#1
I was told I would get a better answer on here from gg&a, so here goes,

I was thinkin' of replacing the pickups in my Epi SG because they sound pretty bland. The bridge pickup is fine, but it's just "okay" and I want a bit more clarity, little more output, maybe more treble, etc. As for the neck, it's pretty weak and a lot worse than the bridge. Simply, I don't like it. Here's what I was thinking, I wanna get a vintage, paf sounding pickup for the bridge, maybe a bit overwound. What I found is the GFS Alnico Fat Pat and the Golden Age overwound pickup from stewmac. Which would be a better choice for what I'm looking for? As for the neck, I really like the p90 sound, so I'm thinking of getting the GFS Mean90. Do you guys think this would be a good upgrade for now? And I say now because I can't afford more expensive ones and probably won't for a while. When I do get more money, I'll probably get a Phat Cat and either a SD '59 or a Gibson Classic '57 Plus. What do you guys think of this plan?

In short: Which is better, GFS Fat Pat or Golden Age overwound in the bridge? And would a GFS Mean90 in the neck along with the GFS/Golden Age be a good idea? This is temporary.

They also said to stay away from the stewmac pickup because apparently they're bad or something. What do you guys think?
Gear:

Peavey Classic 30
Vox AC4TV
Epiphone G-400 1968 w/ Mean 90
FullTone OCD V4
BYOC 250+ (Dist. +)
Marshall Regenerator
Dunlop Original Crybaby
#2
ive heard alot of good things about the golden age overwound humbucker from stewmac. i know the price is 50 bux and thats relatively cheap for a pickup. but i have heard nothing bad about it, id go look up some reviews on it on stewmac.com. however, i think the humbucker is going to give you more of a "classic rock" 70's era sound, you'd get more of a zeppelin sound out of them, as opposed to a REALLY trebel-y sound.
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#3
Well I am trying to get a classic/hard rock sound. How does it compare to the gfs?
Gear:

Peavey Classic 30
Vox AC4TV
Epiphone G-400 1968 w/ Mean 90
FullTone OCD V4
BYOC 250+ (Dist. +)
Marshall Regenerator
Dunlop Original Crybaby
#4
^The pickups in your guitar are already pretty good. The golden age and gfs pickups you are looking at are horribly muddy, and very sluggish in response. If you are looking for a temporary solution to muddy pickups never never never NEVER go to GFS or Golden Age. Both those companies have their place in the world but clear tone isn't it.

In all honesty i think you should suck it up and wait until you can afford the pickups you really want. If you simply cant do that then don't get a new set of pickups, just get new magnets. Get an alnico 3 for your neck pickup and an alnico 4 for the bridge. Changing magnets is easier than changing pickups, it's cheaper, and it'll actually help your clarity issues. This magnet swap will lower your output slightly but just crank your gain a little more and that'll make up for it.

Really, my point is that for around $14.00 (give or take) you can get something that will work much better than a set of cheap pickups.
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#5
Hmm, interesting idea... How would I go about doing that then?
Gear:

Peavey Classic 30
Vox AC4TV
Epiphone G-400 1968 w/ Mean 90
FullTone OCD V4
BYOC 250+ (Dist. +)
Marshall Regenerator
Dunlop Original Crybaby
Last edited by alucarDuo at Dec 5, 2008,
#6
Check the pickups magnetic polarity. Most of the time the north pole of the magnet is facing the non adjustable slugs but that isn’t true 100% of the time so make sure you check things before you take the pickup apart. To check the polarity just use a compass and put it next to the pickup on the non adjustable slug side. If the north needle is attracted to the non adjustable slugs then they are north polarity and the north polarity of the magnet is what is touching them. If the south needle is drawn to the slugs than means the pickup has the south side of the magnet facing the slugs. After you have checked your pickup it’s important to check your magnet the same way.

Use the Phillips screwdriver to loosen the 4 screws on the bottom of your pickup. Don’t completely remove the screws, just loosen them enough that the bobbins are not locking the magnet in place.

