I just wanted to take this opportunity to say that I am DEEPLY impressed with your pickups. I have just fitted an HDN (bridge) and Nemesis (neck) into my ESP Ltd F100FM guitar and I am absolutely astounded.
My other guitar is an Ibanez RG with a Seymour Duncan Invader and a Dark Star in the neck. Now I love the invader, and I have always been a huge advocate and fan of Duncan pickups but now that I have installed the HDN it gives the invader a run for its money!
The Ltd originally only had one tone one volume but I bought a genuine Gibson wiring loom and drilled the body for two extra controls, I hope to soon upgrade to four push pull pots for phase and coil splits.
I play modern metal, circa 1990s and I can tell you this, the HDN was just born for this. I tune in 7 string tuning on a 6 string guitar, so AEADGB. Not much of a solo person I'm more rhythm and the HDN just delivers absolute gut wrenching low end but still doesn't get lost in the mix, it cuts through perfectly. As for the Nemesis it's aptly named and the tone it produces is complex and quirky! As you say it's like having two totally different single coils running back to back it's astonishing. I plan to purchase a Dark Star bridge pickup because the neck one is amazing so can't wait to hear one on bridge it'll be a screamer no doubt!
I hope someday you can bring out something ludicrously high output to take on pickups liked Dimarzio D Activators and Duncan Black Winters and blow them out of the water! And I'll be the first to buy them without a shadow of a doubt!
In short, keep up the amazing work and from now on, Entwistle pickups will be my first port of call when I'm in the market for a truly fearsome humbucker.
Adam (Leeds, UK)
I can wholeheartedly recommend Entwistle pickups; they are by far the most competitively priced, extremely versatile pickups I have come across, I now have them in all of my guitars and have the XS62N installed in both the neck and bridge of my G&L Asat, giving me a really crystal clear bridge sound without any hum or noise, excellent for both blues and rock, in the neck it almost sounds more like a humbucker! ( In some ways reminiscent of the HS3)- the 62N is packed full of sound and power and is no one trick wonder, I use it from blues, jazz, rock - it really is a superb pickup.
In my black Ibanez RG550 I knew I wanted to retain a lot of the original quality of the stock pickup but just wanted to push everything up a notch as its around twenty-three years old now, I was looking for more EQ, More response but without turning it into a neck pickup that was only suited to shredding- it has been a great pickup and I can highly recommend it, I would say its very reminiscent of some of the earlier Ibanez RG stock pickups that were not Dimarzio/ Seymour Duncans but with the Entwistle HVX I feel I have kept a lot of the originality but just boosted everything.
In my blue RG550LTD Ibanez I wanted something pretty mean in the neck as I use it for metal and rock mainly but sometimes a bit of blues, so was looking for a meatier sound but one that had a lot of clarity in position 5 as well as 4. The Darkstar ND (Neodyimium) very reminiscent of either a Dimarzio Superdistortion or a Seymour Duncan SH4.
What can I say except thank you for taking mine and many other guitar players alike tones to a new level and dimension without a hefty price.
Nathan Doyle (Session guitarist / instructor) Northants, England.
I just finished installing a Nemesis in the bridge position on an Orville Les Paul Custom, mated with an old Entwistle-White dual rails in the neck. The tone is amazing, and the warmth, clarity, balance and string-to string articulation are simply the best.
Some months ago, I also fitted a Burny Les Paul Custom with a pair of your superb HV 58 zebras, and similarly, the tone is exceptional, and in direct comparison with my SG with its original Gibson 'T top' humbuckers, the sonic difference between the two marques of pickups is negligible.
Congratulations on designing and making such superb pickups, and doing so at killer prices, which allow anyone to get the very best guitar sounds possible, for any genre of music.
I also bought a pair of X3's just to see what they were like, and yet another pair of HV 58's and am debating which of my guitars to fit them to, and very much looking forward to the results.
So now, I have two pairs of active EMG 81/85's, two pairs of Lace Sensor D50's and various DiMarzios laying in a drawer and going spare, along with very many other cheaper OEM pickups which I have discarded, since I switched to Entwistles..
Long may it continue.
Rob Lumsdon - X3 Bridge
Firstly, thank you very much for designing this outstanding product! In the past I've always had the EMG 85 as my go-to solution as a bridge pickup for rock & metal, however I was searching for a more "budget minded" pickup to go with a Jackson JS30RR that I've been busy re-working as a personal project. I wanted a fairly cheap instrument that I wasn't too concerned about taking a few knocks & in the worst case if it was damaged or broken could be easily replaced. I'm a huge fan of the Jackson compound radius necks however to say that the electronics on the cheaper models is lacking would be an understatement. I decided against EMG due to the cost of the pickup being almost as much as i paid for the guitar!
