Guitar pickup is a kind of transducer which converts one type of energy to another. Guitar pickup translates string’s vibration into an electrical signal via amp or mixer. More generally, guitar pickup likes a speaker, and vibrating string like voice of the singer.
Basically, guitar pickup consists of magnets and wires. Thin copper wire needs to be coiled around the magnet, which creates a magnetic field around the pickup, or Faraday’s law. When strike string, the vibrations are picked up by the magnet and translate these changes into small but meaningful electrical signals, thus producing music after amplified and pumped them through specified instruments. Guitar pickup magnets are the most critical component to pickup’s sound. Alnico and ceramic magnet have long been used in different pickup designs.
AlNiCo Guitar Pickup Magnets:
AlNiCo 2: sweet, warm, and vintage tone.
AlNiCo 5: tone and response of AlNiCo 5 is more powerful than AlNiCo 2, hence make it suitable for bridge pickup. Provide bite and sparkle style.
AlNiCo 8: output generally between ceramic and AlNiCo 5, punchy with upper mids but a little more warmth than ceramic.
Ceramic Guitar Pickup Magnets:
Even AlNiCo magnets are the most popular choice, but ceramic magnet is also an option to consider. Ceramic magnet would provide noticeably different sound. It will generate bright tone, and often utilized in high output pickup which suited for heavy distorted styles. Ceramic magnets are also much cheaper, and making them attractive to be used for the entry level product.