I made this guitar for my Berlin-II guitar. Nothing in it is conventional:
- The case is made of wood. These are custom pickups made to order, so you can decide the species.
- As you’ll see in a moment, it needs a lot of room inside. So, I changed my fabrication methods to make a thinner wooden case. And, as usual in my pickups, the wire is wound in bobbins without shoulders: the only thing in them that is not copper is the tiny bakelite core, which is smaller than what I use most times for pickups this size because the polepieces are thinner.
- Why do I need so much room inside? Well, the coils in this pickup are huge. I used AWG38 (0.1 mm) wire, which is the same that was used for the first Charlie Christian pickups. So you see that my intention was to put two CC coils inside a conventional humbucker case. If you wonder why I decided to use wider instead of thicker coils there are two reasons: first, thick pickups place the magnet far from the strings, which reduces the power. Second, thick coils don’t have as much inductance as thin coils for the same number of turns and coil area. But low inductance leads to thin-sounding pickups, so that’s not the way to go (however, thin polepieces don’t raise the inductance as much as thicker polepieces, so you see that there are compromises everywhere). In the end, I managed to keep the proportions not very different from those in the original CC pickup. The magnetic field at the strings is not as high as in other thinner pickups, but original CC pickups were quite weak also despite the size of the magnet, even when new.
- With all this copper in them, the weight is around 200 grams. A Gibson Classic 57 with its metal cover is around 145 grams.
- This is not a CC pickup. The dissimilarities are a lot, it’s easy to see. My intention was to make a humbucker with an inductance similar to most PAF pickups, but using a much thicker wire to get some of the musical characteristics of the CC.