Using alnico 8 magnets in bass p-ups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by stoopidcooper, Oct 16, 2005.

  1. Anyone using a pickup loaded with alnico 8 magnets? Anyone interested in them or seen them offered?
  2. As I know next to ZILCH about magnetic materials...what are the benefits of alnico 8 over alnico 5?
  3. um not neccesarilly benefits so much as differences.

    Generally alnico 8 is hotter than alnico 5 which is hotter than alnico 2, at least in terms of output and highs. This is in very very basic general terms, there is also aged magnets, which from what I understand is supposed to "mellow" the magnet. (although the time table on this seems sketchy with 50 year old magnets losing only a small fraction of their inductance) I'm curious specifically in winding a pickup with alnico 8 magnets to the sames specs as one with an alnico 5 load normally. In other words higher inductance same dc resistance. I'm aware of the other factors of the pickup (coil size and shape, number of winds, wire type etc.) I'm primarily concerned with the performance of the magnets themselves.
  4. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    all else equal, alnico 8 will be brighter than alnico 5 but not as bright as ceramic. Ceramics are obviously used in bass pups so no reason 8's couldn't be used as well, but I don't know of any off the cuff. The 8's would have a mellower more vintage tone than the ceramics but not as much as the 5's. You could mix 5's and 8's for that matter. Duncan has supposedly not used 8's in guitar pups due to excessive pull on the strings and resulting distortion.
  5. yeah my duncan tele pickups mix alnico 2 and 5 to mellow out certain strings.

    Ive heard of alnico 8s increased drag on the strings, but with bass sized gauges I wonder how much difference that will make.
  6. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    that's a good question and SD would probably know. I could see it going either way.

    May even be worse for bass cuase lower tension strings with greater mass. Lower frequencies would not as readily reveal any disturbance I wouldn't think, but I don't have any trouble hearing low frequency wolftones and they suck.

    Ceramic is preferred for brigher tone in bass but that very way may be cuase it's cheaper than alnico 8 and the difference in tone must not be worth the price variaton. They use plenty of alnico 5 though.
  7. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    Took the words out of my mouth luknfur. Alcino 8's aren't really financially feasible since ceramics are cheaper and provide brighter/higher output.
  8. jwymore


    Jul 26, 2001
    Portland, OR
    There is a lot of experimentation going on with the guys over at the Duncan forum regarding Alnico 8 magnets in guitar applications.

    The general consensus (in guitars) is you get a powerful full sound much like ceramic but without the harsh edge to it. Alnico 8 is available in humbucker size bars and also in single coil size rods but I'm not sure what other shapes. I would guess you should be able to find the bar type magnets used in Jazz pickups.

    John Wymore
  9. Sweet guys thanks for the info. getting the magnets is easy for me, the cost will be my own for my own purposes/experimentation, and I'm always stoked about jumping into the deep end. I'll let you know if I can turn up any good or usable/feasible results.
  10. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    ain't that just like reality. I was doing a run on a set of Fender noiseless J's that have been sitting around for a while. Long enough to where I couldn't remember whether they were stacks or not so was looking it up for the review.

    Didn't find the answer to that but I did find they're alnico 8's.

    So there you have one. Wonder what else I've got laying around that's alnico 8?

    By the way, the previous alnico 8 pull on the string comment came from like an 80's source. A lot's changed in pup manufacture since then.

    Oh yeh, the reviews in the J pup experiment now. I can't say I exprienced brightness or warmth and this was through tubes. Hi-fi mellow was more like it.