Understanding Pickup DCR

Coys1123

Member
Messages
60
I have a Telecaster equipped with Vintage Noiseless PuPs. I actually really like the bridge PuP but have always hated the neck.

I was thinking of installing a Humbucker in the neck, the Lambertone Crema. It's a bright awesome sounding pup.

However, I don't know much about DCR and matching PuPs.


The Vintage Noiseless Bridge PuP has a DCR of 8.5k and the Crema neck just 3.55k.


What does this mean exactly? Does a gap this wide mean the volume matching between the two would be too difficult? Do I need to find something closer to the 8.5 of the Bridge PuP? Does it not matter at all?

Thanks.
 

xmd5a

Member
Messages
2,097
The DC resistances is a near meaningless spec that pickup makers publish in order to confuse people.

It's common knowledge that all pickups are either quiet and clean, or loud and dark, and that you rarely see a pickup that somehow manages to be both, within conventional parameter. Always a trade off. So there is a number that represents this sliding scale; inductance. The inductance of a handful of pickups can be found with Google, but for the most part it's a value that is kept from the public since it reduced pickups to much simpler terms than the people who make and sell them would like.

For the purpose of output matching, the DC resistance values you have on hand are of no use, but that being said, there is rarely a volume mismatch that can't be fixed by adjusting the height of the pickups.
 

Coys1123

Member
Messages
60
The DC resistances is a near meaningless spec that pickup makers publish in order to confuse people.

It's common knowledge that all pickups are either quiet and clean, or loud and dark, and that you rarely see a pickup that somehow manages to be both, within conventional parameter. Always a trade off. So there is a number that represents this sliding scale; inductance. The inductance of a handful of pickups can be found with Google, but for the most part it's a value that is kept from the public since it reduced pickups to much simpler terms than the people who make and sell them would like.

For the purpose of output matching, the DC resistance values you have on hand are of no use, but that being said, there is rarely a volume mismatch that can't be fixed by adjusting the height of the pickups.
Okay so probably nothing to worry about! I do know the Crema is a lower output humbucker that is almost single coil like anyways so it's probably a non issue! Thanks!
 

Go Cat Go!!

Member
Messages
6,336
The Dimarzio HS-3 has a huge resistance. Going by the that you would think it's a ultra high output pickup but it's not. It's actually rather low output and versatile.
 

Tony Done

Member
Messages
5,324
DCR is a rough indicator of output and brightness, within a given type of pickup. High DCR - louder, warmer, low DCR, quieter, brighter. For example, in humbuckers I wouldn't be looking at pickups more than 10K DCR, because I want them in the PAF range, but there are other factors to be considered, such as cover material and magnet type.
 

xmd5a

Member
Messages
2,097
The main reason DC is a bad metric is because its dependent on the coil wire gauge. If two pickups of a given type both have 8,000 turns of wire, they will function nearly identically, even if one has 42 AWG on the bobbin and the other has 44 AWG. The inductance of these two pickups would be nearly the same, and they would sound the same, but the DC resistance would be vastly different.
 

Juan Wayne

Member
Messages
679
The DC resistances is a near meaningless spec that pickup makers publish in order to confuse people.

It's common knowledge that all pickups are either quiet and clean, or loud and dark, and that you rarely see a pickup that somehow manages to be both, within conventional parameter. Always a trade off. So there is a number that represents this sliding scale; inductance. The inductance of a handful of pickups can be found with Google, but for the most part it's a value that is kept from the public since it reduced pickups to much simpler terms than the people who make and sell them would like.

For the purpose of output matching, the DC resistance values you have on hand are of no use, but that being said, there is rarely a volume mismatch that can't be fixed by adjusting the height of the pickups.
Golspel right here!

The main reason DC is a bad metric is because its dependent on the coil wire gauge. If two pickups of a given type both have 8,000 turns of wire, they will function nearly identically, even if one has 42 AWG on the bobbin and the other has 44 AWG. The inductance of these two pickups would be nearly the same, and they would sound the same, but the DC resistance would be vastly different.
Edit: me stink, must pay attention before talking nonsense. I should know better.

This is not exactly accurate. 8000 turns of 44 AWG and 8000 of 42 AWG should have theoretically the same inductance, yes, and in consequence, provided all other variables remain identical, comparable output voltages.

They won't sound the same though, since the difference in resistance between both will modify the cutoff frequency and thus resonant peak in both frequency and amplitude. This is even disregarding parasitic capacitance. Then even the isolating coat would come into play here.

I do see your point though, and it's true, DRC comparison is only valid as a primordial way of comparing the length of wire used on two pickups with the exact same wire, not only in gauge but the exact same material, which affects specific resistivity.

Hell the bridge pickup on my Jaguar is 11.45k. Folk would assume all sorts of wrong stuff from that reading alone.
 
