Getting to know your pickup: a tool for measuring the frequency response of the impedance

Here is something very useful and special:

GITEC member Helmut Keller (an expert in instrumentation for studio acoustics/electronics, and for RF,  and an avid guitar player) has put together an exciting tool for measuring our pickups:

THE PICKUP WIZARD 🧙🏽‍♂️‼️

Contrary to all those more or less useless (but unfortunately ubiquitous) DC-resistance measurements that cannot really tell much about the image a pickup will paint sonically, what we have here is a scientifically sound, highly relevant measurement of how the AC-impedance evolves over the auditory frequency range. The result is probably THE most important clue of how a pickup sounds.

What’s more, Helmut’s tool requires merely an ordinary computer with a reasonably good sound card (or audio interface) to run a few programs, and a VERY simple hardware measurement adapter that can be built (that term is almost an exaggeration!) by basically anyone – because it consists of nothing more than a few jacks/plugs, a bit of cable, and a single resistor, plus a switch.

Best of all, Helmut has given his software (as well as the accompanying article/manual/explanation he has written up: Pickup Wizard 0.4) to GITEC to post them here – completely free of charge!! You can download everything as a zip file (Pickup_Wizard_Version_0.4), unzip it and sink your teeth (figuratively, please!) into getting some really significant measurements done!

By the way: those impatient ones that do not want to dwell much on science but like to dive into applying it right away, they may skip “the theory” in Chapters 2 – 5 of the article/manual/explanation and fast forward to Chapter 6: putting the measurement adapter together.

Helmut has tested the software at length with his WINDOWS machines, and at GITEC we have started to test it with LINUX operating systems, and on the Mac, as well. With LINUX, we are making much progress: it seems that there are no problems. We are still testing on Macs but are confident that success can be established on these machines too.

In any case, Helmut is happy to receive our feedback, and already plans to issue an updated “professionalized” version of the 🧙🏽‍♂️ soon. I liked Helmut’s contribution too much, though, to keep it from you and simply HAD to post it already now/here!

‘Nuff said!!

Here is all the material: Pickup_Wizard_Version_0.4

and here’s just the article/manual/explanation as a PDF-document for those who want to simply inform themselves first: Pickup Wizard 0.4

Measure away, then, and have fun while really exploring your pickups!

 

No more interference … how to decrease noise and hum in electric guitars

I am quite excited: Helmuth Lemme, honorary GITEC-member and well-known expert in “all things electric guitar” has made some articles available to us for publication. Helmuth has published books on the technical background of electric-guitar circuitry since the early 1970’s – among those interested in the topic in the German-speaking community, these books have legendary status! Unfortunately, only one of his oeuvre’s has made it to translation … but it’s available in its second, enhanced edition: “Electric Guitar – Sound Secrets and Technology”, ISBN 978-1-907920-87-5.

But enough of the author, let’s look at some content. The first article in our little “Helmuth Lemme”-series deals with getting rid a fair deal of that interference that electromagnetic pickups often are subjected to: hum and noise. Of course much interference is nicely taken care of by a humbucker, but what if you like that single-coil-sound your guitar has? Or if even the humbucker will not suppress noise sufficiently? Well there’s a lot than can be done, and in fact it can even be a great DIY-project, as is shown in Helmuth’s article.

However, that’s not the only aspect the article deals with – there’s more: info on cables and microphony is touched, as well.

So, check out the new article:

NO MORE INTERFERENCE!

P.S.: this article was originally issued in the magazine SUSTAIN (May, 2013); we appreciate being given the permission to re-publish it here!

 

 

 

While we’re waiting for the 3rd part of the article on Wide-Range Humbuckers: a little teaser …

It’s been quite a while since we posted the 2nd part of the article on the Fender Wide Range Humbucker … and it will be a while until we get to the 3rd part. In the meantime, and while you might be waiting, here’s a little teaser that also explains how some new hardware currently developed at GITEC will aid compiling the material for the 3rd part of the article.