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Pickups with "aged" Alnico 5 magnets?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by fakeplastic, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. fakeplastic

    fakeplastic Tele-Meister

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    Does anyone know if any companies/builders currently use aged Alnico 5 magnets? especially for tele pickups.

    I think some the Duncan Antiquities use aged magnets? any others?
     
  2. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

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    'Aged' magnets are bogus. Alnicos don't lose charge.
     
  3. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    yeah but you can make 'em look old
     
  4. adam.gotch

    adam.gotch Tele-Meister

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    Untrue.
     
  5. lendryesky

    lendryesky Tele-Afflicted

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    Ceramic magnets don't (at least for the most part), but alnicos can degausse over time. I thought the OP meant rusted pole pieces, but not sure.
     
  6. adam.gotch

    adam.gotch Tele-Meister

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    Ahhh---okay. Well, in either case, yes. The Antiquity Tele pickups are both degaussed and aged cosmetically.
     
  7. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    If I understand the process ( someone correct me if I get this wrong) the aged poles are accomplished using an electromagnet set to a gauss range similar to a degaussed older pole.
     
  8. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

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    Some of Bill's writing on "Aging" from the magnets section of his Pickupology:

    Before the introduction of alnico magnets in 1935, permanent magnets were not quite that permanent. During a certain time, they lost a good amount of magnetism till they finally reached a stable condition. The process to accelerate this decay was called in the industry, "magnetic aging." In modern science, it is called "stabilizing." Since the '50s, we use Alnico 5 magnets which lose, under normal conditions, less then half a percent per 100 years.
     
  10. lendryesky

    lendryesky Tele-Afflicted

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    You said "alnico magnets don't lose charge." So you just debunked your own statement. They do lose charge like you just quoted (using quotes to make a point is rather fallacious anyway). Yes it CAN be nominal how much magnetism they lose, and how much that affects tone is probably snake oil. You should have said they don't lose significant charge. It's not splitting hairs, it's just the way you made the statement. Over simplifying science doesn't teach much.

    There is, however, more empirical data out there that many alnico magnets "from the day" have a weaker magnetism to them. Does that mean "all of them?" Hardly, as it's probably a small portion. This can be due to outside circumstances, however.
     
  11. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

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    I debunked my claim with "less than half a percent per 100 years"?
     
  12. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

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    Other relevant parts:

    After magnetization, avoid any close contact with other pickups or magnets facing either north to north or south to south with their magnetic poles. Don't ever throw pickups random in a drawer; you may either use a keeper on each side of the magnetic poles or carefully place them with the north facing the south pole of the other magnet. ( For tele players, remember that the iron backplate of a traditional tele pickup functions as a keeper which increases the stability of the magnets.)

    Once pickups are in a guitar, there is very little to worry about. That your pickups lose some of their magnetism when you lean your guitar against an amp is nothing but a fairy tale. Or, that pickups lose some of their magnetism when you drop them on a concrete floor is just another fairy tale -- alnicos and ferrites will break before they have any measurable losses. Magnets are sensitive to heat, but so is your guitar. However, heat can be a severe problem when an Alnico 5 magnet is exposed to temperatures above 1000 F, approaching its Curie temperature of 1634 F. At these temperatures, Alnico 5 undergoes structural changes and cannot be re-magnetized. Why do I mention this? Because it happens quite often, when someone doesn't like the unbalance in output of a pickup with staggered magnets and goes to a bench grinder or a belt sander to grind a magnet down. You take a chance that a magnet gets too hot and becomes damaged.
     
  13. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    Well there it is. I thought they lost more. Learn something new every day.

    You think you made your point just because you used facts, science and a respected industry subject matter expert.......Don't you!!!! :)
     
  14. lendryesky

    lendryesky Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes. I realize it's kind of arguing semantics by pointing out the way you said your statement, but you said "[they] don't lose charge." When in fact they do. I wasn't arguing whether or not that the degaussing is what makes the holy grail of tone. I don't think that. In fact, I think modern production pickups sound just as good as the vintage pickups I've played. I just feel it's wrong to say flat out that they don't lose charge. It's seeds like this that grow into urban legends and misinformation. It's like when people think air foils on planes create lift simply because the air travels faster on one side than the other, or that oil and water don't mix because of different densities.
     
