Choice of Pickup Magnet

Whilst Alnico magnets dont have a “tone” tone, their different percentages of aluminum, nickel and cobalt alters the strength, which does affect a pickups tone and dynamics:

Alnico 2 – 2nd weakest, warm and rich mids, looser and warmer lows and softened highs, gives vintage dynamics due to low string pull magnetic pull on the strings. Great on a bridge humbucker taming bite and giving a tight and bright tone

Alnico 3 - lowest strength tighter and clearer than Alnico 2 with less output. Has less edge and more treble, slightly scooped mids and softer-yet-tighter lows. Great for a neck humbucker giving a flute like woody tone with great clarity. Good for fattening up the bridge

Alnico 4 – flat tonal balance lets the guitars tone really shine through, but can sound bland. Sits between Alnico 2 and 5 in tone and strength

Alnico 5 - strongest of the 4 with more output, strong tight lows, more scooped mids and sharper treble bite. The boldest and punchiest with real bite and sparkle, breaking up the amp much earlier

As ever its mostly down to your own personal tastes so why not take a look at our standard range of pickups here and give your guitar a new lease of life. If you want a combination not listed contact us here and we are only too happy to help

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Custom Pickups

The range of handwound / scatterwound pickups listed for sale in the shop section is deliberately limited to avoid the confusion of choice

Custom windings be it hotter or more "vintage" windings, modifications to coil shape, differing magnet strengths (Alnico 2,3,4,5 or 8) can always be accommodated, usually at no additional cost. If you have a specific sound or goal in mind please contact me and I can advise

Additionally, the traditional cellulose fibreboad I use for bobbin flatwork is now UK sourced (as are the magnets), laser cut locally giving the opportunity for fine tuning design and specifications to give consistent quality, tone and pickup longevity

Added 18th February 2016


5 Way Telecaster = 4 way mod plus dark tone

Added 19th October 2015

A struggle to obtain reasonably priced 4-way switches which I have been using a lot recently prompted an experiment with 5-way switches usually used on Strats

Unlike the 4-ay mod, no additional wiring is required just adding a 2nd capacitor which brings a highly usable 5th sound of the neck pickup with the tone rolled off.  I prefer a .022uf capacitor but this can be varied by changing the capacitor value

The new sound gives the very early vintage Tele "dark tone" on clean settings or a really creamy "woman tone" in lead mode. This isin addition to the usual 4th "humucker" (both pickups in series) sound

I now use this on all my Tele builds as it detracts nothing from the traditional Tele sounds in the first 3 positions, but makes for a much more versatile guitar (for traditionalists the 3-way switch is of course a no-cost option)


"Clapton" style mid-boost Strat

Added 9th July 2015

Just finished installation of a GuitarFetish active mid boost in a new Custom Built Strat, fitting in the place usually held by the neck tone pot. It requires a 9 volt battery power andhere I routed out a separate battery cavity but this will fit under the pickguard without requiring any bodymodification

In bypass "0" position as you would expect it is totally unobtrusive, but moving through positions "1" to "4" progressively fattens the sound up adding real vertsatility to the Strat sound and is virtually noiseless in action.

Downside?  You lose your separate tone control for the neck and middle pickup, but as its essentially a Tele circuit (1 master volume, 1 master tone) you do gain a tone control for the lead pickup as well as spades of phatness

The cost of the parts is around £30 and after market fitting is around £30