Gently lift the tape on one end of the humbucker. Don’t completely remove the tape because completely removing the tape can expose the coils making your pickup more susceptible to damage and removing the tape also lowers the value of the pickup. When done correctly nobody will be able to tell that the pickup was modified which means that if the pickup becomes collectable you can still restore you pickups to stock.

Take your small flathead screwdriver and carefully push on the end of the magnet. The magnet should start to poke out the other side but it is common for the corners of the magnet to get caught on the tape so pay attention and if things do get caught, lift the tape a little more. If your pickup has been potted then there is a good change that the wax will act like glue and hold the magnet in place. If this happens some gentle heat on the bottom of the pickup can soften the wax enough to unlock the magnet.

After the magnet is out you can either flip it over and put it back in or if you are swapping magnets then you can put the new magnet in. When you put in the new magnet be sure you observe the polarity so that you get it in the right direction. If you do put it in backwards you can always take it out and reinstall it the correct way.

With the magnet back in the pick you are ready to tighten the 4 Phillips screws and reinstall your pickup.
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#7
that sounds pretty sweet, i might have to try that.
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#8
This is the tc right now,

So the polarity should be north right? And what exactly does this do to fix my pickups?
#9
And about changing the magnets, where would I buy them? I've seen a couple sites that sell alnico 3 and 4 but what size is it supposed to be? Is there a way to tell if it's good or not or is the quality all the same?
Gear:

Peavey Classic 30
Vox AC4TV
Epiphone G-400 1968 w/ Mean 90
FullTone OCD V4
BYOC 250+ (Dist. +)
Marshall Regenerator
Dunlop Original Crybaby
#10
The side of the magnet that faces the nonadjustable slugs should be north. The polarity that faces the ajustable poles should be south.

Most alnico is acceptable in terms of quality because the equipment they use to make alnico has gotten very consistant. When I just quality I get the company to send me sample before I place an order so that I can test it. Because it's highly unlikely that you are going to have the needed test equipment, you are going to be stuck getting it and hoping it's good enough (don't worry, it will be).

The size you get should be 2.5" x .5" x .125". Most places that sell these magnets have them magnatized the wrong direction so it's important that you get them from someplace that sells guitar parts and that you double check and make sure they are for use in humbuckers.

I'm got them on my website and I'm sure a search in google should give you some results as well

Cheers.
Not taking any online orders.
#11
listen to this man ^
he is crazy awesome with pickups

and so am I cause my user name is next to every thread for the last reply right now in the GB&C so im off to bed
#12
Alright thanks. I guess I'll just change the magnets and see how it turns out. Just out of curiosity, what kind of difference what it make if I switched to alnico 8 or 2 compared to 2, 3, and 5?

And about getting new pickups, which would be better for the bridge, SD '59 or Gibson Classic '57 Plus (if price isn't an issue)?
Gear:

Peavey Classic 30
Vox AC4TV
Epiphone G-400 1968 w/ Mean 90
FullTone OCD V4
BYOC 250+ (Dist. +)
Marshall Regenerator
Dunlop Original Crybaby
Last edited by alucarDuo at Dec 6, 2008,
#14
I was thinking of trying out an alnico 8 but the one on your site says it's 2.25" x .5" x 0.125". Does it matter about the .25" less? What do you think about these magnets:

http://shop.wymoreguitars.com/category.sc;jsessionid=F181A3F2DEF65EBA21F1F1A9E1434748.qscstrfrnt02?categoryId=29

? They're a bit cheaper but I'm not sure if they're good or not. >_>
Gear:

