pickups and pickup covers

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Pickup_(music_technology)

Ted Crocker

Ted Crocker builds guitars and other musician gear, with a rustic design ethic Ted Crocker gear has instant mojo.  Crocker made the Honey-Dripper guitar featured in the blues movie Honeydripper.  The design brief was a handmade guitar neck nailed to a plank with strange wires. Crocker hand made the odd pickups, guitar and hardware, keeping in mind that it had to be an instrument up to the task of recording a movie soundtrack in a 21st century studio and surviving a movie set and location shoot. 

EMG factory tour

Premier Guitar's Brett Petrusek is on Location in Santa Rosa, CA, where he visits the EMG Inc. pickup factory factory. In the first clip, we get to check out where the molds, housing and electrical boards are constructed for EMG pickups. The second clip shows some coils wound, the finished casing products for the pups and the extensive quality care control that EMG uses for every pickup produced.

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Record player pickup winder and unwinder

Record player pickup winder

This is a home made pickup unwinder made by Bill Crozier, after he was unsatisfied with the sound of his Tex Mex pickup. He designed a pickup unwinder to unwind the pickup wire onto a reel, and then used the same setup to scatter rewind the pickup. He mounted the pickup on a rotating Lazy Susan, and the wire take-up spool on a record player.

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How to replace your guitar pickups

Squier telecaster bridge raised showing the underneath of the pickup

Guitarists sometimes replace their stock pickups in the hope of improving their guitar's tone. This step by step guide shows you how to swap your existing guitar-pickups for new ones. 
The instructable is written by John Smith who changed the bridge pickup on his Squier Telecaster  to a Seymour Duncan Little '59 in the hope of a more Les Paul type of sound. But the same technique should be equally useful for other guitars.

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Lollar foils the Pickup Pirates

Basic Pickup Winding and Complete Guide to Making Your Own Pickup Winder, front cover image

Jason Lollar is the  author of the DIY pickup maker's bible "Basic Pickup Winding and Complete Guide to Making Your Own Pickup Winder". This book helped kickstart the custom pickup industry. It has been out of print for a number of years, assuming a mythical status. Secondhand copies have been selling for close to $300.

Ubertar Hexaphonic Pickups

Ubertar passive hexaphonic pickup

Paul Rubenstein has suceeded in making a passive hexaphonic pickup that fits into a single coil space. Paul is a guitar player and teacher as well as an inventor (of the alumitar for example). These pickups have a separate coil for each string, allowing you to process each one indidivually. For example you could pan strings to the left or right, or have different effects on each string.

Make a LEGO pickup winder

lego-pickup-winder.jpg

These are two examples of pickup winders made out of LEGO. They use the motorised Mindstorms , NXT type components to spin the pickup bobbin. I haven't seen any LEGO winders with an automatic travese mechanism yet, but it won't be long before someone builds one.

The first is a pickup unwinder, for despooling a broken pickup, by Scorpion097 .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgYbgnVp15U

Rish developed the lego pickup winder further, making a more conventional design with LEGO NXT components for winding pickups.

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Experimental Musical Instruments

Experimental Musical Instruments is an online resource for people who want to make unusual musical instruments. They have how-tos on instrument making, as well as books and CDs featuring the work of experimental instrument makers. Also they have back issues of the Experimental Musical Instruments quarterly journal.

They sell supplies for the experimental instrument builder:  pickups, tuning keys, zither pins, fretwire, and other specialized hardware for makers. They sell piezo transducers, and piezo film if you want to make your own.

Make a pickup using GeoMag parts

geomagbits.JPG

GeoMag is a magnetic toy construction system. It connects together using short magnetic rods and little steel balls. Niels Kaagaard noticed the resemblance of the GeoMag rods to the pole pieces in a single coil pickup and proceeded to make a pickup out of them.  When you remove the plastic coating from the GeoMag rod you can see it is a steel bar with neodymium magnets at either end. To work as a pickup pole you need to remove one of these magnets. Niels then made some bobbins from fibreboard and wound the pickup coil around the GeoMag rods using his own hand winder.

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Some design considerations

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WINDING MECHANISM

Transferring wire from the reel to the bobbins requires the coordination of rotational and translational motions, The layer winding movements are performed through either coil rotation (spindle winding) or wire rotation (fly winding).

Spindle winding
In spindle winding, the bobbin is rotated as the wire passes over or through a wire guide that traverses back and forth in the direction of the axis of rotation.

Make a hand powered pickup winder

Kagaard-winder.jpg

This is a clever DIY pickup winder design by Niels Kaagaard. It uses a fishing reel to spin the bobbin. It is hand powered, so carbon emissions are limited to your exhaled breath as you wind it furiously.

It's missing a traverse mechanism at the moment, however, you can see that the wire is not layed down evenly. I would run a belt from the reel to power a cam traversing mechanism.

Link: Fishing reel pickup winder

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