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Thread: New to winding pickups. Some questions to begin with

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    New to winding pickups. Some questions to begin with

    Hello falks,
    i'm a newbie in that new hobby, and i bought humbucker kits (paf style) in UK and started to wind 2 bobbins.
    I use 42 awg wire and i only was able to put 4250 turns only for a 3,5K DC resistance. I really don't anderstand how is it possible to have a 16k resistance out of a humbucker. Only reducing wire size?

    But my main issue is that the slugs don't stay in the bobbin, the hole is too big, i should use a press, and it's loose, i don't know what to do. I've asked the seller, but got no answer yet.

    Any idea ?

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    Original Gibson PAFs had around 5000 turns per coil resulting about 4k DCR, using 42 awg wire. You might try to increase winding tension and produce a neater (less scatter) wind. But a 16k humbucker would need a thinner wire.

    Regarding the slug issue, what is the exact diameter of the slugs and the bobbin holes?

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    If it's a Chinese pickup kit, often the parts don't fit right. I've had bobbin hold down screws that were 3 sizes too small. Wouldn't the magnet hold the slugs in, until you crazy glue them in anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmholtz View Post
    Original Gibson PAFs had around 5000 turns per coil resulting about 4k DCR, using 42 awg wire. You might try to increase winding tension and produce a neater (less scatter) wind. But a 16k humbucker would need a thinner wire.

    Regarding the slug issue, what is the exact diameter of the slugs and the bobbin holes?
    The hole seems to be 5 mm and the slugs are 4.8 mm, they should be 5 mm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mozz View Post
    If it's a Chinese pickup kit, often the parts don't fit right. I've had bobbin hold down screws that were 3 sizes too small. Wouldn't the magnet hold the slugs in, until you crazy glue them in anyway.
    I did not buy them in china but they maybe come from there... So it is possible to glue them ? With super glue ?

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    Well if you just want them to work i guess you can glue them in, that was kind of a joke, if i was winding for a customer, no. Some times you can buy a complete set of chinese humbuckers for about the same price as a kit, just strip off the wire, rewind and sell as handmade. I swear there is a seller who does that and sells them as handmade, they looked too perfect and the slugs had those little circles in them.

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    I've prepared 2 thin rail humbuckers, i gave 5000 turns of AWG 42 for a total RDC of 8k for each.
    I put a ceramic magnet in the bridge and an alnico 5 in the neck, because i did not want the neck PU to be louder than the bridge PU, but what happens is the contrary. The alnico PU is way quieter than the ceramic PU.

    As it's the first time i hear my PU's, is it normal ? I did not think there would be such a difference as the sound is supposed to be louder in the middle of the neck than at bridge position.

    Other thing : i noticed a hum if the PU are close to the amp, that does not exist with commercial PU.

    I'm happy to have a nice clean tone, i did not try overdrive yet...

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    Last edited by tepsamps; 06-24-2019 at 11:27 PM.

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    Some pictures might help us see what you're doing with the rails?
    Also, it is not uncommon to have to drop the neck pickup down some, and raise the height of the bridge pickup.
    On the turns, a lot of us use less turns for the neck humbucker, and more for the bridge pickup.
    Like less than 5000 for the neck and more than 5000 for the bridge.
    GL,
    T

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    Last edited by big_teee; 06-25-2019 at 07:46 AM.


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    The hum is coming only from the low output pickup the magnet is maybe badly positioned...i'm gonna have a look...

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    I 've had a look and compared with a traditional humbucker where the magnet is stuck between the screws and the slugs and can't move, in the rail i have, the magnet can go to one of each side, attracted by one or the other rail, there is a space of 2 or 3 mm. Is it normal ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tepsamps View Post
    I 've had a look and compared with a traditional humbucker where the magnet is stuck between the screws and the slugs and can't move, in the rail i have, the magnet can go to one of each side, attracted by one or the other rail, there is a space of 2 or 3 mm. Is it normal ?
    If a regular humbucker magnet is not wide enough, and there is a gap on one side or the other?
    In that case you can use a steel shim, or steel wire, to take up the gap.
    I've run into that before on some blade bobbin pickups.
    T

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    Here's some calculated data for full sized blade pickups.
    Check to see if your bobbins are the same dimensions as these.
    Data for 42, 43, and 44 single poly wire.
    The 44SPN bridge version with a C8 magnet, ROCKS!
    I make a hybrid version with one blade bobbin, and one screw bobbin.
    I usually make it in a zebra, one black, and one cream bobbin.
    GL
    T
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    Last edited by big_teee; 06-25-2019 at 06:48 PM.


