Alnico 2 magnet swap...recommendations?

Lewguitar

Member
Messages
5,665
Let's say I have some old Duncan 59's I want to put Alnico 2 magnets in.

Is Addiction Effects the best place to buy the new Alnico 2 magnets?

Do I want smooth or rough?

I'm after a warmer tone with smoother treble and more mids.

Kind of the tone of a Seth Lover or Antiquity with an unaged (new) A2 magnet.
 

71strat

Member
Messages
9,275
This is where Id get mine. ThroBak spends a lot of money replicating vintage magnets. Unlike most other companies, that use modern production specs ect. Not saying theyre bad. ( Modern ) Just for me Id go for the ThroBaks.

These magnets are very expensive for ThroBak to buy in large quantities, and are not just your standard run of the mill magnets.



MADE IN THE USA
info@throbak.com
Tel. 616-734-8977


Alnico PAF and P90 Guitar Pickup Magnets


Free Shipping Worldwide!BUY NOW
Alnico grades (price is for a single Alnico magnet)


ThroBak Vintage Spec. PAF and P90 Alnico Guitar Pickup Magnets
These are the same USA made vintage clone PAF Alnico bar magnets used for all ThroBak Maximum Vintage PAF and P90 pickup models. All ThroBak Alnico PAF guitar pickup magnets are USA made and custom cast to vintage PAF and P90 Alnico magnet specs.. Our guitar pickup magnets are available for customers that want to experiment with guitar pickup magnet swaps. Made in USA.WARNING! CUSTOMER MAGNET SWAPS WILL VOID WARRANTY. THERE IS A REAL RISK OF PERMANENTLY DAMAGING YOUR PICKUP IF DONE IMPROPERLY. THROBAK IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR DAMAGE RESULTING FROM USER MAGNET SWAPS. General Alnico properties.

Choose ThroBak Alnico PAF and 90 guitar pickup magnets for the best in true vintage Alnico magnet tone. MADE in USA.:

  • A2 long / Scooped mids, chimey highs, warm sweet tones, loose feel.
  • A2 short / Scooped mids, spankier tone than long A2.
  • A3 long / Very weak, nice clarity for use in P90 pickups but very low output for PAF pickups.
  • A4 long / Balanced mids, treble and low end, drier toned than A2.
  • A5 long oriented / mid dominant, focused tone, jazzy cleans.
  • A5 short oriented / mid dominant tone, fatter toned than long oriented A5.
  • A5 long unoriented (Illinois) / Great low end clarity with good mids.
  • A5 long unoriented (Indiana) / Less low end clarity more treble snarl, good mids
Made in USA.
 

DaveK

Member
Messages
483
Let's say I have some old Duncan 59's I want to put Alnico 2 magnets in.

Is Addiction Effects the best place to buy the new Alnico 2 magnets?

Do I want smooth or rough?

I'm after a warmer tone with smoother treble and more mids.

Kind of the tone of a Seth Lover or Antiquity with an unaged (new) A2 magnet.
I've done a whole bunch of magnet swapping recently with Duncan 59s and Gibson 57 Classics with magnets from Addiction FX,very happy with them. By your description I'd choose polished A2s. Or get a variety and have fun playing around with them.
 

9fingers

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,644
AddictionFx is great, consistent and very well priced. You might want to order some A3 & A4 as well while you are it.
You can search or ask on the Seymour Duncan forum, the Pickup Lounge, for specific recommendations for mags for Duncan 59s according to what you are looking for. There are magnet fanatics there.
 

Jason_77

Member
Messages
7,210
I've done a ton of magnet swaps. If you order from Addiction, just get one or two of each. They're cheap enough.

Throbak has really good stuff but the prices make it harder to experiment. I have his short oriented A5 and the Illinois UOA5. I tried the short A5 in a 59 and I can say that it does sound like your description of what you want.
 

Mincer

Member
Messages
4,547
I use AddictionFX, and the magnets are so cheap, just get one of each. I prefer smooth for A2, and roughcast for A5.
 

