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alt.guitar.rickenbacker Frequently Asked Questions
Section - 5.11 What are the types of magnets used in the different kinds of pickups?

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   "The vintage reissue guitar pickups use cylindrical Alnico magnets... like
    the originals. The vintage reissue bass pickups use tungsten steel
    'horseshoes' as polepieces... like the originals ... coupled to ceramic
    magnets (instead of the tungsten being magnetized like the originals). Our
    humbucking pickups use Samarium-Cobalt magnets. The modern guitar and bass
    pickups use "rubber" magnets . . . which are actually a zillion magnetic
    bits supported in a synthetic block.

    Each has unique properties for which they were selected to optimize
    performance in a given application."

   [John Hall, ceo@rickenbacker.com, 5/28/1998]

   "The principal difference is that the High gains have a single strong 
    ceramic magnet on bottom that contacts 6 screws that are capped with 
    buttons and the vintage reissue toasters have individual alnico pole 
    piece/cylinders under each string in the bobbin wound with magnet 
    wire--almost exactly the same as the original old ones(just the corners 
    of the new bobbins inside are a different shape more 4 corners looking 
    whereas the old ones were 1/2 round on each end ---but you wouldn't 
    know if you did not take one apart.

    They do sound very much the same -- the high gains and the toasters of
    today, just slightly different!! The high gains being louder as you say.
    This is not so however when you compare 1950's & 1960's toasters to 
    today's high gain pickups and reissue toaster pickups.---go figure??

    The original toasters were brighter, clearer, and more HiFI/lower 
    distortion and lower output compared to today's-----most of the middle 
    60's toaster pickup coils were 7,500-8,000 Ohms  ---- the reissue 
    toasters are 11,200 - 12,700 Ohms or thereabouts which makes them sound 
    more like the standard high gains than like the original toasters. 
    Late 50's and early 60's toasters were even brighter and lower output 
    than the middle 60's toasters were usually being somewhere around 
    5,000 Ohms.

    The beauty of the reissue toaster is that the physical structure is the 
    same and if you like, you can easily recreate/cause it to sound like 
    any real 50's or 60's  toaster pickups sound/makeup by simply having 
    the coil/bobbin rewound to the same value with the same wire as the 
    original you like and get substantially the same sound as the original 
    vintage non reissue pickup!!

    Linda Fralin of Lindy Fralin Pickups does this for $30 per pickup and
    Seymore Duncan will do it for $40-50. Some in this group have been able, 
    successfully, to unwind the new reissue toaster coils to lower ohm 
    values which they report gives them the 60's sound they are seeking 
    thereby saving the cost of rewinding.

    The above are just my observations based upon investigations over the 
    past few years into how to make my own new reissue instruments sound, 
    as much as possible, like the originals."

   [Encapsulight, 11/1/1998, NoSPAM@Please.com]

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