brief moments I’ve had hearing the Vampires in dual and tapped
sound pretty magnificent and really suit this guitar. The humbucking
gives all the traditional ES type sounds – I particularly like the
fat, resonant, characterful sound Alex Lifeson had around the
‘Permanent Waves’ album with Rush. The bridge tap sounds a bit
Gretsch/Rickenbacker and the neck tap – I can’t think of a
comparison but it’s a lovely sound.
been playing the guitar a lot more now and my impression of the
pickups is just getting better. Even some non-guitarist friends have
commented on how great it sounds.
feedback for the zephyr set. After playing them for about a month, I
think they're excellent strat pickups. The pair is mounted in one of
my builds (25.5 scale, alder/maple/rosewood) and wired to a 5 way
switch. Every position sounds great. To me the zephyrs seem to have a
perfect blend of clarity, twang, and fullness. They sound just as
good clean or distorted, and handle heavier overdrive nicely. Thanks!
[Vampire Queen & Delta Express]
took a while to get my proper rig up and running, and the SG ready and
i have to say that the pickups sound fantastic! The
slightly compressed tone of the mini in the neck gives perfect
tones and sounds overdriven great too. and the raunchy delta express in
the bridge is just awsome. it sounds different from most vintage
replicas and more raw.
really like it.
the vampire lord in the Graf. Proper
feedback to follow. But very happy indeed. The definition is full on
without being shrill. And it roars. I think we're going to get on
been having some play time with the VL. I’m fully in
love now. I completely “get” what the VL is about, delivering the frequencies that
count. It’s not polite. But not too brash either.
is revealed by the following:
on its own and totally clean in full hb mode, the VL is a little
dull. A little lacklustre.
as soon as any dirt gets added, even on the cleaner end of it the OD
spectrum - it comes to life.
to be honest, I seldom use acoustic-ey electric sounds. And I’ve
got single coil guitars that do that job would I want to.
absolutely correct about this guitar being happy at either end of the
clear/uber OD spectrum. The articulation is quite breathtaking. Note
definition, even in saturation mode is quite incredible for a pickup
with this output. I believe this is where the option to get
pretentious resides. It can be dirty but defined. Incredibly so.
feel this guitar is most happy when “rocking’”. And, for a rock
focused pickup, this is about as versatile as you can get. You
should be really proud of this pickup. It may very well be my new
got the VL to work in tap mode. Its weird to flick the switch and not
have a sound that's been reduced to thin nothingness. It's subtle
too. In a great way. Super great pickup.
arrived in great condition. Enjoyed playing over the wet bank
holiday. I think I will change the capacitor to go darker. First
thing that struck me was the clarity, improvement in sustain and how
quiet they were. No buzz at bedroom playing levels.
let you know more feedback when a give them a long term test.
and excellent customer service by the way.
finally tried it for the right pickup.
must thank you warmly, as it is gorgeous.
definitely what I was looking for.
a brief email to tell you the minotaur has proven to be a success!
difference between it and a more usual strat pickup is quite obvious. The
output difference was comparatively subtle. To
my ears, bass and low mids were much bolder, high mids and treble
were smoother. Overall,
less brightness but it still sounds "strat".
found it stood up very well to hard playing and overdrives. But I
also enjoyed the possibility of a more gentle than usual clean sound,
nice for arpeggio parts played with a plectrum.
I had to relinquish the guitar...
[Mountain Lightning B and Rolling Thunder]
My project was an Explorer-style bass, but not too heavy (my back hurts!).
I started with a DIY kit, of which I used the body only, spraying it British Racing Green (sic!).
The other rubbish I discarded and replaced with decent parts - a MM Jazz Bass neck, Schaller tuners, Babicz bridge, Bourne 500K pots, LaBella steel strings and - last but not least - the Mountain Lightning and the Rolling Thunder pickups.
When I first plugged in, I was nearly blown away - never had I got so close to an Entwistle sound! After a bit of tweaking, I knew my pals were in for something at the next rehearsal!
And so it was - the lads stopped playing with gaping mouths and gasping: "Hey, where d'ya get THAT from?".
Actually, I get the best results with the Mountain Lightning turned up 100% and a 20 - 30% dose of the Rolling Thunder added.
Anyway, thank you for the comprehensive descriptions on your homepage and for your additional advice by e-mail. I am very happy with the result.
Can't wait for the next gig!
[Werewolf B and Unicorn N]
I don't like to give feedback on pickups until I've gigged them. Bedroom levels are not a good indicator of what a pickup can deliver. Hence the delay in feedback.
I finally got to gig the SG2000 with Ben Wood & The Bad Ideas at the weekend and the guitar has truly come alive. The set really has taken the P90 sound that I had in my head and transported it to my amp. The Duncan P90 custom I had is a really good pickup. And I was worried about missing its output and high end definition.
With the set I've got in there now, all I am thinking about is why I didn't make this shift earlier.
Thanks for an amazing set of pickups.
