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Help with A3 and A4 low wind humbuckers

VHilts

New member
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
3
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I wanna try some really low impedance lo-fi humbuckers in both the neck and bridge

Have any of you:

1) Tried winds lower than 6k in humbuckers ?? Please elucidate
2) Thoughts on Alnico 4 humbuckers both bridge and neck ??
3) Thoughts on Alnico 3 HB's both bridge and neck ??
4) Thoughts on Alnico 3 vs Alnico 4 in general ??
5) Thoughts on whether HB's need to be voiced for neck and bridge ??
6) Thoughts on using the same HB at neck and bridge ??
7) I am leaning towards unpotted HBs. Thoughts ??

These will be in a tele
I only ever play 5F1 Tweed Champ or 5E9-A Tweed Tremolux heads and I only ever use a EVM 12L cab
Most of the time I am pretty cranked up amp wise
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VHilts

New member
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
3
I wanna try some really low impedance lo-fi humbuckers in both the neck and bridge

Have any of you:

1) Tried winds lower than 6k in humbuckers ?? Please elucidate
2) Thoughts on Alnico 4 humbuckers both bridge and neck ??
3) Thoughts on Alnico 3 HB's both bridge and neck ??
4) Thoughts on Alnico 3 vs Alnico 4 in general ??
5) Thoughts on whether HB's need to be voiced for neck and bridge ??
6) Thoughts on using the same HB at neck and bridge ??
7) I am leaning towards unpotted HBs. Thoughts ??

These will be in a tele
I only ever play 5F1 Tweed Champ or 5E9-A Tweed Tremolux heads and I only ever use a EVM 12L cab
Most of the time I am pretty cranked up amp wise
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
212
1. Filtertrons and EMGs. Filtertrons about 4.2k. Sound great, bit quiet, but that's why amps have volume knobs. EMGs, I believe, whether single coil or HBs were twin coils wound to about 2k, singles stacked, HBs as per Firebird buckers, not PAFs. In both cases, sealed in resin with an internal pre-amp to boost signal level and present a HiZ signal to the amp. I love em, and no I'm not a f***in' metal player, but the 'in between sounds don't work like a conventional pickup.
2. Love em.
3. Can take em or leave em.
4. Prefer 4, but not enough that I'd change pickups or magnets on the strength of it.
5. Definitely not. It's a modern fad. They didn't do it back in the day, except on Teles, and Gibson doesn't do it on reissues. I've a pair of Yamaha SGs with hotter wind neck pickups. Presumably specs based on mid 60s Gibsons. Sound great, and the both selections have a certain something that modern guitars don't.
6. My 60th Anni R9 has near as dammit identical neck and bridge pickups. Sounds great.
7. I'm new to unpotted. 38 years playing potted. In the last year I've acqirred two unpotted. My experience, the pickups hear everything. If you play clean/light overdrive, you'll love em, probably. If you play high gain, they're a waste of money.
 

corpse

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2007
Messages
3,965
1. Filtertrons and EMGs. Filtertrons about 4.2k. Sound great, bit quiet, but that's why amps have volume knobs. EMGs, I believe, whether single coil or HBs were twin coils wound to about 2k, singles stacked, HBs as per Firebird buckers, not PAFs. In both cases, sealed in resin with an internal pre-amp to boost signal level and present a HiZ signal to the amp. I love em, and no I'm not a f***in' metal player, but the 'in between sounds don't work like a conventional pickup.
2. Love em.
3. Can take em or leave em.
4. Prefer 4, but not enough that I'd change pickups or magnets on the strength of it.
5. Definitely not. It's a modern fad. They didn't do it back in the day, except on Teles, and Gibson doesn't do it on reissues. I've a pair of Yamaha SGs with hotter wind neck pickups. Presumably specs based on mid 60s Gibsons. Sound great, and the both selections have a certain something that modern guitars don't.
6. My 60th Anni R9 has near as dammit identical neck and bridge pickups. Sounds great.
7. I'm new to unpotted. 38 years playing potted. In the last year I've acqirred two unpotted. My experience, the pickups hear everything. If you play clean/light overdrive, you'll love em, probably. If you play high gain, they're a waste of money.

