Please note that there will be humbuckers that we can build that are not covered by our options, so if you have something in mind that you can't spec out in the options, please contact us directly (see 'Contact us' page at bottom of website) to see if we can make it for you.
The resistance is not a definitive indication of output, but is rather an indication of the EQ of the pickup (in conjunction with other factors, primarily the magnet). The relationship of resistance to wire gauge is as a general rule of thumb, going up a wire gauge will add 25% extra resistance for the same output level (eg 8k of 42 AWG is approximately equal to 10k of 43 AWG).
A lower number AWG is a thicker wire, which retains a higher treble content than an equal output of a thinner wire. Thinner wire is physically required to reach higher output levels, as there is often not enough room on the bobbins to reach high levels of output with thick wire.
The wire insulation has a more subtle effect. In order of brightest to darkest - heavy formvar, poly, plain enamel. Heavy formvar insulation is the thickest, leaving a larger area between the copper core of the wire winds, reducing treble attenuating capacitance.
Here's a short summary to help you choose which alnico grade is right for you -
Strength of magnets (weakest to strongest): alnico 3, alnico 2, alnico 4, alnico 5, alnico 8, ceramic 8
The stronger the magnet, the more output it will contribute to your pickup.
Roughcast and unorientated magnets will be subtlety less powerful than their standard counterparts and will have a slightly softened treble response. The large ceramic magnet will provide even more of all the attributes of the standard sized version.
Alnico 2: The vintage magnet. Popular in low output winds because of the full, sweet tone it gives. This contributes a large amount of mid range. It has a soft and musical treble response, and a bouncy, loose bass response. Perfect for anything clean or low gain.
Alnico 3: The lowest level of output, pretty balanced and a bit sharper than Alnico 2. Tonally similar.
Alnico 4: The PAF magnet. The magnet found more frequently in the fabled PAF era humbuckers. This magnet sits tonally between alnico 2 and 5.
Alnico 5: The most popular magnet. This magnet is found in most non-budget humbuckers. It has a very tight bass response and sharp treble. It is at home in high output winds as it can contribute more treble lost in the overwinding of the coils. The precision and articulation this magnet brings to a humbucker allows it to excel in high gain applications. Also popular in low output winds where a scooped mid is desired.
Alnico 8: Alnico 2 on steroids. The highest output alnico grade. Maintains the alnico sweetness, but combines it with the power of ceramic. EQ wise this is just like alnico 2, with a very present mid range. However, unlike alnico 2, alnico 8 has a tight bass and treble response. Frankly it has lots of everything.
Ceramic: The most powerful magnet. This magnet is used almost exclusively in high gain applications because of it's razor sharp treble. It has superb articulation and responsivity, making it perfect when lots of gain is used. The overwinding of high output pickups causes lots of treble loss, so the high level of treble of ceramic magnets puts back what is lost. The treble is often overbearing and too sharp in clean or low gain applications.
Ceramic spacers will boost the magnetic strength of the pickup. This in turn will increase treble and clarity, but will give the pickup a sharper characteristic under low gain settings.
The pole piece type will have an effect on tone. Long hex headed screws and fillister screws will be tonally identical, the shorter hex screws will have a tighter bass and a sharper treble response. Hex headed grub screws and slugs will be tonally identical, they will add a more aggressive and articulate tonal quality than screws.
50mm spacing is for neck position humbuckers, 52mm is for bridge position. These are universal fit and will align closely enough to the strings that there will be no tonal degradation, regardless of bridge type.
Brass baseplates will cause a subtlety larger amount of treble attenuation than their nickel silver counterparts.
All covers cause treble attentuation, the type of cover will determine how much - open covers having less than the other options. The material of the cover also determines how much - brass being significantly greater than nickel silver. Covers have the third most significant effect on the EQ of a pickup after the wind and magnet, choosing the correct style and material will be important for tonal shaping.
The output wire type has no effect on the tone, but 4 conductor wire provides access to alternative wiring methods (such as coil splitting, parallel operation, etc)