This is a great and versatile pickup. Now, I know what a few people might think: isn’t MojoTone that place that’s been selling parts for about 20 years? Yes. Yes, that’s the same place. Then a few years ago, they looked around and realized that they had all these parts there in front of them, so they put Tab A into Slot B and made some pickups. And I admittedly sort of dismissed them for the same oversight that I can see many might have. But then I went to a guitar show to find their booth for some new preamp tubes and I see all these pickups.
One of the guys behind the pickups was there, so you can bet was had a good long fun talk. Lots of interesting stuff. When it came to the point of looking for something for me, I made it a point to not go hardcore over specs, and we just discussed the goals. He quickly pointed out the Black Magic. When you look at the description on the website, you may or may not see why I wasn’t sure, but I’m glad I threw caution to the wind on this pickup.
It has an Alnico 5 magnet going down the middle, just like you’d expect. Then there is a ceramic magnet in place of the keeper bar. Since some people can be firmly in either of the alnico-only camp or the ceramic-only camp, trust me when I see where everyone is coming from and please hold on tight for another minute. It also has a double row of screw poles, which I also understand could form certain opinions from pickup aficionados. It’s my experience that any such concerns are warrantless in this pickup, almost as if they cancel each other out.
It’s not a thick as you’d expect from a double screw pickup and not as harsh as you’d expect from a ceramic pickup. actually pretty full sounding. Not thick, but full. The lows don’t flub and the highs don’t pierce and the mids seem even. Looking at these specs, you know you are going to be in for a pleasant surprise:
series – 15.22k
split N – 6.91k
split S – 8.32k
parallel – 3.78k
I’ve been checking it out in a mahogany 2-hum singlecut with a Floyd. It is wired to a p/p for series/parallel. When in parallel on a clean amp setting, it cleans up better than you’d expect. Very workable clean tone in that arrangement. After a day of breaking it in, I started to work with some height adjustment and some pole adjustment and became really impressed by how responsive the pickup is to those small tweaks. Very open and expressive. Not at all a strictly face-melting shredder that you might expect from the official description or from the video at the link. Quite versatile and a good solid rock pickup for a variety of genres. Great note separation for sustained open chords and great focus for barre chord chugging riffs.
And check this out….you can order it with your choice of pole colors: black, chrome, gold or nickel. You can also order it with covers in those same finishes or with open coils (like in the link photo). There are a lot of good bridge humbuckers out there and I do like a lot of them. This is one that I didn’t expect to surprise me as much as it did. I did grab another pickup from MojoTone that I’ll discuss at a different time, but I like what I’m hearing from them and I think they are worthy of your attention.
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