Black Winter review by Seymour Duncan

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  • Sound: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.5 (11 votes)
Seymour Duncan: Black Winter

Price paid: $ 88

Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 9
Ok, being the first review for these pickups yet, I'll try my best to really go into depth of how these things sound. I'm using this in an Ibanez RG421QM (mahogany body) through a Peavey Vyper modeling a 6505. The output, is by far, the best I've used in a passive, ever. If it was possible to literally melt faces by shredding, these would make heads explode. I play lots of metal (BFMV, Amorphis, Feared, For Today, etc.) so the tone is perfect for me, great low end for chugging, extremely clear mids, & nice highs that aren't overwhelming. What's best is how clear this pickup is with cleans. It really hit me by surprise when I heard how much they tone down, cause usually high output pickups have terrible cleans, but this one, especially the neck, has crystal clear cleans. You can also get many other sounds out of it. Cleans? Check. Country? Check. Classic Rock? Check. Black Metal? OF COURSE! I've tried many pickups before, & after all these years, I've finally found my match.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Seymour Duncan pickups are built to last, they really know what they're doing when creating these. I don't know anyone who's had any bad experience with Seymour Duncan pickups or with them failing out or needing replaced. I'm not too sure how this thing could be worn out, unless you really abuse your guitars, but I would bet my soldering would give way before this thing ever will. I highly doubt I will ever replace these things, I'm planning on putting more of them in some of my other guitars too, & I've got my other guitarist friends wanting them in theirs. I'll give it a 9 cause open coil pickups just seem like they would get damaged easier.

Overall Impression — 10
Well, it's a Seymour Duncan, plus it's the perfect pickup for what I play, so what's not to love? All blacked out open coil humbuckers with old gothic styled font logo printed, deep chugging lows for rhythm, articulate mids & screaming highs for leads, it's just perfect. The look & sound are so sinister, Death himself would use these if he played guitar. I've got a set of these in my Ibanez RG421QM, & am planning on getting some custom black nickel covers for these with the gothic font print, cause I'm just more into covered pickups. Overall, I say this is the perfect pickup. Maybe not for all you Les Paul fanatics out there who play blues & stuff, but for us metal heads, there is no better passive than this imo. Maybe I'm just biased, but I freakin love these things.

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I know Keith Merrow uses these pickups in a calibrated set I believe. If you're curious as to how these would sound in like a prog/technical setting just look up some "Conquering Dystopia" for reference material. I don't think these are ceramics; at least I couldn't find anything in regards to magnet type on this pickup's page at Duncan's website. From what I read in the review it ought to clean house with the right eq-ing. An issue people have had with the SH-6 is that they tend to fizzle under certain gain settings. I'm seriously curious about these pickups. I'm gonna need to hear them in more applications before I can honestly make a verdict as to weather or not I'll bite.
    Can anyone recommend a neck single coil that would complement the dark winter bridge hum bucker ?
    They clean up surprisingly well , Great lows , superb soloing tone , sensitive to picking dynamics and maintain a soulful sparkle that cannot be denied ! Love them to pieces in my ESP Horizon playing through my Mesa , Engl or 6505 ! MAJOR KUDOS
    Jaymz V
    I want to replace a Invader pickup with a Black Winter in my PRS Custom 24 (w/coil tap). Would I rewire/solder the new one the same as the old one?
    I just put one of these in my Jackson F'n ROCKS!!! i tried it in E standard and it was thick, i tried it in D standard and it was thicker. could easily pull off the tricky pinch harm on 3rd fret low string. so i dropped it to B,E,A,D,G,B and even using 10-46 it was a lil floppy but it still sounded GREAT!...i am gonna try a 10-60 set same tuning and see what i get next. i also have the neck pup i need to install but so far...if u like METAL...this pickup is a great choice. i can't wait to try thicker strings with same tuning. these pickups are really good.
    I've been looking to throw a set of these into my 7 string ESP LTD M-207FR and possibly the SC607-B If I can swing the price. Everything I've heard makes me want them more. I've done pickup swaps before, but I want to install a p/p volume knob with these. Any suggestions/recommendations for choosing new hardware?
    Just put this in my Gibson lp studios bridge very nice pickup.