magnet pair for most "Jimmy Page middle position" sound (@pickup swappers)

Lestergain

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hi
in a Les Paul, whats your most effective magnet pairing to get the most "metallic" sounding middle position, jmmy page style or even more... ?

I used to make lots of experiments and I found that pickups with same magnet and almost same Kohms worked best, than I tried the A5 bridge and A2 neck combo and it was way more effective than anythimg else I had tried.. whats your experience?
thanks for sharing
 

Davey Rock

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hi
in a Les Paul, whats your most effective magnet pairing to get the most "metallic" sounding middle position, jmmy page style or even more... ?

I used to make lots of experiments and I found that pickups with same magnet and almost same Kohms worked best, than I tried the A5 bridge and A2 neck combo and it was way more effective than anythimg else I had tried.. whats your experience?
thanks for sharing
I've tried something Similar to this, but it was aimed at the Peter green mod. Basically you could either get a mini toggle to change polarity (I think) or you could take the magnet out of the neck pickup and turn it around where the north side is now on the south side. Not flip it just reverse it. I love the sound, but I used the seymour Duncan nazgul and sentient pickups. High output for 8 strings guitars, but in a 6 string, so basically it was a metal machine. Like I said I loved the sound, but the middle position was sooooooo quiet. Almost like I had turned the volume down to about 2/5 of the way. Had to turn the amp up to hear it, but when I went back to the neck or the bridge, it was too loud for my bedroom. So I reversed the mod, and found a better way. Lowered the pickups as much as I could without them popping out of the rings, and just raised the pole pieces up to the strings. Middle position is bassy and mid scooped kinda like a strat bridge and middle position. Not as quacky as neck and middle, but still really good. The neck was soft and round, but in a good way. Almost like if Chuck berry had humbucking p90s. The bridge was twangy when needed, much like a steel guitar but not as much, but also handled distortion like a boss. I'm pretty sure the magnet flip would've worked for lower output pickups. Like I said, 8 string, into 6 string arggghhhhh. My bet is 2 in bridge, 3 in neck. Should sound good.
 

jbash

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Depends on the wind of the pickups and the guitar.

UOA5 bridge and A5 roughcast oriented neck works great, IME. I hadf that ocmbo in a pair of cheap toneriders and it was spot on.

But sometimes a pair of Alnico IIs. PRS 57/08s in a SC245 also nailed it.

Generally, one of the pickups needs the "chewy" mids, and one needs to have more even EQ with less low and high mids. Flatter response

But....

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< See that speaker over yonder?


That has a hell of alot to do with it, Just as much as particulars of pickups.
 

Dazza

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I've experienced a few JP theme pickup sets over the years with some sounding nothing like Jimmy's unique tone and others doing a great job. The absolute closest I heard in person was Jimmy Sakurai 'Mr Jimmy' who works with Grinning Dog Pickups in Japan. Jimmy's middle sound is so close to 'out of phase' it's long been thought that's what it is, made worse in 2004 when Gibson released the Custom Authentic #1 wired out of phase incorrectly.

The essential tone is the combining of two different pickup types: the typically twangy, nasal tone of a T Top in the bridge with the higher output PAF in the neck. People often overlook the Stairway live solo tone on the EDS1275 which is not so different. Again T Tops. I have a mid 70's EDS and that tone is there.

So thinking along lines of a T Top and PAF is a good start. Of course the tonal nature of the pickup wind and guitar itself will influence the result.

Daz
 

cooljuk

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Magnets alone won't get you there.

DCR of coils is nearly meaningless, regarding sound.

Page's sound is one of the hardest to cop and, IME, requires attention to the whole system from playing technique to speakers. Just in the pickups, wire type and size, coil patterns, steels, magnets, etc. all matter.

If I had to take a guess at what the chemical makeup and magnetic properties of Page's #1 neck pickup magnet is, it would probably fall into some type of A2 but, the thing is, modern A2 magnets are absolutely nothing remotely close to what Gibson was using. Modern A2s in modern pickups will sound way too dark and congested, in almost all cases.
 

Brek

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I have just bought an A2 magnet with the intent of putting it in my one (sob) double white, going to try it with the stock A5 first, and record it, then put the A2 in and record that. Is there anyone still making magnets anywhere close to how they were made in the 50’s Cooljuk?
 

Lestergain

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Magnets alone won't get you there.

DCR of coils is nearly meaningless, regarding sound.

Page's sound is one of the hardest to cop and, IME, requires attention to the whole system from playing technique to speakers. Just in the pickups, wire type and size, coil patterns, steels, magnets, etc. all matter.

