No love for Alnico IV magnets??????????

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by richedie, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. richedie

    richedie Senior Member

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    Why no love for the Alnico IV??? You hear a lot about the II, V, 8 and ceramic...but never III or IV.

    I know lots of guys who replace the V in a pickup to a IV to warm it up. So, why not have more pickups made with a IV? I have a sneaky suspicion that when when winders say they are using a special vintage Alnico magnet(but do not reveal the type) they are using a III or IV.:)

    -Rich
     
  2. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    MANY people use AIV magnets.

    Lindy Fralin and Tim Mills at Bareknuckle always use AIV with their vintage flavoured humbuckers.
    I love Alnico IV. In fact I'm using it in all my p/Us but my Greenie bridge which sounds great with a slightly bolder AV.
    My new WB custom set will come with AIVs....

    I can't help it. I'm a huge AIV magnet fan.

    As for AIII... I love it in m Strat. Check out this vid with AIII handwound p/us ( BKP ):
    YouTube - relic style strat rockin' with a tweed Deluxe amp
    Great tone and vitually nil string pull....
     
  3. richedie

    richedie Senior Member

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    I see people replacing their Alnico V in a pickup with an AIV but rarely do I see winders use these. You see some, aside form what you mentioned, I see Fralin puts one in the high powered humbucker. Still, if it adds that much more warmth, body and mids, I would think more would use them! Alnico Vs are more scooped, so why the heavy use of the V.
     
  4. uOpt

    uOpt Senior Member

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    I tried A4 in a Duncan Custom and in Duncan APH1. I found that it lacks a certain "musical" quality, some harmonics that add shine when using A2 and A5 are missing. Overall my least liked Alnico so far.
     
  5. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    I do not understand this.... all the humbuckers with AIV magnets that I've played have sounded stellar and very, very musical.
    In fact Tim Mills at BKP told me that many, many original PAFs used AIV and apparently he could prove it with documentation.

    This is a vid using an alnico IV loaded vintage flavoured humbucker:

    YouTube - les paul demo

    Sorry for the aimless playing ( and trackie trousers! :rofl: ) but you can clearly hear the musicality of the tone.
    I sold those p/us ( now I sort of regret it ) to a guy who swapped some old classic 57s for those and he could not believe the improvement.
     
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  6. nwobhm

    nwobhm Senior Member

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    Actually, alot of winders do Jon Moore, MGP, Bareknuckle,skatterbrane alot of winders stock any magnet you want now. sometimes all you have to do is ask.
     
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  7. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    that's right. Will Boggs has told me that after hearing my AIV custom H&B Habanero he's really interested in what AIV has to offer.
     
  8. plecoman

    plecoman Senior Member

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    Funny that... My fave PAF style PUs are A4 magnets! Tom Holmes 453 use A4s, I prefer them to his stock 455s which use A2 mags. Also Motor City uses A4 often in his more old school sets. BKP use them in the Mule, which are nice too... Alot of people use them man!
     
  9. richedie

    richedie Senior Member

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    INteresting, I checked with John at wymore guitars and he heard from some they can be sterile. I have also heard more musical from people about AII and V. However, the proof is in the pudding! I wonder if my Motor City Torque has an AIV. It is a custom Alnico - could be anything!
     
  10. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    AIV in the WRONG pickup design, in the WRONG guitar, through the WRONG amp playing the WRONG type of music might sounde.. well, wrong but then again it could happen to any type of Alnico.

    For vintage sounds with the right pickup design AIV sounds great to my ears.
     
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  11. uOpt

    uOpt Senior Member

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    I don't claim to have a universal experience. All I can say is that in the two pickups I tried A4 was the magnet material I least liked. I general, I have good ears for magnets and I can hear one Alnico's characteristic through most coils. I just don't like this one and I don't expect to like it better in other pickups. I should slam it into an Antiquity to see how that goes.

