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Winding patterns and TPL

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  • Winding patterns and TPL

    When people talk about their winding patterns (and I know every person will have a different understanding of what a pattern actually is) what do they mean?

    What do you see as a winding pattern?

    Do you consider just going back and forth with a specific number of turns per layer, going back and forth with X turns per layer for X turns then Y turns per layer per Y turns and so on or something like starting from the middle and fill the sides last or something more elaborate but along those lines?

    I’m not asking for anyone to share their personal recipe, just interested to know what people consider a winding pattern and see examples of possible patterns.

  • #2
    The main pattern distinction I see is machine guided and tensioned, versus hand guided. Modern machines are able to reproduce (to some extent) hand guided patterns, so the distinction can be blurred, but most mass-produced machine wound pickups have an even side-by-side lay to the winding and precise number of turns and distinct layers. It's difficult or impossible to create distinct hand guided layers to the same extent - windings of subsequent layers fall between those of the previous and there is often bunching to fill in a hollow. I see pickups where there's been an effort to lay the windings at an angle to each other using a rapid traversing action. The DCR is often lower as a result but the capacitance is also reduced. I liken this to the honeycomb winds of RF coils where the winding pattern is designed to minimise capacitance. Other winders strive to get parallel and even turns. I've noticed with many Strat-type hand-wound pickup sets there can be considerable differences in the appearance of the winding between individual pickups in the set, which would indicate to me that there's a certain inconsistency that comes from hand winding and a randomness that perhaps goes against any particular distinctive technique being applied.

    It's worth watching Abigail winding a pickup. Notice how she occasionally builds up a specific area with a shorter traverse: