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Kugelspot

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PostSubject: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:58 pm

OK, so I think I'm going to actaully get going with the pickup making thing. I want to see if I can get enough interest in them, to see whether it would even be worth it. Anyone interested? I can make them in pretty much any shape or size at this point because I'll be making them on a by order basis, so if you want I think I could do pretty much any shape.

Also, this first batch will basically be prototypes, so I'd like honest feedback. Seriously, if you think they suck, PLEASE tell me. I can handle it. I want to make good products, and I know I have no experience making pickups so I won't hold it against you.
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:10 pm

Sounds like a winner to me, KS! And feel free to market them here as long as you would like to.

I'll tell you what. You cook up a bass humbucker so hot that it will melt lead, you'll have a customer for life.

And I just thought of an idea for you. You know how they make humbuckers for guitars that are two coils side-by-side, but fit in the space of a single coil (I think the Seymour Duncan line of these are called Hot Rails)? I have yet to see anyone make such a design for bass. I mean, of course I know that he DiMarzio J's are two coils next to each other, and the Seymour Duncan J's are two coils stacked. But I have yet to see a J where the two coils are parallel to one another.

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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:49 pm

Actually, Bill Laurence used to make some. I believe Darkstrike has a Jazz bass with some. Unfortunately (fortunately?), they're no longer made, so I could try to make some. It might be a little difficult though, it seems lit it would be a little cramped. Anyway, If you want a humbucker that could melt lead, I can deliver. I'm guessing you want something modeled after the X2N? BTW, does anyone know how they make the frequency response so balanced? It's kind of rare for a pickup with so much output to have so much high end and clarity.
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:11 pm

Yep! That would do nicely! Wink As to how DiMarzio manages to keep the frequency response so well balanced, I haven't a clue.

Anyone?

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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:41 pm

I asked on some pickup makers forum, still waiting for a response. Anyway, any other ideas?

BTW, like the logo?
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:58 pm

Indeed! It's cool, KS! Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:03 pm

Ok, yes, dude, I do have a set of Jazz pickups in a "hot rails" config, and no, Bill Lawrence does not make them anymore.

But both Joe Barden Engineering, and SDG Lutherie(TBer) do make them, not to mention other brands, that keep them hidden under plastic.


One question Kugel, have you made any pickups before?


PS, love the logo.

As for DiMarzio, the only answer I can give is, roughly 40 years of making pickups and experimenting on them.
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:05 pm



Jazz Rails.
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:50 pm

Darkstrike wrote:
One question Kugel, have you made any pickups before?

Like I said, I haven't, so everything i do will be pretty rough. But it's something I've been wanting to try for a while, and you have to start somewhere.
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:14 am



(oh wait... that usually means very,very bad news...)

Apparently there's nothing special about X2Ns and they're really very muddy on guitar.
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:50 am

Yeah X2Ns just pump output, man, not clarity! Laughing Wait until you've given one a try on a couple different instruments before passing such swift judgement! And the older X2Ns are quite a bit different from their modern counterparts, too. I have no experience with those.

I'm sure as hell interested! I'm looking for the same thing as Eric. Twisted Evil

I say, make this thing like an X2N, but with prominent MIDRANGE. That's what the X2N lacks. Not power, not low end, not treble, but mids! It's almost scooped and when you run it through an all tube amp, instead of jumping out, it just clouds up. It's like a distortion pedal with bass and treble knobs, but without a midrange control--there's just something missing.

It's all that output and no real midrange. The X2N-7 appears to be much better than the X2N in this regard, but still, just not enough mids for my taste. Make a beefy weefy bass 'bucker that blows smoke and fire and make it midrangey...then you have a happy Tino.
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:01 am

Wow, Bill! Thanks for clarifying that about the bass rails, and the picture. Is that Jazz one of your basses? It's sweet! Shocked

Martin, I didn't realize that the X2N lacked midrange, and that concerns me. It's the mids that pump out the clarity of a bass, and also a good source of bass feedback.

scratch

Hopefully the screaming output of the X2N-7 will be enough to give me the tone and results I'm after.

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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:23 am

Kugelspot wrote:
Darkstrike wrote:
One question Kugel, have you made any pickups before?

Like I said, I haven't, so everything i do will be pretty rough. But it's something I've been wanting to try for a while, and you have to start somewhere.

Ah, I missed that bit, but I was just thinking, maybe you should build one or two up before opening for buisness.
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:27 am

EricHaven wrote:
Wow, Bill! Thanks for clarifying that about the bass rails, and the picture. Is that Jazz one of your basses? It's sweet! Shocked
Yup, my good 'ol Franken Jazz, everything on its either been modded by me, or added, now has a thumbrest in mirror, pickup ring around the bridge pickup, perspex ramp. I'm thinking about sinking the trem though. There was a huge thread, with like half a novel of an first post by me, in the old forum, in the customised instruments area.
EricHaven wrote:
Martin, I didn't realize that the X2N lacked midrange, and that concerns me. It's the mids that pump out the clarity of a bass, and also a good source of bass feedback.

scratch

Hopefully the screaming output of the X2N-7 will be enough to give me the tone and results I'm after.