After doing a little reading & finding promising reviews of your products I decided to give the X3 a try, thinking "even if it's mediocre I'll just give it to a friend who wants a humbucker for his strat". No way in Hell I'm giving this pickup away now, it sounds great! No more muddy, mashed-together string sounds when chording, all notes are well defined, sharp and clear - even under some extremely heavy distortion; DOD Death Metal / Ibanez Smashbox SM-7. For a passive ceramic its magic, it has definition that in the past I've only been able to find in active pickups. Plenty of low end, nice mids & highs. Works great with 80's Thrash up through 90's Grind & Death and onto more modern new wave of American metal & melodic metal - Exactly what I wanted. The output is high, but not so much that it overwhelms pedals & amps, just enough to drive them hard & help accentuate pinch harmonics very nicely. The prize however has to be rolling back the volume control to about 10-20% and discovering that the clean / slightly "brown" tones still sound great! That's something that's normally lacking with the EMG's, they have a tendency to sound quite sterile when clean.
I'll certainly be using your pickups in future builds. I've already got my eyes on a pair of Darkstar 7's & I'll be recommending them to my friend for his Strat (the Nemesis AFG looks like a versatile pickup that would suit his needs). In the 17 years that I've been playing I've only even found this quality of tone in pickups four times the price. I'm both amazed & somewhat in awe of how the hell you can make such a great product then sell it at a price that anyone could afford. Again - thank you!
Shawn Reese - Dark Star Bridge
I had a dilemma which most guitarists face, and Darkstar solved it. I wanted more power from my bridge pickup for metal. The problem is active pickups and high output ceramic (EMG's, Dimarzio, and Duncan distortion type pups for example) have virtually no clean tone. I mean they sound like toy guitars when played clean. All the other major pickup manufacturers are trying to put out new active pickups that have some articulation and character played clean, and some tone when distorted, and all have failed in my opinion.
I have just finished installing a Darkstar original ceramic in the bridge position of a BC Rich Bitch (non-active, 6 string) and am totally pleased and surprised by the outcome. I wanted to make the guitar more metal friendly, but keep some versatility, for clean and hard rock.
The original Rockfield mafia bridge pickup wasn't bad, but it was a little muddy and dull sounding, sort of weak. The Darkstar actually has tons of punch and clarity, I have it backed off the strings quite a bit, as it is so powerful, and it still sounds powerful but clear tone as well... and it sounds great with the Darkstar mafia neck pickup, making it sound better as well.
I have used and played all types of pickups. Of course, the classic Duncan SH4 is the tone benchmark standard to which I would like to compare the Darkstar.
The Darkstar has more power than the SH4, but does not have the "crackle" in the background you get with the Duncan (which is probably an artefact of overwound Alnico V.) It also does not add the tinny sound or vowel sound tone "colorization" you hear from many pickups, including the latest round of designer/artist Duncan and Dimarzio pickups. That's due to the ceramic vs. alnico.
It pretty much sounds to me like a perfect mix between an active and a passive pickup, I'm sure it will prove itself for both live playing and recording. That's the way I hear it, and I'm really glad I tried it. I look forward to trying the Darkstar Neodymium which from what I've heard on YouTube, kicks butt for metal.
Steve - UK HDN Neck
I bought an Entwistle HDN Neodymium humbucker off Ebay to fit in a client's Strat. To be honest I did not have great expectations for the unit given the price but the client was on a budget and wanted a high output unit so I took a chance. The pickup arrived yesterday and on opening I was impressed at the apparent build quality. Cheaper pickups don't normally come with such quality and well prepared leads and often have tinny baseplates but not this one. The general feel of the unit also felt good. This is hard to explain but I have handled cheap Chinese/Korean type pickups and any number of Seymour Duncans/DiMarzio ones and the pickup was very much in the latter camp and not the first. Now for the important bit: After installing and restringing the guitar I plugged it in and tested the pickup out. FANTASTIC! Everything I would have expected of a pickup four times the price and more. It was one of those rare occasions I didn't want to put a customer's guitar down after proving the thing worked. I ran through a range of amp settings, tone control settings and styles of playing and every time the pickup blew me away. Later when the client came to try and collect the guitar he too was clearly very happy with the improvement the unit made to an already great guitar. I will definitely put this pickup and likely the whole Entwistle range on my 'recommended' list and expect to be using fewer Symour Duncans as a result.
Hey there! I purchased a set of the Dark Star, and the Nemesis. NEVER have I been more satisfied with the gear I own. Your pickups actually were the edge I needed to fatten my amps tone. I was so close to selling it, but with your pickups, I feel like I have a new amp. I just got a Fender Strat with the "fat" configuration. 2 single coil, and a humbucker at the bridge. I have 6 guitars, a bunch of Les Pauls, 2 Strats, and one Telecaster. My goal is to get your pickups in every one of them!! The other guitarist in my band was impressed as well. He currently runs EMG pickups in a Schecter C1+, and the nemesis pickups are just barely less aggressive, and his EMGs rely on a 9volt battery to achieve that tone. We are both completely amazed!!
