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Thread: Looking for Alnico 2 bridge hum for medium/high gain with gold cover option.

  1. #1
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    Default Looking for Alnico 2 bridge hum for medium/high gain with gold cover option.

    I have a SD Custom (14.5k ceramic) in the bridge of my les paul. It's very good, but just uninteresting for me. I think my "head" sound of a les paul is AII.

    I know if I've ever owned and played AII, maybe the stock pickup in my Epiphone Black Beauty might have been an AII Pro but I'm not sure what year it is or what they stocked in it that year. I want to experiment with A2 a bit, so I was thinking of grabbing a GFS AII just to try them out but not sure if they're a good sample.

    If I like it, I think I'm looking at Custom Custom vs. Slash vs. Pearly Gates. I looked at StewMac's AII because they're more affordable at about $90 for the gold covers but they're lower output.

    The problem is I'm not 100% sure what it is about A2 I like. I hear it but struggle to describe it.

    I want something that's grindy in the top end, smooth through the middle and maintains enough tightness in the lows to get a bit of chugga chugga. Like Metallica level chugga chugga not Sweedish Death Metal.

    Should I just look at mag swapping my Custom to A2?

    Most A2 sounds I'm familiar with are from an 8k-9k PAF, so I'm not entirely sure how cranking up to 14.5k may effect it.

  2. #2
    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for Alnico 2 bridge hum for medium/high gain with gold cover option.

    im an a2 bucker junkie, there is something that mag has that i like that others dont. id swap an a2 into your custom and see what ya think. the bottom isnt super tight but isnt a flabby mess either

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    Mojo's Minions Masta' C's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for Alnico 2 bridge hum for medium/high gain with gold cover option.

    I totally agree with Jeremy...you're already familiar with the Custom in your LP, so just get an A2 mag and swap it into that. That's exactly what the "Custom Custom" is...a regular "Custom" with an A2 mag.

    Of course, the characteristics change a bit in more "vintage" style winds, but this will give you a good starting point and you might actually like it!

    Plus, if you're ordering magnets, you could also pick up an A5 or even an Un-Oriented A5 (UOA5) to try. All work wonderfully in the "Custom" design.

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    Default Re: Looking for Alnico 2 bridge hum for medium/high gain with gold cover option.

    I'm generally an A2 guy as well, very few other pickups give me the sound I want. Do the mag swap and rock the Custom Custom for a while before you make any decisions.

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    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for Alnico 2 bridge hum for medium/high gain with gold cover option.

    I am absolutely an A2 guy...Alnico II Pro and CC. I feel like I am fighting every other pickup. I like my pickups to sound like 2 giant sticks of buttah.
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  6. #6
    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for Alnico 2 bridge hum for medium/high gain with gold cover option.

    I've tried every magnet in the Custom pup. I love that pup but hate the ceramic. A5 sounds great in it but still has too much sharp high end for me. The A2 will give you a little of that "grindy" high end (as opposed to the brittle, piercing high of the ceramic) but not much, and it will definitely give you the smooth mids that you are looking for. But it will absolutely NOT give you the tight lows for chugga chugga that you want. The lows are better defined as soft or even mushy.

    What you are looking for is the Custom but with an A8 magnet. You will get a "grindy" hig end without the brittle, piercing highs of the ceramic. You'll get smooth and rich mids. And, you will get the tight chugga lows that you want.

    The Custom is a great pup, very versatile and takes to just about any type of magnet you want to put into it to get the specific sound wanted. With the A8, you WILL get what you're looking for (with the A2...not so).

    I am not against A2 magnets per se. In fact, like Jeremy, Chad, Dave and Masta'C, I love A2!! It's probably my favorite. But for what you want, I'd suggest the A8. A C8 is an incredible pup which should be a stock SD pup.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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    Mojo's Minions eclecticsynergy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for Alnico 2 bridge hum for medium/high gain with gold cover option.

    +1 on the A8. The A2 is pretty loose in the lows. A8 is huge.
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    "Believe me when I say that some of the most amazing music in history was made on equipment that's not as good as what you own right now."-Jol Dantzig

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    Default Re: Looking for Alnico 2 bridge hum for medium/high gain with gold cover option.

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    I've tried every magnet in the Custom pup. I love that pup but hate the ceramic. A5 sounds great in it but still has too much sharp high end for me. The A2 will give you a little of that "grindy" high end (as opposed to the brittle, piercing high of the ceramic) but not much, and it will definitely give you the smooth mids that you are looking for. But it will absolutely NOT give you the tight lows for chugga chugga that you want. The lows are better defined as soft or even mushy.

    What you are looking for is the Custom but with an A8 magnet. You will get a "grindy" hig end without the brittle, piercing highs of the ceramic. You'll get smooth and rich mids. And, you will get the tight chugga lows that you want.

    The Custom is a great pup, very versatile and takes to just about any type of magnet you want to put into it to get the specific sound wanted. With the A8, you WILL get what you're looking for (with the A2...not so).

    I am not against A2 magnets per se. In fact, like Jeremy, Chad, Dave and Masta'C, I love A2!! It's probably my favorite. But for what you want, I'd suggest the A8. A C8 is an incredible pup which should be a stock SD pup.
    Interesting, I know nothing about A8 but now I'm definitely going to be chasing down sound samples to see this through.

