DIY Pickup Tech Testing Contraptions
An article by Yoncopin
I've been doing a lot of research on pickups and wanted to be able to compare the technical details across manufacturers and between name-brand, boutique and generic pickups. Most manufacturers post no real details about their pickups and there is so much misinformation out there regarding their tone. This post in this thread is just the beginning of the journey, but I was excited to share the tools I've constructed to collect data.
These are the "real" details about a pickup to determine their output and EQ.
- Resonant Peak / Q factor
- Resonant Peak
- DC Resistance
- Flux Density
First, using a car dash cam mount I built a device which will suction to the guitar face and lower a pickup to the strings for testing. This allows me to try pickups without changing strings or taking the guitar apart. It's a bit of a process, but is non-destructive and allows you to audition pickups.
Second, is the Gaussometer. At the end of the wooden stick is a hall-effect sensor which measures the presence of magnetic fields. This will allow for the comparison of the flux density, or magnet strength.
Third, is a device designed by Ken Wilmott to connect to my audio interface. You can sweep the frequency spectrum and map the frequency response (Q factor, Resonant Peak)
Lastly I have my trusty multimeter for DC resistence and an LCR meter for measuring the inductance. If anyone is interested I'll post more tech details and model info as I proceed.