Peavey Classic 30
Vox AC4TV
Epiphone G-400 1968 w/ Mean 90
FullTone OCD V4
BYOC 250+ (Dist. +)
Marshall Regenerator
Dunlop Original Crybaby
Last edited by alucarDuo at Dec 6, 2008,
#15
Also, how much can a magnet do for the sound of a pickup? For example my Schecter has a JB in the bridge which I don't quite like; I'd like it to be darker. Can a magnet help with this issue, or is that a characteristic granted by the way the pickup is wound?
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#16
Quote by alucarDuo
I was thinking of trying out an alnico 8 but the one on your site says it's 2.25" x .5" x 0.125". Does it matter about the .25" less? What do you think about these magnets:

http://shop.wymoreguitars.com/category.sc;jsessionid=F181A3F2DEF65EBA21F1F1A9E1434748.qscstrfrnt02?categoryId=29

? They're a bit cheaper but I'm not sure if they're good or not. >_>



The Shorter magnets have more treble while the longer magnets have more upper midrange bite. I've tried the 2.5" alnico 8 magnets and thought they had too much upper midrange and that is why I only stock the shorter ones.

Alnico 8 is a fun magnet to play with but because you are talking about wanting clearer tones I don't think it's right for you. Alnico 5 and 8 both of lot of upper midrange and are aggressive but they are not what I would call clear. Alnico 3 and 4 lack the aggressiveness in the upper midrange but they do provide clear tone. Alico 3 has a rounder, clearer more balanced tone than alnico 4 but alnico 4 has the extra top end and grit that works so well in the lead position.

In terms of the magnets you are looking at vs mine, I've never used magnets from them so I can't comment. My alnico is the best I have been able to find and comes from the same manufacturers that make alnico for BKP. It's possible that the cheaper stuff you are looking at is just as nice, but it's also possible that it's junk.

Quote by drewsta42
Also, how much can a magnet do for the sound of a pickup? For example my Schecter has a JB in the bridge which I don't quite like; I'd like it to be darker. Can a magnet help with this issue, or is that a characteristic granted by the way the pickup is wound?


A lot of the pickups tone comes from the magnet and changing a magnet can make your guitar sound like you have a totally different pickup. The JB has an upper midrange spike that many people don't like. Switching to anything other than an alnico 5 magnet will help eliminate that spike and make the pickup sound more balanced. If you are sure about wanting darker tone then I'd probably look into alnico 2 or 3
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Last edited by CorduroyEW at Dec 7, 2008,
#17
Hmm, this concept of simply changing the magnet is quite intriguing. How do you think it would work out if I took an SD SH-5 and replaced its ceramic magnet with an alnico? Maybe it'd be like an overwound '59. This is interesting indeed...
Gear:

Peavey Classic 30
Vox AC4TV
Epiphone G-400 1968 w/ Mean 90
FullTone OCD V4
BYOC 250+ (Dist. +)
Marshall Regenerator
Dunlop Original Crybaby
#18
^it'll sound remarkably similar to a Custom Five which does have a PAF(ish) quality to it.
Not taking any online orders.
#19
Quote by CorduroyEW
Check the pickups magnetic polarity. Most of the time the north pole of the magnet is facing the non adjustable slugs but that isn’t true 100% of the time so make sure you check things before you take the pickup apart. To check the polarity just use a compass and put it next to the pickup on the non adjustable slug side. If the north needle is attracted to the non adjustable slugs then they are north polarity and the north polarity of the magnet is what is touching them. If the south needle is drawn to the slugs than means the pickup has the south side of the magnet facing the slugs. After you have checked your pickup it’s important to check your magnet the same way.


Sorry Corduroy, but this is actually the wrong way round. If you tie a piece of string round a bar magnet and let it swing free (or float it, which is actually more accurate) the north end will swing to point north. Now, remember, with magnets, opposites attract, so (somewhat ironically) the earths magnetic field at the north pole is polarised south. This means that the north end of a compass should swing to point to the south pole of the magnets. try it with any old labeled bar magnet and it should work.

