#1
I mean if they can afford to put Alnicos in Squiers why not put them in the Mexican Fenders?Or is it because they spend more on the other hardware and wood etc?I would have thought it would'nt cost much more for Alnicos over ceramics?
2016 Gibson Les Paul Traditional T in Light Burst
'77 Hardtail Strat
Epiphone Sheraton MIK Duncan '59's
MIJ 84/85 Tele
MIM Std Tele
Fender Blues Jnr
Digitech Screamin' Blues
#3
Might be an availability thing, too. They can do runs of Squiers with alnico and if the price on alnico goes up, NBD, they'll just kill that line and make a new vintage-inspired-pawnshop-roadworn line next month with ceramics. Their supply for MIM has to be a lot more reliable in capacity and price because they can't mess with the Standard model much. If they had alnico one month and back to ceramic the next people might

Plus, as mentioned, they're not that bad. Actually I'd argue they're more versatile than the weaker alnicos that go into some of the Squiers. More output, hold up better under heavy distortion. That's probably not an accident.
#4
Ceramic magnets are not inferior. They give off a different tone than alnico's though. The custom shops in US strats are leaps better than the cheaper pups though.
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#5
Quote by EyeballPaul
I mean if they can afford to put Alnicos in Squiers why not put them in the Mexican Fenders?Or is it because they spend more on the other hardware and wood etc?I would have thought it would'nt cost much more for Alnicos over ceramics?


I'm not sure that you understand what you're talking about. Alnico pickups vs. Ceramic magnet pickups are not a cost concern, generally, nor are ceramics inferior in any way. You've possibly been a bit brainwashed by some folks on internet forums.
#6
A lot of people turn up their nose at ceramic pickups, but as others have noted, there is nothing inherently wrong with ceramic pickups. I happen to think that MIM strat pickups sound pretty good, and apparently a lot of people agree. Which is probably why Fender continues to use them.
#7
I'd say it's mainly marketing. Put good (or what is generally perceived as "good") pickups into cheaper models and you'll struggle to sell the dearer ones. This way they sell the MIM standards to the people who either don't care or don't know, and they can sell the (more expensive) classic series to the people who do.

yeah, squier has some with alnicos, but again fender knows a lot of players won't be happy with squier on the headstock- that's not really cannibalising the same product lines.

Quote by Roc8995
Might be an availability thing, too. They can do runs of Squiers with alnico and if the price on alnico goes up, NBD, they'll just kill that line and make a new vintage-inspired-pawnshop-roadworn line next month with ceramics.


What's "NBD" stand for?
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#8
Quote by dspellman
I'm not sure that you understand what you're talking about. Alnico pickups vs. Ceramic magnet pickups are not a cost concern, generally, nor are ceramics inferior in any way. You've possibly been a bit brainwashed by some folks on internet forums.


agree that and don't assume that the Squier pups aren't actually cheaper. not all alnico or ceramic magnets are created equal. I used to have to deal with a local magnet manufacturer and learned a fair bit about how they are made and about quality. I find the pups in MIMs to be more to my liking as I do use some to a lot of gain in my playing. personally I don't care about the "vintage" clean tone that seems to be what Fender most often promotes. 70s Strat pups which is what is heard on many classic rock albums actually were made to be a little hotter than previous decades. this is usually the actual complaint by many Fender fans when dealing with MIMs that it's not the "classic" sound from the 50s or even early 60s.
#9
Yeah i suppose it's all subjective.My perception of Alnico equals better is just from my quite limited experience of ceramics.The ones i've heard i've not been keen on.I have mim Tele and to me the pickups sound bad especially compared to the Twisted Tele/Broadcaster in my Am std.The Strats sound better to me than the Teles but still are'nt really to my liking and i'm not a fan of the 490r/498t either so that is why i kinda see them as inferior.Again though i suppose that's just my perception.
2016 Gibson Les Paul Traditional T in Light Burst
'77 Hardtail Strat
Epiphone Sheraton MIK Duncan '59's
MIJ 84/85 Tele
MIM Std Tele
Fender Blues Jnr
Digitech Screamin' Blues
#10
Quote by Dave_Mc
I'd say it's mainly marketing. Put good (or what is generally perceived as "good") pickups into cheaper models and you'll struggle to sell the dearer ones. This way they sell the MIM standards to the people who either don't care or don't know, and they can sell the (more expensive) classic series to the people who do.

yeah, squier has some with alnicos, but again fender knows a lot of players won't be happy with squier on the headstock- that's not really cannibalising the same product lines.


What's "NBD" stand for?
Yeah this was the way i was leaning aswell.
I heard a busker playing a Classic vibe Tele through a little solid state amp and I thought it sounded nicer than my mim and i'm assuming they come with Alnicos since they're going for a 'classic vibe'.
I was thinking possibly they didn't want to damage sales of US models.But the Squier thing pushed me away from that opinion a little.Hence my thread here.I've learned abit in here though.
2016 Gibson Les Paul Traditional T in Light Burst
'77 Hardtail Strat
Epiphone Sheraton MIK Duncan '59's
MIJ 84/85 Tele
MIM Std Tele
Fender Blues Jnr
Digitech Screamin' Blues
#11
An added comment. Although my favourite guitar has ceramic SCs, in general they have a major disadvantage for me - the pole pieces cannot be easily adjusted as in plastic bobbin/alnico slug SCs. It just happens that string-to-string balance is just where I like it in these particular pickups. Generically, my favourite pickups are P90 types - SCs with screw poles.
#13
^ Thanks

Quote by monwobobbo
agree that and don't assume that the Squier pups aren't actually cheaper. not all alnico or ceramic magnets are created equal. I used to have to deal with a local magnet manufacturer and learned a fair bit about how they are made and about quality.


Yeah that's a good point- the Squier pickups may well cost Fender less than the MIMs even if they are more vintage-accurate.

Another thing worth remembering is that while I'd totally agreed that ceramic isn't bad per se, there's a big difference between good pickups where ceramic has been used deliberately to achieve a certain tone, and cheap pickups where it's been used either to save a little money, or as a marketing tactic to push people towards the dearer guitars with the alnico pickups.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#14
This vid makes me put aside my prejudice against ceramics(although i still don't like mim Tele pups)

2016 Gibson Les Paul Traditional T in Light Burst
'77 Hardtail Strat
Epiphone Sheraton MIK Duncan '59's
MIJ 84/85 Tele
MIM Std Tele
Fender Blues Jnr
Digitech Screamin' Blues
#15
Here is what the legend Bill Lawrence, who essentially invented the aftermarket replacement pickup in the 60's, had to say about the subject:

Ceramics vs Alnico


"When I read that ceramic magnets sound harsh and alnico magnets sound sweet, I ask myself, " Who the hell preaches such nonsense?" There are harsh-sounding pickups with alnico magnets and sweet-sounding pickups with ceramic magnets and vice-versa! A magnet by itself has no sound, and as a part of a pickup, the magnet is simply the source to provide the magnetic field for the strings. The important factor is the design of a magnetic circuit which establishes what magnet to use.

Though ceramic magnets cost less than alnico magnets of equal size, a well-designed magnetic circuit using ceramic magnets costs much more than the six Alnico 5 magnets of a traditional single coil pickup!"

Here is what else Bill had to say about magnets: http://www.billlawrence.com/Pages/Pickupology/magnets.htm
"A well-wound coil is a well-wound coil regardless if it's wound with professional equipment, or if somebody's great-grandmother winds it to an old French recipe with Napoleon's modified coffee grinder and chops off the wire after a mile with an antique guillotine!"
- Bill Lawrence

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Last edited by Evilnine at Oct 20, 2016,