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Thread: roughcast, unoriented, HELP!

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker ganzosrevenge's Avatar
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    Default roughcast, unoriented, HELP!

    what, on alnico magnets, does roughcast and unoriented mean... and how does it help get that "vintage sound" that everyone on here seems to clamor about?

    Jason
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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: roughcast, unoriented, HELP!

    i only see one person clamoring about them. i have some old rough cast mags, never tried the unoriented as far as i know

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    Default Re: roughcast, unoriented, HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
    i only see one person clamoring about them.
    Jeremy.....change his gloss to Unoriented Roughcastologist!
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    Default Re: roughcast, unoriented, HELP!

    Roughcast alnicos are sand cast, have have bumpy raised surfaces with indentations from the sand. When they're polished they become smooth and shiny. Almost all PU manufacturers use polished mags (maybe because they look nicer). I'm finding polished mags have a sharper high end, and roughcast to have a smooth high end, with any harshness taken out. For me polished mags are ideal for neck PU's to give the maximum treble and better definition, and roughcast are better for the bridge, where the smoother top tames trebley or thin bridge PU's. I'm replacing most of my bridge magents (HB and P-90) with roughcast. I suspect the uneven surfaces create a more varied magnetic field and that could be what changes the tone. Zhang is also a big fan of roughcast mags in the bridge. He's been doing it a while; I just stumbled on to it.

    When magnets are formed, the moleclues are lined up in one direction like a wood's 'grain'. This allows it to hold a stronger charge, with a well-defined north and south. In unoriented mags, this step is skipped, and the 'grain' is random. So again, the magnetic field is more varied and complex, changing how it 'reads' string vibrations. Unoriented A5's are warm, and sound more like an A2 with more output and a tighter low end. I'm putting them in place of some A8's, to get more of that organic, responsive A2 feel. For me, UOA5's are only suited for bridge PU's. The A5 metal formula gives it certain tonal characteristics, and being roughcast and unoriented alters those. I put an UOA5 in a C5 in an LP, and like it better than a C8. Warmer and richer, with full mids (not at all scooped). You'd never know it was an A5.

    Some HB and P-90 magnets in the 1950's were roughcast and possibly unoriented too, which gave warmer, vintage tones. BTW, most if not all, A2's are unoriented. While all this has been around for decades, it's been a little known secret. So in your magic bag of tricks, thanks to Addiction FX, you now have the common five alnicos, plus all of them in roughcast (or unpolished), plus the UOA5. That's more than doubled the magnet choices most of us had available a couple months ago. Exciting stuff!

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker ganzosrevenge's Avatar
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    Default Re: roughcast, unoriented, HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gearjoneser View Post
    Jeremy.....change his gloss to Unoriented Roughcastologist!
    LMAO!


    Blueman, where can I get a Unoriented / Roughcast A5 to try on my brobucker?

    (what's addiction's site)
    Last edited by ganzosrevenge; 07-28-2010 at 01:53 PM.
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    Acemanismybiatchologist Jeff_H's Avatar
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    Default Re: roughcast, unoriented, HELP!

    Don't know how that type of magnet would help get the vintage sound, but a roughcut magnet is not polished smoothly on the top, bottom and all around the sides. Also, pickup magnets are oriented with north/south polarity, just like any other magnet you would see. They are put into the pickup with the north facing a particular direction (i don't know which way is standard). If you take the magnet out and flip it around, you get an "out of phase" type sound from the pickup. Peter Green of early Fleetwood Mac fame is one of the most famous players to be associated with this sound, as his 58' Les Paul had one or both pups out of phase.

    Everyone who is into pickups really should take the time to pull off the baseplate and take the magnet out and see how the whole pickup is made. Just make sure to mark the magnet with a Sharpie indicating the original direction the pickup was inserted, unless you are going for the Peter Green sound.
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    Default Re: roughcast, unoriented, HELP!

    Blueman beat me to it. He must have greater typing skills than I do. Blind master Poe....can you take the pebble from my hand?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott_F View Post
    Too high to type
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    Default Re: roughcast, unoriented, HELP!

    how do i get a hold of addictiveFX to get an unoriented / roughcast, and do unorienteds have magnetism in them, or do i have to manually add magnetism to them?

    Jason
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    A Ficus ehdwuld's Avatar
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    Default Re: roughcast, unoriented, HELP!

    EHD
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    Default Re: roughcast, unoriented, HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by ganzosrevenge View Post
    how do i get a hold of addictiveFX to get an unoriented / roughcast, and do unorienteds have magnetism in them, or do i have to manually add magnetism to them?

    Jason
    Find him on eBay. He sends them magnetized unless you request otherwise.

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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: roughcast, unoriented, HELP!

    have you measured the gauss of these?

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    Default Re: roughcast, unoriented, HELP!

    According to the CoA with my Brobucker it reads 25. Dunno if that's Gauss or what. The one I'm thinking to change belongs to a SD '59 set, they're reading 50ish, I'll have to retest later, but they're a bit too peaky.

    Jason
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    Default Re: roughcast, unoriented, HELP!

    that is the gauss but those are nomal a5 magnets degaussed down to that level.

    im curious how different the max magnet strength is on the unoriented. as far as i can tell the rough cast holds the same charge as the polished

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    Default Re: roughcast, unoriented, HELP!