    Keep in mind that people like Seymour Duncan, whoever designs for Dimarzio and whoever picks Gibson pickup magnets right now all default to A2 and A5 with very rare exceptions such as SD's new Alternative 8.

    Also, Alnico<n> doesn't mean it equals all other Alnico<same n>. For example, I have a variety of A2s here, and the one from my SD Custom Custom has lower charge. That would be normal, but what is not normal is that even if I discharge it more and then re-charge the heck out of it it never reaches the strengths that my other A2 magnets have. Very obviously, the composition of that Alnico 2 is different from the composition of the other Alnico 2s.
     
  12. plecoman

    plecoman Senior Member

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    Try a 453 Tom holmes. For me, it doesn't even compare to any other PAF pickup, including his 455. But again tone is personal, Mr Holmes himself is prefers his 455 to 453. The A4 453 has a crunchier tone, a little more top, TO me the perfect PAF. Also BKP make the Mule (A4) and Stormy Monday (A2 usually). I just like the A4 Mule more. Both are PAFs, but i think A4 is suited for more distorted music, cranked marshalls etc.... A2 PAFs seeem better for lower gain/clean jazzy blusy situations.

    I find A5 in a Paf not quite right, they are always nice, but not quite PAF sounding to me. They don't sound like all the 60s-70s records we all try and repicate. Too much punch, low end, and "girth" that makes them sound too Chunky in MOST cases. Tim at BKP swears that real 57-60 long magnet PAFs never ever used A5 magnets... He's looked at loads and never came across A5s. Who knows the truth!? :rofl:

    Torque is A5 man! His Blackbelts are A4 and I wanna try them so bad since Wade promises it will deliver the goods. I have a feeling it may be even better than the Holmes. But I have no guitar to put them in right now so I can't buy a pair haha!!
     
  13. richedie

    richedie Senior Member

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    I wonder what gauge wire he uses on the Torque since it is about 14.k. Interesting. I normally find AVs to lack midrange but this one does not. Weird. Wade knows his stuff. I like it best with a 300k volume pot though.

    I am thinking of getting a Blackbelt and then I can use either that or the Torque in my Burst and get the Afwayus for my Ebony LP.

    You said gorth, but I heard AIVs provide more girth!
    I am surprised so many makers use AV with its more scooped nature compared to IV!
     
  14. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    I think you've got a very valid point there. Not all alnico alloys -whatever number- are identical. I remember another story concerning Tim @ BKP. His original batch of AII was very dark sounding. He ordeded another batch ( maybe from somebody else ) and that new AII was a lot sparklier and nicer "sounding".
     
  15. plecoman

    plecoman Senior Member

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    Well there are good A5s, and bad A5s, I have some Gibson 498T which are scooped, everyone hates them for some reason, but I like them in certain guitars! They happen to be one of the only off the shelf Gibson PUs that sound good for me. All my MCP have "good" A5s, and they have SMACK load more girth than my A4 based PAFs. Neither is better, just different tones. WCR also use A5s in all/most Pickups unless you request otherwise, and they too have that thick midrange girth.
     
  16. nwobhm

    nwobhm Senior Member

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    I think the wind influences the overall tone as well, Lollars have A5 but, I don't hear them as scooped or too bottom heavy just sweet and clear.
     
  17. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Guest

    Not only AlNiCo IV, but rough cast as well.
     
  18. madialex

    madialex Guest

    I too am a fan of A4..Use it a lot:thumb:
     
  19. uOpt

    uOpt Senior Member

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    Having bashed A4 in this thread, I can now say that it sounds much better in my SD Jazz (neck). I didn't like it in the SD APH, so it's not just a matter of "PAF coils required".

    I don't have a final conclusion yet, the guitar I tried this in has a non-perfect neck sound so before testing more I'm waiting for an Ebay item to arrive from Japan :)
     
  20. WolfeMacleod

    WolfeMacleod V.I.P. Member MLP Vendor

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    There is no such thing as Alnico 4
     
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