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Variable Output Pickups?


AeroG33k

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I just had an idea and I was wondering if it was practical. I was thinking about high output (i.e. lots of coil windings) humbuckers and how they tend to lack dynamics and can be too "hott" for playing clean. Then I thought about coil "tapping" which is often confused with coil splitting. I understand that tapping a coil means that you only use part of the coil wiring. So untimately, would it be possible to control the "heat" as the number of coil windings used of a pickup with a knob? That is, play clean retaining the dynamics of a low output, and then crank up the "heat" to push an amp into overdrive.

 

Would this be technically feasable? I could see why a potentiometer may not work, but what if it were a 5-position rotary knob?

-Andy

 

 

"I know we all can't stay here forever so I want to write my words on the face of today...and they'll paint it"

 

-Shannon Hoon (Blind Melon)

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It´s an idea, but only manufacturers can control or you should try cutting and recutting your coil (how many windings for your desired "clean tone"?). That´s the other usual way to do it...Measuring the PUP output (i.e. 14 Kohm) then you choose a value you want for the lowest output(i.e. 9 Kohm) applying a formule you could find the resistance you should solder to take that change.

 

Resist(needed X)= pup value * desired value

------------------------

pup value + desired value

 

 

in the example x= 14 per 9/23= total 5.48

Well you have obtained that if you buy a 5.5 KOhm resistance and solder it in a push-pull volume pot or simple conmmuter you have two versions in the same Pickup BUTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!! very important! lower output suposse a loose in highs that´s why you should solder a treble-bypass capacitor in the two wires "before" the resistance (then it don´t cut the frequences, appropiate values are "10nf" if pot is 250K and 22nf if pot is 500K). Making this won´t feel tonal changes if don´t by-pass you have two drastical different eq¨.

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The old, no longer produced DiMarzio TDS-1 did exactly this.

 

The TDS-1 was designed to be a (full-sized) replacement for the Telecaster neck pickup.

 

The TDS-1 is basically an underwound SDS-1 (still produced, about 8.6K)- it shares the same chassis/bobbins and the same P90-like design.

 

Its windings were in two parts. When one was earthed/grounded/tapped, the pup produced a fairly vintage output - roughly 4.5K. When the rest of the coil was added in series, it produces 6.8K and is quite possibly the sweetest neck pickup ever produced. Using the small coil produced almost nothing as it lay on the bottom part of the assembly and was quite feeble on its own.

 

Note that this type of two-coils arrangement is *not* hum defeating - it is exactly what Andy is suggesting, a variable output pickup.

 

I could see this being developed to a 3 or 4 stage single coil, but I think doing this with a twin coil/humbucker design might be more trouble than it's worth.

 

I have one in the neck position of my FrankenStrat and I'd **LOVE** another.

 

Geoff

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=738517&content=music

The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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Well, just because it's more complicated, really.

 

If you ever find a TDS-1 YOU MUST SEND IT TO ME FIRST!!!!! YOU CAN HAVE THE SECOND ONE!!!

 

:D

 

G.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=738517&content=music

The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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Keep in mind I don't actually intend to wire this myself, I'm just interested in guitar tech and trying to find whatever innovations might be untouched out there. Maybe Boggs can use them... ;)

-Andy

 

 

"I know we all can't stay here forever so I want to write my words on the face of today...and they'll paint it"

 

-Shannon Hoon (Blind Melon)

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The SD site has a wiring diagram for what they call "Spin-a-Split" that might get you the same effect. It slowly goes from humb to split coil by using the tone knob as the splitter.
Raise your children and spoil your grandchildren. Spoil your children and raise your grandchildren.
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A would a varistor actually change the coil size being used or just add more resistance and thereby limiting the output?

-Andy

 

 

"I know we all can't stay here forever so I want to write my words on the face of today...and they'll paint it"

 

-Shannon Hoon (Blind Melon)

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What it would do is resist at the coil tap point, giving you a variable level running through the post-tap windings. If my understanding of circuit behavior is correct, the more resistance in the coil tap line itself, the more juice will pass through the coil instead of the tap. Hence, you get full output from the pre-tap, and a variant amount of output from the post-tap.

 

Of course, I could be completely full of BS here, but... :freak:

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Oh hell - I just figured it out....

 

Forget my previous post.

 

Main goal with the circuit idea here is to not add/reduce windings, but to get a variable ouput based on how much signal passes through the tap point vs. the main pup output.

 

So....

 

Instead of a coil tap switch, use a potentiometer. A standard coil tap switch connects one end to the tap, one end to the main pup output, and one to the jack. By wiring a potentiometer backwards in this system, you have total control over how much of the tapped/untapped output signal goes to the amp.

 

Hot lead => jack

Out lead => untap

Earth => tap

 

You want it all the way hot? Turn it all the way up. All the way tapped? All the way down. Adjust in between to taste to vary the overall flavor of your tone.

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Isn't this similar to what Washburn does in the Idol guitars, of Bob Hartman did on some of his Jeckyll & Hyde guitars? Or is that really more of a pot to flow between single coil & humucking modes, with no change in coil windings?

"Am I enough of a freak to be worth paying to see?"- Separated Out (Marillion)

NEW band Old band

 

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Originally posted by Picker:

That sounds interesting. I am curious how that would sound in a real world application. If you do it, let us know what happens. .

Well, as it turns out, I'm getting ready to reassemble a Mockingbird (waiting on a bridge I picked up on Ebay) - I may try installing a tap on the neck pup and experiment with this - I'll definitely post some results if it works out...
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Excellent! If it works, I'd imagine it would be a great way to push an amp into mayhem, while being able to "tone down" for vintage sounds, blues, or classic rock.

-Andy

 

 

"I know we all can't stay here forever so I want to write my words on the face of today...and they'll paint it"

 

-Shannon Hoon (Blind Melon)

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Yeah, definitely go with an overwound pickup to take full advantage of it, although I'm not sure if I'd go with ceramic magnets...

 

As some people asked earlier, I'm not sure if that's what's Washburn is doing and how it's wired on the SD site. I think they just reduce the output volume of one coil, but not the number of windings used.

-Andy

 

 

"I know we all can't stay here forever so I want to write my words on the face of today...and they'll paint it"

 

-Shannon Hoon (Blind Melon)

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