General Outline

   In simplest terms, a magnetic instrument pickup consists of an insulation coated copper wire coil wound about a magnet assembly, or placed in close proximity to a magnetic field. The ultra-fine coil is built up over thousands of turns, and is often contained within a bobbin.
 To add to this simple description, the magnet assembly is often provided with some form of insulation to further isolate it from the coil windings. This 'added' insulation may take the form of lacquer, tape, or a molded plastic bobbin. Further comments about magnet/coil insulation may be found on the 'Questions' page.
For general introductory purposes, the above description will suffice.

Further information can be found at GM Arts Pickup Page.


    Pickup winding usually requires the bobbin to spin and draw hair-fine coil wire about it. Alternatively, a feed system could be contrived to wrap the wire about the stationary bobbin, thereby replicating the motion of winding entirely by hand. However, the former method is more common where the bobbin is rotated by a machine which is linked to a 'turns' counting device. During such winding operations, the wire is drawn under controlled tension exerted by hand, or a machine tensioner. For those looking for a 'step by step' handbook to create such a machine, Jason Lollar's Book, 'Basic Pickup Winding' (see update notice below) will prove informative. This web site offers other suggestions for those with some engineering skills and a little inventiveness.
Update: April, 05. Jason's book is no longer published and therefor unavailable, but his web site does offer other information.

    However, if you are a beginner with limited skills and equipment, you might take a look at my 'Woodshop Winder' project in the Autumn (Fall) 2000 Stewart MacDonald Guitar Shop Supply catalog. This winder is a simple, DC powered, rechargeable, reversible, low tech, low production machine which is well suited to constructors as a 'starting out' project.
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