Alnico II Classics

The "Improved" 50s Humbucker

UK RRP
Black, Zebra £34.95
Nickel, Gold £42.95

The "Improved" 50s Humbucker

The Alnico II Classic is a superb set for guitars that need more warmth, fullness and sustain. The earliest Gibson Patent-Applied-For (or "PAF") pickups used a range of magnets, but PAFs made with Alnico II have always held a special place in many a guitarist's heart.

If you have ever heard someone describe a PAF as "flute-like" or "more like a single coil than a humbucker" - that's the Alnico II working its magic.

At higher gain settings, the Alnico II Classic really nails the fluid distortion sound of players like Slash, who use the smooth attack and longer sustain of the neck to great effect during solos, and the tighter, fizzier tones available from the bridge for rock rhythm work.

Design Notes

The Alnico II Classic began life as a custom OEM order for a high-end UK guitar company, and we worked with their techs to get the wind just right. Cries of "more scatter!" were heard over and over again, until we got down to less than 30 turns per layer for the neck and bridge pickups - about half the number of turns per layer on vintage PAFs, but much more in line with the current best in class handwound PAF clones.

We made a few of these pickups back in 2007 - they quickly became favourites - and launched them into our standard range in 2008. The Alnico II Classic set in Nickel is currently our bestselling humbucker.

Options & Spacing

Covers: Available in black or zebra open coils, or with highly-polished gold or silver nickel covers.

Spacing: All AC-series humbuckers use 50mm spacing, as measured from the center of the low E to the centre of the high E polepieces.

Baseplate: All Tonerider humbuckers are built with medium-length 9mm baseplate legs for easy installation in a wide variety of instruments.

Alnico II Classics Video Guides

AC2 through a Marshall Guvnor

AC2 Overdrive / Mesa Boogie

Comparison of Tonerider AC2 with Gibson Burstbuckers

Jamming with a Cornford Amp

Player Feedback

"If you are looking for that early humbucker tone, then these definitely deliver. I took a chance on these paying full price for a set and I can now see that that was a bargain (after installing them). Having upgraded several guitars and spent twice as much on a single pickup; to say I was surprised is an understatement."
"They. Are. Epic. I like them more and more every time I play them, its getting to the point where I have to force myself to play any other. Its like they were made for it. That guitar, through my bad monkey set up for a slight boost, into my bugera v22....its heaven. I can just play a single powerchord, and just listen to it until it dies out...and do it again....and do it again....they're the most complex and least sterile pups ive ever played. Everything sounds good. They're the 6th, and final, set of pups to go in my Agile."

Tech Specs

Alnico II Classics Neck

Model AC2N
Magnets Alnico 2 Bar
DCR 7.5k
Inductance 4.1H
Hookup Wire 4-Conductor
Scatter Very High
Baseplate Nickel Silver
Year Introduced 2007

Alnico II Classics Bridge

Model AC2B
Magnets Alnico 2 Bar
DCR 8.3k
Inductance 4.9H
Hookup Wire 4-Conductor
Scatter High
Baseplate Nickel Silver
Year Introduced 2007