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Thread: Unoriented Alnico 5 humbucker magnets?

  1. #1
    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Unoriented Alnico 5 humbucker magnets?

    I just learned about these magnets and had a few questions. Do they have the same magnetic properties as regular magnets, like flipping them to reverse the polarity? I get the impression that they are weaker than regular Alnico 5 magnets, perhaps closer to Alnico 2...

    So how exactly are they "unoriented"?

    Thanks!

    Steve A.

  2. #2
    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Unoriented : isotropic : "the same in any direction" .
    Itīs Alnico/Ceramic/whatever just poured out of the kiln or just sintered without any further action, can be magnetized equally in any direction which is sometimes necessary (complex multipole magnets for motors or sensors) but not "best performance".

    Oriented : anisotropic : has a preferred axis of magnetization, can easily double performance compared to unoriented one.
    Is made by applying a strong magnetic field while cooling or sintering, so all microscopic magnetic particles get oriented the same way.

    It will not "stay" magnetized at that moment because temperatures involved are very high, but in normal use it will be both easier to magnetize and stronger afterwards.
    Steve A. likes this.
    Juan Manuel Fahey

  3. #3
    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Thanks, Juan! I had found general information but could not translate it into music electronics applications. I get the impression that an unoriented Alnico 5 magnet might have similarities to Alnico 2 but differences as well. The topic came up in response to my post that I would often swap out A5 magnets with A2 in the stock pickups in my imported guitars which smoothed out the sound and response a bit. Hey, $5 worth of magnets sure beats $150+ for new pickups...

    I bought 60 A2 magnets from a pickup maker here in 2003 for about $65 and still have quite a few left. I think he had just bought 1000 and wanted to recoup some of his costs. Definitely win-win!

    I guess if I wanted to go crazy over magnets I could set up a neo rig to degauss or remagnitize my humbucker magnets.

    Steve

    P.S. I'm going to move this thread to the Guitar Tech forum...

    P.P.S. I read in one post that Gibson had used unoriented magnets in their early humbuckers. (I take practically everything I read with a grain of salt since I am not usually in a position to know whether or not it is actually true.)

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Juan Manuel Fahey

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    Senior Member LtKojak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve A. View Post
    I read in one post that Gibson had used unoriented magnets in their early humbuckers. (I take practically everything I read with a grain of salt since I am not usually in a position to know whether or not it is actually true.)
    Steve, everything you need to know is written here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alnico

    HTH,
    Pepe aka Lt. Kojak
    Milano, Italy

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