Help choosing magnet for pickups

Hissaman

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I'm looking to swap the magnets in the pickups of my Tokai UALC60. I think they're currently Alnico V mags but I'm looking to swap them out for Alnico IIs. I've found a store on eBay that stocks various Alnico II mags but I'm unsure which would be best to go for. I love the sound of the Duncan Alnico II Pros I also have a Duncan RTM which is Alnico II obviously swapping the mags out in the tokai will not make the pickups sound exactly like aforementioned pickups but I really like the sound of most Alnico II pups and also fancy a little something to tinker with whilst stuck in lockdown.
The magnets offered are as follows:
Alnico II
Roughcast Alnico II
Unoriented Alnico II
Short roughcast Alnico II

Any help towards deciding on what would be best to go for would be greatly appreciated.
 

Hecubus

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AFAIK all Alnico II are unoriented. I would go for the regular polished Alnico II if you like the Duncan A2pros.
 

Hecubus

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What do you not like about your current pickups? That will provide the best information on what magnet to recommend.
 

Hissaman

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Mainly the neck pickup, its a bit too wooly. I've played around with pickup height and pole heights and ive found the best is with the neck as low as I can get it. I have a friend with a set with the Duncan Alnico IIs in his Tokai and also another les paul with the Iron Gear Tesla Sharks both of which have an incredibly nice tone. Ive found running an eq first on my kemper with the low mids pulled back slightly and the high mids boosted ever so slightly gets me a little closer sounding to those two guitars. Obviously the most logical thing to do would be get either the Tesla Sharks or the Duncans but I just fancied a go at trying a mag swap plus funds are tight due to saving for a wedding this year :facepalm:
 

el84ster

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I’ve fought the wooly neck pickup fight for years. I’ve found that you need a weaker magnet there to give a less bassy sound. Short is often weaker (less material) but not always.
good luck, it’s tricky.
 

Hissaman

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I’ve fought the wooly neck pickup fight for years.
It's a total pain haha, I've ended up owning a few single humbucker guitars as I stopped using a neck pup for a while. I've always thought slash had a really nice neck tone plus any time i've tried my mate's guitar I've found the pickups don't have the dreaded wool and suit my playing nicely.
 

jlee

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A4 is awesome in the neck position. Every A4 pickup I’ve had has been super clear with great note separation in the neck. I hear an upper mid emphasis with A4, despite the flat eq that A4 is known for.
 

Hissaman

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A4 is awesome in the neck position.
I agree. A4 is the way to go for a wooly neck pickup.
I just watch a magnet comparison in the neck position and I think A4 was probably my favourite. I was thinking of maybes going A4 in the neck and A2 in the bridge or maybes an UOA5 in the bridge then I watched this video.

I know its camera audio and the camera is positioned differently each time buy that A3 sounds absolutely ripping!!
 

jonesy

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You could always try a higher reading neck volume pot something 520k-530k and change it to 50s that will add clarity and reduce some of the muddiness.

Alnico 2 magnet will cut a lot of the highs and focus eq more on the mids. A4 is a much better magnet choice for a neck pickup.
 

LP1865

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Also I'm not one to say anything but the prices seem to be better at Philadelphia Luthier tools
 

Hissaman

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Just buy the polished ones.
probably a gimmick they're trying to sell
Its more the unoriented options im confused with on the A2,A3 and A4 to me it seems like their regular A2 magnet is oriented unless you select the unoriented option, but I thought theres wasn't such thing as an oriented A2


Also I'm not one to say anything but the prices seem to be better at Philadelphia Luthier tools
Unfortunately I'm based in the UK so it would cost a fair bit with shipping from there
 

AJK1

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I hate to rain on your parade but I have 3 Jap Tokai LP and have had another 3 previously and the pickups in all of them had so much wax in them that it wouldn’t matter what magnet you’ll put in them they’ll still be dark and muddy
Replacing magnets in wax filled pickups is fraught with danger as you have to dig out the magnet surrounded and wedged in by wax and try not to break the wires etc pulling the pickups apart and putting it back together

I’ve replaced all the pickups in mine with unpotted ones and they all play and sound glorious, I’d recommend you get some and see for yourself
 
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Hissaman

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I hate to rain on your parade but I have 3 Jap Tokai LP and have had another 3 previously and the pickups in all of them had so much wax in them that it wouldn’t matter what magnet you’ll put in them they’ll still be dark and muddy
Hopefully the Chinese weren't feeling very generous with the wax on the day they made mine
 

jlee

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I just watch a magnet comparison in the neck position and I think A4 was probably my favourite. I was thinking of maybes going A4 in the neck and A2 in the bridge or maybes an UOA5 in the bridge then I watched this video.

I know its camera audio and the camera is positioned differently each time buy that A3 sounds absolutely ripping!!
A3 is a pretty weak magnet. Depending on the output of the bridge pickup, you could end up with a weaker sounding bridge pickup. Had a set of A3 pickups in my old ‘16 ES335. Swapped magnets to UOA5, which is my all around preference.

Polished are supposed to be brighter and edgier than rough cast. I’ve only had 1 set of polished magnets, so can’t really confirm.
 

Hissaman

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A3 is a pretty weak magnet. Depending on the output of the bridge pickup, you could end up with a weaker sounding bridge pickup. Had a set of A3 pickups in my old ‘16 ES335. Swapped magnets to UOA5, which is my all around preference.

Polished are supposed to be brighter and edgier than rough cast. I’ve only had 1 set of polished magnets, so can’t really confirm.
Yeah I think ill knock the A3 on the head. Found a decent website here in the UK that is a fair amount cheaper than that eBay store i initially found so I'm going to get a few to play around with in the Tokai and a couple other guitars. Looking at A4 and UOA5 for the tokai, the going to try an A2 and A8 for another les paul and then a couple ceramics for a super strat
Looking at £12 total for the 6 magnets
 


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