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guitarcapo

re-magnetizing a pickup.

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Does anyone know how this can be done?

Wouldn't it be an easier way of increasing the output of a pickup compared to rewinding the pickup hotter?

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To hear Seymore Duncan tell it...a lot of them get demagnetized just by being stacked on top of each other in music stores before they are sold. They lose magnetism over the years...which makes it hard to decide what strength to magnetise them at when building new ones. Match the strength of a new 1959 humbucker...or an old one? What age? Mid seventies? 80's?

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hmmm......

 

8.5 Magnet Problems

These problems are hard to determine because of the difficulty involved in measuring the strength or weakness of a magnet. Magnets in guitar pickups can have problems because the winding tension is too high. I have seen rod magnets break in half because of this. Sometimes magnets can be broken during assembly. AC current, especially from transformers in amplifiers or even trains or subways with large electric motors can demagnetize the magnets within the pickups. Old pickups that are remagnetized will have a different sound and output. The stronger the magnet, the brighter and hotter the sound. A weaker magnet will give you a smoother sound and less output. I like weaker magnets, because I can control the sound better with them.

There are many things that can be done when working on your guitar. Always remember to draw a schematic so you know where all the wires go. And be careful using all the tools especially soldering. Wear glasses!!

 

9. Magnets and Magnet Wire

 

9.1 Magnets:

Magnets can be made into various shapes and strength. Fender commonly uses cast Alnico rod magnets for their pickups. Alnico is the combination of different alloys mixed together to make certain grades of Alnico magnets. Here

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and this:

 

If a pickup has no reading then it should be sent to an authorized repair center. If the pickup reads but still no output, check the magnetism within the pickup to make sure they didn

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Originally posted by guitarcapo

To hear Seymore Duncan tell it...a lot of them get demagnetized just by being stacked on top of each other in music stores before they are sold. They lose magnetism over the years...which makes it hard to decide what strength to magnetise them at when building new ones. Match the strength of a new 1959 humbucker...or an old one? What age? Mid seventies? 80's?

 

That's hoakum.

Since when have you seen pickups stacked on top of each other in a music store?

And how does stacking magnets demagnetize them in the first place?

At the molecular level, permanent magnets are just a huge, stacked array of ferromagnetic atoms.

 

Seymour is just trying to sell his pickups, IMHO.

 

I believe that placing permanent magnets in a huge opposed magnetic field (like in an MRI scanner) might weaken them.

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Originally posted by guitarcapo



There's one in my amp..so yea...a lot.

 

Yeah, and do you really expect anyone to believe your amps transformer has a powerful enough magnetic field to affect your pups when you lean the guitar against the cabinet?

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I recently discovered that my 1st string on my strat was very quiet in position one. I finally figured out that the corresponding pole-piece on the neck pup was much weaker magnetically than other pole pieces.

 

The bad news for some around here is that it is a from GFS Overwound Alnico Stagger set:( . I have no idea how hard that would be to fix...I may just drop in a new pup but that still sucks.:mad:

 

*edit* so I know it happens. I also recall seeing in Pete Biltoft's packaging that IF any of his magnets become unmagnetized to send it back to be REmagnetized...I doubt Guitar Fetish will do that

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if its a humbucker you could just take the bar off the bottom and put a new one on...

 

or try what i learnt in physics class, find where north is, point the north end north, and bang it........ that could be wrong, i learnt it a few years ago, and it may only be for some ferromagnetic objects

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Originally posted by nevermind



Yeah, and do you really expect anyone to believe your amps transformer has a powerful enough magnetic field to affect your pups when you lean the guitar against the cabinet?

 

Seymour Duncan says it does. What are your credentials? I'm just asking because I'm reading all these experts that are saying it does.

 

I'll help you out with that big article I posted above that must have been difficult for you to get through:

 

Alternating currents from transformers have stray magnetic fields strong enough to demagnetize the magnets in your pickup. Pickups can be demagnetized by soldering guns (the type that have coils) if too close to your pickup when soldering. Leaning a guitar against an amplifier with large transformers can also demagnetize the magnets in your pickup.

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Originally posted by guitarcapo



Seymour Duncan says it does. What are your credentials? I'm just asking because I'm reading all these experts that are saying it does.


