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Where to find an inductor for variton?

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I'm searching all over local stores and internet for a 1.5 Henry choke for my on-going variton switch' date=' but no luck at all. Does anyone have idea where I can find them? Thanks in advance.[/quote']

 

Hammond Mfg, Guelph Ont. make a 156R (1.5H)filter choke that weighs 0.5lbs (8oz)

one place where it is available is here..(Parts Express in Ohio).

 

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=122-315

 

 

Besides back bacon, maple syrup and hardmaple for those LP maple tops..we

actually still make something else...8-[

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Craig Anderton had a circuit in one of his Electronics For Musicians books. It is pretty simple. Actually, I think you can get the circuit that Gibson uses on the web.

Anderton used a small audio transformer that at the time was available from Radio Shack. You can use just about any small transformer. If you can find an inductor between 80 and 100 mH, it will work.

His schematic shows to phone jacks with a 47K resistor connected between them. He shows an inductor connected to the output side of the resistor. He then has 5 capacitors, joined at one end. The other end of each cap goes to a tab on a rotary switch. The common side of the switch goes to ground. The cap values are as follows:

 

.05 uF

.02 uF

.01 uF

.005 uF

.001 uF

 

It is basically an L/R/C circuit with L and R fixed. Varying the value of C changes the tone.

 

Each cap is selected by the switch to be in series with the inductor.

I built one years ago. You can experiment with the values. There is a small volume loss when you use it as is the case also with the varitone. In the article, Anderton actually built one into a Telecaster.

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Anderton used a small audio transformer that at the time was available from Radio Shack. You can use just about any small transformer. If you can find an inductor between 80 and 100 mH' date=' it will work.

..[/quote']

 

Sure it will work electrically, but is the frequency range selection the same as the original Gibson selected inductor value of 1.5 henries? 1 mh = 1/1000 of a henry..and 100mh is about a 1/10 of a henry. A typical humbucker

pickup will be somewheres between 4.9h (BurstbuckerII) and 6.45 henry (Soapbar P-90).

 

I'm not trying to play devil's advocate here..but I'm wondering that if tone and inductance of various pickups

have some kind of relationship..why is it that substituting any inductor value will do?

The inductance works opposite to the selected capacitor and fixed resistor.

 

Inductive reactance: XL

XL = 2fL where: XL = reactance in ohms ()

f = frequency in hertz (Hz)

L = inductance in henrys (H)

 

XL (is an impedance) that is small at low frequencies and large at high frequencies.

hence the rule that inductors pass direct current but block high frequency alternating current

 

For example: a 1mH inductor has a reactance of only 0.3 for a 50Hz signal,

but when the frequency is higher at 10kHz its reactance is 63.

 

So the values are scalable..a 1.0 henry choke will present a different reactance to

audio frequencies than a 100mh choke, I would think. Maybe this doesn't make that much difference

in a guitar tone circuit, and you get a range of frequencies anyway..

but would the range of frequencies made with any audio transformer,

be the same as with the original Gibson engineered varitone?

 

Why did they select 1.5 Henries as the choke value in the first place then?

I'm sure it just wasn't any inductor they happened to find lying around in a spare parts electronic

drawer in the electronics shop at Gibson.

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For info on Varitones see this site http://www.blueshawk.info/varitone.htm

 

It's interesting see that the inductor size has been increased from 1.5H to 7.2H.

 

EDIT: Using an online (plug in the values) LC resonance calculator..here is the

difference in resonant frequencies between the three inductor values mentioned

in this thread.

choke value:100mh ---------1.5H---------------------7.2H

.001uf --> 15' date='915hz------ 4,109hz --------------1,876hz

.003uf --> 9,189hz ------ 2,373hz ------------- 1,083hz

.01uf --> 5,033hz ----- 1,299hz ------------- 593hz

.03uf --> 2,906hz -------- 750hz ------------- 342hz

.22uf - -> 1073hz -------- 277hz ------------- 126hz

 

So from these calculations, the inductor value DOES make a difference in the

resonant peaks/dips of an LC audio frequency filter.

Decrease the inductance and you would raise the resonant frequency considerably.

 

For purchasing a varitone to install, you might check this guy out: http://bigdguitars.com/bio.html He can probably tell you where to find inductors.

