Thorium pickups?

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Big Frank
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Thorium pickups?

Postby Big Frank » Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:28 am

after the tease two weeks ago at the end of the live feed, I expected some kind of official announcement of the long awaited Thorium pickups ... Are they available yet, or am I hallucinating?

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Re: Thorium pickups?

Postby gumbynotpokey » Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:04 pm

Big Frank wrote:after the tease two weeks ago at the end of the live feed, I expected some kind of official announcement of the long awaited Thorium pickups ... Are they available yet, or am I hallucinating?


This might be an interesting place to start....

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=48576&hilit=thorium&start=20#p623514
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Re: Thorium pickups?

Postby spudmunkey » Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:16 pm

gumbynotpokey wrote:
Big Frank wrote:after the tease two weeks ago at the end of the live feed, I expected some kind of official announcement of the long awaited Thorium pickups ... Are they available yet, or am I hallucinating?


This might be an interesting place to start....

http://www.kieselguitarsbbs.com/viewtop ... 20#p623514


In a live Facebook factory walk through about 2 weeks ago, Jeff picked up a guitar and held it up to the camera. An eagle-eyed fanatic noticed that the pickup didn't have the normal Lithium setup of one row of torx screws and one row of solid slugs... but instead had two rows of torx screws.

I don't know if there was any mention from Jeff about them, though. It almost seemed like an accident.

If they weren't announced for NAMM, it's possible they still aren't ready. These might have been prototypes to be sent to an artist to try out :think:
Last edited by spudmunkey on Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Thorium pickups?

Postby spudmunkey » Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:32 pm

Actually... I misunderstood the story because I hadn't seen the video. Jeff literally held up the guitar for the camera and said "does anybody notice what's different? does anybody realize what just happened?" or something along those lines.

Screenshot_20180701-132926.png
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Re: Thorium pickups?

Postby gumbynotpokey » Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:54 pm

spudmunkey wrote:Actually... I misunderstood the story because I hadn't seen the video. Jeff literally held up the guitar for the camera and said "does anybody notice what's different? does anybody realize what just happened?" or something along those lines.

Screenshot_20180701-132926.png


Hilarious.

Snark answers: "No". And then reasons, "They were announced so long ago the continuity of that vague topic/question has no meaning for the average viewer on their social media." Afterall, there aren't 22 pole pieces so the legacy buyers have no reply. etc etc.

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Re: Thorium pickups?

Postby spudmunkey » Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:01 pm

I can't say I don't agree, but i do feel like Jeff sees the community of folks who follow their live vids on facebook are a bit of a smaller, more dedicated community... like a group of friends that have inside jokes, etc.

That tease was in the 38th minute of a live facebook video on a Tuesday afternoon. That tease and that line was an "inside" tongue in cheek joke for those dedicated followers, who ask , "any update on the Thoriums" several times every single weekly Q&A. :lol:

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Re: Thorium pickups?

Postby gumbynotpokey » Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:06 pm

spudmunkey wrote:I can't say I don't agree, but i do feel like Jeff sees the community of folks who follow their live vids on facebook are a bit of a smaller, more dedicated community... like a group of friends that have inside jokes, etc.

That tease was in the 38th minute of a live facebook video on a Tuesday afternoon. That tease and that line was an "inside" tongue in cheek joke for those dedicated followers, who ask , "any update on the Thoriums" several times every single weekly Q&A. :lol:


The people still following this line of soap opera suspense since 2016 are enthralled, I am sure. And yet you are also correct that the 118 bedroom warriors tuning in during work hours and also catching the 38th minute after dinner on the replay - who tease this regularly - might get a bit let down when the release happens (ending as such, not a poor product).

You sure can't say he doesn't innovate, that's for sure. What a monumental set of accomplishments he has led. :)
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Re: Thorium pickups?

Postby Doctor Turn » Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:27 am

Lol.
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Re: Thorium pickups?

Postby spudmunkey » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:22 pm

In the last Q&A video, he mentioned that the bridge pickup is done, but the neck pickup isn't ready for prime time yet.

Ceramic magnets.

"They sound PISSED OFF!"

Output around 20K.

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Re: Thorium pickups?

