Thousands of winds...
To understand what a hand wound pickup means here at Dylanpickups.com
, lets first talk about how guitar pickups are made in general. The main part of the pickup consists of a coil of very fine wire wrapped thousands of times around a core. Sometimes the core is a set of magnets, sometimes it is plastic or another material that is connected to a magnet.
There are a few different ways to wind the wire around the core. On one extreme, a winder could literally sit and wind wire around the core by hand. He/she would have to count thousands of winds for what could take hours. There are some custom, and very patient, winders that do this and I give them mad props. Other people will use something like a fishing reel to turn the bobbin and wind the coil that way. This would be a little faster and more consistent.
On the other extreme, most of the larger pickup builders use fully automated machines that control speed, tension, and traverse (winds per layer). This of course is the most efficient, but we like to be somewhere in between these extremes.
We consider all pickups we make here to be "hand wound pickups". We use a very basic
machine that we have built here in the United States. We had a lot of input in the design of the machine to fit our winding style, and to ensure it would give us good consistent results. Lets look at the three main variables of the wind that we choose to control by hand.
While the motor moves the pickup bobbin, the speed is controlled manually by a knob and is also affected by the amount of tension I apply to the wire.
This is controlled totally by my hand. It is affected also by the strength of the motor. I have two different machines designed differently to give me different tension for different applications.
This is the motion from left to right that controls the overall shape of the coil. You can really affect the tone of a pickup and this is where "scatter" is controlled. We do this manually as well.
As you can see, most of the factors in our hand wound pickups are not automated. In the video below we give you a few more details about how we do it as well as a brief demonstration. The goal is to have total control over the construction. I know you will hear the difference. Give a set of hand wound pickups a shot.... You wont be disappointed.