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Magnet swaps - pro solution or learning experience?

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  • Magnet swaps - pro solution or learning experience?

    What say you lot? Has anybody kept magnet swaps in their pickups permanently and feel confident with them in professional studio/gig situations?

    I've done probably 10 magnet swaps in my pickup tinkering time, and while I've enjoyed the process none of them have stayed in permanently - I just kept chasing "the right pickup".
    Originally posted by crusty philtrum
    Anyone who *sings* at me through their teeth deserves to have a bus drive through their face
    http://www.youtube.com/alexiansounds

  • #2
    sure. i swapped a full strength a2 into a brobucker in a home built tele thing, i put an a3 in the antiquity neck of my les paul, i put a4 in a 59n in a washburn, the a3 neck/a2 bridge in a 59 set was money in a few guitars. not all are winners but it lets you tweak something that is close but not quite there

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    • #3
      I swapped an A4/RCUOA5 into a 59n/JB combo. That was ~5 years ago and it hasn't moved since. Same with an A4 into an SH-6n. But that one's staying because the pickup is mounted in a Triple Shot and I don't want to mess with it because I discovered that those little wires to the switches are somewhat delicate. Still, it pairs well with the Alternative 8 in the bridge.

      Sent from my SM-A115A using Tapatalk

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      • #4
        Alnico IV in the Phat Cat neck in my Epi LP has been in there for over a year. It does old school jazz very well when combined with D'Addario flats into a BF Bassman or a SWR Strawberry Blonde (my poor man's Polytone).
        Last edited by Benjy_26; 01-12-2022, 08:46 PM.
        Ain't nothin' but a G thang, baby.

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        • #5
          Yep, A4 in a 59 has stayed put for a few years now.

          I'm planning on trying an A3 there too, but if it doesn't do what I expect the A4 will be going back in - and the stock mag won't ever.

          Pickups are designed with the stock magnet in mind so it's often the best alternative but there are definitely cases where a mag swap improves on that.

          I bet there are loads of people on here who prefer their custom with an alternative mag, and there are many who have A4'59s/A3'59s. I'm sure there are more examples too.

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          • #6
            What an incredibly......odd thread premise.
            I mean if you like a mag swap then you're hardly likely to reverse it for zero reason. And a quick researching of the topic would have shown people do keep swaps in.
            And unless your inferiority complex is off the charts then why on earth would not feel confident if your tone is what you like.
            Well, unless you believe in the urban legend that say mag swapped pickups spontaneously explode.......

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            • #7
              A mag swap will not give you a completely different pup, it will slightly tweak the one you have. If you have a pup that you basically like, but it's not quite "there", then it's quite possible that a mag swap will get you the perfect tone you are looking for. And once you've got it why would you want to ever change it?

              I've done a ton of mag swaps. Sometimes it took many swaps in one pup to get it right, but then I'm done. There have been some pups that I THOUGHT would be improved by a swap (like a JB) but nothing got it where I wanted it so I changed the pup.

              A mag swap will "improve" a pup but it won't change its basic character.
              Originally Posted by IanBallard
              Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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              • #8
                59n/A4 in my LP Studio has never left since I did it. 97% perfect. No other stock pickup got that close.

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                • #9
                  I've done mag swaps for customers and forum bro's, but the only one I can recall doing for myself, was in the Custom series. Which means I was just converting one Duncan production model for another.

                  Although, I have a file cabinet with a dozen or so mags stuck on it waiting for projects.

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                  • #10
                    I've not done any swaps myself, but I have a swap I purchased that I'm keeping. A JB with an A2 in my MIJ ProMod sounds fantastic.

                    I have lots of magnets, but just haven't gotten around to doing some myself just yet.

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                    • #11
                      Swapping is absolutely worth it. You start to learn what you like, and some swaps can radically transform a pickup. Not to mention how cheap it is.
                      Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                      • #12
                        Putting an A4 in a 59n is like a different pickup, and I greatly prefer it to stock.

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                        • #13
                          Admittedly, I’ve changed a lot of my pickups with swapped mags back to stock, but I’ve got a guitar with a Custom 8 in it that has been that way for years, and will probably stay that way forever. It’s a popular pickup for a reason.

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                          • #14
                            C8 is one of my favorites.
                            Originally Posted by IanBallard
                            Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AlexR View Post
                              What an incredibly......odd thread premise.
                              I mean if you like a mag swap then you're hardly likely to reverse it for zero reason. And a quick researching of the topic would have shown people do keep swaps in.
                              And unless your inferiority complex is off the charts then why on earth would not feel confident if your tone is what you like.
                              Well, unless you believe in the urban legend that say mag swapped pickups spontaneously explode.......
                              Well, there's tone tweaking as a hobby and then there's making money with your musicianship (including repeat calls). Of course people leave them in... but are they using those guitars consistently in a professional setting or just having fun? You could extend it to "who's heard of professional musicians swapping pickup magnets" through interviews or videos or gear rundowns or whatever. I've definitely heard of pros modding their amps and pedals and guitars in general, but haven't heard of anybody doing magnet swaps outside of guitar forums, so it seems like valid discussion point to me. I'm not knocking the process of modifying pickups (currently enamored with short hex-head polepieces in all my HBs, vastly superior sound for what I like to do), just thinking through the broader context.
                              Originally posted by crusty philtrum
                              Anyone who *sings* at me through their teeth deserves to have a bus drive through their face
                              http://www.youtube.com/alexiansounds

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