Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)


Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Heinrich Foltz

Second Advisor

Nantakan Wongkasem

Third Advisor

Hasina Huq


This Thesis establishes the foundations of modern guitar pickup theory, enhancing current pickup design by an increase in voltage output, reduction of DC resistance, and a reduction of production costs. This research investigates factors that have received insufficient attention, such as the performance of different magnetic materials, magnet geometry, bobbin geometry, metal effects, etc. An equation to calculate the output of guitar pickups is developed. Additionally, this work constructs a modern pickup using the techniques developed in this thesis incorporating theory and advanced modeling techniques to simulate changes in performance and interactions with different magnetic materials and geometries. The new design developed in this study features 1200-1850 coil windings, 1.5K Ohms DC resistance, with a resulting output of 368 mV at 85.5 Hz. This work compares traditional pickups and four new experimental versions. The research discusses the relative costs and properties of three main magnet families: Neodymium, Ferrite, and Alnico. Neodymium magnets emerge as a promising choice, balancing cost and performance, particularly the N52 Neodymium magnet, which results in this study demonstrate it outperforms the industry standard Alnico 5.


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