According to Pete - DIY Guitar Pickups

Check out this month's second installment of "According to Pete!"

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Today we have the second August edition of "According to Pete." If you missed the first installment this month, you can watch it here. Or, if you really need a Pete fix, check out the "According to Pete" YouTube playlist.

Vimeo version found here.

Today, Pete revisits his guitar pickup project. This time - it works! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to to leave them in the comments section below. Enjoy!

Comments 23 comments

  • I've already got 2 "dislike's". Sweet! If I get enough, maybe I can stop making these videos...?

    • Not a chance...

    • If you did that then we couldn't hock all this Pete merch, could we?

    • ... wait... did I just hear someone complain about being paid to tinker on projects they want to do?

      Besides, dislikes on YouTube are like the voices in your head. They're always negative and if you take them seriously, you'll probably go insane. (heh, a stretch and a little weird, but I couldn't think of another simile)

      • I'm not complaining about working on projects. Are you kidding? This is the only way I can justify working on them! (though I don't think anybody wants to watch me build a tube amp) I'm complaining about having to present them to the world every 2 weeks. That, and being short.

        • Heh, just making sure because I'm sure a lot of EE's are jealous.

          Either way, you've got a talent for being entertaining (the short thing helps :-P) and I hope you keep it up. I'm sure it'll get easier to make these over time.

    • Well those dislikes could be just for the annoying number of disjointed jump cuts. I know I found them rather annoying, especially in the first few minutes of the video.

    • Those dislikes were a test so Nate could gauge your reaction. You've failed. Back to the ATP video dungeon!

    • If it make you feel better, I prefer Engineering Roundtable to ATP...

  • You can find more pickups on surface transducers . I think mic should work better with acoustic guitars . has great reviews about it .

  • Most pickups available are indeed surface transducers. But mics could work better for acoustics. Would be interesting to see the 2 combined in a multi-source system.

  • speaking of feedback, since that is a transducer you could make a sweet feedbacker like a sustainiac and get infinite sustain or harmonic feedback.

  • A few points:

    1) Battery noise is so low that they are used when ultra low noise power supplies are required. 2) The opamp PSRR will reject all but fairly high power supply noise levels. 3) While the CMRR spec of the opamp is fair, any mismatch in your gain setting resistors will make it worse. Instrumentation amplifiers (AD623, INA122, etc.) have outstanding CMRR because they are laser trimmed. 4) This sensor looks (electrically) a lot like a moving coil phono cartridge. An amplifier designed for that application (without RIAA eq) might be better. 5) How can the opamp tell the difference between power of: Vcc, 0, -Vcc and 2Vcc, Vcc, 0? (It can't.)

  • Is that Unknown Hinson?

  • It is possible to use one OPAMP with a single suply. I usually use another operational with high output current in a buffer configuration as a reference

    • Yeah, I thought as much while looking at the circuit. And I think you could get away with setting the reference with a pair of resistors, provided that their parallel resistance was 100K (So 200K each, yeah?).

  • Pete - I did something like this in high school for my acoustic guitar using one of those piezo elements that Radio shack sold, you know when they used to sell components. Anyways the sound was similar to want you showed at the end of the video. The biggest thing I found was that the frequency response range was just not right. The low E starts at around 82Hz, while the transducers range starts at 300Hz. I don't think that you'll get the rich sounds that you're looking for with this transducer.

  • No! No! Show the full algebraic equation! For it is not ugly, but beautiful.

  • Out on the points of the "V," it doesn't sound entirely unlike a banjo.

    Also, I had high hopes for this after seeing that waveform the other week but I'm still pleasantly surprised by the sound.

  • Treating an inductive transducer leads to problems with internal C creating resonances. I hit the same problem designing magnetic credit card readers.

    Instead, simplify the circuit to a current to voltage converter, where the pickup is working into a virtual short. Now only the winding resistance remains, and the Q of any internal resonance is much lower.

  • This will come in handy for my Slaperoo project!

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