Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

How do rail pickups work (vs. standard coil types)?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by RoscoeElegante, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 19, 2015
    TooFarFromCanada
    I have rails on an S-type and as one pickup on a Cabronita, and much like them.

    How do they work, and what's their sonic profile, especially compared to single coils and humbuckers?

    Just wondering! Thanks.
     

  2. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    57
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    They're just really narrow humbuckers, and can be made with very similar attributes to full size HBs, except that they see a smaller portion of the string.
     
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  3. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    27
    Feb 22, 2009
    New York
    There's also full size humbucker rails pickups like the Wilde L-90.

    The strat sized one's are just small humbuckers. Very small bobbins, each rail has its own coil. They're typically wired in series, RWRP for humbucking and high output. There's low inductance rail pickups like Bardens and Wilde L45's and there's high inductance rail pickups like SD Hot Rails and some Dimarzio offerings. The higher inductance versions will sound more 'humbucker like' due to their resonant frequency, while lower inductance versions, like the Bardens, and L45's will sound more 'single coil' like due to them having a wider bandwidth, with more highs.
     

  4. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Tele-Afflicted

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    RAIL = pair of l--o--n--g pole pieces stretched across beneath all six strings...with magnetic field contained between the rails.
     
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  5. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

    Sep 7, 2008
    Princeton, NJ
    A dual blade works like a horseshoe magnet and magnetizes the strings between the blades. On a single sized, it’s narrower than basically any conventional poled single.
     
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  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    57
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    I forgot the old full size Bill Lawrence rail pickups @JD0x0 mentioned.
    Those must pre date the Joe Bardens, but I'm not sure how far back they go, unless we count the Charlie Christian pickup, or even the Firebird pickup which is a dual coil rail magnet HB.
     
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  7. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

    Sep 7, 2008
    Princeton, NJ
    They definitely predate the Bardens. Bill was making bladed single-sized pickups too, uncoincidentally.
     
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  8. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 2, 2014
    west coast
    In general, they're not much different from humbuckers that use screws and slugs. Blades and slugs and screws all constitute "core" material, so the difference relates more to the volume of steel that results, as opposed to the shape. In general, you might assume a blade contains more steel than poles and or screws, but some blade designs appears to be very thin. If the blades, screws or slugs are thin, it will also mean the string is not as thoroughly magnetized, resulting in less output.

    There is an interesting aspect to blades versus poles, though. When a guitar string moves left-right (as opposed to up-down) over a pole piece, there is a voltage generated as it enters and leaves the magnetic field of the pole piece. With blades though, the string never "leaves" the magnetic field, so there is no left-right voltage, only up and down. This lack of left-right voltage with blades causes them to put out less even harmonics, because left-right flux deltas produce double the frequency of the string's movement. Truth be told though, the left-right voltage is always so low that you probably can't hear this difference, so it's more of a fun fact.
     
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