 

Very informative entrepreneural site..but he mentions that the inductor is used to

eliminate "pops"when switching to different tone notch positions on the Gibson

"break before make" switch and he can get away with a smaller inductor because

he uses a "make before break" switch. While using the latter switch contact

configuration is always desirable in audio circuits, that is not the only function

of the inductor..it actual does play a part with the capacitor selected in forming

the specific tone "notch". http://www.blueshawk.info/frequency_response.htm#varitone%20curve

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I would like to see a schematic with a 'notch-less' varitone. The cap-values are bound to vary infinitely between different guitars and pickups. I much rather dial in to a specific sweet-point. I believe the Bill Lawrence Q-filter does this.

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Using an online (plug in the values) LC resonance calculator..here is the

difference in resonant frequencies between the three inductor values mentioned

in this thread.

choke value:100mh ---------1.5H---------------------7.2H

.001uf --> 15,915hz------ 4,109hz --------------1,876hz

.003uf --> 9,189hz ------ 2,373hz ------------- 1,083hz

.01uf --> 5,033hz ----- 1,299hz ------------- 593hz

.03uf --> 2,906hz -------- 750hz ------------- 342hz

.22uf - -> 1073hz -------- 277hz ------------- 126hz

 

So from these calculations, the inductor value DOES make a difference in the

resonant peaks/dips of an LC audio frequency filter.

Decrease the inductance and you would raise the resonant frequency considerably.

 

I too am looking to build a "variation" of a Varitone switch. in my project, i have an LP style guitar, with 2 (currently) unused push/pull switches. what i want to do is have 1 with "X" tone when i pull up, and the other with "Y" tone, and when theyre both up... "Z" tone? that last ones a mystery... BUT... heres my question...

 

I too saw the schematic for the Blueshawk with the cap values (as listed above) and the 7.2H inductor. i can glean what i need to do my project from this diagram. 2 questions:

 

1) the resonant peaks/dips listed above: they are ALL DIPS arnt they? the Varitone is a NOTCH filter, cutting at a certain frequency, -isnt it?

 

2) depending on whats more available (1.5H vs 7.2), shouldnt you be able to get nearly the same "effect" by changing the value of the caps? for instance (just throwing out numbers here - not litteral) if im using a 1.5H inductor, and in position 1, i put in a .01uf (or a slightly smaller value, .009, -if there is such a thing...), it should give nearly the same notch frequecny as the 7.2H / .001uf cap. -? you could taper the resonant frequency depending on the inductor you buy, buy changing out the cap.

 

the chart listed above is very valuable. where did you find the online calculator?

 

does anybody know what inductor Torres uses for his Varitone kit? i have one installed in my Epi Sheraton. LOVE IT! id be thrilled if i could get the first two tones from the Torres Varitone into my LP push/pull circuit.

 

i was also told (on another forum) that the 10M resistor in series with the cap on the Blueshawk Varitone was to keep it from popping when changing tones. (when you turn the knob). -true? anybody?

 

and another question... for my design, using 2 push pulls, w/1 cap each, -would i need 2 inductors? or just 1 that they can share? in a regular varitone circuit, only 1 cap can be selected at a time, but there is a possibility (and a near certainty) that i would have 2, in parallel, to the inductor. would it make any difference? theyre both going to ground eventually...

 

it stands to reason that the pickup(s) used will make a difference as well with the resonant frequency. so does your amp for that matter, the speaker in it, how you set your tone controls, blah blah blah... the way i see it, you gotta start somewhere. im sure that ill be tweaking the cap values for a while, but right now, id be glad to hear it work AT ALL. i just need a starting point.

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I too saw the schematic for the Blueshawk with the cap values (as listed above) and the 7.2H inductor. i can glean what i need to do my project from this diagram. 2 questions:

 

1) the resonant peaks/dips listed above: they are ALL DIPS arnt they? the Varitone is a NOTCH filter' date=' [i']cutting[/i] at a certain frequency, -isnt it?

 

The resonant peaks are simple LC calculations, without an reference to notch filter which will have a unique slope

for each range of frequencies.

