Making a single coil guitar pickup

Guitar is one musical instrument that is termed to be as one of the most musical instruments made till now. It has a magical melody flowing through its strings when played in synchronization with the nodes and the chords. An acoustic guitar is the one that is extremely light on its weight, has a void body, and has a designed upper surface which is made to be resonated as and when the chords are vibrated. The guitar tops produces sound so efficiently because of its large body surface, and thus it amplifies the sounds generated extremely well.

Once you’ve made the big decision to change the pickup of your electric guitar, get started with all the research and investigation that is required to hit the right chord in the right rhythm. Though in reality the pickups are very simple materials in it, yet they play a very complicated role in the functioning of the music piece.

Pickups may be of two different kinds. It may be a sort of a magnetic transducer or it may be an electric guitar or the one made for an electric bass pickup. These are available in two eminent designs. One is the humbucking type of pickups and the second is the dual coil type pickup.

Materials Needed:

Stew Mac–Pickup Building (Refer especially to the section “Single Coil Pickup Kits”)

GuitarAttack (Refer especially to the Wnding pickups “Guirella Style” to learn about the pickup of the sewing machine in details)

Find a list of the equipments that you would require for the actual workup of this project. Keep in mind that you are done with the sound research of the project so that you are fluent with the terms and concepts of the terms related to this procedure.

Tools Needed:

Screwdriver: There is no specific size of the screw driver. But you would need it to pick up the old pickup and fix the new pickup when it is ready to use.

#42 AWG or #43 AWG solderable magnet wire: AWG is an abbreviated term for the American Wire Gauge. It passes on to the diameter of the wire worked upon. It follows an inverse ratio. The larger the AWG number, the smaller would be the diameter.

Frame: You would need a new frame for your new pickup setup. It should be in a pair and it should be identical. If made of wood would be preferable. If it is made of some other substance, it should be kept in mind that it should be made of a material that does not resists glue. It should be both non metallic and thin. As a general option, popsicle sticks are very often used for this purpose.

Magnets: Use two magnets per string that you use in your electric guitar. The guitar body would determine the precise dimension of the magnets that you would make use of. Always remember that a magnet of higher gauss rating, that is, a stronger magnet would generate stronger pointers, and may also cause higher distortions at the source end of the material. These may be neodymium, ceramic or even AlNiCo which is aluminum nickel cobalt. A really good neodymium magnet in this case for reference would be D43 manufactured by the K&J Magnetics.

Paper: You would require A4 size sheets to make the pattern of the frame.
42 or 43 gauge copper wire: it would be needed to make the wirings around the magnet. The copper wire taken should be very thin. For example, a wire of the length of four thousand feet will cover an eight thousand pickups turn, which is for about a requirement of nearly twelve hundred meters of wire. Similarly, for a wire of ten thousand turns, a wire of about five thousand feer would be required which is around fifteen hundred meters of wire.

Wax: In this case, no predefined proportion of paraffin to beeswax is available. But talking on a general notion, the higher concentration of beeswax you allow, the higher you would need the temperature that your newly fit pickup could withstand.
 Solder: You would need the solder to solder the copper wires of which the windings are done. This would fix the wires to its place and make sure that the wirings would be taken care of for a long duration.

You would require superglue to put the magnets at place by gluing them one over the other so that a set of them can be made.

Step One:

The first step would be to pick up a frame of your own preference and put it in a line lying perpendicular to the pickup just above its neck. Put marks wherever these strings cross the frame. These marks are important because these marks are the points where you will be ending up on the magnets. There is also another advantage of putting these marks at this point. With these marks ready now you would make certain that your new fixed pickup would gather up as much vibration as your old string did.

Fig. Opening the strings of the guitar


Fig. Opening the strings of the guitar

Step Two: Now, glue six of these magnets to the points that you have marked up on the frame piece. Affix just one magnet at a time. Keep in mind that all these magnets should be facing the same direction (either all should face positive side up or all should face negative side up).

Step Three: There may arise a situation when the magnets might tend to dislocate their alignment, when the glue is taking time to be dried. You can counteract this problem by placing a magnet at the opposite side of the fixture. This would counteract the magnetic forces and bring the system some stability. You can also tackle this situation by gluing a magnet facing down at an instant. When the magnets are glued, set these magnets one over the other and glue this set to the frame that you have picked up.

Step Four: Now arrives the tougher section. Start winding the magnet with the copper wire that you have. The number of windings would be specifically high. It may rise up to eight, ten or even up to twelve thousand windings. As your new pickups flush from your old piece of pickup into the inner side of the casing, you are done with your winding.

Fig.: magnets attached one on the side of the other over a frame

Step Five: After the wiring is over, get started assembling the entire set up in place. Use the wax to set things up. After you cover up the entire set up, strip off the wax and remove the excess portions of it. Leave it for a few minutes, so that it gets hardened.

Fig.: wiring of the magnets on the frame

Step Six: Now cut the lower section of the frame of the set up and remove the upper end of it completely. Since, you have your magnet exposed and your wiring fit in the place, your pick is now perfectly ready to face the strings.

Fig.: Connecting the frame to the wires


Step Seven: Replace your new pickup at the vacancy created by the older one. Attach the lead of the wire that was left which indigenously was attached to the guitar’s powers to its previously attached pickup.

Fig.: The completed pickup frames

Step Eight: Now that you have your new pickup just in place, adjust the external bracket or alternatively the pickguard and re-attach it. Now supply your guitar the power from the closest amp and excel to the tunes you create.


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