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Premium Member
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1,062 Posts
That's the beauty of making your own: you can make them sound exactly how you want :)

No harm in giving it a shot, right?
 

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OldSchool Blacksmith
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2,866 Posts
I don't know anything about winding pickups, but I was just wondering this morning if it would be feasible to dissect an existing suck pup (INF) and re-wind it to make it better. No clue whether that's possible, worth the effort or much of anything else when it comes to pup winding...
 

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Resident Winger Overlord
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4,287 Posts
with all of the available pickups out there, i would be surprised if there isn't something to your liking.
if you just want to do it as a hobby or for fun sure, but to make one because you think you can do something unavailable is kinda silly imo.
 

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I don't like it.
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11,071 Posts
i know absolutely nothing about this. but my gut tells me the trial and error would drive me crazy. So, if time were money........
It's not too bad. It's best to start by rewinding existing pickups. You can easily make a rig to wind with just a hand drill.
 

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I don't like it.
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11,071 Posts
maybe if you constructed a dummy guitar where the pickup could be inserted and mounted from the back of the body. that way you wouldn't have to take strings and pickguards off. that could actually be a fun way to experiment as it would save a ton of time
My pickup testing guitar is hogged out on the front, with a couple of adjustable sleds that allow me to slide the pickups in, test them without screwing anything in or even soldering (alligator clips). Makes things simple.
 

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OldSchool Blacksmith
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2,866 Posts
My pickup testing guitar is hogged out on the front, with a couple of adjustable sleds that allow me to slide the pickups in, test them without screwing anything in or even soldering (alligator clips). Makes things simple.
I've always wanted to do that...
 

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sawdust aficionado
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1,343 Posts
I kind of like the idea of have my own handwound pickups but am afraid they wont sound good. Can they be made for metal or are they only going to put out mellow tones?
Having gone down this road myself (and posted pic stories here on the forum) I will tell you it's not worth it. There are so many great sounding pickups out there already, you should be able to find what you want.

The reason I did it was because what I wanted didn't exist at the time. Actually, that's the reason I've started doing it again.
 

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Registered
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70 Posts
also you need some real knowledge on how to wind pickups, you can't just buy 30 pounds of copper wire and wind it in a nonsense way around a bobbin, is more if you wind it in a "perfect" layered way, like how a lot of inductors are winded you will probably get a worse sounding pickup than any inf or v7/v8 or just something as bad sounding as pickups from alibaba or aliexpress.
as a one of the biggest things that determinates the tone of a pickup is the winding pattern and structure, the magnet type ain't as important as the winding, proof of that is the duncan custom family (custom, custom 5, custom 2, custom 8) all the same winding with different mags, and they all retain the same core tone which is being shifted and texturized with magnets, so if you gather knowledge about winding, and you want to create and know how to create something currently unavailable then go, if you want to do it as hobby then go, other way around isn't worth
 

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Is Actually Recording
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32,765 Posts
I kind of like the idea of have my own handwound pickups but am afraid they wont sound good. Can they be made for metal or are they only going to put out mellow tones?
I suspect the answer is economically, no, that you're going to spend way more on equuiptment and a tremendous amount of your time to get to the point where you're producing decent pickups. But, if the project is something you think you'll enjoy doing and if the idea of investing the kind of time into it to get good sounds appealing to you, then THAT could make it worthwhile.

Analogy - I bake my own bread. You can go out to a really good bakery or farmers market or something and buy a ready-made baguette for $3-6 or so, vs something that only costs like $0.50 in ingredients but generally a 16 hour investment in time here and there whole you bake, plus LOTS of experience to get to the point where you're getting good results, so when you get down to it $5 or so for a really good baguette is pretty cheap. I just do it because I enjoy it, so for ME it's worth it.
 

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Registered
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141 Posts
Parts for making pickups are pretty cheap, and research costs only time. I would start by rewinding cheap pickups, and learning what components affect the sound and how. Honestly, it is like cooking...you get better the more you do it, and you start by magnet swapping to hear the affects of magnet types...then wire types and number of turns. Study the formulas of pickups you like and emulate them. Then tweak them to your preference.
 

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I don't like it.
Joined
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11,071 Posts
also you need some real knowledge on how to wind pickups, you can't just buy 30 pounds of copper wire and wind it in a nonsense way around a bobbin, is more if you wind it in a "perfect" layered way, like how a lot of inductors are winded you will probably get a worse sounding pickup than any inf or v7/v8 or just something as bad sounding as pickups from alibaba or aliexpress.
as a one of the biggest things that determinates the tone of a pickup is the winding pattern and structure, the magnet type ain't as important as the winding, proof of that is the duncan custom family (custom, custom 5, custom 2, custom 8) all the same winding with different mags, and they all retain the same core tone which is being shifted and texturized with magnets, so if you gather knowledge about winding, and you want to create and know how to create something currently unavailable then go, if you want to do it as hobby then go, other way around isn't worth
If you look at Ibanez INF or V pickup winds, you'll see they look no different than any other wind. There's really not much voodoo to winding, scatterwound is pretty chaotic, and machine wound is more consistent, but you can find great pickups of each style. I would posit that the issues with the INF's and V's and other crappy pickups is more in the materials used and magnets chosen than in the style of wind.
 

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Parental Advisory
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288 Posts
if you wind it in a "perfect" layered way, like how a lot of inductors are winded you will probably get a worse sounding pickup than any inf or v7/v8 or just something as bad sounding as pickups from alibaba or aliexpress.
Well, considering PAF humbuckers were machine wound with a manual traversal (so basically from one side to the other in even winds, with some variance) and don't sound anything like a v7/v8, I'd disagree. Heavily scatterwinding a humbucker is usually a VERY bad idea anyway, since it reduces the hum-bucking itself, so you're looking at machine winding anyway.

I would posit that the issues with the INF's and V's and other crappy pickups is more in the materials used and magnets chosen than in the style of wind.
This. I'd say the quality of the wire, and especially the magnets, lets those pickups down far more than the winding pattern.
 

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Safe Spaces Advocate
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3,125 Posts
Is it worth it in what sense?

I've never done it, myself, but always thought about it because I like noodling around with stuff like that... creating, Frankensteining, etc.,

Will it save you money? Probably not. By the time you buy the materials, jury-rig a winder (from a sewing machine or something,) and spend your time learning the art to it - and I suspect there is a certain art to it - you'll have more money and time in it than you could ever recover. My guess is, it would be a lot cheaper just to buy a quality pickup.

Is it worth it to learn something cool and new and interesting? For me, it always is. Don't know if that's you.

I still may try it in a couple years, when I get the itch to do something new.
 
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