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Samarium Cobalt Magnets


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I personally wouldn't argue with any claims from Bill Lawrence, I have no reason to believe otherwise. I think there is more to it than just the magnets though. Check out this page on Bill's website. Of course they are not going to divulge everything to the public but it sounds like they have controlled the way the flux lines flow in and out of the coils. All of this is beyond me so I can't verify or debunk any of it.

You could always order a set. It might be just what you are looking for.


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As said above, I would guess they aren't single coils. The fact that single coils pick up noise is not a function of the magnet material, but of the fact that electromagnetic noise is everywhere, and single coils have no way of canceling this noise. I suppose that with a very narrow pickup field the noise would be somewhat reduced, but this would seriously affect the sound (probably not in a good way, it would be ultra-thin). I believe these "noiseless" single coils are actually noiseless "single coils", or very small stacked humbuckers designed to try and minimize the fat humbucker sound. This is definitely more feasible than actually designing a noiseless single coil.

To keep the single coil sound, you would probably want to use one pickup coil and a dummy coil. Since you want to try and make the impedance about the same as a standard single coil, that means that each coil will have only half the windings of a regular single coil. If you were to use regular alnico magnets, this would mean half the output. This is where the stronger SCo magnets come in, boosting the output of the smaller number of winds (output is a function of the number of winds and the magnetic field strength, among other things).

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I have some fender "noiseless" pickups...similar to the Lawrence designed SCN's (I think he did these too).

Basically, like Kinman and other's, it is a stacked design but the idea of these true single coil sounding pickups over older stack technology, is the way they isolate the lower "dummy coil" from the field around the upper coil and sensing the strings.

The magnet strength is not used to compensate as described above, but to aid in this isolation so that the dummy coil is reducing the noise. Integral to the design is that the two coils are not identical...different winds and turns, but with a different core to make them equivalent for noise canceling purposes. The lower coil is smaller with less winds and there is a substantial magnet arrangement between the two coils so they are a lot deeper and the lower coil further away from the strings as a result.

My "noiseless" fender JB Pup's have a pair of central magnets similar to a P-90 in arrangement...the pull on the string is low. I believe that Lawrence uses the SCN mags to further direct the field back below the upper coil and so isolate the lower.

I am very pleased with the Noiseless design and Lawrence pickups are most likely as good. A very true single coil sound with no noise. All the chime a detail. I have heard lackluster reviews of the "vintage noiseless" the lower output cousins, but it is probably due to a lack of power (like "vintage" traditional pickups) and the expectations of the reviewers, than the technology itself. I imagine if you get a set of high tech pickups like these, you might expect some kind of dramatic "improvement" in sound. This ignores the whole design premise, to make a true single coil sound without noise...it is supposed to sound like a single coil, not something better...just no noise! Now the higher output "Jeff Beck" spec hot noiseless are an "improvement" if replacing a set for a "better sound"...more harmonics and stronger sound, but not over the top and still very fendery in character... Just what I was looking for.

Beware if taking the things apart, the cover is very thin and everything very tight in there, they didn't even have room for traditional coil tape...it's a kind of sticky tape...and everything is in there very tight. The upper part with the cover on it is the same size as a normal pickup, but below the mounting flange "ears" is another coil (a little smaller) so the depth of the whole unit is very deep.

I like mine and I have heard good things about bothe the SCN's and the Lawrence equivelent...he did design them afterall, and a true innovator.

Hope that helps...the patents are available for all these things if you want to check them out...


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