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Thread: Neo-powered sidewinder fresh off the winder

  1. #1
    Senior Member Chris Turner's Avatar
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    Neo-powered sidewinder fresh off the winder

    ...and just about ready to go into the test-bed bass.


    The blades are laser cut 430 stainless steel:
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    Bobbins are single-layer PCB, with 1/4" X 1/2" neodymium magnets:
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    They're a tad too deep for these particular covers, but I've got some deeper ones coming in from Mojo. Hopefully should fit a little better.

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    Last edited by Chris Turner; 12-07-2017 at 09:23 PM.

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    CNC Trial by Fire kayakerca's Avatar
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    Nice.

    How are you liking the winder?

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    Take Care,

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    Senior Member Chris Turner's Avatar
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    Thanks!

    The winder is great. Once you get the start and stop positions on the traverse located properly, it winds really nice, tight coils. And I almost think that not having to sit there and guide the wire if I don't want to is worth the price alone.

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    Looks very clean, I like it! Are you planning on encapsulating the pickup, or somehow supporting it underneath? Center blade appears to be 1/16" thick. Neo's tend to be bright, so I'm assuming that was part of the intended design. Overall a very neat looking design.

    Bob

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  5. #5
    Senior Member Chris Turner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcd View Post
    Looks very clean, I like it! Are you planning on encapsulating the pickup, or somehow supporting it underneath? Center blade appears to be 1/16" thick. Neo's tend to be bright, so I'm assuming that was part of the intended design. Overall a very neat looking design.

    Bob

    Yeah, the plan is to encapsulate it in epoxy. I did end up encapsulating the first two I made in wax with those pickup covers you see in the pics. But, they're not quite deep enough to encapsulate the entire pickup. I do have some different covers coming in that should be deep enough... they're also wide enough to accommodate 2 more blades placed on the outer sides, if I need more steel/inductance to be in the mix. I'm also going to get some slightly wider PCBs so that I can wind more wire onto the bobbins.

    You're right that they're bright! Both the 42 AWG version and the 43 AWG version. I'll try to get some sound clips up soon.

    And you're close on the blade thickness; they're 14 gauge, so just a bit thicker than 1/16". Very broadband response (to my ears, anyway), and harmonics fly out of these things. Very happy so far, and I'm guessing these would match really well with a fretless. I'm going to wind a few more to see how more windings affect the sound... should bring the resonant peak down, which I think is quite high at this point.

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    Last edited by Chris Turner; 12-18-2017 at 10:20 PM.

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    I've experimented some with neo sidewinder's for Jazz Bass. The upper harmonics were surprising! With such a narrow pickup and the natural edge of neo's, it was a little too bright, even with as much 1018 steel as I could fit in the cover. Then in an attempt to lower the resonance, I used 44gauge and filled up the bobbins. It lowered the peak some, but got incredibly loud and a bit obnoxious! Not good. With very little room to play with this particular design of the pickup, I experimented with a cap/resistor (shunt to ground) to lower the resonant peak, sort of "cap tuning" the pickup. Results have been good, but need to play with values to see what I like best. I've been diverted the past couple of months on other (non pickup) guitar/bass projects and will hopefully get back to this soon.

    A soapbar sized pickup has a little more room for variations. The wider coils should help. Let me know how things progress.

    Bob

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    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcd View Post
    Neo's tend to be bright, so I'm assuming that was part of the intended design.
    I was surprised that they actually have a ton of low end. In my standard humbucker designs they aren't any brighter than ceramic magnets, but they have more low end.

    But I don't use them in my sidewinders. I use ceramic magnets.

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    Senior Member Chris Turner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    I was surprised that they actually have a ton of low end. In my standard humbucker designs they aren't any brighter than ceramic magnets, but they have more low end.

    But I don't use them in my sidewinders. I use ceramic magnets.

    That they do.

    I am going to be getting some alnico rods to try, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    In my standard humbucker designs they aren't any brighter than ceramic magnets, but they have more low end.
    I definitely hear the lows also, but the response of the upper frequencies seem to extend a bit further than ceramic versions of the same pickup. However, this discussion prompted me to take another look and listen to these pickups, since it's been a couple of months. It was originally assembled using 500k pots (2V, 1T), so I switched them out with 250k. Better, not as edgy and at first impression, doesn't need any "cap tuning". Further listening tests will determine that.

    The reason I decided to try neo's was to make a Jazz sidewinder with output close to a stock pickup for passive basses. The ceramic version sounded good, but needed a stronger magnetic field to achieve the output I wanted.

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    Iíve been messing around with a Neodymium sidewinder design as well. Iíve been using 1/8Ē thick 430 stainless as blades and AWG 43 wire. I like how it sounds. I built one a few months back on a lark and I didnít know what to expect. I assumed it would sound like a ceramic pickup on steroids, but it didnít sound that way at all. Itís bright, but itís not harsh to my ears. Pretty decent bass response, too.

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    I've been meaning to swap out the ceramic magnets on a bartolini pickup with laminated steel cores using neos but haven't gotten around to it yet.

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  12. #12
    Senior Member Chris Turner's Avatar
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    A quick sample from the slightly fatter bobbins, with just under 9000 winds of 42 AWG for each coil (pickup at 36 fret mark, where the bridge pickup of a Rick 4003 is located, Audere preamp set flat)...Fat Neo Sidewinder

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    Sounds great!

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    Not unlike Q-Tuner, not a surprise.

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