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Testing pickup polarity with a multimeter.

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Testing pickup polarity with a multimeter.

Postby Wonks » Sun Nov 17, 2019 1:50 pm

I've just been pointed to this helpful video on how to test pickup polarity (say 'phase' if you must) just using a multimeter.

https://youtu.be/OcuvBRZPpow

Very worthwhile if you are mixing and matching pickups from different manufacturers, or different types of pickups. Can save having to resolder your pickups, which is especially useful if you are fitting them in a semi- or fully-hollow body guitar with pots going in (and out) via the F-holes. Can also save having to fit a new set of strings on some guitars with scratchplate mounted pots.
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Re: Testing pickup polarity with a multimeter.

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:01 pm

That's a quick but clever test - thanks for bringing it to our attention Wonks! :thumbup:


Martin
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Re: Testing pickup polarity with a multimeter.

Postby resistorman » Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:31 pm

Interesting! Thanks...
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Re: Testing pickup polarity with a multimeter.

Postby Folderol » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:29 pm

Very neat. Like it :thumbup:
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Re: Testing pickup polarity with a multimeter.

Postby zenguitar » Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:59 pm

Just got around to watching. And it’s bookmarked just in case I forget. But it is very simple and easy to remember.

Thanks for the link :clap:

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Testing pickup polarity with a multimeter.

Postby Wonks » Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:15 pm

The steel ruler must create a very low frequency wave of around 0.5Hz to 1Hz or so, very close to a DC voltage. Some voltage/current is produced in the coil which either briefly adds to or detracts from the test current/voltage produced by the multimeter depending on the pickup's polarity. A positive voltage would add to the voltage passing through the coil, which would otherwise indicate a lower DC resistance, so the reading drops. A negative voltage would give a lower overall measured voltage, thus indicating to the meter that there's a a higher DC resistance, so the reading rises.
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Re: Testing pickup polarity with a multimeter.

Postby adrian_k » Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:28 pm

Beautiful :clap:
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Re: Testing pickup polarity with a multimeter.

Postby ef37a » Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:35 am

I remember reading about this technique in a book by Donald Brosnac but he used an analogue meter (Taylor iirc) did not know it would work with a DMM.

So, good intel!

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Re: Testing pickup polarity with a multimeter.

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:30 am

An analogue meter would be easy to read.
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