Now now, like you want it for "clarity of tone" lol!

I've not actually found the mid scoop to be so severe as Martin, not really noticable, but I always run my amp flat, if that makes a difference.
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:25 am

EricHaven wrote:
Wow, Bill! Thanks for clarifying that about the bass rails, and the picture. Is that Jazz one of your basses? It's sweet! Shocked

Martin, I didn't realize that the X2N lacked midrange, and that concerns me. It's the mids that pump out the clarity of a bass, and also a good source of bass feedback.

scratch

Hopefully the screaming output of the X2N-7 will be enough to give me the tone and results I'm after.

Yeah Bill...that Jazz is fantastic. *drooling smiley*

And yes, Eric. I think that's why I've been hesitating about putting one into my Hamer instead of the OEM Jazz pickup (by the way, they have the classic DiMarzio PAF stickers on the back). The Jazz pickup can sparkle and have clarity if I want it to and if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I eventually want something that suits me better, but I want to find out how an X2N-7 would react to being in that bass first (I'm sure that it will sound different in there compared to how it sounds in my Ibanez BTB).

You know the tone charts that DiMarzio has on their website where they rate the sound of the pickup (bass, mid, and treble on a 1-10 scale)? For the X2N and X2N-7, I think you'll find that their ratings fit the pickups pretty well. There's just that much less midrange response than I'd like and that's why people dismiss them as muck. Not because of the output--they have killer sounding output and response (exactly what people are looking for as far as power is concerned), it's just that there's that much too little midrange, I think and so people don't find the same kind of killer feedback and response that they would find with a Super Distortion or an Evo or something, you know?

So I'm still looking for a way for it to work and you might not have a problem with it. It might balance well in a different position in combination with a Model P (which we know has outstanding response over all frequencies) or with a different setup than I'm using (I'm hoping!). I still want to experiment. It's too cool a pickup to give up on, you know? I want to try the X2N closer to the bridge and the X2N-7 closer to the neck and see how they work in those positions.
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:22 pm

Darkstrike wrote:
Ah, I missed that bit, but I was just thinking, maybe you should build one or two up before opening for buisness.

That's what I was planning. I'm just announcing it because I thought you guys would like to know, and I wanted some advice.
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:30 pm

Kugelspot wrote:
Darkstrike wrote:
Ah, I missed that bit, but I was just thinking, maybe you should build one or two up before opening for buisness.

That's what I was planning. I'm just announcing it because I thought you guys would like to know, and I wanted some advice.

Ah, sorry, my mistake, with the thread title.
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm

Ya that's why i put the question mark. Anyway, I think I'll start off by making some new pickups for my Kramer (currently model P and model J) or my Hohner (2 EMG Select HBs). probably the latter
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:22 pm

I was thinking about it,if you couldmake something as powerful as an X2N-7, and fit it into a P pickups shell...... affraid
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:55 pm

Oooo that might be tough. The reason why humbuckers in general are more powerful than single or split coils is because there are 2 coils per string. Maybe if I made like a p bass stack (kinda like those Seymour Duncan stacks). It wouldn't be as thick sounding, but maybe I could match the output if I wound them enough.
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:14 pm

Kugelspot wrote:
Oooo that might be tough. The reason why humbuckers in general are more powerful than single or split coils is because there are 2 coils per string. Maybe if I made like a p bass stack (kinda like those Seymour Duncan stacks). It wouldn't be as thick sounding, but maybe I could match the output if I wound them enough.

Indeed, that be how humbuckers work, which is why it'd be so cool to do it in a P shell.
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:18 pm

No you're misunderstanding me. A humbucker has 2 coils, and for each string, there are 2 coils picking up the sound. A p pickup also has 2 coils, but the way they're arranged, theres only 1 coil per string, so it will have less output.
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:42 pm

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/regular/4/8/9/369489.jpg ?
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:00 pm

I know about those, but I don't think you could get the same amount of winding in, and I'm not very confident in my ability to actually put one together right. Plus, to be brutally honest, it would be a pain in the *** to wind. Though actually, I've heard you can use a turntable to wind pickups, and I have one that can play 78s, so I don't think it will actually be that bad. Still, I think I'll stick with humbuckers for now. And remember, I haven't even ordered all the supplies and everything. Let's not get ahead of ourselves here.
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:00 pm

