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Fender P-Bass Pickup - Different magnetisation between E+A and D+G sections?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by nilebodgers, Nov 25, 2017.

  1. nilebodgers


    Nov 25, 2017
    Just got a new P-bass pickup (Fender Original Vintage #0992046000 - alnico 5, "vintage 62" design) and in the process of messing around with it I offered up an allan key to the pole pieces to see how heavily magnetised they were.

    It looks to me like the 4 poles in the D+G section of the pickup are more heavily magnetised compared to the 4 poles in the E+A section. (the level of magnetisation appears the same within each section though)

    Has anyone else seen this? I've never seen this mentioned before, but it looks like a way of balancing the different string output.

    I fitted the pickup today and it works perfectly and is nicely balanced across the strings, so that difference appears intentional.
  2. Just a guess, but I think what you're experiencing is opposing poles.
    One side has the North poles facing up & the other has the South poles facing up.

    If the output is balanced across all strings, you're golden.
  3. nilebodgers


    Nov 25, 2017
    That's a thought - I didn't check that the allan key wasn't already partly magnetised. That would explain an apparent difference in magnet strength if the polarities are flipped between the 2 halves.

    I'd need a gauss meter to test properly and I don't have one.

    Sounds good and is balanced across the strings though, so it's just my curiosity itching ;)
  4. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Mags are magnetized as the last step of the build process before passing along to be installed. They are usually swiped, by hand, by humans, through a magnetic field a couple of times. It is unlikely that each pole is exactly equally magnetized due to many variables. It is just as likely that it doesn’t matter. Why would you get a gauss meter when you can just use your ears?
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  5. nilebodgers


    Nov 25, 2017
    Because I'm an engineer. I want to measure and know the reason behind things, not just a subjective result that can't easily be reproduced.
  6. The North/South hypothesis is easily testable, just get another magnet & see if it's attracted to the pickup poles in the same way.
    If it opposes on one side & attracts on the other, then you know the poles are reversed between the pickups.

    Normally a humbucking set of coils are set up Reverse Wound Reverse Polarity.
    Well, they actually NEED to be set up this way in order to cancel hum.
  7. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Ahh special needs. Thankfully TB is is fully inclusive. :roflmao:

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