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Why wire for pickup winding?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by isher1992, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. isher1992

    isher1992

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    I've been reading about pickups, and something that I'm curious about is, why use wire instead of something like copper strip?

    It's probably a dumb question, but it's something I've always wondered about.

    I'm going to use a single coil for an example. I've read different claims on pickup winds, but something I've read often is that winds need to be consistent and there needs to be a LOT of them. I understand how thin the wire is. Something I did read is that there's less resistance with such thin wire, which makes sense.

    What if instead of wire, a thin, double-sided layer of copper strip was used, cut to the vertical size of the pole pieces were wrapped around the poles several times like the wire? And then insulate that like a regular single coil...

    Would it have less inductance than using such thin wire, and that's why it's not something used?
  2. line6man

    line6man

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    You cannot get enough winds of copper tape on a pickup to get any output.
  3. --Vissinger --

    --Vissinger --

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    study up on electromagnetics, and the characteristics of coils.
  4. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

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    yeah, it's all about the number of wraps; if you could find copper foil thin enough with an insulating layer over it to wrap around the bobbin a good 4 or 5 thousand times, then maybe you'd have something.
  5. isher1992

    isher1992

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    Figured it was something like that. Just was something I was curious about.
  6. GlennW

    GlennW Supporting Member

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    Have you come across the terms "scatterwound" and "scatterwind?" They refer to inconsistent winding, and that's where the mojo is. :D
  7. isher1992

    isher1992

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    Actually, I wasn't aware such a thing existed. o.o
  8. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

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    oh yeah!

    the pattern and thickness of the coil as the wire winds up and down it is a big part of the tone difference between one pickup and the next, even when the total number of wraps is the same.
  9. isher1992

    isher1992

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    Good to know. I've heard of scatterbrained, but never scatterwound. :p
  10. GlennW

    GlennW Supporting Member

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    Yep, scatterwinding is one of the big benefits of handwinding...kinda like a recipe for secret sauce.

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