DiMarzio EBMM Music Man Axis Bridge Humbucker

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Offline JR

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DiMarzio EBMM Music Man Axis Bridge Humbucker
« on: August 11, 2022, 10:51:16 AM »
Again Music Man Axis Pickups ...

based on the post https://darthphineas.com/2016/03/dimarzio-music-man-evh-humbucker-pickups/ I was curious to understand what is going on with the DiMarzio Music Man Axis Humbucker set, especially the Bridge Humbucker. There are many statements made that the coils of this Humbucker are balanced. When measuring my set I found a quite huge offset between the coils (Slug: 8.3K DC, Screw: 9.1K DC). The inductance (measured at 120Hz with Peaktech 2165) of the two coils is quite opposite in difference (Slug: 3.8H, Screw: 3.6H). I would have expected the inductance to be closer, if not greater for the screw coil (based on the higher DCR). This leads me to a few questions:

1. If the coils were balanced, why would I see such a huge difference in resistance and inductance?
2. Other people's measurements are much closer (e.g. Darth Phineas). Why is the difference so huge in my set (It is actually quite high to be explained by manufacturing tolerances in my opinion)?
3. What would be the inductance of each coil in @darthphineas set?
4. Maybe too theoretical: could the offset I see in my humbucker actually make a difference sound wise compared to one that shows more balanced measurements?

Hope this is not too technical ...

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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: DiMarzio EBMM Music Man Axis Bridge Humbucker
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2022, 04:07:05 AM »
Hi,

No, it is not too technical.

It seems that your measurements of the screw coil are in line with Darth's but the slug coil and the combined inductance seem to be lower in your pickup. And yes, assuming the coils are wound with the same wire gauge, the inductance should be higher on the screw coil. I agree that the quantity of difference rules manufacturer tolerances out. A possible explanation that comes to my mind is that the slug coil had a defect and was unwound to the point where the defect was, and then the connecting wire was attached to that point so that the coil works again, albeit on a lower turn count and thus lower DC resistance. Another potential explanation is that somebody created a hybrid, using a slug coil from another pickup. As regards a sound difference: normally, offset coils cancel fewer frequencies so the resulting sound should be a bit brighter than without the offset but it is almost impossible to quantify the effect (apart from comparing them in the same guitar and same position but the results would then only be accurate for that particular guitar).

The bottom line is always: does the pickup give me the sound I want? If yes, the "how" is less relevant. If no, then the question is "what do I want the pickup to have more of / less of?" and that is where the "how" comes into the picture as this may help you to pick a pickup based on specs.


Hope that helps,
Stephan 
« Last Edit: August 12, 2022, 04:08:39 AM by darkbluemurder »
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Offline JR

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Re: DiMarzio EBMM Music Man Axis Bridge Humbucker
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2022, 07:33:47 AM »
Hello,

Stephan, thanks for the detailed response. Actually my questions do not relate to the fact that I'm searching for a specific sound. It rather comes from the mystery that is made around this pickup and understanding the parameters of influencing a pickup's sound. I also wired a few pickups on my own, which made me curious to understand some specific pickup designs. The lately published article from DiMarzio about EVH described the development of this pickup and similarities (and differences) to the Tone Zone. As I do not like the voice of the Tone Zone that much, but like the Axis Pickup, I wanted to understand the technical differences. Interesting side fact: I measured a couple of different pickups, also a JB (which is also mentioned in the DiMarzio article) with a rough cast A5 magnet. The measured values of inductance and capacitance of the A5 RC JB are very, very close to the values of my Axis Bridge humbucker. Anyhow, tone wise it's very near and probably usable to mimic VH sounds, but it still does not have the bass and low mids content of the Axis Bridge humbucker.

Coming back to the offset of my Axis bridge humbucker: I cannot see any sign of a defect, rewind, repair or whatsoever on the pickup. What I did to understand the offset, is taking it apart to the pure coils (remove all conductive material, base plate, magnet, screws, slugs, retainer...) and take some measurements. The DCR offset is still there (which is natural), but inductance and capacitance are equal to the second digit (Slug Coil: 1.814H, Screw Coil: 1.82H). In terms of inductance and capacitance the coils are balanced. The difference only occurs in assembled state, so there might be variation in the conductive components!?

Regards,
Jörg