Arcane Inc. is a boutique shop in Hollywood. it came to my attention about 10 months ago, when they essentially took George Lynch away from Seymour Duncan (in a manner of speaking). I’ve talked to a few guys that play this brand and I’ve heard nothing but good things.
Now, I don’t chase the EVH tone. but the EVH-themed pickups I’ve tried have generally been good all-around rock pickups. the Bare Knuckle Pickups ‘VHII’ model being an excellent example. there are a fair number of boutique shops that take a stab at the “brown” pickup, so for Arcane to get some of the praise it has gotten makes my ears snap back.
8.70k – series
4.17k – split north
4.53k – split south
2.20k – parallel
This is a bit of an interesting pickup. I think ‘complex’ is the word to use for the overall voicing if you were to try to compare it to some of the other models out there that take a stab at a VH theme. Having tried 4 other such models across 3 other brands, the Brownbucker seems to cover a lot of ground of each of them.
First, I’d like to cover the clean tone. I have it worked to switch to parallel. On a clean amp setting, I find it really touch sensitive like this…more so than some others. Clear and defined and responsive. Highs have chime, but not sharp. Lows are present but not thumpy.
On a dirty amp setting in series mode, it kept throwing me off. The upper mids and highs had focus to the point of making me think it was geared toward the VH voicings of the mid-80s and early-90s. The lower mids and lows had punch you’d almost expect from a different pickup, like something geared toward the late-70s.
I don’t consider myself a VH aficionado, but maybe someone that is could more closely nail a specific era that suits the voicing. My first reaction is that it can cover a lot of ground that it would take at least two other VH-type pickups to handle. It’s a fun pickup.
Special thanks to new contributor Darth Phineas for this review.
Darth Phineas is a long time music industry insider who provides his readers with unbiased reviews on musical instrument and guitar gear. You can read more of his reviews and check out industry news on his Facebook community Darth Phineas