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Old 14th April 2005, 12:16 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Los Angeles
Default pickup buliding for toy guitar?

Hello,

I 'm new here and looking to build a very simple project.

I have a plastic $10 guitar (that hardly keeps tune) but it has metal strings.
I want to build a simple pick up for it. Something like wire wrapped around a metal rod with a 1/4 inch jack.
This toy guitar also has a mic input (came with a cheapo mic). Perhaps the pickup could be comined with that input for gain?

I placed a 1/4 cable (plugged into my amp) near the strings, or to pull on the strings, which produced lots of noise but some nice tones. So I think there's promise.

I do not know how to build this wire-rod thing. I tried but am not getting any signal. Like the build of this toy, simple and cheap would be key.
Perhaps one of you knows how?

Thanks
Peter
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Old 14th April 2005, 02:15 AM   #2
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Lansing, Michigan
Seems like a lot of work to wind a pickup for this toy. You can buy pickups for acoustic guitars that are made to mount in the sound hole. Something like that could be adapted. I would consider a mic type pickup as also used in acoustic guitars. Mount a small mic element on the top of the guitar or even a piezo sensor, and mount an apprropriate connector.
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Old 14th April 2005, 03:51 AM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Columbia, SC
The trouble with your arrangement is that your rod is just that...a rod. It should be a magnet.
Once you begin winding wire on a magnet, you will find yourself facing a veritable forest of decisions:
--One large magnet, or several smaller ones?
--Gauge of wire?
--Number of turns?
--Adjustable pole pieces or fixed?
--Humbucking or single coil?...etc. etc. etc.
Note that I'm not saying you shouldn't do it. Anyone who has an interest in guitars and electronics should give it a whirl. I build basses from raw sawmill planks all the way up, including winding my own pickups and designing the active electronics. Your situation need not be that complicated.
Go for it. Magnets are cheap. Wire is cheap.

Grey

HINT: Borrow a sewing machine and use the bobbin winding gizmo to do the actual labor. Much faster and easier than hand winding, just be careful with the wire tension if you're using 40 ga. wire. If you intend to feed the wire through your hand, wear leather gloves. Enjoy.
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Old 14th April 2005, 08:26 AM   #4
Optical is offline Optical  New Zealand
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
yeah, jut go for it, when i was a kid i wound lots of copper wire around a small magnetic rod and stuck it under a metal string strung up on a plank of wood.. in hindsight it worked much better than i expected

on the other hand why dont you just but a cheap pickup or even a cheap real electric guitar?
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