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This article was originally published in issue #68
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organic, responsive tones
Not a thing
Alnico 5 Magnet
Alvalible In Covered & Non Covered Option.
Phil Short reviews the latest release from Sheptone pickups in the form of the Heartbreaker Humbucker set. Designed to emulate the elusive Jimmy Page tones we all know and love.
Pickups! Arguably the most crucial ingredient amongst the many factors that shape our sound as guitarists. Many of us will have experienced the significant changes to our sound simply by changing the pickups in our guitars, whether it's to breathe fresh life into a guitar that otherwise left us uninspired, or whether we have a specific genre we play that requires a specific pickup type to achieve the tone we're looking for.
However, with such a large number of pickup companies offering a vast range to choose from, it can at times feel a little overwhelming!
Well, hopefully, you can stop your search at this review of the Heart Breaker Pickups by Sheptone. Founded in 2007, chief designer Jeff Shepherd went on the ultimate quest to find the perfect PAF style pickup.
What even is PAF anyway? It stands for Patented Applied For and is the original humbucker design by Seth lover. Back in the early days, pickups were all hand-wound, resulting in fluctuating tonal qualities of each individual pickup. Some would be a dud, but others would be simply awe-inspiring. Pickup builders have spent many years researching the secret ingredients that made these pickups so special, and Jeff Shepherd may have just struck gold with his take.
The heartbreaker pickups were inspired by Jimmy Page's legendary tone. They're not a copy of a particular pickup, but rather the fruits of long labour to reproduce a pickup that would produce that same awe inspiring sound from those records.
They are without a doubt some of the most refreshing and musical sounding pickups we've heard here at GI in a while. Beautifully organic sounding, they are full, clear and open. They respond extremely well to pick attack and to the pots on the guitar, making them very tweak-able and versatile. You can really hear the natural resonance of the guitar shine through them, and even though they are vintage voiced pickups, they sound magical blues and classic rock. Lots of beautiful harmonic overtones and sweet musical feedback happens even at relatively low gain. For players who love low to medium gain tones and love to dig in to their guitars these pickups are extremely rewarding, really allowing your personality to shine through.
Rolling down the volume control in split coil mode yielded some wonderfully authentic funk tones as well as beautifuly clear and rich blues and classic rock sounds, very versatile indeed!
These pickups sound and feel like some of the highest quality pickups we've heard in a long time. Even better, they're not at a silly price point, well within the same price bracket as many of the leading pickup brands.
If you feel tired of the status quo and want a truly refreshing sound, the sheptone heartbreakers may just be what you've been looking for.