Wednesday, November 10th, 2010 at 9:08 pm
This is an excellent article on guitar pickup magnets, how they work, magnet types and pickup construction, courtesy of Pete Biltoft at Vintage Vibe Guitars. Thanks Pete for the permission to post this here!
In addition to explaining the history and use of the various magnet types, this article also describes the differences in pickup construction between P-90’s, Fender-style single coils, blade pickups, and humbuckers.
In this “Tech Tips” newsletter I hope to provide you with some interesting and perhaps helpful information about the types of permanent magnets used in pickups for guitar, bass and other amplified stringed instruments.
Read the rest of this entry
Tuesday, November 9th, 2010 at 6:36 pm
Following up on my previous post about humbucker wiring, here is a quick look at how humbuckers work, and how to split the coils and use parallel wiring.
A humbucker pickup is really just a a pair of single-coils, electrically out of phase and magnetically reversed from each other. The two coils are wired in series, and the end result is that electromagnetic hum/noise is phase-cancelled.
You may have heard this idea referred to as RWRP – Reverse Wound, Reverse Polarity. With a humbucker, one of the coils is RWRP relative to the other.
On many Stratocaster style guitars (three single coils), the middle single coil pickup is RWRP relative to the other two pickups. So when you blend the middle pickup with the neck or bridge pickup, you get the same kind of hum cancellation you get with a humbucker.
It is possible to wire up a humbucker with a switch to allow you to isolate (“tap”, or “split”) one of the coils, silencing the other coil. Listening to one of the coils in isolation will achieve more of a strat-type single coil sound.
You can also wire up the two humbucker coils in parallel instead of in series, which will sound more like a pair of single-coils on a strat, rather than a single humbucker. You’ll still get hum cancellation, but you’ll get less output power than the series wiring- a unique and useful voicing you might like.
You can go crazy making your guitar über-flexible with switches and push/pull pots to control series/parallel and splitting. Check out the the humbucker circuit diagrams at GuitarElectronics.com
And here’s an article by Kevin Smith for more in-depth information on coil splitting.
Here’s another useful article at guitarnutz.
Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010 at 12:17 pm
According to this teaser page at Fender’s website, the new Squier electric guitar for Rock Band is now officially set for release on March 1, 2011 for $279.99. There’s also a video demonstrating the gameplay.
I was interested to see that the guitar appears to have a standard MIDI port on the side, and will work as a MIDI controller outside the game.
It will be interesting to see how well this works for learning guitar, with the new Rock Band 3 “Pro” guitar mode. They say:
“Use the Squier by Fender Stratocaster Guitar and Controller in conjunction with Rock Band™ 3′s Trainer Modes to learn scales, chords, skills, drills and more.”
Fun fun fun!