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Old February 24th, 2011, 01:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Ceramic or Alnico

Hello,
I have a Squier Strat made in Korea. How can
I tell if the pickup magnets are ceramic or alnico. They
almost cover the pickup bottom completely,
Is there a way to tell the difference by looking?

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Old February 24th, 2011, 02:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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That sounds like ceramic, 2 long bars of magnet and plain nickel or chrome plated pole pieces.

I personally don't have any problem with ceramic. I have a set in my MIM Tele and in a Japanese Squier Strat. They are both great sets of pickups. Let your ears be your guide.
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Old February 24th, 2011, 02:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Ceramic or Alnico

Quote:
Originally Posted by Epi-Lover View Post
That sounds like ceramic, 2 long bars of magnet and plain nickel or chrome plated pole pieces.

I personally don't have any problem with ceramic. I have a set in my MIM Tele and in a Japanese Squier Strat. They are both great sets of pickups. Let your ears be your guide.
Only one magnet, covers almost whole bottom. It does seem to have
plain pole pieces
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Old February 24th, 2011, 10:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I think that we're trained to think that alnico is always better, but I like ceramics as well. A lot of the G&L high end pickups are made with ceramics and they sound great.
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Old February 24th, 2011, 02:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpareRibs View Post
How can I tell if the pickup magnets are ceramic or alnico. Is there a way to tell the difference by looking?
If magnets are glued along the underside of the p'up, it's ceramic.
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Old February 24th, 2011, 02:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I always pull out the ceramic pups from any guitar. Does anyone know what the difference really is? Apart from the G and Ls mentioned why don't high end pup makers use ceramic magnets?
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Old February 24th, 2011, 02:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Peavey Super Ferrites are ceramic, and incredibly toneful.
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Old February 24th, 2011, 04:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Not always the case, but ceramic magnet pickups seem to show up in less expensive lines of guitars. Are they cheaper to manufacture? Is there a sound quality difference? I know Seymour uses some ceramics in various pickups. My MIM Strat has ceramic pickups and it has more output than my Tele with O.C. Duff Bigboy/SD Jerry Donohue combo. And they sound just like a Strat should. Except now I have to have one of those Mavericks from the Episode Two.
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Old February 24th, 2011, 04:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I always pull out the ceramic pups from any guitar. Does anyone know what the difference really is? Apart from the G and Ls mentioned why don't high end pup makers use ceramic magnets?
Actually, Gibson also uses hot ceramic pickups(496R & 500T) in some of their mid-higher end guitars...including the Gibby Explorers, Flying Vs, the $7k Gibson Korina Flying V, and from I heard some high-end Les Pauls.

My Gibby explorer has the hot ceramic pickups mentioned above whereas my Korina Flying V has alnico pickups.
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Old February 24th, 2011, 04:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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http://www.billlawrence.com/Pages/Pi...gy/magnets.htm

Here's Bill Lawrence perspective...
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Old February 24th, 2011, 06:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Ceramics are cheaper that's why budget p/ups use them.Both sound good , but different.
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Old February 24th, 2011, 07:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gogirlguitars View Post
I always pull out the ceramic pups from any guitar. Does anyone know what the difference really is? Apart from the G and Ls mentioned why don't high end pup makers use ceramic magnets?
Harmonic designs uses ceramics on their pickups.
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Old February 24th, 2011, 07:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I have some Bartolini single coil p/ups that are ceramic and they sound wonderfull.
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Old February 24th, 2011, 08:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
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For what it's worth this is Chris Kinman's opinion.


33) I've heard that all magnetism is the same and that Alnico magnets can be substituted with Ceramic magnets. Is there a difference?

Yes, there definitely is a difference. I use Alnico for what I believe to be very valid and important reasons. I do not use Ceramic (Ferrite) magnets in my AVn pickups because my products are intended to be true-to-form replacements. Alnico has certain properties that I believe are necessary in achieving authentic Fender sound. Ceramic (Ferrite) magnets have different properties even though the magnetism may be the same.With respect to noiseless Fender type pickups Alnico has complexity and richness of tone. Ceramic magnets and the associated steel poles generate a highly transparent sound but somewhat devoid of midrange complexity (tone).
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Old February 24th, 2011, 08:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Peavey Super Ferrites are ceramic, and incredibly toneful.
They are just plain incredible! I generally prefer Alnico when it comes to Strat or Tele pickups, but Super Ferrites are in a league of their own.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 06:13 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gogirlguitars View Post
Apart from the G and Ls mentioned why don't high end pup makers use ceramic magnets?
I believe it's because ceramics allow you to have hot pickups with out getting too dark. Alnicos can get darker the more you wind them, but ceramics retain a lot of their brightness. So they're great for heavy distortion.

People like alnico because they sound more vintage-y.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 07:30 PM   #17 (permalink)
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While we're here, why doesn't anyone make AlNiCo poles feed by ceramic magnets ?
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Old February 25th, 2011, 07:48 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Set a multimeter to 20K and measure from one end to the other. If there is no continuity, it's ceramic. I think ceramics get a bad rap. If the pickup is properly designed for the type of magnet it can work out well.
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Old February 26th, 2011, 10:29 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gogirlguitars
Apart from the G and Ls mentioned why don't high end pup makers use ceramic magnets?
Actually, many high-end pickup makers use them, including Joe Barden. For cheap pickups, the reason to use ceramic is that it's cheaper. But for someone who knows what they're doing, it's the combination of every part of the pickup design that produces the final sound. The magnetic material used is chosen because it provides some favorable characteristic in combination with everything else.
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Old February 26th, 2011, 03:14 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Leo Fender's Magnetic Field Design pickups are ceramic and sound great.
Like Bill Lawrence said, a good ceramic pickup is a GOOD ceramic pickup.
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