HRO-1 Rocker review by Kent Armstrong

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 10 (1 vote)
Kent Armstrong: HRO-1 Rocker

Price paid: $ 60

Sound — 10
I have this in the neck of an alder body, maple neck/fretboard guitar and I am using a Jet City JCA20H tube amp. It's designed to be a bridge pickup, but I have a Kent Armstrong Super Distortion (HSDO-1) in the bridge and the Rocker compliments it nicely. It can be a bit bassy, but that's natural for a rhythm/neck pick up especially when it's designed for the bridge. The Rocker cleans up nicely and is warm, even in an alder/maple set up. I have used this with an EHX Nano Muff and it smooths out the bite you can get from some fuzz pedals. When I use this with my tubescreamer I can get a really good tone for sustain and solos. I have rated this as 10 because it's a perfect compliment for a bright bridge pickup and responds well to volume and tone controls.

Overall Impression — 9
I have had this pickup only in the neck, upside down, but I have wired it with a switch for series/split(North/Screw)/parallel and I am currently running it with the option to reverse phase with the Super Distortion. It sounds best to me in series, but the split and parallel sounded good too. In split it was nice for hammer ons and responded well with high gain, but was a bit lifeless with low gain clean settings. In parallel is sounded a bit too warm and the output was too low for my liking. I would recommend this pick up for anyone wanting to increase bass in their neck position. For the price, you can't go wrong. I have rated this as a 9 as the pickup is good as designed, but as far as split/parallel options there are better out there.

Reliability & Durability — 10
The pickup is built well and has a nice gloss Shine to it. I have it uncovered and set low from the strings where it sounded sweetest. I wired up this humbucker myself and found it easy to strip down to expose the wire core for soldering and didn't break any wire strands. Good quality shield wire too. I have rated this as a 10 also, as it's a humbucker and will probably outlast the guitar.

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