Alnico magnets...

sonar1

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All I know is: I tend to use pickups with AlNiCo II, like 490’s, Burstbuckers, ‘57’s, etc.
All are going for the PAF sound.
I had a Studio with Burstbucker Pro (AlNiCo V) pickups that were noticeably louder with an in-your-face presence.
Hot. Good though.
 

LtDave32

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doesn’t mean you can’t joke around. Hell if I couldn’t joke around I wouldn’t hang here at all :)
Speaking of which, I want those shop quarters and bench spic and span and standing tall by 0800 tomorrow, Leahy.
 

LtDave32

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I've had a few folks tell me that Alnico V magnets make things a bit brighter and more "articulate"

The staple pup magnets in a 54 Black Beauty are Alnico V, as well as the old Dynasonic cylinder magnets.

The latter really makes sense to me, because those old Dynasonics are very articulate and clear.
 

ARandall

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Telling a pickup's magnet from the tone is like trying to guess what size wheels are on a car from its acceleration figures.

I really hope this was a joke thread, otherwise its just sad.
 

Skyjerk

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Speaking of which, I want those shop quarters and bench spic and span and standing tall by 0800 tomorrow, Leahy.
It’s clean Dave! I spent two whole days in the Job last weekend: I swear.
 

dasherf17

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Telling a pickup's magnet from the tone is like trying to guess what size wheels are on a car from its acceleration figures.

I really hope this was a joke thread, otherwise its just sad.
Uiuhhh, no joke...call me curious to how variables may work (if at all)...you (I) don't know what you (I) don't know, y'know? Just asking a question...
 

LtDave32

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ARandall

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Uiuhhh, no joke...call me curious to how variables may work (if at all)...you (I) don't know what you (I) don't know, y'know? Just asking a question...
Ok....hmmmmm

Well you have the player, any pedals they might be using, the amp, the speaker, the room, the micing technique and the speakers you are listening to it with......if you're taking about clips of others you want to listen to.

For you comparing in the room, some of these are equalised out, but you also need to add all of the following as well: the contribution of guitar they are mounted in, the way they are adjusted under the strings, The wire used, the wind pattern, the wire gauge, the insulation type, the alloys used for the small parts, alloys used in things like baseplates and covers.

Then the magnets themselves are not all the same.....so the origin of the magnet, any impurities that might be present in the casting, the overall gauss level of the magnet and how even it is along the length.


And all of these elements are interactive and reactive. Change one or a few of them and the way the others react will alter the way a determination has to be made of their contribution to the whole.
 

dasherf17

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Ok....hmmmmm

Well you have the player, any pedals they might be using, the amp, the speaker, the room, the micing technique and the speakers you are listening to it with......if you're taking about clips of others you want to listen to.

For you comparing in the room, some of these are equalised out, but you also need to add all of the following as well: the contribution of guitar they are mounted in, the way they are adjusted under the strings, The wire used, the wind pattern, the wire gauge, the insulation type, the alloys used for the small parts, alloys used in things like baseplates and covers.

Then the magnets themselves are not all the same.....so the origin of the magnet, any impurities that might be present in the casting, the overall gauss level of the magnet and how even it is along the length.


And all of these elements are interactive and reactive. Change one or a few of them and the way the others react will alter the way a determination has to be made of their contribution to the whole.
Oh, I do get the variables factor into the sound...we did include the fingers and the muscles behind them, callous/no callous, etc....? Yes, I'm sure...
Sooo are people nit-picking with articles (or threads for that matter) on Alnico 2-5 or is it more integral to the vintage or brighter, "in your face" sound, as I heard it put? I hear so many people spend thousands of dollars on a perfectly good guitar only to change pickups because they're not the right sound, feel, tone, whatever? (I feel like I'm nit-picking...)
 

ARandall

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Well, once you have eliminated variables, then you can focus on the differences that are there.

Its just that so many people fail to realise how many other variables there are in any one recording, or simply feel that if you pick an A5 magnet pickup or an A2 magnet pickup that the only difference between them is what the magnet grade is doing. And that is hardly the case.

So is there a specific scenario you are wanting to discuss......because the topic is very broad.
It might be worth doing either a broad search, or one specifically on this forum. Quite literally there are hundreds of threads on the basics for you to be able to get up to speed.
 

