Two pickups, same magnets, same ohms, how different can they be

old wrench

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if you wind the same exact turns, off the same spool, and all else is the same, they can sound vastly different, the diameter of wire, In plain enamel or formvar, is not consistent, it varies throughout the same exact spool, poly is more consistent, but not used much in vintage style winds, how a pickup is wound, that can effect one of the most important aspects of a pickup, it’s capacitance. Having the knowledge to deal with issues in winding only comes from wisdom, time, and learning.

a winder who winds only by x-turns, and type of wire, and only consider the wires “as marked“ by gage, well they are missing a few things, worse, they have stopped learning. and also feel the need to lash out at others ummmm
No thanks.

what you hear is q, or a pickups resonant frequency, it’s a combo of many things, and resistance is the least significant aspect.
resistance is the most easy to read, however..

hot bakelights are a standard for blackguard tele tone. Don has a well earned reputation, over time, from many top players.

he is also a go to guy to get a real vintage pickup rewound.

just my opinion. And blocked rob years ago…..


Do you realize that you are the only poster in this thread that has "lashed out at someone" and in particular - by name???

Nobody has slagged Don Mare or his pickups - or any other winder, for that matter

Most everyone has tried to answer the OP's question in a respectful way

.

.
 

monkeybanana

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I try out pickups as a hobby and don't pay any attention to ohms or henries. The hot bakelites are great sounding pickups . . . worth the money. Actually I like the Fender vintage '52 quite a bit too. I also tried some Mare Nancy pickups for tele (no longer made) and they didn't really do it for me.
Right on. I think trying new things is important. So many times I thought I had something figured out (not just PUs). Then I get something that is done the opposite of what I would have chosen and I am smitten. It’s such a simple recipe yet…

Winding is fun I highly encourage it. Rob has posted so much info over the years. You can ballpark what Fender did then go off. We have it so easy these days.
 

deytookerjaabs

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One of my first "lessons" in this field....

Thanks to recommendations on the forum I bought a "Muddy Waters" tele many moons back. It had a rep for it's bridge pickup being unique but holy hell the neck pickup was sublime. It had this glassy/throaty thing to it that would not only raise my hairs but other players' too.

Now, the damn thing was like 10lbs. So I went down the rabbit hole of experimenting. I swapped wiring schemes for fun 5way switch options, swapped the body out for a featherweight, etc etc. Neck pickup still sounded the same save for the fact the guitar was a hair different yet all the tone/EQ that gave it character was there. At this point, that damn guitar was dialed in and just killed it.

As I do.... I got the hankering for swapping gear around, have to sell to buy, and sold the guitar. I had the angel/devil on my shoulder about keeping those pickups but I put the guitar back to all original because it was all original when I got it.

But, I studied up then got the original part number for the neck pickup. I found one NOS from the year the guitar was produced and bought it, sweet!!

That damn pickup had none of the magic the other pickup had. Maybe the cover was a hair loose? Maybe something was actually different internally, they both "read" the same on the meters too as I double checked everything. But the NOS pickup was very flat sounding in near identical teles, same wiring, none of that glassy/throaty thing.

Since then, if I got a guitar that was a frankenstein but I loved the pickups? I keep the pickups.
 

Ghostrider6

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We need to remember that a lone pickup carries just so much tone and contribution to the end result. The identical pickup that sounds fantastic in one guitar, may sound horrible in another. It's just the luck of the draw, and no one can predict the outcome. Stop looking at specs and names and try to consider the specifics of what you want. More highs, more mids, lows, etc.
The best method of getting what you want is to attempt an explanation of what you're hearing and try to describe what you'd like to hear that's different.
Simply asking for "a 52 Telecaster" sound isn't going to cut it because all 52 Teles don't sound the same.
Don is a great guy when it comes to deciphering a players description, and winding that into reality. I can't tell you how many times I've heard something like. "an authentic 52 spec" neck pickup sounding like anything but a 52, only to find that a 67 Tele pickup is what absolutely sounded best in the guitar I had in my hands at the moment.
Thanks, that’s good advice
 

Sixstring3370

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I had
 

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Swingcat

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In particular Tele pickups. I am looking to try something else to put in my av52 which had the stock set. Nothing wrong with the pickups I just want to try something else. This particular winder (Don mare) recommends I try Hot bakelites set but they are pretty much the same spec..alnico 3, 6.6k or so..is this a waste of money?
If you are wanting a BIG improvement in clarity and articulation, The EMG T-Set or T-System will give you just that. If you want a little more aggressive, the T-52 set/system would give you a bit more aggressive sound. I use T-System's on every T-style guitar I make and use them on all my personal guitars as well ("Turbocaster Electric Guitars" on Facebook). They give you more clarity and articulation than ANY magnetic pickups can.
Yes, they're active, and yes, they require a battery, (which usually fits well in the bottom of the control cavity), and would go about 3,000 hours even if you never unplugged your guitar
Yes, they get wonderful cleans & even great Jazz tones! And yes, they also do distortion, etc..
I LOVE EMG's! For reference, I play & perform 95% clean Blues, Swing, Country, Western Swing, Jump Blues, and other stuff, mostly thru Fender Tube & Tone Master amps.
 

