Tube Amps / Music Electronics
For current discussions, please visit Music Electronics Forum. New: view Recent Searches.
New: visit Schematic Hell!
The sunn still shines online!

Listen to great tunes streaming live right now!

ampage archive

Vintage threads from the first ten years

Search for:  Mode:  


9/5/2002 11:12 AM
How do you wind a pickup to have good feel and responsiveness? One that has good tone from full bass to full treble and all spots in between?  
How do you get THAT magic?  
I hope we can all discuss different ideas and tequniques (obviosly without giving away trade secrets!)  
9/5/2002 11:19 AM

I guess 'scatterwinding' is an example of this. Scatterwinding (to my ears)does seem to give the pickup a better tone.  
Book Of The Day The Ultimate Tone, Volume III by Kevin O'Connor
Have you ever wondered if there is a better way to build a Bassman, Champ, Plexi, an 800, AC-30, Bulldog or Portaflex? Or you wanted to build an SVT with off-the-shelf parts? How about a master-volume amp that doesn’t change tone with the master setting? Everything you need to know is right here, including: proper grounding techniques, wiring methods, and mechanical considerations. Eighteen chapters cover the “iconic” amps everyone knows and loves, with schematics and layouts for each, along with the technical history of the product. Eyelet-board and chassis-mounted tube socket construction is used throughout, for easy servicing and modding. TUT3 is very accessible even if you cannot fully read a schematic and is a "must have" if you are going to build an amp for your self.

Note: The Ampage Archive is an Amazon Associate site. A small commission is paid to the site owner on any qualified purchase made after clicking an associate link such as the one above.
9/5/2002 12:37 PM
Dr Strangelove
Why scatterwind?
Dick said:
"I guess 'scatterwinding' is an example of this. Scatterwinding (to my ears)does seem to give the pickup a better tone."
I've been puzzling over scatterwinding for a while and have come to several conclusions.  
Short version:  
The closer one winding is to another, the more they electrically couple and mud up the sound. To lessen this effect, you scatterwind the coil.  
Long version:  
John Suhr puts his own pickups on his guitars and said this a few years back: <>  
He uses a $10k programmable coil winder to put 60 different winding patterns on a bobbin. He contends that it repeatably minimizes the coil's distributed or self capacitance -- too much of that and the pickup sound turns muddy.  
That doesn't mean you need a $10k programmable coil winder to make the best pickups. It only means that some people think scatterwinding is so important and want repeatable results so much that they automate the winding process. To get it, they buy expensive coil winders. Others, like Jason Lollar and Chris Kinman, build their own.  
The opposite of scatterwinding is called "perfect lay" winding. It assures the lowest volume of coil winds, but it also maximizes distributed capacitance and self-inductance. This is good for relay coils but is another source of muddy sound in a pickup.  
A good illustration of Self Inductance is at <> It shows how adjacent windings can couple electromagnetically.  
End of lecture.  
9/5/2002 4:05 PM
Mark Hammer
Why NOT scatterwind?
There are probably good reasons to scatterwind, but automated scatterwinding that assures optimal wire tension is one thing, and hand scatterwound that results in turns being a bit looser and increasing risk of microphonics is another.  
I'm not arguing against it. Rather, those whose goal is to run out and duplicate things they read here should realize that the potting requirements for *hand* scatterwound pickups can be much more stringent (i.e., go to your wax pot, go directly to your wax pot, do not pass GO, do not collect $200) since off-axis turns can be looser. At least that's my experience.  
Do note that for the same number of turns, scatterwinding will produce a greater DC resistance, since the length of each turn is a bit longer.
9/5/2002 7:49 PM

I understand why you think scatterwinding will create a longer wire length and therefore dc resistance.  
But in truth and after many many years of winding its just not the case - a neat level laid wind will actually give you a higher dc resitance, the neater and more accurate the lay the greater the amount of wire you can get on a bobbin.  
BUT, scatterwinding does give a better sound and I seldom need to level wind in order to get a high dc.  
9/5/2002 7:57 PM
"higher for the same number of turns"  
Was the statement. I believe that was accurate, but generally not significant. For the same number of turns I don't think you'll see more than .1 DC resistance difference on any given bobbin design. Probably not even that high...
9/5/2002 8:16 PM
Mark Hammer

Probably depends on the dimensions of the bobbin and how scattered the scattering can get. Lower profile bobbins will constrain the angle at which the wire can be wound and the lateral spacing between windings (i.e., how much further up or down the polepiece the next winding is placed). I can see that there would be many contexts where there is precious little DCR difference because there are fewer degrees of freedom available in the winding (e.g., a "scatterwound" Jazzmaster coil), but I can also see some contexts where there would be. In those latter contexts, scatterwinding could increase the DCR noticeably more. Clearly not by 20% or anything that outrageous, but enough to make a difference I suspect. But hey, I've only made a couple or 3 dozen pickups in my life and some of you folks have made hundreds if not thousands more than that.
   Page 1 of 4 Next> Last Page>>