Sound — 10
First off, this is a VERY high output passive pickup. Clearly this pickup isn't for everyone, but if you're looking for just about the most brutal passive humbucker available then this is what you're looking for. Add a price tag of around half of what others are charging and it's nearly impossible to go wrong. I play a lot of hair metal/hard rock and some old school thrash. For these styles, this is the perfect pickup. I own a couple Jackson DX10D's with HxH configurations and picked up a bridge and neck set for each one. My amplification system is Guitar Rig 4 and my signal chain is guitar> ART tube preamp> M-Audio 2496 sound card> 120 watt Fostex studio monitors. I'm 33 now but used to play guitar in my teens. Back then I had a few cheap-o guitars and really didn't care about tone a whole lot. But after getting back into playing 2 years ago, I've been on a quest to nail a killer tone and unfortunately until now this has eluded me. The tone I'm referring to is a harmonic hail storm that's tight, punchy, and melts faces. Think Dave Meniketti of Y&T and John Sykes from Whitesnake. In my quest I tried the DiMarzio Super Distortion (versatile with decent cleans but flabby bass), DiMarzio Fred (good harmonics and great all around pickup but not hot enough), Seymour Duncan JB (thin and flabby), as well as several other random pickups and several Jackson pickups. I was almost ready to give up and blame it on using an amp modeler. Of course that's all changed now. The sound of this pickup is very tight and saturated with incredible harmonic overtones. And speaking of harmonics, pinch harmonics are effortless. Being that this is a very high output pickup (16.2K on the bridge), the cleans aren't the greatest and unless you roll off the volume some, clean tones are likely to distort. Clean tones are also on the dark side as well. But you can always compensate with a little more treble from your amp. At the end of the day though, this is a pickup meant for distortion and lots of it.
Overall Impression — 10
My overall impression of these pickups is complete awe and amazement. My only complaint is that the cleans aren't that good but that's to be expected with a high-output pickup. It's nearly impossible to have it both ways. As I said, I a full bridge and neck set in both guitars but might eventually put a PAF or something similar in the neck to give me more options. For the time being though, I'm completely satisfied and have a tone that I've literally been chasing for years.
Reliability & Durability — 10
There's literally 20 inches of lead wire on these pickups so they'll survive dozens of installs. I got a black on black set and they look as brutal as they sound. I love these pickups and will probably buy 3 or 4 more sets just to have on hand and in case they ever become unavailable. These are quality made pickups and I give them a 10 on both reliability & durability.