The Misleading Nature of DC Resistance in Regard to Pickup Coils

freefrog

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Interesting test, James, thx to share it! :dude:

A funny coincidence is that I don't use the same software but my tests involve the same kind of hissing and whistling noises (that nobody never understands in my family when I do that at home)... :lol:
 

cooljuk

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My dog isn't a fan of sine sweeps. :rofl:

If you want to have some real fun, try using square waves at different frequencies and look at the resulting shape change away from a true square. You can measure the compression/frequency relationship of a pickup, and also its harmonics some extent, that way.

Unfortunately, much of the compression of a PAF comes from the AlNiCo magnet and the ferrous alloys, which won't really make an appearance in those induction coil tests. It's still fun!
 

RAG7890

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My 2c FWIW.

If I wanted to I could possibly out geek everyone on PU's & measurements etc., not to mention non destructive testing on Vintage PU parts (which is actually fairly straight forward & easy to do if you have access to the right equipment).

Years ago I worked as the Chief Chemist of Australia's largest Electronics Company. We made everything & I mean everything............Chokes, Transformers, Speakers, Power Supplies, Military Equipment, Power Tubes.........the list is long.

I learned a load over 4 or 5 years to go with the 6 months of Electrical Engineering I studied during my Science Degree.

My Wife thinks I have OCD when I start getting carried away with details relating to Guitars, Amps & Cabs.

My point to all of this is that there is only one way to know how a PU will sound & that is to put it in the Guitar you are planning on using.

Some PU's sound good in some Guitars & not so good in others. Just look at the various comments from members re PU's from various winders...........which I generally take with an absolute grain of salt.

Most members have NFI what Inductance & Capacitance mean, let along DC Resistance. Nor would most have any idea how a set of values will sound until the PU's are put in to said Guitar.

I still think DC Resistance is worth considering when comparing PU's; i.e. it is a guide, among other things when buying PU's that cannot be installed in your own Guitar until you buy them & they have been shipped.

Lastly, one person's idea of great tone or tones per se are not another person's idea of great tone. A particular Plexi Thread on MLPF sometime back was a good case in point re how many thought a particular set of Vintage Marshall Amp demos sounded great when I think they all sounded like absolute $hit.

The more I learn / know the more I'm convinced that most us are disappearing up our own a$$holes. I wonder how the greats from the '60's & 70's approached PU readings............:hmm: :laugh2:

:cheers2:

P.S. I'm not bagging anyone or anything I am merely tabling my opinion on all of this. :)
 

ARandall

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^ They didn't have to worry about pickup readings.....they already had the authentic PAF's, vintage p90's and singles in their guitars, and there was nobody else making pickups anyhow..
 

RAG7890

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^ They didn't have to worry about pickup readings.....they already had the authentic PAF's, vintage p90's and singles in their guitars, and there was nobody else making pickups anyhow..

Agree with you Allan but that is not the point I am trying to make here. Back then they changed stuff & fiddled etc. but I doubt they obsessed over gear like we do today. PU's were PU's & Vintage wasn't an Electric Guitar. :)

The focus back then was music, the focus now often seems to be the gear, whatever it is.

I'm not pointing fingers because I'm as guilty as the next person. Just ask my lovely Wife. :laugh2: :)

Cheers, Rudi.
 

freefrog

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My point to all of this is that there is only one way to know how a PU will sound & that is to put it in the Guitar you are planning on using.

Some PU's sound good in some Guitars & not so good in others.
Agreed! :slash:

Agree with you Allan but that is not the point I am trying to make here. Back then they changed stuff & fiddled etc. but I doubt they obsessed over gear like we do today.
I hope that I didn't appear above as trying to "outgeek" anyone... I've realized a bit too late than my talkative post could be (mis)understood like a way to give a lesson, while I was trying to share my humble experience.:hmm:

Now, there's pragmatic reasons to dig some data about pickups, out of any "geekiness": for example, destiny made me an unofficial guitar tech and I had to understand what I do when I modify guitars for other people or when I recommend them some devices. I'd venture to say that in some cases, 5mn of rational analysis can solve the problems encountered by a musician for 30 years. :applause:

Economically, it's also interesting: when I improve the electronic of a guitar with a capacitor connected in an unexpected way, people are glad to save the price of a new pickup. :laugh2:

Last but not least, my oldest students are future engineers: I'll always prefer them to explore guitar electronics than to work on recipes for military industry. :thumb:



My dog isn't a fan of sine sweeps. :rofl:

If you want to have some real fun, try using square waves at different frequencies and look at the resulting shape change away from a true square. You can measure the compression/frequency relationship of a pickup, and also its harmonics some extent, that way.

