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Ceramic Vs Alnico Pick Ups


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Alnico is an abbreviation for Aluminium Nickel Cobalt (I think) and usually you'll see Alnico 3 or Alnico 5 magnets in pickups.

Basically between Alnico and Ceramic magnets, the magnetic field is going to be different around the strings. This will have a direct effect on the sound.

Ceramic magnets, from what I keep reading and based on my own experience, are strong but the note quality tends to be "scratchy" sounding. There's not a lot of note definition. Alnico 5's on the other hand, are strong metallic magnets and have a brighter snappy tone. Those magnets are in just about every guitar around today. The older Alnico 3's are more often found in vintage pickups. I think there are a few pickups available that have these instead to get a softer blues sort of sound.

Hope that helps.

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