Missed the prequel? Check it out here
The prequel discussed the design and manufacture of an innovative new approach to stacked P90s. This was dipping our toes into completely new ground with little idea of the outcome by taking a wild stab in the dark. We were pretty happy with the potential it showed.
The task: make a soapbar sized noiseless pickup set that imitated a '60s Jazzmaster neck pickup, and a bridge that was an approximation of our popular Cirrostratus Telecaster bridge pickup.
Again, like the prequel, we're drilling out the screw holes of the bobbins to allow alnico rods to be inserted - required to mimic both Jazzmaster and Tele pickups, which both utilise alnico rods. We're going for alnico 3 in the bridge, to keep consistent with the design of the Cirrostratus bridge, and alnico 5 in the neck for a nice sparkly Jazzmaster vibe.
The coils is where the unique craziness happens. We're using thicker than normal wire to compensate for the treble loss of double coil construction. The longer magnets we're using also introduces some treble over their shorter counterparts found in both Tele and Jazzmaster pickups, so the coils themselves can be wound bassier. As you can see, thick wire and lots of winds means every last little bit of that bobbin is filled to the brim!
Then we approach the sciency part. Why do humbuckers sound so different to single coils? One reason is phase cancellation. Phase cancellation happens because both coils are usually identical for maximum hum cancellation. The solution? Mismatch the coils enough for a tonal benefit, but not enough to jeopardise the hum cancellation. You can see the top coils (the ones which produce the vast majority of the output) are wider, with more turns of wire, to maximise output.
Alnico rods are then inserted through the two bobbins and the coils are wound in tape.
Then it's construction as usual. Under the covers they don't look so unusual, but the customer will be grateful when he's next gigging by some fluorescent lights!