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Author Topic:  Steeltronics Z Series Pickups - Wide Mount and Narrow Mount
Scott Swartz

 

From:
St. Louis, MO
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2020 1:06 pm    
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Introducing the Steeltronics Z Series pickups, the only pickups on the market with the two row of magnets / steel baseplate / center pole piece design as used on vintage ZB steel guitars.

The Z Series pickups are wound to the same inductance as a typical ZB pickup when in the middle position on the selector switch, and the magnetic gauss levels measured at the strings is identical to original ZB pickups. A welcome upgrade is the fact that Z Series coils are wax potted to address the microphonic nature that ZB pickups can tend to have.

Z Series pickups give you the silky highs, tight lows, and the fast/precise transient response of original ZB pickups, in addition the Z Series pickups are also very quiet for a single coil (as are original ZB pickups) due to the unique magnetic circuit and how it interacts with the coil.

Here are some pics showing the Z Series prototype:






I am offering the following standard models of Z Series pickups:

-10 String Wide Mount, 75 mm (2.95 in) overall center to center polepiece spacing, for Williams, possibly others

-10 String Wide Mount, 77 mm (3.04 in) overall center to center polepiece spacing, for majority of brands that use 11/32 inches spacing at the changer

-10 String Narrow Mount, 75.5 mm (2.97 in) overall center to center polepiece spacing, for Show Pro, possibly ShoBud, others

-10 String Narrow Mount, 77 mm (3.04 in) overall center to center polepiece spacing, for Mullen and some ShoBuds

-10 String Narrow Mount, 80 mm (3.15 in) overall center to center polepiece spacing, for some ShoBuds

-12 String Wide Mount, 91 mm (3.58 in) overall center to center polepiece spacing, for Williams, possibly others

-12 String Wide Mount, 94 mm (3.70 in) overall center to center polepiece spacing, for majority of brands that use 11/32 inches spacing at the changer

-12 String Narrow Mount, 94 mm (3.70 in) overall center to center polepiece spacing, for majority of brands that use 11/32 inches spacing at the changer

-8 String Wide Mount with 4 tabs, 74 mm (2.91 in) overall center to center polepiece spacing, for Sierra lap steel, other lap steel pole spacings available


8 and 10 String Pickups are $125 each plus shipping

12 String Pickups are $135 each plus shipping

Payment to be made via Paypal invoice, email me at scott_swartz@hotmail.com or through the forum email or PM with what you like to order and shipping address, and I will get an invoice out to you.

Expected lead time is 6 weeks from receipt of payment, I will strive to get them out quicker but there is some lead time variability at my 3D printing vendor. I can also be reached at 3 one 4 2 six 7 4 six 2 1 for questions.











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Scott Swartz


Last edited by Scott Swartz on 15 Aug 2020 9:48 am; edited 14 times in total
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Bob Hamilton

 

From:
California Central Coast
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2020 1:43 pm     Pickups
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Hi Scott, I sent you an e-mail. BH
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2020 2:58 pm    
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I'm about to email you. But first.....any chance for white as an option? I know nothing about 3D printing materials.
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Scott Swartz

 

From:
St. Louis, MO
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2020 5:04 pm    
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Bob,

I am not seeing an email from you, could you try again at scott_swartz@hotmail.com , or you could send me a PM, not sure what happened.

Jon,

White can be done for a $10 upcharge as it requires additional processing, it will need several clear coats to prevent staining (ask me how I know LOL). The 3D surface has a uniform roughness, similar to 220 grit sandpaper, and therefore is a porous surface excellent for picking stains. This is not a problem with black.
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2020 5:17 pm    
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Thanks Scott. I will email you requesting a Paypal invoice. My 1st choice will be white with the upcharge but I will fully understand if for any reason you decide you'd rather not mess with the extra process. Black is fine.
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Bob Hamilton

 

From:
California Central Coast
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2020 5:48 pm     pickups
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Scott, I sent you a PM and E-mailed you.

