Tell me about PAF humbuckers with A2 magnets

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by dead of night, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. dead of night

    dead of night Member

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    Hi, I am looking at boutique humbuckers with A2 magnets, a 7.6 output in the neck and 8.1 in the bridge.

    Based on these specs, what might these pickups sound like?

    They are made by Throbak, but I am mainly asking about the sound of these type of specs.

    Can anyone help?
     
  2. David Garner

    David Garner Member

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    Sort of like an underwound 57 Classic. Very Classic rock, nice complex highs and mids, spongy lows. It should be a great sounding pickup, especially for 60s and 70s rock, jazz or blues.
     
  3. guitarnut_1

    guitarnut_1 Member

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    I have only A2 magnets in my guitars: SD Seths, Ants, and APH2s.... my favorite magnet.
     
  4. dead of night

    dead of night Member

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    Would the neck pickup be too dark in a Les Paul style guitar?
     
  5. guitarnut_1

    guitarnut_1 Member

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    I don't think so. None of the afore mentioned pickups sound dark in my Hamers (all LP style guitars). And Throbaks are very good pickups as well. They should sound awesome with the A2 magnets IMHO.
     
  6. Nico.

    Nico. Member

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    Love Throbak. I recommend the DT-102 set which has A5 in the bridge and A2 on the neck. Amazing PAF classic tones!
    A5 in the bridge is a little more ballsy than A2.
    Have another guitar with A2's in both bridge and neck but prefer the short A5 magnets in the bridge.
    I can play anything from Zeppelin, AC/DC, Gary Moore, etc
     
  7. 71strat

    71strat Member

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    Those are close to my Tom Holmes H450 x H455.

    They are 7.4 x 8.3 Alnico 2. They are very clear clean and would die if you ever called them muddy.

    I use a .015 in the Neck and a .022 in the bridge for caps. I also cork sniffed and got NOS Bumblebee caps.

    I think the Throbaks will be stellar.

    I use Throbak M69 rings for my Holmes pups.

    If I didn't get the Holmes Throbak would have been my 2nd look. I also have another set of the Holmes for another build. You may also think about asking Throbak to Reverse the Neck Magnet in the Neck pup if you go this route. Throbak/Holmes and many of the higher end makers also have good covers with lower capacitance than many others like Gibson.

    I got mine Unpotted and never have a problem with any feedback problems ect. No Squealing. From my experience I wouldn't get potted unless youre running really really high gain. Then It would be debatable if I would use these for high gain. Im mainly a Strat guy for 45 years and had a nice boutique type Les Paul built and used these pickups.

    But the Wind and the Magnets you are asking about is a winner if they are anything like my experience with A2 and Low Wind.

    I would also like to try some Throbak with A2 x A5 but as for now the Low Wind II's sound great.

    I would like to have all of the Throbaks actually. Not going to happen but they all probably sound good if you know how to dial them in for the right application.

    Fralin also makes a nice Humbucker.

    Also from what I gather Dark is a matter of how many winds and how they distribute the wire on the bobbin. Magnet type Im sure also makes a difference but the wind on the bobbin probably has the biggest influence. Those with more knowledge can chime in.

    Throbak has several pictures of the different winds that their machines do.
     
  8. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory Member

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    I did a major pickup and magnet swap weekend and generally I fin A2's to be warm but clear with great growl but not sizzle, more mids, tight lows, highs with a bit of bite, and a slightly less forward attack than say an A5 but depends on guitar and construction. I personally think they have the best voicing but that can change based on how they're wound in my experience. Now this is just my recent experience and after trying all the magnets in the same pups, I went back to the A2's. Now I have a set of A3 pickups I really like but I believe the windings are completely different from the other "test" pups.
     
  9. dazco

    dazco Member

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    I agree totally with this description but i find after a while i tire of them because it seems like they're too compressed feeling and don't have the cut and punch you need for many things. If i were to play very gainy solos all the time i'd love them. But for rhythm i find they sound/feel too mushy and undynamic. The only A2 pickup i have found that i don't feel that way about is a tele pickup, and i'm not 100% sure it's A2 even tho it says so in the specs. (have reason to believe it may be wrong)
     
  10. guitarnut_1

    guitarnut_1 Member

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    Duncan Ants sound pretty trebly and bright, they will ALWAYS cut through well. They can however be made to sound beefy and fat as well. They sound kind of like a tele bridge pickups. So I wouldn't agree with the above generalization about A2s.
     
  11. markstullkc

    markstullkc Member

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    I use a Seth Lover in my #1. Play through a cranked Marshall or bad cat. Either way, they sound fantastic.
     
  12. sws1

    sws1 Member

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    When I need a reference for A2 PAFs that are in the upper 7k ohm range, I think early Allman Brothers (Dickey) for clean and Bad Company for dirty.
     
  13. slider313

    slider313 Silver Supporting Member

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    I prefer A4's especially in the neck (7.2K) of a Les Paul. My favorite sets are about 7.2K neck and 8.2K bridge. I have one set that comes in at 6.9K neck and 7.9K bridge. They reside in my Heritage H147.
     
  14. rhp52

    rhp52 Supporting Member

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    interested...
     
  15. gmann

    gmann Member

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    Are you guys telling me there's a difference in long and short magnets that you can hear? Without being Eric Johnson I mean...
     
  16. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory Member

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  17. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    lemme guess, you hit fairly hard when you play?

    i do, and that's my impression too; they don't have the percussive attack and punch of A5, and can feel spongy on the low end when you bang on it.

    i know players, good players, who prefer A2, and i notice they tend to have a gentle, controlled touch that lets those pickups sing without getting squished.
     
  18. edward

    edward Supporting Member

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    Squished ...that's a superb description. FWIW, I'm with Dazco and Walter on this. And the observation on attack sounds like me, as well.

    I've been an A5 lover on gibbys forever. You know, one of those guys who loves the A2 sound when others play em, but I can't seem to "get it right" for my style. That said, on my 336 I've found it works great in the neck spot ...and yes, I swapped the bridge for an A5. Whenever switching to my neck pup, I always tend to lighten up on my right hand as a matter of course, which is perhaps why that works for me, particularly on this 336. Old habits (and ingrained tone) die hard ;)

    Edward
     
  19. HipKitty

    HipKitty Silver Supporting Member

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    I am a fan of the A2 magnets. They allow the amp to do more or of the work. I do prefer the lower winds. I can't say I get squeezed response, but I do have a lighter touch..even when I "slam" the strings. A2's are softer...but so are degaussed IV's and V's.
     
  20. hank57

    hank57 Silver Supporting Member

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    If you are buying humbuckers without covers you can change the magnets quite easily. Only a few screws and then slide the magnet out and try a different one.
     

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