  15. copperheadroad

    copperheadroad Tele-Holic

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    I have had a few mint Vintage P-90's equipped Gibsons on my bench & the magnets were degaussed to almost nothing , the tone was thin & fizzy as if the magnets were not charged .a recharge of the magnets were all they needed to get great tone again
     
  16. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but I think what they are saying is the under normal circumstances alnico pickup magnets don't lose much of their power just from getting old.
    I have experienced vintage guitars with pickups that were weak and the magnets needed to be recharged but that problem was probably caused by something other than just the age of the magnet / pickup.
     
  17. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

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    Something that should be stressed - everyone should avoid placing pickups in a drawer and making direct contact between like poles of another pickup. The situation has changed slightly from Bill's writing due to the development and use of rare earth magnets - samarium cobalt and neodymium, for example - that will influence other magnets if they get within distances less than an inch.
     
  18. Don Mare

    Don Mare Tele-Afflicted

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    that science is based when their on a shelf for 100 years,
    in a guitar and during handling they face many dangers of degaussing! so please guys, dont ever think otherwise, all it takes is a Gauss meter to see the harmful effects,
    1- never let pickups near another pickup, at any time, never let them pull each other together or retract each other. they will instantly degauss!
    2-never put your guitar near speakers or rest your guitar behind the amp,
    3- never face two guitars together or use those double soft cases.

    Alnicos do not come pre charged, they are charged with electric chargers or strong earth magnets before leaving the factory and can be instantly discharged if the are placed within the field of another magnet, the polarity can even be flipped north can become south etc..

    anyone ever take a butter knife or screwdriver and rub in on metal - going in one direction
    until it becomes magnetic? now think of what that whammy bar is doing to the magnets every time it allows the strings to attach to the poles then pop away, or the 100's of string changes over the years.

    Ive had vintage pickups and new ones send here for repairs that are almost dead, Alnico 5 at full gauss is 1250 / al-3 is 650 / al-2 is 850

    ive had pickups here at 250 350 and some completely degaussed, case in point my nephews strat was totally degaussed twice and brought here for repair, he did not know he did this or how, but his band like to rub the two guitars together live onstage , he also had a double soft case and placed his guitar in back of the amp next to those huge speaker magnets on breaks.

    at the Vintage Guitar shows you always see those guys with a box full of expensive real vintage pickups all thrown in together wrapped in thin plastic bags where youll find them sticking to each other or repelling each other, I always warn the vendor that hes killing the pickup's magnets, but year after year they still toss them all in the same box, and then they go bouncing down the road etc.. and carrying them in and out of shows.... and all day long customers move them and shuffle thru them ... they are not only getting horrible degaussed but some are also getting their polarity reversed and some will have dead poles from being reversed etc... its a crying shame the way people treat alnico pickups, they should never ever be allowed near another pickup at any time!!!:cry:

    you can trick Alnico 5 into behaving like 3's or 2's simply by lowering the gauss and adding or removing a few turns of wire to simulate the load of the magnets metal differences if any.. etc
    to me degaussing a alnico 3 is risky business as its already very low at 650 gauss, but with the 5's at 1250 gauss some times you need to take them down to 1000, 900, 800... even 650 in special cases.. just to get the guitar to sustain properly.

    Ive also had 50's pickups sent here on many occasions that still retained full gauss, so I will dare say that degaussing is not the secret to vintage tone at all. the secret to great single coil Fender vintage tone was the hand wound coil, especially on a good day ;) those guitars were new once and sounded great then, they did not have to "age" at all, they left the factory killin it! just listen to the old recordings its all right there and the guitars were brand new on most all of them.
     
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  19. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

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    Don, did you have the chance to read through what Bill had written on the subject?
     
  20. blimpo

    blimpo Tele-Meister

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    Very interesting thread.
     
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