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Lecture 21

ESE 121 Lecture 21: Electric Guitars and Diods

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Electrical Engineering
ESE 121
Jan Folkson

Lecture 21: Electric Guitars • The potentiometer is a resistor with a user-adjustable amount of resistance. • The minimum and maximum resistance values are fixed during design and manufacturing • It works by taking advantage of something called a voltage divider. o As we know, in a circuit with series resistors, we have individual voltage drops across each resistor. We can determine the drop across each using Ohm’s law. o If we were able to change the values of resistors in real time, we could ‘control’ the amount of voltage dropped. • Easy method for calculating Req for parallel resistors. This is called product over sum. Vs=5V R1=4Ω R2=8Ω RL=12Ω • So the simplest wiring diagram for an electric guitar would just have a pickup (voltage source), a volume pot (voltage divider) and an output jack. • Since we now have a voltage divider in our toolbox. We can apply it to other types of circuits. Namely filters. We know that: • Now the value of R is not fixed, we can adjust it. By doing so, we can alter the value of fc. • Any complicated circuit can be modeled using a voltage source and a series resistor. • A slightly more complicated circuit, the ’66 telecaster. • A different approach, the Gibson Les Paul • In 1950, the fender telecaster was released and proved that there was a market for solid body electric guitars. The Gibson guitar company, which was a well respected, high quality manufacturer was taken by surprise. They brought in guitarist Les Paul as a consultant on their own solid body guitar. Les Paul was an inventor in addition to being a musician. While the fender designs were well received by the public, they were relatively simple, scrappy, durable and easy to repair. Gibson on the other hand always built a more ornate and delicate instrument and the Les Paul model, released in 1954 was an example of this. • A potentiometer is a user-variable voltage divider. • A guitar tone circuit uses a voltage divider as part of a low pass filter allowing the player to vary the tone in real time. • Product over sum is an easy way to determine the equivalent resistance in two AND ONLY two parallel resistors. • Looking at how components are connected in an actual circuit we can draw a schematic using standard symbols. • Guitar pickups work by disturbing the magnetic field of the pickup by the vibrating string. Only ferromagnetic strings will work on a typical electric guitar. • Changing magnet type, string type, number of turns of wire can all affect the character of the signal the pickup outputs to the remainder of the circuit. • Changing circuit components such as capacitor types and value, pot type and value can affect the character of the signal that the GUITAR outputs to the a
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