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Add Magnets To Pickups?


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I've read elsewhere about people having done this but never an explanation as to how to do it...

I'm talking about adding magnets to my pickups. It's supposed to increase the magnetic field, making the pickups more powerful, right?

Is there any more to it than simply placing the extra magnet beneath the pickup?

What I have here are a couple of bar magnets from a set of trashed pickups from a 60s-era Japanese guitar... I plan to attach the magnets to the bottom of the ric-style toasters I'm installing.

I'll have to route a deeper channel for the magnets (but if the guitar works out, I'll replace one or more of the pickups with real Ric toasters, which have extended pole pieces anyway).

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I'm not familiar with the magnet structure of the Rics pickups. Are they like standard HBs? Any chance of posting a pic? It might be a little easier to guess the impact of added magnets.

If they have the same structure as a standard HB, an added magnet will increase the magnetic field. This will give a higher output with emphasis on treble.

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Here's a photo of the underside of the pickups:


They're NOT Rickenbacker pickups --they came off of the trashed Ric 350 copy that inspired me to build my own. I have no idea as to when this copy was made or where --I'm guessing it's pretty old though, probably from the 1980s, and probably from Japan.

They're definitely single coils though.

It's not a great photo but you've probably seen pickups like this before --looks like the 'poles' are two rectangular, vertical, parallel pieces of metal wedged between two (horizontal) magnets --the bobbin lies on top of those and the pole pieces continue up through that.

Make sense?

The extra magnets I have resemble the magnets in these pickups a lot.

The photos of Rickenbackers pickups I've seen have individual pole pieces that extend down below the pickup (and into the body of the guitar I'm guessing) --so I'll be routing a center cavity to accommodate them in case I like this guitar enough to spend the bucks on buying authentic Ric toasters for it...

I'm just wondering if I should bother routing for the extra magnets, since that will be a bit larger than the Ric pole pieces will require.

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I think I understand how that pickup is constructed. If your magnets are roughly the same size as the once in your pickup you can easily be added. If two magnets are placed side by side, they will form one uniform magnetic field. The only problem is that the magnets will try to repel each other (north pole should be placed against north pole, south against south). This can easily be fixed with a good strong not to thick double sided tape for testing. Later on you can use CA.

If you are unsure of how the pickup will sound after you add the magnets, you can always make a jig like this to test the sound. This is what I used to test the effect of steel inserts under a pickup, se this thread. If you use tape to attach the magnets you can make a before-and-after test very easy. Mount the rig on any guitar like this with double sided tape. Make sure to stay as far away from other pickups as possible so that their magnetic fields will affect your test object as little as possible.

M general idea is that by adding magnets you will get a higher output, mostly in the treble range. But please test it and report the result.

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