Author Topic: Pickup Magnets  (Read 4939 times)

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EVH Fan

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Pickup Magnets
« on: December 30, 2010, 08:32:25 pm »
Okay so I have a Seymour Duncan Custom Custom in my Yamaha Pacifica. Really like the thing but yet there is something about it that just isn't quite getting me the sound I want. I'm thinking it is the fact that it uses an AlNiCo 2 magnet which gives a warmer looser bass sound to the pickup.

So I know all of the Seymour Duncan custom pickups (the Custom, Custom Custom, and Custom 5) are all the same pickups but with a different magnet (ceramic, AlNiCo 2, and AlNiCo 5). And I could just swap the magnets in the pickup to change it to one of the others. I tend to browse the Seymour Duncan forums from time to time and I have heard a lot about the Custom 8, which is not a model made by Seymour Duncan but the user puts in an AlNiCo 8 magnet. I'm really interested in turning the pickup into the Custom 8 or 5, but I'm really not sure where to buy new magnets and if the pickup uses bar or rod magnets. Also I am wondering if anyone has done this before and could tell me how difficult it is to do and what tools I will need.

Your thoughts and help is appreciated ;)

Offline Dan Graves

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Re: Pickup Magnets
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2010, 08:55:34 pm »
Here's what a disassembled humbucker looks like : http://www.cigarboxguitars.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/humbucker.jpg
And here's a diagram that shows what goes where : http://www.planetz.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/humbuckerinternals.jpg

I have disassembled a few pickups before, but only to do wax potting, so i can't offer much help.
As for magnets...
There are tons of suppliers, but with most of them YOU will have to specify dimensions, and you will probably have to buy in bulk.
I'd say your best bet is trying Stewmac but perhaps TB-AV has some more knowledgeable insights here.

flyhead

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Re: Pickup Magnets
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2010, 10:05:48 pm »
What amp are you analysing the tone through, EVH Fan, and what pick-ups are you using as a benchmark for tonal comparison?

Offline TB-AV

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Re: Pickup Magnets
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2010, 10:25:27 pm »
Here is one FleaBay seller that has plenty.

http://shop.ebay.com/addiction-fx/m.html


...and a vid showing a magnet swap

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BU74r2m8cJk

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EVH Fan

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Re: Pickup Magnets
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2010, 12:21:37 am »
What amp are you analysing the tone through, EVH Fan, and what pick-ups are you using as a benchmark for tonal comparison?

I'm playing through my Vox VT30. I'm not really using any specific pickup for a comparison. But I'm looking for a tighter bass response which my Custom Custom doesn't have, but I know the Custom 5 and Custom 8 pickups do. If I don't like the AlNiCo 5 or 8 magnet I can always switch back. So this is just a cheaper way for me to try and get a different sound. You can't beat a $5 upgrade haha.

Think I am going to try the AlNiCo 8 magnet first since I've heard so many great things about it and it's not a production pickup ;D

But I do love my Custom Custom I would recommend it to anyone, unless you're playing insane metal.

And thanks for the ebay link and the video TB. Those will come in handy in the very near future.

EVH Fan

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Re: Pickup Magnets
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2010, 04:41:06 am »
And I think my final questions on the matter of my Custom Custom and modding it shall be...

I've seen some of the magnets saying "not magnetized" so those won't work unless I have them magnetized? Am I correct, because I am pretty much 100% sure I am :D

Do I need to get the exact same size bar magnet as is currently in my pickup or does it not really matter?

Lastly, this one isn't exactly about the magnet but still a pickup question. So I know there are fillister and hex head screws for the poles. I've read on the internet before that they have different sounds, but does anyone know what the difference is? Or would it just be a fun little thing to experiment with?

steveo2

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Re: Pickup Magnets
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2011, 08:07:33 pm »
Here is one FleaBay seller that has plenty.

http://shop.ebay.com/addiction-fx/m.html


...and a vid showing a magnet swap

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BU74r2m8cJk


Great advice.
The Barney model was a sweet thing,
Great link too.
As always TB and Dan come through with the links.
Great stuff guys  ;D

EVH Fan

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Re: Pickup Magnets
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2011, 11:16:06 pm »
Well I ordered an AlNiCo 8 magnet. I chose to not use the AlNiCo 5 because it gives the pickup a scooped mid range, and I just can't have that. it should be here Friday so When it comes and I get it installed I'll let you know how awesome it is. If I remember I'll record some demos of the sound before and after with the same amp settings.

