Alnico 3 P.A.F. style humbuckers are getting a bit of buzz (ha! a pun!) in the pickup world. A little more so this past year. There is one pickup mod guru that preaches the benefits of Alnico 3, and has been for some time. It seems that Alnico 3 is most aligned with jazz or blues styles. But I also know that a lot of the rock and hard rock songs that many of us use as a reference are powered by “vintage output” humbuckers.
You know that I am very impressed by the custom spin that Mojotone put on a Hot Classic set for me. Mojotone already uses Alnico 4 in their “59 Clone” Humbucker, so they are the perfect ones to go-to for when you want that big 70s area rock vibe from a Hot Classic set made custom with Alnico 4. So, with that in mind, they were the ones for an Alnico 3 vintage-inspired humbucker. Maybe something that’d go great in a Les Paul with a “dirty lemon” burst finish.
As always, Mojotone can get an order out quickly. At about the same time, I grabbed a Peavey 6505 cab (loaded with Sheffields). I also have a Fractal Axe-Fx on loan, pending a possible purchase. Consequently, the Alnico 3 humbucker set is running through all sorts of variables for a very thorough evaluation.
The vintage-level DC resistance shouldn’t give anyone a pause. And yes, Mojotone did have to talk me off the ledge at suggesting higher levels. LOL! Nonetheless, you guys know me, and all pickups get hit with high-energy hard-rock vibes for testing.
In the bridge position, there is a reserve of airy chime and an extra dimension to the articulation. I am really digging the bloom and the responsiveness to finesse. Depending on your style, you can get polite jazz or rude blues. Then you can take it up a notch for hard rock, without the restrictions of a lot of the compressed voicings out there. You get a bit of a sweet sizzle for lead work. The high end cuts through without being as sharp as an Alnico 5 and the mids can deliver a growling snarl that keeps things settled into the mix.
Looking at the neck, you get a balanced humbucker that’s voiced to give the set a lot of versatility. A little bit of bite in the highs, some snap in the mids and a touch of punch in the lows. Together, it lends itself well to some classicaly vintage middle position characters.
Series – 8.694 K
Inductance – 5.308 H
Split N – 4.48 K
Split S – 4.21 K
Parllel – 2.168 K
Magnet – Alnico 3
Series – 8.087 K
Inductance – 4.65 H
Split N – 3.748 K
Split S – 4.339 K
Parllel – 2.022 K
Magnet – Alnico 3
But you know, it doesn’t have to be a P.A.F.-ish Alnico 3 humbucker set. Maybe you want a different coil offset? Or different resistance? Or long/short legs? Or perhaps you see something “Coming Soon!” that never comes! The guys at Mojotone are always excited and positive when it comes to a new idea.