Ok im ready to start swapping MAGNETS tell me where to start

judson

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2016
Messages
5,205
Reaction score
7,500
So i got a set of Lollars , a set of Sigils and a bunch of standard Gibson pups in various guitars....i have noticed the Lollars and the Sigils provide a marked difference to the positive side of my ears and whatever are in most of my other Gibsons are acceptable for now but.......

instead of spending a few hundred on another high dollar set of pups i thought i would try the magnet swap.

i have an 83 studio i bought as a husk, stripped it , and threw in a set of Gibson Made in the USA pups just to get it playable...well i have found i like everything about it wilh exception of the muddy , muffled pups. the wiring i will change as well but i thought this would be a good time to learn about magnet swaps as well.

from the few minutes i did watching a few utubes how to swap them, i have not found an in depth thread yet here or elsewhere about what i should know about what or how the magents will change the overall tone...

a brighter more defined tone is all i am asking for to achieve with a magnet swap....and at the same time learn a bit more

ok MLP we are the best source of info on the web when it comes to guitars....i got the mechanics from a few utubes but i only see A2 magnets for sale on reverb so far...thats why i thought i better ask you guys before i just go buy a few and toss em in....or is it that easy? :dunno:
 

cooljuk

Transducer Producer
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
16,126
Reaction score
22,933
The short answer is that most A5 types would be generally considered the brightest sounding AlNiCos.

However, the reason you aren't going to find a definitive guide of "this magnet type will give you this change in sound" is because different magnets of the same type sound different depending on the foundry, run, tolerance, adjustments in design, charge level, etc. Further, different pickups, harnesses, guitars, amps, and rigs will also respond differently to magnet swaps.

What could be "just the added clarity and detail I was looking for" form an A5 in one rig could be "brittle and harsh treble with boomy bass and no mids" in another rig. ....or, the same descriptions could apply to different A5s in the same rigs.

The quest for the right magnets for any given guitar/rig/ears is similar to the quest for the right pickups, but on a smaller scale.

btw - there's more than just A2s on Reverb. I have almost a dozen types up, myself. ...and for the same reasons I described above, the descriptions of how they sound are only comparisons to each other.
 

AJK1

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2014
Messages
1,092
Reaction score
530
So i got a set of Lollars , a set of Sigils and a bunch of standard Gibson pups in various guitars....i have noticed the Lollars and the Sigils provide a marked difference to the positive side of my ears and whatever are in most of my other Gibsons are acceptable for now but.......

instead of spending a few hundred on another high dollar set of pups i thought i would try the magnet swap.

i have an 83 studio i bought as a husk, stripped it , and threw in a set of Gibson Made in the USA pups just to get it playable...well i have found i like everything about it wilh exception of the muddy , muffled pups. the wiring i will change as well but i thought this would be a good time to learn about magnet swaps as well.

from the few minutes i did watching a few utubes how to swap them, i have not found an in depth thread yet here or elsewhere about what i should know about what or how the magents will change the overall tone...

a brighter more defined tone is all i am asking for to achieve with a magnet swap....and at the same time learn a bit more

ok MLP we are the best source of info on the web when it comes to guitars....i got the mechanics from a few utubes but i only see A2 magnets for sale on reverb so far...thats why i thought i better ask you guys before i just go buy a few and toss em in....or is it that easy? :dunno:
Swapping magnets won’t make as big a difference as you think it will
 

judson

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2016
Messages
5,205
Reaction score
7,500
Swapping magnets won’t make as big a difference as you think it will

..no it has to be true i read it on the interwebz and many times in MLP

plus i just ordered a set of gary more fingers from a funeral director in china...he said they are the same identical fingers...

so i got that goin for me... :rofl:



i am not expecting a huge difference if any but i am the type of person that must do it for myself before i believe anything and sometimes the small things add up to a difference...

i heard i can buy tone picks ....anyone try those yet?......i had to edit, didnt know they were a real thing :rofl:
 
Last edited:

LP1865

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
112
Reaction score
44
i heard i can buy tone picks ....anyone try those yet?
IMHO these look like bullshit. All picks alter and affect tone. For example, yesterday I was playing a Jazz piece, and the whole thing was too dark and muddy with no string separation whatsoever. I have an extremely dark neck pickup @ 8.9k in a Les Paul, and use a heavy 1.4mm pick. I switched over to a 0.65 pick, and the treble increased and it did sound better.
So in conclusion, sure, go ahead, try 'em, but I think mag swaps will help better.:cool::cool:

Also refer to the following video if you want to:- Magnet Tests


PS I'm in the same boat is you, but I need better pickups coz mine are shit Epiphones, and mags in India are expensive!
 

jlee

Senior Member
Joined
May 4, 2010
Messages
646
Reaction score
442
Check the values of your pots. 500k or 550k pots can really clear up a muddy tone if your current pot values are considerably lower.