Kevin Birge "The Cover Up"
John - USA HV58
I just wanted to write and say how impressed I am with this set of HV58s I just had put into my Ibanez AS73 (335 style semi-hollow body). They do everything that I was hoping they would. They are much fuller, rounder, clearer, and more sensitive than the stock pickups were. I even like them more than the pickups I had in both of my Les Pauls (1980 Black Beauty and 1993 Classic). Amazing work. Thank you so much. Can't stop playing them, and just loving the classic tones I am getting. I honestly feel guilty getting them for what I paid.
John Saltsman, Missoula MT
Graham - Dark Star Neck
This basically a thankyou!
I've been a guitar player for many years and as I've got older I've got more into tone
Now when one is shopping for a pickup it is impossible to know how a pickup will sound in YOUR GUITAR until the pickup is installed and played in YOUR GUITAR by you through your gear!
I have been playing a 1985 Gibson Les Paul Custom (which I salvaged, repaired, refretted and refinished many years ago)
Playing through a Marshall stack using 4x70 watt vintage and4xG12T75 speakers all driven by my customised 20 watt Marshall valve head.
I now have the bridge tone that I've been looking for through many years of experimentation; I've found that in a Gibson 500tstraight to the switch is just the ticket through my rig...
I have tried various Gibson pickups, Seymour Duncan, BareKnuckle, Schaller etc. etc. a very expensive set of exercises.
Been on the quest for the neck pickup... I have the tone in my head round and powerful (hot) but warm. All pickups I have been trying in this position sound kind of hollow
I am scarred by the pain of searching for the right bridge PU so I decided to buy cheaper pickups, then if I like the basic character, invest in a more upscale pickup based on those magnetics with similar values for DC resistance and inductance
The pickup I was using was a 496r - not enough power at all. I then tried a pickup from 'Iron Gear' called a 'Hot Slag'J - cool name but didn't like it sound. Next I tried an Entwistle 'Dark Star' Immediately on opening the pack I was really impressed with the diagrams and more importantly the pickup was marked as 'N' which saves mix ups! And even more importantly the wires were already tinned, with the coil split wires which would be bridged for humbucker mode, or the simple coil split already soldered up. Ready to drop in basically!
I measured it at 15.6k - I didn't like the graphics so I used some wet and dry to get rid of that, then installed it
Straight away it had a fuller tone, still quite hollow as there was a little top end 'missing' so I disconnected the cap in my tone/vol circuit. Actually sounds excellent, if you don't pick massively hard.
I have it wound moderately far away from the strings so it sounds a little less defined...
To sum up I'm amazingly impressed, it's a lower cost pickup but it not a lower cost tone! It's really beautiful to be honest
I'm gonna try the neodymium next, I was a bit worried about strong magnetics sapping sustain, but I don't need the pickup too close to the strings... And at the prices of these pickups it's great to be able to experiment without committing financial suicide! I've bought it, not got it yet, but I'm very much looking forward to it
Simon - France HV 58 Zebra
I just received the pair of HV 58 Zebra I ordered, and after installing them in my Ibanez SZ320 Gold Top (Mahogany set-neck guitar with maple cap), I must admit they sound really great. Not only for their price, but also compared to major brand pickups. Actually I am a kind of "pickup freak" and I've tried and played with a (huge!) lot of models from different major brands (expensive or not), such as DiMarzio, Seymour Duncan, Lace, Bill Lawrence (USA and Bill & Becky), EMG, Tonerider, Irongear, etc... I've never really stayed more than a couple of months with the same pickup in a guitar (I own various high-end guitars such as Vigier and Lag - made in France - as well as more "commoners" like Ibanez and Yamaha) as I usually end being kind of "unsatisfied" to a certain point thus the changing for a new pickup. But there are those very few pickups that left in place forever because of the permanent satisfaction they bring me from the beginning of their use, like the Seymour Duncan SH1 '59 Neck and the Tonerider Generator. And those HV 58 entered the top three, as I will definitely not move them from my guitar in many many time given the impression they gave me all the day long. They have this "air ringing" in the sound that makes them shine in the "vintage boutique" side, and the notes sound with those harmonic overtones I have rarely found in my other major-brand (and way more expensive!) pickups. Clean and distorted, they slam brightly with this typical "quack" that tone freaks like to (ridiculously) produce during hours slapping the strings to hear this "high end slap" characteristic while they grin to the other clients of the shop while they sit on their very expensive boutique hand-wired amp. Played clean through a tube amp, then overdriven with a TS-9 or simply distorted with my favourite distortion (Brown Sound in a Box 2), they simply sound fantastic, with a beautiful clarity and harmonics. Sure they are vintage output, so don't expect to use them with high gain stack monsters to obtain "mega gain" sounds, because it is not what they have been designed for (besides I really don't like it). I don't know how they compare to boutique pickups (like Bare Knuckle, Tom Holmes, Lollar, etc.) and I really don't care: they sound great. Period.
To be honest, I was so pleased with the result that I just ordered a set of Nemesis and a set of ASN 57 that are going directly to my high-end Vigier Excalibur. I'll send you a review as soon as I install them.
Thank you for your outstanding work and dedication to bring the best (and affordable!) to all the people.