1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

How much resistance makes a difference?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by NothingGoatboat, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. NothingGoatboat

    NothingGoatboat Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    332
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2017
    Location:
    Southern California
    Let's say you had a pickup at 6.5k. An identical pickup comes in at 6.7k. Same wire, same magnets, everything. When does the difference in resistance change the tone? .2k? .5k? I would guess .3k is the lowest you'd hear a change. What do you think?
     
  2. Norris Vulcan

    Norris Vulcan Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,185
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Lindy Fralin says:

    On occasion, we get a customer’s email stating that “their 8.2K Pure P.A.F. bridge reads 8K – What’s Wrong?” The answer is simply “Nothing at all.” There are a lot of variables that can make the same pickup provide different readings.

    Resistance is only one measure of a pickup, and not necessarily the most important with regard to the sound.

    More info:
    https://www.fralinpickups.com/2017/09/20/dc-resistance-guitar-pickups/
     
  3. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    1,884
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2019
    Location:
    Paris, France
    I guess it depends how you can compare the two. By the time you would have swapped the pickups, you would not remember the previous tone enough to be able to hear a very small difference.
    But I guess if you take the time to record one pickup, and provided you are able to play exactly the same thing twice, you could be able to hear even a 0.1/0.2 difference?
     
  4. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,762
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Some posts above are rather weird speculation. The resistance change doesn't matter - what matters is the inductance of the pickup which is given by the number of windings or turns in the coil - with some very small variation stemming from how tight the coils are wound due to very minor geometry changes in the average width and length of the coil windings. I would expect that most vendors use counters and the pickups have the same number of turns. You'll see changes in resistance just from temperature changes when you measure but it won't affect tonal response.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
    NothingGoatboat and Bootstrap like this.
  5. Norris Vulcan

    Norris Vulcan Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,185
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    That's what Fralin's saying...
     
    NothingGoatboat likes this.
  6. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    13,343
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    Almost nil.
     
    Hastings and NothingGoatboat like this.
  7. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    10,863
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Location:
    Upper Peninsula of Michigan
    Up to 500Ω or even some more of a difference really don't mean jack to the ear, and one or two turns of the mount screws can make more of a differance than that in comparison anyway.


    Another thing to always consider when comparing what other people read, what mfc. may list;

    My meter, your meter, their meter, inconsistencies in wire spec., AMBIENT TEMPERATURE..................readings are going to very quite a bit.
     
    NothingGoatboat likes this.
  8. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    13,343
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    True dat, unless you have this!
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Bootstrap

    Bootstrap Tele-Meister Vendor Member

    Posts:
    138
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2018
    Location:
    Ohio
    Resistance isn’t a great measurement of a pickup’s tone and there are many variables that effect resistance. Resistance itself has no practical effect on tone at this scale.

    You will not hear the difference of less than several hundred winds of wire in a S-style single coil pickup. 1000 winds is a good round number where the tone may start to have a practical difference.

    500 more turns of 42awg wire should give an additional ~0.3-0.4K and 1000 more turns about ~0.7-0.8K, all other variables being equal, but all other variables are rarely equal.
     
    trouserpress and NothingGoatboat like this.
  10. NothingGoatboat

    NothingGoatboat Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    332
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2017
    Location:
    Southern California
    Wow, I never knew so much could make a difference in the tone. Thanks for the input everyone.
     
  11. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    12,222
    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    something to consider.. the 6.5 K will read as 6.7 K if it's left in a warm environment for a while.. and the 6.7 beaut would read something else if ya were say, playing an outside gig one Summer day, then that evening, were playing a wedding Reception in a air conditioned hall.. playing "We've only just begun" for the 8,000th time.. and whipped out the VOM to check int and found 6.2 looking back atcha,,.

    an example,, I can pull one out of the cauldron of potting wax and read the 200+ degree booger.. it'll read over 9 K ... but let it cool to the 70 degrees of the room and the same pickup will read 6.5 or thereabouts.... moving target guys... the DCR tells ya as much about the performance of a pickup as knowing how much gasoline is in the tank of a car to determine how it will perform...

    It makes life easy... if someone specifies a precise DCR.. ya can just pot the booger, hook up the VOM and wait till it cools to produce the correct reading... I mean... no one said I want it to read a specific DCR at a precise temperature did they? :D

    Point being DCR is a moving target.. and as Lindy pointed out can be pretty much useless... Bill Lawrence took it another step.. he said the DCR is about as important as the color socks the guitarist is wearing.

    the only reason its listed these days is the same reason that guitar manufacturers are starting to list the weight of guitars...because guys that have no idea how to use the information to achieve the tone they seek, demand it :rolleyes:


    rk
     
  12. sothoth

    sothoth Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

    Posts:
    906
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Location:
    Kepler-186f
    It’s not the size of your winding it’s what you do with it. So if you think that extra 0.2k will make you a better player it’s probably because you’re too focused on yourself and not being attentive and caring enough to your audience.
     
