ok, so i'm in the process of building a guitar (check the sig), and i've been tossing around the idea of getting WCR's American Steele set, or possibly the Ice Buckers..

it has a mahogany body and an ebony fretboard..

pretty much anyone who has or had the crossroads pickup from WCR, i'd like to know if you can like, for a lack of a better phrase, balls out shred with them..? lol. i'm aiming for something with a lower output with kind of a vintage capability, but it also needs to stay articulate under high gain, or crunch or any setting with either shredding or just playing crazy Iced Earth-y rhythms..

so the main question for people with crossroads is, can you get a good shred sound out of them if you need to, without it getting muddy or something?

and if anyone out there have the IB's and thinks that its what i'm looking for more then the American Steele (Crossroads neck & Godwood bridge) let me know, pretty much i need FEEDBACK WCR USERS!!!!?!?

The WCR Crossroads is for lack of a better word, awesome, and if you find it muddy or inarticulate in any sense, then the problem is in the guitar, because it is about as clear a pickup as you'll ever find. I'd definitely go for the American steele myself... though you might like the Fillmore set as well. A little more heat than the Godwood, more mids and kind of has this vocal lead tone. Definitely capable of some vintage tones as well, not really going to get you into the same PAF territory that a Godwood will but does the whole '70s hot rod humbucker pretty well.

Edit: I'll say this, from my experience, the CR and GW are great les paul pickups. But for other mahogany style guitars that are thinner and brighter sounding than les pauls, a lot of users get hotter pickups. Of course the GW has plenty of low end grunt so it might not be a problem, but the Fillmore set is for example, really popular with PRS guitars. The CR is rather transparent, and Fillmore has a much stronger EQ curve and takes over the tone of a guitar more, and will give a thinner sounding guitar more meat.
Last edited by al112987 at Jul 28, 2009,
thanks! i'm probably gonna go ahead with the american steeles, i just needed some reassurance, cause i read somewhere that their good for everything "EXCEPT SHRED METAL", and when talking to Jim himself he recommended the 'steele's to me over the Ice Buckers..
Jim uses the steeles himself. I really like the CR but they're kind of bright which I guess can make them sound thin and a little shrill in the wrong guitar, but in a les paul they sound great if you like something brighter. They are very low output though, even on the PAF scale, but if you have a high gain amp, I don't think you'll have much of a problem. The tone I've really associated with the CR neck is this...


If you listen to the "Don't Want You No More/Cross to Bear" clip the lead guitarists are using Crossroads and around the 1:00 mark is a great demonstration of what the neck tone sounds like in a les paul.

Also a good link to some sound samples.
Last edited by al112987 at Jul 28, 2009,
AWESOME!!! thank you! these sound great, i'm pretty sold on them now for sure. i'll probably end up upgrading the ones in my white guitar (my icon) to IB's after i get this one done, then i can really get the best of both, plus i think the IB's in ash would just kill. thanks again.

i'm going to leave this thread open just so anyone else with some exp with these can share their thoughts as well.
Sweet, be sure to post clips when you get them into the guitar, I'd love to hear it. The CR are probably my current favorite neck pickup (though that may change when I get my Wolfetone Marshallhead Mk II rewinds)

I think I'm just about the only guy on this forum who owns WCRs. It's really surprising considering how popular they are on other forums. They're definitely top notch.
Last edited by al112987 at Jul 28, 2009,
yea i was searching for "wcr, wagner"ect.. and couldnt find much so i just posted this..

i'll probably take a vid or something when i get the guitar done . i'll post that on the actual build thread and maybe here too if this isn't dead.. lol

you probably are the only one considering most of the people on this particular forum are kids/teens with not alot of money to spend on boutique stuff, and most would probably rather have EMGs...
Quote by Vlasco
I want to try a set of WCRs

unfortunately for people like us we kinda just have to buy and hope we like them.. and go off other peoples word, which so far is "THEY KICK ASS!!!!" lol...
Ironically as one of the only owners on this site, I'm actually selling off my WCR Fillmores at the moment (too many pickups, not enough guitars...) in favor of something more PAF-ish (just a little too hot and middy for me). Nothing against the pickups, they sound great, and objectively are the most coherent, complex and characteristic pickup that I've ever owned, but I just recently figured out that I'd rather get that Clapton or Page tone than Duane Allman. (Plus I go through a set of pickups every few months anyway and Wolfetones have recently piqued my interest)