I'll help you out with that big article I posted above that must have been difficult for you to get through:


 

 

 

As for a subway transformer demagnetizing a pickup, I would say that is a realistic possibility. However, there is a huge difference between the puny transformer in a 110 volt amp as opposed to one needed to propel an electric train. Since you want to act so smart I would have hoped you could have figured that out on your own, but I guess logic isn't your strong suit. Maybe you should stick to basket weaving, and leave the insults for the big boys.

 

Like was stated earlier, Duncan sells pickups. If he can find a few dozen idiots to believe each marketing blurb he puts out then he sells more pickups. It's really not that hard to believe is it? BTW, how do you suppose the quote in your sig would read if Soldano owned a tube company as opposed to building amps and selling private label speakers?

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Originally posted by nevermind





As for a subway transformer demagnetizing a pickup, I would say that is a realistic possibility. However, there is a huge difference between the puny transformer in a 110 volt amp as opposed to one needed to propel an electric train. Since you want to act so smart I would have hoped you could have figured that out on your own, but I guess logic isn't your strong suit. Maybe you should stick to basket weaving, and leave the insults for the big boys.


Like was stated earlier, Duncan sells pickups. If he can find a few dozen idiots to believe each marketing blurb he puts out then he sells more pickups. It's really not that hard to believe is it? BTW, how do you suppose the quote in your sig would read if Soldano owned a tube company as opposed to building amps and selling private label speakers?

 

 

This falls in the classic example of someone "talking out of his ass" A man who an expert and leader in pickup manufacture says one thing and you say the opposite and assert that he's motivated by greed to do this. Have you ever done any research on this at all? On what research do you base your assertions? Admit it. You made a dumb ass statement out of your field of expertese and qualifications to back up and now you're trying to tread water as you drown.

 

Frank Zappa says:

 

Stupidity has a certain charm, ignorance doesn't.

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My credentials are I own some magnets. I have a package of them in my desk drawer. These magnets have been stuck together for months, and they haven't demagnetized. This is much closer than your guitar's pickups will ever be to any magnetic field of any consequence.

 

 

Try this - get a paperclip and see how close it has to be to your speaker magnet to be effected by that magnetic field. I think you'll find it drops off to nothing in a couple inches.

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Heating a magnet past its Curie point will destroy the long range ordering.

Stroking one magnet with another in random fashion will demagnetize the magnet being stroked, in some cases; some materials have a very high coercive field and cannot be demagnetized with other permanent magnets. Hammering or jarring will destroy the long range ordering within the magnet. By placing a magnet in a solenoid which has an alternating current being passed through it, the alternating current will disrupt the long range ordering, in much the same way that direct current can cause ordering.

 

Thus:

Resting your guitar against an amp does not qualify.

Stacking pickups in a drawer does not qualify.

 

 

 

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Originally posted by guitarcapo




This falls in the classic example of someone "talking out of his ass" A man who an expert and leader in pickup manufacture says one thing and you say the opposite and assert that he's motivated by greed to do this. Have you ever done any research on this at all? On what research do you base your assertions? Admit it. You made a dumb ass statement out of your field of expertese and qualifications to back up and now you're trying to tread water as you drown.


Frank Zappa says:


Stupidity has a certain charm, ignorance doesn't.

 

 

You're right. Your stupidity is far from charming. Stupidity and denial of the obvious - I am certain they are indicative of something. What is it? Womnhood maybe?

 

While Mr Duncan may be an expert in the manufacture of pickups that is to say nothing for his credentials in the field of magnetics. While the 2 are somewhat inter-related we are discussing his expertise in the latter and not the former. While he does need to have (and does) some experience with magnets, it is far from the type of working knowledge one needs to be termed an expert. His knowledge needs only to apply to their usage as it pertains to his working field.

 

The minute I read your quote of Mr Duncans statement I took 2 pickups (one strat and one PAF) and stuck them to the transformer housing of my Mesa Boogie Mark III. I then fired up the amp for a couple hours. The amp has been used again this morning while practicing. There is as of yet zero change in measured output and the magnet draw also remains unchanged. This is in realistic application FAR FAR closer than an installed pickup will ever get to the transformer in an amplifier. I will continue this evaluation for the next few weeks and report back if there is any change. I don't expect I will need to comment further.

