Care and Feeding of a ThunderBucker


1. The Alnico magnets used in ThunderBuckers and other vintage pickups is a peculiar magnetic material. While it is fairly strong in its magnetic force, it is relatively weak in its power to avoid demagnetization (technically, this is a known as having a high Br and a low Hc). In particular, Alnico magnets of all grades are easily demagnetized by contact with other modern magnets like ceramics and Neodymium (Neo). Never allow an Alnico pickup (ThunderBuckers and old Fenders and Gibsons as well) to come into contact with other magnets, including those in modern pickups. Don't throw our pickups in a drawer with other pickups. Don't put it on top of the power transformer in your SVT, either.

2. The Nickel-Silver (a misnomer, there is no actual silver in it) we use for our pickup cans and trim rings is a lovely vintage material, the same material Gibson used (though they plated it). It is, however, quite soft and easily scratched. Small scratches can be removed with toothpaste and a soft rag, like a t-shirt. It also may tarnish in a very "vintage" way depending on your climate. This can also be removed with toothpaste, if desired.

3. Typical pickup installed height is about 3/16-4/16” between the bottom of the string and the top of the pickup for the neck pickup. If your playing style involves a lot of pulling and slapping, you may need greater clearance. The magnets in these pickups are not as strong as the magnets in Fender pickups, so they can go closer to the strings without interfering with sustain or creating wolf notes. Get the bridge pickup as close to the strings as you can, then raise or lower the neck pickup for the balance you like between the neck and bridge with both pickups on full volume. Because the amplitude of the string motion is smaller at the bridge pickup, it can be closer to the strings than the neck pickup if this gives the sound you prefer.

4. Pot recommendations are 500K audio for volumes, and 250K audio with a .047 film cap for tone.

5. Numbering: Our pickups are serialized as to model, position, and serial number. TB66B-13 is a bridge pickup from the 66 model, and serial number 13. Each pickup has been electrically measured and put in the test bass and played to ensure tone quality and sound.

6. We have a 60 day unconditional guarantee - if you don't like them, send them back (insured, please) and we'll refund your purchase price. The guarantee applies only to intact pickups. We understand that you might have cut or shortened the lead wires, that's fine. Our warranty is two years, but we expect them to last as long as the originals, which are still working fine 50 years later.

7. Mounting screws are included in a separate envelope.