Let's gather what we remember about the original induction pickup thread. For Joseph J. Rogowski's contributions see http://www.cigarboxnation.com/forum/topics/joseph-j-rogowski-about-....

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Hi Darryl,
You haven't been intentionally edited out - Wayfinder deleted his account and because he started the original thread the whole lot was lost. The fragments here are a only a few bits I did screen shots of and the rest got deleted before I had the chance to finish the job.
David L

Yes and no David, i know the story with the account deletion, but there were a few edits along the way before that, the whole thread was rearranged some months ago and a fair bit ended on the floor, and other stuff re inserted out of sync, i'm not claiming it was with malice or intent, but it distorted the already distorted run of the thread caused by the host platforms methods of adding replies at times as new posts, it's not all that important, as we ended up with a pretty uniform method, just different ways of achieving it, but the thread in total was good to re hash, and help others not waste time doing things we'd already found to not work well

Certainly, we can supply a few Matchbooks for evaluation. That sounds like a great idea.

Sounds good Donald, I could take care to post them around the world, and as I mailed to Lace in January, I still would like to buy two of them.

sounds good .....just send your info to me via email.

Hi Donald,

That sounds like a nice gesture.

From the evaluation point of view a review by Shane Speal (started this site) would be the one I would most like to read.

Best wishes,
David L.

Re Shane Speal: Shane also writes a CBG column for Guitar World. I think many of us would like to see both him, and maybe Justin Johnson? Review a Lace Matchbook pickup.

I rather would like to know what other people think about the Matchbook: Jim Morris as an active builder and player on various instruments, turtlehead with his experiments with induction pickups, Dan Sleep as a builder of the pickup type the Matchbook will be compared with, and the like.

Donald, thanks for supplying the pictures of the matchbook, very intrigued, I can't wait to see the next Shane Speal video showing it off, or order one once CBGitty starts carrying them.

So the basic principal of an induction pickup is the magnet is surrounded by a beefy closed single loop of a big/thick conductor.  ordinary mag pickups use a ton of wraps of thin wire to get a high voltage/low amperage signal from the magnet, an induction pickup uses a beefy single loop to get low voltage/high amperage signal from the magnet instead

Share this loop of current with the iron core of another coil and it couples and acts as a 1:N transformer. the iron core of the 2nd coil scrapes off the signal like a pineapple cutter scrapes off the tender juicy flesh from the inedible center.

In this picture the dark green arrows in the gray rectangle are the amps in the primary loop, the blue arrows are the coupling to the iron core of the coil stepping up the voltage on the red/green pickup wires that go to your amp.

The key is to not cause any restriction in the primary loop, it only works as well as the weakest part of the loop. using a thinner wire to pass through the 2nd coil, rivets, etc, anything that has more resistance than the rest of the primary loop weakens the signal. Think of it like Indy cars on a track, its only high speed if all lanes are wide open all the way around.

Holy Cow! Even Lace Pickups is getting in on Cigar box guitars, added by BeetleJuice! on January 21, 2017

found on another site, a pretty fair summary without all the false trails, it leaves out a bit, but the essence is there, hope it helps anyone interested, my opinion is that the 500 wind transformer with a 20-200Hz rating seems to work best

   On another board I had posted a terrific article detailing the work of about a dozen people in creating a "new kind of guitar pickup".  That article was removed along with a great deal other valuable information over what proved to be a severe misunderstanding on the part of several people (myself included), tempers flaring, and knee-jerk reactions rather than calm, friendly solutions to problems. 

    I can't do anything about that... but I can to the best of my ability restore this bit of knowledge to the Handmade Music community.  Unfortunately I don't have a copy of any of the original articles so don't have the names of the commenters and can't attribute participation in the project-- the people that helped invent this device.  But I do have the method and the diagrams, which will serve.

    To the best of my ability, following is a rough re-creation of the original article, along with diagrams (fortunately I did have copies of the diagrams).

    The term induction pickup is simple way to say "transference of electricity".  The concept is simple: 

    1. Ferrous guitar strings (steel or nickel or chrome) disrupt the pickup's magnetic field.

    2. Copper within that field converts the energy generated into micro-voltage.

    3. A step-up micro-transformer converts that micro-voltage into a higher voltage that can be recognized and increased by a guitar amplifier.

