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Post new topic Steeltronics Z10 pickup
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Author Topic:  Steeltronics Z10 pickup
Paul Sutherland

 

From:
Placerville, California
Post  Posted 28 Jul 2020 7:24 pm    
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I just received and installed the new ZB style pickup, the Steeltronics Z10, in my Rains. First impressions are very good. The highs strings in particular sound very sweet and bright without being harsh.

Here's the ohm reading. I never thought I would like a pickup with less than about 15 to 17 K ohm resistance. But Scott said it's somehow different. The technical jargon is lost on me, but the Z10 definitely sounds good.



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Jim Palenscar

 

From:
Oceanside, Calif, USA
Post  Posted 28 Jul 2020 9:46 pm    
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I rewound a ShoBud pickup for Ry Cooder's tele w 38g wire- wound it as fat as I could- read 5.17k- sounded fantastic! Too many variables to talk about w pickups~~
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Doug Earnest


From:
Branson, MO USA
Post  Posted 29 Jul 2020 6:15 am    
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Next start messing around with differing magnetic charge strengths if you really want to confuse things!
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Jim Cooley


From:
The 'Ville, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 29 Jul 2020 6:39 am    
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Paul - Did you use spacers under the pickup? If so, what did you use?
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Paul Sutherland

 

From:
Placerville, California
Post  Posted 29 Jul 2020 7:51 am    
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I bought neoprene washers from my local hardware store to use as shims. I stacked three around each attachment point. It seems to have worked.
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Scott Swartz

 

From:
St. Louis, MO
Post  Posted 29 Jul 2020 8:33 am    
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Paul, glad you are enjoying it, and what you're stating is what I think most people hear on ZBs the highs are very present but yet smooth. The acoustic tone of ZBs is very lively with the long keyhead and the changer stopping on the endplate, but the pickup is definitely a good part of the sound.

A typical ZB pickup in the middle position is 6.5 Henries and 13.5 K resistance, and is wound with 44 gauge wire. Because the ZB pickup has the third higher wind tap they had to use the small 44 gauge wire, however I do not have that limitation since I am just doing the single tap.

My Z Series pickups are wound to the same 6.5 Henries and the same number of turns of wire, however since its 42 gauge wire the resistance is lower as Paul has measured. I found the tone is slightly clearer with the 42 gauge wire so I went with that instead of the 44 gauge, however this a much smaller effect than varying the number of turns and therefore the inductance, that has a much bigger impact on the tone.

Also note that the magnetic circuit has a huge impact on the tonal balance we hear and the winding of the coil has to work hand in glove with the magnetic circuit to get the correct balance. DC resistance by itself tells you very little about how a pickup sound unless you are comparing pickups with the same gauge wire and same magnetic circuit.

If you use the ZB type magnetic circuit with a 42 gauge wire coil wound to 17K as you would for say a ShoBud single coil the tone will be way too dark. That’s effective what the 3rd tap on a ZB pickup is, its about 25 K with 44 gauge wire, which is approximately the same number of turns as 17K with 42 gauge wire. Most people consider this setting to be too dark to be very usable on a ZB.

For something like the ShoBud magnetic circuit (ie the single row of 3/16 rod magnets) the typical 16-18k is where the tone is balanced to most people, once again the coil and magnetic circuit of any pickup design have to work together hand in glove.

And as Doug says you can change these relationships by the magnet type and charge as well.
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Gene Tani

 

From:
The Pacific NW,
Post  Posted 29 Jul 2020 4:09 pm     spacers under p/u
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Is there some reason you can't put springs under mounting screws? Or does neoprene have enough up and down give?
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Paul Sutherland

 

From:
Placerville, California
Post  Posted 29 Jul 2020 4:55 pm    
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The pickup mounts to the mounting plate of the guitar that is adjustable up and down with the typical three screws, that do have springs.

The spacers/shims go between the pickup and the mounting plate to create enough of a gap to allow for the wires coming out of the pickup.
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Len Amaral

 

From:
Rehoboth,MA 02769
Post  Posted 31 Jul 2020 5:52 pm    
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I just received my pickup from Scott and hope to install it in my Williams keyed U-12 in a few days.
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