# measuring pickups w/ multimeter & instrument cable : close or add 1k

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Mike Eskimo, Mar 13, 2018.

1. ### Mike EskimoDoctor of TeleocityAd Free Member

Posts:
16,898
Joined:
Nov 9, 2008
Location:
Detroit
So, if tone and volume are all the way up and I'm using a multimeter with one probe on tip/one on ground and it reads 6.4, is the pickup 6.4 or is it 7.4 ?

Why do I remember someone telling me to add 1 because of the guts/pots in between the pickup and output jack ?

BTW, this is a very well-known pickup that is advertised as one of those numbers...

2. ### Antigua TeleFriend of Leo's

Posts:
2,296
Joined:
Jun 2, 2014
Location:
west coast
You can figure it out with an online calculator that tells you the the overall resistance from several parallel resistors. If the guitar has say, one tone and one volume pot and both are 250k, then that's 125k total parallel resistance. So if the pickup measures 6.4k in situ, then with the online calculator you'd just put in 125k as one resistor, and then enter values for the other resistor. Whatever the value is that results in a combined resistance of 6.4k will be the true resistance of the pickup. It could also be solved algebraicly, but a little trial and error is quick and easy.

3. ### IngleseTele-Meister

Age:
39
Posts:
107
Joined:
Mar 7, 2018
Location:
Italy
Tone control has usually a capacitor in series thus you can not consider It in a DC measurement.

And please... let's stop using DC resistance as main or only pickup spec.

Derek Kiernan likes this.
4. ### Antigua TeleFriend of Leo's

Posts:
2,296
Joined:
Jun 2, 2014
Location:
west coast
Good point, just assume 250k then.

What's the alternative?

5. ### Mike EskimoDoctor of TeleocityAd Free Member

Posts:
16,898
Joined:
Nov 9, 2008
Location:
Detroit

Very similar construction in the pickup I have and the pickup I'm thinking of getting.

Same wire/magnets/baseplate and the one I have is either 6.4 (or 7.4 ) and the other is available as 9.2 or 11.2.

Bottom line from the electrical lamebrain (me) without using DC resistance : want more mids/waaaaaay less treble. Don't want to touch my tone knob.

What I have : Fralin stock bridge. What I think I want : Cavalier Fat Lion or Huge Lion.

Do not care about twang/don't want to change from 250k pots though.

Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
6. ### IngleseTele-Meister

Age:
39
Posts:
107
Joined:
Mar 7, 2018
Location:
Italy
Inductance!
Very few pickup makers state inductance in their spec...

7. ### Antigua TeleFriend of Leo's

Posts:
2,296
Joined:
Jun 2, 2014
Location:
west coast
There's the rub. You have to work with what they will reveal. If they don't even reveal the DC resistance, I'd advise anyone to not give them their business.

8. ### Antigua TeleFriend of Leo's

Posts:
2,296
Joined:
Jun 2, 2014
Location:
west coast
Twisted Tele set would be my preference. If you want a full blown mudcaster, get Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounds for Tele.

9. ### Mike EskimoDoctor of TeleocityAd Free Member

Posts:
16,898
Joined:
Nov 9, 2008
Location:
Detroit
I had the SDQP in the bridge when I got this. Ripped it out and threw it out when I got this guitar. Fralin is what a some store threw in.

Ice pick low/ice pick high.

Posts:
2,296
Joined:
Jun 2, 2014
Location:
west coast
Good call.

11. ### Mike EskimoDoctor of TeleocityAd Free Member

Posts:
16,898
Joined:
Nov 9, 2008
Location:
Detroit
Twisted Tele seems cool for bridge . I like my current neck pickup and never play in the “both” position .

Cavaliers are cheap and well-rated and Rob was super informative on the phone.

Whatever the measurement/strength/hotness is of the vintage Fralin - not for me.

12. ### tubejockeyTele-Meister

Posts:
353
Joined:
Nov 25, 2015
Location:
the bozone
I would only trust the quick and dirty measurement method described in OP to troubleshoot. If I measure something higher than the pot value, I have some comfort in declaring the pickup is not open. But that's about all.

13. ### Mike EskimoDoctor of TeleocityAd Free Member

Posts:
16,898
Joined:
Nov 9, 2008
Location:
Detroit
It started with me measuring resistance simply to help sell the pickup when I sold it .

I got curious when it read 6.4 as opposed to the stated 7.4 on Fralin’s website. And the pickup is plainly labeled so I know exactly what model it is.

14. ### IngleseTele-Meister

Age:
39
Posts:
107
Joined:
Mar 7, 2018
Location:
Italy
Is it on a Tele? if so you can place the selector on the position that leaves the pickup you want to measure and just read the right value.
However to bring 7.4 down to 6.4 you need to have something like 50k in parallel...

Posts:
16,898
Joined:
Nov 9, 2008
Location:
Detroit
Tele - yes

16. ### Derek KiernanFriend of Leo's

Posts:
3,227
Joined:
Sep 7, 2008
Location:
Princeton, NJ
If you're considering one 250k load, you're getting something like a 2-3% loss in value. The pickup might measure closer to 6.6k independently, but again, it's such a small difference that being given one number or the other can make no practical difference. Wire varies more than that.

Iago likes this.
17. ### TequilaCasterTele-Meister

Posts:
489
Joined:
Mar 26, 2003
Location:
P90 Rockin' the World by its head
The other thing is that the pickup's resistance will vary with its temperature. It will measure lower when colder, and higher when warmer.

Manufacturers should specify at what temperature they are measuring the pickup resistance IMO.

Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
Iago and Hiker like this.
18. ### screamin eaglePoster Extraordinaire

Posts:
5,199
Joined:
Oct 9, 2008
Location:
S. CA
Just measure the damn thing and then play it. Does it sound good? There you go. I’m a blues player, and not SRV blues, but Charlie Christian, tiny Grimes, Bill Jennings, Tbone, Pee Wee etc. I rocked an SDQP for a few years and really liked it for added mids—especially through tweed amps.

19. ### Mike EskimoDoctor of TeleocityAd Free Member

Posts:
16,898
Joined:
Nov 9, 2008
Location:
Detroit
Nope.

Like I said, I was measuring it to add that to the listing when I sold it.

I’m going Cavalier and maybe a re-gut.

20. ### HikerPoster Extraordinaire

Posts:
5,166
Joined:
Jul 20, 2008
Location:
Alabama
The multimeter's reading goes up if the surrounding, or room temperature increases. As a room gets colder, a lower reading would result. That's one reason the readings are called approximate!!!

TequilaCaster likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.