less resistance in a pickup = what?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by FiveStringsNme, Aug 25, 2003.

  1. I know that the thicker the copper wires are, the less resistance in the electrical current....so what would that do in a pickup? higher output?
  2. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    I'm assuming the same number of turns (that's what's really important)

    When the resistance is lower, it'll increase the resonant frequency of the pickup a bit. This will change the tone - in the direction of moving from "vintage" to "modern" probably, in that it'll decrease any high-mid peak and move that peak higher, and the high-end rolloff will move higher.

    The output won't change much, at least if it's connected to a decent buffer. If you've got the pickup really loaded down (low-ohm pots or an amp with a low input impedance), the volume might go up a bit.

    But - the main thing is it'll make the pickup bigger! :) I don't know how much spare room there is in pickups these days, but I don't think it's much. So, if you want to increase the gauge you'd either need to make the case larger or use fewer turns.

    Fewer turns will lower the output but also make the sound more "hi-fi". EMG active pickups, for instance, use a much lower number of turns, but need an on-board preamp to add the gain they lose by doing so.
  3. thanks man...yet again you've given me really valuable info!!:D :p :bassist:
  4. Stealth

    Stealth Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Brilliant work, geshel. Very well written.
  5. I thought I heard that EMG doesn't do low impedance windings?
  6. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Other things being equal..
    more windings = more impedance = larger voltage output and less frequency range. Opposite for less windings. EMG gets a wide freq range by dropping windings and makes up for the output drop by amplifying the signal.
  7. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    yeah, according to SGD david, the coils on EMGs are still in the 10k range.

    either way, the internal preamp eliminates any loss or loading.
  8. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    I believe the windings are low impedance themselves, the 10K output impedence should come from the output side of the built-in preamp. this will allow a "wide" frequency range to be developed across the coils and a good output level after thepreamp.