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Thread: 1000k and 750K pickup resistance

  1. #1
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    Unhappy 1000k and 750K pickup resistance

    Hello all,

    My new summer hobby is pickup winding, or at least, I'm hoping it to be. I've made a manual pickup winder using one of those reels youd use on a fishing rod and I've made three pups so far. The first one, 1000 turns or so, was a test pup. It worked, not a lot of volume but it works. I made a second pup, still severely underwound, but there was no sound. I figured I must've f***ed up, so I made a third one. All three of them single coil with Alnico V. Number 3 also did not produce any sound.

    So I checked the guitar, the circuit was fine and when I plugged number 1 in again it there was nothing wrong. So I measured the DC resistance, you know, to check. Guess what?

    1: 45K (works, low volume, but still sweet-ish)
    2: 750K (no sound)
    3: 980K (no sound)

    Yes, you are reading this correctly. Those numbers are of the charts! So I checked a real, working humbucker: the usual 8.8K. Also, these measurements were done outside of the guitar, no accidental half open volume pots or something.

    How can these numbers be so high? Moreover, how can number 1 work, yet still have this insane resistance? All are wound using 42 AWG and all are fairly underwound. Now I know my solder jobs aren't great, but I dont think that should cause such big problems, right?

    Does anyone have any ideas and/or suggestions?

    Thanks in Advance

  2. #2
    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1000k and 750K pickup resistance

    Can't happen.

    Your multimeter set to the right scale? If the readings are correct, you have so much wire on the pup it would have to be 10 inches wide to hold 750k, even 45k!
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 1000k and 750K pickup resistance

    I know it sounds impossible, but I ensure you it's what I'm seeing. Here is the reading of a working Humbucker in my Gretsch. Note I've selected the 20K range:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here is the reading from my pickup, the range of 2000K selected:
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    If I select the 20k or 200k range with this pickup, it reads 1.

    Thanks!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 1000k and 750K pickup resistance

    numbers like these often indicate an issue within the coil. I.e.: a short.

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    Default Re: 1000k and 750K pickup resistance

    But if there is a short, there shouldn't be any sound. Right? Because the 45K pup sounded fine, just a bit weak because it had only a 1000-2000 winds or something. Any idea why that is?

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    Slutbucker Pimpologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1000k and 750K pickup resistance

    Quote Originally Posted by orpheo View Post
    numbers like these often indicate an issue within the coil. I.e.: a short.
    Sounds like he has a "long!"

    It would help if we could also see how your measuring this. Are you holding the leads with your fingers? Are you clipping on to the pickup wires? Are you measuring at the jack, with the pup installed? All this info helps.

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    Default Re: 1000k and 750K pickup resistance

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is the working pickup

    And I make the picture with everything laying down on my bed. With one hand I make the picture, with the other I hold the lead wire of my pickup against the wires of the multimeter. For the last picture, I got someone to help me. The measurements are like this whether I hold it, one or two hands, or the other person holds it

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    Slutbucker Pimpologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1000k and 750K pickup resistance

    That's the thing, and I'll admit this is a long shot, but you might be measuring the resistance through your fingers. I always measure pups with clip-ons. The resistance through your fingers should be much higher, but given the right conditions, (perspiration, high humidity), it could be a factor. I'm grasping at straws here because you have an unusual situation.

  9. #9
    Mojo's Minions masta' c's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1000k and 750K pickup resistance

    1) Don't use the 200K setting on your meter, use 20K

    2) You have to make sure no part of your body, other wires or metal objects (including table) are touching the leads. Consider investing in a set of alligator clips to clamp the wires in place of trying to hold them with your fingers

    3) Depending on a number of factors, including bobbin size and tension on the wire when winding, 2000 full turns of 42 AWG should put you somewhere near 1.5K-1.6K. 8000 turns should put you closer to the ~6.0K range, which is common for a Strat single coil.

    4) Are you sure the magnets are properly magnetized? Common issue...can't have sound if there's no magnetic field to create a signal through the coil.

    5) Why are you hiding the pickups from us? We won't judge...

    Last edited by masta' c; 06-18-2019 at 08:08 AM.

  10. #10
    Slutbucker Pimpologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1000k and 750K pickup resistance

    Quote Originally Posted by masta' c View Post
    Consider investing in a set of alligator clips to clamp the wires in place of trying to hold them with your fingers.
    Pomona is your friend.

    Quote Originally Posted by masta' c
    Why are you hiding the pickups? We won't judge...

  11. #11
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    Default Re: 1000k and 750K pickup resistance

    Thanks for the responses

    If I use the 20K setting, it reads 1. Mine reads 1, when the resistance is to high --> it's more than 20k

    I'll measure again tomorrow, using alligator clips etc. I hadn't even considered that might be the problem, thanks!

    They are new rod magnets, all from the same shipment. I'll swap them tomorrow to try.

    I'm not hiding them
    Because I had to hold the wires in one hand, it was rather difficult to make a proper picture. When I test everything tomorrow, I'll be sure to make new picture. And I'm definitely not ashamed, they are gorgeous

    Thanks for the responses!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: 1000k and 750K pickup resistance

    Quote Originally Posted by Quiiiinten View Post
    But if there is a short, there shouldn't be any sound. Right?
    It's perfectly possible to obtain a sound from a coil with a short. The only difference is that such a coil behaves like a capacitor rather than like a resistor: it makes mad multimeters - and it thins out the tone, which might explain your feeling of a "weak" sound.

    A "capacitive" coil is technically broken but musically useable. Example: http://www.tdpri.com/threads/don-mar...up-mod.289815/

    A similar problem was most probably defining another famous tone, evoked here: http://forum.metropoulos.net/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=23533

    NOTES:
    1-I've repaired more than once "capacitive" coils. A pro musician that I know had TWO humbuckers with this problem in two different guitars. In each case measurements were the same: over the roof DCR (or no DCR at all) and a capacitance around 4 or 5 nF, as stated by Don Mare.
    2-A wire not yet broken but stretched to death might theoretically give measurements like yours. Unless the culprit is simply a cold solder joint (if the insulation of the wire has not quite melted under the soldering iron, for example).

    FWIW. :-)
    Last edited by freefrog; 06-18-2019 at 01:48 PM.
    Duncan user since the 80's...

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    Default Re: 1000k and 750K pickup resistance

    Hello everyone,
    Sorry to keep you all waiting, you must be extremely excited for updates:
    I just measured everything again, all three, using alligator clips. As it turns out, this was indeed the missing link
    1 has a DCR of 1.24K, which doesn't sound like a lot, but as I mentioned earlier, it is supposed to be extremely underwound.
    2 and 3 have infinite, or at least to high a resistance. I think I messed up somehow while winding them \_(ツ)_/. I will he checking the solderjoints later today, maybe that's where the problem lives. If not, I must have broken the wire, somewhere, I think.

    Does anyone have any advice on this? How not to break my wire/mess this up?

    And here are some pictures:
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    This is pickup 1
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  14. #14
    Mojo's Minions hamerfan's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1000k and 750K pickup resistance

    If they still read to high after reflowing, you have to cut the wires. But watch out not to marr the bobbin, while cutting. I use to examine the bobbin carefully and sand it with superfine sandpaper to avoid any catches, which injure the wire while winding. Just an advice from someone who had all kinds of winding accidents.
    I get the feeling the A8 will blow your skirt up more so - Edgecrusher

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    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1000k and 750K pickup resistance

    Quote Originally Posted by masta' c View Post
    Why are you hiding the pickups from us? We won't judge...

    I will.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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