If I had to take a guess at what the chemical makeup and magnetic properties of Page's #1 neck pickup magnet is, it would probably fall into some type of A2 but, the thing is, modern A2 magnets are absolutely nothing remotely close to what Gibson was using. Modern A2s in modern pickups will sound way too dark and congested, in almost all cases.
there are modern magnets which replicates to a good level vintage stuff, Seymour Duncan is doing great with magnets in their custom shop, I measured a lot of them with my vintage ones taken from 50s gibson pickups and they are the absolutely closest ones...
The real problem is that when dealing with vintage 50s Gibson stuff for pickup makers its easier to deal with an A5 than an A2, due to a couple facts: first one is that nowadays its easier to find supply of A5 that are less powerful than modern standards and the other is that, agree with you, the majority of the A2 you find nowadays are way more powerful than vintage ones, albeit I disagree on "tonal" outcome: in my experience modern A2 are more tight and crispier than vintage ones, have a less "round" sound, but you could compensate with a very overwound PAF recipe... that was the way to go but than came the "tele on steroids" guys and all the pickup makers have gone the wrong way in my opinion.

That said all the real PAFs I had my hands on (including a set of DW) were A2/A3 (I can not discern A2 from A3 but I can recognize A2/A3 from A5) except of course all the 60-61 ones which were A5 but in my opnion are NOT the real/original PAF sound, so Page neck in my book is sure an A2 while having a Ttop in the bridge he was using an A5

Let me clairyf that thread is not about getting Page tone but making the middle position of a Les Paul sound even MORE "metallic" than Page one, magnet mix is an idea of mine I will gladly evaluate others, thanks
 

ARandall

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All of James' points remain. Its not the magnet, but the system in its entirety.
 

Brek

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My mag is a modern A2 of no particular quality, has been machined on all faces but has voids so possibly sandcast, I thought it was sintered from web photos. It’s just idle curiosity for me. Have a set of wizz beano’s with a5’s, which with my amps are a bit harsh, so wanted to try an A2, could swap in an 3 from one of my custombuckers as well for more data. I take the point about the system, which is actually the most interesting part now, to see how it changes response of the whole system.
 

Dazza

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I used to make lots of experiments and I found that pickups with same magnet and almost same Kohms worked best, than I tried the A5 bridge and A2 neck combo and it was way more effective than anythimg else I had tried.. whats your experience?
thanks for sharing
Whether going for a Page-esque middle tone or a PG out of phase middle tone my experiments found both have better results when the neck pickup is stronger than the bridge. If memory serves this is true of the original guitars. While typically measured by output I assume it would also relate to comparative magnet strength as it does to relative pickup height.

As James stated the resultant tone is a combination of all parts. His JP Post72 pickups have long been favoured by many for their great classic Page tone. However the guitar itself must reflect those qualities too. I have his Post72 set in a LP Custom which is a very different natural base tone to a burst and it radically effects the end result. My JPCA #1 has the Jimmy tone naturally while the stock pickups really don't represent his 70's tone, being based on the hotter SD pickups in his guitar when Gibson studied it. The Rewinds in my JP would be magic, but I don't play that guitar out.

It's always fun experimenting with this stuff
Daz
 
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Dazza

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I surrender to the believers/influencers...
Keep experimenting. The fun (and frustration !) comes from the realisation there are few absolutes. A combination that produced a certain result in 1 guitar does not guarantee the same in another. I did many experiments with magnets, pickups, pots, caps and hardware between an R7, R8 and R9 with very different results. The 2 Customs have similar qualities to each other, but nothing like the bursts. Not high-brow cork sniffing stuff, each guitar resonates in its own way.

I met Mr Jimmy a few years back and funny enough just saw this video. I don't speak Japanese but you can hear how even a slight pickup adjustment pushes this particular guitar further towards that Jimmy middle tone.

Daz
 

Thundermtn

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I can get super close with my Custom Buckers. Pickup height and playing technique are what I used. Middle position, bv 10 bt 6, nv 7.5 nt 10. The amp is the biggest part. The wrong amp will never get there.

To tell the truth a SD Antiquity bridge p/up in a real good Tele, through a 58 Supro 1624T cranked as hard as it'll go with a 12" rola is spot on. Almost exact except for the hands.
 

Brek

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Nice one Mr Jimmy, I am very close to that tone which existing pickups, hmm.
 

cooljuk

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there are modern magnets which replicates to a good level vintage stuff, Seymour Duncan is doing great with magnets in their custom shop,
That's interesting. I don't agree about the sound, at least. I think Duncan magnets represent the typical "congested A2 / dark A3 / brittle and boomy A5" but I don't know how you are qualifying them as "more vintage" either. Are you just going by Gauss / Tesla or some measure of coercive force (magnetic pull strength)? That would just be the degree to which they are charged, which any magnet can be charge to any amount (up to it's max saturation).


I measured a lot of them with my vintage ones taken from 50s gibson pickups and they are the absolutely closest ones...
How / what are you measuring?


The real problem is that when dealing with vintage 50s Gibson stuff for pickup makers its easier to deal with an A5 than an A2, due to a couple facts: first one is that nowadays its easier to find supply of A5 that are less powerful than modern standards and the other is that, agree with you, the majority of the A2 you find nowadays are way more powerful than vintage ones....
You must be measuring just the physical pull of a magnet. In that case, modern ones are all stronger. Especially, A5s which are still used in industry, where maximum coercive force under wide temperature range is generally the goal.

