or you may not. It just depends on the design of your pickup and how precisely you're defining the testing. For some guys here who have been working with a particular pickup formula for a long time, working with different slug alloys may give them an improvement that they like. But, one guy may find that 1018 is perfect, another may go for 1022. And a third may not be able to hear any difference at all in his particular pickup formula. So there isn't any single answer on which is best. It's the same for many other factors in pickups. That's why you get vague and silly answers here. If you're looking for an established rule book, you'll have to write your own. It's the only way.

    In a practical sense, there isn't a lot of choice of alloys available. They may be listed in a steel handbook, but what you can actually buy in particular sizes in small quantities is very limited. In 3/16" round bar stock, for example, it's pretty hard to find much other than common 1018, 12L14, and some of the tool steels. Unless you want order a thousand pounds of it.
    Last edited by Bruce Johnson; 09-26-2010 at 12:50 AM.

  34. #34
    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LtKojak View Post
    Not bad, but it's 1022 where it's at...
    Hey Kojak:
    Where were you when I needed you???
    I ordered from Dennis, and he's supposed to send me some samples of everything he had in the screw line. He says that some guys swear by the non plated?
    Have you ever tried any of the non Nickel plated!

    YouTube - Grand Funk Railroad - Inside Looking Out 1969
    Peace
    Terry

  35. #35
    Senior Member LtKojak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    Hey Kojak:
    Where were you when I needed you???
    I was in the bathroom, but you don't wanna know the rest...


    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    I ordered from Dennis, and he's supposed to send me some samples of everything he had in the screw line. He says that some guys swear by the non plated?
    Have you ever tried any of the non Nickel plated!
    My limited experience is with the 1022 vintage screws sold at Mojotone. Never got any screws or slugs from Dennis, only Alnico magnets, so I can't help you here.

    Anyway, as it's been stated, I don't think you can hear the difference between 1022 plated and 1018 non plated or between 1022 and 1018 anything, for that matter.

    I'd just get a shipment of both 1022 and 1018 everything, then mix and match and compensate with amount of turns in the recipe. That way you can keep consistency high.

    FWIW, the last thing I did that sounded pretty good to my ears were with 1018 slugs and 1022 plated screws, mixed with nickelsilver baseplates and spacers all provided by Mojotone. The bobbins were late 70s Gotoh, and the wire was StewMac's #42 poly wire. But I don't wind or re-wind anymore. Not worth it in my neck of woods...

    HTH,
    Pepe aka Lt. Kojak
    Milano, Italy

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