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Thread: gauss meter... How much do I need to spend?

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    gauss meter... How much do I need to spend?

    How much do I need to spend to get a good gauss meter? Are the $40 ones on ebay that people use for ghosts good enough? Or do I need something better? How simple, or complex does this thing need to be?

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    Old Timer Spence's Avatar
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    It's like anything else in the world. Buy crap and you'll be sorry. The Carlsen Melton is great, portable and cheap at $259

    http://www.carlsenmelton.com/gm200a/gm200a.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spence View Post
    It's like anything else in the world. Buy crap and you'll be sorry.
    I was afraid of that.

    Are there any other brands I might want to look into? I'm a luthier that is tiered of buying other people's pickups to put into my guitars. I want to be able to say I made it all myself, so I'm willing to drop the money for good equipment that does everything I need.

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    There are plenty out there but they mostly use a probe on a wire. The thing about the Carlsen Melton meter is that the probe is entirely encased in the top of the unit. This doesn't allow you to measure gauss in awkward places but it has the huge advantage of being protected.
    I make a lot of pickups so what do I use? A Carlsen Melton. It's perfect for the application and small, portable and reliable. that's my recommendation.
    To get a true indication of a magnet's gauss with it you need to move the probe over the entire magnet polar face. I love this meter and wouldn't change it for anything else.

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    Carlsen Malton meter looks nice but what abouth a range? 10000G - some AlNiCo magnets are over 12000G - it is not a problem?

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    Have a nice day.

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    Old Timer Spence's Avatar
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    It's not a problem actually. It's perfect for pickups.

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    I'll order it tomorrow.

    Are there any other gadgets and meters that I will need for coming up with my own pickup designs?

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    Old Timer Spence's Avatar
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    Tools I use :

    Soldering station which will reach 840 F or 450 C.

    Extech Meter

    DCR Multimeter

    Solder Sucker

    Stanley Knife

    Plastic and rubber faced hammer

    Pliers

    Wire strippers

    Files

    centre punch for flairing eyelets

    Sheet steel hand nibbers for cutting custom flatwork

    Grinder and sander for sizing and bevelling magnets

    Pillar drill

    Battery powered drill

    Sandpaper 600 grit

    Wax melting pots

    large neodynium magnets for charging alnico

    calipers

    bright worklamp

    From my perspective, these are essential tools but you could get away with less. I also have some other gear. These are primarily for more ambitious projects.
    ie. I have a flypress which can be used to shape sheet metal into things like PAF covers or for cutting flatwork with cutting dies. I also have a vacuum former for making plastic pickup covers. Things like this are not necessary but it's easy to get drawn into making things yourself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spence View Post
    Tools I use :

    Soldering station which will reach 840 F or 450 C.

    Extech Meter

    DCR Multimeter

    Solder Sucker

    Stanley Knife

    Plastic and rubber faced hammer

    Pliers

    Wire strippers

    Files

    centre punch for flairing eyelets

    Sheet steel hand nibbers for cutting custom flatwork

    Grinder and sander for sizing and bevelling magnets

    Pillar drill

    Battery powered drill

    Sandpaper 600 grit

    Wax melting pots

    large neodynium magnets for charging alnico

    calipers

    bright worklamp

    From my perspective, these are essential tools but you could get away with less. I also have some other gear. These are primarily for more ambitious projects.
    ie. I have a flypress which can be used to shape sheet metal into things like PAF covers or for cutting flatwork with cutting dies. I also have a vacuum former for making plastic pickup covers. Things like this are not necessary but it's easy to get drawn into making things yourself.

    I've got all that except for the extech meter. what exactly does that do?

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    OK Spence - so let me know how can I measure a magnet with 12000G by meter with range of 10000G? I don't understand.
    I want to buy this meter to test all my magnets.

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    Have a nice day.

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    Old Timer Possum's Avatar
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    huh?

    12,000 gauss isn't a magnet you'd put in a guitar pickup unless its real tiny. Your average strat pickup pole fully charged might hit 1200 guass, most are way under that.

    Add to Spence's list a magnetizer, I got one recently and really love it.....

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    http://www.SDpickups.com
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    Old Timer Spence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corduroyew View Post
    I've got all that except for the extech meter. what exactly does that do?
    Well you would use it to measure inductance, capacitance and quality.

    You see these figures quoted on some pickup maker's websites.

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    Quote Originally Posted by corduroyew View Post
    I'm a luthier that is tiered of buying other people's pickups to put into my guitars. I want to be able to say I made it all myself, so I'm willing to drop the money for good equipment that does everything I need.
    Just a thought: Don't get caught up in a false sense of "do-it-yourself" quality. Think how big auto makers are. None of them use their own tires.

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    So I'll let schaller make my tuners for me

    The pickups do so much to shape the sound of the guitar. When I do so much to control every aspect of these things why would I just overlook one of the most important features and leave it up to somebody else?

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    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corduroyew View Post
    I'm a luthier that is tiered of buying other people's pickups to put into my guitars. I want to be able to say I made it all myself, so I'm willing to drop the money for good equipment that does everything I need.
    I feel the same way here.. and that's the way I'm heading. I started modifying my instruments back in the 70's because I wasn't getting what I wanted... this lead me to make my own basses, so I can make them exactly the way I want.

    The last thing was the pickups, and I didn't like what I was using, so I made my own. For my bass they sound perfect... they sound like the bass.

    The next step is to make my own hardware, but I'm stopping at the tuners. No point in reinventing the wheel... but bass bridges... yes! They are way too expensive and I'm not crazy about most of them. And always either too wide or too narrow for my basses.

    Hey guitar companies use to make their own parts... now, for the most part (pun intended) we use parts that are copies of Fender and Gibson parts.

    I don't want Fender and Gibson style parts on my guitars!

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    It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure. Albert Einstein


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    Thought I'd give everybody an update. I ended up getting an fw bell 4080 and it's one of the coolest toys I've ever had

    Possom said to look into a magnatizer. I know I won't need one right away but if I start doing this as much as I think I'm going to then I can see where it would be nice to have. So where do I go looking for one of these bad boys? I've done some searches and I've only been able to find the huge ones that are good for people that are trying to magnatize 20,000 magnets a day. I don't have room for something like that not to mention the money. So does anybody know any keywords I can type into google, or ebay? Are they any brands I should look at more closely than others? Is this something I could make myself?

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    Senior Member Ruel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corduroyew View Post
    So I'll let schaller make my tuners for me

    The pickups do so much to shape the sound of the guitar. When I do so much to control every aspect of these things why would I just overlook one of the most important features and leave it up to somebody else?
    Right on man! I agree 100%. Using your own wound pickup would give you the most satisfaction. It is something that is hard to give a value to but definitely makes one feel good in accomplishing well. Leave the hardware to others who have the facilities to produce them, but go ahead and wind your own pickups.

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    Senior Member Ruel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corduroyew View Post
    Thought I'd give everybody an update. I ended up getting an fw bell 4080 and it's one of the coolest toys I've ever had

    Possom said to look into a magnatizer. I know I won't need one right away but if I start doing this as much as I think I'm going to then I can see where it would be nice to have. So where do I go looking for one of these bad boys? I've done some searches and I've only been able to find the huge ones that are good for people that are trying to magnatize 20,000 magnets a day. I don't have room for something like that not to mention the money. So does anybody know any keywords I can type into google, or ebay? Are they any brands I should look at more closely than others? Is this something I could make myself?
    Try STEWMAC

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    K&J have neomags that work better for magnatizing that the stewmac ones, and K&J are cheaper too, but I'm pretty sure that possom was talking about an electric magnatizer.

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