    Strangely the ceramic in my custom doesn't really have a lot of the ceramic qualities I've come to expect. My Bich has RockField Mafias which are ceramic 10.9k DCR and they have a ton of pick attack and a very pronounced high end which is what I expect from Ceramic, I like it.

    The Custom is kinda soft in the highs, and I did a full repot with 500k pots and .022 uf orange drops so nothing in my circuit should be dampening it.
    Last edited by singlecutarmy; 02-23-2020 at 03:54 PM.

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    Default Re: Looking for Alnico 2 bridge hum for medium/high gain with gold cover option.

    I have a Custom UOA5 and it sounds very similar to an A2, just with a bit more beef. I like it better than the Custom V and Custom Custom. Has more bass and still treble is smooth.

    Haven't tried an A8 mag but I have an Alternative 8 in another guitar and it's a great overall pickup (specially good in taming bright guitars)

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    Default Re: Looking for Alnico 2 bridge hum for medium/high gain with gold cover option.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xavier View Post
    I have a Custom UOA5 and it sounds very similar to an A2, just with a bit more beef. I like it better than the Custom V and Custom Custom. Has more bass and still treble is smooth.

    Haven't tried an A8 mag but I have an Alternative 8 in another guitar and it's a great overall pickup (specially good in taming bright guitars)
    Not too concerned with brightness as this guitar is on the darker side to begin with.

    I'll look into UOA5 as well.

  11. #11
    Ultimate Tone Member BeKindRewind's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for Alnico 2 bridge hum for medium/high gain with gold cover option.

    Fwiw I'm another huge fan of the Custom Custom. I think I would rank it as my 2nd favorite bridge pickup besides the JB. I've been playing my CC loaded Gibson SG a lot lately and enjoying it quite a lot. I have it paired with an A2Pro in the neck and it is a great combo.

    Cranking the output beyond what a slash or an A2P works for me : because most of that output is in the mids and treble and very little of it is in the bass, it's not as overwhelming as you might think. It's a clean but hot output to my ears if that makes any sense. I found it still pretty much just as usable for "vintage" kinda tones if need be but I like the extra heat being there for when I want it. It still retains a ton of PAFish character in other words. It's a rude rockin' pickup with a hint of vintage mojo and tons of mid harmonics that I love . Now the controversial part.. I use it for chugga metal (think early 90's Megadeth, that's kinda the realm I'm in) and it works just fine for me, but I've heard a ton of people say it can't do that for them. I don't seem to have that problem but YMMV.

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
    Last edited by BeKindRewind; 02-24-2020 at 06:44 AM.

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    Default Re: Looking for Alnico 2 bridge hum for medium/high gain with gold cover option.

    Quote Originally Posted by BeKindRewind View Post
    Fwiw I'm another huge fan of the Custom Custom. I think I would rank it as my 2nd favorite bridge pickup besides the JB. I've been playing my CC loaded Gibson SG a lot lately and enjoying it quite a lot. I have it paired with an A2Pro in the neck and it is a great combo.

    Cranking the output beyond what a slash or an A2P works for me : because most of that output is in the mids and treble and very little of it is in the bass, it's not as overwhelming as you might think. It's a clean but hot output to my ears if that makes any sense. I found it still pretty much just as usable for "vintage" kinda tones if need be but I like the extra heat being there for when I want it. It still retains a ton of PAFish character in other words. It's a rude rockin' pickup with a hint of vintage mojo and tons of mid harmonics that I love . Now the controversial part.. I use it for chugga metal (think early 90's Megadeth, that's kinda the realm I'm in) and it works just fine for me, but I've heard a ton of people say it can't do that for them. I don't seem to have that problem but YMMV.

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
    Strange how mixed ideas are on what makes a good metal pickup. I've used trons, P90s and PAFs and tend to prefer them to the more dedicated "METAL" pickups with high output. I like my pickups to sound mean and I find driving up a vintage pickup just does that.


    Getting more and more interested in Custom Custom sound, probably will order an A8, UOA5 and A2 to try in mine.

    I also ordered a Stew Mac overwound Parson's Street to try A2 before I start modding this one. I know it will be a LOT different from a Custom Custom given it's unpotted, 10.5k etc. but I want to give a more vintage sound a shot first. It was only $60 on reverb so not a lot to lose on it.

    I've definitely got some exploring ahead of me, exciting, except my wallet is crying.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Looking for Alnico 2 bridge hum for medium/high gain with gold cover option.

    If you’re looking for an A2 midrange hump with a similar high end but tighter bass and more output, the a8 will get you there. It wasn’t really my thing but it was nice and I got some great tones, just wasn’t the tone I need for my applications. Just get an A2 and an a8 to swap in and try. Probably 10 bucks for both at the most.

  14. #14
    Mojo's Minions eclecticsynergy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for Alnico 2 bridge hum for medium/high gain with gold cover option.

    If you don't need high output, you might also consider the '78 model from the Custom Shop.
    It's bright, sweet, A2, and should feel pretty tight compared to denser winds as well as sounding more open in the highs.
    .
    "Believe me when I say that some of the most amazing music in history was made on equipment that's not as good as what you own right now."-Jol Dantzig

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  15. #15
    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for Alnico 2 bridge hum for medium/high gain with gold cover option.

    Quote Originally Posted by eclecticsynergy View Post
    If you don't need high output, you might also consider the '78 model from the Custom Shop.
    It's bright, sweet, A2, and should feel pretty tight compared to denser winds as well as sounding more open in the highs.
    That description sounds similar to a Pearly.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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