Popular magnet combinations...

Gerr

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I recently did my first magnet swap (A5/A5 -> A4/A8) and all I can say is WOW, what a difference! So that has me thinking what the other popular magnet combo’s are and what type of tone people could expect from them. It’s one thing to know which each individual magnet type does, but a lot of us wonder what we can expect when we combine magnets and the tone they give as a combo. And do the combo's work better/worse in certain types of guitars and/or wood?


Popular magnet combo’s that I know of…


A2/A2 & A5/A5 – these are what most pickups today come with, and since most people know what to expect from these magnet combos, let’s use these as a baseline to compare other magnet combo’s against.


A2/A5 = popular mix of the A2 & A5 magnets. Anyone use this combo and care to tell us their thoughts?


A5/A2 = popular mix of the A2 & A5 magnets. Anyone use this combo and care to tell us their thoughts?


A3/A3 = popular replacement for an A2/A2 combo. Anyone use this combo and care to tell us their thoughts?


A3/UOA5 = popular replacement for an A2/A5 combo. Anyone use this combo and care to tell us their thoughts?


A4/A4 = popular replacement for an A5/A5 combo. Anyone use this combo and care to tell us their thoughts?


A4/A8 = popular replacement for an A5/A5 combo. Anyone use this combo and care to tell us their thoughts?


UOA5/UOA5 = popular replacement for an A5/A5 combo. Anyone use this combo and care to tell us their thoughts?


A8/A8 = popular replacement for a Ceramic magnet combo. Anyone use this combo and care to tell us their thoughts?

Other magnet combos?
 

hamerfan

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Just use the search function to get an overview. Most of the combos are fine, but i would rule out A8/A8 due to fact that a A8 is overbearing in the neck slot with a common wind.
 

SWeAT hOg

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I have a T-Top (A5) in the neck and a SD JB (A5) with an A8 mod in the bridge of my Northern. I like this mix, even though the JB is louder than the T-Top. I often roll the volume back on the JB to about six or seven if I want to match the T-Top output. If not, I let that JB scream! It makes for a much darker sounding guitar, removed all the A5 ice-pick.
 

2001standard

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Dimarzio 36th anniversary come with a5 neck and bridge. I tried a4 in neck and a4 in bridge. Really a great combo.

Then i tried an a2 in neck- Did'nt like it too dull.

A3 in neck was nice and warm but just too different then bridge.

I then tried and Un-oriented A5 in bridge- really like it, took off just a small amount of edge and warmed it up just a tad. perfect.

Then i went back to the A4 in neck, balances well with bridge and has nice clarity and just a bit of warmth.

Was fun doing this and does'nt take long really.

Good luck

David
 

Gerr

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It seems to me that the A4 & UOA5 are very similar magnets and that an A3/UOA5 combo and a A4/A4 combo would also be very similar. Can anyone explain the differences?
 

2001standard

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To me the A3 magnet in neck was just too warm and a mismatch in middle position with un-oriented a5 in bridge.

I also tried A2 in neck and with this low a wind 7.1K it was just a tad muddy for this pick up.

But i've had some Fralins Pure Pafs that were very clear and warm so really just depends.

Ya have to just try and see what works for your combo.
 

JHMvP

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I remember a few discussions about the tonal quality of the 490/498 combo. Swapping the A2 and A5 magnets, or even change the magnets to other types, was one of the suggestions of LtKojak.

As he (Pepe?) sells magnets from Italy himselves, has a distinct opinion about certain pickups and their magnets, I guess he's the one who has to tune into this thread.

He surely could give us a short list of magnet-types and their characteristics! But qualifications as "good" or "bad" should not be given in this thread, without clearly stating the music genre you're aiming at.

For example, I'm into classic rock and need good cleans, rocky crunch and creamy solo's. All my guitars (Smartwoods) have the 490/490 combo and play mostly on the neck, which is flush with the ring and slightly raised pole pieces. I've always liked the sound of a P90 in the neck but hate the hum.

So, anyone a suggestion for magnet-mods?
 

LtKojak

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To me the A3 magnet in neck was just too warm and a mismatch in middle position with un-oriented a5 in bridge.

I don't know how long you allowed the A3 to be in to make your judgement, but as I wrote in another thread, you should allow a minimum of one week before even try to "dial-in" onto the "sweet spot" and I've myself just experienced with my own guitar a sudden change of tone of the neck p'up after a month!

