How does Pickup winding pattern affect tone ?

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by FLICKOFLASH, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. FLICKOFLASH

    FLICKOFLASH V.I.P. Member

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    Does it really matter how the pickups are wrapped ? Or is it the Ohms balance between the two coils ? Say one coil at 4.3 & other 3.2 = this tone no mattter how they are wrapped ?

    Just a thought Gibson PAF pickups were not wound to a formulated pattern.
     
    Mookakian, R8R6Ben and formula73 like this.
  2. vortexx

    vortexx Senior Member

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    I've always wanted to try weird wiring patterns such as adding a layer of coil that would zig zag like this:

    /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\


    Haven't gotten into playing with pickup winding yet though.
     
  3. Fracture

    Fracture Senior Member

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    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA7voIlwdlw[/ame]

    How about rolling like em toilet paper?
    That'd be the shit.
     
  4. korus

    korus Senior Member

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    Winding pattern defines most of the character of the pickup. Coil offset just accentuates some frequencies, like a mild EQ. One can unwind some turns out of one coil of a mass produced PAF-like HB - it won't make a good PAF clone out of it.
     
  5. Mookakian

    Mookakian Senior Member

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    Theres a good, to the point review on this (and other things) by David at Zhangbuckers, coil winding is a few paragraphs down ;)

    Humbuckers - Zhangbucker Pickups
     
  6. FLICKOFLASH

    FLICKOFLASH V.I.P. Member

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    Paf's had no pattern they were not even hand guided
     
  7. FLICKOFLASH

    FLICKOFLASH V.I.P. Member

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    I would like someone to xplain how a wind pattern would effect the magnetic pull . I think what winders do is come upp with combinations that work , Like so many turns equals 3.5 K & the match different Ohms combos for different sounds. The unbalanced coils would cause different effects of eddie currents on the pole pieces.
     
  8. FLICKOFLASH

    FLICKOFLASH V.I.P. Member

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    In most cases this problem is due far less to the humbucker’s nature than to bad design and manufacturing techniques: Overpotting or potting with wax mixed too thick, covers, baseplates, screws and slugs made of tone-killing alloys, or inattention to the importance of coil patterns are just some of the problems that contribute to the bum rap the humbucker often gets. Correcting these errors is easy enough, and it helps a lot. But there’s another level of humbucker tone even beyond that.

    I always thought humbuckers had the potential to be the ultimate pickup design for 3D complexity and sonic depth, because if you could get some of those cancelled high frequencies back and in just the right proportion, the humbucker would cover such a huge frequency range – like being able to look down from the top of a mountain and see all the way to the valley floor without any clouds or haze in the way. If only a humbucker could be made that combined its natural beef with P90 detail and clarity…


    I’ve found a way.

    One part of my recipe is coil mismatching (winding one coil with significantly more turns of wire than the other), which helps by releasing some of those high frequencies back into the signal chain, and without a noticeable increase in noise. My bridge humbuckers (aka Slugbuckers) are all wound with a stronger slug coil for more midrange grunt while my necks (Woodbuckers) are always wound with the screw coil stronger for a more bell-like tone.

    Mismatched coils is hardly an original idea and I know of at least one winder who takes it to a greater extreme than I do. But my utilization of this concept and its combination with other ingredients is unique, at least as far as I know. I am probably the only winder who does this so exclusively; the formula works so well that outside of R&D I’ve never made a humbucker with even coils and so far I have no plans to ever do so.
     
  9. mudfinger

    mudfinger Thanks for the memories. V.I.P. Member

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    The density of the coil is one factor, as is tension on the coil; I've just been reading all about this stuff. I don't know how the wind pattern affects magnetic pull, but it does have an effect on the inductance/henries.

    I think I'm remembering that correctly; it's the inductance of the coil that has the larger impact on the voice of the pup. :hmm:
     
  10. Mookakian

    Mookakian Senior Member

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    "snip Zhangbuckers"

    The Dreaded Ice Pick
    Another complaint about humbuckers, particularly vintage output models intended for the bridge position, is a midrange scoop that exaggerates the treble (the dreaded “icepick in the ear”). Such pickups usually lack the midrange warmth and guts to keep the treble from standing out so strong. In many cases they double down on this problem by emphasizing the most unpleasant combination of frequencies in the treble range.

    This is often the result of a far too neat wind pattern, the kind that makes electrical engineers to salute and guitar players cry. It makes a pickup sound both harsh and 2-dimensional, like when your ears are plugged from a cold and you can’t tell if a sound is coming from right next to you or a block away. Often this problem is made even worse by the choice of materials – polepieces, slugs and keeper bars made of steel alloys that only sharpen that icepick.

    The result is a pickup that drives guitar players crazy as they constantly adjust their EQ in vain – because they are STUCK WITH A PICKUP THAT PARADOXICALLY SOUNDS BOTH TOO BRIGHT AND TOO DARK AT THE SAME TIME"
     
  11. copperheadroad

    copperheadroad Senior Member

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    winding pattern does not effect the magnetic pull & eddy currents have to do with metal near the pickup not necessarily the coil wire itself
    traditionally Gibson paf humbuckers were all machined wound so there is no secret pattern just back & forth at a certain "turn per layer" & tension which is a very important in obtaining the tone your looking for this combination is the secret that even gibson don't even know
     
  12. Goldtop75

    Goldtop75 Senior Member

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    Something about the tones generated and the way to obtain "3D" tones brings one point to light: noise is inevitable to a good tone.

    If you think about it. Having asymmetrically wound coils will produce a good tone, but that would remove a bit of the humcancelling ability. Case in point: single coils. Noisy, humming, but great tones.

    In terms of the wind pattern affecting tone, I think it's more about how the coils are arranged to cut the field. When the field is cut, the current flow characteristic is dependent possibly on the point of the field that is being cut. But this is micro scrutinizing, and I think it's a negligible point in tone generation. I think it affects tone behavior more than tone shape.

    I've noticed that when pups are scatterwound, the note decays to a round shape rather than maintain the same tonal shape throughout. But that initial tone attack isn't quite changed regardless of being scatterwound or not.
     
  13. Zhangliqun

    Zhangliqun Senior Member

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    Wind pattern has no effect on the magnetic field, but it greatly affects how the coil sees the magnetic field.
     
  14. R8R6Ben

    R8R6Ben Senior Member

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    very interesting info here.... keep it coming:)
     
  15. formula73

    formula73 Senior Member

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    This thread is awesome. I am most definitely watching this sucker...
     
  16. Zhangliqun

    Zhangliqun Senior Member

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    That's about as far as I can go. I don't have nearly the electronic background to hazard a guess as to why this or that pattern affects the sound this or that way. It just does so I just go with it. There is related stuff that I know a bit about regarding materials and such, but let's just say it's proprietary...
     
  17. LtKojak

    LtKojak Senior Member

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    A great Magician NEVER reveal his tricks... :cool:
     
  18. mudfinger

    mudfinger Thanks for the memories. V.I.P. Member

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    Prolly helpful to keep in mind that many PAFs suck. :shock:
     
  19. copperheadroad

    copperheadroad Senior Member

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    go get a big spool of wire & start winding , you cant expect winders to give up there secrets , that's there bread & butter :)
     
  20. Liam

    Liam V.I.P. Member

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    I'd be surprised if the magnetic effects, or even the em induction effects of the wind pattern were much effected by this, but I'm betting that the more scatter (or just spread of windings) the lower the inter-coil capacitance. So closer wound = darker, more scattered/spread = brighter.

    But I'm not a pickup winder, and what I expect to happen often doesn't...

    Liam
     

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