Postby UnexplodedCow » Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:59 am

spudmunkey wrote:In the last Q&A video, he mentioned that the bridge pickup is done, but the neck pickup isn't ready for prime time yet.

Ceramic magnets.

"They sound PISSED OFF!"

Output around 20K.


I wonder what gauge of wire they're using to get a DCR of 20k ohms. Also, DCR does not equal output. I wish winders would put out better specs, so people have a more universal understanding of output. Like...mv of output at certain frequencies. That'd be nice.

Blindly guessing on the 20k DCR spec and ceramic magnets (of unknown strength), I'm going to guess that they'll sound like an overwound pickup, and am imagining something in between a JB and D-activator. Random guess.
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Re: Thorium pickups?

Postby spudmunkey » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:57 am

Yeah, expressing "output" in resistance isn't technically accurate, and even the temperature of the pickup will affect the resistance...but it's shorthand and at least gets you in the relative ballpark when comparing two pickups.

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Re: Thorium pickups?

Postby Cynical » Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:44 pm

20k is probably a 45 awg wind similar to the Super3 or War Pig.

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Re: Thorium pickups?

Postby GuitFiddle » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:57 pm

Inductance is a very helpful number. Almost no picup mfgs provide it.
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Re: Thorium pickups?

Postby UnexplodedCow » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:24 pm

spudmunkey wrote:Yeah, expressing "output" in resistance isn't technically accurate, and even the temperature of the pickup will affect the resistance...but it's shorthand and at least gets you in the relative ballpark when comparing two pickups.


Sort of.

Perfect examples:

The AP11 vs S60A. The AP11 has a DCR of 4.3K, while the S60A is 6.8K. Additionally, the AP11 has 2.3 henries of inductance, while the S60A is rated at 2.6H. Not a huge difference in inductance (.3 is not much at all in pickups). However, the wind DCR is significantly different, *AND* the lower DCR pickup is typically known for higher output (and I'll back that based on edge-of-breakup sounds in amps).
Simply put, the AP11, despite (in single coil terms) a fairly significantly lower DCR, manages higher output. I would love to measure the pickups with an oscilloscope to see which one actually produces greater voltage, but my money would still be on the AP11.

Food for thought.

Perhaps X2N may also be in that arena of super-high-wind pickups.
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Re: Thorium pickups?

Postby Cynical » Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:13 pm

The X2N's power comes more from its magnetic circuit than its wind; its field is so strong that it comes with a piece of paper warning you that you have to set it lower than a normal pickup or it'll bend your strings out-of-tune.

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Re: Thorium pickups?

Postby HarlowTheFish » Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:31 pm

I used to have D-Activator Xs in an Epi a few years ago, and those said to back it off at least 1/8" or it would not perform to manufacturer specs.

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Re: Thorium pickups?

Postby Doctor Turn » Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:23 am

Ah, the semi-annual DC Resistance Is Not The Full-Picture-Of-Output discussion... it reminds me of the Phase Switch Is Really A Polarity Switch discussion.. I think these discussions get prompted via pollen levels, or maybe the spraying that goes on up in the clouds when we sleep. :lol:

A nice, personality-free discussion of the output measurement issue is here on the Fralin page.

UNDERSTANDING D.C. RESISTANCE FOR GUITAR PICKUPS
D.C. Resistance, or a pickup’s Ohm reading, is not the “Holy Grail” of understanding a pickup’s output – it will give you a rough understanding.

On occasion, we get a customer’s email stating that “their 8.2K Pure P.A.F. bridge reads 8K – What’s Wrong?” The answer is simply “Nothing at all.” There are a lot of variables that can make the same pickup provide different readings. However, there are more important things to take note of – at Fralin Pickups, we count turns rather than rely on ohm readings. Let’s learn a little bit about Ohm readings and what they mean for your guitar’s pickups:

WHY ARE OHM READINGS IMPORTANT?
An Ohm reading shows the D.C. resistance of pushing electrical current through the pickup. It does not define the output of the pickup. The output of the pickup is affected by the number of turns of wire, and the magnet strength.