P90s are a thing of beauty. And you've delivered the best version of a P90 I've heard.
[Custom AL IV Qilin B] Resisted writng straight away as my experience is that you need to spend
some time with new pickups as first impressions can sometimes be
misleading. Must say after a fair bit of playing that the Qilin is very
good and I think you've been able to translate my ramblings on "tone"
very nicely. It has all the attributes I was looking for and perhaps
what has surprised me is the clarity at volume, it doesn't saturate and
compress but does have a nice balanced fat tone across the strings
irrespective of clean or overdriven settings. The more I've played it
the more I think how close it is to a decent full size vintage PAF tone.
I know I'm probably biased in that its been made specially for me but
think there is something in low strength magnets letting the pickup
breath a bit and certainly think the type used puts its stamp on the
overall character, in this version the pickup certainly has nice sweet
highs and a nice low end.
Thanks for the time and effort you put in to doing this. I will
probably come back soon for a couple of Manticores to put in neck and
middle; not too much variation from the standard ones but would want a
slightly lower output and an ability to be able to tap the pickups.
[Custom G&L MFD Rewinds]
Finally today I managed to install the pickups on my G&L... they sound awesome... thanks!!!
really did a great job! I would have loved to have some more gain, but
I guess by doing this the EQ would have been compromised, right?
Anyway it sounds very good... and still retaining the MFD character... very nice!
[Tsunami bridge & Waverider neck]
These pickups rock...
Recording an EP with Fighting Wolves and reckon that I'll be getting the Rickenbacker on it featuring the sexy new pickups. It's being produced by Matt Hyde (he's a bit of a name).
All I know, is that the Ricky's thud has turned into a BOOM with your pickups...
The good news is that the Rick has managed to find its way onto all the tracks I have been recording with Fighting Wolves. With producer Matt Hyde at the controls. He normally favours active basses but the full range of the Gemini equipped Rick passed the mustard with the knob twiddler. It is exciting to be able to get these on a release so soon...
Here's the first mix from Fighting Wolves latest offering featuring the Gemini infused Ricky. With both pickups on full. There's a midrange bite with the pickups which managed to give the low end some character. The producer wanted me to use active EMG pickups. And I fought to get these bad boys (yes, I said bad boys - deal with it) on here. Suddenly the low end isn't anonymous.
This is the first mix but it still shows the brilliance of the pickups.
Oh, the stock pickups normally farted out a bit with drop d. Yours kept the low end true.
Just a little update.
I've put the pickups in and they sound lovely, really
impressed with the tone !!
hey mike, just installed the quilin and i its a keeper,i hate bass heavy or muddy pickups in neck position, and thats absolutely not the case, i think theres a dip in the low frequencies right? i love it, it sounds way cool.
Well I fitted the pickups and all is well. The tapped Charlie Christian has
the broadest sound spectrum I've ever heard on an electric guitar, its
fabulous bordering on acoustic. You can have thick tele twang and a great
rhythm from the neck pickup.
In contrast, the full pickup can range from single coil lightness to real
I don't no how you managed to get so much out of single coils, hugely
impressed, I will be back.
Your pickups have transformed my mild-mannered Yamaha Pacifica into a
bit of a beast! Picked it up earlier this evening so haven't played it
much but already I can hear a big change. I'm really pleased because I
was all prepared to pay for a new guitar but have got back my favourite
guitar with real attitude.
Many thanks for your advice (the Chimera works great with the
Kraken) and for the excellent service. I'll recommend you with
absolutely no hesitation.
[Mountain Thunder & Rolling Thunder]
Live sound engineers seemed to respond better to the scooped pickup. No tuning out of unnice frequencies with the para needed. It sounded fat. Shook the floor. And cut through. In the studio, the scooped version sounded good but the more traditional pickup sounded more sounded. No surprise there. I liked the in your face low end of the former and the ricky like clunk of the scooped for live. But, where subtlety is king - vintage was great. But that is with having a desk with options to boost 100 mhz and some low mids too. Both are great.
Playing a Festival Saturday and have the Rolling Thunder pickups in. Sounding great through the rig at rehearsals. Wanted less subtlety for this show and I have got it. There is and upper end clank that this precision gives with this pickup that i wish my rick had. It has got me thinking.
Hi Mike, the pickups hare now on my SG !
Tried them out on my friends ENGL and they sounded
great....but not as good as through my Laney ! The Laney has only got 3 gain
stages whereas the bigger Laney's have 5 gain stages.....but any lack of gain I
can counteract by kicking in my Blackstar valve driven overdrive
The bridge pickup through my Laney without the
Blackstar pedal really sounds great for rock...and for Tony Iommi type rhythms,
the lead sound is a bit weak ( the amps fault - not the pickup's fault ! ), so
kicking in the pedal makes the lead lines sound great.
