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Thread: Scatterwound Pickups

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    Default Scatterwound Pickups

    Who thinks that in general a scatterwound p/u will sound better than a machine wound one ? If, for instance, your favourite p/u was a Duncan Custom would you think about asking the custom shop to scatterwind one for you so that you'd get an even better version of something you already know you like ?

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    Mojo's Minions Bones's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scatterwound Pickups

    I think Seymour stated himself that it makes no tonal difference at all.

    *EDIT* Maybe Bill Lawrence said it... my memory is not kind to me.
    Last edited by Bones; 03-16-2011 at 12:58 PM.
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    Default Re: Scatterwound Pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by Bones View Post
    I think Seymour stated himself that it makes no tonal difference at all.
    I don't know that Seymour would have said that. Scatterwinding by itself isn't a guarantee for great tone; there's other factors like tension, wire gauge, bobbin size, etc. And then there's the degree of scatterwind. Plus, you don't get as much wire on a bobbin when you scatterwind. You can produce some nice tones without scatterwinding, if you know what you're doing.

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    Mojo's Minions Bones's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scatterwound Pickups

    Cmon blueman, give me some credit here. I posted my edit before you posted. *argh*
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    Default Re: Scatterwound Pickups

    i have two scatterwound pu-sets. one is awesome, one is ok but nothing special.
    this attribute maybe insignificant.
    Last edited by Baltar; 03-16-2011 at 01:50 PM.
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    Default Re: Scatterwound Pickups

    Scatterwound.... depends on the winder and how he/she winds it. If I scatterwound a pickup it wouldn't be nothing pretty sounding lol.

    I think in general there is a difference. I had a scatterwound 59 and compared it to a regular 59. The scatterwound one sounded more responsive and maybe had a bit better sound....

    but if I was happy with pickups in a guitar I wouldn't get new ones just so that they could be scatterwound. They were better but it wasn't a huge difference and the price may not be justifiable in most cases.
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    Minion of One Andrew Lamprecht's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scatterwound Pickups

    Also, Mr. Loperena (a pickup winder here on the forum) said that once a pickup gets to 14k or more (I think, they were hotter pickups I know) you can't really tell a difference between a scatterwound one and a machine wound one. SO it's really only effective on lower output pickups.
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    Default Re: Scatterwound Pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by richard parker View Post
    Who thinks that in general a scatterwound p/u will sound better than a machine wound one ? If, for instance, your favourite p/u was a Duncan Custom would you think about asking the custom shop to scatterwind one for you so that you'd get an even better version of something you already know you like ?
    Note my signature...

    Every one of the prized PAF's every boutique winder attempts to emulate was wound by a machine, set to a certain tension and pattern. Only the very first prototypes were actually "wound by hand". So to me, a person that sits there and winds a pickup totally by hand, may be wasting their time if the product doesn't suit the time they spend doing it. I mean, I thought my stock '59 sounded beautiful and complex and my Hybrid 59/Custom is THE best bridge pickup I've every tried and they were just normal, floor-made ones. I've heard Fralins and Lollars and a few other expensive "scatter-wound" models and I personally didn't find they were "amazing". Nice but didn't blow my doors off.

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    Imperator of Indignation idsnowdog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scatterwound Pickups

    It it's wound by a machine how random can it really be? It's not like someone is doing each wrap by hand. If it was completely random then I would think the product would be very idiosyncratic and quality would vary widely.
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker IanBallard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scatterwound Pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by idsnowdog View Post
    It it's wound by a machine how random can it really be? It's not like someone is doing each wrap by hand. If it was completely random then I would think the product would be very idiosyncratic and quality would vary widely.
    You also can't put as much on a bobbin, so if you're planning on "overwinding" a pickup, you might have more trouble. Personally I think a very BIG difference in tone might be a stretch. 7k of 43 gage wire on one bobbin, wound neatly and the other, wound "scattered" can't really make much of a difference other than potential microphonics from the windings being randomly placed. If both bobbins are adequately potted, I just can't see how it makes a diff. Electrons don't care about where the wires are... BUT, some of the microphonics a pickup "reads" from body vibrations might be slightly more pronounced on a scattered pickup, just like hard-mounting a pickup will naturally introduce more vibrations into the pickup coils, for better or worse. So, maybe there is a difference to some people.
    Last edited by IanBallard; 03-16-2011 at 08:51 PM.

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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scatterwound Pickups

    ive wound some almost identical pups, low 6k a5 flat pole strat pups. some with heavy scatter and fewer turns per layer, others with more turns per layer and a much les random pattern.

    there is a difference but i think it has as much to do with the turns per layer than anything else. you can make 7k of #43 pe sound pretty different depending on how its wound.