Last edited by Bob Hamilton on 12 Jun 2020 8:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bill Hatcher

 

From:
Atlanta Ga. USA
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2020 5:52 pm    
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how much for a 14 string?
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Scott Swartz

 

From:
St. Louis, MO
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2020 8:25 pm    
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Bill,

Can you PM with details on what kind of steel and mounting arrangement and pole spacing so I can determine if I can simply stretch my existing design. BTW the ZB I own is from Alex McCullough back to you I believe.
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Bill Hatcher

 

From:
Atlanta Ga. USA
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2020 6:10 am    
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Scott Swartz wrote:
Bill,

Can you PM with details on what kind of steel and mounting arrangement and pole spacing so I can determine if I can simply stretch my existing design. BTW the ZB I own is from Alex McCullough back to you I believe.


sent you an email
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2020 6:11 am    
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Thanks for the invoice, Scott. I responded with a (regrettable) change to my order but I'm not certain if an email response to the PP invoice notification email will go thru to you. I'll wait to see if you got it. Looking forward to placing the order.
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Chris Marinelli

 

From:
Pittsburgh, USA
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2020 7:17 am    
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Scott, can you share the outer dimensions for the pickups (12 string in my case)? I want to be sure it will fit in my GFI. I've had some trouble with pickups being too high to fit in their rather shallow pickup cutout. Thanks!
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Scott Swartz

 

From:
St. Louis, MO
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2020 8:27 am    
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Bill,

I don't see an email from you at scott_swartz@hotmail.com, could please try PM here on the forum.

Chris, I will get a dimensional drawing put together, but depth wise the pickup is 0.73 or 23/32 inch and you would have to add a 1/4 depth below that for the shielded cable routing.
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2020 9:06 am    
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Chris Marinelli wrote:
Scott, can you share the outer dimensions for the pickups (12 string in my case)? I want to be sure it will fit in my GFI. I've had some trouble with pickups being too high to fit in their rather shallow pickup cutout. Thanks!


Chris -- you might be able to extrapolate some info from Jack Stoner's installation of a 710 in his GFI:
https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=358166

I've measured an old 712 and it is .76" deep. I don't know how Jack's exposed-pole 710 measures.
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Chris Marinelli

 

From:
Pittsburgh, USA
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2020 9:51 am    
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Thanks for the info, Scott. I'll look for that drawing. String spacing is only 1mm narrower than the spacing on my GFI Ultra if any other GFI owners are thinking about jumping on this and the depth shouldn't be a problem at all.

Did you mean to say an extra 1/4" for the shielded cable? That seems like one thick cable!

[/quote]
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Dave Meis


From:
Olympic Peninsula, Washington, USA
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2020 11:01 am    
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Are the poles adjustable for height?
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Bill Hatcher

 

From:
Atlanta Ga. USA
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2020 1:51 pm    
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Scott Swartz wrote:
Bill,

I don't see an email from you at scott_swartz@hotmail.com, could please try PM here on the forum.

PM sent

fyi, the email i sent, i just clicked on the email in the bottom line of your post. you might check that and see if its getting through to you.
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Scott Swartz

 

From:
St. Louis, MO
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2020 5:22 pm    
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Chris, The cable itself is only 1/8 diameter but there needs to be allowance for the bending radius through the hole in the top plate of the steel. In the pic with the Williams I have the pickup on 1/2 inch tall nylon spacers and the pickup is about 1/8 below the strings.
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Scott Swartz


Last edited by Scott Swartz on 16 Jun 2020 6:17 am; edited 3 times in total
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Scott Swartz

 

From:
St. Louis, MO
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2020 5:52 pm    
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Getiing lots of good questions, so here are some answers.

-The pole pieces are adjustable, they are 5-40 fillister screws as on a P90, and they thread into both the bobbin and the steel baseplate. When they are flush with the top, there is 1/32 inch adjustment upward and more than 1/4 inch downward.


-My pickup is single tap only for a few reasons:

-With the way I have reduced the width, there is less room to work with
-The multitap wires can increase the noise pickup (my prototype is noticeably quieter than the ZB pickup and I believe its mostly due to this factor)
-Very few people have a switch for this, and adding one introduces noise /shielding /grounding risks.