In practice, i guess it doesn't really matter as long as you're being consistent, and always put the magnets in the same way round, but i'm pedantic like that.
#20
Quote by alucarDuo
Hmm, this concept of simply changing the magnet is quite intriguing. How do you think it would work out if I took an SD SH-5 and replaced its ceramic magnet with an alnico? Maybe it'd be like an overwound '59. This is interesting indeed...

a lot like re-inventing the wheel...

From the Duncan website's description of the Custom 5


application
Like a higher output '59 Model with a deeper bottom end and expanded output. Perfect for pop, country, blues, classic rock and heavy rock.

description
Developed by contributors to our web user group who replaced the ceramic or Alnico 2 magnet in an SH-5 Custom or SH-11 Custom Custom with an Alnico 5. Compared to the SH-5 and SH-11, the Custom 5's tone is more vintage, with less distortion, but it's still very strong and powerful. Clean sounds are rich and full with enhanced presence. Comes with four-conductor hookup cable.
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#21
^Oh that's crazy. How didn't I see that before?
Gear:

Peavey Classic 30
Vox AC4TV
Epiphone G-400 1968 w/ Mean 90
FullTone OCD V4
BYOC 250+ (Dist. +)
Marshall Regenerator
Dunlop Original Crybaby
Last edited by alucarDuo at Dec 8, 2008,
#23
Quote by Mad_BOB
Sorry Corduroy, but this is actually the wrong way round. If you tie a piece of string round a bar magnet and let it swing free (or float it, which is actually more accurate) the north end will swing to point north. Now, remember, with magnets, opposites attract, so (somewhat ironically) the earths magnetic field at the north pole is polarised south. This means that the north end of a compass should swing to point to the south pole of the magnets. try it with any old labeled bar magnet and it should work.

In practice, i guess it doesn't really matter as long as you're being consistent, and always put the magnets in the same way round, but i'm pedantic like that.


I typically test this stuff with a gauss meter rather than with a compass so I'm happy to admit that I'm wrong with this one. After reading your post I went a tested it with my compass and that said my explanation was correct but then I went and bought a new compass just to double check and the new compass points to the magnet with the other needle. So I'm guessing my compass had spent too much time in close proximity to high powered magnets and can't be trusted anymore. The really odd thing is that both compasses point north when they are not close to magnets or metal

I guess the really important thing is that you test the polarity before you take the magnet out and then test it again with the new magnet in and make sure the same needle point to the magnet before you start and after your finished.


Not taking any online orders.
#24
Quote by CorduroyEW
I typically test this stuff with a gauss meter rather than with a compass so I'm happy to admit that I'm wrong with this one. After reading your post I went a tested it with my compass and that said my explanation was correct but then I went and bought a new compass just to double check and the new compass points to the magnet with the other needle. So I'm guessing my compass had spent too much time in close proximity to high powered magnets and can't be trusted anymore. The really odd thing is that both compasses point north when they are not close to magnets or metal

I guess the really important thing is that you test the polarity before you take the magnet out and then test it again with the new magnet in and make sure the same needle point to the magnet before you start and after your finished.




Hmmm, sounds like your old compass is a bit ill

Probably also a good idea to check the compass is still magnetised, as if it's not it'll just align in the field which ever way is most energy efficient for it. Best way to check that is to check which end is attracted to north on a magnet, then leave it for a while before checking if that end of the needle is repelled by south.
#25
One more thing, since I've pretty much decided on the Custom 5, would the pickup cover from my epi stock pickups fit on the Custom 5? I just need to make sure. >_>
Gear:

Peavey Classic 30
Vox AC4TV
Epiphone G-400 1968 w/ Mean 90
FullTone OCD V4
BYOC 250+ (Dist. +)
Marshall Regenerator
Dunlop Original Crybaby
#27
Oh, well I thought I would save a bit of money, but I might as well get the covered one.
Gear:

Peavey Classic 30
Vox AC4TV
Epiphone G-400 1968 w/ Mean 90
FullTone OCD V4
BYOC 250+ (Dist. +)
Marshall Regenerator
Dunlop Original Crybaby