A pickup is a device that captures mechanical vibrations (usually from stringed instruments like the electric guitar, electric bass guitar or electric violin) and converts them to an electrical signal which can be amplified and recorded.
There are two main types of pickups. While piezo pickups are more common on acoustic guitars, and magnetic on electric ones, some guitars have both kinds.
Piezo pickups contain a crystal that produces an electrical signal when physically vibrated.
Magnetic pickups contain magnets with wire wrapped around them. When a metal string vibrates near the magnet an electrical signal is produced in the wire.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Guitar pickups.|
- Technical detail on how pickups work
- UltimateGuitar.com Pickup FAQ
- Constructing an Under Saddle Transducer - Instructions for building a piezo cable guitar transducer. An article on the Liutaio Mottola Lutherie Information Website.
- Properties of Magnetic Materials (chapter)
- Neophyzix Sound Research/Q-tuner neodymium powered guitar & bass pickups. Downloadable 24 Bit/96 kHz audio wav demo.