The basic principle of the pickup is like an electromagnet. Both integral and six-point pickups are made by winding coils on permanent magnets, which usually used alnico magnet, ceramic magnet or neodymium magnet. When the strings vibrate in a magnetic field, weak currents are generated in the coils. This electric signal is transmitted to the amplifier through the wire and restored to sound again.
The larger the magnet, the more coils are coiled, so that the output power of the pickup become greater. As the number of wound coils in the pickup increases, the power and output become greater as well, but the high frequency response of the sound is reduced.
The greater the magnetism of the magnet, the more resistance it exerts on the strings, which impedes the vibration of the strings, thereby reducing the sustaining. Therefore, it is not possible to adjust the pickup too close to the string, several our customer use neodymium to magnetize alnico magnet to control the magnetism of magnet, so that can make adjustment with 6 strings sound effect output.
Common size for pickup magnet:
The permanent magnets in the pickups are generally made of two materials: Alnico and ceramic. Ceramic magnets have relatively low cost and can produce relatively high frequencies, but its high-frequency sound feels brittle, while magnetic steel magnets sound warmer, few guitar humbucker manufacturer use neodymium, but the strong magnetic force
In a word, rock music or heavy metal music prefer ceramic pickup magnet, but alnico magnet performs well in other field, like blues, country, jazz etc.
Learn more about ceramic magnets for pickups; visit our?ceramic pickup magnet.
Alnico magnets come in three main grades: 2, 3, and 5:
- Alnico 2 traces back to the days of the 1950 Telecasters. This class seems to work well for middle-position pickups. It is known by its sweet, vintage tone, and there seem to be little disadvantages to using it.
- Alnico 3 is the weakest of the three grades. It contains less cobalt, a core ingredient in the rest of the Alnico family. Because of the decrease in magnetic pull, it works wonders for neck pickups, where there is the most string vibration.
- Alnico 5 is the strongest of the three alnico grades. The tone and response of the magnet is more powerful than its two cousins. This makes it perfect for bridge pickups, where there is the least vibration. If you want an aggressive, in-your-face kind of sound, Alnico 5 is your best bet.