Alnico III vs. V

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by blueruins, Jun 20, 2021.

  1. blueruins

    blueruins Tele-Meister

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    Thoughts on the differences in sound of these two pickup magnets?
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
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  2. cbnutt

    cbnutt Tele-Afflicted

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    Alot of people say the 3 is warmer than 5 , but also depends on how its wound , if Rob sees this he can tell the real story @Rob DiStefano .
     
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  3. David C

    David C Tele-Meister

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  4. blueruins

    blueruins Tele-Meister

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    Apologies...I was thinking of pickups and should have been more specific.

    great reading though @David C
     
  5. vhilts1

    vhilts1 Tele-Holic

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    Like a lot of things....it depends

    Generally.... A5 is stronger magnetically and bolder sounding....but that really depends on gauss level in regards to PUPs among several other factors like.... awg ...bobbin/build design....iron core....turn count....etc etc

    An A5 PUP can be tamer than an A3 and vice versa and anywhere else along the way if other factors come into play
     
  6. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

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    Are we talking bar magnets or rod magnets?
     
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  7. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    I hope rod magnets. They act a bit different in bar form.
     
  8. _MementoMori_

    _MementoMori_ Tele-Afflicted

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    Nice try, Big Brother.
    Alnico 5 is 2 louder.

    download.jpg
     
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  9. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I'm not a fan of A5 for Tele bridge pickups. They usually have a MUCH brighter pick attack, and if they're overwound to compensate, they're really loud.
     
  10. blueruins

    blueruins Tele-Meister

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    Rod magnets. I was trying to avoid too much detail in an attempt to encourage input but I think I’ve done the opposite:D
     
  11. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    Do you ask because... you are winding your own or buying off the shelf?
     
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  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Of the otherwise same spec Fender pickups I’ve had, I hear A3 as softer duller highs and similar bass that’s less hard edged and more wooly.
     
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  13. blueruins

    blueruins Tele-Meister

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    Finally found a set of Stratocaster pickups that I love last year and they are Alnico III.

    Just ordered a Fender ‘57/62 set which are Alnico V. I wanted a little different tone for a second Strat.

    Never heard a very detailed synopsis of the difference and wondered what wisdom the good folks here could share.

    In my experience this is the most knowledgeable forum on the net.
     
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  14. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    To put it in perspective - there is far, far more difference between A5 and A3 than between A2 and A3. Also magnets don't have characteristic sounds, pickups do. So the difference depends on which pickup style it is. I think A3 is mainly hype, created because people tend to place more value in the uncommon.
     
  15. Wobbles

    Wobbles Tele-Meister

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    I gravitated towards tele a3 bridge pickups for one reason. Roy Buchanan's '53 telecaster "Nancy".
     
  16. blueruins

    blueruins Tele-Meister

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    Noted. I have no opinion other than the fact that I know that I like the Alnico III set I own. Also, it was not hype that made the difference in my case because I didn’t know they were III’s until I decided to research why I liked this particular set better. Is it because they are Alnico III? I have not the expertise to know.
     
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  17. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    Not sure how serious you were, but in fact, it summarizes it pretty well. A5 has a stronger magnetic field so the output is generally stronger. But that is before the pickup height is set. The other differences are so minor that small differences in the turns count, tone control component values and settings, cable capacitance and many other factors overwhelm their influence.

    One big difference that doesn't get enough press is the magnetic string pull. A stronger magnet like A5 will increase the pull and thus play with the harmonics (in the extreme case, "stratitis"), given the same pickup height.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
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  18. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    Well, that's known as an argument from the specific to the general - consider that
    1) There are probably other pickups that you would like that don't have A3 magnets
    2) There are many other possible reasons why you like this particular set.

    So, "Is it because they are Alnico III?" is actually nearly impossible to answer honestly. Also, you had many chances to be exposed to bias when you did your "research".
     
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  19. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    There's no hype when it comes to the max gauss level for the magnet material, so you know that by default that an A3 can never be as strong as an A5 at it's max. I know a lot of companies use A2 in place of A3, maybe even degaussed, but they're almost always .187 sized poles, not .195.
     
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  20. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    I edited my previous post to mention string pull. The most influential aspect of a magnet type, is gauss. The hype is over A3 vs. A2 because any difference between the two in practice, is "in the weeds" compared with all the other variables. Seldom are pickups offered with different magnets, and everything else maintained exactly the same. This makes it really difficult to make a comparison by ear. Because, then you can't be sure which parameters you are actually comparing...
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
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