 

To further quantify in my own mind the magnetic field created by this small transformer I used a compass. There was no abormality of reading when in the vicinity of the amps transformer. In a strong magnetic field it becomes impossible to measure magnetic north due to fluxuation. I verified this by walking a short distance from my home (3 houses away to be exact) and placing said compass on the shielded cover of a residental transformer/ supply box. (We have in ground electrical supply here, so it made this far too easy.) This, much larger, residental/commercial transformer did have a definate effect on the compass readings.

 

Like another poster mentioned I too have several Alnico 5 magnets in my desk drawer that have been stuck together for many months. They suffer from no loss of magnet attraction that I am able to tell.

 

As an aside, home computers have a power transformer in them. It is also well documented what happens to computer discs and drives when they are subjected to magnets or magnetic fields. Since the transformer in your computer creates no such damage, why would you assume an amplifier transformer would?

 

BTW, if you are still unsure why I feel certain Mr Duncan was spinning a marketing blurb with his statement let me point it out:

 

"I believe the more a pickup is used the weaker it becomes in time."

 

Notice he never made a statement that can be measured or quantified. He simply stated he believes this. I do not. Whether you do is entirely up to you.

 

BTW, if you re-read my postings you will find I have not commented on the vast majority of the quote. For the most part I find it entirely reasonable. It stands to reason magnets become weaker in time. I fail to see how the slight weakening in 60 or fewer years would create much of a difference, but do acknowledge it should be slight. I do not believe that normal day to day occurances have the effect he is claiming. My 2 main points of contention I have already spoken to in this post.

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Since there is so much expertise being thrown around (and unneccesary insults), could someone explain the following if pickup magnets never lose their "charge":

 

1) One of my strat's magnetic pole pieces (a GFS pickup) has lost most of its strength...either that or it was always weaker though I can't imagine why I would have never noticed a dead string.

 

2) Pete Biltoft of Vintage Vibe Guitars (a respected pickup manufacturer) offers to re-magnetize any of his pickup magnets should they lose their "charge". Is this some clever ploy to sell more of the pickups I already bought? Remember he doesn't offer to replace the magnet he offers to re-magnetize it. WHY could that ever be necessary?

 

I hope some here don't get defensive (and go on the offensive) because I pose the question...I really would like an explanation (and a solution if simpler than replacing a pickup).

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Originally posted by axegrinder

Since there is so much expertise being thrown around (and unneccesary insults), could someone explain the following if pickup magnets never lose their "charge":


1) One of my strat's magnetic pole pieces (a GFS pickup) has lost most of its strength...either that or it was always weaker though I can't imagine why I would have never noticed a dead string.


2) Pete Biltoft of Vintage Vibe Guitars (a respected pickup manufacturer) offers to re-magnetize any of his pickup magnets should they lose their "charge". Is this some clever ploy to sell more of the pickups I already bought? Remember he doesn't offer to replace the magnet he offers to re-magnetize it. WHY could that ever be necessary?


I hope some here don't get defensive (and go on the offensive) because I pose the question...I really would like an explanation (and a solution if simpler than replacing a pickup).

 

1) From guitarcapo's quote of Duncan above. "Magnets in guitar pickups can have problems because the winding tension is too high. I have seen rod magnets break in half because of this." Have you emailed Jay at GFS to let him know? He seems like a fairly decent guy and may take care of it.

 

2) Murphy's law - never say never. Odd things like a subway transformer can happen. An amp tube could strobe out, possibly. Someone's guitar may be subjected to great heat in a house fire or the like.

 

 

Or maybe NEO will come to your town and need to use the EMP to kill the giant robot squids.

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Originally posted by jerry_picker

 

That's hoakum.

And how does stacking magnets demagnetize them in the first place?

 

Stacking PMs (pole-pole or side-side) will demagnetize them. The opposing fields cause the magnetic fields to weaken on the affected PMs and not return to their original state.

 

At the molecular level, permanent magnets are just a huge, stacked array of ferromagnetic atoms.

 

That's neat.

 

Seymour is just trying to sell his pickups, IMHO.

 

Perhaps, but I've read his material and he comes across more of an engineer than a salesperson. But that too is my opinion.

