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sawdust aficionado
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Is there buzzing on the humbuckers? I can understand it on the singles... Are there florescent lights around, or a tube type TV? Lots of factors can cause buzz...
The buzzing occurs with both pickups and does not change when switching between pickups. There are no flourescent lights or tv's around; just my laptop computer, but the buzzing barely changes when moving away from that. I'm just stumped how the buzzing goes away as soon as I touch the strings, bridge, volume knob...etc...but yet they all have continuity to the ground.
 

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Late to the thread as I was out of town, but those are awesome and it looks like your winder is evolving to be pretty impressive :yesway:

Sorry, no useful suggestions about the buzz...
 

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Slow Money
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robanomoly said:
Is there buzzing on the humbuckers? I can understand it on the singles... Are there florescent lights around, or a tube type TV? Lots of factors can cause buzz...
The buzzing occurs with both pickups and does not change when switching between pickups. There are no flourescent lights or tv's around; just my laptop computer, but the buzzing barely changes when moving away from that. I'm just stumped how the buzzing goes away as soon as I touch the strings, bridge, volume knob...etc...but yet they all have continuity to the ground.
Well you're picking up intererferance from SOMETHiNG, and your simply grounding it when you touch the guitar. I'd try a gentle potting honestly
 

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sawdust aficionado
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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
[Well you're picking up intererferance from SOMETHiNG, and your simply grounding it when you touch the guitar. I'd try a gentle potting honestly
Hmm...maybe I shouldn't have take that job as Assistant Safety Director in Sector 7G at the nuclear power plant...

I don't think potting the pickups would do anything as that's just a coat of wax on/in/around the coils.

...looks like I'll be taking it all apart tonight...
 

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Slow Money
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im not saying a potting SHOULD fix something, youre not microphonic, its hum, but dude, a 2k normal pot shorted shouldnt be any different than a 2k trim pot shorted, but its a noticeable difference in my buddies pedal.

Other option, shield the shit fuck balls outta the guitar. :agreed:
 

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sawdust aficionado
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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I used shielding paint in the control cavity, but that's been kinda flakey (pun intended). I'm going to remove everything and re-shield with adhesive backed conductive copper foil. If that doesn't work, I'll take it to a professional.
 

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I don't like it.
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You can't shield the face of the pickup, unless you're going to use a cover, shielding the back seems kind of wasteful to me. How hot are these pickups? Hot pickups are going to be noisy, they don't seem to be acting any different than pretty much any pickup I've owned, unless the buzz is absurdly loud at regular volumes. Noise is why I always run a good noise gate. Only pickup's I've used that are silent are actives.
 

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Slow Money
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You can't shield the face of the pickup, unless you're going to use a cover, shielding the back seems kind of wasteful to me. How hot are these pickups? Hot pickups are going to be noisy, they don't seem to be acting any different than pretty much any pickup I've owned, unless the buzz is absurdly loud at regular volumes. Noise is why I always run a good noise gate. Only pickup's I've used that are silent are actives.
ive got a set of old super distortions in my guild, and theres an OOLD jb at work (78), which are noisy as shit clean, but my aldrich isnt noisy even under a lot of gain. i dunno if its construction or what, but some pickups that are just as hot as others are way noisier
 

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sawdust aficionado
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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
The pickup coil wires themselves are shielded, but not the bobbin top or bottom. I wouldn't consider the pickups to be overly hot. The single coil has a resistance around 6.8 k ohms; the humbucker 13.4 k ohms. The previous pickups had higher resistance values and I didn't have this problem. Guess that does not bode well for my wiring job. I'll take it apart tonight, shield the control cavity (again) and re-wire it (again). Hopefully I'll get it sorted...
 

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Hmm...maybe I shouldn't have take that job as Assistant Safety Director in Sector 7G at the nuclear power plant...

I don't think potting the pickups would do anything as that's just a coat of wax on/in/around the coils.

...looks like I'll be taking it all apart tonight...
:rofl::metal:
 

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sawdust aficionado
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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Allllrighty then! After re-shielding the control cavity with the copper foil I did a simple hookup: single coil to volume to jack. Same buzz. :(

Disconnected the ground wire from the bridge. Same buzz. :squint:

Used jumper wires by-passing the volume pot and jack. Same buzz. :pissed:

And then a little voice said, "The only thing left is the pickup itself. What happens if you touch one of the magetic rods with something metal?" BRRRNNNGGK! :confused: Touched a different one. "bip." The end-most rods made a heck of a sound, but the inner rods were just a little click. My guess is that the coil wire has shorted against the end-most rods. Damn! Oh well, first time for everything.

Then, I did the same tests with only the humbucker, and, yeah, one of the coils has a short. At least, that's what I'm guessing it is. Second time is the charm right? :ugh:

Bah...I was going to rewind them anyways.
 

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I don't like it.
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I was wondering why you left the magnets bare... every pickup I've ever had had them insulated in plastic...
 

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sawdust aficionado
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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Since the magnets are smooth ground (as opposed to cast), shorting isn't as common as it used to be. At least, that's what I'd read. Of the couple dozen pickups I've made so far, this is the first time it's happened.

It would be a lot easier if I could use solid plastic bobbins, but, I'm kinda stuck making them from the fiberboard. I could simply wrap the magnets with a thin tape before coiling the wire.
 

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Bummer that this batch has shorts, they looked great :(

Definitely sounds like a thin layer of tape or cellophane is you best bet though.
 

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I don't like it.
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Since the magnets are smooth ground (as opposed to cast), shorting isn't as common as it used to be. At least, that's what I'd read. Of the couple dozen pickups I've made so far, this is the first time it's happened.

It would be a lot easier if I could use solid plastic bobbins, but, I'm kinda stuck making them from the fiberboard. I could simply wrap the magnets with a thin tape before coiling the wire.
I'd wrap them with a single layer of electrical tape, I think that would get the job done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
A few updates:

I made a core from some plastic/vinyl stuff (I think it's called gatorboard) to insulate the magnets and it works great! Wood could be used, but I figure this stuff is more stable.




The pickups would indeed get a microphonic at higher volume so I potted them in 80/20 mix of parafin and bee's wax. Instead of taking chances with a double boiler on the stove, I used a http://www.amazon.com/Helen-of-Troy-Scholls-Paraffin/dp/B002WLWX82. Totally safe, and easy to use. No more microphonics!

The lack of pickup cavity shielding was the mystery source of hum after getting the shorts resolved. I shielded the underside of the pickups, being sure the shielding did not touch the magnets, instead of shielding the cavities because I didn't have the paint, and didn't want to see copper foil. Now they're super quiet! The single coil still has the 60Hz hum when pointed certain directions, but, overall it's much better than before!
 

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I've been looking into pickup winding lately, since I have a gazillion pickups laying around I could use for rewinds :lol: I wanted to send them to Wolfetone, but I think this would be far more interesting.

Another solution I've seen to eliminate the shorting against the pole pieces is to coat them with nail polish. Would take up less room than a core, so you could fit more windings on there if you were trying to make an over wound pickup.

I'm just wondering now if it would be better to cannibalize an old sewing machine, or if it would be better to just buy an electric motor and start from scratch... probably the sewing machine :lol: I don't think I'm handy or smart enough to build from scratch :lol:
 
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