magnets & resistance

tuco

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Alright guys bear with me on this because I'm thinking way outside of my knowledge base and I'm finding it hard to articulate my question.

Say you have a humbucker with wind (X), has a A2 magnet, and reads 7.7k.

1. Only changing the magnet (A3, A4, A5) what is the effect on the tone? Does changing the magnet also change the DC resistance if so in what way up/down?
2. How about keeping the A2 and increasing/decreasing the DC resistance say up 8.0 or down 7.4 etc?
3. Using degaussed magnet does what exactly?
4. In general what does the DC resistance indicate? (i.e. does high resistance=compressed and easier to overdrive amp and low resistance=clear clean sound)

I have done a search and read quite a bit on the properties of the magnets but not so much on how changing the magnet affects the tone as opposed to the properties of different magnets.

Below is some of the "info" I have found online:
A2 is middy with softer/ squishier lows and less top end
A3 will give you a bit more top end with a bit of A2's squish
A4 more top and low end and is sometimes referred to as "stiff"
A5 has yet more top and low end

Also
A2 vintage sound
A5 modern, scooped, emphasis on highs and lows
Degaussed magnets=lower output

I understand that within a pickup there a lot a variables that influence the sound. I'm trying to understand in simple terms the variables I listed in the example described above. Mainly looking for answers to questions 1&2 as the others look like they may not have a simple answer. Like I said not really my lane.
 

ES350

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The magnet has no effect on the coil DC reading...you are only measuring the resistance of the coil. Generally, higher DC is considered a hotter wind and (all else being equal) will be a little darker, more mids, less highs. This is all very general and doesn't take into account pickup design, coil geometry, baseplates, metals, covers, polepieces, etc etc. Changing the magnet will affect the response because there is a greater or lesser magnetic flux; A2 is on the low side, A8 is pretty hot. All the other alnico flavors have their own character as well, although it can be subtle.

If you have a fatter coil with greater DC resistance and keep an A2, it'll get a bit darker. Usually the loss of highs associated with hotter winds is compensated with stronger magnets, including ceramics...
 

Zhangliqun

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The magnet has no effect on DC resistance. The DC resistance is only how much resistance there is to current flow through the total length of wire in the coil. DCR gives you some idea how much wire (total length) is in the coil, however, and can indicate how much output you'll get, all other aspects of the pickup being equal. But the amount of wire doesn't change with a magnet swap, so neither does DCR.

Narrower gauges of coil wire will give misleadingly high DCR readings -- 43 gauge wire reads about 20-25% "hotter" on the DCR than the same length of 42, for example, but the pickup's output wouldn't be any hotter. In fact, it would likely have less output than the 42 because the 43 gauge wire being more narrow would make for a smaller coil which would see a smaller segment of the string.

Which leads to coil geometry and the difference it makes. A wider coil will see more string and thus pickup more string vibration.

So there are a lot of things to take into account to determine a pickup's relative output to other pickups than just DCR. Some even say DCR is a meaningless spec because of all this. It is not meaningless, but it is just one of many specs and factors to consider in ballparking a pickup you haven't heard yet.
 

tuco

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So all else being equal an increase of DCR will increase the mids? Changing the magnet from an A2 to a A4 or A5 would bring back some of the lows and highs lost when you increased the DCR?


As a general rule >DCR = (>mids and <lows/highs)?
Increasing magnet from A2-A5 = (<mids)?

If so would a lower DCR (7.2k) with a weak(A2) magnet sound similar to a higher DCR (9k) with a strong(A5) magnet?
 

Zhangliqun

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So all else being equal an increase of DCR will increase the mids? Changing the magnet from an A2 to a A4 or A5 would bring back some of the lows and highs lost when you increased the DCR?

Past a certain point, mids do increase. That point probably varies some between pickup types/designs, but it's roughly from 6 to 7k where the mids start to get stronger with increased turns of wire.

tuco said:
Increasing magnet from A2-A5 = (<mids)?

A5 tends to increase lows and highs but not mids.

tuco said:
If so would a lower DCR (7.2k) with a weak(A2) magnet sound similar to a higher DCR (9k) with a strong(A5) magnet?

Not really because the 9k would push the amp harder and it would just have a different character. This is especially true in the neck position with humbuckers, where a 9k would sound pretty muddy, no matter what magnet you use. But A5 adds a lot of lows that neck pu's don't want past about 7.5k.
 

SKATTERBRANE

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And DCR is not a reliabe indicator of output. It is an easily measured spec, but people rely on it way to much to try and figure out how a pickup will sound or react in their system. Output is mostly determined by magnet strenth and number of winds, and to a lesser extend, the winding patterns, technique or lack thereof.

In fact if two pickups have the same number of winds and the same magnets, the one with higher DCR will have a lower output.
 

5F6-A

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if you want to share some interesting facts about Alnico IV that a very good winder told me some time back....

He confessed to me that he would NOT use AIV for any of his off-the-shelf current designs; not that you can't make AIV loaded pickups sound good but rather that in his experience if you swap the AV magnet out of -let's say- a regular bridge pickup for a AIV magnet it'd sound a bit flat and "stiff". BUT if you rewind it and tweak the pickup slightly you can use that "flatness" to your benefit and make it sound stellar, letting the wind breath through a lot more. Too much work if your customers are used to the more usual AV or AII type of tone, really.

I love my AIV pickups but they were wound keeping the tonal characteristics of that type of magnet in mind.
Other winders really love the AIV character and I can reacall at least one who wind ALL his pickups accordingly.
 

korus

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he's just a guy from marketing department, probably considered as an inventive one
 

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