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Author Topic: Alnico Black Hawk Bridge and Alnico Sinner Neck review.  (Read 2857 times)

Jimmy E Moorby

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Alnico Black Hawk Bridge and Alnico Sinner Neck review.
« on: January 10, 2013, 11:12:02 PM »
Alnico Black Hawk Bridge
This pickup completely changed my ESP George Lynch guitar. In fairness it was always exellent for soloing, nice cleans but even when changing the pickups several times  (despite getting 'metal as hell' pickups) it always had weak rythms re the low end.  I would have bought some emg's for it but resisted as I didnt like the thought of getting an emg single coil in the neck.  Now my mates always made fun of this guitar saying it sounded awful and was made on plywood (It isnt it was made in the esp custom shop!) but the black hawk immediately turned it into an uber metal monster which me my mates, band mates all soon realized.  What was a 'spare guitar' was now a genuine contender in terms of all out metal.
  As mentioned this was always a great lead/soloing guitar but always sounded weak for riffs now because of the black hawk it had the tone I always wanted for heavy metal riffing i.e james hetfield black album type sounds.  Pinch harmonics were now in fact TOO EASY and some thing I had to watch so it wouldnt be too OTT.  I've played this with my orange half stack which is a very middy hi gain amp which I love. The black hawk really increased the low end in a good way but was still super super tight for the fast thrashy type riffs I love.  I imagine if it had the ceramic magnet it would sound like the EMG 81 for full on metal it has the alnico magnet and it just sounds like what I kinda wanted in my head…..beefier... the next step in my quest for the perfect riffing tone.  As the description on the website has pointed out a genuine alternative to EMG’s and I can now say without prejudice it's even better for metal tones to my ears.  Now as perfect as it is for crushing metal it certainly isnt organic/versatile/progressive to my ears and I have noticed clean chords can get disorted if its isnt at a really low height and im a light player not a heavy one.  Don't be fooled by the low output this seems like the hottest pickup ive ever played and it is definitely more suited to full on metal than any thing else. The guy who I get to do all my setups etc is very knowledgable and experienced and said it was the most aggressive pickup he'd ever heard (He didnt say if that was good or bad though haha)  Smooth, dark but extreme and full on.  For balls out metal 10/10. Cleans and versatility 6/10 IMO but this could be improved with clever use of EQ.  I've improved the cleans with my Xotic EP Booster but this isnt always an option as I try and use as few pedals as possible.  Not for the faint hearted at all.  In terms of the alnico black hawk bridge think EMG 81 but with more bottom end thud and less treble but still incredibly easy to do pinch harmonics for some reason...... oh and no batteries.

If youre in a metal band that plays consant balls out metal this is for you if you want a bit more versatility IMO it doesnt deliver in the same way emg's dont and the cleans are 'sterile' and plain but this can also be used as an advantage of course like say fear factory, metallica or machine head type clean tones.  Think the intro to the locust by machine head.

I have since put this in a Gibson Les Paul Custom and it works in a similar fashion thickening up the sound even more but still with lLOTS of cut.  Think tones from Black Label Society, Black album era Metallica to Killswitch Engage, Nevermore etc
The black hawk is very full on but balanced with lots of cut.  Lots of bass, low mids, mids, hi mids and treble.  Essentially its a great pickup for any metal head who want more of every thing.  If you want a metal pickup that can handle the same styles with even more low end and less emphasis on other frequ's (For the nutacases out there!) then you're only going to get more with the ceramic warpig.
If you got this and decided you needed a slither more hi mids hi end bite and crunch then you'd need to look at the painkiller.



The sinner neck
All I’ll say about the sinner is it appears to be as hot as you can get whilst it still being a  single coil… its just has a single coil sound and all the best parts of that mixed with a very balanced eq has with added hot  humbucker ‘capability’.  I swapped it for a Di Marzio HS3 which I adorded and still do but I don’t regret the swap.  The HS3 was indeed very Yngwie sounding (Who says its all in the fingers  :) joke) and this is just something else, something unique and matches the black hawk perfectly it would seem.  I think any player  could potentially do some thing really unique with this pickup it has a very unusual voice for leads and clean parts.  BKP said it has a jazzy tone which I thought sounded mental for single coil but I now agree with them but dont worry it does super shred hi gain metal leads well too....a very progressive pickup.  In in terms of volume and tone it matches the black hawk well.  Nice for clean arpeggios etc too but now so more for tight strumming 

I’ve made a quick vid of me demoing the sinner neck through clean and lead type sounds, sorry for any one hoping to check out some riffage I never play stuff like that with the neck. Sorry about the sound quality and I aint gonna put it in the players section of the forum as it aint really a performance just a demo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdB_NnD90h0
« Last Edit: May 22, 2015, 02:44:00 PM by JimmyMoorby »