Robert Parker

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It sounds like ARandall knows his stuff. I'll offer a small experiment for what it's worth. I have 3 diff humbuckers all wound by David Plummer (Zhangbucker). One started with A2, one with A3, and one with A5. The one with A5 was noticeably stronger in the treble ranges. Of course, it was also wound a bit hotter, but it was my favorite. It made me curious, so I put an unoriented A5 in place of the one with the A3, and it cleared up with more articulate highs. I did the same with the one that began with A2 - the A5 brought out more high-end. All of these were wound to different specs, ranging from 6.5 - 9.0k resistance. But the A5 always gave me more of the tonal spectrum I was looking for, regardless of how hot the pickup was.
 

mgdesigns

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There was a video on YouTube with pickups that come with all flavors of replaceable magnets, so you can choose which ones suit your style. I prefer Alnico 2's for my build, but I've also read that at Gibson in the late 50's they just grabbed whatever was at hand - could be A2 or A4 or A5 - all that mattered to the pickup builder was that the magnet was the right length and thickness. My Scrap Paul (as seen on TDPRI thread) has A2's and I love the way it can growl at high and smooth out at lower volumes. Just my 2 cents.
 

dasherf17

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There was a video on YouTube with pickups that come with all flavors of replaceable magnets, so you can choose which ones suit your style. I prefer Alnico 2's for my build, but I've also read that at Gibson in the late 50's they just grabbed whatever was at hand - could be A2 or A4 or A5 - all that mattered to the pickup builder was that the magnet was the right length and thickness. My Scrap Paul (as seen on TDPRI thread) has A2's and I love the way it can growl at high and smooth out at lower volumes. Just my 2 cents.
mgd...I appreciate those technical terms I can relate to..."growl" for example! ;)
I am on my way to that YouTube video and try to find your build on TDPR. Thanks!
 

CL-10

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Happy Friday!
have a whole heap-o' humbuckers (about half a dozen or so)...
I have heard of the Alnico 2 and 5 magnet (and all the other numbered Alnicos), used extensively in pickups...read extensively on the subject as well.
My question is: how does one tell before hearing which is which? Is there a measurement for them?
You can’t tell from just listening. A gauss meter will tell you based on a fully charged magnet. What you can tell is what magnet to choose if your unhappy with the current tones. The changes eill also be guitar specific as the pickups will sound different from one guitar to another. An example would be some burst bucker pro V i had. The A5 had a very high charge to them and was Spikey in the highs and muddy n the lows. I tried A4 magnets ant the highs and lows were tamed in this Les Paul. Previously another les paul had some older SD 59’s. I trie the A’4 in it and it sounded pretty good. I later put the same 59’s in another guitar and in this guitar it was still too spikey in the highs and muddy with the lows. I ended up with A2 magnets for this guitar. I’m thinking a set if A3 might even be better - maybe later. So choosing a magnet swap is easy if you know the current magnet in the pups. If you know the brand and model , just lookup the specs. No knowledge of the brand and model and you’ll need a gauss meter.
A5 : more highs and lows and output. Would help a guitar needing a little more livelyness
A4 : similar to A5 in aggrssion but more balanced. If the A5 is to spikey and boomey but you like the
assertiveness but want less highs
and smoother lows. Great choice unless the guitar is overly bright
A2 : less agressive than the A5 and A4 and creamier highs. Great choice for bright guitars
So this guideline can help with which magnet to possibly choose.
 

MyGuitar

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No one "the same" magnet is the same. Like no one tube is the same. No one coil is the same too. No one guitar is the same. No one setup is the same. Very complex game, subjective "science", knowledge and some measurements help, we know directions but even then almost alchemy... Good luck in experiments :)
 

1981 LPC

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Happy Friday!
have a whole heap-o' humbuckers (about half a dozen or so)...
I have heard of the Alnico 2 and 5 magnet (and all the other numbered Alnicos), used extensively in pickups...read extensively on the subject as well.
My question is: how does one tell before hearing which is which? Is there a measurement for them?
This vid is quite good. The different magnets used are the only variable, all the other stuff is constant.

Use a headphone of monitors because the differences aren't night and day.

 


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