 

 

2) depending on whats more available (1.5H vs 7.2), shouldnt you be able to get nearly the same "effect" by changing the value of the caps? for instance (just throwing out numbers here - not litteral) if im using a 1.5H inductor, and in position 1, i put in a .01uf (or a slightly smaller value, .009, -if there is such a thing...), it should give nearly the same notch frequecny as the 7.2H / .001uf cap. -? you could taper the resonant frequency depending on the inductor you buy, by changing out the cap.

 

Yes, the cap and inductor value will definitely have an effect on the resonant frequency. However, audio chokes

are rather large in value since they have to contain a certain amount of ferro resonant core material (such

as copper/silicon-steel etc) and that adds weight.

 

A 1.5 H choke will be smaller than a 7.5H. A pickup, for example even with the magnet will have a typical inductance

of anywhere from 2.55H (Bass humbucker) to 6.45 (Soapbar p-90) to 7.429H (overwound 650R Ceramic) .

Some pickups such as the Elitist 60ST go as high as 8.23H. I don't know at what frequency or

frequencies the inductance of the coils would be measured, but it gives you some idea.

 

the chart listed above is very valuable. where did you find the online calculator?

 

It's available online at...http://www.vk2zay.net/calculators/

 

and another question... for my design, using 2 push pulls, w/1 cap each, -would i need 2 inductors? or just 1 that they can share? in a regular varitone circuit, only 1 cap can be selected at a time, but there is a possibility (and a near certainty) that i would have 2, in parallel, to the inductor. would it make any difference? theyre both going to ground eventually...

 

I can't quite visualize the tone selector circuit(s) that you are talking about..but if you are switching two resistor/cap networks into one inductor BOTH at the same time..that will definitely change things.

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if you are switching two resistor/cap networks into one inductor BOTH at the same time..that will definitely change things

 

Thats exactly what i was thinking of doing. I realise that 2 caps in paralell, in the same circuit, will lower the cut-off freq. -And in series, in the same circuit, the cut-off is higher. My question is, since theyre 2 seperate networks parallel to the signal, they both go to ground eventually, so i dont know if it makes any difference if i had discrete inductors or not.

 

In a "regular" LP type tone control, you have 2 tone pots. When you turn down one, it mutes the highs. But turning down the other doesnt mute them any MORE. Would the same be true if i had discrete inductors? -Or if i shared them?

 

Im still confused about the resonant peaks. Are they PEAKS, or DIPS? One cap can only do 1 thing at a time. I cant remember where i saw it, but i seem to remember reading somewhere that the Varitone only DIPS at "X" center frequency. Am i right, or confused?

 

And what about a wah wah inductor? -Like a whats in a crybaby? Ive got an extra one lying around. If i knew the "henry rating" on that, couldnt i use it? I could do the math with the LCR calculator you provided, and away i go? Any idea on the "henry rating" for a Dunlop wah wah inductor?

 

ill admit, im making something slightly weird.

Back in the day, Frank Zappa (my hero) had switches on his SG that would emphasize certain frequencies. Usually a resonant mid peak of some sort. My initial thought was that it was just a cap. After making a fool of myself at another forum, ive come to discover that what it REALLY is, is a variation on a Varitone switch. The signal branches off the "hot", hits a cap at "X", value, then through an inductor, to ground, thus notching out a certain resonant frequency, giving the overall tone a "mid-boost" kind of sound. Move that notch around, and you have different percieved "peaks" -without loosing any overall level. Mulitply this out by 6, and you have a Varitone. I just want to put 2 of these on discrete on/off (push/pull) switches, and not a rotary knob with 6 tones.

 

seems simple enough... maybe?

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Thats exactly what i was thinking of doing. I realise that 2 caps in paralell' date=' in the same circuit, will lower the cut-off freq. -And in series, in the same circuit, the cut-off is higher. My question is, since theyre 2 seperate networks parallel to the signal, they both go to ground eventually, so i dont know if it makes any difference if i had discrete inductors or not.

[/quote']

I remember seing the BluesHawk schematic a while ago..they select a range of 5 caps

(.001 to .22uf) in series with a 7.2H choke to ground. This is a series LC resonant network

and the notch is not going to be that deep.

 

In a "regular" LP type tone control, you have 2 tone pots. When you turn down one, it mutes the highs. But turning down the other doesnt mute them any MORE. Would the same be true if i had discrete inductors? -Or if i shared them?

Inductors work different from 500K tone pots.

