July 19th, 2012, 03:18 PM
So....describe to me in words how the number of windings changes the sound of a guitar pickup.
I know the more windings create a "hotter" sound, but what does a "hotter" sound mean?
I'm considering winding my own pickup for my CP Jazzmaster (just to mess around, ya know?)
July 19th, 2012, 04:57 PM
COIL WINDINGS: The amount of windings on a coil will greatly affect the pickups tone and output. More windings equals more power but at the cost of treble response. Standard Fender Stratocaster pickups are wound with enough wire to register a resistance of 6K to 7k ohms. A hot Strat pickup may be wound to 9K or more and will sound fatter and louder. Both coils of a standard Gibson humbucker are wound under 4K ohms each for a total of under 8K ohms. I've seen hot humbuckers wound up to twice that total or more.
Not sure if that helps...
July 19th, 2012, 05:39 PM
Great call Commodore! That's about as concise as it gets. The only thing I might add is that many consider a less smooth/more aggressive attack as a "hot" characteristic.
July 19th, 2012, 05:44 PM
All other things equal, the coil with more windings will be louder with less high frequencies.
Just be careful comparing resistance between pickup types. Depending on the wire, magnet and pole piece design, more or less resistance might be desirable.
July 19th, 2012, 08:29 PM
Thanks for the help Commodore!
July 19th, 2012, 11:09 PM
That's a good point JKjr, and I concur on that. Therefore, a pickup with higher Q-factor may sound hotter. It also has to do with increased upper midrange content. There's also the concept of a hot, or cool distortion tone. AFAIK, increased odd harmonics also equates to more heat, but that's determined by the distortion device and not the pickup.
July 20th, 2012, 09:29 AM
to most folks "hotter" means more volume and doesn't take into account "tone". all things about a single coil pickup being as equal as possible - the bobbin footprint, the magnets, the wire gauge - it's primarily the coil wire turn count that will decide the predominant pickup tone. the more the turn count, the less ice-pick-in-the-ear, the more it will boost the mid-range, the more volume the pup will produce (though volume is not/never a goal - it's about the tone).
July 21st, 2012, 02:29 AM
Thank you so much guys! I really appreciate the help!
Now. Luther Perkins (Cash) is my favorite guitarist of all freaking time.
His tone on the 1963 Esquire is to die for. I have some examples here in this Soundcloud clip of him (in varying qualities). I somewhat removed Johnny's voice from the first three tracks and got mainly just the backing instruments, including Luther's tone. The last song is an instrumental (not edited).
To me, this tone seems scooped (not a lot of mids from what I can tell), but it has a lot of bass and treble. After what I've read here, would you say Luther's pickup (which was custom wound btw) was UNDERwound, since there were not a lot of mids, but was very punchy (but not ice-picky)? It's not twangy either. I'd call it "wonk."
How would you describe the tone?
One last thing: I think the name of the lady who wound Luther's pickup was named Marianne or Marian or something like that. She wound his pickup in the summer of 1964.
July 21st, 2012, 07:19 AM
The geometry of the coil is also important. Higher resistance = more windings = bigger coil. The magnetic field gets weaker as you move away from the pole pieces, and will produce more lower frequencies. That's why low-wound pickups tend to be brighter and vice versa. Resistance on its own is very misleading, at a minimum you need to look at a combination of wire gauge and resistance for it to mean anything. That's why you have 13k pickups that don't sound especially "hot". Number of windings is more meaningful.