alnico pups and tone knobs.......

GPoint

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it's not the magnet type in terms of making the pickup magnetic, it has to do with the composition of alnico, which is an alloy with different electrical (and hence tone) characteristics than other iron based metal poles. the poles in c mag pu's are usually cheap pot metal. the alnico composition, and not their magnitization, is what gives strat and tele pu's their glassy, open tone you don't find in c mag units. the property is termed 'inductance', which is a poorly understood characteristic out in the general public where we tend to look at a pu's resistance to predict the pu's tone response. if you take non-magnitized alnico poles (which you can buy) and stick the right strength of c mag on them to make them magnetic, you get the same tonal effect as magnitized alnico poles.
The same can be done with small neodymium tablets/blades under the Alnico rods/blades. But why? Take a pair of bigger neodymium tablets/blades, magnetize Alnico rods/blades as strong as you like, and use Alnico alone.
 

Volcanicash01

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So, most of my guitar life has been with ceramic pups. my mexican early 90s tele sounded really good to me back in day. granted, a lot of gain used not ways but.....

so i got a cv squier jazz and its my first alnico type pups.

my experience with ceramics is as soon as u turn down tone knob, it starts to get muddied, muffled. the jazz bass i dont notice it being muffled til close to half. and really could use some dialing back.

compression too. ive heard it said by more than one and feel like i agree, ceramics have some compression. most of my recorded guitar tracks with ceramic pup equipped in guitars have a pretty easy to deal with signature. my mexican ceramic p bass has a bit more dynamics but still sounds compressed to me. live and recorded. the jazz could use compression, especially live. and roll off the top end.

now that may be cuz its a squier cv. but i sometimes play with guys that own custom shop teles and my ear tells me they sometimes could use a bit of roll off. although maybe my ears just prefer bass.

i realize these are generalizations and each guitar is different. but i also am curious if anyone else has found this a pattern that uses both types.

main reason for discussing is picking out pups to "upgrade" for the neck in my affinity tele and starcaster by fender strat.
I have been playing guitar at gigs all my long life. I have a lot of guitars. I would not know a ceramic or an alnico pickup if it smacked me in the chops! I am just a guitar player, not a rocket scientist! Good luck on your ‘ upgrades’ mate.
 

pbenn

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Make a guitar with just a neck pup. ;)

Connect the tone control to bridge pickup contact on the switch. Then you should have bridge with tone control, both with tone control, neck with no tone control.
Yes, beyond balancing pickup heights, this is the way to go. See Ask Zac, etc.
But you will lose the Neck+Tone position, which may be handy to slip in and out of.
Solution is then a Jerry Donahue style super switch. (920D, etc.)
 

FortyEight

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I have been playing guitar at gigs all my long life. I have a lot of guitars. I would not know a ceramic or an alnico pickup if it smacked me in the chops! I am just a guitar player, not a rocket scientist! Good luck on your ‘ upgrades’ mate.


I have been playing in bands, with live gigs, since i was 17. im 50. i had a bit of a break before i got married. if youre trying to say im overthinking things or talking about guitars cuz i got nothing better to do, oh well. but dont think youre posturing was helpful or relevant to the thread other than lifting yourself up. thanks. i appreciate the addition to the discussion. that was sarcasm. 😚
 
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FortyEight

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i have messed with pup height several times. its real close right now. the lower it goes the more anemic it sounds. i wonder what would happen if i took the cover off. ive heard it said they are plastic on the affinitys.
 

mexicanyella

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Re: lower pickup height and sounding anemic...if you haven’t already, before you decide “yuck” for good, try lowering it down, and then making up the difference at the amp. Sometimes this is just “six of one, half-dozen of the other,” but you might find that, for example, the lower height and resulting weaker signal requires a different gain setting, which breaks up in some cool new way...Or it gives you more useable range on the gain or EQ controls before getting too harsh or flubbed out or something.

Lowering the pickup on mine allowed me to really crank the mids and highs and it sounded lively, where before I was running those controls at lower settings and it still seemed kind of harsh.

And I was able to explore a range of gain settings without “everything breaking up above 3.”
 

Volcanicash01

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I have been playing in bands, with live gigs, since i was 17. im 50. i had a bit of a break before i got married. if youre trying to say im overthinking things or talking about guitars cuz i got nothing better to do, oh well. but dont think youre posturing was helpful or relevant to the thread other than lifting yourself up. thanks. i appreciate the addition to the discussion. that was sarcasm. 😚
Yeah thanks mate! You are just a baby son! I’m 78 and still rockin on alnico and ceramic! Who gives a ****?
 

Volcanicash01

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i have messed with pup height several times. its real close right now. the lower it goes the more anemic it sounds. i wonder what would happen if i took the cover off. ive heard it said they are plastic on the affinitys.
What would happen is that you would leave the pickup wide open to damage and crud. For very little difference in sound. Find the sweet spot and leave it there.
 

Hiker

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OP, I found a preference for AlNico V pickups instead of ceramic. Most any V is an improvement in my book. Name brand or many OEM V pulled from expensive guitars will perform well in my experience. I would not call $20 each new pickups desirable considering what's available on today's market.
 

FortyEight

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Yes. It’s both. !!!
The “thick” single coil sound of a nicely placed Jazzmaster pickup. View attachment 997175

Oooh- put in a Bootstrap “Lake Surfer” in there.

This might be a good choice for the starcaster.

lots of people seem to recommend bootstrap pup around here. eh?
 

11 Gauge

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I've often wondered if the issue is the actual magnet type, or is it because ceramic requires steel poles?

So if you just replaced the ceramic bar with an alnico bar, does this issue disappear? Or is it possible to make steel poles with an alnico bar sound identical to alnico polepieces?
 

Si G X

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Why suggest Bootstraps and/or Cavaliers when the guy never even asked for advice on buying new pickups?

Auto spam bots?

It's the standard response to any question about pickups here. ... usually accompained by the phrase 'our very own'. I get it that members want to support other members businesses but it does get tiresome, especially if you are interested in exploring some new brands and looking for ideas.
 

Antigua Tele

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It's the standard response to any question about pickups here. ... usually accompained by the phrase 'our very own'. I get it that members want to support other members businesses but it does get tiresome, especially if you are interested in exploring some new brands and looking for ideas.

Yeah, that happens in every guitar forum. Goes to show how much of that business is about people rather than pickups. I think once upon a time Seymour Duncan had a representative that was working forums, in order to take advantage of the fact, but I doubt they were paying him much if anything, and it didn't last for long.
 

FortyEight

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well, the upside to the constant bootstrap talk is that there are soooo many choices out there. might help people have a place to start. ive heard the name a zillion times but didnt actually know it was a member here. plus maybe its deserved to be talked about a lot if theyre decent.....

im not overly happy with the 1/4 pounder strat pup. i mean its good if u use gain a lot. kinda dark and a bitty muddy. and that was on a 500k pot. ot did sound pretty full, especially with fuzz. definitely not a good pup for clean. imho.
 




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