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Dylan McKerchie — howto

Do Eddy Currents Affect Your Tone?

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What are eddy currents? Do they affect my tone? An eddy current is caused when there is a flat piece of metal perpendicular to the magnetic field. The metal doesn't need to be magnetic. These eddy currents are small spirals of current that are generated in the metal surface They work in opposition to the magnetic field that causes them. This causes an interference in the magnetic field. This causes a disruption in the movement of electrons in the winding wire. This in turn has the potential to cause changes in tone. What Does it Mean in my Guitar? If...

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Hard Mounted Pickups Vs Rings

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Hard Mounted Pickups Vs Rings.... Hard Mounted Pickups Vs Rings... What does it do to the tone? Lately we have seen a lot of guitars being released with the pickups mounted straight to the body with no pickup rings or pick guards. Some people really like the cleaner look, but wonder if it affects their tone. The first thing to remember is the basic workings of a guitar pickup. We discuss this in detail HERE. The short version is that the string disturbs the magnetic field and causes an excitement of electrons in the coil wire that creates an AC...

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Scatter wound Vs Machine Wound Pickups

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What does Scatter wound actually mean? The term "scatter wound" is one of those buzzwords we hear all the time. I have clients ask me regularly "How Scatter wound are your pickups?" So what does this even mean? As we saw from our blog post on handwound pickups, the tension, traverse, and speed (at least at our shop) are all controlled by hand. This differs from a machine wound pickup where all of these variables are automatic. For this discussion we are mostly concerned with traverse. This refers to how many winds per layer are put on the coil and...

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How Humbuckers Work....

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That Nasty Hum I am sure we have all heard the annoying hum from a single coil guitar. This is because the pickups in our guitars become antennas for radio interference. Any time you coil a wire it is possible for this to happen. Remember the old AM radio antenna? it was a simple coil of wire wrapped around a core. Our guitar pickups are the same thing multiplied by thousands. While it is not common (it IS possible) to pick up radio stations with our guitar, the most common noise we can hear is the 60 hz hum from...

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What is "Out of Phase"?

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What does "Out of Phase" mean? This is of course another term that we hear often. Maybe we have replaced a pickup and experienced it... That quacky thin sound when we turn both pickups on at the same time. Most of the time it is not on purpose, although this tone does have it's place. What causes it? In electric guitar land the term "out of phase" refers to a cancellation of sounds that happens when two pickups that have either opposite winding direction, or opposite magnetic polarity are turned on at the same time. The video below will illustrate...

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