 

Im still confused about the resonant peaks. Are they PEAKS, or DIPS? One cap can only do 1 thing at a time. I cant remember where i saw it, but i seem to remember reading somewhere that the Varitone only DIPS at "X" center frequency. Am i right, or confused?

 

I would think its a notch or dip, where the specific resonant frequency of the LC network sucks down the amplitude

of the signal somewhat, but I'm not sure by how much.

 

And what about a wah wah inductor? -Like a whats in a crybaby? Ive got an extra one lying around. If i knew the "henry rating" on that, couldnt i use it? I could do the math with the LCR calculator you provided, and away i go? Any idea on the "henry rating" for a Dunlop wah wah inductor?

No idea. I would think you would need a special electronic tool that measures a specific winding at a given audio frequency..(1Khz) and measure the inductive reactance..and then calculate the approximate inductance from that.

Not as easy as Ohms law.

 

ill admit, im making something slightly weird.

Back in the day, Frank Zappa (my hero) had switches on his SG that would emphasize certain frequencies. Usually a resonant mid peak of some sort. My initial thought was that it was just a cap. After making a fool of myself at another forum, ive come to discover that what it REALLY is, is a variation on a Varitone switch. The signal branches off the "hot", hits a cap at "X", value, then through an inductor, to ground, thus notching out a certain resonant frequency, giving the overall tone a "mid-boost" kind of sound. Move that notch around, and you have different percieved "peaks" -without loosing any overall level. Mulitply this out by 6, and you have a Varitone. I just want to put 2 of these on discrete on/off (push/pull) switches, and not a rotary knob with 6 tones.

 

seems simple enough... maybe?

Interesting concept, but wouldn't an electronic notch filter (parametric equalizer) be a lot less

work than experimenting with caps/inductors and switches? However, if you are an electronic

experimenter then this is right up your alley.

 

here's some info on the Hammond filter chokes...

http://www.evatco.com.au/ham_files/hamopchoke.jpg

The smallest package is less weight (.10lb or under 2 oz)..note that the inductance

rated is based on the current..so in a guitar circuit..there is very little current..and

the inductance will be a lot less...this may also explain why they went to 7.5 H.

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note that the inductance

rated is based on the current..so in a guitar circuit..there is very little current..and

the inductance will be a lot less

actually, it says "units will exhibit LESS inductance at slightly higher currents, or MORE at lower currents."

So i guess the question now is, how much current does a guitar circuit have? Knowing a ballpark of that, and i could get the right one, then take it from there. The dimentions seem about right for the first 4 on the chart. Very similar to the Torres.

 

These are rated in DC? I guess im not really sure what an inductor really does... A guitar circuit is obviously AC. But at very low current.

 

Interesting concept, but wouldn't an electronic notch filter (parametric equalizer) be a lot less

work than experimenting with caps/inductors and switches?

 

yes, i suppose, but thats more pedals, and ive got too many anyway. besides, i would need 2.

See... ive got the switches in there allready, and ive got nothing on them. I got to thinking about what i could do with them, and FZ's boost switches came to mind. "perfect!" sez I!!

 

I think you slightly missunderstand how this is supposed to work... When the switches are down, ill have a regular tone control. -Just like any other. When i pull up, it bypasses the pot completely, and gives only the notch filter. Theres no "control" over the tone anymore. Its just "on" at a set frequency 'boost". -or notch. whatever. But its definatly noticable.

 

The same with the other, only it will be set at a different center frequency. And when theyre both on, then i got some combination of the two, -Which will take some experimenting. -And THATS where i wonder if its ok to "share" a common choke between them, or have discrete chokes to ground. -If it will make any difference or not. =D>

But thats the concept anyway.

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actually' date=' it says "units will exhibit LESS inductance at slightly higher currents, or MORE at lower currents."

So i guess the question now is, how much current does a guitar circuit have? Knowing a ballpark of that, and i could get the right one, then take it from there. The dimentions seem about right for the first 4 on the chart. Very similar to the Torres.

[/quote']

 

Unless you have a low impedance active preamp built into the guitar, you can pretty

much surmise that the current will be less than 1 ma..in order of a few microamps.

