Are Custom Buckets Really Using A3 Mags

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by GT40, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. GT40

    GT40 Senior Member

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    I always thought that A3 were weaker mags with lower output. But the Custom Buckers in my RI kick ass like a pair of mofos into my PRRI.
    The DCR is around 8K on each one so not really high winds.

    I'm surprised.

    And Grrrrr to the spell check on the thread title
     
  2. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    A3 is wildly misrepresented. Not to mention there is not just 1 grade (like all other mags the actual casting varies considerably between suppliers).
    And mere strength of the magnet seems not to be directly related to output......as in there I've found the swapping from various alnico grades tends to be an eq thing rather than pickup strength.
    I have many different pickup types with A3 and save needing to be slightly closer to the strings I find no appreciable strength dip in any of them - and some read low K by comparison to similar type with stronger mags.
     
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  3. Mr Alarm

    Mr Alarm Senior Member

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    I have thought that it the secret is to compensate the magnet's weakness with higher DC value. I have tried A3's in many 'normal' PAFish pickups, but since their DC velies are around 7,5~ they have sounded lively but thin and weak.
     
  4. LtKojak

    LtKojak Senior Member

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    Which p'ups have you tried in? Neck or Bridge?

    I can understand if you talk about bridge p'ups exclusively, mind you, but I ask 'cause that's not been my experience at all with neck p'ups.

    Care to share?
     
  5. Mr Alarm

    Mr Alarm Senior Member

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    It was in the past so now I should remember some details, hmm!

    Mostly Gibson pickups and for the neck position: 490T, Burstbucker 1, Classic '57. But also some Seymour Duncans, at least SH-1N. None of the swaps were convincing.

    Now I have a Gibson humbucker (apparently Custom Bucker or some kind of MHS pu) in an ES-175 1PU which reads about 8kohm but since it has A3 magnet it sounds open and balanced.

    Or maybe the reason to these findings is the nature of that particular guitar in which I tested these, not the Alnico/DC -relation?
     
  6. Guitar Rod

    Guitar Rod Senior Member

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    I love my Custom Buckers. As you say, both 8k and open and airy. But as the OP said, they have an amazing aggressiveness to them with gain. Sound higher output than they are. And even though they are the same output, they are very well balanced between neck and bridge.
     
  7. framos

    framos Senior Member

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    The Duncan Bonamassa Skinners set was the first A3 pickup I have ever tried. I love how they behave under gain, very agressive, lots of bite (to my surprise).

    Not only it stayed, but another set arrived a few weeks later.

    Not very fond of the CBs, though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
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  8. Zhangliqun

    Zhangliqun Senior Member

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    Going by sound, if they're weaker than A2, it's not by much, and even that is probably just the slight drop in low mid.
     
  9. riffsmachine

    riffsmachine Senior Member

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    Exactly what I was about to write! A kind of mirror post :laugh2:
     
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  10. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Member

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    A3 tends to have a lower Br value than A2, but they're close enough that it should be difficult to actually perceive an output difference. You can surely overcome the small difference just by raising the pickups a little. A5, by contrast, is much stronger and A2, A3 or A4, and then ceramic or A8 is much stronger than A5.
     
  11. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    ^ And this is essentially what you do with A3 pickups, have them very slightly to a fair bit closer to the strings.
     
  12. LtKojak

    LtKojak Senior Member

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    That's a pretty accurate description, with the added tightness of lows, overall clarity and note separation, not to mention added response to picking dynamics.

    The A3 mag revealed itself as the perfect mag for a Duncan '59n that, in conjuction with pairing it with an A2 mag for the '59b, this A3/A2 mod makes this p'up set the arguably best-sounding "non-breaking-the-bank" set in the market today for a LP and/or 335, specially if provided with nickelsilver covers.

    I have this very modded set in my current #1 instrument for a Smooth Jazz project, an Epi 339 Pro, and even I was surprised to find out how they sounded and felt so good in this specific context, although I can very well imagine being quite the perfect solution for the enormous Blues-playing, vintage tone-loving crowd that's not completely at ease with their own p'ups.

    Highly recommended, folks.

    HTH,
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
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  13. Zhangliqun

    Zhangliqun Senior Member

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    Be careful choosing the covers -- most are tone-killers, especially in the neck!
     

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