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Re: Wire

3/2/2000 9:30 PM
Re: Wire
I see you are correct. I (mis)interpreted the word "were" in your question for "wire", thinking it was just a misspelled word (easy for all us non-secretarial types to do on a keyboard). I guesss I was speed reading!
3/2/2000 11:07 PM
Joe Fuzz

No problem! Happens to the best of us! :-)
2/29/2000 12:05 AM
To start stainlees steel (magnetic type still looking for this) and ceramic magnets. Stainless has some of the same alloys as ALNICO
2/29/2000 3:58 PM
Joe Fuzz
Re: Magnets
Are you thinking of a solid bar magnet or individual pole pieces, one for each string? I came across this link while surfing:  
Click on "Industrial Magnets" and you see that they sell Alnico rods. According to this page:  
Magnet Source will sell 3/16" Alnico Rods in 1/2"- 5/8" and 3/4" lengths.
2/29/2000 6:12 PM
Mark Hammer
Re: Magnets and wire
Thanks for the links for the magnet sources. I like to make my own pickups, but the hardest part has almost always been finding the polepieces. Generally, I try to cannibalize polepieces from pickups that have been trashed. About two years ago, someone at a repair shop let me rummage in their garbage basket and I salvaged about 15 PU's worth of usable parts. Still, there is much to be said about tinkering with pickups that might attempt something a wee bit different, so it's nice to know there are places where these kinds of materials can be gotten.  
WIRE: If you are just starting out winding your own coils, I would cast my vote for wire that can be chemically stripped. by simply dipping and wiping. The stuff that has to be scraped off is a bugger to do, and if you are new to the game you will invariably have LOTS of splices in your coils. These don't present a huge problem tonewise(I made a killer pickup for a buddy's Tele that had over 50 splices...rough day), but if the wire does not strip easily, the process can be...well...trying. As an aside, I find that pinching the free end of the wire between #600 grit emery paper, and gently pulling, is a sometimes effective way of getting insulation off without knife scraping.  
So, formvar it is. I wouldn't really worry that much about the diameter of the insulation or the consistency of the diameter. Particularly if you don't have a high speed mechanical winder. Chances are that you'll have more difficulty coming from smooth rotation of the coil bobbin when winding than you'll have from the wire.  
Finally, if you are winding Fender-style coils, with the wire wound directly around the polepieces, consider first putting a layer of teflon tape (available at all major hardware outware outlets) around the polepieces before you start winding the coil. You never know, you just might wind yourself an irreproducible keeper, and it would be a shame to lose it 5 years from now due to polepiece corrosion. The tape will keep the polepieces physically separated from the wire by an inert layer that is thin enough to have no real impact on coil size or any other properties. After you finish winding it, the same teflon tape is terrific for a non-adhesive (hence nondestructive) outside finishing layer underneath the adhesive-backed tape.  
If you are new to this, the rewards of winding your own pickups are great. Once you get a roll of wire, a bunch of polepieces, and a winding jig, you can crank em out like sausages. The nice thing is that they become cheap enough that you don't mind screwing around with novel characteristics...after all, there are still about 80 PU's worth of wire still on the roll!
2/29/2000 7:40 PM
other fun sites  
I called MWS and they were very nice to deal with.
3/2/2000 7:30 PM

What woudl be the best characteristics to put into a PU that when you turn down the volume control, you don't lose all the high end, also, what makes a pickup clearer sounding than others? i there a magical formula?

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