    No battery or external power source of any kind is required, nor is a large coil required.  The only coil exists within the transformer and it is very small, largely impervious to RF or EM interference.  That fact makes the impedance pickup highly resistant to hiss and noise.  It is a "single-coil, clear pickup".  I hate to even call it a coil, as in my mind one piece of wire does not constitute a "coil".  A loop perhaps.  So perhaps a more accurate name for this would be a "loop induction pickup" or "loop pickup" for short.

    Following are four different designs detailing how to make a loop pickup.   Enjoy.   If you have any questions I can answer them in the comments.  Let's keep the questions / discussion technical and leave the drama and personal issues over at the other place.   I'm posting this here for the good of the community so that this information is not lost due to a bogus misunderstandings and the following misdeeds.  I do here what I can to rectify at least part of the consequences of those decisions.


    This is accomplished by surrounding a thin bar magnet with a copper wire.  The N/S poles of the magnet need to be on the wide faces.  Wrap the magnet in packing tape to prevent shorting the wire, then tape it to the wire.  The wire should be a gauge that fits the hole in a pass-through micro-transformer (available on Amazon or Ebay).  The ends of the wire will be soldered near the top of the magnet prior to assembly, as you do not wish to get the magnet warm  The side diagrams shows how the wire passes down through to the interior of the box.  You can use any micro transformer you wish in this basic size.   I've tried just about all of them, and they all sound good.   Since sound is subjective, some may prefer one transformer over another.

The wires run to the volume control, just as with a normal pickup.  If you wish, you can bend the wire and transformer so that it sits underneath the magnet / wire area.

METHOD #2:  4-prong Transformer

This is made similarly to method #1 but rather than using a pass-through transformer, uses a step-up transformer (4 poles, 2-in 2-out).  The wire attaches to the two in poles, wire runs from the two out poles to the volume control.  Other than that the concept is the same.

Method #3:  Full wire pass-through transformer

With this method a copper loop on a thin wood backing surrounds either a bar magnet or disc magnets.  It is soldered at one end (or a side) prior to installation.   The magnets are insulated by tape as above and the wire sits around it.  The other end of the wire runs into a pass-through transformer with a large hole in the center, allowing both sides of the wire to run through the same hole.  This creates current as the wire runs in and out of the transformer.   The transformer itself is quite a bit blockier, but can be made of items such as disassembled power adapters (wall warts) with satisfying results.  This is the "scavenged and found" parts version of an induction pickup.

Method #4:  Plate Diagram

Unlike the others, this is made from an aluminum or copper plate rather than copper wire.  It is a bit more time-consuming to build but offers excellent sound.  Copper plate is recommended.  In this design the plate is cut up the middle to separate sides of the plate, in effect creating a single "loop".  It is then bent so that the end of it drops down and underneath the box lid.  The tape-insulated bar magnet can be put on the top or bottom of the plate.  Two bolts and nuts are run down through the sides of the plate and clamp a copper wire, which runs through a pass-through transformer as used in the first two diagrams.   The wire from the transformer runs to the volume control.


As can be seen in all of these methods, the basic principle is the same:   surround the magnet with a copper or aluminum loop,  which converts the magnetic distortion field to voltage, increases that voltage at the micro-transformer and sends it on out to your amplifier.  Just about anyone can make these.    This was a community product and is public domain.

The result is a pickup that produces crystal clear, noise-free and hum-free sound.  They are relatively easy to build once you have collected the parts.  If you don't want to collect the parts, you can find a pre-built version here that works very well.


P.S.   It has been claimed that someone had invented something similar years before but never marketed it.  Kudos to that bit of genius, but that is at best of historic interest and irrelevant to this article.  This post documents the work of a group of indivdiuals flying by the seat of our pants and figuring out-- from scratch-- how to make a new kind of pickup.  That effort took some 95+ pages of research and discussion.    The resulting design is what you see above, is now "public domain" for anyone to use, is documented, is currently being marketed and can be built by anyone who so desires.


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