Do wax kill PAFs?

jonesy

GLOBAL WIRING GURU
Joined
Mar 28, 2008
Messages
17,479
Reaction score
4,865
Wolfe & KevinT thanks for the discussion and great insight from both of you guys, good stuff. :thumb:

BTW Quick question, In your opinions what is the brightest sounding wire for winding pu's?

Thanks, jonesy
 

nitrous12

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2008
Messages
1,185
Reaction score
80
FWIW, I have now tried pickups from both KevinT and Wolfe and both are excellent sounding pickups! Very different from each other, but damn good and a huge improvement over stock pups from Gibson that I had in my guitars. It is great to have a forum like this where knowledgeable winders often come in for discussion.
Thanks guys!
 

Paragon

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2008
Messages
1,288
Reaction score
42
A looser coil will require more turns to reach the same resistance as a tightly wound coil.
How do you figure. Resistance is direct relation to the length of wire around a bobbin. More wire used = higher resistance. Looser = larger coil wrap (i doubt very much larger unless it is wound haphazardly.. don't know though since I have never wound a pickup)
Technically speaking, a smaller bobbin will require more wraps to get the same length of wire around it that a larger bobbin has.


I think a buddy of mine on The Gretsch Pages put it very well when he posted this:
Originally Posted by mikelevitt
When you play, the strings vibrate, and the pickup senses the movement of the strings through the magnetic field. With a potted pickup - this is all you hear. We'll call this "pickup tone."

With a non-potted pickup, the pickup coil itself moves slightly in relation to the pickup magnets when you play - because the vibration of the guitar body is shaking the coil and making it move in relation to the magnets. You can hear this by tapping on the body of a solid guitar. It's called microphonics because the process is exactly like a dynamic microphone where a coil of wire moves around a magnet. We'll call this "body tone."

I disagree. The sound you hear when you hit the body is that of the strings vibrating. A hit will cause the body to vibrate in turn causing the strings to vibrate.. can also be direct impact force that the strings see which cause them to vibrate lightly (I mean just the movement of the body quickly in relation to the strings.. momemtum and all. The strings want to stay where they are in relation to the world while the body moves under them.. then the tension of the strings cause them to move over where they were in relation to the guitar.. vibration.. ).
You can mute the string to stop the sound... you can also cause the same sound by tapping the headstock.. so I highly doubt it is the coil moving in relation to the poles.
Now tapping the pickups directly.. may be from the coil/pole relation that you speak of.
 

rockmonkey

Senior Member
Joined
May 18, 2009
Messages
163
Reaction score
5
How do you figure. Resistance is direct relation to the length of wire around a bobbin. More wire used = higher resistance. Looser = larger coil wrap (i doubt very much larger unless it is wound haphazardly.. don't know though since I have never wound a pickup)
Technically speaking, a smaller bobbin will require more wraps to get the same length of wire around it that a larger bobbin has.

Because tighter coils means the wire is stretched and becomes physically smaller which increases DCR.

I disagree. The sound you hear when you hit the body is that of the strings vibrating. A hit will cause the body to vibrate in turn causing the strings to vibrate.. can also be direct impact force that the strings see which cause them to vibrate lightly (I mean just the movement of the body quickly in relation to the strings.. momemtum and all. The strings want to stay where they are in relation to the world while the body moves under them.. then the tension of the strings cause them to move over where they were in relation to the guitar.. vibration.. ).
You can mute the string to stop the sound... you can also cause the same sound by tapping the headstock.. so I highly doubt it is the coil moving in relation to the poles.
Now tapping the pickups directly.. may be from the coil/pole relation that you speak of.

I'm not sure you got what he was saying. The guitar vibrates in sympathy with the guitar strings (it can work the other way around and the strings can vibrate in sympathy with the guitar which can be illustrated by hitting the guitar body and the strings making noise because of the bodies vibrations) and the wire inside the pickups vibrates in sympathy with the guitar body and the guitar strings. The easier it is for the wire inside the pickup to vibrate the more it's gonna vibrate in sympathy to the other vibrating parts of the guitar. Vibrating wires inside the pickup create sound because of the way they work with the pickup poles and the pickups magnets. Because an unpotted pickup vibrates easier than a potted pickup, when all other things are equal, the unpotted pickup will have more sympathetic vibrations which means more sound is created. Sometimes this sound is due to body and string vibrations while other times it can be vibrating in sympathy with things like your amp's speaker. When vibrating with your amps speaker it gives you feedback. When vibrating with your guitar it gives you "more tone" but whether or not the tone is actually wanted is down to the type of music being played. You are free to disagree but you would be wrong. These are facts and science, not opinions.
 

rockmonkey

Senior Member
Joined
May 18, 2009
Messages
163
Reaction score
5

I had one MLPF winder tell me that hand winding a tighter wrap on the wire will in give you a brighter sounding pu (vs dull lifeless)and another winder not on this forum told me that machine wound pu's will yeild a brighter tone as well. Not sure how much of your capacitance theory will apply to those statements, but I take them to be true. ;)

