Pickup demagnetising

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by RumbleMan3, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. RumbleMan3


    Apr 14, 2018
    I’ve recently learned that pickups can be demagnetised. This worries me slightly.

    What exactly does it take to demagnetise your pickups? I’ve got alnico magnets and I’ve heard alnico are the most prone pickups to demagnetising.

    Are smaller objects like phones, screwdrivers and like objects over time going to do anything to my pickups, whether the tone changes or the output decreases? How long would it take for it to have any affect on the pickups?

    Does it only apply to magnets that are bigger than my pickups? I thought the speakers in amps have magnets in them... should I be worried? I leave my bass lying next to it all the time.

    It’s also directly next to my tv aswell. Does my tv have magnets that’ll demagnetise my pickups too?

    As u can tell this has made me a little paranoid :roflmao:
    I’d appreciate any info I can get on this subject. I don’t want to be misinformed of anything here.

    DrThumpenstein and MCF like this.
  2. Abner


    Jan 2, 2011
    The Earth itself is a giant magnet. What are you going to do now? :oops:
    ak56, crankypants, JRA and 36 others like this.
  3. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

  4. jeff62

    jeff62 Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Central FL
    You are worrying about this too much thus I put forth that you are already misinformed. :whistle:

    In 40+ years of playing I’ve never experienced, or heard of from another musician, a story about their pickup being demagnetized. I’m sure there’s someone out there that has and I’m also sure that the events preceding that diagnosis were probably the result of very silly actions.
  5. jeff62

    jeff62 Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Central FL
    ^proving my point...

    “What happened?! My pickups got demagnetized and all I did was rub them with a piece of steel!”

    (Or put them adjacent to another huge magnet)
    Aqualung60 and gebass6 like this.
  6. Here comes another 300 page thread!

    Just messing with you ;) I've never heard of a real world case of this, there are old abused basses out there with the original pickups that are fine. With all this worrying, your bass and its pickups are likely to outlast you :roflmao:
  7. RumbleMan3


    Apr 14, 2018
    I apologise. It's just my nature to be curious and often paranoid.
    Isotonic, petrus61, Helix and 3 others like this.
  8. Coolhandjjl


    Oct 13, 2010
    Don't worry about it. Small devices like phones, ear buds, etc use neodymium. It's magnetism will outlive the devices lifespan many times.

    True, alnico pickups can loose magnetism but they can be re-magnetized. They usually have to be very very old for that to be an issue. Alnico pickup pole pieces can also loose magnetism if you strike them hard with a tool, for instance if you are trying to force a pole piece upwards when it wasn't designed to.
    RumbleMan3 likes this.
  9. No apology necessary! You're enthusiastic, and asking questions, that's what TB is for. When we're not worshipping tort-clad P basses with flats and debating whether you can play metal with a Jazz Bass or not that is :roflmao:
    Kubicki Fan, MCF and RumbleMan3 like this.
  10. LetItGrowTone


    Apr 2, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
    RumbleMan3 likes this.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    You're worrying about unnecessary things. Wasn't it you being paranoid about the corrosion on your PU poles? I've been playing since the early 90's and haven't had a single PU on any of my basses demagnetized. My advice: stop being paranoid and play your bass :thumbsup:
    gebass6, The Nameless and RumbleMan3 like this.
  12. ezstep


    Nov 25, 2004
    north Louisiana
    My oldest bass is 1987. My second oldest 12 1992?3?

    I wouldn't worry if I were you.
  13. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    You'll be dead long before this will be a problem. Really.
    Helix and BlueTalon like this.
  14. just play your bass, bro
    packhowitzer and giacomobass like this.
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Thank you for starting this thread, RM3! Thanks to that Lollar article, I think I discovered why my late 60's Realistic violin bass suddenly had way low output...the pickups may have become demagnetized. But it's a 50 year old bass with really cheap pickups, and in about 45 years of playing bass, this is the only time it's ever happened. So while I agree with the others not to worry about it so much, you did maybe help me solve the problem with that old bass.
  16. Get neo pickups and the magnetism will be there when your gransons play your bass
  17. MCF


    Sep 1, 2014
    Get a Tbird, and join the Thunderbird Club where no question is ignored nor any apology necessary!

    Frankly, I think Fender’s recent switch from ceramic to alnico PUPs in the basic MIM basses is a blatant attempt to build obsolescence into their instruments. (I shouldn’t need to say this but my tongue is, of course, planted firmly in cheek).

    Don’t worry about it, except maybe avoid placing your bass against your drivers. If something happens, just replace them.

    Can’t wait to read about @JimmyM’s new pickups!
    PillO, wraub and Engle like this.
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I would never get new pickups in my Realistic! I'll get them re-magnetized.
    spiritbass, 2tonic, MCF and 2 others like this.
  19. RumbleMan3


    Apr 14, 2018
    Really, I thought it's an attempt to make them sound better.

    To my ears, it seems to be working :smug:
    2tonic and MCF like this.
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