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    i put a ceramic magnet in both, a nail or a piece of iron wire to fit the gap, and the problem is the same, low output and a hum and not a full sound on the neck PU.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tepsamps View Post
    i put a ceramic magnet in both, a nail or a piece of iron wire to fit the gap, and the problem is the same, low output and a hum and not a full sound on the neck PU.
    You probably have that pickup polarity wired wrong.
    T

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    Yes that's my conclusion but i actually did some thing different for that pickup but for me it was not bad. I'll try to explain.
    Before that pickup ( i made also a PAF style with 4000 turns ) i did exactly the same winding for the left bobbin than for the right bobbin. Red wire for the start of winding, black for the end. But when assembling i had nothing symetrical. 2 bobbins with the black wire on the left side and red wire on the right side. And i wanted the 2 black wire in the center of the humbucker where the 2 bobbins are stuck together and red wire on the edges. But i never change the direction of winding, just put the left ( or second ) bobbin up side down on the winder. Is that a mistake ? Did you get me?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tepsamps View Post
    Yes that's my conclusion but i actually did some thing different for that pickup but for me it was not bad. I'll try to explain.
    Before that pickup ( i made also a PAF style with 4000 turns ) i did exactly the same winding for the left bobbin than for the right bobbin. Red wire for the start of winding, black for the end. But when assembling i had nothing symetrical. 2 bobbins with the black wire on the left side and red wire on the right side. And i wanted the 2 black wire in the center of the humbucker where the 2 bobbins are stuck together and red wire on the edges. But i never change the direction of winding, just put the left ( or second ) bobbin up side down on the winder. Is that a mistake ? Did you get me?
    Yep, by winding the bobbin upside down you reversed the direction.
    When you flipped it over, you now have to wire one start to one finish lead.
    Not just tie the two finish leads together.
    That should fix your problem.
    In diagram below, both coils are sitting side by side with finish leads tied together.
    If you turn one coil over, then one finish would need to be tied to one start lead.
    T
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    Last edited by big_teee; 06-25-2019 at 10:33 PM.


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    I reversed the polarity of a coil and the problem is fixed. I just noticed a little buzz when i don't touch the strings, but i did not check other PU to see the difference.
    I've seen the charts, and i think i can put more turns in my coils by increasing the tension and the TPL.
    For the tension, do you put something on your fingers to retain the wire ?
    For the TPL, i was winding slowly and my hand had to move very slowly so maybe i have to wind faster and still move my hand slowly...
    Great thanks Terry!

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    Glad you got it hashed out.
    Yes, speeding up the winder when feeding by hand, can give a higher tpl.
    I also feed the wire by hand, I just use my fingers.
    You can try feeding the wire through different things, if your skin is getting raw.
    mojo sells a tensioning tool that some use to feed the wire through, to keep a constant tension.
    I don't wind enough to bother with the additional tools or aids.
    On the static when not touching the strings?
    Make sure everything is grounded, bridge, pickup bases, pots, switches, and use shielded wire where you can.
    If anyone else has anything to add, please jump in!
    T

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    Last edited by big_teee; 06-26-2019 at 07:26 PM.


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    I have noticed that the bobbins are not exactly the same, from a shop to another. Some have a notch and some has a flat side to aid in putting the lead wires into the shape of the PU. In the notched ones, i put 5000 turns, and in those with a flat side, i put only 4250 because i don't want to wind over the flat. Are there bobbins with nothing ?
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    Hi,
    i've bought some 44 gauge wire to play with. I've built a classic humbucker and i put 8000 turns in each bobbin. I made 2 screw bobbins by mistake but it works the same i think, no ? The total RDC is 19 K! I can't believe it yet! I put a ceramic magnet because i still like ceramic tone i guess.
    And i tried it on the bridge position. The signal is stronger than the previous one with 5000 turns of 42 gauge but not that much, more aggressive, but still not over the top, not over compressed as i supposed it would be. But i have to test more, tone is so subjectve.
    Anyway i'm happy.

    Have you tried the magnetic spacers to increase the magnetic field ? Is it worth using them ?

    The most aggressive humbucker i've tried so far is the SH6 from seymour, i have to compare.

    To know the output level in mV, do you need a scope ?

    Thanks

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    I've read the output level in mV with my multimeter as i saw on youtube, and i get only 200 mV out off my 19k humbucker!!! I'm pretty disapointed i thought i would be somewhere around 400 mV. Is that reading reliable ?

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    I would be more concerned with what they sound like, instead of how many mv they read.
    I've wound a lot of the double screw bobbin pickups, and one of my favorite sets, is in my LH import Les Paul.
    A double screw set at the bridge, allows for more tonal adjustment, because of the individual string bobbin adjustment.

    I would try different magnet types in your 19k pickup.
    From A2-A8, C5, & C8.
    Your 8k+ bobbins would be similar to a SD JB, or the SH-6 distortion pickup.
    Another good choice is a full bobbin of 43, which could range up to 7-7.5k DCR.
    GL,
    T

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    Last edited by big_teee; 07-14-2019 at 07:57 PM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by tepsamps View Post
    I've read the output level in mV with my multimeter as i saw on youtube, and i get only 200 mV out off my 19k humbucker!!! I'm pretty disapointed i thought i would be somewhere around 400 mV. Is that reading reliable ?
    There is no standardized or established method to measure PU sensitivity/output. So measurements are not comparable.
    Especially measurements using a multimeter are not reliable for a number of reasons.

