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Can anybody explain DC Resistance?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by santucci218, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. santucci218


    Jan 26, 2007
    I was just surfing Dimarzio's website and it lists like, the characteristics of each pickup when you click on it. One of the things it listed was DC Resistance. What is DC Resistance? What does that mean for the pickup if its higher or lower?
  2. Higher resistance = More winding turns, or/and, thinner wire. Usually higher output and less open the sound (less high, more lows).
  3. santucci218


    Jan 26, 2007
    so the more resistance the less high end it has?
  4. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    In general more resistrance = more windings. That equals more voltage developed but also more inductive reactance. Inductive reactance effects higher frequencies more than lower, so less highs overall.
  5. santucci218


    Jan 26, 2007
    thank you guys.
  6. ErebusBass


    Feb 20, 2008
    Madison, WI
    Ditto, had been wondering about this myself.
  7. DavePlaysBass


    Mar 31, 2004
    More resistance can also equates to more interwinding capacitance which also takes away some high end (similiar to having a longer instrument cable).

    But DC resistance on its own is not going to tell the story. You have magnet type, geometry of structure, winding pattern, and the possiblity of multiple windings being combined together (split coils, dual coils, quad coils, etc) just to name a few other variables that make it difficult to tell the winding resistance on its own.

    On the other hand if comparing two single coil J pickups with different resistances, you could deduce that the one that is higher assuming the magnets are the same would have higher output and possibly less highes or more bottom. In many J bass pickup sets the bridge has higher DC resistance because they added a few more windings where they wanted more output.
  8. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Also, as alluded to, thinner wire has more resistance per foot. So 8,000 turns of 42AWG might be around 7K while 8,000 turns of the thinner 43AWG might be around 12K, but they both have the same number of turns, and turns is what determines output, all things being equal.

    The two pickups will be about the same output, but will sound very different. The larger wire will be brighter and rounder sounding, while the thinner wire will have more mids and a tighter low end.

    Thinner wire is often used to allow more turns of wire onto the same size bobbin, while also maintaining a compact coil, and sometimes for the tonality it imparts.

    Too much of any gauge wire will start to get dark and muddy sounding.

    So, if you have two pickups with the same gauge wire and same magnets, and one has a higher DC resistance, chances are the higher resistance pickup will be louder and darker sounding, but it's hard to tell just from the DC resistance without knowing the wire gauge.

    There is also AC resistance which increases with the frequency, and is closely related to impedance and inductance.

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