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Unread 01-26-2012, 07:54 AM   #1
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Starting my first pickup builds

I'm just now setting up my workbench and winder, but I thought you guys would be interested in my journey into building pickups. Ultimately I am trying to go into production and sell them, however I've got a long way to go before I get to that point and am sure you guys would be interested in the process, and how i'm building my winder, etc. I have 3 prototypes I have designed...I am going to build those three first and get them perfected, get some clips posted and probably work on some more traditional models before I even think about going into production.

My three prototypes will be:
Venom (Humbucker, Bridge)
One blade coil
One hex screw coil (black oxide hex screws, bigger than Super Distortion hex screws, but not stupid big like an Invader)
Ceramic Magnet
The blade coil will be wound slightly more than the hex coil, this will made the hex coil a little brighter and the blade coil a little darker.

Breathtaker (Tele Bridge)
Wound to P90 specs (10,000 winds)
Big neodymium bar magnet
Zinc coated steel base plate
Large slugs
I originally wanted to make the actual slugs neodymium, which I may still try in the future, but there may be issues with pull on the strings by using neo slug magnets so I will first try with a nice neo bar magnet underneath the coil.

Paladin (Bass Pickup)
Two blade coils
One overwound, one underwound similar to the Venom
Ceramic Magnet
The bobbins will be encased in an EMG sized soapbar (test subject is an Ibanez SR505 with EMGs)


Update 3/05/12

Winder is ready, first few prototypes are in progress!

Here are the concept pics, so they are easier to find.





(Cover is optional)

and progress at last!


I should be ready to take orders in a few months and I will post a price list on my website shortly before I open for orders. I plan to keep pricing as reasonable as possible for a small handwound builder, but I want to wait just in case something changes...this way once prices are posted, I hopefully will not have to change them. I am thinking about having dealers for overseas, so if you would be interested in becoming a dealer, shoot me a PM or email. avernuspickups(at)gmail(dot)com.

Clips will be posted as soon as prototypes are completed to my liking.

Also, my website and Facebook are now up
www.avernuspickups.com
www.facebook.com/avernuspickups
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Unread 01-26-2012, 08:16 AM   #2
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Extremely cool, man! The tele pup in particular sounds like a cool concept.

You could try degaussing the neodynium to various extents to help with the string pull issue - i always wanted to pull that trick on my ceramics as i'm a bit of a low-output hippie

Let me know if you go commercial - i'd love to be able to say my neck pup was engineered and manufactured by someone i actually had words with .

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stamina requires constant upkeep,
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Unread 01-26-2012, 08:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quitty View Post
Extremely cool, man! The tele pup in particular sounds like a cool concept.

You could try degaussing the neodynium to various extents to help with the string pull issue - i always wanted to pull that trick on my ceramics as i'm a bit of a low-output hippie

Let me know if you go commercial - i'd love to be able to say my neck pup was engineered and manufactured by someone i actually had words with .
Actually, degaussing isn't a bad idea but it could mess with the pickups polarity. I am sure that is something I will experiment with...especially with some of the lower output pickups and neodymium. My biggest goal is to go commercial. I just graduated from college for manufacturing and electronics, and i'm tired of getting laid off...so I figure .... it, i'll start my own business doing something I truly enjoy. I can't lay myself off, well I guess I technically could but that would be pretty dumb.

I do have a facebook page up, Avernus Pickups | Facebook If this link isn't Ok i'll take it down...i'm not looking for sales, I am nowhere near ready to take orders.
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Unread 01-26-2012, 11:10 AM   #4
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When you develop a product, let me know. I'd love to help you out by becoming a customer.

Check out my band
soundcloud.com/a-stream-of-consciousness
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Unread 01-26-2012, 11:42 AM   #5
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Hehe. Looks like you're going to be coerced into going commercial long before you ever planned on it

"I WANT TO .... A UNICORN IN THE ASS WITH IT AND IMPREGNATE IT WITH MY METAL SEED!" ~FretWizard88

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Unread 01-26-2012, 04:36 PM   #6
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Workbench in progress! Not the prettiest....but it's a workbench! All of the wood is from pallets that were in my backyard when we moved in. I need some more plywood, and still need to grab some wood for the legs. The leg wood I was going to use wasn't very good, so it has saw horse legs for the time being.
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Unread 01-26-2012, 11:27 PM   #7
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I'll be more excitied when theres sound sample to listen to!
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Unread 01-27-2012, 12:34 AM   #8
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Sir your ambition has shed some light on my dark future. Engineering you say?

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Unread 01-27-2012, 01:57 AM   #9
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Ooo sounds exciting, I'll be keeping an eye out on this thread good sir.
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Unread 01-27-2012, 02:37 AM   #10
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Perhaps in the not too near future you will have a good number of us buying pickups from you! Best of luck to you, I will be following this thread.
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Unread 01-27-2012, 02:57 AM   #11
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looks like you're on your way. i'm curious to hear the tones your pickups are able to capture--in particular, i'm excited for a little darker sounding rail pickup.

just one suggestion: depending on how fast your winding speed is, the reed switch's moving part might not be able to keep up. if you find that to be true in your situation, an optical setup would be ideal at higher speeds.
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Unread 01-27-2012, 02:59 AM   #12
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It looks like you have a plan, all the best amigo!

Leave no stone unturned until I'm done.
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Unread 01-27-2012, 06:11 AM   #13
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Defo keen to hear how this comes out! I'm looking to put some new pups into a couple of my guitars, and I'd prefer to spend the money on a small business that's starting out (help the grass roots stores and all that) as long as the product is sound and unique. Definately a bit different to dropping a couple more Invaders into the axes lol.

