Titanium as bobbin material

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by KF2B, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. KF2B


    Jan 28, 2013

    I dont know if this is the proper forum for this question - if not, my apologies.

    So... Onto the question (granted there is no wisdom behind it - just curiosity):

    Can titanium be used as a bobbin material? - if, any idea how it´ll affect the sound?

  2. Those will be expensive pickups. ;)
  3. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Yes, but to what advantage?
    mbelue likes this.
  4. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    I don't know how it will affect the sound at all, but how do you propose machining it; my impression is that it takes special tools that you won't find at your local hardware store. I'd rather use plastic, or if you're dead set on metal, aluminum. Metal would have to be polished where the windings pass through the bobbin to keep the varnish from being chaffed off of the wire possibly shorting out the pickup. Plastic, as much as I dislike the stuff, has the advantage of being inert to both the magnetic properties of the pickup magnets and the wiring. If you are set against using hydocarbon compounds I suggest thin cardboard.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015
  5. BadHairDay


    Jan 3, 2016
    In my experience (power plants, automotive) the main reason to use titanium is for its strength AND lightness. And you have to really want/need it because once you choose to go with it, you take on a host of "cons" (cost, machining, welding, etc).

    The only reason I can think of why you'd want it in this environment (bobbin) is for some magnetic properties. You can look those up in standard tables and compare the magnetic permitivity (SP) of titanium to aluminum, different steels, etc.
  6. Why would you want to use some exotic material for a bobbin? There simply isn't any point to it.
    Growlmonkee and Killed_by_Death like this.
  7. dincz


    Sep 25, 2010
    Czech Republic
    Although it's non-ferrous, it is an electrical conductor (though not a good one) so I'd guess eddy currents could be induced in it, interfering with the performance of the pickup.
    4StringTheorist likes this.
  8. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I was wrong.
    TI is non-ferrous, but it will conduct, so no is the right answer.

    I love TI, it's light and strong, but has no purpose in a guitar or bass. Aluminum has half the density of TI, and it's strong enough for instruments.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
    4StringTheorist likes this.
  9. 4StringTheorist

    4StringTheorist Supporting Member

    Much like the movement of the magnetized string alters the local magnetic field which induces a current in the pickup coil, there can be currents induced along the surface of a metal bobbin. However, the current in the coil will also induce a current in the bobbin which will counter the coil current. (google Lenz's Law and back EMF)

    So my guess, with my mere Bachelor's in physics? You'll lower the pickup output and probably mess with its frequency response on the top end. Not a great idea.
  10. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    TI is for applications like firefighting valves on offshore Oil & Gas platforms, where they want the structure to be as least top-heavy as possible.
    TI can stand up to seawater, but is also light.
    Previously brass or bronze fittings were used, and there's quite a lot of firefighting fittings on an offshore platform, making it really top-heavy.
  11. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    If it were to affect the tone of the pickup to any significant degree it would be because of eddy currents. Some people are wary of eddy currents although there are pickups with conductive metal housings that are reasonably popular. If you want to know you could wrap some aluminum foil around your present pickups, with holes where the pole pieces are. That should give you a fair simulation of a metallic bobbin's performance.
  12. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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