psw Posted April 25, 2004 Report Share Posted April 25, 2004 Rare Earth Magnets These are also known as Neodymium Iron Boron. Yes they are very powerfull and expensive - However because of this power you don't need to have magnets of the same dimension so for a similar power to alnico the cost is very competitive. One of the major problems with pickup winding is the obtaining of suitable magnets. I live in Australia so the choices can be minimal however it is a problem everywhere as you will see on other sites on winding. As I am more interested myself in building a better mousetrap, sorry pickup , the fact that they are so small opens up a huge range of options for new designs. Anyway. A Rare Earth Magnet the size of a strats polepiece would suck the string down to the pickup and you might find it difficult to get off! I've been experimenting with discs of 5mm x 1.5mm and 3mmx2mm so far. You can stack them to make even more powerfull magnet and/or attach them to various types of magnetic materials (steel, nails, rivits, staples, refrigerators, etc) to create different core shapes. And this is the key to pickup design. It is not so much the power of the magnet but the shape of the magnetic field, and the coil within it, that creates it's sound. Consider this. Humbucking pickups use steel slugs and screws to direct the field through the coils and towards the strings from a bar magnet below. The same is used on the cheapest single coils where you see a large ceramic magnet below. Real single coils have internal magnets and a deep coil. Why are these "better" because it is the shape of the field and the coil design that gives much to the classic strat sound. In short : Rare earth magnets, because of their small size to power ratio means that you have new possiblities to explore in manipulating the shape of the magnetic field and the size and shape of the coil. My experiments include moulding pole pieces from epoxy containing pure iron powder and a rare earth magnet within. This is an attempt to utilize advanced transformer principles to heighten sensitivity to changes in the electromagnetic field and to create cores in any shape I want. I think the best advice for anyone trying to reproduce a classic pickup design is to copy it completely. However, if your up to stepping into the unknown check these out PSW p.s. (we use metric down here and it's a lot easier for small dimensions even though I was brought up on feet and inches check out the stonehenge scene in spinal tap to see what can go wrong!. 5mm= about 1/4 inch Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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