I'll say this, go run a search on the LPF or TGP (two places where WCRs are REALLY popular, especially the CR and GW) and no one will have ever said that they don't sound good, because they're awesome, the only problem I could ever imagine one having with them is that the voicing of the pickups they choose is just not for them.
Last edited by al112987 at Jul 29, 2009,
Yeah... it is a lot of money to spend if they dissapoint. Hopefully they are as good as people say.
Best bet is Jim Wagner's sound clips, his pickups really DO sound exactly like they do in clips...
so, browsing on the WCR page.. i noticed theres a Godwood/Darkburst set, does anyone know if that would that be better for be then the american steele (GWs/CRs)?..

just some thoughts.. making up the money to place my order..
I've never tried the DB neck before, only the CR and Fillmore necks, but I've heard some folks on some other forums rave about the DB as well. One guy swears that it nails the Warren Hayes neck tone, though I feel like the CR nails that tone as well in the Seven Turns clip, but at the same time, the thing that turned me off about the DB was that others said it was a little bit too nasally sounding for them. I guess it would make sense, they are in the end just a hotter version of the CR which are already plentiful with mids, I don't think they need any more.
Should work fine, they sound great, plus if the neck pickup isn't hot enough for you, just stick a clean boost in there. In retrospect, I really wish I had gotten the American steeles over the Fillmores that I got. I was a little bit too deep into a Duane Allman phase when that happened...
what kind of amp are you gonna be using? think of it this way, a CR is no lower in output than a Duncan '59 neck model. It's not going to push the front end of your amp very hard, but there should be enough if you need it.

Actually the '59 neck is a pretty good comparison, the CR is just fatter and less harsh.
its just a cheaper marshall for now.. but i mostly play on the clean channel with pedals..

do me a favor and flip on your highest gain and record yourself doing some shred licks with the CR?? lol j/k (kinda) idk, i guess i'll see how it works out when i get the cash..
Just ordered a set of Fillmores on Monday. The wait for these has been agonizing so far.
yea.. i know how that is. my build is just about waiting on the pickups and i dont even have the $ made up yet so its gonna be a bit.. sucks cause i have a whole guitar waiting.
Quote by magic_pixie
Just ordered a set of Fillmores on Monday. The wait for these has been agonizing so far.
I placed an order for Fillmores around new years, two days before Jim was talking a week off, set arrived at my door 2 days later, and I live in NC! Me and Jim talked tone for a while beforehand as well, great customer service. Actually just about all the boutique winders I've had pretty pleasant experiences with, except for Jim Rolph, guy wouldn't tell me anything about his pickups.

Powermetal, I think I really am the other UG'er with WCRs, most of the guys here will have troubles swinging that $300 or so for a set of pickups, sorry I can't record a clip though, no guitar, amp or camera currently with me. And on the amp front, you'll need to update that amp at some point, pickups like WCRs are meant to be played through high end amps.

Oh, also, I don't own the Crossroads, I borrowed them off someone who had a CR/DB set for a few weeks whilst I was deciding whether I wanted another set of WCRs or a set of Wolfetones and decided on Wolfetone Dr. Vs instead.

Here is an older clip of the Fillmores though, excuse the crappy playing, I hadn't played guitar for a few weeks, but it shows how reactive the pickups are to pick attack and guitar volume changes. They clean up extremely well. Guitar is a Gibson les paul, amp is a JTM45/Bluesbreaker head

Last edited by al112987 at Aug 8, 2009,
yea, hard for a guy to spend 300 for pickups now days..

yea, i can get a good tone from my amp, but eventually i'll be upgrading, this works for smaller local gigs and practices.
I hear you on the $300 thing, it makes me feel a little guilty for splurging more money on another set of boutique pickups when I already have the WCRs, but I always go through pickups very quickly...
lol, i'm the opposite.. kinda.. i was just going to be a duncan user but these caught my eye in a good way so i figured i'd try them out.. if their as good as everyone makes them seem the'll stay in the guitar i'm building forever. and i'll end up getting a pair of IBs for my current number 1 guitar.. if not i'll ebay them and stick with duncans for the rest of my life... lol i'm pretty plain about things, and i know duncans can give you a great sound, i'm just chasing tone and seeing weather or not these will just blow away anything and everything for this guitar.
WCRs are good enough that the only reason why you'd want to change is because they don't suit your tastes. In that sense I'd really recommend you bring your guitar to a guitar store and check out some amps with the pickups because you'll really have a hard time getting a true idea of what they sound like without a high quality amp. A lot of what the Crossroads and Godwoods do is amplifier the natural tone of your guitar, the CR especially is transparent.
perhaps.. but my rig suffices for semi-pro i'd say.. i gig with it. and i'm fairly sure the guitar's gonna sound good, assuming the CR can shred with a decent amount of gain behind it.