TheWayfarer84

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,871
I use AddictionFX, and the magnets are so cheap, just get one of each. I prefer smooth for A2, and roughcast for A5.
This. Always satisfied with AddictionFX. Great prices, fast shipping. A2 roughcast should move you toward a warmer looser feel. But its cheap enough to buy a few and experiment.
 

philamag87

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,083
Also got my magnets from Addiction FX and experimented with SD 59's. I couldn't get the brightness out of the bridge pickup no matter what magnet I tried. The last magnet I had in there was an A8. With the neck I found a UOA5 to be pretty decent and a good blend between A5 and A2. Like others have said, order A2, A3, A4 and UOA5 while your at it because you never know which one you might like best.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
14,629
Never heard of throback but $28 for a bar that the ebay guy (addictionFX i believe) sells for about $3-4? (usually 2 for $7 or thereabouts) Does it wipe your....well, you know what i mean. I'd sure like to hear a bar magnet make $24 worth of difference. Seriously? Theres rarely $24 difference between similar pickups, and any difference is usually totally subjective. Just sayin... :dunno:huh
 

cwz

Member
Messages
267
New to this magnet swapping. I assume it's best to order them magnetized, true?
If unmagnetized, can you magnetize them yourself and vary the strength? Not sure if there is a benefit either way.
 

el duderino

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
361
This might be a dumb question, but can the magnets be swapped out on any humbucker or does the pickup need to be designed to allow the magnet to be swapped out?

I have a 2000 Guild Starfire that I would like to swap the pickups out on, but just swapping the magnets would be easier.
 

Jason_77

Member
Messages
7,210
This might be a dumb question, but can the magnets be swapped out on any humbucker or does the pickup need to be designed to allow the magnet to be swapped out?

I have a 2000 Guild Starfire that I would like to swap the pickups out on, but just swapping the magnets would be easier.
Yes, they can all be swapped out.
 

Binaural

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,849
I've tried magnets from both suppliers mentioned and in the end result they sound the same, so I continue to get mine from AddictionFX. As for the SD '59s, I current have a set in an LP with roughcast A2 magnets in both pickups, very bluesy in tone, kind of like Duane's goldtop. I also have an LP with '59 with an A3 in the neck and a UOA5 in the bridge, I think I like this combo even more so. The neck pickup is amazing clean through a Fender Super Reverb and the bridge has a bit more punch to it, awesome combo.
 
Last edited:

socalscott

Member
Messages
1,869
I've done a whole bunch of magnet swapping recently with Duncan 59s and Gibson 57 Classics with magnets from Addiction FX,very happy with them. By your description I'd choose polished A2s. Or get a variety and have fun playing around with them.
Can you tell me about the 57's B and N? I was considering A3, especially for the neck. I'd like it to be clean, open, not as dark.

TIA
 

Lewguitar

Member
Messages
5,665
This is where Id get mine. ThroBak spends a lot of money replicating vintage magnets. Unlike most other companies, that use modern production specs ect. Not saying theyre bad. ( Modern ) Just for me Id go for the ThroBaks.

These magnets are very expensive for ThroBak to buy in large quantities, and are not just your standard run of the mill magnets.



MADE IN THE USA
info@throbak.com
Tel. 616-734-8977


Alnico PAF and P90 Guitar Pickup Magnets


Free Shipping Worldwide!BUY NOW
Alnico grades (price is for a single Alnico magnet)


ThroBak Vintage Spec. PAF and P90 Alnico Guitar Pickup Magnets
These are the same USA made vintage clone PAF Alnico bar magnets used for all ThroBak Maximum Vintage PAF and P90 pickup models. All ThroBak Alnico PAF guitar pickup magnets are USA made and custom cast to vintage PAF and P90 Alnico magnet specs.. Our guitar pickup magnets are available for customers that want to experiment with guitar pickup magnet swaps. Made in USA.WARNING! CUSTOMER MAGNET SWAPS WILL VOID WARRANTY. THERE IS A REAL RISK OF PERMANENTLY DAMAGING YOUR PICKUP IF DONE IMPROPERLY. THROBAK IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR DAMAGE RESULTING FROM USER MAGNET SWAPS. General Alnico properties.

Choose ThroBak Alnico PAF and 90 guitar pickup magnets for the best in true vintage Alnico magnet tone. MADE in USA.:

  • A2 long / Scooped mids, chimey highs, warm sweet tones, loose feel.
  • A2 short / Scooped mids, spankier tone than long A2.
  • A3 long / Very weak, nice clarity for use in P90 pickups but very low output for PAF pickups.
  • A4 long / Balanced mids, treble and low end, drier toned than A2.
  • A5 long oriented / mid dominant, focused tone, jazzy cleans.
  • A5 short oriented / mid dominant tone, fatter toned than long oriented A5.
  • A5 long unoriented (Illinois) / Great low end clarity with good mids.
  • A5 long unoriented (Indiana) / Less low end clarity more treble snarl, good mids
Made in USA.
Thanks for posting this and for including the tone chart.

