How much resistance makes a difference in pick ups?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Mike_LA, Feb 19, 2020.

Will I hear an appreciable difference in .5 ohms?

  1. Yes

    1 vote(s)
    1.8%
  2. No

    37 vote(s)
    66.1%
  3. Maybe

    4 vote(s)
    7.1%
  4. Shut Up and Play Your Guitar!

    14 vote(s)
    25.0%
  1. Mike_LA

    Mike_LA Tele-Afflicted

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    Greetings Gang,

    So I got bored and started looking at pickups for my Parker Fly (kind of a weird Fly in that it doesn't have the midi setup, just pups) .

    There has long been the discussion that first gen pups were a little weak in the bass department.

    A set of Dimarzio's made for the fly (Special thinner pups) showed up in my search.

    The add says that they are the more powerful upgrade.

    saying that the pups measure ..... DC Resistance 15.98K neck.....DC Resistance 17.51K bridge

    ..................... My original pups 15.5 Bridge 16.78 Bridge

    The price is $187.00 will I hear an appreciable difference in .5 ohms, especially for the price?

    I think not, please illuminate me . . .
     
  2. koolaide

    koolaide Tele-Holic

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    Not to be a wise guy, but. It would depend on your perception and hearing. Having said that. DC resistance is only one facet of a pick up generally used to equate out that is perceptible in volume change and thereby more or less distortion.

    I would want to hear a set live before spending that dough. I suspect .5 OHM would not be much change. But that is just a guess.

    I know a guy that was selling a TS808 to Eric Johnson (through Johnsons' tec) and he was told that EJ could hear the difference in batteries.
     
  3. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    At that amount of resistance, I doubt I could hear anything less than 10k worth of difference, all other things held equal.

    I can hear the difference between some 5 and 9k pickups I have, but even then I’m not sure it’s the amount of wire that’s responsible.

    I have a neck pickup wound to 4.98k that is dark, middy, and woofy. It is paired with a tele bridge pickup wound to 4.98k.

    They sound completely different.
     
  4. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Holic

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    500 ohms, I guess... half a thousand ohms.

    Is everything else the same? same wire, same magnet, or is it a totally different pickup?
     
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  5. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    Picking a guitar up and playing it will change the pickup resistance much more than 0.5 ohms, because of the change in temperature. As for 500 ohms, the difference is approximately proportional to the difference between internal and external resistance (in this case the volume and tone pot). The difference between 200k and 500 ohms is 400:1 so the difference due to resistance alone is not going to be audible. Whether the alternate pickups you are considering are the same or different in other regards, is another thing and can't be revealed by looking at resistance. There are too many variables going into 2 different pickups made at different times and possibly different places and different parts. If you assume that they're not changing things much, it is pretty much a safe bet that they will sound the same.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
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  6. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Holic

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    If you remove the magnets from a pickup it has the exact same DCR. See the problem with your thinking ? ;)
     
  7. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Damn Man . . that was exactly what I was gonna say... it illustrates that other variables can impact a pickup considerably and yet never alter the DCR..

    r
     
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  8. Chipss36

    Chipss36 Tele-Meister

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    At what inductance?
    Resistance At what temperature?
    It’s not that simple....
    Two pickups with exactly the same resistance could very well sound vastly different...
    Resistance is used because it’s simple, and an easy thing to test, it’s is however the least significant of how a pickup will sound, and resistance readings will change with temperature.
    Just sayin.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
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  9. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    must ... resist ... this ... topic .... must ... resist ... this ... arrrrggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
     
  10. RoyBGood

    RoyBGood Doctor of Teleocity

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    ...and (as read in an interview with EJ) the differences between jack plug metals. As Detective Monk would say 'It's a gift... and a curse.'
     
  11. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    Pickup makers still post DC resistsnce as if it's a defining spec, so these questions will continue to come up indefinitely.
     