On the ohms resistance / coil wind I should probably start with what my original ZB pickup measures, I understand they varied some but I think my readings are pretty typical

Low Setting R = 6.26 K-Ohm L = 1.49 Henries (1/2 the inductance of a strat pickup!)

Mid Setting R = 13.57 K-Ohm L = 6.61 Henries

High Setting R = 23.80 K-Ohm L= 19.35 Henries

Most people use the middle setting on a ZB, so for a single tap pickup that would be the one to shoot for, my prototype is right at 6.5 henries. For the highest setting on the switch, the original ZB pickup has a very high number of turns requiring 43 or 44 ga wire. I am using 42 ga for my single tap pickup so the resistance value is lower than the original ZB pickup, but what really matters for tonal balance is the inductance.

Due to the hugely different magnetic circuit comparing to values from other pickup types doesn't really compute either. I am matching the 6.5 Henries of the ZB pickup but this 6.5 Henries sounds way different than say a typical single coil wound for 6.5 Henries, in a typical single coil 6.5 Henries is maybe 9 or 10 K-ohms much lighter than most people use.

I experimented with different winds and a 10 Henry wind was definitely too dark, that was in the range of the high setting on the ZB 3 position switch tonally. I basically wound up right back at the 6.5 Henry the ZB pickup is, the lows to mids to highs seem balanced there.
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Scott Swartz


Last edited by Scott Swartz on 23 Jul 2020 8:14 am; edited 2 times in total
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Bill Hatcher

 

From:
Atlanta Ga. USA
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2020 6:02 pm    
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Scott Swartz wrote:
Getiing lots of good questions, so here are some answers.

-The pole pieces are adjustable, they are 5-40 fillister screws as on a P90, and they thread into both the bobbin and the steel baseplate. When they are flush with the top, there is 1/32 inch adjustment upward and more than 1/4 inch dowmward.


-


??? why is there so much down and very little UP adjustment?
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Scott Swartz

 

From:
St. Louis, MO
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2020 6:18 pm    
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I am using currently using 3/4" screws, but I could do 1 " screws if desired which would allow for lots of upward adjustment.

Bill, email through the forum are in fact not getting through to me at hotmail, I did a test email that did not work, then I saw that b0b is having issues with this https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=354881
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Scott Swartz
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Scott Swartz

 

From:
St. Louis, MO
Post  Posted 14 Jun 2020 10:12 am    
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bump up
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Scott Swartz


Last edited by Scott Swartz on 25 Jul 2020 5:46 am; edited 2 times in total
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memphislim


From:
Austin, Texas
Post  Posted 15 Jun 2020 5:19 pm    
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Scott, love the idea here. ZB pickups were/are amazing. I've put them in a couple guitars and was very happy.

First, what is the price range on these and can the top of white ones be sanded smooth before assembly?
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Scott Swartz

 

From:
St. Louis, MO
Post  Posted 15 Jun 2020 8:10 pm    
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Prices are in the first post with the pics and such, ten string $125 and 12 string $135, plus shipping. I have an order for a unit in white already at the printer, the parts will be vapor polished which improves the surface finish, and then I am going to do a final sand on the top and clear coat when I get the parts. 3D print material is a powder and therefore will never have quite the slightly translucent look that you can get with injection molding plastics, but i did some sand and clear coat experiments over the weekend on some white 3D parts i had laying around and it looks quite good. White is a $10 upcharge.
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Scott Swartz
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Scott Swartz

 

From:
St. Louis, MO
Post  Posted 22 Jun 2020 5:39 am    
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bump it up
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Scott Swartz
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Eddy Dunlap

 

From:
Nashville, Tn
Post  Posted 23 Jun 2020 7:50 am    
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Got two on the way, and will have the soldering iron heated when I go to the mailbox Laughing Seriously though, a narrow mounted ZB pickup for my Show-Pro is something I've fantasized about for quite some time. Scott is a first-class electrical wiz and I applaud his efforts for filling the single coil market for steel that has a void in the last 5 years. Bump to the top, and try one of these pickups out!
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