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57 Classics and Output Volume Question


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Hello ... I have a pair of 57 Classics from the mid 1990s. They're mounted in an Epiphone SG400. Compared to newer Gibsons I have which are also fitted with 57 Classics, they are noticeably quiter.

Does anyone know if I swap out the original Alnico 2 bar magnet with a brand new fully charged one, will I get the output volume back?


I bought these used and in mint condition (all labels intact) and have to wonder if they got demagnetized somehow (which can happen if stored incorrectly)?

Bridge is 8.04k , neck is @ 7.96k with readings done in a room @ 76 degrees.

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Demagnetizing is quite unlikely. Magnets freshly charged suffer most of their total remanence loss within seconds, that is before pickup assembly, and then lose perhaps one or two percent within hours. The next percent of loss may take a century under normal conditions, mainly meaning very little rust here.


Magnets don't like shocks, in particular collisions with hard objects, most notably ferromagnetic metal parts and as worst case other magnets. This can seriously deteriorate their remanent field strength. Disassembling and reassembling pickups will usually mean more sacrifice than gain of field strength in the end. (Attempting the same with a speaker will turn it into scrap in next to 100 percent of the cases.)


If you want to be sure, you may have the field strengths of your pickups measured for comparison.


Guitars themselves have a massive impact on signal levels. The seven Classic '57s in my SGs put out significantly less level than the four Classic '57s and the two Classic '57 Pluses in my Les Paul guitars, one of them an Epiphone with Gibson pickups stock. All of the pickups were made in 2012 (two '57s in a CS Les Paul Standard) and 2013 (nine '57s and the two '57 Pluses) and doubtlessly are in pristine condition. The difference is in the guitars.


Hope this helps.

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