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Has anyone ever put p90 magnets on the side?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by woodandglue, Sep 12, 2020.

  1. woodandglue

    woodandglue TDPRI Member

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    Hi friends,

    I have a project (a very modded harmony H-47) I'm working on. I want to put a p90 in the neck, but it needs to be pretty flat, much flatter than a normal p90 can be. I want the top to resinate more so I don't want to route out a spot for the pickup. I made a functional but not perfect bracket out of some conductive metal and moved both magnets to one side of the bobbin to make a flat, wide p90 that is structurally similar to a HiLo tron or a vista tone. I haven't read about anyone else doing this so I'd like to hear your opinions on why I shouldn't shorten the pole screws, or any insights at all. IMG_5369.JPG
     
  2. Joshiquad

    Joshiquad Tele-Meister

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    No insights here, but I would love to hear a sound clip if/when you install it.
     
  3. Ebidis

    Ebidis Tele-Afflicted

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    Have you thought of using jazzmaster pickups? They are flatter than P-90's.

    iu.jpeg iu.jpeg iu.jpeg
     
  4. woodandglue

    woodandglue TDPRI Member

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    I hadn't considered it because I don't have any currently. I'm pretty cheap so I wanted to solve this with what I have, but those might do the trick! I'm still hoping to hear from anyone about p90 mods though.
     
  5. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Pull up pictures of old 60s MIJ guitar pickups dismantled and you'll see many many styles of layouts. They might give you some ideas too. Hook up the pickup with the magnet like you want and attach to a guitar cable to an amp and hold it above a guitar between it's pickups and strum the strings. That will tell you if it will work or not for sure. Then put it in your guitar or try another mod. That is essentially what Leo Fender did.

    Home Depot has a magnet area and they have some button rare-earth high performance magnets that I've seen people put under Strat pickup steel poles.

    Some MIJ 60s pickups use rubber refrigerator magnets in them, HD has a coil magnet like that you could cut to fit whatever you need. So experiment.

    +1 jazzmaster pickups could work too, but they are often harder to find and cost more money.

    .
     
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  6. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    It will work, but it will probably be pretty low in power.

    I'd place a magnet on either side of the coil, rather than stack them on a single side. Having the mags on both sides uses the entire coil to generate an AC pulse. Mind the polarity, because having one of the bar mags backwards will reduce power.

    [​IMG]

    And contrary to popular belief, the poles do not have to be magnetized; the strings do. This is why a pickup like a 'lipstick' (coil wound around a bar magnet) works.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
  7. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Peegoo is right. You could also use two strip magnets like Firebird blades either side.

    Or carefully machine out the row of studs and use a Firebird blade magnet in the centre of the coil. That would be my pick.

    The Jazzmaster pickup suggestion is good, too.
     
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  8. woodandglue

    woodandglue TDPRI Member

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    I am a fan of some of those pickups you speak of! I have some from an old Harmony H-802 on one of my guitars and I threw down the (IMO) worthwhile cash on some Victory blue foils. Both are flat and sound great and different from each other, but I want a p90 version, since that is what I currently have to work with.
    I have hooked up this current p90 configuration through normal wiring on a test guitar and it sounded cool (to me) but I fear that cutting the pole screws may effect the pickup's performance in an unintended and unfavorable way.
    I appreciate your cavalier spirit and your magnet hunting idea!
     
  9. woodandglue

    woodandglue TDPRI Member

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    Wow. You answered a question of mine a while back and today you brought visuals too! Thanks for your insight. Out of efficiency I put both magnets on one side, but you clearly demonstrate the advantage of having one on each side. Things might get wild in the shop soon!
     
  10. woodandglue

    woodandglue TDPRI Member

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    I love all the suggestions! I hadn't thought about popping the magnets in the center! That would require some skill and some luck, I usually only have one.
     
  11. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've made pickups using neodymium magnets; you can get them in all shapes, sizes, and thicknesses. Some are pretty thin.

    Alnico is not some magical stuff like many would have you believe.

    For example, Joe Barden's original blade humbuckers favored by some pretty famous players all used ceramic mags. According to Joe, "Magnetism is magnetism. It does not matter where it comes from." It's not exactly that simple, but it makes the point.

    If you want to get into this stuff, get yourself some magnetic viewing film. It will show you how the flux field comes off the magnet you're working with and how to orient it for best focus. Mag viewing film is cheap (Amazon or fleabay) and it's almost voodoo witchcraft. Check it out:

     
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  12. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    Are you some sort of scientist? Seems like you’re very scientifically minded
     
  13. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Not a certificated one, thank you very much :twisted: But I do have a lab and I make and build crazy stuff from all kinds of materials.

    These days folks like us are called "makers" that work in "maker spaces." It's nothing new, really. For me, it's more the product of genuine curiosity and never taking 'no' for an answer.

    Cheers!
     
  14. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    500 years ago we’d call you a warlock!

    The times they are a changing

    Keep on making peegoo
     
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  15. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    https://mgbguitars.com/

    They have flat mount HB pickups that are about 1/4" tall for 3 string guitars, 4 string guitars and 6 string guitars.
     
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  16. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    It actually might work fine with one magnet on the side, the Hilo'Tron is laid out that way https://guitarnuts2.proboards.com/thread/7903/gretsch-hilotron-analysis-review but note that your depiction you have the polarity coming out the wide faces of the magnets, but it's actually out the narrow sides of those bar magnets. You'd have to stand the magnet up on end if you wanted the polarity to be perpendicular with the string. It's hard to say whether it would be louder or quieter with the magnets flat or stood up, it's the sort of thing that is easier to test out and observe, than to try to calculate it on paper.

    You're right that magnetizing the string is where the rubber meets the road, and this magnetic configuration could potentially magnetize the string really well, while the screws help draw the magnetic field of the strings down into the axis of the coils.
     
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  17. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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    i know the microcoils from Bill Lawrence are flat, but i don't know for sure why that big block is beneath the coil.
    maybe they could wind/build you a flat one?
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    At least one reason is that it allows the pickup to be raised closer to the strings. If it were made flat, it wouldn't poke out much past the pick guard.

    Getting a greater portion of the coil closer to the guitar strings is a genuinely better design than the vintage Strat pickup. If you take a stacked humbucker, like a DiMarzio Area XX, and only use the upper coil, you end up with the same overall pickup design.
     
  19. DrB

    DrB Tele-Meister

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    You already have the mags? If not, just in case:

    https://www.philadelphialuthiertool...ed-bar-magnet-2-5-x-5-x-125-magnetized-qty-2/

    I'd use wax on both sides when fixing the mags... BTW they should repel one another. Get the mags as close as possible to the strings without offsetting the bobin... The bobbin and the strings have to be in the mag field for the pickup to pick up the changes in the mag field.

    B
     
  20. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

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    Supro Vistatone pickups were configured that way

    [​IMG]
     
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