I think magnet swaps can make a big enough difference to warrant experimenting. I generally prefer UOA5, but I really love the middle position of a A2 neck and UOA5 bridge when the pickup outputs are relatively close. Really chimey and clear.
 

LP1865

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
112
Reaction score
44
Check the values of your pots. 500k or 550k pots can really clear up a muddy tone if your current pot values are considerably lower.
I have 500k pots. I'm pretty sure its the cheap brass covers mixed with heavy bass of A5 mags, but I can't remove them because I don't have a soldering iron.
Also this means new string, and I got a set last week.
 

somebodyelseuk

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
427
Reaction score
587
Magnet swap won't cure a muddy, muffled pickup. Check the pots with a meter. They might say 500k on the can, but with 20% tolerance, they could be 400k. After that, it's pickup and pole adjustment.
You need a good starting point before you'll hear any difference.
 

LP1865

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
112
Reaction score
44
I've done this without measuring the pots, it did make the pickups better, but still nowhere close the tone I want. Far too scooped even with mids and the highest, and no glassiness with the Jazz chords. And the solos have a slight icepick as well.
The pickups are the Epiphone 57CH. There's a thread here with a complete analysis of it and how badly the brass covers and overpotting affect tone.
 

somebodyelseuk

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
427
Reaction score
587
Ah. I was working on a new Epi Dot a couple of years back with those pickups. The alleged Alphas that Epi put in, turned out to be some Korean brand I'd never heard of, "500k" measured 320, 340, 375 and 380k. Replaced the pots and caps, with actual Alphas, all measuring above 475k and the guitar was transformed. Adjusting the pickup heights and poles, by ear and not a ruler also makes a difference, but there's only so far you can take em. You can't get to Memphis from Seoul.
 

LP1865

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
112
Reaction score
44
Ah. I was working on a new Epi Dot a couple of years back with those pickups. The alleged Alphas that Epi put in, turned out to be some Korean brand I'd never heard of, "500k" measured 320, 340, 375 and 380k. Replaced the pots and caps, with actual Alphas, all measuring above 475k and the guitar was transformed. Adjusting the pickup heights and poles, by ear and not a ruler also makes a difference, but there's only so far you can take em. You can't get to Memphis from Seoul.
That's news. Wonder if my pickups are 4 conductor?:Ohno:
Is there any way to check?
 

somebodyelseuk

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
427
Reaction score
587
That's news. Wonder if my pickups are 4 conductor?:Ohno:
Is there any way to check?
Hmm? They could be, but I'm wondering if you've misunderstood me? The Alphas are the pots... The pickups were the 57CHs.
Anyways, if they're four conductor.... Open up the control cavity, try and follow the leads from the pickups to the pots. If there are no coil taps, but the pickups have four conductors, there'll be a pair of wires joined together, with a bit of sleeving covering the ends, not connected to anything, though if the guitar doesn't have coil taps, it's more likely they'd have used two conductor pups.
 

LP1865

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
112
Reaction score
44
Hmm? They could be, but I'm wondering if you've misunderstood me? The Alphas are the pots... The pickups were the 57CHs.
I know Alphas are the pots. I meant if they're bad, I would replace them with push pull Alphas. And I would need 4 conductor wiring for that.


Anyways, if they're four conductor.... Open up the control cavity, try and follow the leads from the pickups to the pots. If there are no coil taps, but the pickups have four conductors, there'll be a pair of wires joined together, with a bit of sleeving covering the ends, not connected to anything, though if the guitar doesn't have coil taps, it's more likely they'd have used two conductor pups.
I'll have a look and get back to you.
 


Latest Threads



Top