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Pickup book

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Pickup book

Postby Chris Richards » Sun May 14, 2017 8:12 am

Hi there....

I've not long been winding my own pickups and with a pleasing amount of success but they've all been to pretty standard designs, generally Fender or Gibson types. I'm now looking to experiment a bit and try some more "off beat" designs, may be a bit like some of the Gretsch pickups. Could anyone recommend a good book that has quite detailed designs/layout of various pickups, I'm not after chapters on how to wind pickups, like I say much more the design, the more detail the better. I have searched numerous websites and whilst they have fair descriptions there's very little on detailed design ie how the magnets are oriented etc.

Many thanks
Chris
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Re: Pickup book

Postby Beate Ritzert » Sun May 14, 2017 8:47 am

This one has a large chapter with many details: https://gitec-forum.de/GitecWP/buchbest ... rogitarre/

In German, a translation has just been started.
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Re: Pickup book

Postby Peter Wilcox » Sun May 14, 2017 10:38 am

Not really what your looking for, more on theory than specific design: https://www.princeton.edu/ssp/joseph-he ... Theory.pdf

There's more in his book: https://www.amazon.com/Electric-Guitar- ... mme+guitar
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Re: Pickup book

Postby David King » Mon May 15, 2017 12:32 pm

Chris,

I'm not aware of such a book, not that it doesn't exist but available knowledge comes down to which pickup designs have been most successful and therefore which ones have parts available. There are a lot of individuals who have reverse engineered a particular pickup and staked their claim on making reproductions. I can see why they haven't all come together to produce a book giving away all their secrets in one volume. That said many of them have been willing to share details and many of those details are out on the web. I'd say that most pickups weren't developed using electro-magnetic theory but were the culmination of lots of experimentation by individuals. One great place to look is the US Patent library which is all on-line and all the pickup patents link to other pickup patents that came before so it's easy to get to a lot of different designs and see how things evolved. The folks at MEF used to maintain a pickupedia.info website that was the accumulation of all that info and all the patent links. I'm afraid it never got used and so fell by the wayside.
I'd start with pickup kits that are available. Have you tried a lipstick pickup yet? Another back door to more obscure designs is to buy the GFS replica and rewind it and get the correct magnets into it for say a Gretsch or toaster or foil top pickup.
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Re: Pickup book

Postby David King » Mon May 15, 2017 12:40 pm

Regarding magnet orientation, that's probably so obvious to the practitioners that they neglect to mention it. The pickups will only work when the magnets are in the right way round so if it doesn't work you would flip one or both magnets until it does.
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Re: Pickup book

Postby Chris Richards » Wed May 17, 2017 5:11 am

Thanks to all for the information...I'll get searching, the pickups I've made so far are from scratch and seem to work well when rigged up on other guitars but I'm now in the middle of making a bespoke guitar for them so we'll see how that goes....Here's a picture, they're three pole and in a kind of Strat configuration with two Strat style5 position selector switches so you can have the neck p/u bass strings and bridge p/u treble strings selected (as an extreme) the middle pickups are reverse wound. So we'll see what a mess I can get into with that!!!
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Re: Pickup book

Postby Jason Rodgers » Wed May 17, 2017 9:31 am

Depends on what you mean by "off beat" designs. There are a lot of things that will work, but as David says, what has come to be accepted into the design and tone lexicon of pickups ("on beat") is the result of many trials and errors, both through the tinkering and experimentation of pickup builders and the real-world survival of the fittest on the market. Looks like you're trying out some cool stuff on that Deco axe. There are so many pickup designs that are simply variations or refinements on a theme.
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Re: Pickup book

Postby Jedi Clampett » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:04 pm

One thing I have learned in fifty yrs of playing guitar, that the garbage no tone cheap instruments and amps of my youth, the cheap crap that we used till we could get a real gibson guitar and fender amp, that we had to use because it was cheap crap, is now very valuable and venerated as tone monsters. This includes dearmond pickups and supro amps and silvertone/danelectro guitars. What this means that if you wind a crap pickup today, it may in the future be seen as a rare tone monster. This is truth.
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Re: Pickup book

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:40 am

While most of what Jedi says is true, some of those old guitars were great sounding axes!
But in those days, a lot of pickups were hand wound, and as such there were huge variances in their make-up.
That's why some of those old Fenders, Gibsons, and others were fantastic, and some were not.

Even still today with machine wound pickups, you can line up 10 guitars made by the same manufacturer and try them all, and 1 or 2 will be better than the others.

Small things do make a difference in the body wood, neck wood and joint, and hardware fitting.
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Re: Pickup book

Postby Dan Smith » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:46 pm

Chris Richards wrote:Thanks to all for the information...I'll get searching, the pickups I've made so far are from scratch and seem to work well when rigged up on other guitars but I'm now in the middle of making a bespoke guitar for them so we'll see how that goes....Here's a picture, they're three pole and in a kind of Strat configuration with two Strat style5 position selector switches so you can have the neck p/u bass strings and bridge p/u treble strings selected (as an extreme) the middle pickups are reverse wound. So we'll see what a mess I can get into with that!!!

Chris, that is quite awesome! Really love the look!
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Them kids was fast as light-nin.
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