Magnet Types

A question I frequently get asked is: "How do the different magnet types affect the sound of my pickup?". So I've put together this brief guide to the different types of magnet I use in my pickups.

AlNiCo 2

Strength: Low

Tone: Often considered the most "vintage" sounding formula. Smooth highs, loose and warm lows with rich mids.

I like this in: Bridge position. Overwound humbuckers.

AlNiCo 3

Strength: Low

Tone: The weakiest AlNiCo formula, sounds similar to AlNiCo 2, but a touch brighter with a warm, but slightly tigher low end.

I like this in: Bridge position, especially Telecaster bridge. P or J bass pickups.

AlNiCo 4

Strength: Medium

Tone: Has a balanced EQ that allows the natural tone of the guitar to shine through. Tighter lows than AlNiCo 2 or AlNiCo 3, and less strident highs than AlNiCo 5.

I like this in: Humbucker neck position.

AlNiCo 5

Strength: High

Tone: Bright and punchy, the most common formula found in pickups these days. Strong highs and tight lows.

I like this in: Good all-rounder - P90s, Strat, Humbuckers, Telecaster neck.

AlNiCo 8

Strength: Very high

Tone: More aggressive than AlNiCo 5, strong highs, and tight lows with scooped mids. Warmer than ceramic.

I like this in: High output single coils and humbuckers.