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Thread: Dummy coil

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    Dummy coil

    I need some advice on a dummy coil for a Strat. I searched the internet and found quite a bit of info but it seems conflicting. Would someone give some detailed advice as far as placement in the cavities, the connections. I used a cheap humbuckers for the coils. The Strat has standard wiring of a 1959 Strat. If anyone has done this to their Strats, if you could share what works for you. The guys on the internet seem to be more concerned about loss of tone rather than shutting up the hum. I'm on a budget or else I'd throw in a set of noiseless,but I don't think they are true single coils. Thanks.

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    I dare say this answer has come up before but what about the Illitch dummy coil system?

    Regards

    Mark

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    For all the trouble and unknown results, you might just bite the bullet and get a set of GFS 'Truecoil II' for ~$90. The vintage set should be close enough to a late 50's dipped-mid Fender sound with just a slight loss of high end that most ears like anyway. The hum-canceling will be better in all positions than with just one dummy coil.

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    Hi Mark and Flouro, I think you are both right. I can get a set of Fender noiseless for 135.00 off EBay. I hear GFS sell great pickups. I have no problems using the side by side Strat sized humbuckers. I used them before. But there is a certain sound with true single coils,as we know. Thanks.

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    I wouldn't call GFS pickups great, in my opinion anyway. Once bought a tele bridge pickup and it was a physically exact copy of the cheap POS i took out, except was 300 ohms higher.

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    Hi Mozz, as I remember several years ago bought a set of alnico over wound Strat pickups from GFS. I think they called them Boston blues. I play with a pretty aggressive tone, Eric Johnson tone,we'll sort of anyway.LOL. Those GFS pickups would not dirty up for snot. Even using a lot of distortion with pedals. Like I said, I do everything on a budget. I picked up a set of p/u s from Guitar Madness,the lil 59 humbuckers set for my Les Paul's. I've been playing about 50 years. Those pickups were some of the best I've heard in that price range. Same with the Strat pickups in my Strats. They are overwound,clean up nicely and get My the Rory Gallagher range. They came from Guitar Madness store on EBay.

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    I'm spending today with the dummy coil. I ordered a bag of magical fairy dust and that's due in today. Lol. I'm reshielding the body. I know dummy coils work but I think the most critical part is where to place it. I'll keep ya'll posted.

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    On google somewhere, there is a few webpages on how to make a dummy coil. The one coil was even wound around the underside perimeter of the pickguard. Don't remember if it was in series or parallel. Maybe the fender 80's japan trick of wrapping the coils in copper foil would help.

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    Maybe the fender 80's japan trick of wrapping the coils in copper foil would help.
    Copper foil doesn't shield against low frequency magnetic interference. Furthermore it causes damping of the PUs' resonance by eddy currents.

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    I pretty much gave up on the dummy coil idea. But I have a question for Helmholtz, I'm not trying to start an argument but are you saying shielding doesn't help stop hum? I've been told for years about shielding. Is it just a myth? I'm familiar with the loss of highs and it doesn't bother me that much. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmholtz View Post
    Copper foil doesn't shield against low frequency magnetic interference. Furthermore it causes damping of the PUs' resonance by eddy currents.
    I don't think they would wrap them in copper foil for no reason, what the answer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mozz View Post
    I don't think they would wrap them in copper foil for no reason, what the answer?
    I think the reason was to reduce the higher hum harmonics, but the diamagnetic property of Cu (which generates a weak opposing field) damps the resonance and may roll off highs a bit. Cu shielding also reduces RFI, but that's not an issue with Hi-Z guitar pickups that have resonance points well below the RF band. It can be useful in the control cavity though.

    catsrat, If you go for a GFS Truecoil II set, I would be wary of the 7k bridge pickup. Assuming the inductance is somewhere ~3.5H, that can sound harsh depending on your guitar cable capacitance. The 5.5k are probably the most classic Stratty. The coil wire is 43AWG, and the design likely affects inductance differently than a true SC, so you can't deduce inductance from the DCR vales. My guess is they are low wind, and the dummy coils has an Fe core that increases inductance. They don't give the inductance values for the pickups, and it may not be safe to assume the internal capacitance is very low like most modern quality pickups, so there's a bit of a gamble as to where the resonance points will be. Don't judge the sound by the GFS Earl Slick demo thought. Much as a legend he is, he somehow manages to get some of the worst tones I've heard in his GFS demos. They really should do something about that.

    The best hum-free SC's for the money I know of are the Wilde NF series for ~$180 (+shipping) a set. The design eliminates inter-coil cancellations, and there is no high end loss either. The L200's are late 50's types, and the L280/L290 set are early 60's types (but with stronger fundamentals). If you are going for an SRV sound, I've read that the body of his #1 was actually an early 60's, so the L280/L290 set would make the most sense for that...and use one or two GFS Aluminum pickguard shields under the pickguard for that soulful softer upper-mid sound. Paramagnetic Aluminum in that thickness and orientation to the coil reduces the "hard" sounding upper-midrange. I did it on a few guitars and it sounds sweet. Wilde also sells the "Q-Filter", which can be wired on a tone knob to reduce inductance, and without bass loss if desired. Works with any pickup, but best with inductance values above ~3H. The newer Zexcoil designs are also excellent for not much more cash. Different design than the Wilde NF series, and may sound more like typical Fender SC's. Either of those brands are better than Fender N4's, IMHO.

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Well I can't speak to cause or measured affect, but I can say from experience that wrapping bobbins directly with copper foil will alter the sound and usually in a negative way. That doesn't mean a pickup couldn't be designed to take the affect into account and make a good sounding pickup that does have the bobbins wrapped in foil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mozz View Post
    I don't think they would wrap them in copper foil for no reason, what the answer?
    The copper foil (like any other conductive surface surrounding the PUs, e.g. conductive paint) shields against electric interference fields - if grounded. But 50Hz/60Hz hum mainly spreads as magnetic field which penetrates the copper foil. Otherwise we wouldn't need humbuckers.

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    I need some advice on a dummy coil for a Strat.
    There was a lot of interest a few years back, making the flower pot coil.
    Guys were routing the strat pickup cavity into a swimming pool rout, or use the trem spring cavity.
    Winding a coil on the bottom of a tapered flower pot, or a 2 piece pulley.
    Putting the coil in the swimming pool rout around the piciups.
    Some guys swore it killed the 50-60 hertz hum.
    search dummy coil, or flower pot in this old thread.
    https://music-electronics-forum.com/...ad.php?t=29910
    **The coil would be reverse wound, wired to a toggle or push pull switch, and switched in at the appropriate time.
    If you try it, please report back with your results!

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    Last edited by big_teee; 02-11-2019 at 06:43 PM.
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    The importance of location is a function of whether you are seeking to eliminate hum or simply seeking to reduce it to a manageable level. Complete elimination requires positioning the dummy coil so that it senses the EMI to the exact same degree as the actual pickup. However placement in other, sometimes more convenient, locations can result in a decent reduction in hum. I put a dummy coil in the control cavity of a buddy's Telecaster and the hum got dialed back enough that it made the guitar more usable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mozz View Post
    I wouldn't call GFS pickups great, in my opinion anyway. Once bought a tele bridge pickup and it was a physically exact copy of the cheap POS i took out, except was 300 ohms higher.
    For my experience, I probably wouldn't go the GFS route again. Several years ago I bought a set of 70's strat single coils which were really decent, with a pretty solid build quality. However, I bought a bridge replacement a couple of years after that which was complete garbage and I ended up recycling it.

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