Blues Engine review by IronGear

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.2 (6 votes)
IronGear: Blues Engine
2

Price paid: $ 106.95

Purchased from: Axetec.co.uk

Sound — 9
The IronGear Blues Engine pickup is first and foremost a Patent Applied For style low output pickup. I put a set in my Epiphone Les Paul Standard running through a Crate v32 tube amp, and the difference between this and the stock pickups is as clear as day. he magnet type is a wonderful handwound Alnico IV, using 42 AWG enamel coil wire. It has a Nickel Silver baseplate and is a 2 conductor braided pickup. The bottom end is very tight, and absolutely shines in a naturally bassy guitar, such as a Les Paul, think ZZ Top type sounds. The Cleans are to die for, and it handles distortion with little to no muddiness. Don't let the low output think that it cannot handle heavier music though. It sounds very similar to the pickups Randy Rhodes used in his Alpine White Les Paul, and can nail his tones. It does a great job emulating Judas Priest and even Iron Maiden as well. Don't expect a EMG high output sound from these, but if you are planning on playing anything from Cream to Guns and Roses, this should be great for your guitar.

Overall Impression — 10
In conclusion, the Iron Gear Blues Engine is a wonderful pickup for those looking for that Holy Grail of Vintage guitar sounds without breaking the bank. Axetec's focus on the product selling itself means that thety can provied them at a wonderful price for everyone. It made my muddy Epiphone LP sound like a new guitar and sounds great in all positions.

Reliability & Durability — 10
These pickups are hand wound and made in the UK. The constuction is very solid and they seem like they could outlast any guitar you can fit them in. I would not worry about something goinh wrong with an Iron Gear pickup, and if you do, Axetec is very friendly and would do anything to make it's customers happy. The shipping to the US is no more than a US based company would charge, and they are always very considerate to thier customers. I would definately think about buying from Iron Gear again.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    ChucklesMginty
    Yes, I have one of these in my Les Paul. Don't let people tell you can't hear the difference of a pick-up change playing through amp sims... Well, if the amp sim is decent you'll hear the difference.
    Olliecs
    Absolutely in love with IronGear pickups, got them in all my guitars but haven't got round to trying the classic series yet. Shoji001 they're like 35 each
    Kingnichendrix
    I love Iron Gear there stuff is the dogs bollocks, forget seymour duncan and their ludicrous prices now this is the sex!
    MrFlibble
    "These pickups are hand wound and made in the UK." No they're not. They're designed in the UK, but they're made in Korea (though some people also report them being made in China). Certainly not hand-wound either. That said, every Iron Gear pickup I've had a play with has definitely been much better than the typical MIK or MIC pickup. Not sure I would say they are SD/DiMarzio beaters (and they're definitely not Swineshead/Juicy/Wizard beaters), but then they do cost a fraction of the price - you can get a full set of IronGear pickups for less than one Seymour Duncan or DiMarzio pickup costs and while I think the IronGears aren't [i[]quite[/i] as good, they are at least 80% of the way there and they are still a massive improvement over stock Epi/Squier/MIM Fender/Ibanez/ESP pickups. Definitely the best value for money.
    miketrigs93
    MrFlibble wrote: "These pickups are hand wound and made in the UK." No they're not. They're designed in the UK, but they're made in Korea (though some people also report them being made in China). Certainly not hand-wound either. That said, every Iron Gear pickup I've had a play with has definitely been much better than the typical MIK or MIC pickup. Not sure I would say they are SD/DiMarzio beaters (and they're definitely not Swineshead/Juicy/Wizard beaters), but then they do cost a fraction of the price - you can get a full set of IronGear pickups for less than one Seymour Duncan or DiMarzio pickup costs and while I think the IronGears aren't [i[]quite[/i] as good, they are at least 80% of the way there and they are still a massive improvement over stock Epi/Squier/MIM Fender/Ibanez/ESP pickups. Definitely the best value for money.
    I was about to say...
    9114rock
    this pickup beats my mates SDs handsdown, i've got this in the neck position of my les paul and it is without doubt the best pickup i have ever played with, i've combined it with the iron gear 'hot slag' in the bridge for the variety of the warm blues (blues engine) and hard rock / metal sound (hot slag) to give an overall perfectly diverse guitar that can play anything from RHCP to GnR to BLS and onward!! 10/10 pups!!