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Tonerider Alnico II Blues, Analysis and Review

Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by Antigua, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 28, 2014
    in between
    http://www.tonerider.com/alnico-ii-blues-strat
    [​IMG]


    This set from Tonerider is fairly dark, with hotter winds and AlNiCo 2 pole pieces. This set has a lot in common with the Seymour Duncan Anituity I Texas Hots , though it costs much less than half the price, but lacks the cool aged look. Both sets use AlNiCo 2 pole pieces, and the resonant peaks of both sets are within 100Hz of the other, and the neck and middle inductances are within 100 henries, and the bridge withing 200H, despite the use of 43 AWG in the Texas Hots.

    It's a well made set, with a capacitance measuring between 100pF and 110pF. The bottom bobbin looks and feels sort of like press board, while the top of the bobbin looks and feels like plastic. See the pics, judge for your self. That has no effect on the electrical properties of the pickup, so it's not a great concern. I still like it a lot better than a full formed plastic bobbin. The AlNiCo pole pieces also have a particularly shinny apperance, which might be visible in the picture above. It almost looks like their plated with something. The bottoms of the AlNiCo look fairly normal, though.

    The set it pretty dark, I favor the Tonerider Surfaris for something slightly hotter than "vintage". I've been trying to get away from these hotter sets, I had a lapse of judgement when I bought these, though I have to say, if you're going to have buyers remorse, much better to be out $100, than $300.


    Tonerider AlNiCo 2 Blues Bridge
    DC Resistance: 7.02K
    Inductance: 3.623H
    Calculated C: 102pF (112-10)

    Resonant Peak: dV: 13.9dB f: 7.90kHz (black)
    Loaded (200k & 470pF): dV: 5.6dB f: 3.24kHz (red)



    Tonerider AlNiCo 2 Blues Middle
    DC Resistance: 6.43K
    Inductance: 3.084H
    Calculated C: 110pF (120-10)

    Resonant Peak: dV: 13.1dB f: 8.27kHz (green)
    Loaded (200k & 470pF): dV: 6.1dB f: 3.51kHz (gray)



    Tonerider AlNiCo 2 Blues Neck
    DC Resistance: 6.22K
    Inductance: 2.994H
    Calculated C: 106pF (116-10)

    Resonant Peak: dV: 13.7dB f: 8.55kHz (pink)
    Loaded (200k & 470pF): dV: 6.1dB f: 3.55kHz (black)


    Pole piece flux density: 600G-700G, AlNiCo 2



    Bode plot:
    [​IMG]



    Thanks again to Ken Willmott for designing and providing the integrator used to make these bode plots.
     
    amstratnut and alainvey like this.

  2. Micky Mojo

    Micky Mojo Strat-Talker

    Age:
    49
    140
    Apr 10, 2016
    England
    I've got Tonerider Classic Blues in two of my strats and they are fantastic.
     

  3. jjlemon

    jjlemon Strat-Talker

    298
    Jun 27, 2015
    South Wales
    Stick with them for a while Antigua, you might find you like them given time.

    I bought a similarly spec'd alnico 2 as the tonerider neck p'up, except mine is a no stagger p'up. I had it installed in the bridge position, just to try something different. This was in my 50s classic series strat. The maker/specifier had wanted to build a SC which would blend better with a hot humbucker bridge pickup, as some of his customers had found that the contrast between humbucker in the bridge and vintage alnico 5 strat p'ups in the middle and neck too severe. He likes them in the bridge position too, which was the prompt for me to try one.
    I can see his thinking behind this, I think they would be a good match for an HSS guitar, and they do serve up something different in an SSS guitar.

    I have reverted back to stock p'ups on my strat, not because I didn't like the alnico 2 p'up, and I'm thinking it's time for another swap.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016

  4. robc

    robc Strat-Talk Member

    13
    Feb 7, 2015
    Thailand
    I love my AII Blues. I have two Strats with the same set in each, although the first one I got was a prototype set and is slightly less hot in the bridge.

    To me they have a really nice midrange, which is more prominent than the typical traditional Strat tones, but still a Strat tone nonetheless.

    These pickups are about as hot as I'd ever wish to go for Strat pickups except an Artec rail pickup in another Strat of mine for a totally different vibe altogether.

    I did some reviews and demos on my guitar blog.
    http://www.thefenderblog.com/?s=tonerider
     
    jjlemon likes this.

  5. heltershelton

    heltershelton ROCKIN FOREVER Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    didnt they put alnico II's or III's in the mia standard strats in the early to mid 90's. i really like the ones in my 93.
     

  6. Nate D

    Nate D Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    37
    Apr 2, 2016
    Ohio
    Thanks for doing these!!!

    Have you done/planning to do one on Lollar Blondes?
     

  7. Tazz3

    Tazz3 Strat-O-Master

    636
    Aug 28, 2013
    East islip ny.
    Are these pickups in the 60 classic vibe ??
     

  8. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 28, 2014
    in between

  9. solitaire

    solitaire New Member!

    Age:
    40
    3
    Aug 23, 2017
    The heartland of Sweden.
    Dark/ laid-back as they may be, do you think that highe value pots and lower value caps would bump up the resonance of them slightly?
     

  10. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 28, 2014
    in between
    Only a higher value pot will change the resonance without effecting anything else. Just be fore warned, higher Q factor / resonance isn't really most people's cup of tea. That's why 1 meg pots are pretty rare.
     

  11. solitaire

    solitaire New Member!

    Age:
    40
    3
    Aug 23, 2017
    The heartland of Sweden.
    Cheers, mate! Well, it is that, isn't it. Figured that with the right values these could be bumped up 500Hz but, like you said, they may be a bit peaky at that point. Such a shame as they seem quite ingeniously conceived save for them being just a touch dark.