Saturday, February 03, 2007

Pickup Science

I've started looking at guitar pickups.

No, Crowley and Tripp do not plan to produce pickups or even work on them much. The pickup works by varying the magnetic field through/at/around a stationary coil of wire with a moving ferrous object, such as a guitar string.

That's one reason why you won't see many nylon stringed Stratocasters. Carbon nanotube stringed electric guitars have been discussed and there may be some intriguing advantages, like long life and resistance to stretch,but there would have to be some way to impart a ferromagnetic property to the nanotube string to get it to work, at least with conventional pickups. And the sound would be very different, though, it might be a good sound - you never know until you try it. Interesting to think about anyway.

Ribbon microphones use a non ferrous moving object - the ribbon - which is connected as one turn of a coil to another device, such as a transformer. The requirements for the ribbon are vastly different than for a guitar string.

This is a shot of a very inexpensive guitar that I got on ebay to steal parts from, but it played so well that I keep it as a kickaround in my basement radio room, not far from the tube checker.

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