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Thread: Reviews and Specs of the Jason Lollar book on Pickup winding

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    Reviews and Specs of the Jason Lollar book on Pickup winding

    Jason Lollar is selling a book for $60 on building a pickup winder and the, "Basics of Picklup Winding for the Guitar Enthusiast." I don't need a pickup winder, but I would love a book that really outlines the science behind guitar pickups.

    The website has no specs on the book though. It costs $60, but considering that 50% of the title has to do with a pickup winder that I don't need, I am hesitant to buy a $60 book only to find that I already know 75% of what's in it. I don't even know if the book is 400 pages, or 40 pages.

    Has anyone reading this bought the book and can give me a basic review?

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    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    I've got the book. It's full of great information. He put an incredible amount of work into it. $60 is a bargain. Did you try your local library?

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    I have the book. A lot of it consists of information about how to build a winding machine. There is also a good amount of practical information about pickup construction. Don't go here for science, there is close to none of that in the book.

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    Pickup Winder's History and Suggestions

    Wanted to enter this thread and share from 10+ years experience and several different winders built: I have the Jason Lollar book and built a pickup winder using it as a guide. It's a bargain at $60 for what you'll learn if you want to build electronic pickups. I changed some things due to my motor size, axle size, pulleys, axle bearings availability, room on my work bench and the device to tension the wire being wound on the bobbins. I had a machinist make aluminum bobbin mounts in different sizes and different center to center mounting specs that attach to the axle and to the bobbins for the bobbin sizes we encounter. I use a physical mounting screws for my bobbins. For speed control I use a 120V light dimming switch and mounted it in a box that's attached to my winder's wooden plate. Since I hand wind all my pickups, I use my right hand to guide the wire, left hand to control the slide switch for speed - works great for me.

    Jason's self-winder is genius but I hand wind. I encourage everyone who wants to build a winder to be creative so it fits their needs and skill levels. One trick I learned is to use a small 120V snake-light with its small shade directed to the wire ahead of where it contacts & goes onto the bobbins - that way I can hand wind the wire, see it clearly and never go over the side of the bobbins. It lights up the copper and insulation sufficiently to greatly aid the application.

    Winding coils is a learned skill to apply the wire on the bobbins by hand. Take your time and be patient. It's one of my favorite repairs in my shop and very rewarding for me and my customers.

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    Woodgrinder/Pickupwinder copperheadroads's Avatar
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    It's a great book & well worth the price . but if your looking exact winding specs of a 59 strat or a PAF./ a shortcut in winding /rewinding . go buy it . you will learn something .

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    Quote Originally Posted by copperheadroads View Post
    It's a great book & well worth the price . but if your looking exact winding specs of a 59 strat or a PAF./ a shortcut in winding /rewinding . go buy it . you will learn something .
    I am def. not looking for any esoteric pickup wizzardry. I just was mostly curious, because I couldn't find a table of contents or a review that says more-or-less what all the book covers. I def. know that J. Lollar is THE man when it comes to pickups, so I will admit that I automatically assumed that his book would be Bible-like. I just know that the pickups I am interested in making for myself are not just off the shelf strat-style single coils, or vanilla hi-gain humbuckers. I want to know about...
    • What makes an old Gretsch "Filtertron" different from a... humbucker?
    • What does a Teisco Gold Foil pickup look like on the inside?
    • How are lipstick picksups made?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolmetscher007 View Post
    I am def. not looking for any esoteric pickup wizzardry. I just was mostly curious, because I couldn't find a table of contents or a review that says more-or-less what all the book covers. I def. know that J. Lollar is THE man when it comes to pickups, so I will admit that I automatically assumed that his book would be Bible-like. I just know that the pickups I am interested in making for myself are not just off the shelf strat-style single coils, or vanilla hi-gain humbuckers.
    You won't find a bunch of info about specific pickup designs in Jason's book. His book is basically an instruction manual on how to make your own pickup winder and how to wind pickups and what goes into that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dolmetscher007 View Post

    • What makes an old Gretsch "Filtertron" different from a... humbucker?
    • What does a Teisco Gold Foil pickup look like on the inside?
    • How are lipstick picksups made?
    A Gretsch Filtertron is a humbucker, and in fact it was likely the first one for guitars, however when compared to a PAF style humbucker it is smaller and narrower, each bobbin has less winds so the pickup is clearer and weaker but also has more clarity. There are other internal differences too.

    Not sure on the Teisco, but they are a very interesting and fragile pickup if you try to take one apart without damaging it from what I have heard.

    Lipstick pickups are made with a bar magnet in the middle and the wire wrapped around it and then the whole thing is taped and shoved into the Lipstick tube. Real vintage Danelectro Lipstick pickups used Alnico 6 magnets also, which makes a big difference compared to using Alnico 5 or Alnico 2.

    Greg

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    There are many different pickup form-factors and designs that use "gold foil" inside the pickup cover. They don't all work the same way. The classic gold foils can look like humbuckers on the outside, with a row of adjustable screws along one side, but are single-coils on the inside. They have a magnet with a low-profile medium-resistance coil around it. What makes them truly different is what lies underneath the coil. The magnet/coil sits atop a folded mild-steel plate. The plate conducts the bottom pole of the magnet to one side. The screws are installed in the fold and provide a small amount of sensitivity adjustment. You can see a picture and discussion of the "classic" gold foil here: https://wgsusa.com/blog/decoded-hilo...cooder-pickups I'm reconstructing/rewinding one of these myself (reconstructing because the plastic bobbin is shot).
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    Two things make them distinctive. The coil may not be "hot" by virtue of having a limited number of winds, but the soft iron changes the inductance of the coil, and makes it a little warmer than it might be as a standalone coil. I understand there can be either ceramic or rubber magnets used. Personally, I have no basis for commenting on whether rubber sounds "better" than ceramic, or vice versa, but some purists prefer the rubber magnets. The other thing is that the bottom plate directs the sensing area between the upright part of the fold and the top of the magnet, a little like the way a humbucker makes the maximum sensing area between the tops of the two coils.

    Some gold foils, like the ones below, have the screws for the coil centered, and a general structure like a P90, with a pair of magnets on each side of the coil. I gather these do not sound the same as the "fake humbucker" up top.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    It is a good book. I personally was more interested in the winding information, especially the specs for pickup standards like spacer heights between flatwork, etc.

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    If you are looking for some general information about designing and building pickups from scratch, we have a thread going on over on the TalkBass Forum (yes, electric basses), in the Luthier's Corner section. The thread is about building bass pickups of our own designs, not standard Fender and Gibson stuff, but unusual configurations and combinations. We cover different methods of making custom bobbins, magnets, housings, winding machines, etc. Plus some general theory about how pickups work and what parameters you can play around with to adjust the sound. I've contributed a lot to the thread, as have some other folks who are out there pushing the limits of pickup design. The thread is called Magnets & Wire: A Pickup Building Thread. A good resource of ideas if you want to get into pickup building.

    https://www.talkbass.com/threads/mag...hread.1374810/

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