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Cheap vs expensive pickups
Old 6th February 2012
Gear Maniac
🎧 15 years
Cheap vs expensive pickups

In the dark winter months Ive been getting busy changing out pickups in a few of my budget guitars, and Ive gotten to wondering.

I do of course notice a difference when taking out cheap pickups from a Chinese guitar and replacing them with Duncans. Although admiteddly when I replaced stock SX pickups in a P-bass with Fenders, I didnt notice any.

What I wonder, though is WHY?

Surely a pickup, particularly a single coil variety, is little more than a few magnets, and a few thousand turns of copper wire wrapped around it. Surely it is very easy to analyse what makes a Seymour Duncan or whatever sound good (surely it cant be much more than the amount of turns of the wire, what other variable is there?) , and copy that, selling it for as little as ten dollars or so?

I can appreciate that complex things like Microphones, Compressors, and so on, must have huge differences in quality, But what is it about pickups that does this, given that they are practically the only audio transducer an unskilled person could make themselves at home?
Old 7th February 2012
Gear Maniac
duff mcshark's Avatar
🎧 10 years
The magnet is the only thing I can think of, unless they're using inferior copper or fewer turns on the cheaper pickups. I wish I had a better answer but it would have to be either inferior parts or not enough of them.

Sent from my C771 using Gearslutz.com
Old 7th February 2012
Lives for gear
Bad Machinery's Avatar
🎧 5 years
Rare earth magnets are more expensive than ceramic magnets. Simple than that.
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