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Which Alnico type is most midrange dominant?

Juniorhack

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I found removing the A5 in the bridge pickup and replacing it with an A4 made the guitar much warmer, if that's what you wanted. I was happy with A5 in the neck pickup.
 
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Sol

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I found removing the A5 in the bridge pickup and replacing it with an A4 made the guitar much warmer, if that's what you wanted. I was happy with A5 in the neck pickup.
Thats the response we might expect with an alnico 4 in place of an alnico 5. Great to hear it worked for you!
 

Sol

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The ThroBak site describes alnico 2 as scooped while alnico 5 as midrange dominant esp short magnet alnico 5..
Some posters on this thread would disagree with these terms, and yet ThroBak seem confident in their claims, it's really interesting to me and I may contact them personally in hope of learning more.

What could be going on here? Big Al says, 'much ado about nothing' , and I've come to respect his views on such things.
But.. If midrange is static, that it's the reduction in lows and highs that give the impression of midrange prominence, isn't it this that partially defines midrange boost ?

I'm playing devil's advocate here, I've arrived at no solid conclusion..
 

JLee

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Throbak magnets are manufactured to different specs than other brands/manufacturers.

I’ve only used Throbak UOA5 and oriented A5. Oriented sounds much closer to the usual descriptions of A5. Big bass, crunchier, more strident highs.

The UOA5s are magic and my favorite. Not nearly as low end heavy as a run of the mill A5, more midrange focus and a smooth top end. Low end is softer and not as tight as oriented. I have his A2s, but haven’t tried them out.

I replaced the stock A4 in my OX4s with UOA5 and they added some output and sound warmer and more even to my ears. The A4s had more upper mids and were too honky for my tastes.

Ive also used ReWind A5s and A2s of various varieties. The A5s were brighter than Throbak, but not strident. Kind of a mix between Throbak UOA5 and oriented.
 

Sol

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These swaps using ThroBak and ReWind magnets ; Is it possible to buy a selection for experimenting with?
Also, could you explain what UOA5 is, I've heard the term but not an explanation?
 

JLee

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You can purchase magnets from Throbak and ReWind. ReWind sells magnets through EBay. Both sell a variety of almico types from A2, A3, A4 & A5, short and long.

Throbaks are pricey, so I would try and narrow down what you think you are looking for.

I believe oriented has a stronger charge. UOA5 has qualities of A2 and A5. Not as tight and fast of an attack as oriented A5. Smoother top end and more midrange. Oriented A5 is more aggressive sounding and brighter. Has to do with the manufacturing process.

I believe Jon from Throbak posted this-
Alnico 5 is usually made oriented. Alnico is heat treated to give it magnetic properties. If the magnet is exposed to a magnetic field during the heat treating the magnet will have all of it's magnetic grains oriented in the direction of the poles making it more efficient than an unoriented magnet. Unoriented A5 is not exposed to a magnetic field during heat treating so the magnetic grains are randomly oriented. This gives unoriented A5 the tone of A5 but with the feel of A2 which is also unoriented.
 
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Sol

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So if magnets are charged when cold they are unoriented ?
 

Sol

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You just have to respect the guys that are fluent in this language. This, I think is how PAF style pickups with certain characteristics can be replicated year after year.
Your quoting me in the above post, but don't say why, could you please explain ?
 

Sol

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I'll bump the thread just the once, in the hope that if Jon from ThroBak, and hopefully other boutique pickup winders from ReWind, Wizz, OX4, SD, Chris Carter, Brandonwound, Holmes, BKP, Montys etc. I can't list them all, may choose to jump in and share an observation with us based on their extensive
winding experience.. It would be a great bookend to an interesting thread.
 
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Big Al

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Before I'd swap a magnet, I'd do the unthinkable and just turn up the flippin' mid control on the amp or on the eq. I use graphic and parametric, but every guitarist should have a graphic eq pedal.
 

Sol

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The unthinkable is well covered.
The first pedal I ever bought was an Ibanez 7 band eq. Today I also use bass 7 bands for the extra low and high frequencies, but my Carl Martin 3 Band Parametric Pre Amp is my favourite, about the most useful tone shaping tool in my bag of tricks.

With dozens of applications I've never thought of it as a means to replicating the characteristics of a magnet.
 
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mthrunn

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You know what’s funny? In all the discussions of different Alnico types, I’ve never seen an actual analysis of the specific metallurgic components of vintage Gibson magnets. Winders talk a lot about matching the formulas, but what were they? That’s really the only way we’ll be able to answer these sorts of questions definitively.
 

Minibucker

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I've often had good results swapping the stock aged A2 mags in a Duncan Antiquity bridge PU with a newer A4. Gives a little more meat and fullness to a somewhat thin low-output bridge PU, but not quite as hard and aggressive as an A5.
 

Sol

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I've also been advised that A4 is a particularly good match with Duncan Antiquity PAFs. Someone on the forum once said that modern A4 is closer in composition to vintage A5 than the formula commonly used today.
 

Sol

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You know what’s funny? In all the discussions of different Alnico types, I’ve never seen an actual analysis of the specific metallurgic components of vintage Gibson magnets. Winders talk a lot about matching the formulas, but what were they? That’s really the only way we’ll be able to answer these sorts of questions definitively
I just had to highlight this post for its prescience. Without the technical breakdown the poster above suggests that we need, (a view I completely agree with) , how are we to arrive at a consensus that defines one alnico formulation from another ?
 

JLee

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Too many generalizations get made about magnet grades. Throbak offers 4 types of A5, not to mention Jon’s A2 has a different eq from other modern A2 formulas. ReWind also offers a variety of A5 and A2 formulations, from warm to bright.

Most people will default to the description of A5 as scooped, with a big low end and searing high end. UOA5 couldn’t be farther from that description, especially Throbak.

Throbak A5s all sound different from ReWind’s offerings and both sound different from generic, overseas magnets.
 
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mthrunn

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I just had to highlight this post for its prescience. Without the technical breakdown the poster above suggests that we need, (a view I completely agree with) , how are we to arrive at a consensus that defines one alnico formulation from another ?
Exactly. I assume some of this has to do with not revealing trade secrets, which is understandable to some extent, but I wish the top winders could publish a consensus analysis of vintage Gibson metallurgy. But “consensus” seems to be a tricky thing in the world of boutique pickups…
 
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Minibucker

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I tried a Duncan 'Custom Custom' once long ago, which is a really high wind, their standard custom...like a 14K wind....and an alnico 2 magnet. It was crazy...ALL mids, like a complete reverse 'smile' eq setting with a compressor. Alone it sounded kind of ridiculous, but blended with the neck pickup to varying degrees had some interesting tones.
 
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