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Do Some Strings Get Magnetized...

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by ZenG, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. Over time....depending on what the strings are made of....from constant exposure to the magnetic field of the pickups?

    if the answer is yes.....what effect does it have on tone, staying in tune or anything else?
  2. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    Linnin likes this.
  3. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    ^^^ This is correct ^^^ The strings when plucked generate a magnetic field that is in turn picked up by the pick ups, but they never become magnets themselves. Capiche?
  4. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

    ^^^^this is In-correct^^^

    anything that is ferrous, can be magnetised.
    How to Make a Magnet

    of course this would entail physical contact with the magnet.
  5. Well I'm just wondering because usually when you expose a magnetizable metal object closely to another magnetized object, you can magnetize it sometimes.

    If the object isn't all that big.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
  6. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    Yup, simply being in the magnetic field wont magnetize them. the metal would have to touch the magnet. The strings or other small pieces of the appropriate metal will react with the magnetic field without touching the magnet but will not become magnets themselves.

    If you want an odd tidbit though, if you aligned the strings horizontally and North/South and kept them there while striking them hard for a VERY VERY long time they would become a weak magnet by themselves.
    /\/\3phist0 likes this.
  7. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

    even more fun with science, the strings with their wound construction, and exposure to current (as part of the electrical circuit) are a WEAK electro-magnet
  8. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    That's why I power my strings as well as my preamp.

    (JK OP)
  9. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Actually, the strings when plucked generate current (and voltage) as they disrupt the magnetic field that runs thru the coils.
    The magnets create the magnetic field that the coil and strings interact in.
    (Also, the strings are locally magnetized by the magnetic field created by the magnets- they just don't retain the magnetism when removed from the field).
    This current then follows the leads to get amplified.

    EMG: Electro Magnetic Generator.
    Linnin likes this.
  10. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    OK, got it :thumbsup:
  11. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    The link below explains why strings, with their iron content, will interact with a magnetic field, and generate a signal in a pickup, but do not become magnets themselves: it is the alloy with the other metals that prevents the iron atoms from lining up. All magnets are simply a lump of the stuff in question that has all, or at least a significant portion, of the atoms lined up so that the electrons behave in a certain manner. Iron atoms by themselves tend to line up, as well as certain other elements and compounds. Chrome, on the other hand, which is integral to stainless steel alloys, does not, and prevents the iron atoms from lining up.

    That is also the reason electricity and magnetism are essentially the same thing: electricity is electrons in motion; magnetism is electrons lined up behaving a certain way. Oversimplified, yes, but it gets the point across.

    And if strings were made from plain carbon steel, like plain unwound strings tend to be, they can actually become magnets, since carbon steel can become magnetized - just look at the magnetic knife rack in the link. But the diameter of the strings is so small that any actual gauss is insignificant.

    Why isn't stainless steel magnetic? › Ask an Expert (ABC Science)
    JustForSport likes this.
  12. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    That also explains why a nickel (coin) cannot be picked up by a magnet (as I found out not long ago by a string manufacturer)-
    Nickel is magnetically reactive while in a magnetic field, but US nickels have so much copper and Canadian nickels have so much zinc in their makeup that the nickel molecules cannot align. Older, 'pure' Canadian nickels could be picked up with a magnet.
    Nickel/iron string wraps are very highly reactive while in a magnetic field- Alloy 52, SuperAlloy, etc.
  13. saltydude


    Aug 15, 2011
    boston CANADA
    If it annoys anyone enough I can run your strings through my degausser. That will cure them. :)

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