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Alnico 2 pickups for metal?

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  • Alnico 2 pickups for metal?

    Anybody using one? Or know of someone who uses one?

    I'm normally a huge fan or A5 pickups. Love the JB, the '59B, the EMG 57 and 85, the Fishman Fluence Classic and Modern Alnico.

    I also like ceramic pickups if I wanna go more modern or aggro.

    But have never come across an A2 that I like. I've not tried many, though.

    I wonder what you guys would say is a good A2 metal pickup. EVH Wolfgang Bridge, perhaps? Custom Custom?

    Let's discuss.

  • #2
    ABSOLUTELY! My 2 Kiesel DC's with Beryllium Kiesel A2 Humbuckers are absolute killers through my 2 PRS rigs at high gain for metal tones. Super responsive brown sound tones for DAYS!!
    Like them better than the Custom Custom Alnico II Pro, Slash or Pearly Gates I have had. Haven't tried the 78 yet but that pickup looks very interesting.
    A2 humbuckers can absolutely kill for metal tones with the right amp in the right guitar.
    Here is a clip with my 17 Kiesel DC live running a Berryllium bridge through the Archon rig. It's not metal but shows how thick responsive and huge the tones are wit this pickup. KILLS for classic metal tones like Jakie Lee got with Ozzy etc!!!
    Kiesel DC 135, Carvin AE 185, DC 400, DC 127 KOA, DC 127 Quilt Purple, X220C, PRS Custom 24, Washburn USA MG 122 proto , MG 102, MG 120.
    Amps PRS Archon 50 head, MT 15, Mesa Subway Rocket, DC-5, Carvin X50B Hot Rod Mod head, Zinky 25watt Blue Velvet combo.


    • #3
      Believe it or not, the Pearly Gates is good at it.


      • #4
        I had the custom custom in a Schecter Solo Custom and I didn’t like it metal. YMMV though but for I usually like and A5 or ceramic mag for metal.


        • #5
          a buddy of mine who plays classic metal through black metal uses pearlys in the bridge of both his main guitars and he loves em. hes been using em for 20+ years for metal and hasnt found anything he likes better


          • #6
            A2P is a little soft. The Slash version is tighter. Pearlys are good at alot of different kinds of music. Custom Custom also (in the right bright-sounding body, does EVH stuff pretty well.)


            • #7
              I bought an evh wolfgang special less than one year ago, and I have to admit that I'm pretty happy with such guitar. The weight, the neck profile have been surprisingly accepted by one who play 99% of time a les paul. And I am happy with the pickups too. I found them articulate, clear, punchy even under a ton of gain. Yes, in truth they are not tight like a distortion in the bass, but they get the job done in hard rock and classic/air metal. So if you ask me I'd say evh wolfgang (the custom custom is amazing too)


              • #8
                Well, if you can get your hands on an SH-9 Silverbird, It can metal VERY well. Its super tight but has a good amount of low end and great for leads. IT could be my favorite all-time Duncan pickup. I have one in a Mexican strat and probably going to put one in a LP Custom replacing a Gibson 500T that has been in that guitar for 25 years.
                Charvel, Kramer, Gibson, Fender, MIJ/US Epiphone, BC Rich
                Full Shred, Distortion, JB, Custom (Custom), Screamin' Demon, Cool Rails, Alternative 8, Mini Humbucker, Lil 59, 59, APH-1, Black Winter, Silverbird, SP90, PATB1,2,3, YJM, 59/custom hybrid, SSL-1 AH1BJ, Jazz, Antiquity JB/Jazz, Alpha/Omega


                • #9
                  I got a set of Custom Shop Fuglybuckers this past year. Two A2 magnets, along with Parallel Axis poles in one coil. Clean, they are very loud, even though they are wound to about the same resistance as a 59 set.
                  They get very interesting with gain. Remember, the second model El Diablo, made for Scott Ian, had two A2 magnets as bar pole pieces in the coils. The Fugly has one A2 bar and one A2 magnet in the standard position tied to a PA coil.
                  You get helacious sustain and note separation, but with plenty of body and the low end isn't mushy.Click image for larger version

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                  • #10
                    Gibson 57 Classics
                    Seth Lovers
                    High Voltage
                    Green Magic
                    Custom 78
                    El Diablo
                    Wolftone Fenris


                    • #11
                      I've got the 78 Model in my Jackson Dinky tuned down half a step and it sounds great for what I call the pre Master of Puppets metal tone.


                      • #12
                        I play Death Metal on my 2010 LP Traditional sporting a Classic 57+ set. Tone for days.
                        Guitars:Gibson LP Trad ('57 Classics); Ibanez SEW761FM (TB-16/STK-S7 m&n); Charvel DK24 (TB10/SSL-6/A2Pn), DK22 (HRb/SSL-6 m&n), SoCal Style1 (Distortion set) & SoCal Style2 24 2PT (Fluence OCC); ESP LTD MH-1000HS (TB-14/Lil59n); Effects: Line 6 Helix Floor, Digitech Drop & FreqOut, ME EP-1L6,Shure GLXD16, Headrush MX5;


                        • #13
                          I did have BB2/3's in my Epi 1959 when it was new, but I didn't like them. But I did have a Black Winter in my other Les Paul at the time, so of course I was going to think they'd sound puny, LOL. I wish I'd given them a chance. I do love BB Pros.

                          I also didn't even get to hear the 490T in my Tribute. I immedately ripped it out to put a Black Winter in.

                          Honestly, my original dislike for A2 came from trying a Slash Bridge back when I was into vintage output winds. I expected it to sound fat and warm, but at the time, the '59B I also had was much chunkier. I think it may have been just that Slash that I didn't like.
                          Last edited by Rex_Rocker; 05-17-2023, 05:17 PM.


                          • #14
                            Yep, it depends on the pickups involved...

                            The most tranparent sounding P.A.F. replicas that I had the pleasure to play came with A2 mags. The most percussive too. But the warmest and/or mushiest / muddiest sounding that I've played contained A2 as well.

                            That said, all sounded really similar to my old shot ears under very high gain. :-P

                            NOTE - I'll confess that when I tinker on a humbucker design, I don't care no more about the AlNiCo grade involved. I just swap mags until "that's it". Anyway, a same AlNiCo mag gives me different results with tight or loose coils, according to the carbon content of slugs, screw poles, keeper bars and so on. YMMV.

                            Duncan user since the 80's...


                            • #15
                              The first pup that popped into my head was the Pearly
                              Originally Posted by IanBallard
                              Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.