No cork-sniffing was involved, mind you... just an observation that took me by surprise as I wasn't expecting something similar to happen, nor I have a plausible explanation for it. It just happened; wham, blam, deal with it, thank you very much! LOL!

Also, the "chirp" obtained by the A3/UOA5 mag combo is one of the best of all mag combos there are... it all depends in how you set the p'up height of both p'ups to get it.

As we're all different, we hear things differently, we have different instruments and we have different abilities to get (or not) the tone we're looking for.

HTH,
 

2001standard

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LTKojak maybe i did'nt give the A3 enough time. Just one day. I may try it later. thanks for the info.
 

BulldogXTRM

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A2/A2 is my old faithful, I alway start there. I've done A5/A5's and for some reason seem to always swap them out to UOA5/UOA5.

I use UOA5's as a split between the creaminess of an A2 with the tighter bottom end and the higher end bite of an A5. I also have had a couple sets of A8's and they work exceptionally well for higher gain stuff. Think active pickups with a vintage twist.

When I think a pickup sounds like crap, the first thing I do is put a UOA5 in it. Hell UOA5's even make Epiphone 57CH/HOTCH sound decent and that takes a lot.
 

Syrus

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How about some NEO/A8 blasphemy? :D

low and high NEO/A2... etc
 

LtKojak

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Hell UOA5's even make Epiphone 57CH/HOTCH sound decent and that takes a lot.

As part of my research for my upcoming on-line business "Tone Whisperer", I've experimented with the arguably "worst p'up set known to mankind" aka Epiphone '57CH/HOTCH to see what it was what they made'em sound so bad, and I came to the conclusion that it was the "wrong materials".

With this in mind, I devised what I call a "boutique conversion kit", and by keeping just the bobbins and changing everything with selected material and alloys else the outcome was a real eye-opener, making'em turn from fancy paperweights to actual usable p'ups, even in a pro environment.

This became even more clear after I made the conversion with the new Epi Probuckers, which are actually DECENT p'ups to start with.

You can read 'bout'em and the modding of my ES-339 here:

http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/pickups/269491-epi-probuckers-close-view-pt-1-a.html

http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/pickups/269554-epi-probuckers-close-view-pt-2-a.html

http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/pickups/269866-epi-probuckers-getting-job-done-pt-1-a.html

http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/pickups/269997-epi-probuckers-done.html

Once "boutique converted", the '57CH/HOTCH set gets reasonably decent-sounding with either the "Vintage Whisperer™" (A3/UOA5) or the "Smooth Vintage Whisperer™" (A3/A2) mag combos.

But the real "If I didn't see it with my own eyes I would've never believed" moment is the "boutique converted" '57CH as a BRIDGE p'up. Excellent-sounding with any of the following mags: UOA5, A2, A4, A8 and also with the newest of entries in the mag world, the Un-Oriented Ceramic 8 (UOC8).

HTH,
 

cooljuk

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One manufacturer's A4 (or A5 or A3, etc.) does not equal another's, so if you want to have a discussion about this in any sort of quantifiably useful way, you must state manufacturer of said magnets.

It's also equally relevant to state the year of manufacturer (probably more realistically the exact batch, but that's likely impossible). For instance, I think anyone with the experience of comparing them would agree that today's Gibson A2 and a 1950s Gibson A2 (just for example) are MILES apart in sonic characteristics.

Beyond both of those factors, and perhaps more importantly, is the charge level of the magnets in question. This will impact the sonic qualities of the magnet HUGELY.

Unless that is all accounted for, the conversation looses 80% of it's meaning and could even become misleading to others.

Fortunately magnets are cheap enough that for an end user it is extremely inexpensive (compared to a guitar or even a pickup) to just buy a s#itload of magnets, swap around, and try various charge levels, until you are happy.

I'm sorry to say (and guilty of saying it myself) that, for example, the phrase, "A degaussed UOA5 sounds like XXXXX compared to an almost fully charged A4." is almost entirely worthless without the above context being included. BUT - if I said, "My Gibson A2s from 1979 all seem to sound warmer and quieter than today's Skinner A2s of the same size/type, when both charged to saturation." than that would be a far more true and meaningful statement with some value to other readers down the road.

PS - I don't mean to sound all douchey if I do. Re-reading this, I see I could, but I don't mean it that way. Just trying to help.
 

cooljuk

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Magnets! The source of all life in the universe?! Ya, kinda!

sunspot_horseshoe_magnet_big.jpg



PSS - Worthless bit of info about me: This is the 2,000th thread I'm presently subscribed to at MLP! Woohoo!
 

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