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Effects of magnet strength

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Rooster009, Apr 11, 2009.


  1. Rooster009

    Rooster009

    Feb 27, 2008
    Feel free to chime in with some insight please.
    My situation is that I have some pickups that have low output.
    My thinking is that I can add more magnets to the bottom of my pickups and they will have a stronger output. I have several small round magnets that are pretty strong. Is this worth trying and what other effects should I expect.
     
  2. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Frankly I think one is better served just by using more pregain at the preamp, which doesn't change the pickup's response but still delivers optimum gain downstream.
     
  3. ehque

    ehque

    Jan 8, 2006
    Singapore
    You could simply raise the pickups.

    Increasing magnet strength could affect how the string vibrates, leading to wolf tones and intonation problems.

    And if raising the pickups don't work, then greenboy's idea is what i will go with.
     
  4. You could certainly try it easily enough. But if the existing magnets are reasonably strong it won't help-the problem is more likely not enough wire wraps in the pickup. More magnets won't help this.
     
  5. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Just as with speakers it's all interactive anyway. Changing the magnet structure changes more than just the output - it changes the tonal footprint and possibly leads to "strat-itis" depending on design...
     
  6. ehque

    ehque

    Jan 8, 2006
    Singapore
    Oh, and i forgot one more thing.

    Magnets can saturate. Assuming the magnets in your pickups are properly made (and hence saturated), adding additional magnets below them will not increase the magnetic field drastically, or at all.

    I forget the equations, but that's the basic gist of it.
     
  7. Rooster009

    Rooster009

    Feb 27, 2008
    Thanks guys. They're passive and are set pretty high already. I was just wondering what the effects would be. I think I read somewhere online that with a stronger magnet it takes less wraps to achieve a stronger signal, so I was thinking of tinkering a little if this is true. I figure on the signal changing in tone a little, which with these pups might be exactly what needs to happen. So listen for wolf tones and pay attention to the magnetic pull on the string. Is there anything else I should watch for? As far as the preamp gain goes I have learned through debate on TB, The better the signal going in the better the signal going out. I would like to get a stronger signal out of these pups if possible just because I'm curious to see if it will work. Any more Knowledge you guy's can through my way?
     
  8. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    It's all subjective but some of the most loved pickups for either guitar or bass are ones with comparatively low output. And that's one reason that preamps - outboard or in the instrument - exist: To give gain. A good preamp/head can handle this and present a proper load without suffering in performance.
     
  9. 4StringTheorist

    4StringTheorist Supporting Member

    This is the reason that I don't quite understand all of the fretting and analysis that happens here on TB or in publications about pickup output. If it's low, turn the pregain up. If it's high, turn the pregain down.

    I understand the noise and headroom advantages of a theoretically perfect unity gain setup, but... it's all going through a massive non-linear gain stage at the amplifier (whether its your bass amp playing live, or a listener's iPod when you're recording) at some point anyway.
     
  10. jwymore

    jwymore

    Jul 26, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Something not yet mentioned but if the magnets you add are stronger in than the magnets in the pickups you can degauss the pickup magnets making them even weaker than they are now. Basically, too many bad things can happen by adding the magnets and likely nothing good!! :)
     
  11. Rooster009

    Rooster009

    Feb 27, 2008
    The degausing effect is a good reason for me not to try this.
    I really don't care for the tone i'm getting from them but i don't want to ruin them. just thought I would experiment a little. thank you all for the insight.
     

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