1. ## Test for Sidewinders

Folks -

I recently had occasion to prescribe a test for possible mis-wiring of encased sidewinders, which produced an unexpected benefit.

As suspected, the yanking of a ferrous hunk of something away from the sides while measuring a series connection and watching for similar ohmmeter response from both is a good way to determine proper relative polarity. However, I also discovered that it's a good way to see how much subtractive effect between coils (as in stacked configurations) exists. If you just read one coil and yank away from each side you can see how much opposite polarity influence there is on the combined system. Each coil will produce a significant deflection of the ohmmeter needle (for the recommended analog meter) when the ferrous material is yanked away from that coil's side. However, it will also produce a lesser deflection of opposite disposition when yanking the metal away from the opposite side. It's instructive to remember (as is the case with simple stacked coil arrangements) that this "subtractive" influence exists in the combined output of both coils.

Bob Palmieri

2. Originally Posted by fieldwrangler
It's instructive to remember (as is the case with simple stacked coil arrangements) that this "subtractive" influence exists in the combined output of both coils.
The Seth Lover humbucker patent included a sidewinder configuration.
It employed two short, offset coils- I believe, to minimize this subtractive coupling effect.

-rb

3. Originally Posted by rjb
The Seth Lover humbucker patent included a sidewinder configuration.
It employed two short, offset coils- I believe, to minimize this subtractive coupling effect.

-rb
Yeah... this common axis (and common core, commonly) is also likely responsible for the fact that the total inductance is less than the sum of its parts (those of the individual coils.)

4. So a sidewinder is essentially somewhat inefficient, not unlike a stacked coil configuration?

5. I say yes

6. Narrow aperture sidewinders with magnets in the coils work great.
Shielding foil helps keep them quiet.
T

7. Agreed. Keeping permeable material out of the cores minimizes hum.

I'm a bit of a shielding but, and that definitely helps keep out buzz.

8. Originally Posted by David King
So a sidewinder is essentially somewhat inefficient, not unlike a stacked coil configuration?
Yes, but they are more efficient than stacked pickups. One of my first sidewinders started out as a stacked pickup. It was thin sounding with not much output as a stack, but sounded much better turned 90°.

9. Originally Posted by fieldwrangler
Agreed. Keeping permeable material out of the cores minimizes hum.

I'm a bit of a shielding but, and that definitely helps keep out buzz.
Bill Lawrence made sidewinders with air coils for acoustic guitars.

10. Originally Posted by David Schwab
Yes, but they are more efficient than stacked pickups. One of my first sidewinders started out as a stacked pickup. It was thin sounding with not much output as a stack, but sounded much better turned 90°.
Yup. Come to think of it, that might be the way I first tried this, by turning a Duncan Strat Stack sideways....

11. Originally Posted by David Schwab
Bill Lawrence made sidewinders with air coils for acoustic guitars.

Never tried (or saw) one of those.

12. Originally Posted by fieldwrangler
Never tried (or saw) one of those.

https://reverb.com/item/546950-vinta...p-the-silencer

13. Originally Posted by David Schwab
Oh yeah... THAT one! I have seen those, just bought one for the files!

Thanks, David!

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