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    Mojo's Minions LtKojak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scatterwound Pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by richard parker View Post
    Who thinks that in general a scatterwound p/u will sound better than a machine wound one ? If, for instance, your favourite p/u was a Duncan Custom would you think about asking the custom shop to scatterwind one for you so that you'd get an even better version of something you already know you like ?
    The best p'ups of all time have been machine-wound.

    Scatterwinding to p'up making is like cooking. It's just an ingredient. How you use it would make or break the dish.

    HTH,
    Pepe aka Lt. Kojak
    Milano, Italy

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    Minion of One Andrew Lamprecht's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scatterwound Pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by LtKojak View Post
    The best p'ups of all time have been machine-wound.

    Scatterwinding to p'up making is like cooking. It's just an ingredient. How you use it would make or break the dish.

    HTH,
    Don't you mean, the best humbuckers were machine wound? The older single coils were handwound....
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker IanBallard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scatterwound Pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
    ive wound some almost identical pups, low 6k a5 flat pole strat pups. some with heavy scatter and fewer turns per layer, others with more turns per layer and a much les random pattern.

    there is a difference but i think it has as much to do with the turns per layer than anything else. you can make 7k of #43 pe sound pretty different depending on how its wound.
    I'm still not clear, on a scientific basis, how this could be so, unless we are talking about transient microphonics entering the circuit from body vibrations. As I noted, a more "scattered" or "random" winding may exhibit a propensity towards being more microphonic, giving more body vibes into the equation, as opposed to a neatly-wound version. This is because with a neatly wound model, the wires land next to each other in a orderly pattern and would be less likely to move around with vibration.

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    Mojo's Minions LtKojak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scatterwound Pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Lamprecht View Post
    Don't you mean, the best humbuckers were machine wound? The older single coils were handwound....
    '
    Well... from '54 to 64 were handwound alright, but due to the nature of the beast, as long as you follow the recipe (x turns of x type of wire), the difference in tone is so small that I'd call'em negligible.

    Your dog may have a different opinion, though...

    If it wasn't so, they coudln't have employed the low-skilled workforce they hired back then; mostly women, as they costed LESS than men. (still does, BTW)

    Don't forget, p'up winding is low skilled manual work. It was then and it is now. To come up with the right recipe, THAT'S the tricky part.

    I still prefer the repeatability of the machines.

    And I still prefer the sound of the modern p'ups over the old ones. If for some what I say it can be considered blasphemy, so be it. I'm pretty sure God's using a Duncan A2 '59 set wound by MJ in his own guitar to play the Blues, which, BTW, it's been considered like the "Devil's Music". Oh, the irony...
    Pepe aka Lt. Kojak
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker IanBallard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scatterwound Pickups

    Same deal with hand-wired amps. I think both John Suhr and Soldano have stated a good circuit is a good circuit, whether it's a CB or a PtoP job. Electricity doesn't care ... it flows, inducts and resists whether it's done by hand or a machine. Now the quality of the connections and components is indeed important, like the construction and soldering quality on a pickup. But there is no "magic" involved.

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    Default Re: Scatterwound Pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by IanBallard View Post
    I'm still not clear, on a scientific basis, how this could be so, unless we are talking about transient microphonics entering the circuit from body vibrations. As I noted, a more "scattered" or "random" winding may exhibit a propensity towards being more microphonic, giving more body vibes into the equation, as opposed to a neatly-wound version. This is because with a neatly wound model, the wires land next to each other in a orderly pattern and would be less likely to move around with vibration.
    im no physicist but i can tell you that it does make a difference, at least in single coils.

    is it the difference in the shape of the coil? the inducance? the capacitance?

    cant tell you, but i can tell you it sounds different

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker IanBallard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scatterwound Pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
    im no physicist but i can tell you that it does make a difference, at least in single coils.

    is it the difference in the shape of the coil? the inducance? the capacitance?

    cant tell you, but i can tell you it sounds different
    I believe it. But the reasons for the sound difference may be related to microphonics picked up, not some way in which the electricity travels. This is why I feel hard-mounting puts more vibration into the pickup and affects what you hear output-wise. I also have heard that lower-wound pickups notice scattering more, since there is less copper and more likelihood of vibration in the coils. That's my hypothesis anyway.

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    Default Re: Scatterwound Pickups

    but wax potting would take care of any vibration of the coils

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    Super Toneologist j9fd3s's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scatterwound Pickups

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
    ive wound some almost identical pups, low 6k a5 flat pole strat pups. some with heavy scatter and fewer turns per layer, others with more turns per layer and a much les random pattern.

    there is a difference but i think it has as much to do with the turns per layer than anything else. you can make 7k of #43 pe sound pretty different depending on how its wound.
    i'm no physicist either, but i like that explanation. i think in theory X length of wire, should sound the same however you wind it.

    but maybe you're right, if its placed differently then it should sound different.

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