Using the pedal - which I always do - just gives
that little bit more oomph - makes your pickups on my guitar sound just awesome
I bought this guitar especially for playing Tony
Iommi style riffs at a whole step down tuning, after your help in deciding to
buy the Mountain Queens to achieve this sound.........I've got to say that these
pickups do exactly what it says on the tin !!!
You should have seen the smile I had got on my face
when playing my guitar with your Mountain Queens on it......they fit the bill
just perfectly !
The front pickup on it's own has a real nice chimey
sound, and the two pickups on together have a sound that is very usable ( with
lower levels of gain ! )
Hey Mike, the werewolf and the wraith are fantastic! Thanks again!
I installed the Nightwolf and it is truly a
the sounds are so alive and responsive , never
experienced this with humbuckers ever before !!!
I have to say that the two Mini HB's sounded absolutely great on
tour. That's one great sounding pickup. I was able to A/B it with an
identical guitar with a stock gibbo mini hb and a Les Paul with a JB in
it. And your beast seems to be right in between those two soundwise.
Really defined. But more meaty than a stock mini hb. But brighter
somehow too. Which I wasn't expecting. But I was happy to find.
I've got the pickups installed. The full sound isn't very different to
the originals (so I guess the Gibson's weren't too bad) but much
better balanced. The tapped sound is great and I've used push-pull pots
on the volume controls which take the volume and tone pots out of the
circuit giving a little more drive and brightness for those Tele-like
ice pick moments.
I finally managed to pick up my guitar from the techs. I love it. Took it for a spin with band
rehearsal, it rocks good and proper, hot enough to grunt but mini
enough to cut through. For some reason it has also given my Schecter
a lot more quack when the bridge is combined with middle, it always had a
bit of a strat thing going in position 2 but now it really does the
finger pickin country thing.
It's some time ago now but the pickups arrived ok and installed are
very nice. I put them in an Epiphone Wilshire Reissue and even though
the pickups cost more than half the price of the guitar it's still an
amazing guitar for £330.
[Manticore in short scale bass]
The bass is a short scale, and it was the McCartney type sound that I
was looking for, so with that in mind, I would say the pickup does a
sterling job. It's not too muddy, and there is even a hint of growl in
there on the higher notes;
Just thought I’d drop you a note to say thanks for the pickups!
They arrived before the weekend, but I only got round to wiring them up Sat
evening. They’re absolutely superb!!! The neck one is massive sounding but
clear, and the bridge has a lovely bite to it rather than muddy which the stock
57 Classics in my SG 61RI tend to be!
Finally found time late last night to fit the Cherubim's,and what a difference!
The 'jangly' setting is exactly what I was looking for,and the hot p90 setting has given it real grunt, making the guitar very versatile.
Thank you very much,I must admit I didn't expect such a huge improvement,the Wildkat now sounds as good as it looks and plays :)
[Kraken bridge + 2 x Valkyrie]
I have now spent some time using them both in the studio and at gigs. All I can say is wow!
Sadly I no longer have any friends as they all move away from me just in case I start raving about them and the wife is getting jealous about the time I spend with them, but they are simply amazing.
I found you site by a lucky accident and as soon as our new site is up and running I will be putting a link to yours.
I have attached something I was working on today as just for the hell of it I used every pickup position on the guitar.
You really should get the recordings on you site to show just how good your work is.
If you ever decide to have your name printed on the pickup covers please let me know as I would be proud to have have some.
Good luck with everything you do, and I will be back as soon as I buy another guitar.
[Vampire bridge + Vampire Lord neck]
I just wanted to email you to let you know how fantastic these pickups are.
The reason it's taken so long to get round to this is that they've been on my second guitar, I usually use a PRS which i was happy with the pickups on.
Well because they were on the backup guitar I didn't really get to use them properly till recently when I fancied a change on a gig.
I now can't believe how good these things are, they're in a hollow telecaster type guitar which I made and are just awesome,
I particularly love the coil tap, as you say on your site normal humbuckers sound weak coil tapped but these are just fabulous.
Just a quick note to say the Mountain Queen pickup was superb!!
Received pickups and installed them yesterday. Excellent, the Quilin exactly what I was looking for and two Manticores compliment it very well.
The pickups sound fabulous!! - I love the neck one especially.
[Vampire Lord neck]
Its a very versatile neck pickup. The tone control makes a massive difference. When I turn it down to 3 or 4, its gets the sound Ive been hoping for. Brilliant stuff.
When I whack it up to 10 it sounds brighter, almost bridge like. Ive never had a pickup like this one.
Im looking forward to experimenting with it for along time to come.
Cheers for everything Mike.
We think you've done a wonderful job :0)
There are great similarities between the two sets with many of the same type of nuances -
but we think your set has more 'width' to the tone, has a slightly 'creamier' feel but also with more 'crispness' at the top end.
The clarity IS there.
I've received and installed the Manticore; just what I was looking for and the slight overwind just fattens it enough without losing the detail. I'll probably order two neck pickups some time soon
Any plans to do a Les Paul Delux style mini?