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stronger magnet=less noise?

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  • stronger magnet=less noise?

    hello! has anyone noticed that pick-ups with strong magnets(ceramics) are more quiet than those with alnicos? i have three humbuckers,a dimarzio super distortion(ceramic), a seymour duncan 59(alnico V) and a gibson 57 classic(alnico II).the dimarzio is the quietest, almost dead quiet, while the gibson is the noisiest almost like a single coil.the 59 is in between the two . i played strats with single coils for 10 years and dont have much experience with humbuckers particularly those with alnicos. i thought humbuckers are totally quiet.is it normal for alnico humbuckers to be a little noisy?

    bry
    2006 Gibson Custom '58 Reissue Les Paul

    1991 Orville Les Paul Custom

    2009 Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster 50s

  • #2
    Re: stronger magnet=less noise?

    Hmmmmmmm........I am not sure but I can relate to your experience.....In my Strat the cool rails is the quietest pickup...It has a ceramic magnet....While the other two have Alnicos and tend to be noisier....See my sig for the other pups..
    _

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    • #3
      Re: stronger magnet=less noise?

      I'm not sure, but I'll bump you up one.
      Originally posted by Scott_F
      On that day, should I ever be so unlucky, I will expect an unholy assault of pure metal mayhem attacking all my senses with a little tiny voice in the background screaming Effing Hails!

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      • #4
        Re: stronger magnet=less noise?

        I haven't noticed this. A stronger magnet equals more output, which, unfortunately, includes noise. I haven't found a difference between AlNiCo or ceramic, hotter output includes noise. A single coil humbucker (cool rails) might be a little quieter because of the area of magnetic field compared with a normal humbucker.
        www.enigmaduo.com

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        • #5
          Re: stronger magnet=less noise?

          I guess this could be the explanation:

          I think the output of a pickup it is the result of the effect of the windings and the magnet. "More windings=more output" and "more magnetic flux=more output". But the noise it is caught only by the coils, has nothing to do with the magnet. The level of the noise just depends on the windings (how big the coil is). So it seems that if you have a high DC pickup you will have more noise.

          But ussually the high output pickups have strong magnets (ceramic). This pickups produce a VERY loud sound from the strings. So the sound that comes from the strings it is more louder COMPARING to the noise.

          If you try the same coil with different strenth magnets you will notice, as the volume of the pickup goes down, that the noise does NOT change but its presence becomes more important (and annoying :-) ).

          Does it make sense?
          Last edited by mongrollo; 04-28-2004, 05:12 AM.

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          • #6
            Re: stronger magnet=less noise?

            I think someone said that the reason Alnico humbuckers were noisier was because Alnico was a metal, and therefore could pickup magnetic interference, whereas ceramic can not.
            This machine kills fascists

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            • #7
              Re: stronger magnet=less noise?

              WAIT a minute... I thought ceramic magnets = more output!! I thought I remembered reading on the SD website that ceramics let you have more volume, and are also cheaper to manufacture.... I'm confused!!
              EBMM JPX BFR (Crunch Lab/Liquifire)
              Schecter C-1 Classic (Custom8/Jazz)
              Mayones Duvell 7 Standard (Instrumental SFTY-3/Decomp)
              G&L Tribute Comanche
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              Horizon Precision Drive --> Fulltone FB3/FD 2 --> Crybaby From Hell (Fasel) --> Boss BF-2 --> CH-1 --> TC Flashback X4
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              • #8
                Re: stronger magnet=less noise?

                Originally posted by Metalman_666
                WAIT a minute... I thought ceramic magnets = more output!! I thought I remembered reading on the SD website that ceramics let you have more volume, and are also cheaper to manufacture.... I'm confused!!
                don't be confused, we're talking about noise levels not volume/output. you're right about the ceramics, they have more volume but also has the least noise or higher signal to noise ratio in my experience.i think mattpete maybe right. maybe because alnico is a metal that's why it picks-up interference.
                2006 Gibson Custom '58 Reissue Les Paul

                1991 Orville Les Paul Custom

                2009 Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster 50s

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                • #9
                  Re: stronger magnet=less noise?