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wetordry

Member
Messages
4,499
I think you could match up a set within a product line with the numbers, and work up what bridge, middle, and neck will work together, but my ssl-5 bridge is over 13k and and my Tex Mex bridge is at 7k.
Within reason, they both sound like a typical overwound strat pickup.
 

Tony Done

Member
Messages
5,324
The main reason DC is a bad metric is because its dependent on the coil wire gauge. If two pickups of a given type both have 8,000 turns of wire, they will function nearly identically, even if one has 42 AWG on the bobbin and the other has 44 AWG. The inductance of these two pickups would be nearly the same, and they would sound the same, but the DC resistance would be vastly different.
Which pickups are using 44? IIRC, trad tele bridge pickups use 43, but apart from that, I was under the impression that almost everything else used 42 these days.
 

xmd5a

Member
Messages
2,097
They won't sound the same though, since the difference in resistance between both will modify the cutoff frequency and thus resonant peak in both frequency and amplitude. This is even disregarding parasitic capacitance. Then even the isolating coat would come into play here.
The resistance doesn't impact the cut off frequency. In an RLC circuit, the frequency is determined by L and C, while R determines the Q factor. The capacitance might differ, but it might not, and it's much less of a factor than is the inductance.
 

Tiny Montgomery

Supporting Member
Messages
8,555
A lot of people learned, relatively recently, that DCR isn’t the only factor that matters (there must have been an article, or something). Some binary thinkers have decided that means it doesn’t matter at all.

All other things being equal, DCR will tell you the output. Just because comparing PAF’s and Tele pickups is apples and oranges doesn’t mean the DCR never matters.
 

Juan Wayne

Member
Messages
679
The resistance doesn't impact the cut off frequency. In an RLC circuit, the frequency is determined by L and C, while R determines the Q factor. The capacitance might differ, but it might not, and it's much less of a factor than is the inductance.
That's what I get for talking out of my ass while at work. At some point I started thinking cable length and parasitic capacitance, longer cable, lower cutoff freq...

I know, I'm a boob.
 

Drak

Member
Messages
5,061
DCR by itself tells essentially nothing about a pickup.
Just out of curiosity...Wasn't that a rather flippantly dickish reply?
You're a custom pickup winder, ...and that's the answer you toss out like a used condom?
That reply represents you as a custom pickup winder?
I think you can do much better. WAY better than that.
 

Tony Done

Member
Messages
5,324
The big hairy 16k+ humbuckers, JB, SD, and so on. If the design exceeds ~6000 winds per bobbin (winds not ohms), 43AWG physically doesn't fit on a conventional sized bobbin, so have to go the thinner wire.
That got me wondering about Gibson P100s. They are about 9k, but parallel wired, which means that the two coils must be about 18K each. That's a lot of wire.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is my prewar Rick horseshoe. These used 36 AWG, a huge coil with a resistance of about 2.2 K and an output similar to a hot strat SC. What it does have is a very clean "crystalline" quality, like the difference between an analog and a digital pic.
 

Silver Hand

Member
Messages
607
Just out of curiosity...Wasn't that a rather flippantly dickish reply?
You're a custom pickup winder, ...and that's the answer you toss out like a used condom?
That reply represents you as a custom pickup winder?
I think you can do much better. WAY better than that.
That definitely wasn't my intention. I just wanted to get the idea out there before any inaccurate information about DCR got discussed. As I was typing my post, someone posted more details about what I brought up. Explaining it again would be pointless, so I agreed with it instead.

If you are actually concerned with how I'm represented on these forums, or if I can do "better" by your standards, my post history is public, so you're welcome to do so.
 

Sweetfinger

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,973
DCR can tell you some things about a pickup and can be used to compare pickups of similar construction. The OP, however, is comparing two very different types of pickup and DCR isn't really going to tell him much. Put the pickup you want in the neck and enjoy, or not.
 
Messages
732
That got me wondering about Gibson P100s. They are about 9k, but parallel wired, which means that the two coils must be about 18K each. That's a lot of wire...
Wow that is a lot of wire! P90 is ~10000 turns of 42AWG. 18k of wire on that bobbin would be getting near ~14000 turns of 44AWG, 42AWG isn't going to fit.

Coil Estimator is great for playing about with numbers.

...At the opposite end of the spectrum is my prewar Rick horseshoe. These used 36 AWG, a huge coil with a resistance of about 2.2 K and an output similar to a hot strat SC. What it does have is a very clean "crystalline" quality, like the difference between an analog and a digital pic.
I've never experienced such a pickup, that and the original Charlie Christian (38AWG?), I should like to do so some day, sounds interesting.
 

Tony Done

Member
Messages
5,324
Wow that is a lot of wire! P90 is ~10000 turns of 42AWG. 18k of wire on that bobbin would be getting near ~14000 turns of 44AWG, 42AWG isn't going to fit.

Coil Estimator is great for playing about with numbers.



I've never experienced such a pickup, that and the original Charlie Christian (38AWG?), I should like to do so some day, sounds interesting.
Thanks for the link, I like playing with numbers. :)
 


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