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Neodymium magnets for bass pickups?

10/15/2004 3:49 PM
Neodymium magnets for bass pickups?
Hi! Has anyone built bass pickups with neodymium bar magnets? I'm trying to design such a pickup and don't know if it works. Please help me.
10/15/2004 5:58 PM
Kyle Cavanaugh
If you understand how to manipulate a magnetic field properly, you can get it to work. You would need to design it so the pole pieces (don't use ND's as the poles) don't pull as much, or use smaller magnets than a ceramic or AlNiCo would use.
10/16/2004 2:23 AM

I wanted to use the Nd magnets as the poles and place the pickup inside the bass body so the magnets could be farer from the strings and don't pull so much. I'm also interested how such a pickup would sound.I want to use to thin magnet bars to built a 6 string bass humbucker with colis splited for 3 strings.
10/16/2004 9:58 AM
Sheldon Dingwall

Build a prototype first. If you don't have a test bass you can install it in at the height you're imagining, use a 2x4 with a bridge, nut and tuners.  
Make sure it's what you're looking for before designing an instrument around it. (am I reading you correctly?)
10/16/2004 11:07 AM

Ok,thanks. Do You know anything about sound of pickups made with neodymium magnets? If it will be enough bassy? Should I use bar magnets or poles?
10/17/2004 10:43 AM
Sheldon Dingwall

I don't think the tone is in the magnets so much as it's in the design of the coils and the magnetic circuit.  
So the only way to find out is to build a prototype.
10/18/2004 7:26 AM
The issue is going to be the pickups aperature, (how large the magnetic field is at the strings) Using very strong magnets further away is going to have a relatively huge aperature which will tend to make the sound very "complex" as a minimum and likely "distorted/fuzzy". The other possible result would be a very "flat" sounding pickup if it's a dual coil HB design and the field picks up too many cancelling harmonics...
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