Ohm readings are a useful way of roughly measuring the output between identical pickup designs. This means comparing a Telecaster Bridge to another Telecaster Bridge, or a Stratocaster Neck to another Stratocaster Neck. For example, if you were to take a reading of a Vintage Hot Strat Neck (6K) and compare it to a Blues Special Strat Neck (6.3K), you’ll be able to confidently tell that the Blues Special will give you more output. This is true – the Blues Special has 5% more turns than the Vintage Hot, and roughly 5% more output.

The same applies to Humbuckers, which are normally measured by their ohm readings. A 9K humbucker will be higher output and louder than an 8K.




It's not for nothing that pickup winders list the ohms of their pickups when listing and distinguish them one versus another--it absolutely is a useful and reliable indicator of how loud and how hard one pickup is going to push your amplifier, especially when other aspects of the pups construction have already been apprehended.
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Re: Thorium pickups?

Postby Cynical » Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:05 am

Doctor Turn wrote:It's not for nothing that pickup winders list the ohms of their pickups when listing and distinguish them one versus another

Bill Lawrence doesn't -- he lists induction, but not DCR ;-)
http://www.billlawrence.com/Pages/Picku ... uation.htm

Using DCR as a proxy for number of winds can be misleading for lots of reasons. For one, if you don't know the gauge of wire, you can't deduce roughly how many winds are on a pickup by DCR alone, and certain DCR ranges (~15k, ~18k) are hard to guess. For another, the shape of the bobbin changes the relationship between DCR and number of winds, however induction is a result of number of winds -- this is why 7 and 8 string pickups always have crazy-high DCRs despite not having more output than their 6-string brethren. Also, it's possible to create a wind pattern that uses significantly more wire for the same amount of turns, raising DCR without raising output at all; Bare Knuckle's "scatter wind" pattern is an example of this (it's a part of why BKs are generally so anemic sounding, most of them are effectively really underwound versions of Duncans or Dimarzios).

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Re: Thorium pickups?

Postby UnexplodedCow » Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:18 am

Cynical wrote:
Doctor Turn wrote:It's not for nothing that pickup winders list the ohms of their pickups when listing and distinguish them one versus another

Bill Lawrence doesn't -- he lists induction, but not DCR ;-)
http://www.billlawrence.com/Pages/Picku ... uation.htm

Using DCR as a proxy for number of winds can be misleading for lots of reasons. For one, if you don't know the gauge of wire, you can't deduce roughly how many winds are on a pickup by DCR alone, and certain DCR ranges (~15k, ~18k) are hard to guess. For another, the shape of the bobbin changes the relationship between DCR and number of winds, however induction is a result of number of winds -- this is why 7 and 8 string pickups always have crazy-high DCRs despite not having more output than their 6-string brethren. Also, it's possible to create a wind pattern that uses significantly more wire for the same amount of turns, raising DCR without raising output at all; Bare Knuckle's "scatter wind" pattern is an example of this (it's a part of why BKs are generally so anemic sounding, most of them are effectively really underwound versions of Duncans or Dimarzios).


THIS - very much! Reading some of Bill's past articles was very informative. I used to be stymied by DCR readings with pickups, as a youngster doing pickup swaps. Once I learned that inductance matters more, I was able to match pickup output much more closely, as well as have a better understanding of how the things work, as well as guess the basic sound of the pickup. DCR is helpful, but I actually look more at inductance and resonant frequency. It is why I've looked at pickup specs of, say, the M22N, and stated that it could also work well as a mellow bridge pickup.

The very first sentence on that Fralin link specifically states:

"An Ohm reading shows the D.C. resistance of pushing electrical current through the pickup. It does not define the output of the pickup. The output of the pickup is affected by the number of turns of wire, and the magnet strength."
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Re: Thorium pickups?

Postby Cynical » Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:58 am

The one place where DCR really is a useful stat is if you already have a good idea of the pickup's output -- if you do, it lets you deduce what gauge of wire was used, which in turn tells you the Q of the resonant peak (thinner wire = narrower Q = more mids, less bass and treble).

EDIT: The limitation on this is that it assumes that the manufacturer isn't doing any wacky hybrid/mismatched coil hijinks. DiMarzio tells you whenever they're doing it if you can read their patent numbers, but some other companies don't.


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