 

I believe that placing permanent magnets in a huge opposed magnetic field (like in an MRI scanner) might weaken them.

 

An MRI (very strong DC field) could easily weaken a PM, possibly even changing its magnetic orientation. Exposure to evan a small AC field over a period of time would and does weaken PMs.

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Originally posted by misterhinkydink

Originally posted by jerry_picker


That's hoakum.

And how does stacking magnets demagnetize them in the first place?


Stacking PMs (pole-pole or side-side) will demagnetize them. The opposing fields cause the magnetic fields to weaken on the affected PMs and not return to their original state.


At the molecular level, permanent magnets are just a huge, stacked array of ferromagnetic atoms.


That's neat.


Seymour is just trying to sell his pickups, IMHO.


Perhaps, but I've read his material and he comes across more of an engineer than a salesperson. But that too is my opinion.


I believe that placing permanent magnets in a huge opposed magnetic field (like in an MRI scanner) might weaken them.


An MRI (very strong DC field) could easily weaken a PM, possibly even changing its magnetic orientation. Exposure to evan a small AC field over a period of time would and does weaken PMs.

 

Then, six-pole single coils are doomed from the start.

 

Facts are neat. Stacked static magnets, a priori, do not "demagnetize". You can undoubtedly come up with dynamic configurations in which this might happen, but that is not the rule.

 

For an engineer, he sure talks a lot about unmeasurables...

He may use some of the language of engineering, but his intellectual process tends to be less rigorous.

 

I'm glad that you at least agree with me on the MRI. The magnetic fields in an MRI are intense and dynamic, not static.

INsofar as "small A/C fields" is concerned, distance from the PM is key. It is rare that one stores a pickup inside a solenoid. The weak (inverse square law) fields set up by wall current, appliances, amplifier transformers are generally so far removed spatially from guitar pickups that their effects are negligible.

 

BTW, the strength of magnetic fields from speaker driver magnets is orders of magnitude higher than those generated by transformers.

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In answer to the orig question - there's a guy in my town with a machine that will flip the polarity of the mags in a pup. I'm assuming here - but if it can do that then I don't think it a stretch to assume it can also change the level of magnetism as well. Whether this has the same effect on the pup's output vis-a-vis windings, it would be an interesting experiment. I have a set of bass pups with neodumiums - the strongest mags around - and while the clarity change between them and the stock alnico's is like day and night, I didn't notice an appreciable increase in output. Wiring and pots may be a factor in this though.

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Originally posted by jerry_picker

 

Then, six-pole single coils are doomed from the start.

 

If the magnets are mishandled before or after assembly, yes, it's doomed. I've done it.

 

Facts are neat. Stacked static magnets, a priori, do not "demagnetize". You can undoubtedly come up with dynamic configurations in which this might happen, but that is not the rule.

 

You're full of {censored}. They do and here's a reference.

 

http://www.grouparnold.com/mtc/pdf/TN_9801.pdf

 

For an engineer, he sure talks a lot about unmeasurables...

He may use some of the language of engineering, but his intellectual process tends to be less rigorous.

 

He does what engineers do. He seems to really get into your craw, though. LOL.

 

BTW, the strength of magnetic fields from speaker driver magnets is orders of magnitude higher than those generated by transformers.

 

I'm waiting for the punchline.

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Originally posted by misterhinkydink



Then, six-pole single coils are doomed from the start.


If the magnets are mishandled before or after assembly, yes, it's doomed. I've done it.


Facts
are
neat. Stacked static magnets, a priori, do not "demagnetize". You can undoubtedly come up with dynamic configurations in which this might happen, but that is not the rule.


You're full of {censored}. They do and here's a reference.


http://www.grouparnold.com/mtc/pdf/TN_9801.pdf

 

Six-pole single coils are, in fact " stacks" of side-to-side opposing pole magnets. You (and your reference) suggest that this might be a self-demagnetizing configuration by virtue of the design.

(Obviously, mishandling a magnet can hurt it...this is about design, not handling)

 

I suggest that you read your reference more carefully. It says exactly what I have been saying all along: certain dynamic configurations may result in demagnetization, but, a priori, stacking magnets is not a recipe for demagnetization.

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