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Author Topic: How to check Alnico or Ceramic magnet?  (Read 128 times)

psychepool

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How to check Alnico or Ceramic magnet?
« on: August 08, 2022, 12:54:17 PM »
hello. I am a recently joined member.

I bought a used guitar and had a Bareknuckle Nailbomb installed.
I think it is a fantastic pickup that responds well to natural and soft play, although it is a pickup that produces a very hard gain sound.

I know that the Nailbomb comes in two types: Alnico 5 magnet and ceramic magnet.
Unfortunately I didn't buy this pickup myself, so I don't know what magnet was used here.
In fact, that the model is a Nailbomb is just a guess because the previous owner said so, and when I measured the DC resistance, it matches the specifications of the Nailbomb, but I am not sure because the model name is not written on the plate.

Is there any way to check which magnet model was used in my pickup?
And I wonder if there is any other way to check if this pickup is a Nailbomb.

darkbluemurder

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Re: How to check Alnico or Ceramic magnet?
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2022, 02:05:32 PM »
Checking the magnet type is easy. If it is shiny, it is alnico. If it is dark grey, it is ceramic.

Unfortunately, BKP does not label the pickups, except for the BKP logo on the baseplate. You will have to go by looks, DC resistance and magnet type.

Cheers Stephan

psychepool

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Re: How to check Alnico or Ceramic magnet?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2022, 01:44:48 AM »
Checking the magnet type is easy. If it is shiny, it is alnico. If it is dark grey, it is ceramic.

Unfortunately, BKP does not label the pickups, except for the BKP logo on the baseplate. You will have to go by looks, DC resistance and magnet type.

Cheers Stephan


It's sad that taking it out is the only way to determine the type of magnet, but it's really fortunate that there is a way to tell for sure.

Many people say that taking out a magnet isn't that difficult, but it's a burden because I haven't tried it yet.
Moreover, it is covered with a cover. The soldering on the cover and plate looks great, but if I remove the soldering and open it up and then solder it again, it will get messy, so I think I should give it a try when I'm really really curious.

Anyway, thanks for the reply!!

« Last Edit: August 09, 2022, 01:55:47 AM by psychepool »

Excruciator

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Re: How to check Alnico or Ceramic magnet?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2022, 11:04:06 PM »
You may be able to get a better idea by examining the baseplate. If it's an alnico Nailbomb, the magnet should be thinner than a ceramic one; therefore the baseplate should sit slightly deeper in the cover, in theory at least.

I don't have an alnico one to hand, but I do have a ceramic one, purchased in the last couple of years. The baseplate is flush with the bottom of the cover. If yours is flush, I'd be betting on it being a c-bomb; if it's more recessed, chances are you have an a-bomb.

You can see a similar thread here with a couple of photos of pickups with deeper sitting baseplates: https://forum.bareknucklepickups.co.uk/index.php?topic=37867.0

If you would also like a little more evidence on which specific model you have, you can take resistance readings of each individual coil. From what I know, the Nailbomb has a slightly larger coil offset than the Holy Diver and Painkiller, but the numbers would be so close as to still likely be inconclusive. If the previous owner said it was a Nailbomb and it reads close to spec, I'd think it's likely that.

psychepool

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Re: How to check Alnico or Ceramic magnet?
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2022, 08:22:24 AM »
You may be able to get a better idea by examining the baseplate. If it's an alnico Nailbomb, the magnet should be thinner than a ceramic one; therefore the baseplate should sit slightly deeper in the cover, in theory at least.

I don't have an alnico one to hand, but I do have a ceramic one, purchased in the last couple of years. The baseplate is flush with the bottom of the cover. If yours is flush, I'd be betting on it being a c-bomb; if it's more recessed, chances are you have an a-bomb.

You can see a similar thread here with a couple of photos of pickups with deeper sitting baseplates: https://forum.bareknucklepickups.co.uk/index.php?topic=37867.0

If you would also like a little more evidence on which specific model you have, you can take resistance readings of each individual coil. From what I know, the Nailbomb has a slightly larger coil offset than the Holy Diver and Painkiller, but the numbers would be so close as to still likely be inconclusive. If the previous owner said it was a Nailbomb and it reads close to spec, I'd think it's likely that.



Thanks for another hint for guessing.

This is a picture of my Nailbomb.
The plate appears to be slightly retracted from the cover.
At least it doesn't look flat with the cover, can I think of it as an Alnico model?

And that's what I thought while reading your answer, looking at the images of Nailbome I found through web searching, they all have 4-conductor wires.
But my pickups are 2-conductors with braided wire used.
Does a 2-conductor nailbomb exist? Is it possible to custom order with 2 conductors?

Excruciator

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Re: How to check Alnico or Ceramic magnet?
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2022, 02:53:26 PM »
If I had to guess, I'd say that was likely an alnico, yes, it's certainly more recessed than my c-bomb. Two conductor wiring is an option on all BKP humbuckers, so it's not that unusual to find those in the wild. Four conductor tends to be a lot more popular because it's more versatile at basically no cost, other than if you're the type that cares about "vintage accuracy".

darkbluemurder

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Re: How to check Alnico or Ceramic magnet?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2022, 09:16:50 AM »
Not to be too picky but to me a "two conductor with braided shield" is technically a "single conductor" since you cannot use the braid for the hot signal connection without a noise penalty. A true two conductor lead would have two signal wires with or without an external shield. This is relevant if you want to change the phase of the pickup either to get it in phase with the other pickup(s) on the guitar or to have an out-of-phase option - easily done with a true two conductor but not easy with a braided conductor.

The traditional connection is the braided shield. Some say it sounds better. It will sound different since the braided conductors have quite a high capacitance which changes the sound but it is not a night and day difference to my (old) ears.

Cheers Stephan