What magnets do you prefer?

dslman

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What magnets do you prefer for rock/ mild metal? Is it a consideration when shopping for pickups?
I may be done with ceramics.
 

fitz288

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In general, I prefer alnico for pickups.
I find ceramic ferrite a bit harsh -usually.
But it's just one factor in the signal chain.
Guitar, SC/HB, amp, speakers, etc. are all a factor.
 

RCM 800

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I havent really payed much attention. I like the ceramics a lot in my stock jackson pickups but I also like the A5's in most of my other guitars. I did do a magnet swap on a SH11 (cant remember what I went with) but I ended up giving that guitar to a friend. I did swap the pickups on my LP custom A2 to A5. I thought the tone was fine but I like more bite so I went from Gibson 57's to Duncan JB/Jazz.
 

jeffb

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It really depends on the guitar.

I tend towards A2, the various formulations of A5 (long/short oriented, unoriented), and on occasion Ceramic (SuperD, Duncan SH5, etc).

But I've had setups with A3, A4, A8, etc that were the right magnet for that particular guitar.
 

Matthews Guitars

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I don't care about the magnet type. I care about the sound. Alnico, Ceramic, whatever. It's the sound of a pickup I care about, not how it gets that sound.

I do not restrict my pickup searches to a specific magnet type.
 

dslman

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What do you not like about ceramics?
The ceramics I’ve had seemed a bit shrill, compress more and don’t bloom as well as the AlNico .
It just dawned on me that my favorites over the years have not been ceramics, although they have some great qualities like snappiness, very low noise, aggression etc…
 

dslman

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I don't care about the magnet type. I care about the sound. Alnico, Ceramic, whatever. It's the sound of a pickup I care about, not how it gets that sound.

I do not restrict my pickup searches to a specific magnet type.
Yes, a small piece of the equation that effects the tone , and pick response. A pickup must have a good sound, you’re correct.
 

paul-e-mann

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What magnets do you prefer for rock/ mild metal? Is it a consideration when shopping for pickups?
I may be done with ceramics.
I'm a fan of A2 pickups, but it's easy to change humbucker magnets just youtube it, get an A2 and an A5 to replace in your ceramic humbucker and experiment to see what you like.
 

sdn25

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Alnico 2 for rock and light metal in my book, has that smoother distortion characteristic compared to A5 and cleans up better with guitar volume. My absolute favourite pickup with an A2 is the Duncan 78' custom shop. give it a try !
 

dslman

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There is a certain feel with AlNico as well. Some may not perceive it, but yes I hear good things about the A2. At some point I want to look back and try to make a list of the different magnets I’ve used, and see what the results are. The joys of tone seeking.
 

mark123

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I don't care about the magnet type. I care about the sound. Alnico, Ceramic, whatever. It's the sound of a pickup I care about, not how it gets that sound.

I do not restrict my pickup searches to a specific magnet type.
Same but I also let the makers decide for me. I’ve settled on Lollar for just about everything.
 

Edgar Frog

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A5's and Ceramic's are my faves but I also like A2's. I'm a fan of humbuckers, not really into singles or P90's at all. I like anywhere from mildly overwound paf style to hot/high output. I'm into 70's-80's rock and metal.
 

dslman

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I'm a fan of A2 pickups, but it's easy to change humbucker magnets just youtube it, get an A2 and an A5 to replace in your ceramic humbucker and experiment to see what you like.
I had actually ordered some A5’s for a Duncan Custom, maybe I will try it after all, as long as it doesn’t scoop it out too much. The A2 sounds interesting.
 

mark123

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… I'm a fan of humbuckers, not really into singles or P90's at all. …
I’m your evil alternate universe counterpart. The you with a goatee. P90s and single-coils have changed my life. I really don’t like humbuckers anymore.

Carry on.
 

Kinkless Tetrode

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I was recommended to try A3 in a neck position humbucker. I really liked it, especially in a Les Paul. It gave an almost bell like chime and without the spongyness you can sometimes get from A2 in the neck position in some guitars. And without the possible boominess you can get from A5 in the neck position.

A4 can be a problem solver for the neck position too, but an A4 neck pickup will nearly always over power an A2 bridge pickup, and A2 is often desirable in the bridge position.

Aren't most P90s A4? Or is it A8?

Strat sized side by side humbuckers are are almost always ceramic even ones trying emulate vintage style full sized alnico humbuckers, though.

There are no hard and fast rules.
 

dslman

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I was recommended to try A3 in a neck position humbucker. I really liked it, especially in a Les Paul. It gave an almost bell like chime and without the spongyness you can sometimes get from A2 in the neck position in some guitars. And without the possible boominess you can get from A5 in the neck position.

A4 can be a problem solver for the neck position too, but an A4 neck pickup will nearly always over power an A2 bridge pickup, and A2 is often desirable in the bridge position.

Aren't most P90s A4? Or is it A8?

Strat sized side by side humbuckers are are almost always ceramic even ones trying emulate vintage style full sized alnico humbuckers, though.

There are no hard and fast rules.
P90’s are AlNico, not sure which magnet. I tried the Satur 8 pickup ,with the A8, it was ok but nothing that wowed me.
 

DirtySteve

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I had actually ordered some A5’s for a Duncan Custom, maybe I will try it after all, as long as it doesn’t scoop it out too much. The A2 sounds interesting.
The Duncan custom line are all the same pickups with the only difference being the magnets.

Original Custom is ceramic, the Custom Custom is the same pickup with an A2, the Custom 5 is A5 magnet. Folks on the SD forum describe the Custom 5 as being mid scooped. I tried it once and didn't care for it, but it was so long ago I really don't remember why I didn't like it.
 

dslman

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The Duncan custom line are all the same pickups with the only difference being the magnets.

Original Custom is ceramic, the Custom Custom is the same pickup with an A2, the Custom 5 is A5 magnet. Folks on the SD forum describe the Custom 5 as being mid scooped. I tried it once and didn't care for it, but it was so long ago I really don't remember why I didn't like it.
Yes, I read that the Custom-5 with th A5 magnet was pretty scooped, I hear enough scoop in the regular ceramic Custom, but may try the swap just to see.
 


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