    Someone mentioned that the unoriented mags won't hold as much gauss as a standard A5. I wonder, I ordered some so I guess I'll find out, but I don't have a gauss meter.

    The rough A3's I got from AF/X were weaker than Gibson A2's, the unpolished A4's I got from him were noticebly stronger, actually seemed pretty close to the same strength of the A5 I pulled from a JB. A8's are slightly weaker than the oversized ceramics, but seem stronger than a regular sized ceramic. This is all based on the pocket screwdriver test, real scientific.
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    Default Re: roughcast, unoriented, HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
    If you take the magnet out and flip it around, you get an "out of phase" type sound from the pickup. Peter Green of early Fleetwood Mac fame is one of the most famous players to be associated with this sound, as his 58' Les Paul had one or both pups out of phase.
    The secret of the PG Les Paul neck pup goes much deeper than that. It was rewound by hand (yes hand) with the wrong wire (probably a Formvar = strat wire) and wound in the wrong direction.
    I get the feeling the A8 will blow your skirt up more so -Edgecrusher

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    Mojo's Minions blueman335's Avatar
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    Default Re: roughcast, unoriented, HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by King IzzO))) View Post
    This is all based on the pocket screwdriver test.
    This is an industry-wide standard test used in quality control departments all over the world. More accurate than measuring gauss and all that other smoke and mirrors trickery.

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    Default Re: roughcast, unoriented, HELP!

    My understanding is unoriented is something that is relevant only to A5's because they are usually oriented. A2, 3 and 4 are unoriented.

    One difference this makes, beyond tone, is it is much easier to "flip" the polarity of an unoriented pickup -- make the North side become South and vice versa -- than an oriented mag like the A5.

    Regarding roughcast, I have noticed the same difference between roughcast and standard (shiny) magnets Blueman mentions, as he said on my behalf. I can't explain why, that's just how it is for whatever reason. I agree with him that the shiny mags work better in the neck, roughcast better in the bridge.
    In 1861 as Confederate forces were about to fire on Fort Sumter, the Blue and Gray had far more in common than the blue and red today. What fellowship can "the truth shall set you free" ever have with "what is truth"? Barring a major epidemic or nuclear attack to explode the postmodern myth that the reality outside our heads depends for its very existence on what we think of it, secession is coming...

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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: roughcast, unoriented, HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by hamerfan View Post
    The secret of the PG Les Paul neck pup goes much deeper than that. It was rewound by hand (yes hand) with the wrong wire (probably a Formvar = strat wire) and wound in the wrong direction.
    id love to know where you found that info

    and jeff... only one pup was out of phase. if both pups were out of phase then they would be back in phase

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhangliqun View Post
    My understanding is unoriented is something that is relevant only to A5's because they are usually oriented. A2, 3 and 4 are unoriented.

    One difference this makes, beyond tone, is it is much easier to "flip" the polarity of an unoriented pickup -- make the North side become South and vice versa -- than an oriented mag like the A5.

    Regarding roughcast, I have noticed the same difference between roughcast and standard (shiny) magnets Blueman mentions, as he said on my behalf. I can't explain why, that's just how it is for whatever reason. I agree with him that the shiny mags work better in the neck, roughcast better in the bridge.
    same strength on the rough vs polished?

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    Mojo's Minions blueman335's Avatar
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    Default Re: roughcast, unoriented, HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhangliqun View Post
    Regarding roughcast, I have noticed the same difference between roughcast and standard (shiny) magnets Blueman mentions, as he said on my behalf. I can't explain why, that's just how it is for whatever reason. I agree with him that the shiny mags work better in the neck, roughcast better in the bridge.
    I learned this from you. I'm just helping to get the word out. Is there a subculture of guys that have been putting roughcast mags in bridge PU's for years, like boutique winders and hardcore tweakers?

    Have you put roughcast mags in P-90's? I'm just starting to. I'm leery of using unoriented A5's in P-90's, as much as I'd like to, since they hold less of a charge & are positioned to repel; I'm wondering about them degaussing each other. I probably ought to try it anyways. Your thoughts?

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    Mojo's Minions LtKojak's Avatar
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    Default Re: roughcast, unoriented, HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by blueman335 View Post
    I learned this from you. I'm just helping to get the word out. Is there a subculture of guys that have been putting roughcast mags in bridge PU's for years, like boutique winders and hardcore tweakers?

    Have you put roughcast mags in P-90's? I'm just starting to. I'm leery of using unoriented A5's in P-90's, as much as I'd like to, since they hold less of a charge & are positioned to repel; I'm wondering about them degaussing each other. I probably ought to try it anyways. Your thoughts?
    The degaussing process might occur in a two-magnet p'up like the P-90 only if two very different magnets like A8/A2 are present, but it won't happen rapidly, as a p'up is a closed magnetic circuit; we're talking 'bout a lifetime here... It just doesn't happen in a twin-magnet config of the same.

    Unoriented magnets have more than a 360° flux pattern than the normal 180°. Softer magnetic field, softer/mellower sound.

    That's just to give a rough idea; I've been trying to get acquainted with the math behind magnetic fields and permanent magnet formulae, but failing miserably. Until now, after not longer than halfn'hour sittings my brain starts giving me excrutiating physical pain and thoughts of blowing myself up.

    This stuff if definately NOT for the faint of heart!
    Last edited by LtKojak; 07-29-2010 at 10:59 PM.
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