Price paid: £ 120
Sound — 8
Both my pickups are APH-1s and both excel in their positions. I'm running them in an Ibanez S520EX (mahogany body, ebony fretboard) into a Dunlop Crybaby Wah, Satchurator then into a Valveking Royal 8. All this give me a lovely warm distortion which when you roll the volume up really wants to scream. The pickups are absolutely essential to this as they add a lovely warmth to the bridge pickup noise for great rythm playing at 3/4 volume and a nice bite and cut to balls-out, aggressive lead. The neck pickup is a lovely mellow and bluesy noise at 1/2-3/4 volume but crank it up and you get a great screaming lead noise that begs you to play right up at the top of the fretboard. The only thing about this setting is its a bit too woolly for my taste down below the 5th fret... But its useful for some things... Take either of the pickups below 1/2 volume and they clean up great. The neck pickup gives you a nice chime for some finger-picking stuff with the bridge giving you that nice country sparkle. I wouldn't reccommend this to all-out metal heads and even then those of us (me included) who use quite a lot of distortion may find that to get your tone just right is a bit of work but once you get to know the quirks of the pickups it takes considerably less time and fiddling.
Overall Impression — 9
I love the sound of these things... I love how easy it is to get warm, creamy rythm without sacrificing a great lead tone and I especially like how responsive they are to volume and picking dynamics. They clean up great, they get lovely and warm about halfway and when you screw everything to 11, if you've done it right, they're articulate and responsive. They're reliable with a great tone wherever they are, all-in-all a great pickup for the expressive and blues-minded of us.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I know I can depend on these pickups. They've been in for 3 years now and I've never had any kind of problems with them. I can't see me owning a guitar (well... One with humbuckers) without putting these in it. They're pretty much essential to my tone. As for the tech support... Well I can't comment, as I said I've had no problems with them thus far and hopefully I never will.