Alnico 2 vs alnico 5 magnets

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Sin Nombre, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. Sin Nombre

    Sin Nombre Strat-Talker

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    I just bought a 2010 Am Standard Strat which has a 5.7 alnico 5 neck pickup. I do not like it as much as the 5.3 alnico 2 or 3 D.Allen Tru Vintage 54 that I have used for years. The Fender pickup does not have the "chime, bell-like" character of the vintage pickup. They have similar resistance but have different magnets. Can the magnets make them sound very different even if the resistance is close, or is it the resistance difference?

    Rob Stefano/Fretech sells an individual 5.3 neck pup but it has an alnico 5 magnet. D.Allen still makes alnico 3 pups but I don't think he will sell individual pups. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Murphcaster

    Murphcaster Senior Stratmaster

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    Interesting. The pre-2012 Fender Alnico 5 pickups seem to be highly praised on this forum for their vintage character and "strat-iness". I don't have any personal experience with them but have heard a lot of good things.

    I have had a lot of experience with alnico 2 pickups. In my experience, I've found alnico 2s to have a smoother treble response compared to the brighter alnico 5s. Everyone is different but I for one prefer alnico 5s over alnico 2s, particularly for their clean tones.
     
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  3. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985

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    I think the magnets will make more difference than 400 Ohms of DCR. Other things that will make a difference is the type and gauge of wire, and the bobbin material and construction, as that will have an effect on capacitance and inductance.
     
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  4. Sin Nombre

    Sin Nombre Strat-Talker

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    Yes, that was the response in the thread I started asking about the Am Strat pickups. But I am getting very different tones from the Fender neck pup and the D.Allen '54 neck pup. The D. Allen is in a Mexican Standard with old 9 strings and the Fender pup is in a Am St with fairly new 10s, but I wouldn't think that would make the degree of difference I am hearing.
     
  5. Sin Nombre

    Sin Nombre Strat-Talker

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    That is my guess, that I need a pickup built to 54 specs. A full set of D. Allen 54s is $200 now, but I don't know where to buy an individual '54 pickup. GFS will sell an individual 5.3 alnico 2 pup, but it comes with their Kwik Plug set-up which I suppose doesn't necessarily cause any problems.
     
  6. David Garner

    David Garner Senior Stratmaster

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    I prefer A3 in a Strat, but between those 2 I prefer A5. I've spent a lot of time thinking of upgrading the Texas Specials in my Telecaster but then I play it and I realize they're perfect for that guitar. I also loved Texas Specials in my Strat, but the A3 stock pickups and the Bare Knuckle Apaches I've used just sound sweeter and rounder to my ears. The stock bridge pickup is an A5 and I absolutely prefer the A3.

    I acknowledge I'm probably an oddball in that regard.

    I do much prefer A2 in a humbucker though. I believe my DGT pickups are A2 and the Wolfetones I have in my Les Paul certainly are.
     
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  7. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Censored

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    Have you tried lowering the pickup slightly ?
     
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  8. heltershelton

    heltershelton Vivamus libero Vivamus duris

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    I have a 93 mia standard and I like whatever pickups are in it. I dont think they are alnico 5's. im not sure what they are. they dont have staggered poles either.
     
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  9. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too.

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    I’d be careful about comparing sets between two different guitars, especially with different string gauges. The differences could be due to some other factor.
     
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  10. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music.

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    I think its the guitar, not the pickup. Inless its defective a neck pup with A5 wound to5.7 should have all sorts of chime. Fwiw.
     
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  11. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music.

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    Was gonna say that but 2nd cup of coffee hadnt kicked in yet.
     
  12. Sin Nombre

    Sin Nombre Strat-Talker

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    No, but it is pretty low already, a lot lower than the '54 A3 pickup in the other guitar.
     
  13. Sin Nombre

    Sin Nombre Strat-Talker

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    I understand, but it feels like it's the pickup. It could be that I am so used to the vintage pickup that anything else seems not harsh, but not as melodic as the vintage pickup. Also I own Strats for playing covers of 60s and 70s songs plus surf music with a lot of reverb, all of which tend to work better with a low output Strat than with my Tele.
     
  14. Morgenholz

    Morgenholz Strat-Talker

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    If they are original to the '93 American Standard, and the non-staggered poles suggest that they are, they are indeed "Alnico V pickups" as Fender themselves called them.
     
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  15. heltershelton

    heltershelton Vivamus libero Vivamus duris

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    cool. I really didnt know. they sound different from the ones in my 2010 though.
     
  16. AlexJCRandall

    AlexJCRandall Senior Stratmaster

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    There are so many aspects of pickup winding than simply K.......in fact a K reading is about as misleading to tonal quality as its possible to be.
    Magnets do play a part in the final tone, but there are a lot of other parts of the way wire is wound onto bobbins to make it only 1 ingredient amongst many.
    Plus as others have said, 2 different guitars can make a significant difference.
     
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  17. dazco

    dazco Former Member

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    I can't see using A2 in anything but a bridge pickup. They lose too much chime elsewhere and even in the bridge the wound strings dont benefit. Thats why i think those 2/5 pickups could be a great bridge pup solution. But i would never put A2 anywhere else unless i played totally clean all the time with a bright amp, then maybe it would be good. Just MO.
     
  18. DickBanks

    DickBanks Strat-O-Master

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    Higher Alnico "numbers" are stronger magnets (higher magnetic permeability), so more inductance. Note that resistance comes from the wire, so no change in DCR, but the higher inductance will make the pickup "hotter," though I noticed a lot of players who say the actual tone does not necessarily follow. Some of the hottest magnets for pickups are actually ceramic, but not many consider them "hot," or even pleasing tone-wise.
    Number of coils of wire is usually very predictable for resultant tone, so that's why lots of players want to know that about a pickup right away.
     
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  19. Sin Nombre

    Sin Nombre Strat-Talker

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    That's what I was begining to think. Thanks for clarifying.
     
  20. Tone Guru

    Tone Guru Senior Stratmaster

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    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alnico

    "Alnico magnets are traditionally classified using numbers assigned by the Magnetic Materials Producers Association (MMPA), for example, alnico 3 or alnico 5.
    These classifications indicate chemical composition and magnetic properties.
    (The classification numbers themselves do not have any direct relation to the properties of the magnet;
    for instance, a higher number does not necessarily indicate a stronger magnet.)"


     
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