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Author Topic: VHII with alnico 8 magnet?  (Read 510 times)

nikosteph

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VHII with alnico 8 magnet?
« on: February 11, 2018, 08:16:12 PM »
Hi BKP enthusiasts! Has anyone ever tried a VHII bridge pickup with an alnico 8 magnet? I read on here about other pickups experimenting with that magnet type (with less than stellar results), but not the VHII. I ask because while I like the overall tone of the VHII, I wish it was a bit tighter and higher output, while retaining a similar tonal profile. I have tried the Nailbomb, which I found too different and aggressive, and the Rebel Yell, which was close to what I'm looking for, but a bit too bright and modern.

I thought about maybe asking for a VHII with more winds, but read somewhere that it's basically the maximum number of turns you can get with 42 gauge wire, and I don't want to go to 43 gauge like RY.

Also, before becoming a BKP convert, I used Seymour Duncans and my favorite pickup (the only non-BKP still in a guitar!) from their range was the Custom 8, which is the Custom pickup with an alnico 8 magnet swap. People on their forums rave about it, and it was exactly what I was looking for: more organic, and softening the ceramic brittleness of the Custom pickup, while retaining most of the aggressiveness (more so than the Custom 5, which has the alnico 5 magnet).

So, any thoughts? I guess it's easy enough to try, but I'm curious if anyone has given it a go on here.

Thanks in advance for your help!

capac

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Re: VHII with alnico 8 magnet?
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 01:12:20 PM »
I believe Tim isn't the biggest fan of alnico 8...
Aftermath (bridge), alnico Black hawk (set), holydiver (set)

nikosteph

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Re: VHII with alnico 8 magnet?
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 05:14:23 PM »
Hi capac, thanks for your reply. I found that thread where Tim says he's not a big fan of A8 magnets, and it does make me a bit hesitant to try them out (though I guess swapping back isn't too hard!). Do you have any experience yourself with this magnet? Tim makes it sound like it fundamentally alters the pickup's character, but that's not what I found with the SD pups. But apples and oranges, who knows how the carefully crafted BKP tone will be altered with such a big change...

ericsabbath

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Re: VHII with alnico 8 magnet?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 06:46:34 PM »
I only tried that with the holy diver
The stock pickup sounded awesome in all Les Paul's I had it, but didn't sound good for rhythms in a Gibson SG, so I tried the A8 bar I had
It solved the tightness problem but lost a lot of the good qualities of the holy diver
The VHII is already very bassy and a bit dry sounding, so I don't thing that's a good idea at all
I'd rather try an A2 magnet than A8
Riff Raff, Mules, Black Dog, VHII's, Cold Sweat

nikosteph

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Re: VHII with alnico 8 magnet?
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2018, 09:35:14 PM »
Oh interesting, I never thought about the "dry" aspect of the VHII, which may indeed get worse with the A8. Interesting about the Holy Diver, thanks for that info!

darkbluemurder

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Re: VHII with alnico 8 magnet?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2018, 10:10:49 AM »
Indeed - if I were considering a magnet swap in a VHII bridge it would be for something less bright, i.e. A2 or A4.

Cheers Stephan
HD set, HD b, MiM b, VHII n, CS set, CR set, AB set, RY set, BD set, BD b, CR b, SH b, RR n

Telerocker

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Re: VHII with alnico 8 magnet?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2018, 10:29:15 AM »
Indeed - if I were considering a magnet swap in a VHII bridge it would be for something less bright, i.e. A2 or A4.

Cheers Stephan

Wouldn't an A4-magnet make it very close to the Mule?
Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.

Nolly

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Re: VHII with alnico 8 magnet?
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2018, 12:58:39 PM »
I know there's scant out there about them, but I can almost guarantee you would love the Boot Camp True Grit humbuckers - hotter than the VHIIs with a tighter low end, and smoother up top than the Rebel Yells you tried and found too bright.

Wouldn't an A4-magnet make it very close to the Mule?

No, the VHII has a very asymmetrical wind (more than any other pickup in the range), which is a large part of its sound - hence the extended lows and highs, and more scooped/woody mid voicing.

Telerocker

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Re: VHII with alnico 8 magnet?
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2018, 01:24:46 PM »
I know there's scant out there about them, but I can almost guarantee you would love the Boot Camp True Grit humbuckers - hotter than the VHIIs with a tighter low end, and smoother up top than the Rebel Yells you tried and found too bright.

Wouldn't an A4-magnet make it very close to the Mule?

No, the VHII has a very asymmetrical wind (more than any other pickup in the range), which is a large part of its sound - hence the extended lows and highs, and more scooped/woody mid voicing.

Gosh yeah, I forgot about that. And I even own Mules and a VHII. :shocked:
Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.

nikosteph

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Re: VHII with alnico 8 magnet?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2018, 05:21:32 PM »
Hi Nolly, thanks for the suggestion! I'll check them out, though I'm a bit confused after a quick glance: are these made by BKPs? Or in conjunction with them? I'm quite intrigued...

Nolly

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Re: VHII with alnico 8 magnet?
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2018, 06:24:02 PM »
Gosh yeah, I forgot about that. And I even own Mules and a VHII. :shocked:

Easily done!

Hi Nolly, thanks for the suggestion! I'll check them out, though I'm a bit confused after a quick glance: are these made by BKPs? Or in conjunction with them? I'm quite intrigued...

Yes there's a lot of confusion about them currently! They are fully fledged BKPs made at the same location with the same quality parts. The only notable difference that allows them to be priced a little lower is the options have been greatly stripped back in order to be built in a more of a steady production fashion (where pickups from the normal range inevitably have to be built-to-order since there are an insane number of possible combinations of model, 6/7/8 string, colour, leg height, spacing, 2- or 4-conductor etc).
The Boot Camp pickups (specifically humbuckers) feature a couple of minor spec points that are unique to the range, but BKP are keeping very quiet about the details in order to try and focus on the customers who only want to worry about the basic decisions of pickup type, output range/broad sonic aesthetic, and a choose from one or two visual options.
I have a pair of the True Grit humbuckers in my no.1 guitar currently, and they're not leaving!

nikosteph

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Re: VHII with alnico 8 magnet?
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2018, 07:34:31 PM »
Nice! I'm definitely interested. Are there any other clips (video or sound) of them, aside from the Youtube video by Rabea?

Also, what is the DC output and magnet (A5?), or are those confidential at the moment?

capac

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Re: VHII with alnico 8 magnet?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2018, 09:00:48 PM »
Damn you Nolly, you're making me wanna buy another set of pickups  :grin:.

They aren't confidential if they can be bought. Anyone (with the right tool) can measure it himself.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 09:17:35 PM by capac »
Aftermath (bridge), alnico Black hawk (set), holydiver (set)

Nolly

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Re: VHII with alnico 8 magnet?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2018, 09:41:10 PM »
Nice! I'm definitely interested. Are there any other clips (video or sound) of them, aside from the Youtube video by Rabea?

Also, what is the DC output and magnet (A5?), or are those confidential at the moment?

They're Alnico V, and - as capac says - you can measure the DC resistance, though that won't tell you much unless you know the wire gauge! Output-wise I'd say they feel somewhere between the VHII and Rebel Yell. They'll clean up wonderfully but push an amp nicely too, which sounds about exactly what you'd want from a "vintage hot" pickup
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 09:43:12 PM by Nolly »

nikosteph

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Re: VHII with alnico 8 magnet?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2018, 09:46:45 PM »
Very cool, these may sound like just what I'm looking for! Thanks Nolly! I'll make sure to post a review if/when I do get them...