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Alnico IV Classic

The Tonerider AC4 is a matched humbucker set that is pick sensitive, rich in harmonics and with a tight bass.

Neck 7.5k / Bridge 8.3k, Alnico 4

(17 customer reviews)

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The Tonerider AC4 is a matched humbucker set that is pick sensitive, rich in harmonics and with a tight bass.

This set began life as a rumour: We’d heard for years that some boutique makers were sourcing Alnico 4, and player response was great. After working with our first magnet supplier, we came up with an Alnico 4 mix, that seemed to help tame the muddy bass that some guitar Gibson-scale guitars exhibit, especially on the neck pickup. Cranking the gain we found that the picukp saturates quick and starts to “sing” harmonically, with a vocal, flutey quality – the mark of a great PAF!


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

Wiring: All AC4’s come with four conductor wiring as standard for maximum flexibility.

Spacing:  99% of AC4’s we’ve made have a 50mm spacing (as measured from the centre of the low E polepiece to the centre of the high E polepiece).  This 50mm spacing  suits Les Paul and SG guitars well.

We also now have F-spaced AC4’s, for those looking for a great alternative to an Alnico V or II magnet in HSS strats, or even Floyd Rose equipped guitars.

Baseplate: All Tonerider humbuckers are built with medium-length 9mm baseplate legs for easy installation in a wide variety of instruments. Baseplates are all Nickel-Silver with the Tonerider logo stamp.


Regular-Spaced Covered Humbucker (Metric)
Regular-Spaced Uncovered Humbucker (Metric)
F-Spaced Uncovered Humbucker (Metric)

Regular-Spaced Covered Humbucker (Imperial)
Regular-Spaced Uncovered Humbucker (Imperial)
F-Spaced Uncovered Humbucker (Imperial)


2 Humbuckers / 1 Vol / 1 Tone / 3-Way Toggle

2 Humbuckers / 1 Vol / 1 Tone / 3-Way Toggle / Push-Pull Coil Split (Vol)

2 Humbuckers / 1 Vol / 1 Tone / 3-Way Toggle / Push-Pull Coil Split (Tone)

2 Humbuckers / 2 Vol / 2 Tone / 3-Way Toggle

2 Humbuckers / 2 Vol / 2 Tone / 3-Way Toggle / Push-Pull Coil Split

Alnico IV Classics NeckAlnico IV Classic Bridge
MagnetAlnico IV BarAlnico IV Bar
Hookup Wire4-Conductor4-Conductor
BaseplateNickel SilverNickel Silver
Year Introduced20062006

17 reviews for Alnico IV Classic

  1. M Carl

    Excellent bridge pickup, paired with Gibson neck pickup in Sheraton. Super combination. Good price

  2. Darren Bambrick

    Excellent bridge pickup and not just for the price, classic paf sound, as good as any other paf I have had. I have this in a prs s2 custom 24. This pickup splits really well and gives an almost tele sound when split.

  3. howard

    Superb pickup well worth the money very easy to fit in to my hofner shorty guitar

  4. Garjill (verified owner)

    Suono bellissimo! Ottima qualità! Prezzo onesto! Grazie!
    Beautiful sound! Best quality! Honest price! Thank you!

  5. Vintessi (verified owner)

    Al manico suono bello e pulito al ponte ho usato alnico 8.molto soddisfatto. Su altra chitarra cambierò un SD al manico con alnico 4 tonerider.

  6. David D

    Installed in the new 2021 Epiphone BB King guitar. The pickups from Epiphone were ok but I was looking for a fuller sound with more bloom. Installed these into the guitar and what a difference. Neck pickup has that creamy smooth bluesy tone and the bridge just screams, Plus made the 6-position Varitone switch useful with some great tones. I highly recommend these pickups!

  7. Ray

    As mentioned in my review for the AC2 set these two are my absolute favorites as vintage humbuckers. There is no big difference, but you can hear it nevertheless, especially when mounted in the “wrong” guitar!

    The set of AC4s matches perfect my Ibanez S621 with mahagony body, the tone ist colourfull and extremly sensitive to playing techniques. I use them with nickel covers to tame a little bit the top end, works perfect. The open coil AC2 set showed not enough “body”. In my RG with ash body they do much better.

    I tryed several pickups in different guitars, but most of the time I end up with the AC2 and AC4 when it comes down to vintage sounds.

  8. Roger Richey

    I have a Hamer with an Maple body, maple neck and Rosewood board that I could never find the right pup for. I tried Dimarzios and Duncans (which are my favorite) but everyone I tried sounded thin or brittle on the high end. Not this…its perfect. Tight lows and full singing highs. Its like the best of an A2 and A5 mixed togther…Love it.

