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Electronic Answer Man, Part 1

Electronic Answer Man, Part 1

by Rick Turner

Originally published in American Lutherie #29–31 and #33–36, 1992 and 1993

Electronic Answer Man, Part 2 by Rick Turner (can be seen in Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume 4)

Can you explain pickup phase and polarity? How does coil polarity relate to hum and humbucking? I have heard that it is possible to achieve hum canceling in a Strat. How is this done?

Let’s start by trying to understand the basics of “absolute phase.” The easiest example is not a guitar, but rather a drum. Imagine putting a mike in front of a bass drum, running the mike through a mixer, power amp, and finally a set of loudspeakers. As the drum is struck, the drumhead first moves forward, then back. The first cycle of a sonic wave consisting of first pressurized, then rarefied air moves out from the drum head and intercepts the mike.

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