Unfortunately it's all a bit more complicated than "this causes that". It's quite possible that for some pickup makers tighter winding creates a brighter sounding pickup and for others it creates a darker sounding pickup. Things like DC resistance, capacitance, and inductance only tell a small part of the story. The proximity to the magnets, overall magnetic pull, resonate frequency, AC resistance, and Q are also big parts of the equation and often times we have factors working against each other. Kevin and Wolfe pointed out the big two in this scenario which are proximity and capacitance but the other things, especially Q, will also have a huge effect on how we perceive the tone to be. To make things even more complex our perception of what we hear and what we actually hear are not the same thing so we can easily be fooled into thinking the tone has shifted up when on paper it actually shifted down or vise verse. When wind a pickup tighter it sounds brighter but I also believe Kevin when he says that when he winds a pickup tighter it sounds darker. Like Kevin said, it's about that "sweet spot".
 

Zhangliqun

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Messages
1,602
Reaction score
768
There's a lot of interaction with the vibration. The main chunk of sound is from the magnetic field fluctuating in response to the steel strings disturbing the field and thus generating a current in the coil. But the vibrations coming into the pickup from the wood will also add some flavor by causing the coil -- even a potted coil -- to vibrate slightly. This is why the wood still matters in an electric guitar.
 

captcoolaid

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Messages
11,467
Reaction score
3,946
Okay here's my take on it. Every winder has their own formula that works for them so there really is NOT a definitive answer hear because it all varies quite a bit in the wind. some wax for 3 minutes some for35 minutes and some vacuum wax. The later i don't care for all that much. At best to me it is a 50/50 when trying to re wax or even wax someone else s product. If you are trying to kill the squeal of the cover, take the cover off put tape over the slugs and add some wax to the top of the bobbins and put the cover back on quickly and tightly before the wax dries. This will give you a good seal. Remember make sure it goes on tightly.
 

jason lollar

Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
41
Reaction score
38
you know i have done this for a long time so things I said 10 years ago dont always apply to what I do now. On my humbuckers I generally pot them for 30 seconds to keep the cover from squeeling but it leaves the coils with only the few outsidelayers waxed- the rest of the coil is un waxed. what happens alot of vintage pickups is the guitar gets dropped or knocked and it makes the unpotted coil shift- become much looser and becomes micrphonic to an excessive level all of a sudden.
this is something hadnt thought of 10 or 15 years ago, if you dont pot at all your pickup coil can shift and become too microphonic.
Now every design I make has specific perameters - everyone is different.
I will make unpotted buckers if you ask specifically for them but basically everyhting I make has a specific level of microphonics- I can also pot all the microphonics out but only do that on request.
there is no pat answer to this IMO
 

captcoolaid

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Messages
11,467
Reaction score
3,946
you know i have done this for a long time so things I said 10 years ago dont always apply to what I do now. On my humbuckers I generally pot them for 30 seconds to keep the cover from squeeling but it leaves the coils with only the few outsidelayers waxed- the rest of the coil is un waxed. what happens alot of vintage pickups is the guitar gets dropped or knocked and it makes the unpotted coil shift- become much looser and becomes micrphonic to an excessive level all of a sudden.
this is something hadnt thought of 10 or 15 years ago, if you dont pot at all your pickup coil can shift and become too microphonic.
Now every design I make has specific perameters - everyone is different.
I will make unpotted buckers if you ask specifically for them but basically everyhting I make has a specific level of microphonics- I can also pot all the microphonics out but only do that on request.
there is no pat answer to this IMO

Exactly.
 

5F6-A

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
10,258
Reaction score
2,664
some pics of my bridge VL:

5f6-a-albums-dave-stephens-vl-paf-picture18484-front.jpg

5f6-a-albums-dave-stephens-vl-paf-picture18483-back.jpg


completely unpotted, naturally!
 

moodyedge

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
3,654
Reaction score
2,388
I have several humbucker sets; all unpotted, or should I say unpotted coils in the case of my WBs, from two different boutique winders.
I love how they sound.
BUt....
I was trying out a Heritage LP lookalike ( budget model w/ slightly smaller and thinner body ) which sports a set of medium power Lindy Fralin humbuckers and a lot of the magic is not present compared to the other sets.
I believe the Fralins are potted. The Fralins sound predictable and somehow darkish bland and I reckon it's due to the potting. No overtones squeaking under the fundamental, no swaggering tone, no sweet-yet-sad slight microphonic behaviour...

Could the wax the culprit? the pickups do sound good but compared to the others they just don't have much life to them. BTW the guitar still has the stock pots and switches....

wax potting prevent microphonic feedback, my handwired bridge pickup is unpotted to get the most pure vintage low output tone, never had a problem with any feedback with it ever

He said if you have trouble send it back and he will pot it but...its fine
 

Latest Threads



Top