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Which Alnico type is most midrange dominant?

Sol

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Oct 26, 2001
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If I have a PAF style pickup with an average 8K Ohm coil . Is it possible to maximise the midrange by choosing the right alnico type?
I guess I'm asking if one type of alnico has more midrange character than others ?
 
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TheArchitect

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Jul 6, 2003
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If I have a PAF style pickup with an average 8K Ohm coil . Is it possible to maximise the midrange by choosing the right alnico type?
I guess I'm asking if one type of alnico has a more midrange character than others ?

ALnico II
 

Sol

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Well, that really put a smile on my face, a good place to start.
I've done just enough research to confirm my ignorance in the field of electromagnetism, and my envy of those that are not.

Resistance, induction, impedance, gauss, flux density, Q, and resonant peak.. You just have to respect the guys that are fluent in this language. This, I think is how PAF style pickups with certain characteristics can be replicated year after year.

So is it possible with all these magnetic variables to alter the midrange response by simply changing the magnet?
 

Señor Verde

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Jan 13, 2005
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I'm no pickup expert but to my ears, Alnico II has more broad mids and Alnico V has more upper mids. I think Alnico IV has more fullness, but is more like Alnico V.
 

El Gringo

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I think the way i would compare the A2 to the A5 is that the A5 to my ears sounds more thicker versus the A2 which is more treble . Don't get me wrong A2 is nice , but i like the A5 more as it has a better midrange tone/sound .
 

mthrunn

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Dec 4, 2019
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Quick, someone say Alnico III to cover all the bases!

But seriously, this is hilarious and completely on par with the way objectivity and subjectivity blur when it comes to these topics.

To my ears, A4 is the most neutral, A5 is the brightest (but also with the most robust lows) and has the most upper mids, and A2 has the most lower mids (but sorta compresses on the lows)
 

somebodyelseuk

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Quick, someone say Alnico III to cover all the bases!

But seriously, this is hilarious and completely on par with the way objectivity and subjectivity blur when it comes to these topics.

To my ears, A4 is the most neutral, A5 is the brightest (but also with the most robust lows) and has the most upper mids, and A2 has the most lower mids (but sorta compresses on the lows)

The answer is none of em.
I remember reading an interview with either Tim Mills or Seymour Duncan... They've analysed it and found the magnets have little affect on midrange. The midrange stays where it is and the low and high range is altered.
At the end of the day, the two ways to get a definite answer are to eiither buy the magnets and swap em until you find what you like, or speak directly to a respected pickup maker.
 

Sol

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Well, a respected pickup maker at this point would be ideal. We all have our subjective experience, and that's part of the dilemma, and the reason that anything definitive is so elusive.
 

Sol

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I've learnt of a complicating aspect to alnico bar magnets, and that is the level of charge applied to the magnet. Apparently no magnet has higher gauss than alnico 5, but it doesn't mean that every humbucker gets the max charge..

Duncan, Dimarzio, etc apply a specific charge to each model being produced, consistency is essential to maintaining the characteristics that define each model.

The one humbucker that has more charge in its magnet than any other I'm aware of is Gibson's T Top. Replacing this highly charged short alnico 5 for any other alnico type, alnico 2 for example will increase induction lowering the resonant peak, producing a warmer tonality.. That's if I've got my facts straight., and with less emphasis on the highs and lows the midrange will be emphasised.. Is this how it works?
 

Mr. Papa

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I've learnt of a complicating aspect to alnico bar magnets, and that is the level of charge applied to the magnet. Apparently no magnet has higher gauss than alnico 5, but it doesn't mean that every humbucker gets the max charge..The one humbucker that has more charge in its magnet than any other I'm aware of is Gibson's T Top....

I agree with this and also note the interesting magnet choice and charge of the Amos pickup set, and that some or all T Tops have short magnets vs. long, and that also affects the tone.
 
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Sol

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Long v short magnets is another ingredient in the mystic brew, just to make an already complex subject all the more confounding for those of us trying to get our heads around this subject. We love all this stuff though, don't we guys n gals? Besides I've not lost hope that a pickup guru will intervene and throw a little light our way..
 

Mr. Papa

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Long v short magnets is another ingredient in the mystic brew, just to make an already complex subject all the more confounding for those of us trying to get our heads around this subject. We love all this stuff though, don't we guys n gals? Besides I've not lost hope that a pickup guru will intervene and throw a little light our way..
Let's get all the facts wrong and make it confusing, and hopefully someone will show up like rubbing a lamp (the wrong way)!
 
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Sol

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Let's get all the facts wrong and make it confusing, and hopefully someone will show up like rubbing a lamp (the wrong way)!
Ah, but Mr. Papa, how do we know we have the right lamp to rub?? I mean is this a '59 vintage lamp we're talking about or just some random ebay aritifact from who knows where.. Darn it son were falling down the rabbit hole.. Hold onto your britches my friend, I don't know where this thread will end.. 🤔🤔 Though perhaps now is as good a time as any.. 🤕⌚😎😉
 

CL-10

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Jan 27, 2003
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If I have a PAF style pickup with an average 8K Ohm coil . Is it possible to maximise the midrange by choosing the right alnico type?
I guess I'm asking if one type of alnico has more midrange character than others ?
 

CL-10

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Jan 27, 2003
Messages
335
It will depend on the guitar you put them in. Buy A4’s, A2’s and A 5’s and try them yourself. I had some early SD 59’ in a 75 Les Paul. I replaced the A5’s with A2’s and then later with A4’s. Swith A4’s it sounded fantastic. Later I intsalled the ‘59’s in a different guitar and even with the A4’ - the guitar was overly bright. I ended up putting A2’s in the pups and that guitar, it sounded more rounded. I learned one size does not fit all.
 
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Big Al

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Apr 24, 2002
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Much ado 'bout nuttin'. I've swapped every kind of magnet in humbuckers and any frequency/tonal shifts that I could hear were tiny. Micro shift at best. More apparent changes in power or push with stronger gauss magnets but tone? Not so much.

The surprize was how good the ceramic magnets sound!
 

renderit

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Jan 19, 2009
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Back in the 70's I was ceramicing everything!

Pretty sure the DiMarzio Super distortions from back then were using ceramic.
 

Sol

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If I know anything about the last two posters I'd wager "Ceramicing" was the least of their 'adventures' in the 1970s.. 😎😎
 
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