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What is the basic build concept for a mag pup? 

how do you determine how many winds to use?

how does more or less winds affect the sound?

can you build one to emphisize a certian range; ie boost bass, mid, or high?

do the magnets themselves impact the sound?

are rare earth magnets suitable for a mag pup?

Is a standard electric guitar pup suitable for a CBG?

 

Any any other info you woud like to add.

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the only way ive heard to learn all of those answeres is to screw up alot ,ted could put u in the right direction but it would be up to u to figure out the right sound good luck

 

 

What is the basic build concept for a mag pup? 

A pickup is a magnet with wire wrapped around it.

how do you determine how many winds to use?

Ted says start with 8000 winds and I've found that also to be a good starting point.

how does more or less winds affect the sound?

Less winds, clean sound, more winds, muddier or more overdriven sound, emphasizing mids, less winds, not as loud, more winds louder.

can you build one to emphisize a certian range; ie boost bass, mid, or high?

see above and below

do the magnets themselves impact the sound?

Yes, material, strength, size, length, etc. will all affect the sound. In general, the bigger and stronger the magnet, the louder it will be, but there is a point where a magnet will be too big/strong and it will pull on the strings.

are rare earth magnets suitable for a mag pup?

Yes, but since they're quite a bit stronger than alnico or ceramic magnets, smaller neos are better.

Is a standard electric guitar pup suitable for a CBG?

It will work fine. The only problem is cosmetic, if you have less than 6 strings.

 

Other: like Gene is hinting, this is a complex area that combines both science and art. Check out my pickup winding workshop http://cigarboxguitars.com/resources/workshops/pickup-workshop, Read Jason Lollar's book on pickup winding, visit the pickup maker's forum at the music electronics forum, build or buy a winder, buy some magnets and wire, and do a lot of experimentation.

 

Skeesix

Gene and Skeesix

Thank you both for your answers I do appreciate them. I get there is a experiential learning curve with most anything in life.

Skeesix your more in-depth answers give me a place to get some traction in this learning curve. And you gave some really good resources for me to ferret out more info for myself. I liked your workshop and will read through it at least one more time.
I will pick up a copy of the book you mentioned and join the group. For me this is just as much fun- learning- as it is to apply what I learn. I am a knowledge hound and try to learn something new every day and some days I allow a lot of time to the study of my interests. Guess I am making up for high school ;)

I hope this discussion helps other handmade builders understand a little more how this aspect of the build works.

I really had no clue at all and now I get there is a clue to be found when I look for it and make a ton of mistakes along the way.

Hey Mark, hold on, it's gonna be a helluva ride.  

 

You're in the right place to ask questions and get answers - even noob questions.  We all started somewhere, fire away! There are a few accomplished pickup builders here.  Skeesix has paid her dues and been around a long time.  All of us are willing to share.  All of us are always learning...

 

To answer you:

 

What is the basic build concept for a mag pup? 

Skeesix summed it up great 'A pickup is a magnet with wire wrapped around it.'

The wire wrapped around the magnet provides an electromagnetic field that produces voltage when the field is interfered with.  The guitar string interferes with, or interacts with, the field.  The voltage runs thru your cable, into the amp and produces the sound.  

 

In some ways it's magic and you just take it for granted...


how do you determine how many winds to use?

how does more or less winds affect the sound?

do the magnets themselves impact the sound?

can you build one to emphisize a certian range; ie boost bass, mid, or high?

are rare earth magnets suitable for a mag pup?

In a perfect world, you know the instrument it's going in, the music to be played and the location of the pickup along the scale length.  In an even perfecter world, you know the string gauge, the distance from pup to string and even whether or not a pick/slide is used.  I find all of that out when I build a custom guitar.

 

I'm kinda anal about testing and I've come up with recipes that folks seem to love for the different models I offer.  I do custom pickups all the time to try to nail what someone wants.  But I'm also my worst critic and in a few months have this under my winding station

You will too, at first cause you break wire, then when you develop a taste for the subtle changes.

(Skeesix, not sure if I shared my awesome deals for magnets and wire?  I know I did with JuJu and Harrison)

 

I wind between 5,000 and even up to 13,000 turns.  I consider 5.000 to be called underwound, perfect in the neck position to get a good blues growl.  Crank up a tube amp and lay down some RL Burnside!  Underwound will not only give you more low growl, it'll remove some of the shrill highs and some mids and make the growl show up better.  An underwound pup will also have less output voltage, which means you have to turn the amp up, and a tube amp loves to be turned up...