From what I gather from the seymour duncan forums the pickup has sort of a sound between the Custom and Custom 5, It has a similar eq curve and the clarity of the Custom, with the warmth and big sound of the Custom 5. I repeatedly read people saying that it takes the best of the ceramic and alnico magnets. One comparison I really thought was interesting is that a lot of people say the Custom 8 is what the JB wants to be. With a smoother high range, and a better bottom end, but still has the good mid range. Really sounds like it's the pickup that I've been searching for so I hope it sounds good. *fingers crossed*

Offline TB-AV

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Re: Pickup Magnets
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2011, 11:31:49 pm »
I would like to hear before / after as well but don't change strings either.

Pick a setting on the amp, play and also note where the meters in your PC are reading. then new magnets and play exactly the same thing.

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Offline Dan Graves

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Re: Pickup Magnets
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2011, 06:03:54 am »
Well I ordered an AlNiCo 8 magnet. I chose to not use the AlNiCo 5 because it gives the pickup a scooped mid range, and I just can't have that. it should be here Friday so When it comes and I get it installed I'll let you know how awesome it is. If I remember I'll record some demos of the sound before and after with the same amp settings.

From what I gather from the seymour duncan forums the pickup has sort of a sound between the Custom and Custom 5, It has a similar eq curve and the clarity of the Custom, with the warmth and big sound of the Custom 5. I repeatedly read people saying that it takes the best of the ceramic and alnico magnets. One comparison I really thought was interesting is that a lot of people say the Custom 8 is what the JB wants to be. With a smoother high range, and a better bottom end, but still has the good mid range. Really sounds like it's the pickup that I've been searching for so I hope it sounds good. *fingers crossed*

You do realise you're describing at least 2 BKP pickups with that, right ?  ;D

EVH Fan

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Re: Pickup Magnets
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2011, 07:07:23 am »
Haha I really wouldn't know I've only listened to a few BK pickups, the stormy monday, rebel yell, VHII, warpig, and holydiver. And I really like that holydiver pickup but sadly BK pickups are a tad on the expensive side.

Guess I'm just a Seymour Duncan fanboy :D

EVH Fan

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Re: Pickup Magnets
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2011, 09:09:58 pm »
Got the magnet today and installed it. I'm really liking the new sound. It is clearer and has a nice tighter sound. It sounds a lot better than my Custom Custom did with overdrive but the clean sounds not quite as good, but I don't play clean enough for this to affect anything for me. And as I said I would do some demos of the before and after. I tried to get them set the same but human error probably is in there. Also my playing is kinda sloppy because I was so excited to get the magnet in I didn't take my time to warm up and get the best recordings, but this is a sound test not a playing skills competition ;D

Clean
Alnico 2 - http://www.4shared.com/audio/OO_cHWCb/A2_Clean.html
Alnico 8 - http://www.4shared.com/audio/npoOkeM7/A8_Clean.html

Rock
Alnico 2 - http://www.4shared.com/audio/igiAOMcJ/A2_Hold_on_Loosely.html
              http://www.4shared.com/audio/_4JjLDEs/A2_Black_Dog.html
Alnico 8 - http://www.4shared.com/audio/7siJR20J/A8_Hold_on_Loosely.html
              http://www.4shared.com/audio/cMVwGSbb/A8_Black_Dog.html

Metal
Alnico 2 - http://www.4shared.com/audio/i0w5uAkE/A2_Lay_it_Down.html
Alnico 8 - http://www.4shared.com/audio/nD4gUYTK/A8_Lay_it_Down.html

Edit: The media files keep not wanting to play... I'll fix it.

Edit2: Ok files are fine now you can listen to them. Enjoy ;D
« Last Edit: January 07, 2011, 09:26:40 pm by EVH Fan »

Offline TB-AV

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Re: Pickup Magnets
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2011, 09:26:03 pm »
You need to make them MP3s
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EVH Fan

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Re: Pickup Magnets
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2011, 09:28:40 pm »
I did try .mp3 first and they weren't working, so I heard .wav worked there now and they do but when I logged out you couldn't play them... so then I re uploaded the .mp3 files and it worked finally.

EVH Fan

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Re: Pickup Magnets
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2011, 04:29:48 am »
Ok after some time playing the new pickup I can say that it is truly amazing. It has made setting my amps eq very easy. And it does classic rock and heavier stuff with ease. I really wanted to get a great 80s hair/glam metal sound and it nails it. When I first got it installed I didn't notice quite a big difference (but it was very noticable), but I was only able to play with the VT30 turned down low. Now I got the chance to turn the amp up loud and the pickup screams. Great harmonics, fat tone, great eq of the pickup. Does both rhythm and lead splendidly. I would highly recommend this pickup to anyone.

If anyone wants to ask any questions about it go right ahead :)

Offline TB-AV

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Re: Pickup Magnets
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2011, 03:28:31 am »
Well I have to say. I do like the A8 as well.

The A2 sounds a bit veiled and weak in comparison from my side.

Yeah that was a cheap upgrade.

I didn't realize you fixed the links.



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