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microphonic pickup covers?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Digital Larry, Sep 19, 2020.

  1. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    The covers on my Italia Maranello Semi Hollow 2HB (Wilkinsons apparently) are quite microphonic. Didn't really notice until I did a recording. So now when recording I take care not to pick where I'm going to hit the (usually neck) pickup.

    Out of curiosity, after putting a Cavalier Twin Lion King (2-tap single coil) in the neck spot of my (Tele clone) Peavey Reactor, I tried tapping it with a pick and it doesn't seem microphonic at all.

    So, physics lovers, what's going on here?
     
  2. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Is the Twin Lion King potted? I think Rob pots them unless you tell him otherwise. Are the HBs in the other guitar potted?
     
  3. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    a) Yes, I just selected the default "light wax"
    b) No idea and not going to take it apart to find out
     
  4. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    All pickups having coils of wire have microphonics which is vibration of the wires within the coil. A loose cover or base plate can also have the microphonic issues because they are parts of the pickup and are subject to vibrations of the strings going through the guitar.
    The vibrations going through the guitar along with the string vibrations over the magnetic poles are converted to signal.

    Potting with wax, varnish or sealing with epoxy will have a dampening effect on the coil's vibrations and lessen the effects of microphonics to a minimum or great deal, but the microphonics can't be completely eliminated because it's inherent the pickup's design.
    Microphonics are what's responsible for a guitar's ability to sound different from another guitar because of how a guitar's body/neck/hardware influence it's tone.
     
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  5. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    With covers, usually wax fills the air gap between the cover and the bobbins, but the wax seal can break, and it can get a pocket of air in there, and then the cover becomes like a microphone membrane. Reheating the cover with a soldering iron from the underside might remelt the wax and fix it, or else you might just re-pot it entirely, which is something anyone can do themselves, if they're so inclined.
     
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  6. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    The HB's pole pieces poke through the covers. The Tele neck pickup of course doesn't poke through the cover. The covers might be made of different materials. I suppose that all factors in?
     
  7. Dan_Pomykalski

    Dan_Pomykalski Tele-Meister

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    Maybe... but not as much as the amount of wax does.
     
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  8. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I am one of the irrational people who like borderline microphonic pickups.

    You might be able to tame the microphonics enough ( but still retain livelieness ) by placing a piece of tape over the slugs, under the cover. It's a cheap experiment at least.
     
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  9. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I actually don't really care about it. I can adjust my picking if I think about it.

    I don't think I play loud enough for microphonics to come into the picture too much. Just curious about how/why one does, one doesn't.
     
  10. Dan_Pomykalski

    Dan_Pomykalski Tele-Meister

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    I’ve been winding my own pickups for a few years now and don’t pot them at all. The pickups end up being super articulate at the cost of microphonics and feedback at high volume (which isn’t a problem for me).
     
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