The pickup is basically a high z linear signal generator. The dc resistance may be

8kohms or higher but the ac impedance at higher frequencies will be higher. Most

amps are 500K or higher in input impedance. Tube amps are typically 1 megohm

input impedance. So wide open, you are going to get very little current and the

signal amplitude will be small as well..a few millivolts.

 

Those chokes are filter chokes typically used in switching power supplies or some

kind of low frequency audio application, I suppose. Most DC-DC switching power supplies

operate in the 20khz or higher range, and these chokes are to filter out the harmonics

of the switching circuit.

 

These are rated in DC? I guess im not really sure what an inductor really does... A guitar circuit is obviously AC. But at very low current.

 

The inductor has to be rated for dc current because the diameter of the copper wire

inside, can only carry so much current.

 

I think you slightly missunderstand how this is supposed to work... When the switches are down, ill have a regular tone control. -Just like any other. When i pull up, it bypasses the pot completely, and gives only the notch filter. Theres no "control" over the tone anymore. Its just "on" at a set frequency 'boost". -or notch. whatever. But its definatly noticable.

 

Sounds like an interesting circuit...is this based on the BluesHawk wiring or something you are

working on from scratch?

 

The same with the other, only it will be set at a different center frequency. And when theyre both on, then i got some combination of the two, -Which will take some experimenting. -And THATS where i wonder if its ok to "share" a common choke between them, or have discrete chokes to ground. -If it will make any difference or not. =D>

 

These are fairly expensive, so you don't want to order two until you're sure that's what you want. You can temporarily wire up your circuit with one and play with the cap values, but to really notice the difference, you may have to go with two, eventually.

The choke (inductor) is proportional reactance to frequency and inductance. The capacitor is inversely proportional to frequency and capacitance. So the two are opposite vectors when it comes to presenting an impedance to the signal at frequency. If both reactance values are the same, they will cancel. However that (usually) not the case, and the combination of the two reactances, (depending on the C value selected), will present an impedance to ac signals with a dip at some frequencies.

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i just found a website that sells Dunlop Crybaby replacement parts, and it says that the original replacement inductor is 500mH. -thats 1/2 a henry, right? so using the LCR calculator, i should be able to calculate out what caps i need, in order to use it. -right?

 

heres the website: http://www.banzaieffects.com/Wah-Parts-c-335.html

 

this is the only place ive ever seen the "henry rating" for the wah inductor

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i just found a website that sells Dunlop Crybaby replacement parts' date=' and it says that the original replacement inductor is 500mH. -thats 1/2 a henry, right? so using the LCR calculator, i should be able to calculate out what caps i need, in order to use it. -right?

 

this is the only place ive ever seen the "henry rating" for the wah inductor[/quote']

 

1 Henry = 1000mh )...millihenries

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heres what i came up with (although, im beginning to wonder if this is the right forum for this sort of thing...)

 

using a 500mH inductor out of a crybaby wah, and the specified cap values listed earlier in this thread, -and the online LCR calculator link provided by carverman... i got these results:

 

.001uf --> 7.118 kHz

.003uf --> 4.109 kHz

.01uf --> 2.251 kHz

.03uf --> 1.299 kHz

.22uf - -> 479.870 Hz

 

compare this to the chart listed previously, and you should be able to adjust the cap values to suit your own needs. 7k is way off the range of the guitar. so is 4k, im pretty sure... youll have to adjust.

 

for me and my project, im trying a .015uf cap (1.838 kHz), and a .047uf (1.038 kHz). Combined in parallel, they equal .062, which has a resonant peak of around 903hz, give or take the 20% tollerance values of the caps.

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I find the whole varitone thing on a guitar worthless.

 

If you want to fool around with the freq's just use an EQ downline. And yes, I've had the original and built several versions of the varitone over the years and scrapped em all ultimately.

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heres what i came up with (although' date=' im beginning to wonder if this is the right forum for this sort of thing...)

 

using a 500mH inductor out of a crybaby wah, and the specified cap values ...I got these results:

 

.001uf --> 7.118 kHz

.003uf --> 4.109 kHz

.01uf --> 2.251 kHz

.03uf --> 1.299 kHz

.22uf - -> 479.870 Hz

 

compare this to the chart listed previously, and you should be able to adjust the cap values to suit your own needs. 7k is way off the range of the guitar. so is 4k, im pretty sure... youll have to adjust.[/quote']

 

Most guitar strings fundamental vibrations are (low E to High C) are in the range of 174.0Hz to 4186Hz. Pickup "signatures" ..the variable that distinguishes the tone of one pickup from another are tested in that range. Anything above that is in the harmonic range of the strings.

