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Re: What does Alnico IV sound like?

2/28/2006 1:01 PM
Jon Gundry
Re: What does Alnico IV sound like?
Wasn't the Patent filed in 1955? I don't see where there is a timing problem for the use of A5 in PAF's.
2/28/2006 4:49 PM

What's the purpose of a patent? Maybe Gibson's magnet supplier couldn't make A5 just like no one else could make a PAF. Misinformation is a wonderful weapon against your competition too. For if they think you've got A5 when they can't get it, how can they copy what you've done? Gibson were never above deceiving the competion.  
To find definitive answers you have to do the science which beats theory any day. Try A4 in your PAFs and let us know what you think of it.
2/28/2006 5:09 PM
Jon Gundry

I have 2,3,4 and 5 and have tried them all. I still don't see any proof that A5 is not an appropriate choice for a PAF. Your time line does not make sense if you are trying to prove the that Gibson did not use A5 in PAF's. Your proof is speculation.  
I'm not taking this as gospel but the Blackguard book says they did a random sample analysis of 50"-54" B1 neck pickups with an SEM and EDX imaging and x-ray analysis system and that all B1 neck pickups showed a composition similar to current production A5. That at least sounds like definitive scientific proof of the use of A5 before 1954 in guitars.  
Still if 54' was the start date for A5 Gibson surely could get it in 55'.
2/28/2006 8:00 PM
Dave Stephens
Its really hard to tell fact from fiction on a subject like this. I have an article on how the Gibson LP reissues done in the 80s came about and the article says Gibson used alnico II and switched to V later on. They found this out by taking apart real PAFs. I have the article in pdf form if anyone wants to read it just email me.  
Everyone's tastes in PAF is different. Spence sent me a wonderful sample of some A4 and I tried it in my usual A2 stock neck pickup. It had a great tone but seemed indistinct on the low end so I put the A2 magnet back in and prefer it overall. Not to say I'm not going to use A4's I just have to design a pickup around what it does. In my A2 neck I'm getting the tones I hear in an authentic PAF that I play in a guy's tele once in awhile on sundays. The A4 sounds alot like that also, maybe I prefer the A2 because its a little more distinct and cuts through a tad better. Plus I'm not playing a solid body.  
One thing I have issue with in almost everybody's PAF pickup sets is they are all wound too high. I track PAF sales on Ebay and I never saw one wound to 8.5K. They are all 7.7K and lower. 8.5K to me sounds muddy and anything over 7K to my ears in the neck sounds like mud. But I'm using these in a 335 type guitar not a les paul. I sure wish someone would measure those Jimmy Page pickups everyone seems to want to duplicate, I bet you they are on the low side also. The PAF in the tele I mentioned is about 7.2K and needs a boost pedal to cut through, great jazzy sounding pickup though.
2/28/2006 8:26 PM
Jon Gundry

I agree that PAF clones often seem to be wound too hot. I play only solid bodies and I I think that if it is A2 magnets that you are using that it becomes muddy at 8.0k. I think A5 in the bridge at around 8.2-8.3K sounds great.  
See-more evidently offers an unofficial Jimmy Page custom shop wind that they claim is what Page puts in his own guitars that is based upon Page's pickups in his #1 Les Paul. The custom shop Page pickups are 8.8k bridge and 8.4k neck, A5 magnets, slightly mismatched coils.
2/28/2006 9:22 PM
Guitarus Maximus
Spence, what is the source of your information on the availability of alnico?  
History on the availability of alnico is hard to come by it would appear and I would like to find other sources if you are willing to share.
3/1/2006 1:21 AM
Dave Stephens
There is a note in the strat history book , those thin paperback books everyone has, that says until '53 cobalt was in demand in the defense industry so that alnico 5 wasn't available. I think Jon is right, though in the Black Guard book the neck pickups are alnico 5, I'll have to look at the dates for those again to be sure. The book also says in the early 60s cobalt again became hard to get due to cold war stuff so strat pickups were A3 for awhile.

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