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Pickup ID

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by RollingBender, Sep 18, 2020.

  1. RollingBender

    RollingBender Tele-Afflicted Vendor Member

    May 14, 2011
    SW Minnesota
    I have 2 nearly identical Tele-copies from the Far East. The only thing original on both of them is the body and neck...everything else has been “upgraded”. Both play wonderfully. One sounds great, the other is very much lacking.

    Problem is that I don’t remember what the pickups are in the one I like so much. I know I bought them used on eBay and probably didn’t pay much for them but it’s been so long I don’t remember any details.

    Is there a way to get a starting point for what to look for based on electrical measurement of the pickups I’m trying to duplicate? Resistance, etc,,,? I have a high quality DMM as well as a digital scope.

    Not looking for recommendations until I figure out what is in the #1 guitar. I want the exact same thing to put into #2.
  2. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Aug 28, 2019
    Moncton, NB Canada
    You can get an approximate DC resistance measuring across your lead cord with the switch set on the pickup you want to measure and the volume and tone controls turned all of the way up. But that won’t really tell you much - there is so much more that goes into a pickup’s tone than DC resistance. The gauge of wire used, the type and strength of magnets, etc. You are probably going to have to pop the bridge off and look for markings on the back of the pickup. Also, the same pickup will never sound exactly the same in a different guitar (different pot values, saddles, wood, etc. all effect the tone to a degree or another). But it should get you in the same ball park.

    Pickup height can also influence the tone greatly. For example, if the one that is lacking is brighter, thinner or has less volume than the other guitar, simply raising the pickup could get it much closer to the other guitar.
  3. hamerfan

    hamerfan Tele-Meister

    Dec 8, 2018
    Germany, Bavaria
    You need a gaussmeter to estimate the magnet material. The DCR combined with a look at the coil size might tell you the magnet wire thickness. A LCR meter would tell you the inductance, which is even better than the DCR.
    mkdaws32 likes this.
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