Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Testing Pickups

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Post Thanks / Like

    Talking Testing Pickups


    This is something I have been thinking about the last few days...and that is how to "check" or "test" a pickup that is not installed in a guitar, or if there is even a way to do this?!?

    Reason I am asking is that I have some older guitars and have bought some guitars that I want to re-build and/or spruce up and I want to test the pickups to ensure that they are working good and/or properly....especically EMG active pickups!!!

    Any ideas, suggestions, or random thoughts are welcome?

    Thanx in adavance!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    North of the Equator: I am a Southerner, Southern Ontario!
    Post Thanks / Like


    I check the DC resistance on my pickups with a multi meter. They are usually installed in the guitar though. You just use a guitar cord and measure the reistance on the 1/4 plug. I don't think it would be any different for an uninstalled pickup. It would tell you if you have continuity in the pickup. At least you would know that electricity flows through the pickup.
    I am not an expert, and the pickup might still not work.
    I am sure some of the electronics guys here will know.
    The Blues is alright!

    Guitars: 1968 Gibson SG, 2005 Gibson SG Standard, 2006 Gibson LP Classic Gold top, 2004 Epiphone Elitist LP Custom, 1996 Gibson Les Paul Standard. 2001 Epiphone Sheraton II, 2007 Epiphone G400.
    Fender Strats: 1996 Fender 68 Reissue CIJ, 2008 Squier CV 50s, 2009 Squier CV 50s Tele Butterescotch Blonde

    Amps: Blues Junior Special edition Jensen in Brown Tolex with Wheat front, 65 Deluxe Reverb reissue,1970 Sonax reverb by Traynor, Avatar Custom 2/12 Cabinet with Eminence Legend V1216 speakers,
    2008 DSL100 Marshall Amp , Fender Super Champ XD,Fender Vibro Champ XD

    Effects and Pedals: Fulltone Fulldrive II, Fulltone OCD, Fulltone Mini Deja Vibe, Fulltone Fat Boost, Dunlop Crybaby Wah, Boss DS1, Boss DD20 Giga Delay, Boss TU2 tuner, Boss BD2, Ibanez TS9 Tube screamer, Zoom 505. Radial tonebone hot british.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Down Under
    Post Thanks / Like


    Yeah ZMAN is spot on.

    With passive pickups at least (I don't have any active's to try this out on) you sure can do a basic test with a multimeter, measuring resistance between the top and bottom of each coil. If you look up the specs of the PU in question you'll likely even find what the resistance is supposed to be as well as the colour chart for the wires that'll make the testing a tiny bit easier.

    Further testing is a bit rudimentary. Two suggestions I've read both involve wiring the PU directly into a guitar cord and into an live amp and then using a tuning fork waved over the PU or even lightly tapping the PU with something metal like a screwdriver (gasp).

    If you -really- wanted to get hardcore though, I stumbled across THIS site. Caution. Engineering Content

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts