A guitar pickup is a medium that converts the vibrations of guitar strings into electrical signals. These signals are enhanced by an amplifier and output to a speaker to turn them into sound. If you take the pickup apart, it is a device that consists mainly of magnets and metal coils as well as components such as the housing and pole adjustment screws. In this case, the magnetic force and material of the magnet is the key factor in determining the tone . On the other hand, the number of turns in the coil also has a great influence on the sound.
Ceramic magnets, also known as ferrite magnets, were the first magnets used in pickups, and with the invention of Alnico magnets, the Alnico magnet assembly replaced ferrite magnets as the most popular pickup magnet material.
Types of Alnico Magnets in Guitar Pickups
Alnico Type 3 Alnico III:
Warm midrange and slightly more prominent highs make this a great midrange pickup.
Alnico Grade 2 Alnico II:
Compared to the Alnico Class 3, the low frequencies of the Alnico Class 3 show through. The magnetism is relatively moderate and can be defined as a balanced pickup, but it is still a good pickup for the midrange.
Alnico Class 5 Alnico V:
Alnico Class 5 is widely owned by music and guitar enthusiasts. Its high magnetic properties make it very sensitive to the slightest vibration of the strings, and pickups using Alnico 5 have a powerful and bright tone. Alnico 5 magnets maximize the properties of the instrument itself, providing perfect tone and performance.
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Ferrite Pickup Magnets
Guitar pickups using ferrite magnets produce a very powerful tone at high frequencies. With clear, focused highs and lows, these pickups are the preferred pickups for metal musicians, and pickups with ferrite magnets provide plenty of output and punch.
Typically Alnico magnets produce a warmer, mellower sound, while ceramics are sharper and more powerful.