Death Valley review by Darkmoon Pickups

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  • Sound: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (1 vote)
Darkmoon Pickups: Death Valley

Price paid: $ 350

Purchased from:

Sound — 10
I've been playing sludge/doom metal for a long time and always have been in favor of high gain pickups, I've been using a combination of SD Distortion in the neck position and Matt Pike's Dirty Hesher in the bridge. That combination served me well and gave me great tones, but when my band started getting into cleaner bluesy parts, my rig sounded dull. A friend of mine told me to try a PAF set instead after all most stoner bands actually use vintage gear including pickups. I still can't believe how fantastic these pups sound, almost as if I got a brand new guitar, I actually enjoy playing clean and low gain stuff now especially through the neck position, I even started playing around with tone and volume knobs. I play a Laney AOR 100 through a full stack loaded with Swamp Thangs, these pickups nail PAF sound and handle heavy fuzz distortion like champs.

Reliability & Durability — 10
You can see the quality, I got a covered raw nickel, set and they are aging beautifully, I'm already getting those string lines after three months of having them. Looks outstanding in my natural Les Paul Studio. Their Vintage Series come unpotted standard, so I had to ask them to dip those bad boys in wax to get rid of the squealing. I'm not a fan of splitting coils, so I ordered a vintage braided connector, it was fairly easy to solder everything together, I had to look up wiring diagrams because I couldn't find any on their website.

Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing for 15+ years mostly bluesy stoner metal riffs through big rigs. I will definitely buy more sets from these guys, however, their pickups are on the pricier side because everything is made by hand to order. Two weeks after ordering I got a 20% off coupon in my email, so keep an eye for discounts if you want to save some money. This is my first boutique set and I'm very glad I went this direction, hand made gear has the mojo that big factories just can't produce. Forgot to mention they didn't charge me for shipping, so that's a plus.

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