In my search for guitar pickups I’ve read a lot about metal.
It is interesting to know bands such as Blue Cheer and Jimmy Hendrix were the primary root to heavy metal music but officially, Black Sabbath is considered to be the first heavy metal band. Other bands such as Zeppelin, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden came later.
Although many people may confuse heavy rock with metal music, it is crystal clear that heavy rock is based on blues music while metal music is based on the sound of electric guitar.
All of this has made pickups a very common topic of discussion among metal musicians. These are the three I’m looking at:
EMG 81 +85 Zakk Wylde set
The fact that they are used by the famous heavy metal premier lead guitarist Zakk Wylde, sounds very intriguing. They use Alnico magnet loaded coils, which allegedly make their output amazingly measurable. They also have a wide aperture which maintains a more natural tone – good for chunky blues chords and rhythm.
Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB
I’m reading that these have a flat EQ metal sound with a little mixture of stoner tones, which I found amusing. They claim a completely balanced coil configuration that results in a high-quality metal sound. They have precise harmonics and high output, which should give good sustain and distortion sounds.
Bare Knuckle Nailbomb
These are known to have a relatively high output and beautiful tone. They come with an array of options for covers and screws, so they can always look good when installed. Many guitarists like them since they work well for quite a few styles.
Although there are a ton of options out there, these three remain the most interesting options.