  9. L.A. Buck (verified owner)

    Many people recognize that Tonerider pickups are good, however I see a lot of comments about how they are “good for the price” or “better than stock Epiphone pickups” or whatever. I’d like to put those thoughts to rest — these pickups are outstandingly good at any price. I own a variety of boutique (Ron Ellis, Tyson Tone, etc. etc.) and highly sought after vintage pickups (real PAFs, Pat. No., T-Tops, etc…) and this Alnico IV Classic set is right at home amongst them all. Somehow they have hit upon a magical recipe here, and the result is big but clearly defined bass response and a beautifully detailed but full bodied treble. I’ve rarely been this happy with a set of humbuckers (see the short list of highlights I mentioned above) and they require very little tinkering. They sound good through every amp I own, and at a variety of pickup heights (both close to the strings and far).

    I purchased this set for a pine Telecaster build and the results are fantastic. I own a stable of Gibson Custom Shop Historics that I’m seriously considering loading up with some Tonerider pickups in the near future. They are THAT good.

  10. Warren

    I got a Chinese Tokai love rock to mod and the only thing good about was the the neck and body, so after replacing all the hardware the pickups just weren’t delivering at all, so got the alnico IV classic and what a difference, they sound amazing, from clean to dirty distortion at a affordable price, I highly recommend them.

  11. Mick

    My old jap Tokai love rock was due for an upgrade in the pick up department and after seeing a video on youtube I decided to buy these very nicely priced pickups. They lined my draw for a couple of months until silly cork sniffery got the better of me and I bought some Gibson burstbuckers which I fitted but within 2 days I didn’t like. For fun I put the Tonerider AC4’s in and from the first note knew I was home and dry. From neck pickup to bridge pickup the set was well matched to my guitar and gave me EVERYTHING I wanted: Rich sounds that cut through a live mix with glorious overtones and the ability to feedback in a musical controlled manner. The neck pickup has become a viable option of violin like sonic clarity with the Toneriders instead of fighting with muddiness and that is something I have never found in nearly all of the Les pauls from Gibson I have previously owned. The Quality of finish on the pickups is first rate and second to none. I will definitely be looking at replacing my Strat pickups with Toneriders. The honeymoon period is long over with the Toneriders yet I’m just as happy as the day I fitted them. Thanks for making a great guitar even greater 🙂

  12. ossi

    I put an Alnico IV set in my Yamaha Revstar 820cr. The original bridge pickups was ok but the neck PU was dull, boring, dead sounding and pretty much unusable.
    This set sounds fresh, crisp and reacts to dynamic playing and compress as they should. The Alnico IV Neck PU sounds brighter than the original bridge PU. A sensational PAF set.
    Forget all the “for the money” comments. They are great compared to all classes and price ranges. Now I have Tonerider pups in two guitars and I’m sure that there’ll be more 🙂

  13. megarad

    Put the Alnico 4 set in my black Japanese Fijigen Epiphone Les Paul Custom. I already put the Alnico 2 set in my Gibson so thought I would try the Alnico 4 set in the Jap Epiphone. Wow! These pickups have taken a guitar that was already a cut above my Gibson to the next level. Best PAF replica I have used so far. Its hard to compare the Alnico 2s to the 4s because the two Les Pauls I own are quite different from one another. The Epiphone in non chambered body and heavier than the chambered lighter weight Gibson guitar. I must say that both the Alnico 2s and the 4s are very good PAF style pickups at any price. I was a Seymore Duncan guy for many years but Tonerider are superior and cheaper. Most equate good tone with expensive boutique pickups. These are the boutique PAF pickups that you need, without question, and without the extreme price tag.

  14. Christian Boddum

    I have been trying different TR pickups. So far the AL4 classic is the perfect neck pickup for me, vintage, clear and balanced. The bridge pickup could use some more turns IMO, I’d like to see a 9-9,5k version. It gets a little thin. The neck version is a sure bet! Alnico 4 gives a very nice tonal balance.

  15. Christian R (verified owner)

    Installed a pair of gold ones in my Explorer kit. Easy installation and the guitar sounds great. Couldn’t be happier with these pickups.

  16. Rich

    These are so, so good. Installed in my Ibanez IC400 (mahogany, maple top) and give the full, fat yet articulate tone of any high priced pickup. I’ve simply stopped buying other more expensive brands, Tonerider brings the goods. I’ve also got a Generator in the bridge of my IC300, along with a Rebel 90 in the neck, which sounds sick.

  17. Frank Trevis

    I had one in a strat with Fender Robben Ford circuit (esprit elite) and another one in a ibanez s series paired with a bill and becky lawrence at the bridge. It’s fantastic, it takes gain in a very vocal and plesent way with the ability to maintain top and and clarity (some single coil type sound) never harsh and never muddy. In the ibanez it takes my memory in some sounds of the Nuno guitar and it pairs in a fantastic way woth the l500 in the bridge. I’m in love with tonerider now…

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