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Long term pickup storage?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by JimInMO, Mar 25, 2021.

  1. JimInMO

    JimInMO Tele-Meister

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    Any ideas on storing multiple pickups in close proximity would be appreciated. I have several Seymour Duncan single coil and humbuckers in their original plastic boxes and a number of other various brands without cases. Will storing them together in a large container close together cause problems with the magnets?
     
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  2. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's

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    Others will know more, but when you consider how long these pickups spend in close proximity to each other in their boxes in warehouses, trucks and stores, I don't think you have anything to worry about unless you're storing them close to some other particularly strong magnet.
     
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  3. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I wouldn't worry about the magnets much - particularly in their cases. But I would store them in a reasonably air-tight container and throw in a coupla bags of silica sand to minimize risk of corrosion.
     
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  4. yegbert

    yegbert Poster Extraordinaire

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    That’s how I see it too. So when I remember, I don’t discard original containers or their internal foam packaging, from somewhere like SD or Fender; and then I use them for keeping old pickups. I also use their thickness as a gauge in keeping pickups separate when I don’t have spare containers.
     
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  5. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's

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    I'm not sure even that is necessary, but that sounds great as it lets you achieve something you know is safe without having to stress about it.

    The main thing I'm concerned about in storing pickups is the potential damage to the coil wire. That's very delicate, any damage effectively kills the pickup and it seems to me much more likely to occur than any magnet issues.
     
  6. Drak

    Drak Tele-Afflicted

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    I've been a hobbyist builder for over 25 years now.
    I have, probably, about a hundred pickups I keep in three shoeboxes (SC's, HB's, P-90's) that I've bought over the decades.
    Right together, all side-by-side in very close proximity to each other.
    Pickups go in builds for tryouts, come back out, go in, come back out, go in, come back out, and on, and on, and on.
    They get (gently, of course) manhandled...a lot. A LOT.

    I have never once had a problem with a pickup broken or not working in all those years, except a broken Barden once.
    Some are from the '60's, some 70's, and then more recent, so they come in all shapes, sizes, and ages.
    Except for that Barden, which are known to be finicky anyway, I'm batting 1000% with constant manhandling going on.

    I don't think you have very much to worry about.
     
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  7. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    It depends on what you mean by "close proximity".

    An inch apart would be OK ime. Having the pickup magnets touching is not recommended.
     
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  8. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    Deja vu

    There was just a thread about a guy that had dozens of pickups hidden all over his apartment/house because he was paranoid to have them too close

    If they are in boxes a couple inches apart they should be okay
     
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  9. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's

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    Also keep in mind how close they are in the guitar. Not only two singles in a Tele, but three in a Strat! Three humbuckers in one Les Paul!

    Being wired in grants them no magical magnet-protecting qualities.
     
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  10. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hogwash! I store pickups like this with no ill effects
    DSCN1301[1].JPG
     
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  11. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    Storing alnico magnets like that is fine when the magnets are all fully charged. The OP did not specify whether all the magnets were fully charged. The problem arises when the pickup has purposely been partially discharged to *age* the magnet. If the magnets are paired with stronger magnets the gauss strength will increase the *aged* magnet. The pickup would no longer have the characteristics originally intended. Believe the hogwash or not.

    A safer way, would be to store them with a bar of steel or iron between the pickups. A bar of steel on the magnet, called a keeper, can help preserve the strength of a magnet.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2021
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  12. DeepDangler

    DeepDangler Tele-Meister

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    As long as the magnets and pole pieces aren’t touching eachother or anything metal, you’re good.
     
  13. Don Mare

    Don Mare Tele-Afflicted

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    I personally would use an Insulated box- IE. a discarded ICE Chest - next I would keep them inside the house - not out in a garage - you want to try to reduce all expansion and contraction as possible - this Idea is also best for the Instrument's too - keep in the Case and in the House avoid HOT or Cold CAR Trunks and Storage lockers under Tour bus when on Tours - keep them in the tour bus - with the length of wire used to make a Pickup - they can Shrink and grow 2 or 3 feet along that length of wire used - Coils for guitars move - the more wire and mass the more they FAIL - A Humbucker has half the copper wire mass and half the ohms _Per Coil_ the Humbucker can have up to a 2.5% Fail rates -- according to MUSIC TRADES Magazine Single Coils have up to a 5% fail rate - If you can limit coil Expansion and Contraction and RUST then you can prolong their Life - ( I hope this helps )
     
  14. Daddydex

    Daddydex Friend of Leo's

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    Kitchen junk drawer.

    Dan
     
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  15. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

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    My storage area for guitar parts is pretty small and cramped in my basement work area. I have my pickups in a cardboard box on a shelf. Most are in their original packaging. The loose ones are wrapped in bubble wrap. I haven't had any issues and that's going on 20 years now.
     
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  16. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    I put mine in a plastic storage case with several compartments I bought for a buck or so at a thrift store. I think it was originally for sewing or knitting stuff storage.
     
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  17. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    You mean you shouldn't just chuck them in a drawer?
     
  18. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    I’ve been storing 3 of them in a Strat for almost half century!
    But any factory or maker is going to store them in the same cardboard sleeve they sell in.
    And if there ever is an energy event of a magnitude that could demagnetize your pickups you won’t be around to enjoy the tone anyway.
     
  19. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    I stored 4 Lace Sensors together in a 4 inch square by 3/4 inch plastic container for over 10 years. I positioned each of them around the perimeter of the container, each 90 degrees from its immediate "neighbors" and about 2 1/2 inches from the opposing pickup , with a saqure of foam in the center to keep them in place and separated. I recently re-installed 3 of them (2 Gold (N&M) and 1 Silver (B) ) and they function perfectly, just like new.
     
  20. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I just toss em in a drawer in my tool box.
     
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