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How to physically tell magnets apart?

Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by TangerineDog, Jan 28, 2020.

  1. TangerineDog

    TangerineDog Senior Stratmaster

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    I was talking to a mate about magnets and he basically just gave me a pickup.
    He says it's a Duncan Custom with an Alnico magnet - but he doesn't remember if it's 2 or 5.

    Now this is my first run-in with the Custom wind so I won't really be able to tell by ear alone but I'd really like to know which one it is.

    So is there a way to physically tell if it's an Alnico 2 or Alnico 5?
     
  2. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

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    It's probably going to take some test equipment to do that. @Antigua can give you specifics. From my point of view, since Gibson used all the available alnicos interchangeably in their '50s PAFs, I have moved on to more pressing problems here. :)
     
  3. CFFF

    CFFF Strat-Talker

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    The only method to be certain is to use a magnetometer to measure the density and get a tesla, gauss value.
     
  4. TangerineDog

    TangerineDog Senior Stratmaster

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    Alright, I’ll get an A5 from one of my other HBs and do an A/ B. :D
     
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  5. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Can't tell by eye.....you need to measure the gauss.....magnetic strength.....
     
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  6. DickBanks

    DickBanks Strat-O-Master

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    Yes, and then to complicate matters, I'm going to predict that there are Alnico 2s that have higher magnetic field strengths than some Alnico 5s.
    You're not really dealing with a precise science at all.
     
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  7. StratEdgy

    StratEdgy Strat-Talker

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    Oooooo, I know this one!

    If there is a space between two different magnets, then they are physically 'apart'.

    Happy to help!
     
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  8. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Strat-Talk Supporter

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    `
    I've participated in this topic countless times and, once the contentious dust settles, the only consensus that seems to result is a collective (and I'm paraphrasing here) "it's all more or less a crapshoot"!

    In a related thread, some analysis showed two alnico 3 poled pickups from the same manufacturer as having notably different gauss readings, so inconsistencies like that make it impossible to provide any correct answers afaic.

    All I can say for sure is that getting a "holy grail" pickup is at the whim of how the wind blows at times...


    `
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2020
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  9. CFFF

    CFFF Strat-Talker

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    Then it is good that somebody did use a gauss meter to discover the inconsistencies because we might not have known about them ;)
     
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  10. CFFF

    CFFF Strat-Talker

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    How can this be? Do you refer to demagnetization?
     
  11. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

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    Alnico magnets lose gauss over time. They can also be charged poorly or variably.

    test gauss or physical pull (hang small weight like paperclips) to sort stronger from weaker.

    In the end, you can adjust pickup height to counteract a string/weak magnet.

    .
     
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