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Pickup Magnet mismatch?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by madjazzbass, Jan 17, 2016.


  1. madjazzbass

    madjazzbass Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2014
    Earth
    Does it matter if one pickup (bridge) is ceramic and the other one (neck) is Alnico 5? Thanks.
     
  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    nope, not even a little bit.

    all that matters is the overall sound of each pickup.
     
    iiipopes and madjazzbass like this.
  3. The only thing that matters is that if you have single coils, you will want the pickups to be RWRP. Beyond that, it does not matter at all. Magnets do not contribute anything to the electrical properties of a pickup, as far as mixing pickups goes.
     
    Camaro and madjazzbass like this.
  4. madjazzbass

    madjazzbass Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2014
    Earth
    Thanks, Much appreciated.
     
  5. madjazzbass

    madjazzbass Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2014
    Earth
    Thanks much
     
  6. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Even if you have a magnetic phase issue, it is easy to reverse the polarity of a ceramic pickup, just remove the magnet and flip it over.
     
  7. Michael B

    Michael B

    Dec 16, 2015
    Lowell, MA
    They will both work. Ceramic magnets are brighter. Over time alnico loses a bit of strength and becomes less bright. Some like that. Ceramics don't change. So the only consideration besides being put in with correct polarity is if you like the way it sounds. if it was me I would use pickups wound with the type of magnet in mind as opposed to somehow swapping a magnet to another type (if that is even possible).
     
  8. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I was told not to mix the types because it would make the audio engineer's job, getting it to "fit in the mix" harder. The chances of my being good enough to work with an audio engineer being rather low, I didn't really worry much, but I ended up following their advice.
     
    madjazzbass likes this.
  9. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    What matters is not the material the magnets are made out of, but their installed polarity in relation to the coil.

    If you install two single coils, and they sound really hollow and thin when both are full on together, swap the wires on one of the pickups, making sure that if it has a separate or cover ground wire that the ground is still grounded (we don't want voltage going up stream).

    If you have two humbuckers, and they are from different companies, you might need to experiment to make sure the coil and magnet orientations are the same, because with any conventional humbucking pickup with two coils, there are four different humbucking configurations that can be derived from the one pickup:

    hot-start-N-end-end-S-start-ground
    hot-end-N-start-start-S-end-ground
    hot-start-S-end-end-N-start-ground
    hot-end-S-start-start-N-end-ground

    RWRP is nice, but...it only functions when both pickups are set to the same or similar level. If you only use one of the two single coil pickups, there is no hum reduction in spite of being wired RWRP. Because of that, some manufactures still do single coil RWRP as stock, while others do not.
     
  10. Huh? It's not the audio engineer's job to pick your pickups, or set the knobs on your bass. You play whatever bass you want, and he gets to make it sound good.
     
    walterw and bholder like this.
  11. Michael B

    Michael B

    Dec 16, 2015
    Lowell, MA
    The producer will at times request say a P or a J or flats etc. It's not out of the question to ask for a tone knob preference. But a specific magnet? Probably not directly. I could see them asking for a vintage sound though.
     
  12. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Well, since my audio engineer is, and will be for the forseeable future, myself, let's hope I don't get in too many arguments with him or let him tell my what to play! :roflmao:
     
    madjazzbass likes this.
  13. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Twenty years ago I recorded a couple of albums with a couple of different groups. The owner of the studio was a bass player of decades of experience and knew exactly what each song needed. Yes, I did let him suggest settings, changes, instruments, etc. in a cooperative atmosphere so we could get the best out of each track. OTOH, I recently recorded an album with my jazz band with a Neumann on the double bass and an engineer that had good general skills, but not bass-specific. We were behind an isolation screen, so I took the liberty of adjusting the physical location and angle of the microphone to the optimal sweet spot myself.
     
  14. madjazzbass

    madjazzbass Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2014
    Earth
    HA!! That's Funny!
     
    bholder likes this.
  15. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Well, I kind of figured Carey knows more about it than I do. ;)
     
  16. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Commercial User

    Sep 1, 2015
    Writer/Ambassador/Artist/Resident Bass Expert for Seymour Duncan
    If you like the tone, and the balance, then it doesn't matter what magnets or technology is used. Some great sounds were made with 'mismatched' pickups.



     
  17. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Apr 14, 2021

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