A number of you may know that I also write for the Seymour Duncan blog. I put in a request to have a Custom Shop pickup made, and it was approved, and yesterday I picked it up from the post office!
I built a Frankie type Strat last year, and earlier this year I got my hands on an EVH Frankenstein humbucker (my EVH Frankenstein review). This pickup sounded pretty killer in the guitar, and I’ve been playing this guitar a ton.
What I would have liked from the pickup is something that the DiMarzio Dominion bridge has, super tight low end, and a little more output. In my band I play a lot of really tight, fast picked rhythm work where a tight low end just makes everything sound even better. The Frankie was pretty damned good, but not 100% there.
The Seymour Duncan Custom Shop wound the EVH Frankenstein for EVH, so I thought I might ask if they could do something that brought the pickup closer to what I really wanted. The Custom Shop offers a model called the IM1 which is very, very similar to the Frankie, so we worked from that.
I liked the EQ range of the Frankie so I wanted to keep that pretty much the same, but I did want the aforementioned tighter low end, a little more output, and slightly higher resistance. I also wanted the pickup to be trem-spaced with four conductor wiring should I want to set it up with parallel or split modes in another guitar.
So last week it arrived, I installed it, and WOW! What a killer pickup! It has a slightly higher resistance of 15.2K (Frankie is around 14K), and MJ used an Alnico 2 magnet. The IM1 uses a deguassed Alnico 5 magnet in its stock form.
My favourite pickup over the past couple of years has been the Dominion Bridge, but this Custom Shop creation just knocked it off it’s top spot. This pickup has the tight low end of the Dominion bridge, surprising since it’s using an Alnico 2 magnet and not a ceramic magnet, and it seems like it may be slightly more aggressive than the Dominion without being too hot a pickup. The tone is really balanced quite nicely, feeling just like the Frankie was. Not as much of a mid spike like the Dominion has, but still cuts through brilliantly.
I’m really impressed with this pickup. It does exactly what I want. Can’t ask for much more than that from a custom pickup. I’ll shoot a demo video for YouTube soon and post it here.