You are using .5 H choke instead of a 7.2H as the schematic calls, so I find the results "sort of" meaningless.

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You are using .5 H choke instead of a 7.2H as the schematic calls, so I find the results "sort of" meaningless.

 

you may be right...

in intrest of full disclosure to anybody who might want to try this at home... -dont. i allready did.

 

somewhere earlier in this thread, i fully admitted that i dont exactly know what an inductor DOES. just that i needed one. with that in mind, read on...

 

so i tried my little circuit experiment after working out what caps to hone-in on, and i was dissapointed in the results. it actually works, but the overall effect isnt much more than turning your tone knob all the way down. very muted tones. i double checked my circuit and it was definately wired right. so my only conclusion is that the 500mH wah inductor doesnt have enough "oomph" to do the job. -hows that for a technical anylasys? ](*,)

 

when combined, in parallel, (.062uf center frequency) it had a much more pronounced effect, as a big mid -scoop. it sounded like a accoustic guitar piezo pickup, and the output dropped quite a bit. so it definately works, just not very well.

so, what im probably going to do is break down and buy the Torres Varitone kit for $16+shipping, and scarf from it what i need. its a small price to pay after several attempts at a homemade circuit. i bought one a few years ago and installed it in my Sheraton and i really love it. i was just trying to get the first 2 tones from it into my LP style gtr. i should have realised that it wouldnt take much to actually buy the real thing and steal what i need.

this forum, and especially carverman's input, has been a real help tho. now, if nothing else, i understand the relationship between the inductor and the cap to get a desired center frequency. after i get the Torres kit, i will know how to tweak it, if desired. :)

 

I find the whole varitone thing on a guitar worthless.

 

If you want to fool around with the freq's just use an EQ downline. And yes, I've had the original and built several versions of the varitone over the years and scrapped em all ultimately.

 

thank you for sharing that.

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so my only conclusion is that the 500mH wah inductor doesnt have enough "oomph" to do the job. -hows that for a technical anylasys? :)

 

Inductors are a complex piece of electronic component..the henries expression is just part of it...you have other

internal characteristics that makes it different from the way a capacitor behaves. Like the hysterisis loop that

determines when the electromotive force (emf) changes based on the polarity of the signal voltage applied.

 

"Additionally' date=' any magnetic hysteresis that needs to be overcome with every reversal of the inductor's magnetic field constitutes an expenditure of energy that manifests itself as resistance in the circuit. Some core materials (such as ferrite) are particularly notorious for their hysteretic effect. Counteracting this effect is best done by means of proper core material selection and limits on the peak magnetic field intensity generated with each cycle."

[endquote from online sources']

 

That's why inductors have so many different uses and each application is very unique.

 

so, what im probably going to do is break down and buy the Torres Varitone kit for $16+shipping, and scarf from it what i need. its a small price to pay after several attempts at a homemade circuit. i bought one a few years ago and installed it in my Sheraton and i really love it. i was just trying to get the first 2 tones from it into my LP style gtr. i should have realised that it wouldnt take much to actually buy the real thing and steal what i need.

this forum, and especially caverman's input, has been a real help tho. now, if nothing else, i understand the relationship between the inductor and the cap to get a desired center frequency. after i get the Torres kit, i will know how to tweak it, if desired.

 

I'm sure that that the Gibson engineers spent considerable time coming up and perfecting with the ideal circuit

for the Lucille/ BluesHawk. The type of pickups and their impedance/reactance in Henries also plays an important

part in the tone derived from the varitone. The BluesHawk uses a Blues P-90, which is a variation of the p-90.

If you use any other p_up, the results are not going to be the same..because the Blueshawk and Lucille is a

TUNED circuit, much the same as when you tune a guitar to standard concert pitch..or some other variation

of tuning or use a capo to raise the tuning....it all sounds different.

 

Anyway, going with a commercial available "variable tone circuit" or whatever it's called, is the best way to

go. It will save may tens of hours of experimentation and produce more consistent results.

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