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Another pickup question

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Another pickup question

Postby SecretSam » Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:15 pm

Does the presence or otherwise of a cover make much difference to a humbucker?

I was thinking of mixing a covered bridge pickup with a 'radiator' neck pickup just because I liked the look of it.

(Apologies to those of you who were expecting the thread to be about becoming more popular with women.)
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Re: Another pickup question

Postby Wonks » Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:42 pm

It makes a very small difference if it's a nickel cover, but a marked difference if it's a steel cover. Almost all covers are nickel or nickel-silver.

A cover adds a bit of extra capacitance, so you get a very slightly softer sound, but the main difference is that you can get the slug coil that bit nearer the strings with an uncovered pickup for a bit more output.

A cover also adds more shielding, so covered pickups are quieter in very electrically noisy environments.

But they do have to be properly fitted with wax between the bobbins and the cover to hold everything in place. Without wax, the top of the cover can vibrate very slightly with noise from the amp. So you then get a bit of metal vibrating in a magnetic field, which then induces a current through the pickup coils and that's one way you get a microphonic pickup. (The other is if the coil wires themselves vibrate if they are not wax potted or are badly potted).
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