Introduction to Pick-ups

A pickup device is a transducer that captures mechanical vibrations, usually from suitably equipped stringed instruments such as the electric guitar, electric bass guitar, Chapman Stick, or electric violin, and converts them to an electrical signal that is amplified, recorded, or broadcast. A magnetic pickup consists of a permanent magnet with a core of material such as alnico or ceramic, wrapped with a coil of several thousand turns of fine enameled copper wire. The pickup is most often mounted on the body of the instrument, but can be attached to the bridge, neck and/or pickguard, as on many electro-acoustic archtop jazz guitars and string basses. The permanent magnet magnetizes the steel strings above it[citation needed] and the steel strings when they vibrate become moving magnets[citation needed] thereby inducing an alternating current through the coil of wire. This signal is then carried to amplification or recording equipment via a cable. There may also be an internal preamplifier stage between the pickup and cable.