I get what Kugel is saying, and I think he might be right. Since the X2N spans all the way across all four strings, that puts all four strings into the magnetic fields of both coils, whereas a P only has the one coil reading the E and A strings, and the other coil reading the D and G strings. But I'm wondering if Bill and Martin might have a good suggestion. If you could somehow figure out a way to produce a P that has the same output as an X2N, I think you'd get a lot of business from it since players would be able to simply drop in your replacement P without having to cut up the body to accommodate the larger X2N, but still get close to the same results. And I do understand that there will be a tonality difference, but like you said, maybe you could experiment with wire size and such, and who knows? You might find the right combination to make it work! And if you did, I would be willing to bet that you've already just sold three sets right here! Wink

And I also understand your sentiments about not getting ahead of ourselves here. I haven't cooked up a fully locking bass trem system yet, but I already have prospective buyers! Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:25 pm

OK, here's what I'll do. I'll start off making a normal P pickup, pole pieces and everything, except with Neodymium magnets and rediculously overwound, and we'll see where we'll go from there. I'll probably use poles on everything except the guitar humbucker sized pickups. Because 1, I can find pre made bobbins and housings for P and J pickups with pole pieces very easily, but so far have not found any without. Not having to make my own cuts down on my workload considerably, so I can make more pickups in the small amount of time I have when I'm not doing anything. 2, apparently PUs with pole pieces are less muddy than ones with bars, and less muddy to begin with = the more winding before it gets too muddy = more output on the final product. BTW, anyone know how thick the pole pieces on a normal P pickup are (or could check for me)?
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:57 pm

You mean deep or wide?
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:36 pm

Wide. i have to know what size magnet I need to buy
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:46 pm

About 3/16" diameter? That's on a DiMarzio P. The only kinda P I've got.
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Thu Jul 02, 2009 8:08 am

Kugelspot wrote:
No you're misunderstanding me. A humbucker has 2 coils, and for each string, there are 2 coils picking up the sound. A p pickup also has 2 coils, but the way they're arranged, theres only 1 coil per string, so it will have less output.

Ugh, I did not misunderstand you, I pointed out that your explination of a humbuckers tone was correct, AND said it would be cool to get that tone from a P pickup, I do know how a P works....

You also can get P pickups with each half as a humbucker, btw, DiMarzio make one(Bill Lawrence did too), but not with huge output, which was the idea in the first place, the X2N-7 connection.

My whole idea was to get something different, that'd fit into a P bass without modding, you have a product that sounds like nothing else, but fits into so many, poplular axes, you may have something on your hands....


Last edited by Darkstrike on Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:34 pm

I agree with Bill. If you could produce a P that used two coils per each half, that would be a good starting point.

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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:25 pm

I probably shouldn't be telling you this because I'll be trying to sell all of you a set of my pickups, but for some reason it feels wrong to not tell you. Anyway, the raw materials to make pickups are surprisingly cheap. Without the wire (I haven't calculated the amount of wire I'll need and how much it will cost), the parts cost $18.20. Wire isn't very expensive, but I'll need a lot of it. So lets say that, plus the shipping cost of all the parts brings the cost up to $30. I'm a pretty busy guy, and I'll be doing all of this by myself, so lets say my time is worth another $20 per pickup. Of course, I have to make some money off this, so maybe I'll charge $90 for the finished thing, which gives me a healthy profit margin of 44%.

If you look at some of those boutique companies that charge you $200+ for a single pickup... I don't know, seems like kind of a rip off. Not that they aren't good pickups, and its often worth it because you do can get some beautiful sounds from those, but still...

EDIT: Actually, thats not so bad. I did a lot of the calculations while writing the post, and before it looked like I the profit margins would be better. 44% seems about fair to me. Plus I'll probably give you guys discounts, you know for all the help and support and stuff, and just cause I feel like we're friends. Hey maybe I could make you official endorsees Laughing !
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:50 am

I'm always up for an experiment, and I have a dozen basses with OEM's still that can use an upgrade Smile


not that it means 12 sets of pups, but hell ya, I'll see what they do.
I have basses with P's P/J's HB, and even one with a MM pup in it, so any design you start out will work for me.
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:17 pm

Your time is valuable, Kugelspot, and you deserve to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Hell, if your pickups did what we are hoping they'll do, I wouldn't complain one bit paying at least $100 for them.

And like I said, you are welcome to use the board as a starting point in your selling, so don't feel bad about "trying to sell" us your product, because that's the whole point. I mean, I don't think you're doing this to simply give the shop away out of the goodness of your heart, and you shouldn't have to anyways.

Sure, if I ever do get off my lazy arse and develop a good locking bass trem system, I would gladly sell them to everyone here for stupid cheap, even at a loss, just because I consider you guys family. But on the open market, I would sell them for what I figured my time and effort, and the materials were worth.