Swingcat

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We need to remember that a lone pickup carries just so much tone and contribution to the end result. The identical pickup that sounds fantastic in one guitar, may sound horrible in another. It's just the luck of the draw, and no one can predict the outcome. Stop looking at specs and names and try to consider the specifics of what you want. More highs, more mids, lows, etc.
The best method of getting what you want is to attempt an explanation of what you're hearing and try to describe what you'd like to hear that's different.
Simply asking for "a 52 Telecaster" sound isn't going to cut it because all 52 Teles don't sound the same.
Don is a great guy when it comes to deciphering a players description, and winding that into reality. I can't tell you how many times I've heard something like. "an authentic 52 spec" neck pickup sounding like anything but a 52, only to find that a 67 Tele pickup is what absolutely sounded best in the guitar I had in my hands at the moment.
Actually, the outcome is fairly predictable, IF the pickup characteristics are known. If your guitar doesn't sound pleasing to you unplugged, no fancy electronics the world can make it sound good plugged in.
I learned that from my good friend Rob Turner, who is the Owner & CEO of EMG Pickups in Santa Rosa, CA. and as an electric guitar builder, have had these results consistently proven to be true, given the resonance in body & neck woods.
 

Telenator

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Actually, the outcome is fairly predictable, IF the pickup characteristics are known. If your guitar doesn't sound pleasing to you unplugged, no fancy electronics the world can make it sound good plugged in.
I learned that from my good friend Rob Turner, who is the Owner & CEO of EMG Pickups in Santa Rosa, CA. and as an electric guitar builder, have had these results consistently proven to be true, given the resonance in body & neck woods.
This tired argument again. I'll let you play one of my acoustically dead electric guitars some time and you can tell me if that theory still holds true. If it does, I'll run while holding scissors.
Seriously, that old myth needs to find a resting place right next to "maple fingerboards sound brighter" and total true bypass is the only way to go...
 

monkeybanana

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This tired argument again. I'll let you play one of my acoustically dead electric guitars some time and you can tell me if that theory still holds true. If it does, I'll run while holding scissors.
Seriously, that old myth needs to find a resting place right next to "maple fingerboards sound brighter" and total true bypass is the only way to go...
I prefer true bypass. I’ll choose my buffer if I need it. We spend so much time tweaking our amps why would I want to let a pedal color the sound. That’s like forcing a pickup on a guitar (haha had to bring it back to PUs somehow).
 

Telenator

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I prefer true bypass. I’ll choose my buffer if I need it. We spend so much time tweaking our amps why would I want to let a pedal color the sound. That’s like forcing a pickup on a guitar (haha had to bring it back to PUs somehow).
I agree with you. I too like a line buffer, but many folks just want true bypass and then consider it better simply because it's louder and feel like they just defeated "tone suck." (another myth)
But that's not the point. I guess I didn't feel the need to explain it in any detail but, here goes.

To say that an electric guitar won't sound good unless it has great acoustic resonance is just plain wrong.
The people who say these things are essentially saying that resonant frequencies are all good because they're loud and apparent when the guitar is not plugged in. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In my experience, there are many unfavorable frequencies that actually cancel the good ones and make for a loud, resonant mess once the guitar is plugged in and those frequencies start to fight the tuned frequencies of the finished guitar. Just because it's loud and resonant, doesn't mean that those are favorable, tuned frequencies. I get so tired of this old myth.

I will accept that, through some quirk of fate, there are people who have experienced success with a few acoustically resonant electric guitars. You got lucky. Pure and simple. But if the resonant frequencies are not sympathetic and harmonic to the tuned frequencies of the strings, all bets are off. This isn't complicated.

Then there are some guitars that project and swell over certain frequency ranges while those notes falling outside the "resonant range" sound softer as they leave the area where they're harmonious with the resonant frequencies. We can't must make a blanket statement that ANY pronounced resonance is good resonance. I used to believe this stuff too. But after a life time of building, playing and learning, my life experience, and basic science says it just isn't so.

