Anyone know if DiMarzio was in the habit of actually winding the two coils on their rail-style single coil size pickups in opposite directions instead of just doing The Usual?
It really doesn't matter which way you do it.
With single coil pickups, the start is usually ground, and they are wired in parallel. So by reverse winding, you keep the grounds close to the magnets for less noise. With series connected pickups it doesn't matter since the start of the second coil is not going to be at ground.
Bob, you want dibs on this? David got me real good on the tone cap one, so I kinda feel like this one is mine
As they used to say on Perry Mason, "The Court is Yours..."
I've rewound some 70s P-Bass Pickups.
They do the true reverse wiring.
They were wound with PE.
From the Pot, the Hot Lead, wired to the start of the CCW Treble string bobbin (North Up).
The finish of the CCW bobbin tied to the Start of the CW Bass String bobbin(South Up).
Then the finish of the CW bobbin ties to Brass Ground Plate.
That could be turned around easy enough if you wanted the start of one coil grounded.
So the Options on wiring Buckers are pretty much endless.
The original question was about the DiMarzio dual rail pickups. They are wound in the same direction. So are the Duncan dual rail pickups.
The only reason Fender wound any reversed is because of the magnets picking up noise.
But why would you want to do this for dual blade Strat humbuckers? Or Gibson humbucker for that matter? What benefit do you expect from it?
RWRP is not anymore "true" than reversing the wires on one coil, as Gibson does. The electrons don't care if they are going from the inside to the outside or vice versa. It's only done because they are winding right on non grounded magnets.
Please don't make it into something "magic."
I tried winding my humbuckers with reversed coils for a while. It didn't change the tone, and got to be confusing when winding a bunch of pickups, so I went back to winding them all CCW.
You can make some tests though. Just take one bobbin in a humbucker and flip it over and swap the outputs leads. Now it's reverse wound.
First off: In the "strat blade humbucker" design, capacitance will dominate (hot tip ). the bobbin is quite thin(distance) and the blade is a massive "Plate" (area)... We all know the formula for capacitance. (Actually, It's in my notes... I couldn't find it)
As a note: the blades will be grounded to prevent electrostatic noise. This is basic, but an important assumption.
So, the difference between "faux RWRP" and real "RWRP" is capacitance.
Distance and Area are important to capacitance, but we also need to take into consideration "electrical potential". For instance: if we ground the "start" winding, the rest of the coil is essentially "shielded" from the capacitance of the blade. The blade and the winding are at the same electrical potential... So, that might be the way we want to go to minimize capacitance. But, if we want the "finish" to be grounded for shielding of external electrostatic noise purposes, then we have developed capacitance (to ground) on the inside and outside of our coil...
So that is one coil of a humbucker. The grounded side coil and it's two possibilities. up to the designer.
Now for the other coil in a humbucker configuration...
If we only use the standard "faux" RWRP... Then we have no choice, we wire it up based on our decision for the first coil.
The reason I like Bob's question so much is: It made me realize we DO have the choice of which part of the coil to put next to that massive plate! So, here is the question: do you want to have the "hot" part of the winding next to that Blade? Or do you want the "series connection" part of the coil next to that Blade? Which part of the second coil is at greater electrical potential?
Its up to you the designer. As Bob points out, we actually do have a choice!
Notice the ratio of coil to core. Now look at a Strat pickup. Fatter coils and also fatter cores.
Also, how about these pickups?
No "massive" plate. Lots are air space between poles.
You should ground all your metal parts in pickups, including alnico rod magnets. It doesn't change the tone however. Also, Fender doesn't do it.As a note: the blades will be grounded to prevent electrostatic noise. This is basic, but an important assumption.
How do you figure? Think about it for a minute.So, the difference between "faux RWRP" and real "RWRP" is capacitance.
You're joking, right? The rest of the coil is still next to the grounded end of the coil. There is not a separation in-between the ground and hot ends of the coil, it's continuous. All coils have internal capacitance. How is it shielded from the rest of the coil? If you remove the grounded steel core, there is still one end of the coil at ground. It still has capacitance.For instance: if we ground the "start" winding, the rest of the coil is essentially "shielded" from the capacitance of the blade.
And let's note that Fender pickups do not have grounded magnets. So it doesn't matter if the start or finish is grounded. It's very easy to demonstrate for yourself. Take a single coil pickup and wire it to a polarity reversing switch. Now switch the switch back and forth. Do you hear a change in tone? You wont.
One end of the coil is at ground. How many turns away from that does it change? The coil has resistance. Each turn increases the resistance. So now we are 1,000 turns into the coil. Is the end closest to the start still at the same potential as the start? And we have also put some distance between the blade and where we are now. However, each turn of wire is much closer to the previous turn.The blade and the winding are at the same electrical potential... So, that might be the way we want to go to minimize capacitance. But, if we want the "finish" to be grounded for shielding of external electrostatic noise purposes, then we have developed capacitance (to ground) on the inside and outside of our coil...
