At least, that’s what he said! “He” is a friendly “competitor” of mine, though I don’t really consider him a competitor since he merely buys, cleans, sets string height then sells (flips) guitars, while I do a thorough checkout – truss rod, fret level, electronics & ground check, setup, new strings & intonation (& more, actually).

At any rate, I’m always interested in good deals so I can pass along savings to my customers. So when he told me I could get a set of 3 AlNiCo V pickups for under ten dollars, I was, as Ross Perot famously once said, “all ears”!

If you like to tinker with your guitar and do the occasional DIY upgrade, you’d probably be interested too.

I was skeptical, since I’d been paying a few times that amount and having to buy in quantity to even get that deal! So, I just ordered one set.

Poorly Packed Pickups

Well, it came today. Packed in a bag like a sandwich bag, but much smaller, and that was in a thin gray plastic envelope with no padding.

OK, so the poor packaging explains the broken pickup magnet and wire separation in some of the coils, but it gets worse..

Broken piece flipped onto larger piece

These are NOT AlNiCo V magnets! These are ceramic. It’s very easy to tell – just set your multimeter to read ohms and touch both probes to the magnet – nada! Zero ohms. Which is exactly what you’d expect from ceramic. AlNiCo stands for Aluminum, Nickel and Cobalt – which is a conductive, ferromagnetic alloy.

Another way to tell if they’re AlNiCo or not is if they’re priced under ten bucks!