Great answers
Placement and string vibration are the major contributor to the tone of neck vs bridge.
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
212
Great answers
Placement and string vibration are the major contributor to the tone of neck vs bridge.
Thanks.
I have a Vintage V100 PGM, a budget end Greeny, that I use for "research purposes". It was originally fitted with a set of Wilkinson pickups, generic Asian 8.3k/7.5k A5... with the neck wired and fitted the other way round. As you'd expect, it sounded, "meh", but with thin nadally both on sound.
Swapped magnets, melted the bobbins... pots, caps... Anyway, for a chuckle, I picked up a couple of cheap neck pickups. One 7.92k/A2, the other 7.5k/A4. Wired the thing up with a push/push to switch the polarity of the neck pickup, with the lower wind pickup in the bridge. Neck pickup gives instant 'Albatross', bridge and middle a bit non descript, so swapped the bridge magnet for an A2. Bingo!
While I was tweeking the amp, both pups on, stroked the strings and that Dragonfly tone flew out the speaker,. Yeah, I know, that was Danny Kirwin on a different LP.
Bridge pickup sounds right, flipped polarity sound is there... It's no CC#1, but it's a lot closer than it was.
 
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Sol

Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2001
Messages
498
6. Using two of the same model humbuckers for your neck and bridge positions respectively is an approach worth experimenting with, not least as you can use the opertunity to try out the Alnico magnets your interested in.

For e.g. Two Gibson 57 classics, with alnico 2 magnets. Replace with alnico 3 and 4 for example..
The Alnico 4 goes in the neck to simulate the clarity of a lower wind PAF, while the bridge 57classic gets the Alnico 3 for warmth to achieve a tonal balance between two .. Despite identical outputs the two together will compliment each other with tones not available to pickups specifically wound for one position or another..

This is a technique luthiers and techs have used to help clients find a 'voice' not available in guitar stores, and is a lot of fun to play with, and open to all.
 

Sol

Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2001
Messages
498
Has anyone experimented in this way with alnico magnets as I described in the post above?
 

Timius

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Joined
Sep 29, 2020
Messages
2
I just wound a pair of humbucker with A3 magnets. 8.2k bridge and an 7.8k neck. Absolutely love them! In the neck the A3 is stellar. I think it might be my favorite low output/low wind neck magnet now. SUPER articulate. In the bridge it has great presence and actually had a little more growl then I was expecting. Great clarity with great harmonics.

For low DC winds I highly recommend.

The A4 in the same pickup had increased output and sounded very even. I think it would be a fantastic choice in a asymmetrically wound pickup.
 
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I just wound a pair of humbucker with A3 magnets. 8.2k bridge and an 7.8k neck. Absolutely love them! In the neck the A3 is stellar. I think it might be my favorite low output/low wind neck magnet now. SUPER articulate. In the bridge it has great presence and actually had a little more growl then I was expecting. Great clarity with great harmonics.

For low DC winds I highly recommend.

The A4 in the same pickup had increased output and sounded very even. I think it would be a fantastic choice in a asymmetrically wound pickup.
I'm a big fan of A4 magnets in a PAFalike, but it depends on the coils.
@Sol. That could be the next project for my Crash Test Dummy (V100PGM).
 

Desmond Bland

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Jan 19, 2021
Messages
5
I have a set of Manlius '59 LT(low turn) with long A3 magnets reading 6.89/7.21 in a 335. Very clean, airy and articulate. I have a set of Manlius Fat Diane's A4 8.16/8.6 in a 2nd 335. Also very articulate but will push the amp harder than the '59LT. Both guitars have coil splitting. TONS of options between the two.
 
