PIckups: The First Working Set

Pickups: The First Working Set
Pickups: The First Working Set

Pickup Building Videos #7, 5 min 37 sec, 86.5 MB flash video

small-screen version available on YouTube

complete “pickups for the electric hammered dulcimer” series on a YouTube Playlist

The last step in the process of building the first pickups for the dulcimer was to complete a working set, including the controls and wiring, and then taking them out for a real-world test, on the road and on the street, in venues and fairs, rain and shine. the expected and the unexpected, and see if they could work, literally. I am a working musician, and that is the real test for me, not whether they just sound ok in the studio, or in a teat situation, but how are they as a tool, something I have to depend on without worrying about or wasting time on. If there are probems, how do I fix them, what can I learn that will improve or influence the next sets I make.

I won’t keep you in suspense, they worked, and they worked great. They went through it all, including smashing one and having to replace it with one of the next generation pickups. I built the first basic set of controls and got an idea where I am going with that. But mostly I got back to work, though a bit beyond the routine, trying to do a lot of different things, putting the pickups through a compressed version of the life in a couple months in Florida.

So I am satisfied. I amswered what was really the most important question, are wound coil pickups even worth making, worth using, and practical for a working musician? The answer is yes, so I’ll keep on this path, from improving the coil winder to improving and standardizing the pickups and controls.

This also completes the series for the moment, except for a final video detailing the step coil I designed and built to make a test pickup. The story is now up to date. It may be another year before I have made enough progress on this front to add another video just on pickup building, I don;t know. There are a lot of other things to do. But the basic documentation is complete, and I have a working set, and am moving forward with them to the other things I have to do, like record and perform. Though I don’t intend to stop progressing with pickup and dulcimer building, either.

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