Pickup positioning/Magnet interference?

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mgeek
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Pickup positioning/Magnet interference?

Post by mgeek » Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:09 pm

Anyone know if the magnetic interference caused by having pickups really close to each other will present any problems?

Working on a project at the moment with four pickups, and ideally I'd have them laid out in a kind of 2 bridge and 2 neck arrangement, butting right up against each other, but when I've done a kind of test positioning, the magnets are clearly sort of interacting if that makes sense?

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mbene085
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Re: Pickup positioning/Magnet interference?

Post by mbene085 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:53 pm

Short answer: yes, they interact.

Long answer: it may not be in a way you find negative. Two pickups near each other will sound different than they would in the absence of each others' magnetic fields. It also depends on how close they are placed to each other. The farther apart, the less impact. The weaker the magnets, the less the impact. But you can be disappointed if you expected the pickup to sound exactly as it did on its own.

Magnetic pull on the strings isn't even a simple case of "better" or "worse" for the two you'll have closest to the neck position. If they both have strong magnets, they will pull more on the strings than a single pickup would, but can actually produce less "strat-itis" due to the fact that the pull isn't at a single node on the string, but two. Bigger overall impact on the strings, but less of the most dreaded magnet-related issue.

So, my recommendation is to go with weaker magnets if you can, especially for the neck pickup (e.g. A2 or A3 vs A5 and ceramics) or low-magnetic-pull pickup designs. Or be prepared for some trial and error, because you won't be able to predict how your given pickups will sound when placed that close together.

It's not a bad idea at all. I'm a fan of jamming multiple pickups together. But yes, they will interact.

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Re: Pickup positioning/Magnet interference?

Post by mgeek » Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:40 pm

Brilliant, thank you very much, loads of food for thought there.

Reckon I'll wire it all up but tape the pickups on at first and shift them around a bit and see how it sounds.

One pair are Burns Tri Sonics, with bar magnets and chrome covers, the others are strattish with individual magnets, gonna do them on separate circuits with two separate outputs...probably sounds a bit odd but It'll make sense when I do the build thread ;)

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Re: Pickup positioning/Magnet interference?

Post by mbene085 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:34 pm

Oh man!! I had a prototype mapped out of a Marauder that was going to have a Burns mini-trisonic and a Wilde L202 tele neck pickup stuck together in the neck and bridge positions, for the ability to choose "noiseless Fender" tone, "burns" tone, or parallel and series hunbucker options.

The project never panned out for reasons I don't need to get into here, but I'm 100% a fan of your idea as it sounds like mine but with a stereo output element thrown in!

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Re: Pickup positioning/Magnet interference?

Post by mgeek » Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:47 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:34 pm
Oh man!! I had a prototype mapped out of a Marauder that was going to have a Burns mini-trisonic and a Wilde L202 tele neck pickup stuck together in the neck and bridge positions, for the ability to choose "noiseless Fender" tone, "burns" tone, or parallel and series hunbucker options.

The project never panned out for reasons I don't need to get into here, but I'm 100% a fan of your idea as it sounds like mine but with a stereo output element thrown in!
Thank you!

the stereo bit is gonna be really cool! It's just a concept at the moment, but can't wait to try it out...all will be revealed! The body and neck are glued together, pretty much done, just waiting for the various electrical bits and scratchplate material to arrive

I've had a few stereo guitars, and don't really feel like it's something that's been as thoroughly explored as it should be, there's so much potential for cool shit

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Re: Pickup positioning/Magnet interference?

Post by mbene085 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:13 pm

Yeah, I wired up my Rickenbacker 4003 knockoff for the proper stereo arrangement and it's a lot of fun. Definitely under-explored territory.

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Re: Pickup positioning/Magnet interference?

Post by mgeek » Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:35 pm

What combinations can you get like that? Never quite got to the bottom of how the Rick stereo thing works

I've had something where each of the three pickups has a L/R pan switch, and currently got an obscure south african guitar where you have a regular Bridge/both/neck arrangement, and the results of that switch are sent to a L/C/R pan switch. Then there's the Vox Phantom Stereo 12, where each pickup is split and you can do pretty much anything!

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Re: Pickup positioning/Magnet interference?

Post by antisymmetric » Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:08 am

I love stuff like this, looking forward to seeing the beast emerge! :ph34r:
Re pickup placement- trial and error, like mbene085 said. I have some 4 pickup guitars- on the Teisco et460 for example, 1&4 sound like a typical 2 pickup pairing, 1&2 or 3&4 both sound a bit "thicker" than the individual pickups (very hard to describe this subjectively), 1&3 and 2&4 get more into that Stratty thing because of the distance between them being close to Strat distances.
I've built one guitar with stereo- basically two pickups with an output jack each with a switch that links the jacks for mono use. I also have a cool set of Commodore stereo pickups which are split EAD/GBE (complete with a pickguard designed for fitting to archtops :wacko: ) They'd have been made before 1966, not sure who else would have been doing stuff like that back then. Still looking for the right project for them.
Watching the corners turn corners

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Re: Pickup positioning/Magnet interference?

Post by mgeek » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:21 pm

antisymmetric wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:08 am
I love stuff like this, looking forward to seeing the beast emerge! :ph34r:
Re pickup placement- trial and error, like mbene085 said. I have some 4 pickup guitars- on the Teisco et460 for example, 1&4 sound like a typical 2 pickup pairing, 1&2 or 3&4 both sound a bit "thicker" than the individual pickups (very hard to describe this subjectively), 1&3 and 2&4 get more into that Stratty thing because of the distance between them being close to Strat distances.
I've built one guitar with stereo- basically two pickups with an output jack each with a switch that links the jacks for mono use. I also have a cool set of Commodore stereo pickups which are split EAD/GBE (complete with a pickguard designed for fitting to archtops :wacko: ) They'd have been made before 1966, not sure who else would have been doing stuff like that back then. Still looking for the right project for them.

Ooh that all sounds cool. Hadn't thought about the 1+2 and 3+4 combinations... The commodore pickups sound really intriguing! You know I loveanything weird and wonderful like that... any chance of a pic?

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