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I wanna try some really low impedance lo-fi humbuckers in both the neck and bridge

Have any of you:

1) Tried winds lower than 6k in humbuckers ?? Please elucidate
2) Thoughts on Alnico 4 humbuckers both bridge and neck ??
3) Thoughts on Alnico 3 HB's both bridge and neck ??
4) Thoughts on Alnico 3 vs Alnico 4 in general ??
5) Thoughts on whether HB's need to be voiced for neck and bridge ??
6) Thoughts on using the same HB at neck and bridge ??
7) I am leaning towards unpotted HBs. Thoughts ??

These will be in a tele
I only ever play 5F1 Tweed Champ or 5E9-A Tweed Tremolux heads and I only ever use a EVM 12L cab
Most of the time I am pretty cranked up amp wise
I have them from HighOrder and they are great
 

Sol

Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2001
Messages
498
I'm a big fan of A4 magnets in a PAFalike, but it depends on the coils.
@Sol. That could be the next project for my Crash Test Dummy (V100PGM).
Having a 'crash test guitar' to subject all your mad professor ideas on is a really good idea. Wish I'd thought of it myself come to think of it..
With two identical PAF type 'buckers, say.. 8 K ohms each, if both have alnico 2 magnets, simply leave the alnico 2 in the bridge and place an alnico 4 in the neck. The extra clarity of the alnico 4 will likely balance really well with the alnico 2 in the bridge position.

This is just a suggestion as an easy place to start your experiments with the various alnico types as the example above requires only one magnet to be changed.
With a supply of various alnico types you can experiment to your hearts content, and it will really educate yourself on the real world properties of alnico magnets. I'm no expert here, just really curious to learn more..
 
Joined
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Messages
212
Having a 'crash test guitar' to subject all your mad professor ideas on is a really good idea. Wish I'd thought of it myself come to think of it..
With two identical PAF type 'buckers, say.. 8 K ohms each, if both have alnico 2 magnets, simply leave the alnico 2 in the bridge and place an alnico 4 in the neck. The extra clarity of the alnico 4 will likely balance really well with the alnico 2 in the bridge position.

This is just a suggestion as an easy place to start your experiments with the various alnico types as the example above requires only one magnet to be changed.
With a supply of various alnico types you can experiment to your hearts content, and it will really educate yourself on the real world properties of alnico magnets. I'm no expert here, just really curious to learn more..
I think so. I've always had a Strat copy of some sort knocking around for trying things out - it's currently got a pair of Filtertron style pickups. It's affectionately known as the 'Binocaster', because it's built from spare parts. The story behind the Crash Test Dummy is that it's a budget end Asian LP-a-like, which arrived with QC issues. It's a decent enough lump, but I couldn't take money for it, knowing it's history, so it's a good base for wiring experiments. I wouldn't commit a Gibson or Fender for these purposes.
You don't assume the sounds transfer exactly to a better quality instrument. You note the starting point, change one thing, note how it changed. How it changes is transferable.
Certain people will argue that you can't get accurate results because you can't set the pickups exactly the same - "a quarter turn makes a significant difference". They're talking bollocks. They set the heights on open strings. When you fret notes the string-pole distance changes by a greater distance than a turn of the adjustment screws. Besides which, I use a pair of digital calipers to ensure the heights are the same, before I even fit the pickup.

I haven't experimented further at this point on the CTD. I had a Jazzmaster project - two neck pickups and sounds superb, and I've recently started playing around with synths - yeah, I know... I was a research chemist before my eyes went bad and I can't kill off the 'boffin' in me. If it's any comfort, I'm more a Pete Townsend dabbler than Kraftwerk or Depeche Mode. Don't worry, I've not crossed over to the dark side... Hopefully, there'll be a new Lester incoming in two or three months.
One lasting thing I've taken from all my tinkering is I will never buy a 'balanced' pickup set again.
 
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