Rod Magnet Length ? Ceramic SC convert to Alnico

Lester

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Background: I've got a "mod project" Epi SL that has inexpensive single coil ceramic magnet pickups. I surfed across the idea of replacing the ceramic magnet with Alnico. Looked like a fun $15 project that might work out nicely.

Checked out the pickups while I was in there control tweaking and it's a gimme on these - pole pieces will pull right out easily and magnets can be sliced right off as they're just sitting outside on a plastic base.

Worst case scenario if I mess it up is that I need new pickups, which was where I was probably heading before this idea. These are a little harsh, although they can be tamed by dialing back. So, I'm not really attached and the value is minimal.

On to my questions:

- I see they sell magnet in varying lengths. Is this to accommodate staggered pickup building (buy varying lengths) or is it because you need to carefully maximize magnet length for stronger signals (or not, as you prefer) ?

- If I don't build staggered, should I try to use the maximize length the pickup will accommodate for maximum output? Or might I end up overlly harsh (again).
 

cooljuk

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Rod magnets are available in different lengths and different widths because different pickup designs call for different size magnets. It's not just for staggers, but that's also why, and there's not just one type of stagger, either.

If you're going from ceramic to AlNiCo, you're going to have reduced treble and output so some of your concerns are not necessary. There's no way you'll end up with a pickup that's more harsh by going this direction.

Use whatever you want and have fun experimenting!


PS - make sure you measure the width so you can make sure your magnets will fit and also not slip right back out.
 

CB91710

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The vintage stagger really is a relic from the old days when guitars came with a wound G string. It can tend to result in the G being a bit too "biting" on modern strings... but it's what Leo did, so it's got "the tonez"

Depending on your neck radius... if the Epi is 12 or 14", I would honestly just go with straight pieces just tall enough to go slightly through the cover or just flush.
A 7.25 or 9.5" neck radius could probably benefit from a smooth arc.

For the base length, either for all 6, or for the two "E" if you are doing a radius, put the cover on the pickup and measure the total thickness from the bottom of the base to the top of the cover and that's your minimum length.

This is a Texas Special (right) compared to a Vintage Noiseless (middle) and Hot Noiseless on the left.


Pup-Comp.jpg
 

Lester

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@cooljuk - This guitar is way too bright right now, so going warmer is a goal. Ice pick on the bridge that has to be control tamed. Not that that's undoable, but I have a brightness level I can't even use, to I figured I'd tune it out. I'm more of a warm player anyway. Thinking Alnico 2 is the right choice. I already checked diameter and I should be all set there for tightness.

@CB91710 - 12" radius, and based on what you said, flat sounds like the obvious choice. Thanks for the specs and photos.

Anyone think Alnico 2 is the wrong way with pickups that appear to be underwound? These only measure 5.5K. I know that's not 100% accurate on how hot a pickup is, but you definitely can't call them overwound. Again, looking for warm and friendly, just shy of ice-pick.
 

CB91710

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Also if you're too bright, check and make sure the pots are 250k.
500k pots on single coils tend to be pretty bright.
 


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