I've always found Lindy Fralin's and Seymour Duncan's A2 humbuckers to have thicker mids, warmer/smoother/rounder treble, and bass that is more manageable less woofy than his pickups with Alnico 5 magnets.

The descriptions from Throbak seem to contradict what my own experiences were...and are.

Interesting!
 
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TheWayfarer84

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,871
This would be my concern. Are the magnet dimensions the same for rough cast and smooth?
Yes a rough cast or smooth can be used in any pickup. Same with long/short.

New to this magnet swapping. I assume it's best to order them magnetized, true?
If unmagnetized, can you magnetize them yourself and vary the strength? Not sure if there is a benefit either way.
Order them magnetized for simplicity's sake. You CAN do it yourself (http://www.mojotone.com/support/kb-pickup-parts/How-do-I-magnetize-alnico-pickup-magnets) though.
 
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Lewguitar

Member
Messages
5,665
Yes a rough cast or smooth can be used in any pickup. Same with long/short.



Order them magnetized for simplicity's sake. You CAN do it yourself (http://www.mojotone.com/support/kb-pickup-parts/How-do-I-magnetize-alnico-pickup-magnets), but really only to about full strength. You'll need equipment if you want to accurately try varying levels. Not worth the hassle imo
It would be nice if they sold aged magnets. I epecially want the sound of a 10 or 12 year old magnet.

That's the sound the pafs in the Les Paul's used for my favorite British Blues, Allman Brothers, and Mike Bloomfield recordings would have had in the late 1960's when those Bursts were about 10 years old.
 
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TheWayfarer84

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,871
You can give it a shot yourself. I stole this from the seymour duncan forum:

It's all trial and error and depends on how much you want to degauss. Just a few seconds on a side (S to S and N to N) will take the edge off.

Although now I have come up with a new way of both degaussing and re-gaussing without even having to take the pu out of the guitar. Just use a neo disk mag like you can get from Stewmac and wave it once very quickly along the length of the pickup with the disk a couple of inches above the pickup, off to the side, with the surface of the disk at a 45-degree angle to the surface of the pu. How much degauss or recharge effect is determined by how fast you wave the disk and how far away the disk is from the pickup. Faster and farther away both = less effect.

This is a great way for several reasons:

1) It's goofproof. If you degauss it too much, just flip the disk over and wave it again to recharge it, flip it again and try again.

2) You don't have to do anything to the guitar at all, you don't even have to remove strings or pickups.

3) You hear the results immediately. You can have the guitar in your lap plugged into the amp while you do this so you can really dial in the tone. Wave it and play, wave it and play -- no memory degradation of what it sounded like before as would happen during the time you had to yank the pickup out of the guitar and then yank the magnet out of the pu.

I recommend the wave be to the "outside" of the pickups, meaning over the bridge for the bridge pu and over the neck for the neck pu. This way the neo disk's magnetic field doesn't affect the other pickup.
 

MKB

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,377
Most aftermarket humbucker magnets I've seen are shipped magnetized. And IME it is difficult to magnetize a humbucker magnet properly due to its size (this was determined by checking the pole edges of a magnet I tried to magnetize with a gaussmeter, the level was not consistent along the face like on premagnetized magnets in comparison). OTOH many Fender single coil aftermarket magnets are shipped unmagnetized, but they are very easy to magnetize with a few neo magnets you can buy at say Northern Tool. I suspect magnetizing bar magnets would be more consistent if the neo magnets used were closer to the width of the bar being magnetized (the ones I tried that worked well with Fender magnets and poorly with bars were 1" in diameter).

FWIW, I have a few seventies Gibson magnets pulled from T-top pickups destroyed during an attempt at potting (long and sad story), and they all measure as significantly weaker than new aftermarket magnets or ones pulled from a few modern pickups like Duncan or DiMarzio. They are also rather narrow, and one of them looks to be half rough cast and half machined along its flat face (not the edge). I suspect if a person had a reliable way to demagnetize a magnet, and the proper size neo magnets to evenly magnetize the surface, and a gaussmeter, he could experiment with varying the magnetization of a humbucker for different tones.
 




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