Alnico 2 Vs 5 Pickup Review [Difference & Which is Better]

Whenever you speak about pickups, you talk about its magnetic feature too. And there are no better pickups than Alnico magnets-based pickups because they help the pickup to have the perfect construction.

But Alnico magnets also have two popular variations that create competition with each other. Most people get confused between Alnico 2 vs 5 pickups. Well, even though the magnet source of these pickups is the same, the quality is definitely not.

The Primal Difference in Short-

You can easily judge both Alnico 2 and Alnico 5 by the sound quality they provide to your guitar. Whereas the former helps to produce a little fatter or warmer sound, the latter helps to produce a robust, sharp, and strong sound to your guitar. Besides, you will get more magnetic power coming from Alnico 5 than you will get from Alnico 2.

Alnico 2 Vs 5

The compact comparison table below will help you to learn more about the differences quickly.

Comparison Table:

Features Alnico 2Alnico 5
Sound quality –Warmer and beefierSharp and bright
Magnetic force –
Music genre –
Hard rock, heavy metalJazz, blues
Midrange –MoreLess
Tone –
NaturalA little bit artificial
Loudness –LessMore
Price –

Alnico 2 Vs 5 Pickups Reviews –

Alnico magnets are one of the best kinds of magnets and they offer great reliability too. That’s why pickups with Alnico magnets are very demanding among serious players. This magnet has the amazing ability to control the guitar strings of your guitar and make them sound perfect.

About Alnico 2 Pickups:

About Alnico 2 Pickup

Alnico 2 pickups have great use in pickups and it is evident in the sound quality specifically. Because of Alnico 2, the pickup produces a warm and creamier sound. It has more mid-range and that’s why you will get the saturated sound from the pickup easily.

If your guitar sounds brighter, then this Alnico 2 can make the brighter sound a little warmer. In this way, you will get to do a hell of experiments with your Alnico 2-based pickup. Besides, the vintage and woody sound that the English crave is present in this Alnico 2.

From heavy metals to hard rock, Alnico 2 can bring up the sound easily without much effort. Those who like humbuckers with “open” sounding features, will find the characteristic in Alnico 2. Its midrange nature offers less tone and less bass. This makes the sound of Alnico 2 a little weaker. However, Alnico 2 has an impressive magnetic force. And this force allows your guitar to produce a natural sound.

Things We Liked About / Pros:

  • Helps the guitar produce a warmer and thicker sound with more midrange
  • Comes with great magnetic force to make the sound feel natural
  • Perfect for the players who play hard rock and heavy metal
  • Its less bass nature provides the players to experiment with songs with different sounds

Things We Didn’t Like About / Cons:

  • Though it has magnetic force, it is not as great as Alnico 5

About Alnico 5 Pickups:

About Alnico 5 Pickup

Alnico 5 has the most fame among any other Alnico-based pickups. This pickup is different because it has a bold feature. With the utmost magnetic force, Alnico 5 pickups help to produce marvelous sound. They sound brighter and sharp, and mostly crystal clear.

Unlike other low-quality magnets, this Alnico 5 can manipulate the strings of your guitar more efficiently. The magnetic force is so magical that you will get the best and high pitch sound from it. Surely, it is a gem for the players, who play blues, jazz, or country music.

Besides, Alnico 5 magnet helps to bring more bass sound. And that’s why you get more tone from it. Also, because you don’t get more midrange characteristics from this magnet-based pickup, you will have a clean texture of the sound. The only downside about this nature is that you don’t get the saturated tone and this inhibits you to experiment with some new tones.

Things We Liked About / Pros:

  • Offers more of a brighter, sharper, and more robust sound
  • Its utmost magnetic force takes complete control over the guitar strings
  • The less midrange nature produces scooped tone
  • Get a loud sound after recharging your Alnico 5-based pickup fully

Things We Didn’t Like About / Cons:

  • Because of its less midrange, you cannot get the saturated tone from it
  • This magnet-based pickup asks for a lot of prices

Differences Between Alnico 2 and 5 Pickups:

Alnico magnets have separate fan bases in creating pickups. From single coil to strat pickups, we see them using alnico magnets to have better-controlling power over the steel-made strings of your guitar. However, because this magnet has different variations and A2 and A5 are two of the variations, they don’t come up with the same impressive magnetic quality.

1) Sound Quality –

Among many dissimilarities, people buy Alnico 5 over Alnico 2 because of the sound quality. Because the former produces a tremendously brighter and sharper sound, many people love this feature. Then again, Alnico 2 pickups are also worth a try.

Even many people prefer Alnico 2 over Alnico 5 because of their warmer and beefier texture the tone. Many English musicians love the tone because it brings out a vintage flavor.

2) Magnetic Force –

Magnetic Force

Alnico, as a magnet, provides different variations and each variation gets better with the number given in its name. For example, between Alnico 2 Vs 5 humbuckers, you will want to have the latter one because it comes with more magnetic force.

And this force controls the vibration of the strings of your musical instrument to the greatest extent. Similarly, between Alnico 5 Vs Alnico 8, the latter comes with more coverage of the magnetic field. And that’s why the latter excels over the former in this case.

3) Midrange Quality –

Midrange in a pickup is common nature. But its amount depends on the quality of the magnet as well. Alnico 2, in this case, carries more midrange and that’s why you get the saturated sound coming from the guitar.

On the other hand, you will see Alnico has less midrange. And that’s why it cannot produce a saturated tone that much. Rather it produces scooped sound. Both are preferable to many musicians.

4) Music Genre –

For heavy metal and hard rock, midrange nature and saturation in tone are asked. And that’s why Alnico 2 can perform those music genres nicely. Conversely, blues or jazz, require a brighter sound. Only Alnico 5 is capable to produce that tone for those music genres.

5) Natural Tone –

Natural Tone

Because Alnico 5 helps to produce a more “open” sound, it has more bass. And that makes the sound less natural. Conversely, Alnico 2 does not help to produce more of an “open” sound, so it has got less bass. And this makes the sound of Alnico 2 more natural and less artificial.

6) Loudness –

Alnico 5 is louder than Alnico 2. It is because the former covers more magnetic area than the latter, and that’s why you will see it has a very loud and clear tone. But Alnico 2 offers less magnetic field and that’s why it is not much loud as Alnico 5.

Price –

It is important because their price range differs from each other to a great extent. Because Alnico 5 has more magnetic capability, it is more pricy. And Alnico 2 comes in an affordable price range.

So, which Guitar Pickup is better?

Both Alnico 5 and Alnico 2 have the maximum capability. They are individually perfect for players who play different music genres. Although Alnico 5 is more capable, it is pricy and can be excessively loud. In that case, Alnico 2 is preferable.

However, the best would be if you bring both and place them neck and bridge position of the guitar according to your advantage, they will give off a perfectly balanced sound together.

FAQs –

Question 1: Are Alnico 2 pickups any good?

Answer: Alnico 2 pickups are amazing and they sound so natural that you will fall in love instantly. Besides, they help your guitar to have saturated tones for more twisted sounds.

Question 2: What’s the difference between alnico 3 and 5

Answer: Alnico 5 is more qualitative because it offers more cobalt mix. This helps to cover a lot of magnetic fields. But Alnico 3 is less qualitative compared to Alnico 5. And that’s why it carries a less powerful magnetic area.

Question-3: Which is better alnico or ceramic?

Answer: Alnico is best recognized for its amazing alloy. It helps the guitar to produce a sweeter sound. On the other hand, ceramic-based pickups are the cause of the distorted sound. But both are demandable for their own discreteness.

Last Updated on October 1, 2023 by Perry Garner

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