Capacitance for a Hammon dark star

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by limit6, Jan 22, 2014.


  1. limit6

    limit6 Supporting Member

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    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    Does anyone out there know the capacitance for a Hammon dark star DS-3B? I am selling one and it's tough to find information on it.
    Thanks,
    Carlos Evertill
  2. line6man

    line6man

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    Jun 20, 2008
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    Close to Los Angeles, CA
    Why on earth would you need to know the capacitance of the pickup? That's not a spec that I've ever heard anyone talk about, with pickups, because there is nothing that you can do with the knowledge.
  3. limit6

    limit6 Supporting Member

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    Dec 5, 2007
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    Philly, PA
    Someone asked me in a private message for it, god knows why
  4. limit6

    limit6 Supporting Member

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    Philly, PA
    If you have any idea on output rating on this that would be appreciated as well


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  5. line6man

    line6man

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    It's unreasonable for a buyer to ask you a question like this, if information cannot be obtained from the manufacturer.

    It's not easy to measure the capacitance, as most meters will register wild fluctuations, due to continuously changing potential differences in the pickup coils.

    Output is not easy to measure, either. Any method used to test the output level of a pickup will be relative, as there are many variables at play. Most notable of these variables would probably be the frequencies and magnitude of the electromagnet used to excite the pickup, and the frequency response of the pickup.
  6. limit6

    limit6 Supporting Member

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    Dec 5, 2007
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    Philly, PA
    Thank you for the information, I was surprised that Hammon didn't offer this information. Either way great sounding pickup.
  7. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz

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    Oct 29, 2013
    Location:
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    The DC resistance and the inductance of the pickup would be more interesting to a potential buyer.
  8. MPU

    MPU

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    Sep 21, 2004
    Location:
    Valkeala Finland
    What does DC resistance and inductance tell about the sound? Nothing. Sound clip is the best way to find about sound as long as it's made properly (no effects, amps or anything, just direct line sound with fresh strings).
  9. pfox14

    pfox14

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    Dec 22, 2013
    Is capacitance even a word?
  10. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz

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    Not nothing, it would be a rough indicator of the output volume of the pickup and the approximate frequency curve of the pickup as well. If this wasn't the case then you could wind any pickup to any DC rating and expect the pickups to all sound the same. There is a fine line between "use your ears, man" and being an all-out luddite.

    Sure you could waste your time making a recording, but OP's interested seller wanted to know one electrical property of the pickup, and I suggested two others that are far more commonly discussed, so get over yourself already....

    Anyway, Hammon Dark Stars are interesting pickups. From the mysterious case of the vanishing pickup builder, to the fact that they were wound to different specs than the pickups they were meant to replicate, to the fact that people were convinced they were humbuckers... heady times.
  11. Martin Beer

    Martin Beer

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    Dec 4, 2004
    Location:
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I always like to see a DC resistance reading when buying a used pickup, not to predict the sound but as a simple, objective indicator of whether the coil is intact or not.
  12. MPU

    MPU

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    Sep 21, 2004
    Location:
    Valkeala Finland
    That's right. Especially with a pic of the pickup and multimeter attached to it.
    DC resistance does not tell you much about the sound, because there is so much else going on in a pickup. You can have dark sounding pickup and bright sounding pickup with same DC resistance. Also output can be very different. Only when you are comparing say like single coil J pickups between each other DC resistance gives info between different pickups.
  13. MisterEd

    MisterEd Supporting Member

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    Toronto
    This is what happen when somebody with limited knowledge (electronics) uses fancy words.
    Am the fellow that asked the question: The thing is that I was measuring with an LCR meter the resistance/impedance
    on the pickups of a '66 Hagstrom Coronado IV and wanted to compare with the one for sale, therefor asking the wrong question.
    This new or other DS pickup is intended to go on a Mahogany P body.
  14. GlennW

    GlennW Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    I read where Fred hammon said he came across three variants of that pickup during his research/"reverse engineering."

    1) Lots of wire (12-14K?) with weak magnets
    2) About 6.5K wire with strong magnets
    3) Something in between

    I'm pretty sure his DS's are modeled after #2, 6.5+/-K and strong magnets.
  15. Martin Beer

    Martin Beer

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    Dec 4, 2004
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    Edinburgh, Scotland
    FWIW, the Hammon Darkstar I had was 6.15K ohms DC resistance and had two alnico magnets, somewhat chunkier than guitar humbucker magnets.
  16. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz

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    It doesn't help that Hagstrom seem to have flip-flopped between using one or two magnets in the Bisonic. I think this was meant to differentiate neck and bridge pickups, but it apparently wasn't done consistently.
  17. GlennW

    GlennW Supporting Member

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    I have no idea, never seen one in person. When I joined TB the DS's were getting tons of praise so I tried to find out what I could, and remembered Fred saying he came across three versions during his research. I think he said he said his were wound to 6.3K or 6.35K or 6.5K, and I'm sure he said he used 43 and big anlico magnets.
  18. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz

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    Oct 29, 2013
    Location:
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    One magnet;

    [​IMG]

    Two magnet;

    [​IMG]

    The first one is the real deal, the second one is a Dark Star. The first one was repaired by Curtis Novak, who thought that the magnet was missing. The Grateful Dead crowd suggest that Hagstrom simply chopped and changed the number of magnets they put in the pickup.
  19. GlennW

    GlennW Supporting Member

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    Sep 6, 2006
    Here's a pic of a Coronado VI bass Bisonic, with one magnet removed.
  20. PilbaraBass

    PilbaraBass

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    Location:
    Gladstone, QLD, Australia
    Absolutely!

    But it has nothing to do with anything pertaining to magnetic pickups...

    unless you combine that with the inductance and use that to theoretically calculate the resonant peak frequency of the pickup... Which is again, useless as it changes as soon as you plug something into it (for passive instruments, at least).

    I'm all for letting the ears do the deciding here, as this is music we're talking about, not science class.

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