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Which Alnico type is most midrange dominant?

Jayden1990

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Sep 5, 2021
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In the spiritualist brew, Long v short magnets is another fixing, just to make a generally mind-boggling subject even more jumbling for those of us attempting to get our heads around this subject. We love this load of stuff, however, don't we gentlemen n ladies? Other than I've not lost the expectation that a pickup master will intercede and toss a little light in our direction.
 

Sol

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Oct 26, 2001
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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
Jayden1990. Your welcome to quote me, but stop using my words as if they were your own..
 
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Cranknfrank

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Feb 7, 2011
Messages
64
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 ?
In my own guitars, A5 would get the nod for most midrange tonality. I'm also playing mainly through Blackface amps set pretty clean.......so.......the debate continues......
 

Sol

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Oct 26, 2001
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In my own guitars, A5 would get the nod for most midrange tonality. I'm also playing mainly through Blackface amps set pretty clean.......so.......the debate continues......
The debate does continue, and your contribution to it is much appreciated, thank you..

The perceived differences in midrange tone between clean and overdriven amps are always interesting, and any further observations you have regarding this are welcome as they help us slowly build upon our understanding of these fascinating musical dynamics.
 

ReWind James

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Mar 11, 2009
Messages
591
In the spiritualist brew, Long v short magnets is another fixing, just to make a generally mind-boggling subject even more jumbling for those of us attempting to get our heads around this subject. We love this load of stuff, however, don't we gentlemen n ladies? Other than I've not lost the expectation that a pickup master will intercede and toss a little light in our direction.
The light you're looking for isn't there. There is no simple answer like "add more nickel to your magnet alloy and get more midrange from your pickups."

There's more that goes into a magnet than just its ingredients. Flour, eggs, and water alone can make bread, noodles, waffles, pancakes, or just a wet bowl of mush or a brittle burnt mess.

There are lots of processes involved in AlNiCo magnet manufacturing. More variables than just ingredients. The chemical makeup alone can't describe the resulting sound in a pickup a given magnet will have.

Having magnets cast to only a list of ingredients will not likely get a result anywhere close to the original. The whole process has to be recreated. Trying to reverse engineer that process by observing grain size, crystalline structure, etc. is somewhat possible but there's still an amount of guesswork involved.

I'm not a chemist or physicist, I only know what I've had to learn to accomplish my goals (and I often forget half of it after!). Trial and error is a valuable source of knowledge. I think the best thing you could go by to know what this or that magnet will sound like in this or that pickup/guitar/rig is first-hand experience. They are relatively cheap and easy to swap.

Different pickups are going to respond differently to magnet swaps. If you've got a Gibson '57 Classic, a Duncan JB, or some other pickup with a limited range of frequency and dynamics, there's a limit to how much a magnet will change that sound. A lower turn count P-90 coil with quality steels and parts - swapping the two magnets under that will really let you hear how the magnets change things, though.

Similarly, a 1970s 50W Marshall into a cab of G12M 75s, especially with a boost up front, will always sound like itself and, although having a nice clean signal to start with at the guitar is still valuable to retain as much clarity as possible, magnet (and even pickup) swaps will have a minimal impact. More or less bass from a pickup may not matter, if the speakers can't reproduce those frequencies or the amp or pedal is rolling them off. More or less compression in some frequencies of a pickup won't be noticed if the rig is squishing everything, already. A 1960s Twin Reverb with JBL D120s will be another story and you'll hear every little change at many frequencies.
 

charliechitlins

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Nov 16, 2021
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1,109
Jeeze...if you like midrange, get a midrange-y amp...or one with a midrange control...or an EQ pedal.
So much of the tonal ground people are trying to cover can so easily be controlled with an EQ.
I use tweed-era Fender amps and they have gobs of midrange.
Maybe something like that is what you need.
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2003
Messages
600
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 ?
I have not read beyond the first post, the strength or gauss of the magnet along with it’s grade..... A3... is important.. a weak magnet.... vintage gauss as opposed a magnetic pull of a SD 59 will have a significant effect.... even when adjusting the height. I have found that less gauss will tame the treble... it may soften the low end a bit. Just a thought
 

Okctodd

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Jul 27, 2020
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24
Can someone reach out to let me know when it's decided that A2's are what the OP should go with and the discussion turns into the inevitable Seth Lover vs Classic 57's?
 

Tollywood

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Mar 16, 2022
Messages
394
I would expect Seymour Duncan to know a thing or two about pickup magnet tones. Better to take this advice than random input on the Internet.

Thanks. That has some useful information. Now I’m curious about which magnets I have in my various guitars.
 

latestarter

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Nov 9, 2009
Messages
4,187
Turn down the treble knob on the amp (or, the axe) - save $, and more midrange!
 

ScottosanR9

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Joined
Feb 7, 2010
Messages
19
I also agree that A2 sounds like it has more mids than A5. My observations are that increased magnet strength results in more lows and highs. Ceramic pickups on paper should be predominantly highs, but in many designs have the most low end as well. A2 also has more inductance than A5, which in turn lowers both the resonant peak and the Q-Factor. These are subtle comparisons on paper, but sonically the human hear doesn’t hear things so linearly and picks thing up differently.

we also need to consider that our guitars and amps also have their own resonant peaks and voltage potentials with their circuits. In a lower gain clean circuit with a lot of headroom, comparing will yield a more untainted comparison, whereas in a higher gain less head room, some frequencies will we louder and “compress” before others thus giving the impression of less mids or high mids where the resonant peaks live. So, my observation are based on how they react in my gear
 
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lure555

Swirling Vortex of Sound, Classic Club
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Jul 15, 2001
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3,426
I tried a Duncan 'Custom Custom' once long ago, which is a really high wind, their standard custom...like a 14K wind....and an alnico 2 magnet. It was crazy...ALL mids, like a complete reverse 'smile' eq setting with a compressor. Alone it sounded kind of ridiculous, but blended with the neck pickup to varying degrees had some interesting tones.
I used to LOVE this pickup. I automatically put it in the bridge of all my LPs back in my Hard Rock dayz.
 
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Bryansamui

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Jul 1, 2022
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202
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)
From my experience, your take on it is about similar to mine I quess.
Often , modern A5s are wooly in the bass and 'ice picky' in the treble.
A modern A2 generally has more mids but is often dark and congested sounding.Modern A2 and A5 are quite different and vary a lot from foundry to foundry.
Vintage A2's and Vintage A5s are not like new magnets .They often sound much closer to each other than you'd think..I have a stash of vintage magnets. I Use them for my Jimmy Page replicas.
 
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