 

I've been really really lucky with the tone that folks get with My Stonehenge pups.  It took a lot of wasted wire to get close to that with DownUnder and soon Scarab.  Stonehenge and DownUnder use Alnico 5 rod magnets, pretty much standard.  Scarab uses neo rare earth rod mags, way more powerful and I tried lots of different sizes to get it right - and the number of winds right.  Neos tend to be more precise, so I have to adjust the size and the number of winds to get the grit of Stonehenge.  Neos can also be strong enough to pull the string, which means no sustain.

 

A lot of factors to consider, BUT, I bet the first sloppy one you wind will be awesome.  There's something about getting that first tone from the amp...

 

(that's based on my 4 string pups - the number of strings is a factor too.)

 

A pup that's overwound is better suited for loud solos or intricate picking, it's more 'precise', has more power output and is better suited near the bridge to wail on some Steve Vai.  LOUD.

(HAAAAA, as an aside, I've been working with a guy from Vai's camp on 2 string pups under the fat strings with a separate jack to do bass lines thru an octave pedal/effects/bass amp)  They are underwound... Andy is a member here.

 


Is a standard electric guitar pup suitable for a CBG?

Yes, but like Skeesix said, if it's not a six string it looks out of place.  Half of a P-Bass set works better aesthetically.  I think the biggest problem with using a guitar pickup is that a lot of folks buy the cheapest shit they can find.  And then wonder why it sounds like shit.  The same with any other electronics, you get what you pay for...

 

Any any other info you woud like to add.


Here's some cool ones I've made.  Ask me anything

 
Find more photos like this on Handmade Music Clubhouse

 

Scroll down on the Building the Honey Dripper page to see more pics of an simple pup winding method, how I started. 

 

I have a serious winder now, but I pretty much use it just for the counter and to stop by itself when it has to.  I guide, tension and scatter by eye and feel.  I might have forgot to mention, but tension and scatter have A LOT to do with tone.  Two pups, same turns will be different with different tension and scatter.  Ask me about that, and about potting in lesson 2.  LOL

 

Enough to chew on for now Mark?

 

just ask...


 

Ted, fire away on your magnet and wire deals....thanks for sharing.

OK,   I  just hope he doesn't run out, but so far so good.  Today I ordered 90 Alnico 5 rods for under $25/$2.50 shipping here  http://cgi.ebay.com/AlNiCo-5-Rod-Magnets-18-Pieces-Non-Magnetized-/...

 

Bookmark the store home page http://shop.ebay.com/addiction-fx/m.html?_nkw=alnico+5+rods&_sa... that auction will expire but he always has deals

 

$1.59 each at StewMac - 28 cents there YEEEEE HAAAAAA  Same magnets

 

I stepped up my game too and ordered 4 pounds of wire for $14 a pound here (4 pound minimum)(Stew mac $32 half pound) http://www.surplussales.com/Wire-Cable/Wire6.html  Scroll down to 42AWG.  Skeesix, 4 pounds lasts A LONG time.  Four pounds there at $56 total  as opposed to $30 a half pound at stew mac @ $240 total - 4 pounds - $7 a half pound there/$32 at Stew Mac, same stuff just not labelled Guitar.

 

You're welcome...

 

: )

 

HAAAAA, I have a millionteen great links for everything, just ask...

 

tc

Ted

 

More and more great info. Thanks for your generosity.

 

I picked up some supplies today. I have what I need to make a few CBG and I have most of what I need for a winder. Will see how my secondhand purchases work out..

Thanks Ted, I was familiar with the Surplus Sales wire, but not with the eBay magnet guy.

Okay Ted

 

I have digested this much and you have answered a lot of my questions I did not know I had till I read this. So on with lesson 2

 

Scatter and tension. I guess I was thinking that perfect wound would be best, nice and and in a row to keep all them electrons in order but from what you are saying that's not the case.

 

I get that this is an art from and I will not know how I paint till I try.

 

For my first winder motor I picked up a kitchen hand held mixer. It can reverse by placing the rod in the other hole, if I get to where I want reverse wound pups. I paid $5.00 for it at goodwill today, I will cut off the mix heads and just leave the rod which I'll epoxy to some wood plate to made the rest for the bobbin. I also picked up a calculater and a magnetic switch to make a counter. I get this will be slow to start but I am not in a race mainly learning as I go and this part of the fun for me.

 

I took a better look at the cigar boxes I got today. A few realllllly nice ones some okay ones and actually a number of them will make great amps I think. 

 

More on the build in the morning


Ted Crocker said:

Hey Mark, hold on, it's gonna be a helluva ride.  

 

You're in the right place to ask questions and get answers - even noob questions.  We all started somewhere, fire away! There are a few accomplished pickup builders here.  Skeesix has paid her dues and been around a long time.  All of us are willing to share.  All of us are always learning...

