Hot Rails Stacked Humbucker Review

manufacturer: DragonFire date: 07/09/2012 category: Pickups
DragonFire: Hot Rails Stacked Humbucker
The pick up is better than I hoped, it had a fat, tight, round bass response, great lower mid response and perfect treble with out the shrill.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 8.5
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reviews (2) 2 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
Hot Rails Stacked Humbucker Reviewed by: AJ6stringsting, on may 30, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 17.95

Purchased from: TnT Custom Guitars/ Dragon Fire Guitars

Sound: I purchased two DragonFire HOT Rails (Stacked Humbuckers), one for a S, S, H configured Soft Maple bodied Super Strat with a Floyd Rose Tremolo with 500k ohm pot,.22mf cap and the pick up measured 12.48k ohms on my meter. I installed it in the neck position, because I wanted a heavy neck pick up that slammed like a humbucker but had a "tubey" bell tone of a Strat. The pick up was better than I hoped, it had a fat, tight, round bass response, great lower mid response and perfect treble with out the shrill. The pick up delivered a great tone reminiscent of a Bill Lawrence L-250, DiMarzio YJM (now called an HS-4), DiMarzio Chopper with an old PAF neck humbucker tone (very Les Paul like). Think John Sykes solo tone on White Snake's "In The Still Of The Night". On the second purchase, it when into the bridge position of traditional Alder wooded - Rosewood necked Strat S, S, S configuration with 250k ohm pots, 47mf cap and a Wilkinson Tremolo. The neck had some Fender Custom pick ups in the Neck, Middle and the D.F. HOT Rail was in the Bridge position. This pick up was rated at 11.96 on my meter. This guitar got a new life, not only does it give an SRV tone in the neck and middle, now I have a heavy handed tone for soloing. To me it has the same tone Yngwie got on "Marching Out"'s, "I'll See The Light Tonight". When I backed the volume knob down (to 5 and a half) on this pick up with some softer Distortion / Over Drive, with an old 60's Univbe and Flanger, I got the killer Robin Trower tones from his "Bridge Of Sighs" album. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This pick is Schizophrenic, it seems to react very sensitively to the wood, picking attack, effects, volume and tone knob manipulations. And it sings with beautiful sustain and feedback. This pick up can go from great Heavy Blues to Heavy hitting at the roll of a volume knob. // 10

Overall Impression: I've been playing over 30 years, I've tried Dimarzio, Bare Knuckle, Bill Lawrence, Seymour Duncan and everything in between. These pick up are unique in their E.Q.'ed voicing and they are in a league of their own. But I really Really believe these babies sound good on Transistor amps, but to me they really sound great in all positions, different wooded bodies and necks... But they burn so HOT and sexy on a tube amp! // 10

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overall: 7.7
Hot Rails Stacked Humbucker Reviewed by: iheartgun, on july 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 26

Purchased from:

Sound: The DragonFire Hot Rails Stacked Humbucker is a great value priced pickup that packs a punch for your tone but not for your wallet. I purchased this model and specifically the Tele Hot Rail model to upgrade my Telecaster to make it a little more diverse to fit my needs. The pickup came with all hardware and installation instructions and was a breeze to install. I installed this pickup in the bridge position of my Squire Tele. The tone I get from this pickup is a bright and punchy. The tone has the thump of a humbucker and the sizzle of a single coil which I like. In comparison to normal single coils the Hot Rails is much louder. In the middle position it blends well with the lipstick pickup in the neck giving plenty of spice for licks and a neat clean tone as well. This is exactly what I wanted from my Tele. The downside of the pickup is that it may be too bright for some and in my case I'm running it through a Crate Blue Voodoo which is a naturally bright amp. I use a parametric eq on my Boss GT10 to calm down the brightness and with this pickup I'm wanting to turn back the treble or presence a little bit. This pickup can produce good tones for every genre I play, but is it a Seymour Duncan Hot Rails? No, but for a budget pickup its a beast. // 8

Reliability & Durability: when I took the pickup out of the box and gave it a once over I noticed the ground wires coming out of the pickup were loose and not waxed or soldered together very well but it had no effect on anything. It just wasn't held together like I'm use to seeing. Other than that the pickup is solid and has some heft to it. It fit perfectly in my guitar's pickup cavity and it also mounted securely to the bridge. I believe that I can depend on this pickup to do the job without much worrying. I mentioned the ground wire above and if I begin to use the guitar for shows I may throw a bead of solder on the unwound strands of wire or tape it up. Another small issue that is just a personal preference is that the springs for the adjustment screws are a bit too long and don't allow you to get the pickup up and really close to the strings. Its not like you need it due to the high output but the option would be nice. I may just cut the springs down a tiny bit and see what happens. Other than that its a pretty nice piece. // 7

Overall Impression: like I mentioned above I installed this into my Squire Tele for more punch and bite and I got exactly that. For the price that I paid I believe that I got a killer upgrade for a guitar that I have cast aside for quite some time. If this pickup were to be stolen or damaged in any way I would buy 2 more for the same guitar just because of the price. Minus the few flaws I would say this was a great purchase. Overall this is a great buy for anyone who wants a wallet friendly upgrade to a guitar that just isn't quite on par. // 8

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