Unfortunately, much of the compression of a PAF comes from the AlNiCo magnet and the ferrous alloys, which won't really make an appearance in those induction coil tests. It's still fun!
LOL about your dog! :laugh2:

Thx for the ideas, James! You remind me that I've forgotten to evoke the impulse and phase response tests that I try to do too - although it's sometimes extremely difficult IMHO and IME to decide how such data must be explained, deciphered and understood... even with the help of brilliant brains specialized in electronics around the poor freefrog. :mad: some experiments about guitar gear that I've mentioned here in the past are currently stuck in a dead end because of that.

Have a nice day, everybody! :wave:

EDIT - First pic below = the RZ of a same pickup with A3 (in black & pink) then A5 bar (brown & green).

Second pic... I've tried to make a synthetic chart showing the frequencies produced with these mags once the guitar played but you can see that my work is not readable :thumb:. Not enough free time to correct that right now, sorry . Maybe later.

FWIW (2 cents at best :laugh2:)
 

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Classicplayer

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I may have missed it in discussion here, but how about the term "peak resonance" when also using the DCR description? Would the two measurements be more indicative as to a given pickup's performance?


Classicplayer
 

ARandall

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Agree with you Allan but that is not the point I am trying to make here. Back then they changed stuff & fiddled etc. but I doubt they obsessed over gear like we do today. PU's were PU's & Vintage wasn't an Electric Guitar. :)

The focus back then was music, the focus now often seems to be the gear, whatever it is.

I'm not pointing fingers because I'm as guilty as the next person. Just ask my lovely Wife. :laugh2: :)

Cheers, Rudi.

Agreed.

They obsessed in different ways, but there was always gear.
Back then you had all sorts of different effects units to buy - think of all the things that Clapton, Page and Hendrix pioneered the use in.

Then the aftermarket pickup industry and pedal industry came about and these became available to the masses.

Then magazines showed us the wider variety of amps, guitars etc.

Then the net exploded the scene and the minutiae of amp and pickup construction was so much more available.


Oh to have the days when the pinnacle of guitars was readily hanging on the walls to pluck down and use with the golden age of amps......knowing what we do now of course.

Oh, and the name's Alex btw.......but I guess I'm Allan to you from now on;-)
 

Zhangliqun

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Agree with you Allan but that is not the point I am trying to make here. Back then they changed stuff & fiddled etc. but I doubt they obsessed over gear like we do today. PU's were PU's & Vintage wasn't an Electric Guitar. :)

The focus back then was music, the focus now often seems to be the gear, whatever it is.

I'm not pointing fingers because I'm as guilty as the next person. Just ask my lovely Wife. :laugh2: :)

Cheers, Rudi.

I think the obsession over gear may be a bit more than it was 40 years ago but not as much as the internet makes it seem.

I remember those days and the obsessions were just as strong, just different. People didn't obsess over pickups and DCR. In those days, everyone wanted either a Strat or an LP. Anything else was looked down on as a guitar for wannabes -- unless you were a jazzbo in which case 335's, L5's, D'Angelicos (if you could get your hands on one), maybe a Gretsch and a few others were what you wanted.

But these days a vast universe of guitars is considered at least respectable. Gibson and Fender are still very popular but they don't dominate the higher end market like they once did.

The reason I say the internet makes the gear obsession seem more intense than it actually is, is because of specialized sites like this one. What's the name of this site? Is it mykillermusic? Myrehearsaltechniques? Mymusictheory? No, it's mylespaul and it has a very popular section called "Pickups", another one on pedals and another one on amps.

What do you suppose people are going to talk about in those sections? It's probably going to be narrowed down to gear to the exclusion of rehearsing songwriting, gigging, and everything else. It's like the old joke about the doctor who one day scratches his head and says, "I don't know what's going on with the world today, everybody who comes to see me is sick!"
 