 

To answer you:

 

What is the basic build concept for a mag pup? 

Skeesix summed it up great 'A pickup is a magnet with wire wrapped around it.'

The wire wrapped around the magnet provides an electromagnetic field that produces voltage when the field is interfered with.  The guitar string interferes with, or interacts with, the field.  The voltage runs thru your cable, into the amp and produces the sound.  

 

In some ways it's magic and you just take it for granted...


how do you determine how many winds to use?

how does more or less winds affect the sound?

do the magnets themselves impact the sound?

can you build one to emphisize a certian range; ie boost bass, mid, or high?

are rare earth magnets suitable for a mag pup?

In a perfect world, you know the instrument it's going in, the music to be played and the location of the pickup along the scale length.  In an even perfecter world, you know the string gauge, the distance from pup to string and even whether or not a pick/slide is used.  I find all of that out when I build a custom guitar.

 

I'm kinda anal about testing and I've come up with recipes that folks seem to love for the different models I offer.  I do custom pickups all the time to try to nail what someone wants.  But I'm also my worst critic and in a few months have this under my winding station

You will too, at first cause you break wire, then when you develop a taste for the subtle changes.

(Skeesix, not sure if I shared my awesome deals for magnets and wire?  I know I did with JuJu and Harrison)

 

I wind between 5,000 and even up to 13,000 turns.  I consider 5.000 to be called underwound, perfect in the neck position to get a good blues growl.  Crank up a tube amp and lay down some RL Burnside!  Underwound will not only give you more low growl, it'll remove some of the shrill highs and some mids and make the growl show up better.  An underwound pup will also have less output voltage, which means you have to turn the amp up, and a tube amp loves to be turned up...

 

I've been really really lucky with the tone that folks get with My Stonehenge pups.  It took a lot of wasted wire to get close to that with DownUnder and soon Scarab.  Stonehenge and DownUnder use Alnico 5 rod magnets, pretty much standard.  Scarab uses neo rare earth rod mags, way more powerful and I tried lots of different sizes to get it right - and the number of winds right.  Neos tend to be more precise, so I have to adjust the size and the number of winds to get the grit of Stonehenge.  Neos can also be strong enough to pull the string, which means no sustain.

 

A lot of factors to consider, BUT, I bet the first sloppy one you wind will be awesome.  There's something about getting that first tone from the amp...

 

(that's based on my 4 string pups - the number of strings is a factor too.)

 

A pup that's overwound is better suited for loud solos or intricate picking, it's more 'precise', has more power output and is better suited near the bridge to wail on some Steve Vai.  LOUD.

(HAAAAA, as an aside, I've been working with a guy from Vai's camp on 2 string pups under the fat strings with a separate jack to do bass lines thru an octave pedal/effects/bass amp)  They are underwound... Andy is a member here.

 


Is a standard electric guitar pup suitable for a CBG?

Yes, but like Skeesix said, if it's not a six string it looks out of place.  Half of a P-Bass set works better aesthetically.  I think the biggest problem with using a guitar pickup is that a lot of folks buy the cheapest shit they can find.  And then wonder why it sounds like shit.  The same with any other electronics, you get what you pay for...

 

Any any other info you woud like to add.


Here's some cool ones I've made.  Ask me anything

 
Find more photos like this on Handmade Music Clubhouse

 

Scroll down on the Building the Honey Dripper page to see more pics of an simple pup winding method, how I started. 

 

I have a serious winder now, but I pretty much use it just for the counter and to stop by itself when it has to.  I guide, tension and scatter by eye and feel.  I might have forgot to mention, but tension and scatter have A LOT to do with tone.  Two pups, same turns will be different with different tension and scatter.  Ask me about that, and about potting in lesson 2.  LOL

 

Enough to chew on for now Mark?

 

just ask...


 

FYI, if you're winding any faster than about 200-400 rpm the calculator won't be able to keep up. I don't know how fast a mixer goes.
not sure how fast it goes but it does come with 5 gears.. lol the 200-400 RPM could very well be a problem, I might fall asleep before I am through..  Thats 12.5 minutes @ 400 RPM and 25 minutes at 200 for 5000 winds.. hmmm well I have the stuff and it's a good place to start. I am thinking the slow speed will be good for practice and I can build a turbo model. Or I can find a way to build a counter that goes faster... Thanks for your info Skeesix

Here is a simple solution for a counter using a  USB mouse and a laptop., not sure if it has a speed limit to it but I think I'll build one and give it a go just for grins.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwVgbQr9cbA



Skeesix said:
FYI, if you're winding any faster than about 200-400 rpm the calculator won't be able to keep up. I don't know how fast a mixer goes.

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