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  12. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Of course it's not a "defining spec", it's mostly a STUPID spec. But if we don't post something about pickup resistance, we're bombarded with time consuming calls and emails from potential customers who don't understand what DCR values mean and don't mean ... all thanks to the last century's guitar/pickup manufacturer bean counters and nonsense marketing techniques. We still get calls about DCR, at least a tenth of what it was when no resistance numbers were posted. So until the guitar/pickup consuming public gets DCR educated - which will be never - at the least I am forced to say something about pickup DCR.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
  13. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Rob, read your first post :lol:
     
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  14. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    guilty as charged. da debil made me dood it. banghead.gif
     
  15. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    +1 on what Rob Said...

    guys ya gotta realize. the manufacturers HAVE to put something out there, because guys are infected with the Quantitive virus.. symptoms of which are are displayed by the rabid grasp of a ruler in one hand and a VOM in the other.... often compounded by the patient rolling around in a pile of tools... thus the manufacturers placate the masses by propagating useless information, for no other reason to draw ya into their websites to get ya to look at what's available.. It's called Marketing.

    Guys just cannot wrap their head around what many, like Rob and Myself, and others, have been telling ya.... If you go back and read a few of our posts you may notice that we are NOT trying to sell ya guitars or pickups.. we're trying to help ya make an educated choice when ya do...

    Recall Mark Twain's words of wisdom..“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

    r
     
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  16. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    OK, then put the inductance. Then, rather than explain how useless DC resistance is, you can explain how useful inductance is instead.

    But is that really what you want? For your pickups to reducable to a number? Maybe that's the real reason the meaningless metric is presented over a meaningful one.
     
  17. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    It's not defining of what sets one pickup apart from another; the filtering characteristic of the pickup.
     
  18. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    So simple things ( well, not that EVERYBODY truly understands them):

    Engine horsepower, or now-a-days torque.

    The caliber of a firearm.

    Voltage and amperage from a portable generator, or what, in that context a electric motor requires. At least those ten dollar multi-meters from Wally can tell you something that matters :lol:

    The CGVW and/or tow capacity when buying a truck.

    KNOWING the weight in POUNDS of the trailer you'll be towing.

    How much anything weights.

    The wattage of a light bulb.

    The speed of a computer processor.

    Reading your speed will driving a vehicle.

    Short version, things you can COMPARE, or specs that meet a criteria.

    O.K. enough of that.

    So now, what the heck can these pup mfc. folks publish that someone can truly relate to, and more importantly EQUATE to what sound or tone will come from a pickup, to THEIR ears no less.

    To make it more impossible, the guitar, the guitars electronics, the amp, the PERSON PICKIN' the guitar just for starters will all change things in the tone world.

    You can't argue that Roy Clark, SRV, or Mark Knopfler could pick up ANY guitar, and play it, and blindly a lot of folks could identify who was playing each one.

    Pickups wire-diameter, length, dcR, magnets-alnicos or ceramics strength.

    How many people, would really understand or know what it would mean to THEIR EARS, if one could/would publish Henry's, inductance, the famed dcR !! Tell me how most would understand all that electromagnetic force mumbo jumbo like they would all the other things I mentioned earlier ???

    Fancy pants graphs, electric formulas and equations can serve eyes and brains, but not understandable soniclly. There is only ONE thing good for that.............da ears.

    So one of the things that is the key market tool for a pup maker are: (as publishing all the other hogwash don't mean JACK)

    A person that buys their pickups, and likes them, then tells other people he likes them-------the 'ol word-of-mouth.

    Another tact vs. publishing specs for sales is charge $300 per pup, and the sheeple will think because of that, that are then the best, and because they spent that much money, will undoubtedly say they are the best, vs. accepting
    that they had been peeled. Id est, hopefully boaster the word-of-mouth.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
  19. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I might have missed it, but I don't see any mention of tolerance. .5 K ohms difference is pretty much within spec for two "identical" pickups. Putting aside the fact that it doesn't mean much anyway, just being pedantic.
     
  20. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Holic

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    They would understand it in exactly the same way that recording engineers and producers and many amatuers understand microphone specs, speaker specs, preamp specs, etc. ... because those manufacturers publish that information to prove their claims for how their equipment performs, and the people who use the gear learnt to correlate the graphs/figures with what their ears hear. We could do the same with pickups if pickup manufacturers published all their specs (recorded under standardized conditions), and maybe sound files as well. If someone can't understand a graph that might look like the one below they're not trying very hard. Imagine if every pickup manufacturer had to publish something like that showing the relative frequency response of all their pickups, in order to be taken seriously and compete in the market. Then you could compare a new pickup's graph to that of the ones you had already heard, and thus have a reasonable basis to expect what the pickup might sound like. Instead of the total crap shoot we have now. ;)
    [​IMG]

    So next time anyone is considering a pickup manufacturer's product, fire off an email to them and ask for a frequency response chart.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
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