Price paid: $ 173
Purchased from: Amazon.com
Sound — 10
The sound on these pickups is bloody brilliant. I'm using them in my B.C. Rich Afterburner warlock and they sound very meaty and substantially better than the stock BDSM pickups. Output level is very high as expected yet noiseless. For cleans you'll need an amp that won't break up easily as these pickups push out a lot of sound. That said, I could get nice bluesy tones out of them in the neck position with just a touch of gain to round out the sound. For lead/distortion they are extremely heavy and tight sounding. I play all kinds of stuff and with the right EQ, it can be awesome for anything. As for Tone, I would describe it as being heavy and a little scooped. Think Metallica at their best. I used it through a whole host of amps and ran it through in-built distortion as well as a DigiTech RP350. I say it's perfect for both neck and bridge, but if you play a lot of chordsy stuff, stick to a sligtly lower output active pickup like the EMG-60.
Overall Impression — 9
I love how it can handle almost all the stuff I throw at it. It sounds really smooth and imo, it's much nicer than comparitive EMG pickups that I've tried. I only hate the fact that mounting it was a pain. They are installed in a B.C. Rich afterburner warlock and I'll be getting the phase-1 7 string versions for my Kramer. It came as a set of both neck and bridge pickups.
Reliability & Durability — 8
The pickup seems very durable and all the parts were there except for height/mounting screws. This was a problem because the pickups couldn't take the original mounting scews, so now they are just stuck into place. II can deffinitely depend on it. I tried all afternoon to make them come off justas a test but they stuck. If your mounting screws fit, then there'll deffinitely be no problem.