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pedal steel /lap pickups


 
9/28/2002 1:22 PM
jon
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pedal steel /lap pickups
hi,  
First, I've been away from Ampage for quite a while and really enjoy coming back to find the pickup makers forum. This forum is excellent.  
 
I had received Jason's pickup winding book for XMAS 2 years ago, and walked a machinist thru building a Plexi-Clone in exchange for an aluminum bodied/  
stainless rod/bronze bushed version of the winder. Got a bit sidetracked in doing the motors and all as procurement of pickup building materials was a real uphill climb. Looks like it's time to return to the endeavor....  
 
Now my question: I've been teaching myself fretless 6 string (regular, non-bass) guitar for the past several years. I know how to optimize amps for bass response and clarity for pedal steel, yet the fretless needs some compression and harmonic distortion like you'd want for slide playing. Are there considerations when looking at the pickups in pedal steel or lap instruments, (other than # of strings and geometric restraints as a result) that have gone into the design of the pickups (height of bobbin, width of bobbin, DC resistance, humbucker or single coil) that I should consider when starting with a clean sheet of paper?  
 
I've generally defaulted to using high output distortion humbuckers, and have made up for the high end problems thru amp tweaks....I don't care for the Fernandes "sustainer' approach.  
thanx,  
Jon
 
9/28/2002 8:41 PM
Jason Lollar
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Some lap steels = plenty of output with even frequency response.  
One modern solution, alnico magnets for output, a big chunk of steel in the circuit,(possibly in the Bobbincore but not necessarily)to add bottom  
and smooth out the top, fewer turns of large diameter wire,38 or 39 gauge so it still has clear top end but senses a large area of string.  
Makes a screamer lap steel pickup with unusual clarity, works for me.
 
 
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9/29/2002 12:56 AM
jon
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Jason,  
Thanx for the roadmap. In your book you mention winding an 8 string steel guitar pickup to 8-10K DCR. Same here?  
cya,  
Jon
 
9/29/2002 6:48 PM
Jason Lollar
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lower, 5000-8000 turns of large wire will be 2.5K- 4K somewhere in there. Standard Stringmasters have around 9000 turns, you are looking to go lower with the wire to keep the signal clear (like a pre-war Rick) but at the same time filling out the tone with a chunk of iron.  
It all depends on how its constructed thats why I can only give you a road map and your application is different than mine.  
One thing I have found is the size of the ceramic block makes alot of difference in tone and output, larger blocks will have more output at least with this type of design.  
Figure on spending a couple of days designing it, doing mockups and revising before you get it right.
 
9/30/2002 12:17 AM
jon
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Jason,  
I love your optimism! It's taken me close to 4 years to get the tube amp circuits right for it. Presently in the intermediate phases of getting the fingerboard manufacture streamlined. I fully expect to take several months getting comfortable with my winder while experimenting with rewinds, meanwhile locating the necessary materials for the suggested trials. Thanx for your help; I figured there had to be significant benefits to starting from scratch rather than settling for off-the-shelf pickups.  
cya,  
Jon
 
9/30/2002 1:07 AM
Jason Lollar
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optimism:) I guess a day would mean 16 hours or so and that would be if you already had a good idea of where you were going.
 
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