    Best to listen to the PUs and compare to a known PU in the same guitar with the same settings/adjustments.

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    i have the SD and SH6, i prefer the SH6, but now i prefer playing with my guitars, my PU's and my amps. hahaha !
    Thanks for your feedbacks...

    Did you try unbalanced coils ? Mojotone say they do it, i will try different wire, turns and scatter in each bobbin to see the changes

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    Last edited by tepsamps; 07-18-2019 at 01:46 AM.

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    I've read the SH6's output with my multimeter and i get 350 mV with a big E chord. And it's RDC is 16k sharp. So the only way to get this, IMO, is to get a stronger magnet, no ?
    As for the tone, the SH6 drives the amp much harder than my 19K PU, the tone isa lot more aggressive, i would like to be able to reproduce that kind of output.
    But the tone of mine is really good also, more vintage, and with less trebble that the SH6 wthout being dark.
    I have to try 5mm thick magnet, with 2 magnetic spacers...

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    The comparison chart below, shows 16.8DCR for the Sh-6.
    https://www.seymourduncan.com/blog/p...mparison-chart
    If you want to duplicate it, then I would take some wire off your 9.5k bobbins.
    I would also take NEOs and Recharge the ceramics, giving them maximum charge.
    I've done some of that with Ceramics.
    I usually reduce the charge on C8's to make them sound a bit warmer.
    The Gibson Dirty fingers uses the fat Ceramics, with the small fat spacer magnets on each side.
    Make sure you get the polarity correct, if you use the side spacer magnets.
    Included is data for 3 different 44AWG pickups.
    JB, Distortion, and Dirty fingers.
    T
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    Last edited by big_teee; 07-18-2019 at 09:50 PM.


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    Okay, i will recharge the magnet, i saw a video showing how to do this with a single coil but not with a humbucker. I imagine that if i do it bad, i will discharge it no ? So between 2 repelling neo's ?

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    So between 2 repelling neo's ?
    No between two attracting Neos.
    Take the bar magnet out of the pickup.
    South Neo to North side of the Ceramic, north neo to the south side of the Ceramic.
    You charge both edges at once.
    GL,
    T

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    Would a neo magnet instead of the ceramic would be too much to sound good ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tepsamps View Post
    Would a neo magnet instead of the ceramic would be too much to sound good ?
    In a nutshell, no.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LtKojak View Post
    In a nutshell, no.
    Thanks!
    I saw an Italian selling neodymium humbucker on ebay ... Is it you ?

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    Has anybody had success with remagnetizing ceramic magnets using neos?

    Ceramic magnet data specifies a charging field strength of 10,000G for saturation (4 to 5 times higher than for most alnicos). 2 strong neo bars attached to a vise can produce a field of 3,000G to 6,000G in the airgap, which might not be sufficient for ceramics.

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    We try to stay practical here in the B/H area.
    You can perk ceramics up, or run ceramics down a bit with Neos.
    I've done it.
    I'm strictly talking bar magnets here.
    It also depends if your ceramics are C5, or C8. I have both kinds.
    They look the same, but sound a bit different, and the C5 will measure just a little less than a C8 bar, but much more than a A5 bar.
    If you like the tone of Alnico, you can get a hot tone, with a bit more tonal warmth with A8, bar magnets, vs Ceramic bar magnets.
    A8s gauss measure in the ball park of C5, and C8, but have a Alnico warmer tone.
    Beyond that, it is just trial and error to get the tonal sound you are looking for.
    You get the tone you're looking for, with the bobbins, by the amount of turns, TPL, and Tension.
    By trying different magnets, A2-A8, C5, C8, by trying different Pole steel metal types.
    Metal covers, also vary the tone.
    A combination of all the above will make the total pickup tonal sound.
    Keep making pickups, and you will figure out, what tonally works for you.
    GL,
    T
    **On the NEOs for guitar humbuckers.
    Most guitar players like either ceramic, or alnico.
    NEOs for Bass is another matter, and used a lot for bass.

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    Neodymium for bass ? I think that for bass we would promote clean tone and neodymium can overdrive a clean amp so i'm surprised.
    It's hard to find neo's that would fit a humbucker, i found only one in china with the good dimensions and orientation, i asked a factory for custom making, but they want 250 magnets at least, so for just a try it's too much... 8 € per magnet ...a 2000 € order ...
    Some say it's good, some say it's horrible...

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Last edited by big_teee; 07-20-2019 at 12:23 AM.

  35. #35
    Senior Member LtKojak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tepsamps View Post
    Thanks!
    I saw an Italian selling neodymium humbucker on ebay ... Is it you ?
    No.

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    Pepe aka Lt. Kojak
    Milano, Italy

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