Purchased from: Paul Bothner Music
Sound — 7
When I first saw this pickup in the shop I went "Hmmm, a noiseless single coil space, Seymour Duncan, promises hot output, jazz and heavy rock for my rosewood fretboard? SIGN ME UP!"
This is in my band guitar which is in drop C playing metal and by Odin's Raven it plays well!
I run it in conjunction with my (now passive) Gus G Firewind pickups through a magic tube into my Boss ME-80 which leaves more magic tubes and goes into my Roxy MG120 and Roxy 4x12 cab. I have my funky wah sound, my CHORDS OF MIGHT echo and chorus/phaser, straight clean, ye olde valve-esque sound and straight stereo ultra gain.
Noisy? No. On what settings? My tone dial does nothing in between 10 and 0 (I need to call my luthier) and volume rolls down volume and some gain. It is my middle pickup and is middle in form and function in terms of sound. Directly between neck creamy and bridge crunchy. It could even be its own brand of cereal. Rich sound, not bright though, so it does lack articulation.
What sounds does it make? It is focused which I like. Too versatile takes away from the impact of the instrument. It does Jazz with some impact, pentatonics (country/blues?) sound pretty cool but the bands of the '70s, '80s and '90s better watch out for your effortlessly cool tone. In the spectrum of distorted guitars, make it do what you want it to do. This thing does it all well. It just isn't quite full enough for things like Lamb of God or Obscura for me.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This pickup is reliable and durable. The wires are soldered into place, the pickup is safe under the strings. But in all seriousness I have not noticed any inconsistencies with this pickups performance both live and in bedroom. It will continue to soldier on until somebody in the front row decides it looks thirsty and introduces it to their beer while headbanging.
The only thing I do have to complain about here is that the magnets are super strong. So my guitar being an HSH, I'm starting to worry that I am losing tone because the magnets are holding my strings back too much. This is more reliability that you are getting all the responsiveness you could ever want out of the pickup though so win-win for everybody.
Overall Impression — 7
For what I play, I would reckon this is a great match. My band has two moods in its songs, either prog or Underoath tribute band. Which may not be a bad thing but for the latter I wont stop using this because it sounds just so good at what it does!In my spare time I play on it almost exclusively for jamming.
I have been playing for 5 years now and besides aforementioned amp/effects I own an Ibanez RG370DXZL (the band guitar), a Cort X2-L and a Cort Source LH (go buy one of those NOW!) and I am in negotiations for a Ukulele.
If my guitar with this was stolen I would probably get a tele-style guitar and slap this in it in a heartbeat. What I love is everything above but it is not perfect as nothing ever is. It is too gritty and does not bend nicely when active with other pickups in my guitar. The articulation of notes isn't great and depending on your guitar type, you could be stuck with a one trick pony.