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Unread 01-27-2012, 08:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonx View Post
I'll be more excitied when theres sound sample to listen to!
I can't wait to get to that point too! Still got a little bit to go, still waiting on my reed switch and neodymium to get here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by damigu View Post
depending on how fast your winding speed is, the reed switch's moving part might not be able to keep up. if you find that to be true in your situation, an optical setup would be ideal at higher speeds.
The drill i'm using as the "heart" of my winder is a 14.4v battery operated drill. The main reason for using a batter operated drill is because the base is wide and flat which made it much easier to mount to my winding table. I'm using a 12v power supply for it that makes it run a bit slower than it normally would. I don't think i'm going to have any problems with the reed switch, but I did study automation and robotics in school and we did a lot with optic sensors. They're a bit out of my price range right now, but in the future i'm sure i'll have a more complex setup.

Thanks for all the support everyone! It's pretty nice to see so much interested before i've even got my prototypes done.

Also, my former college teacher told me there is actually a government funded firm that gives help to start up businesses for free. It's called the Longwood Small Business Development Center, and I have now signed up for a couple of classes so it seems like this will soon become a legit LLC and I may actually be able to find financial backing through these classes as well.
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Unread 01-27-2012, 09:56 AM   #15
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Here is a small comparison for you guys. The first pickup is a GFS pickup I had rewound. It's got Neodymium magnets and I believe is 10kΩ The second pickup which comes in at the stop (21 seconds) is a Nordstrand NVT pickup which is CNC wound to vintage 50s Tele pickup specs and I believe it is also 10kΩ. The rewound pickup is in my G&L ASAT which has no tone knob, ash body, maple neck and fretboard. The Nordstrand is in my "swampcaster" (partscaster) Tele that has no tone knob, ash body, maple neck, and rosewood fretboard. So other than the fretboards they are nearly identical.

Both are running through a Poulin HiBrit, EQ is all at noon, and a TSE 808, no EQ, no compressor, no extra processing.

Neodymium VS Nordstrand by avernuspickups on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free

This is just an example of the clarity that Neodymium can give if used right. My "breathtaker" will be a bit darker, it will have 10,000 winds which is typical of a P90 soapbar rather than a telecaster pickup.
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Unread 01-27-2012, 10:16 AM   #16
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Hope it goes well for you, im a luthier from England so om always interested in new suppliers offering new sounds!!! ill be watching!!
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Unread 01-27-2012, 12:43 PM   #17
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I'll definitely be tuned in to this thread to check out your progress. The tele pickup especially sounds interesting.

Keep us posted on when you're ready to start taking orders!
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Unread 01-27-2012, 03:58 PM   #18
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Those pickups sound very close, the norstrand having a touch more high end. Maybe some clean samples would allow us to hear character a bit better.

Your breath-taker, going to be an ASAT sized pickup? (as in the G&L soaps)

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Unread 01-27-2012, 04:17 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirMyghin View Post
Those pickups sound very close, the norstrand having a touch more high end. Maybe some clean samples would allow us to hear character a bit better.

Your breath-taker, going to be an ASAT sized pickup? (as in the G&L soaps)
They do sound close, the Nordstrand has a touch more high end and overall sounds a bit more scooped. My G&L is an ASAT Classic and has standard tele pickups. The Breathtaker will be a standard Tele sized pickup, it will just have 10,000 winds like a P90 pickup.

Not shown in the clips but i'd also like to add the Neo pickup is much more harmonic rich. I often have trouble pulling off pinch harmonics on the Nordstrand but the Neodymium pickup is nearly effortless.
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Unread 01-27-2012, 04:26 PM   #20
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Cool stuff, I am not too likely to replace the bridge soap on my ASAT either way, those are phenomenal pickups . Interesting about the harmonics on the neodium, I would have expected the opposite given how ceramic magnets I have found to be harder to play harmonics than alnicos, which I attributed to strength of the magnet.

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Unread 01-27-2012, 06:03 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7deadlysins666 View Post
I don't think i'm going to have any problems with the reed switch, but I did study automation and robotics in school and we did a lot with optic sensors. They're a bit out of my price range right now, but in the future i'm sure i'll have a more complex setup.
if you know some electronics, then it can be done pretty easily using a cheap infrared LED and sensor that should be available in most electronics parts stores, and then set the output from the infrared sensor to trigger the counter you're using.
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Unread 01-27-2012, 10:04 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirMyghin View Post
Cool stuff, I am not too likely to replace the bridge soap on my ASAT either way, those are phenomenal pickups . Interesting about the harmonics on the neodium, I would have expected the opposite given how ceramic magnets I have found to be harder to play harmonics than alnicos, which I attributed to strength of the magnet.
I am a BIG fan of G&L in general, especially the ASAT with the soapbar style pickups. I don't own one but hope to have one soon.


I started working on the website today, not up and running yet, basically building most of it in photoshop then i'm going to slice it up and convert it to HTML.

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Unread 01-28-2012, 02:10 PM   #23
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Here is a new concept I have been working on while doing my website design.



It is basically identical to a Telecaster pickup, but will be made to fit humbucker sized guitars.
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Unread 01-29-2012, 05:48 PM   #24
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Do an 8 string version and I may have to buy one.


Check out my book: "Playing Guitar Musically: A Guide to Creativity on Guitar & Bass"
Buy the full book here. eBook - 5. Physical copies also available.
http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/4063031-post14.html
PM me if you want to discuss it or just fancy a chat.

I also give lessons over Skype, Bandhappy and within the Lothians.
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Unread 01-29-2012, 06:18 PM   #25
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What would be the rough price range for a set of these?
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