Also having the finish of the coil at ground does not provide shielding. Once again, how many turns do you have to go to get away from ground potential?
And here's where it all comes crashing down...So that is one coil of a humbucker.
Now for the other coil in a humbucker configuration...
Here's why your reasoning is flawed. Lets look at a series connected humbucker. Let's say the start is ground. Then you have the finish connected to the next coil. If that coil is reverse wound, that would also be the start. Where is that start compared to ground? It's in the middle of the coil, since the two coils are connected in series. Any benefits here?If we only use the standard "faux" RWRP... Then we have no choice, we wire it up based on our decision for the first coil.
Now, let's wind both coils the same and wire them finish to finish. Now where is the start of the second coil. it's at the "virtual" finish, since it's at the end of our series connected coils. Any benefits here?
You are over thinking. There is no massive plate. The blades on Strat rail pickups are very thin. It's less metal than what's in the slug coil on a humbucker, or the rod magnets in a Strat pickup.The reason I like Bob's question so much is: It made me realize we DO have the choice of which part of the coil to put next to that massive plate!
Since you have obviously never tried it, go ahead and try it. Here's an EASY way to try it.
Here's a dual rail Strat pickup. Note the really thin blades.
So let's pretend I wound this pickup, and both coils are wound the same.
Now lift one coil off the blade, like this, and flip it over. Now it's wound in reverse.
Real easy to test. Do you know what you are going to hear different? Nothing. But by all means try it yourself.
Come on man, it's all part of the same big coil! In a humbucker it's in series. You are never going to have the start of both coils near ground because there is only one start! Don't you see that?So, here is the question: do you want to have the "hot" part of the winding next to that Blade? Or do you want the "series connection" part of the coil next to that Blade? Which part of the second coil is at greater electrical potential?
See? it's one big coil. It doesn't matter what direction the second half is going. That only matters for hum cancelation.
We can see that it's probably a good idea to have the blades grounded, and the start also grounded. But now we have the second coil. It's start is going to NOT be at ground.It will be thousands of turns in. But it will be next to the grounded blade. See the conundrum? So if your start being ground is good for capacitance, you just flushed that down the toilet with the second coil, since it's start will never be anywhere near ground potential. Do you see it now?
Ethan, what choice is that? Your second coil will either have the start, which is, let's say 4,000 turns in, near the blade or not. How is that going to matter?Its up to you the designer. As Bob points out, we actually do have a choice!
As a designer you can decide you want green magnet wire. That also wont change the tone, and will just look ugly!
I say to you to try it out. I have many times. It was not worth the effort to reverse wind one coil in a humbucker, so I stopped doing it. Ask yourself why its not done?
The original question was does DiMarzio do it? No, they don't. Why don't they? Why doesn't any of the pickup makers do this with humbuckers? because once you are at the second coil, it doesn't matter unless they are wired in parallel.
Here's how this question should have gone; "Has anyone tried winding a blade humbucker up RWRP, and did it make any difference in tone?"
The answer from me is, yes, and no. And my blade humbuckers have much more massive blades than dual rail strat pickup.
Last edited by David Schwab; 02-15-2012 at 05:41 AM.
In a series connected humbucker with the cores grounded, consider the top coil, the one that does not have one connection grounded. The capacitance to ground at the pickup output is different depending on whether the "start" or "finish" is the output lead. This is an effect that matters only at very high frequencies, and may not be significant for the sound in practice. Neither type of connection is symmetrical as far as electric fields are concerned, and this shows up when you make careful measurements at high frequencies. This is why, in measuring effects relating to string sampling (Sampling the string: differences between single coil and), I eventually used an instrumentation amp to get as near to perfect symmetry as possible.
This is all I am saying: There are two ways to achieve RWRP to make your "humbucker" happen.
Are the two ways different? YES
How are they different? Capacitance! That is it.
It is theoretical. Is it enough capacitance? Is it within range of useful frequencies? Wind it, and find out if it has practical use. Or don't wind it and come to a conclusion anyway. That is up to you.
The ONLY reason Fender winds pickups in reverse is to prevent noise if you touch the ungrounded magnets. That's it. The Mustang guitar had phase switches, and because the pickup would hum when you touched the poles when the polarity was reversed, they used closed covers so that the poles would not be exposed.
Also, if you make a humbucker wound on ungrounded magnets, and it's wired in parallel like a Musicman bass, you should reverse wind the coils for the above reason.
But it wont give you tonal options for pickup design.
Wonder if the often-deployed Common Core of a sidewinder format introduces any other relevant effects? I'm not looking for tonal options, just trying to pay attention to possible electrostatic & EM coupling effects in the Practical Embodiments of these things.
Yet another thing to investigate in the coming weeks...
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