Author Topic: Trivia Question: What material are my pickup wires made of and why?  (Read 1279 times)

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Offline äx

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So I've had to do some soldering on my neck pickup wires because one of them broke and to my surprise the core is not made of copper but of some sort of flashy-silver-ish material. (Nickel?)
I've never really gotten too far into the topic of different materials for different purposes but for some reason I kind of expected copper wires in there since that's pretty much what i've found in every type of electrical wiring where signal quality was important (phones, computers, you name it).
As the pickups are original Duncans I can only think of two possible reasons:
a) The material, whatever it may be, is more suited for guitar wiring b) There's hardly a notable difference between the properties of the available materials so they went with the cheapest alternative

It's not something that's gonna keep me up at night but I found that somewhat curious so if anyone knows about the what and why, please enlighten me.  :)

Have a good day/night/anything else that might apply to your local time and situation.  ;)

Offline TB-AV

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Re: Trivia Question: What material are my pickup wires made of and why?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2011, 10:44:50 pm »
It's tinned copper. The silver color is the "tin". That makes it easier to solder
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Offline äx

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Re: Trivia Question: What material are my pickup wires made of and why?
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2011, 12:41:37 am »
Another knowledge gap closed. Thanks a bunch!  :)

Offline TB-AV

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Re: Trivia Question: What material are my pickup wires made of and why?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2011, 01:34:05 am »
almost and decent grade hookup wire will be tinned. In Marine use it is used to prevent corrosion and that same thought process follows down the line. Non-tinned copper will react to the elements much faster over time.

The actual wire on your pickup coils is copper also but it is coated with enamel or similar.

And to be honest there is some good hookup wire that is enamel coated as well but you have to burn off the enamel from the ends so you can solder it.

So again tinned wire solves the issues of long term service, ease of use and a conductor that can be very high quality.
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