On our journey to find the perfect instrument we will come across the arduous choice of the best magnets for our electric bass.
Every bass player has his or her own musical tastes, style, and setting on the instrument. As a result, he will be more likely to choose one pickup over another.
What are the major differences between the various types?
There are basically two types of pickups: Alnico and Ferrite although a few years ago Neodymium was introduced, but it is not yet widespread.
The Alnico is an alloy of Aluminum, Nickel, Iron and Cobalt and is the magnet used in classic Fender pickups with a warm sound and fairly soft attack.
Ferrite, on the other hand, is ferromagnetic ceramic compound obtained from iron oxides and barium or strontium carbonate and is used for pickups that tend to be more modern with sharp attack, bass and treble very much in evidence.
Then there are a whole series of other components, such as the type and amount of wire used, the size of the poles, the type of construction, etc., that can drastically change the peculiar characteristics of a magnet.
In the electric bass especially, but also on guitars, active pickups, that is, powered by a battery, began to be used in the early 1980s. This solution became a must especially on Warwick basses and in those years contributed to the creation of the classic “Growl,” thanks to an absolutely higher output than passive magnets, at the expense, however, of lower “dynamics.”
Since we are dealing with electric instruments, the pickups of our bass guitar will be a fundamental part of building our sound, a lot will depend on them, and it is therefore most important to choose the right ones.
If you have any doubts or questions regarding the choice of your magnets write me in Chat or email me at [email protected]
-Michele Di Carlantonio
Melacanth Melasuono/Bass Domus
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