    Greggorios and Wayne Alexander like this.
  13. kingvox

    kingvox Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    294
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2017
    Location:
    CT, USA
    A set of active pickups I measured last night ran around 11.8k. Think they'd be hot, right? The inductance was about 1,100 millihenries. That's quite far below a standard Strat single coil (closer to 2.0 Henries on average). Just going by DCR you'd think they would be pretty beefy sounding, but in reality they are designed to work with a preamp and low value pots; otherwise they sound thin and shrill with very little output.

    Just going by DCR, you'd never know, and would wonder why these pickups sound so thin. They look like normal bass pickups and if you measured only the DCR, you'd never know the difference.

    Measurements, IMO, only really matter to pickup makers. The information from measuring pickups doesn't really provide anything useful to anyone not making their own pickups. I use it as a method for quality control, checking DCR, inductance, and capacitance on all my pickups just to make sure everything is up to spec.

    For laypeople, measuring pickups isn't really practical. It can be interesting, but the real utility is QC for pickup makers, or for pickup makers trying to figure out what possible recipe a particular pickup might have used.

    Additional note: I've done tests where I used wire as thick as 39AWG to wind Strat pickups, to the same turn count as 42AWG. In audio tests I could not tell even a slight difference in tone between the two pickups. They sounded identical. The resistance is much lower on the thicker wire -- much, much lower -- and yet it made absolutely no difference in the sound whatsoever.

    Bobbin footprint and turn count are the absolute biggest players.
     
  14. urbandefault

    urbandefault Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    580
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2016
    Location:
    OKCUSA
    If you can hear the difference of fractions of an ohm between pickups, you need to be in the pickup business.

    I'm no expert, but I think it's more down to wire size, number of winds, magnet composition and strength, final inductance, and a bunch of other stuff that I know nothing about.

    Not to mention combinations of woods and hardware on the guitar.

    What I do know is what sounds good to me.
     
    tubelectron likes this.
  15. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,497
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2014
    Location:
    Canada
    Even a good digital multimeter has some error. 0.5% of a 10k coil is 50 ohms. That would be typical error of some Fluke Precision DMMs... and, yes, your thermometer better be very accurate too!
     
    Bootstrap likes this.
  16. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,390
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Barbara
    Thanks for the expert contributions. In every area of life -- baseball, for ex. -- most people do not operate on facts, let alone statistics, and instead work backwards, assigning unwarranted and invalid meanings to numbers just because they can. It's sad, really, as it leads to all kinds of dopey myths and falsehoods being perpetuated. I honestly don't know where this drive to come up with simplifications, mostly false ones, comes from. I guess actuality is a little more complex than what most people want to deal with. I really appreciate the expert comments on this forum.
     
    Wayne Alexander likes this.
  17. Hastings

    Hastings Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    201
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2015
    Location:
    Simcoe, Ontario
    If you can hear the difference of fractions of an ohm between pickups, there is probably some Doberman Pinscher or similar in your DNA.
     
    kodiakblair likes this.
  18. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    10,863
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Location:
    Upper Peninsula of Michigan
    Sooooo true my friend.

    One thing I think of is that there are always going to be those know it all's that need an audience to feed their ego. And it seems in reality, as with many subjects, these know it all's acually don't know that much to begin with, but by reading things they are easily persuaded to what you mentioned (dopey myths and falsehoods), and become the expert.

    Form of narcissism I suppose you could call it.

    Now listen to me be the therapist all of a sudden :D.

    Happy Pickin'
     
  19. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    75
    Posts:
    10,230
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Location:
    NJ via TX
    DCR is an electric guitarist's worst enemy. it's *almost* total nonsense. Ronkirn's post sez it all. but this DCR thing has lingered on and on and on for decades, thanx to the bean counter marketeers of the guitar industry. yeah, y'all been had. and now DCR-speak has become a systemic infection, like lyme disease, and will just never go away, just go away, go away ...............
     
    Greggorios likes this.
  20. CFFF

    CFFF Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    600
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2016
    Location:
    .
    Many pickup sellers only give DCR information so it is maybe not surprising if this is what most players will only consider.
     
    tubelectron likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.