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Dylan McKerchie — wound

Pickup Coil Wire 42 Vs 43... Whats the difference?

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Why Wire Type Matters... The most common types of pickup coil wire today are, 42 Heavy FormVar, 42 Plain Enamel, 42 Poly, and 43 Plain enamel and Poly. There are a few others too, but these are in your many of the most popular pickups that you are familiar with. What is the difference and why does it matter? Gauge- The number refers to the thickness of the wire. The larger the number, the thinner the wire. Insulation Type- Each of these wire types is insulated. Heavy FormVar adds about .0004" to the diameter. Plain enamel adds about .0002". Poly...

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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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Pickup Output.... How Hot is Hot?

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Pickup Output When we are pickup  shopping, this seems to be the Thing we are most concerned with. Usually, the DC resistance of the pickup is what we refer to as the "output" of a pickup. Is the the only thing we should be concerned with when pickup shopping? What affects pickup output? The DC resistance of the pickup refers to the resistance of the wire that is used on that particular pickup. More wire resulting in more resistance is one possible measurement of output of THAT PICKUP. There are other factors that affect output. The strength of the magnet...

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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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