Price paid: $ 26.5
Purchased from: ebay
Sound — 9
Mellow and high in mids when clean; snarling and articulate while distorted.Put through a variety of amps and effects ranging from Marshall combo amps, Line 6 cabinets and even through a Garage Band track with tests that included more effects than I can count and a long demo with the pickups exclusively. This pickup is great for anything between avant-garde, prog, metal, jazz, and fusion. This pickup is very easily a medium output pickup but with a blade coil paired with a set of hex poles, this pickup is VERY complicated to fully ascertain. The model I have is from around 2011, which I believe was when Alan Entwistle started changing the magnets in this pickup. I can't remember which coil has which magnet but one of them has a ceramic magnet and the other has (I believe) an AlNiCo 5 magnet, making for the pickup even more complicated to pin down the sound spectrum.
Overall Impression — 9
This pickup actually is pretty sensitive to the little picking nuances I tend to exhibit such as twisting my wrist to get a bit more attack from my playing and responds very well to harmonics and squeals. I haven't played DiMarzio D Sonics or Crunch Labs in my life but I would love to be able to compare the sound of this pickup and see what it is that those extra dollars do for a top brand pickup "equivalent" or parallel. I have this thing in the bridge position of my Gibson SG Standard and I'd say that the versatility compliments the versatility that comes with an SG.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This pickup came with a brass plate that took the same size screws as Seymour Duncans and was kind of frustrating to find the right screws to put them into the pickup ring. They were very fresh when I got them: there were still traces of wax inside the threads of the plate and the plate itself, cellophane still covered the poles, and the leads were tinned as well. As far as I know, this pickup was made by Artec, the same company that makes the pickups for GFS and DragonFire and I have yet to hear from anyone saying that pickups from those dealers tend to give out or fall apart. Artec is a very trustworthy factory imo, despite being Chinese (I think?).