Identical pickups will sound different in different guitars. We'd be in big trouble if they didn't.
 

alex1fly

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In particular Tele pickups. I am looking to try something else to put in my av52 which had the stock set. Nothing wrong with the pickups I just want to try something else. This particular winder (Don mare) recommends I try Hot bakelites set but they are pretty much the same spec..alnico 3, 6.6k or so..is this a waste of money?
Waste of money is subjective. If you have a limited budget, yeah, swapping pickups for tonal gain is a bit short-sighted. Better to save up for other parts of your signal chain. But if your goal is curiosity, it's not a waste of money.
 

somebodyelseuk

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In particular Tele pickups. I am looking to try something else to put in my av52 which had the stock set. Nothing wrong with the pickups I just want to try something else. This particular winder (Don mare) recommends I try Hot bakelites set but they are pretty much the same spec..alnico 3, 6.6k or so..is this a waste of money?
It depends on the builder.
Earlier in the year, I had a set of pickups made for a Strat. They have near as dammit 'the same numbers' as the pickups they replaced, but they have significantly more clarity and dynamics.
The difference between a generic Asian made humbucker and a anally accurate PAF clone with 'the same numbers' would blow your mind.
 

TimTam

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Earlier in the year, I had a set of pickups made for a Strat. They have near as dammit 'the same numbers' as the pickups they replaced, but they have significantly more clarity and dynamics.
The difference between a generic Asian made humbucker and a anally accurate PAF clone with 'the same numbers' would blow your mind.

Which simply means that 'the numbers' that pickup manufacturers give you are only the mostly-irrelevant ones.
 
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jackal

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Ohm readings mean so little. I bought a Wilde L-90 that read under 3k ohms that would blow away any humbucker on the market.
 

somebodyelseuk

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I agree with you. I too like a line buffer, but many folks just want true bypass and then consider it better simply because it's louder and feel like they just defeated "tone suck." (another myth)
But that's not the point. I guess I didn't feel the need to explain it in any detail but, here goes.

To say that an electric guitar won't sound good unless it has great acoustic resonance is just plain wrong.
The people who say these things are essentially saying that resonant frequencies are all good because they're loud and apparent when the guitar is not plugged in. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In my experience, there are many unfavorable frequencies that actually cancel the good ones and make for a loud, resonant mess once the guitar is plugged in and those frequencies start to fight the tuned frequencies of the finished guitar. Just because it's loud and resonant, doesn't mean that those are favorable, tuned frequencies. I get so tired of this old myth.

I will accept that, through some quirk of fate, there are people who have experienced success with a few acoustically resonant electric guitars. You got lucky. Pure and simple. But if the resonant frequencies are not sympathetic and harmonic to the tuned frequencies of the strings, all bets are off. This isn't complicated.

Then there are some guitars that project and swell over certain frequency ranges while those notes falling outside the "resonant range" sound softer as they leave the area where they're harmonious with the resonant frequencies. We can't must make a blanket statement that ANY pronounced resonance is good resonance. I used to believe this stuff too. But after a life time of building, playing and learning, my life experience, and basic science says it just isn't so.

Identical pickups will sound different in different guitars. We'd be in big trouble if they didn't.
Electrified acoustic guitars actually prove this argument.
Identical pickups don't exist, nor do identical guitars.
 

TinkerSolderTry

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look at the duncan neck pickup range.
a lot have the same ohm reading (+/- 0,3 kOhms) but they sound quite different.
 

monkeybanana

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look at the duncan neck pickup range.
a lot have the same ohm reading (+/- 0,3 kOhms) but they sound quite different.
Ohm reading may be the same but the thickness of wire can vary off the same roll even if machine wound. Magnets can also vary even if they have the same name. Ron Ellis has access to a multi million dollar machine (I think it's a spectrum analyzer doo hicky) and he will send magnets back if they are not to spec. So to the points above yes they are not exactly the same.

But at the end of the day if you have two Duncans with the same readings I bet many of us would get along with either fine as long as it's in the ballpark. Or let's put it this way if you have two pickups with the same readings do they differ as much from each other as another pickup which is over or underwound by on or two Kohms? If that was the case winding would be a nightmare for Duncan and others.
 

TimTam

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Magnets can also vary even if they have the same name. Ron Ellis has access to a multi million dollar machine (I think it's a spectrum analyzer doo hicky) and he will send magnets back if they are not to spec. So to the points above yes they are not exactly the same.

Yes, Ellis apparently has had access to spectroscopy (not the same as audio spectrum analysis) for magnet analysis through his old job. So he has been able to check the composition of old magnets versus new ones. That doesn't mean any variation in such specs (eg one A2 vs another A2, or one A5 versus another A5) has any significant sonic effect. That would require a bode (frequency analysis) plot. Which AFAIK he doesn't measure.

He is obviously able to make pickups that sound similar to vintage pickups. As are many pickup makers, who have not used spectroscopy. But it's a cool story for marketing purposes. And feeds into the folklore that you have to use exactly the same materials as were used in old pickups to reproduce their sound (even though no one seems to know exactly what they all were, and how they varied over time).
 




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