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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:54 pm

Just ordered everything except the wire (I want to make sure I can make the bobbin and everything before I buy any- wires REALLY expensive). Costing way more than I thought it would. With shipping and everything, its about $40. Then again, I can make a lot of pickups with the bobbin stuff I ordered. Its a 6x6 square, which of course is way more than I need for 1 pickup. I might have to raise my prices a bit.

Anyway, no turning back now.
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:15 am

$40 for how much wire? What gauge?
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:59 am

Chowderboots wrote:
$40 for how much wire? What gauge?

I haven't bought wire yet. A spool of 42AWG wire can easily cost $200. Thats why I'm waiting to see if I can do everything else before I buy any
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Tue Jul 07, 2009 9:29 am

Uh huh...that makes sense. It costs more than you think.
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Tue Jul 07, 2009 5:56 pm

Yessir. The cost of owning your own business! Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Sat Jul 11, 2009 4:33 pm

Received the bobbins stuff today. Hoping everything else comes soon.
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:33 pm

OK, I've cut the bobbins and finalized the design. Its going be like the Split P, but with pole pieces instead of rails, and they won't be exposed. Now I have to wait for the magnets to arrive, and order the winding I guess.
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PostSubject: Decisions, decisions   Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:33 pm

Should it have exposed poles or not exposed? With unexposed, you don't get that annoying click when you pluck too hard and the strings hit the pickup. It also gives me a little more leeway the pole positioning, because no one will know if the spacing is perfect or not. They might even be a little less noisy. But I've always associated unmarked p pickups with unexposed poles with being low quality OEM pickups. So, I'd have to have some kind of logo. Exposed poles would really show off that these are unusual pickups, and would probably prompt people to ask about it, which would give me more exposure and word of mouth advertising. They'd also look better, more like high end pickups. BUT they'd only look better if the pole pieces are perfectly spaced. Plus, there's that clicking thing (I think the only reason I'm making such a big deal out of that is that I pluck WAY too hard).

Also, If I use unexposed pole pieces, I'd have to make some kind of logo, and the one I have as my avatar would be impossible to do. What I think I'm going to do is print out a piece of paper with "RDP" in 14 or 15 point font, then cut it out with an x-acto (or however you spell it) knife, then use it as a stencil and sharp the logo on (probably in silver).

Also, If I ever set up shop, I think I'll probably use ebay. It would give me free hosting and the infrastructure I need to sell and distribute my pickups. Its a little unprofessional I guess, but I think it would be fine for the time being
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amimbari

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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Sat Jul 18, 2009 6:44 am

Kugelspot wrote:
Should it have exposed poles or not exposed? With unexposed, you don't get that annoying click when you pluck too hard and the strings hit the pickup.
if the mag field is strong enough, they should not have to be that close whee the strings hit the poles in the first place, so the poles should not stick up that high and would work better flush, or a mm higher than the base they are mounted in..

for covering slight mistakes that wont effect the mag field, yes cover them, and use your design, it would look better for advertising purposes that way.

As far as using ebay to sell the stuff? unprofessional...WHAT MAKES YOU think that?

who needs a store to sell their goods...same as millions who now work from home, thanks to the internet.....

all IMO, naturally....
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Chowderboots

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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:58 am

I like uncovered pickups. Even though I pick kinda hard and sometimes have high action, I haven't had a problem with uncovered pickups. I think they look cool. I don't know if the sound is affected when you have a plastic casing covering them like when you have a metal housing...would be worth looking into.
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:53 pm

OK the first bobbin is done, except probably glueing the magnets into place. Until and unless I become a master at drilling evenly spaced holes arranged in a perfect line, I think my pickups are going to be covered.
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:57 pm

Righto. Very Happy Keep us updated, man!
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:22 pm

Probably going to redo the second bobbin. I actually made it at the same time as the first one, but I realized that my drilling job on the holes for the pole pieces was just awful, unacceptably bad, even for a beginner, and besides, they were pretty sloppily cut too. Might at least cut the new one tomorrow, but we'll see.
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:03 am

Is there a way you could rig up some kind of jig to help keep your cuts pretty?
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:46 pm

I was wonderin how the work was going on your pickups! bounce
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PostSubject: Re: Rabid Design: Open For Business?   Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:01 pm

The project is on hiatus. For one thing, I don't have time between school, college applications, and the stuff outside of school I'm already doing. Also, I realized I don't have any basses with P-pickups that I want to change. When (if?) I ever get going again, I'll probably make a J stack to put in the bridge position on my Kramer. The Model J is just too bright to put almost touching the bridge on a bass thats already very bright, and its nearly unusable soloed, so I'm going to to make an extremely overwound stack. It might actually be hot to the point that it might be a bit muddy normally, but in that position, on that bass, it should work really well as a distortion/soloing pickup.
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