Classicplayer

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As I read these MLP forums daily, I realize that some of us spend more time reading these et. al. forums than actually sitting down and playing a favorite guitar and amp; (myself included). Perhaps it has to do with affluence that exists today and the generous amounts of leisure time many people have. I do believe that there are a certain number of people (more than we all realize) who are so busy making a living as a professional guitarist that they have no spare time to indulge studying the current state of the technical side of equipment in all its manifestations.

Guitar playing today (compared to the days I started playing) is an industry in itself. There have always been the major guitar and amp manufacturers in it to make money. It has evolved strictly in a business sense to almost a "science" with many small entities producing variation of advanced products, hence, the myriad discussions on DCR, ohms, watts, and miliamps; all associated with the process of obtaining our favorite artist's tone.

Yes, it is all good and for a purpose, I suppose; otherwise I'd cease my regular reading of all forums dealing with guitar and equipment. I just get a bit concerned sometimes that the actual "magic" of playing an original and exciting style of guitar is fading into the background.


Classicplayer
 

RAG7890

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Agreed.

They obsessed in different ways, but there was always gear.
Back then you had all sorts of different effects units to buy - think of all the things that Clapton, Page and Hendrix pioneered the use in.

Then the aftermarket pickup industry and pedal industry came about and these became available to the masses.

Then magazines showed us the wider variety of amps, guitars etc.

Then the net exploded the scene and the minutiae of amp and pickup construction was so much more available.


Oh to have the days when the pinnacle of guitars was readily hanging on the walls to pluck down and use with the golden age of amps......knowing what we do now of course.

Oh, and the name's Alex btw.......but I guess I'm Allan to you from now on;-)

:shock: :shock: :shock:.............Alex, why didn't you tell me earlier. :laugh2:

NFI why I used Allan, I think I must have misread a PM form you. :shock:

Sorry mate...........um, Alex. :D :wave:

Cheers, Rudi
 

ARandall

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Hey no prob.....it was a bit amusing really - like a secret agent name.

Anyhow its not really that big of an issue - especially when its PM as you don't get others thinking you are Allan and having to go through the whole thing many times.
 

cooljuk

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This one definitely deserves a bump. :cheers:

Rudi - you're new avatar is a beautiful place!
 

scovell001

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Hopefully this is the right thread to ask.

I've had these MK58 pickups http://mk-guitar.com/shop/paul-humbucker-p-125.html in my LP since March this year & I've always wondered what was in them.

Yesterday I took a DC resistance off them by using the method of taking a reading off the guitar lead (very short lead) into the jack, tones & vol on 10 etc etc.

Each pickup (they are the same, I bought 2) measures 'exactly' 9.20 Ohms.

I just wondered if anyone had encountered pafs that hot before ?
 

ARandall

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Desolder them from the pots and try again.

In circuit is not a great method for accurate readings.
 

cooljuk

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This thread needs a bump. I still see lots of incorrect statements about DCR being shared on this forum.

Love you guys!

i.php
 

scosmith

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I recently wound a set of pickups for myself. I had an idea in my head of what I wanted to try and they actually turned out sounding good IMO. I used 42# plain enamel wire---For the bridge pickup the slug coil got 5584 turns and measured about 4.2k DCR the screw coil got 5256 turns and measured about 3.9k DCR , so the assembly is about 8.1K and uses an A2 magnet----for the neck pickup the slug coil got the same 5256 wind that was used for bridge screw coil and the neck screw coil got 4928 turns and ended up at about 7.7k DCR as an assembly and uses and UOA5 magnet. (I wish I had an LCR meter so I could get an inductance reading) I would describe the tone as warm and balanced. The bridge pickup isn't harsh on the treble end and the neck pickup isn't muddy on the low end. I would guess that the magnet choices contribute quite a bit to this balanced tone. They also sound pretty nice when coil split. This is the first set of pickups I have wound and they sound better than the 57 Classic and 57 Classic + that had been in my Les Paul (At least in my opinion) Can't wait to try other combinations and see what I can come up with.
 

cooljuk

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This thread needs more attention. This topic is coming up a bunch, lately.

Perhaps I'll do a "version 2" of this thread, which incorporates some audio examples. :dunno:

...just gotta find the time.
 

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