SE 245 2014 pickups and magnets

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Beery Swine, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. Beery Swine

    Beery Swine New Member

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    I just got a shiny new (to me) SE 245 yesterday and am wondering about the pickup specs. Is there anything official on this? I'm hesitant to mess with a tone I already like, but I'm at least considering a magnet swap to A2s on it at some point in the future, unless they're already A2s, in which case the pickups are probably as good as they can get.
    I've seen some older threads, on this forum and other, on this very subject, and some say they're A2s, others say they're A5s. Has anyone on here actually rooted around in there to see?
    How do you even tell an A2 from a 3, 4, or 5? I looked up pictures and they all look the same to me.
     
  2. Boogie

    Boogie SuperD

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    Depending on what you like, but an SE245 loves old PAFs. I liked the stock pickups but I f’in adore SD Antiquities in it.
     
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  3. jjhookemup

    jjhookemup Gearoholic

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    It’s hard to tell unless you have a known one to compare it to. As an a5 would have the strongest pull out of the bunch, a2 second and a3 would be the weakest. Don’t even consider a4...sterile. I’d bet they’re a5 in an se. Good luck.
     
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  4. TroyBaer

    TroyBaer Really knows where his towel is.

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    One person's "sterile" is another's "balanced EQ". Personally, I've had great luck with A4s, especially in PAF-ish neck humbuckers.

    IIRC, the SE 245 pickups do indeed have A5 magnets.
     
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  5. Beery Swine

    Beery Swine New Member

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    Yeah, that's kinda what I think of McCarty pickups, with A4s: fairly balanced, like a blank canvas on which to paint your sound.
    Hmmm. If I were to try replacing the magnets with A2s, how would I even know which to get, what size, how thick, etc.? I've seen a video of a dude swapping mags, but aren't they all different here and there? Is it even worth doing that, rather than just tweaking the eq a bit, or maybe just putting an eq first in the chain?
    A lot of things to mull over for the next few months or more.
     
  6. jjhookemup

    jjhookemup Gearoholic

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    There all the same for guitar, cheap too. Great for experimenting. Just make sure you keep your pole ends the same direction that they’re currently in. Good luck
     
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  7. Beery Swine

    Beery Swine New Member

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    Yeah, I will, I've seen the videos on polarity and how to test, both top and sides. Listening to youtubers do the leg work of simply swapping mags to test the difference in tone in pickups is pretty eye-opening. If they are A5s, I think an A2 swap would DEFINITELY get closer to the tone I'm after, but I'll just get used to the guitar for a few months first. Now I'm even thinking of swapping the mags in the McCarty pickups to A2s, but then I'd have to remove the cover, which is an extra step I've never done.
     
    #7 Beery Swine, Feb 14, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  8. jjhookemup

    jjhookemup Gearoholic

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    A3s are great in the neck (kills the mudd) with A2s in the bridge. Good combo. Maybe even the A4s like Troy said. Just stick the new magnet to the old one while still in the pickup and the side that sticks is the right orientation.
     
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  9. Beery Swine

    Beery Swine New Member

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    On second thought, I will definitely NOT swap the magnets in the McCarty pickups. I picked up the guitar again today and was like "Nah, these are perfect right where they are."
    The SE 245 pickups, otoh, I was more than just a bit disappointed in when I switched over to it from the McCarty. I realize now there's not enough high end in them. I love the mid response, and I think what I originally thought was high end was actually just upper mids. Because they're A5 mags, switching to A2s won't fix this. They do still sound great, but not for every style or tone of guitar music, only some. A good classic rock tone is practically impossible to get out of them, although typical heavy metal sounds great, and there are some nice harmonics on the upper string that they pick up on. I think the McCarty pickups are actually louder, despite the MC bridge being around 9k and the SE having been tested at above 10k by some owners, from what I've read. It could be that they just didn't have the SE magnets matched to the winding as well as the MCs were. "American-made" ain't no joke, people, although it's entirely possible that's the tone they were actually going for. idk.
    If I switch the 245 pickups at some point, I wonder if I should also swap out the electronics? I had one guitar awhile back that I put SD distortions in bc I hated the stock pickups, but the distortions (which I love) didn't even sound as they should have, they still had the tonal muddiness of the previous pickups. I think it might have all been down to just the electronics in that guitar, even though the pots all read "500k", and all the wires were properly soldered, and there was no noise with the toggle switch.
    This stuff can get complicated, man.

    [ E D I T ]
    Okay, I had a feeling that wouldn't stop naggin at me, so when I played the 245 earlier today, I had the JRAD silver archer pedal in front of it, and I know there's some kind of buffered bypass on it, so I got up, plugged back in, STRAIGHT into the amp, and the guitar sounds just as friggin awesome as I remember it sounding.
    So strange, it doesn't seem to do this with my other guitars, but the Archer apparently sucks out a lot of the highs from the SE 245, or at least MY SE 245.
    Yeah, I don't think I'll be switching pickups or magnets any time soon, I've grown attached to the treble.
     
    #9 Beery Swine, Feb 17, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
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