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Alnico or Ceramic?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Arcatus, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. Arcatus


    Feb 8, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    I am going to buy a pair of music man pickups for my upcoming warmoth project, and i have been looking at the Seymour Duncan Basslines. However, alnico vs. ceramic leaves me a little confused. What are the advantages of the different kinds? What is the most common?
  2. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Generally speaking, Ceramic magnet pickups will provide a "brighter", "hotter" sound, and sometimes have more output. Alnico magnet pickups will have a "warmer", "vintage" type sound.
  3. According to Bill Lawrence, Joe Barden, and other folks who have forgotten more about PUs than I for one will ever know, the different types of magnets have no inherent sound, and there's no reason why any PUs made with either type *have* to sound a certain way. You can make an alnico PU harsh sounding or a ceramic PU warm. Apparently, ceramic and alnico do have different magnetic properties, though, so you have to know what you're doing in designing the PU. I admit I'm no PU whiz myself, but if hearing is believing, the sweetness of the BL PUs I have on my guitars is, to me, a strong argument that Lawrence knows what he's talking about in this regard.

    For your reading pleasure:

  4. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    What slater said about the alnico vs ceramic is correct for the Seymour Duncan Basslines MusicMan pickups. I don't know if that can be said for any pickup made with those magnets.
    I've got the alnico version in my '94 StingRay and in my Laklands, 4-94 fretted and 4-94 fretless (this one is still being made). I prefer the tone over the Bartolini pickups on my first 4-94.

    keep groooovin'

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