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Author Topic: ID ceramic or alnico/mag swaps  (Read 793 times)

radapaw

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ID ceramic or alnico/mag swaps
« on: January 08, 2021, 06:49:44 PM »
I recently got a used Blackhawk bridge pickup.. my first bkp. the seller was unable to tell me if it as ceramic or alnico. I've touched both ends of the bar with a multimeter set at 20k and after a second or so it read 0, I'm under the impression that would indicate alnico, is that correct?

also curious if bare knuckle offers magnets for magnet swaps at home, or alternatively if anyone knows of a source in n.america?

ericsabbath

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Re: ID ceramic or alnico/mag swaps
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2021, 07:49:06 PM »
usually alnico 5 looks more metallic light grey from the sides and ceramic looks more opaque in a darker graphite color, but I might be mistaken

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Dave Sloven

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Re: ID ceramic or alnico/mag swaps
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2021, 01:09:43 AM »
I don't think you can tell them apart with a multimeter. 

I have a couple of alnico BH pickups and one ceramic BH.  Post a video and I might be able to tell you by ear.  They sound different.  Alnico has a low mid purr that the ceramic lacks.  The ceramic has more top end.  Personally I prefer the alnico unless the guitar is very dark
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Dave Sloven

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Re: ID ceramic or alnico/mag swaps
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2021, 01:10:45 AM »
Also the Black Hawk bridge pickup has THREE magnets
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radapaw

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Re: ID ceramic or alnico/mag swaps
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2021, 03:46:43 PM »
thanks for the tips,

The guitar is being finished at the moment, so clips are still distant. It hadn't really occurred to me that there could be visual clues... the magnets (yup, 2 little guys and a 3rd, larger, central magnet) are 'shiny silver'ish metal' looking on the ends - nothing like the black magnet that falls off the back of cheap strat pickups.  After a look on google image I'm pretty sure I'm dealing with the alnico version.

It's going into a single bridge pickup/ metal rhythm only guitar. I was a little afraid the alnco wouldn't have the 'cut/clarity/tight' I'm seeking, but from what I read it sounds like c-hawk might be a bit TOO much of 'that' in most guitars. Any thoughts there from recovering metal heads, industrial dropouts, or emg users?

Dave Sloven

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Re: ID ceramic or alnico/mag swaps
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2021, 12:47:29 AM »
To my ears this is an accurate comparison.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qacdnnbe2k

Mine are six string but only a half-step down from B anyway (C standard)
« Last Edit: January 10, 2021, 02:24:23 AM by Dave Sloven »
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radapaw

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Re: ID ceramic or alnico/mag swaps
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2021, 02:57:40 PM »
Thanks Dave, that video had something to like outta both versions, not nearly as pronouced a difference as I seem to hear on a lot of other pickups. quick shout out to you as well, your previous posts on the blackhawk reassured me enough to pick it up even without knowing fully well what it was.

Dave Sloven

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Re: ID ceramic or alnico/mag swaps
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2021, 01:43:47 PM »
Thanks Dave, that video had something to like outta both versions, not nearly as pronounced a difference as I seem to hear on a lot of other pickups. quick shout out to you as well, your previous posts on the blackhawk reassured me enough to pick it up even without knowing fully well what it was.

That's nice to hear, yes just install the pickup and see how it works in your guitar.  In my experience they are great pickups.  If it is the alnico pickup I think you lucked out in a single pickup guitar, as the alnico version is a bit more of an all-rounder with great lead and clean tones, which important when you don't have a neck pickup.  I don't play many lead lines either but when you need it the alnico BH can do it, unlike some other bridge pickups.  The ceramic version is okay for that too, but depends more on having a darker instrument.  I found the ceramic version unusable in an SG, it came out really ice pick in the highs, whereas the alnico was much more pleasant in the top end
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