The Nostalgia humbucker is one I happened across about 5 or so years ago. In the neck position of a guitar I was checking out, it was something that became an interesting answer to some of the issues that some players have with models commonly used for the neck slot.
If you left my article on the DMT Baker Act bridge humbucker wondering about a good neck counterpart, here it is. It can be a real journey for some players to contend with a few of the neck humbuckers that are thrown at us to match up with powerful bridge pickup. I think that Dean does a good job of answering that need with the Nostalgia model.
Since first getting the Nostalgia humbucker, I’ve tried it in the neck to be paired with a few high output bridge models. It’s a great option. At the core of the character is a classic voicing. A little open with an evenly balanced character. And that balance seems to be where the magic happens for this pickup.
This is where I point out that that in a true nod to the classic humbucker of days gone by, the Nostalgia can be used in either position. I know, they do offer the product in a neck and in a bridge designation. When I noticed that mine has no position noted on the label, I called in to ask for confirmation. Yes, I did meter the pickup, but the specs posted on the Dean site were so close it could have gone either way. That’s when they told me that a Nostalgia model is suitable for either position. Nifty!
Still, for now, this is about the Nostalgia in the neck role. I’d rather pick up (ha! a pun!) another one and try them as a full set before discussing it in the bridge.
So then, in the neck, the Nostalgia deftly navigates the dangers of a neck pickup being too rigid or too boomy. At a time when some players have to spend extra money to modify or custom order a classic-sounding neck humbucker, this saves the day. Lows are more precise while having the feeling of some vintage sag. Mids are even. Highs are present and defining.
The Nostalgia character translates to chime and detail on clean amp settings and focus and presence in a dirty setting. The specs put it right in a sweet spot for this sort of humbucker. As with the Baker Act, it seems as if Dean has an ear for what players would like refined into a bit of a product-improved option and then present it at a reasonable price.
For an idea of how they sound, check out a Nostalgia set in this video from Dean:
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, Twitter or his website is darthphineas.com