                  I don't think i has anything to do with metal interference from alnico magnets. The base plate it is metal and so are the screws are you don't even think they can introduce interference. To avoid the interference created by the metal parts of the pickup the ground conetion it is soldered to the metal housing of the pickup. This includes the magnet.

                  In the 50's you allways had two cables in the pickup: one side of the coil (lead or hot conection) and another for the groung and the other side of the coil. Nowdays the ground conection and aboth sides of the coil come in separated cables (this allows to make a phase reverse conection with a switch). The braided shield cable of the 59 it is an exception to this rule since the cable is in the 50's fashion.

                  As I said I think it can be a problem of the sound/noise ratio. Since the output it is low the relevance of the noise becomes important. As Lee suggested the source of this noise can come from the amp. But it also can come from the pickup (the humbucker doesn't eliminate the noise perfectly). Or even from the circuit itself (pots and switch), the cable that conects the guitar with the amp, a ground conection that it is unsoldered... This facts have nothing to do with the pickup, the amount of noise will be allways the same no matter which pickup you have.

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                  • #10
                    Re: stronger magnet=less noise?

                    oh ok this is making sense now... I suppose it makes sense that it's not the magnet that causes the interference, it's the parts of the pickup or the amp. It's interesting also how the placement of the amp, your position in relation to that can affect the noise level. For example in my basement there is no noise, and I stand directly in front of my amp, facing it. But if I take the amp to my drummer's house for practice, it hums no matter where I'm standing... go figure.
                    EBMM JPX BFR (Crunch Lab/Liquifire)
                    Schecter C-1 Classic (Custom8/Jazz)
                    Mayones Duvell 7 Standard (Instrumental SFTY-3/Decomp)
                    G&L Tribute Comanche
                    Godin Stadium 59 (Custom Cajun/'59)
                    Horizon Precision Drive --> Fulltone FB3/FD 2 --> Crybaby From Hell (Fasel) --> Boss BF-2 --> CH-1 --> TC Flashback X4
                    Mesa/Boogie Mark IV-B (SED =C= 6L6) + EarCandy BuzzBomb 2x12 (V30/C90)

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                    • #11
                      Re: stronger magnet=less noise?

                      What picks up interference is the magnetic field. This is created by both ceramic AND Alnico. Ceramic magnets are capable of creating a stronger magnetic field. therefore they can pick up a greater amount of change in the magnetic field (Faraday's law).
                      www.enigmaduo.com

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                      • #12
                        Re: stronger magnet=less noise?

                        No

                        What picks up the change in a magnetic field it is the coil (And this IS Faraday's Law).

                        The magnet creates constant field that goes thru the coil. The strings interact with this manetic field changing its value, but if the strings doesn't move, this value it is still constant. So when a string vibrates changes the magnetic field and this induces a current in the coil (Faraday's Law).

                        So, What about the noise?

                        The noise it is a chaging manetic field itself. The electromagnetics waves, that are prouduced by almost any electronic device, are everywhere. An this waves are composed by changing magnetic and electric fields. This changing magnetic field goes thru your coil and induces a current too. This current it is the noise.

                        If you take out the magnet from your pickup it won't pick up the string vibration. But this electromagnetic waves will go thru the coil too. And will produce the noise.

                        Buff, I am getting complicated?

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                        • #13
                          Re: stronger magnet=less noise?

                          I don't quite know why ceramics are called ceramics. In fact the magnet manufacturers often call it ferrum (latin for iron) and obviously it is metal as well.

                          The noise issue must have something to do with the composition of the metal used in the magnet. To tell the truth, I did not worry too much about that, especially loving strats and not worrying about the 60's hum!

                          B
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                          • #14
                            Re: stronger magnet=less noise?

                            The noise it is a chaging manetic field itself. The electromagnetics waves, that are prouduced by almost any electronic device, are everywhere. An this waves are composed by changing magnetic and electric fields. This changing magnetic field goes thru your coil and induces a current too. This current it is the noise..

                            .....Hence, if you have a stronger magnet, it will pick up weaker fluctuations in the field. We're arguing the same side of the fence.
                            www.enigmaduo.com

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