Coercive force not a very useful measurement for how it will sound in a pickup, though. It's like "the DCR of magnets" - something easily measured with a (sort of) common meter and containing little information about the resulting sound.

A worthwhile pickup maker would not be worried about "finding a supply" of magnets that have a certain strength, though. They can be charged / degaussed / knocked back to any strength one wants. ...but, again, the coercive force is not all that determining of sound. The elemental composition and the heating/cooling processes that take place during manufacturer are far more critical, in my nearly 10 years of experience having magnets custom made by altering those properties.


...I can not discern A2 from A3 but I can recognize A2/A3 from A5)
If that's the case, you are definitely using a poor system of measurement. I'm happy to help you improve your technique, if you want to elaborate on it. There are many tools, techniques, processes, etc. to measure different properties of magnets definitively and I'm not a scientist but have a great deal of experience working with folks who are and in relation to magnets of vintage guitar pickups and recreating those in manufacturing.

You should also be able to tell A2 from A3 with your ears. We actually have some pretty fancy measuring equipment on the sides of our heads. :)


except of course all the 60-61 ones which were A5
Mostly. Not all, though. I've found an A3 clear into the mid-60's! A5s were certainly more common, but not exclusive, just to be fully clear. Not trying to pick on you, just wanting to keep history straight for others reading.


Let me clairyf that thread is not about getting Page tone but making the middle position of a Les Paul sound even MORE "metallic" than Page one, magnet mix is an idea of mine I will gladly evaluate others, thanks
If that's all you're after, just put two very different pickups in the bridge and neck positions, run 50's wiring, turn all your knobs to about 4 on the guitar, and play into a dimmed Plexi with G12H greenbacks. The "amp up / guitar down" will do more for that than just about anything out. I can get honky/barky/chirpy/plinky/metallic sound with a Tele into a Twin, if I dime the amp and roll the guitar nearly off.
 

Brek

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That's interesting. I don't agree about the sound, at least. I think Duncan magnets represent the typical "congested A2 / dark A3 / brittle and boomy A5" but I don't know how you are qualifying them as "more vintage" either. Are you just going by Gauss / Tesla or some measure of coercive force (magnetic pull strength)? That would just be the degree to which they are charged, which any magnet can be charge to any amount (up to it's max saturation).



How / what are you measuring?




You must be measuring just the physical pull of a magnet. In that case, modern ones are all stronger. Especially, A5s which are still used in industry, where maximum coercive force under wide temperature range is generally the goal.

Coercive force not a very useful measurement for how it will sound in a pickup, though. It's like "the DCR of magnets" - something easily measured with a (sort of) common meter and containing little information about the resulting sound.

A worthwhile pickup maker would not be worried about "finding a supply" of magnets that have a certain strength, though. They can be charged / degaussed / knocked back to any strength one wants. ...but, again, the coercive force is not all that determining of sound. The elemental composition and the heating/cooling processes that take place during manufacturer are far more critical, in my nearly 10 years of experience having magnets custom made by altering those properties.



If that's the case, you are definitely using a poor system of measurement. I'm happy to help you improve your technique, if you want to elaborate on it. There are many tools, techniques, processes, etc. to measure different properties of magnets definitively and I'm not a scientist but have a great deal of experience working with folks who are and in relation to magnets of vintage guitar pickups and recreating those in manufacturing.

You should also be able to tell A2 from A3 with your ears. We actually have some pretty fancy measuring equipment on the sides of our heads. :)



Mostly. Not all, though. I've found an A3 clear into the mid-60's! A5s were certainly more common, but not exclusive, just to be fully clear. Not trying to pick on you, just wanting to keep history straight for others reading.




If that's all you're after, just put two very different pickups in the bridge and neck positions, run 50's wiring, turn all your knobs to about 4 on the guitar, and play into a dimmed Plexi with G12H greenbacks. The "amp up / guitar down" will do more for that than just about anything out. I can get honky/barky/chirpy/plinky/metallic sound with a Tele into a Twin, if I dime the amp and roll the guitar nearly off.
That’s just mind blowing, I have played for years with guitar up full, gain up full and master at what ever level I could use in the room I was in. Going to spend a bit of time doing checking out the around about 4 position on the guitar., not this week as the mrs wants attention, prolly next week.
 

cooljuk

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That’s just mind blowing, I have played for years with guitar up full, gain up full and master at what ever level I could use in the room I was in. Going to spend a bit of time doing checking out the around about 4 position on the guitar., not this week as the mrs wants attention, prolly next week.
Basically, just turn all the guitar knobs down, PU switch in the middle, turn ALL the amp knobs ALL the way up, they start bringing up each knob just a hair at a time until you find a sound you like. Every rig will sound different but you are guaranteed to get totally different sounds than if you turn the guitar knobs up and crush the amp with a master volume or input trim.
 


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