Single NZ$199 for NZ customers, if you’re overseas it’s GST free; NZ$173.04
Pair NZ$379 for NZ customers, if you’re overseas they’re GST free; NZ$329.57
Cover NZ$20 ($17.39) extra each pickup
AlnicoV – Bridge 13.48 KOhms, 10.49H, Neck 7.9 KOhms 5.69H
The Cloud Nine-hot humbucker is a versatile ROCK pickup with plenty of mids, plenty of power but with enough clarity to help you stand out in the mix. A great pickup set for the Blues/Rock player but also well suited to heavier sounds , think Randy Rhodes or EVH. It with push the front end of an amp but will also clean up especially with a treble bleed.
Table of Contents
Cloud Nine in a Super Strat
There are many factors determining the performance of a pickup. The Cloud Nine bridge pickup has asymmetrically wound coils. It not only has a different number of winds on each coil but they’re wound with a different number of turns per layer. Each of the two coils has a slightly different mid range response, This gives not only plenty of mids but a real mid range clarity. It means the pickup sits well in a mix.
The alnico 5 magnet that powers both neck and bridge are specially made for me to my spec.
The neck pickup is also asymmetrically wound for the same reasons. It’s wound to be fairly hot for neck pickup standards but with the alnico 5 magnet there is still high end clarity. It’s a big fat but clear neck pickup sound. This is a great fat lead tone rather than a funky rhythm pickup.
In a PRS SE
Out of the blue I received an email from a customer in Tasmania who had recently bought a Cloud Nine-hot humbucker bridge pickup. He sent me a link to these clips. In The Final Countdown the rhythm guitars are the Cloud Nine coil tapped.
In a Les Paul
It’s worth mentioning how many Les Paul players use the Cloud Nine. It may be the scale length or particular dynamics of a Les Paul but these pickups just sing in a LP.
Cloud Nine-hot humbucker Story
I am at heart a man of ROCK.
Since the advent of the DiMarzio Super Distortion players have been able to get some power out of their pickups, enough to really push an amp.
The neck pickup needed to be clear and present but with enough power for some of those sweet lead lines.
I wanted the bridge pickup to have power to scream with the best of them while retaining enough clarity to have definition. When I play a 7th chord I want to hear it as a 7th and not sound mushy like a John Deere tractor at full throttle.
It’s a real danger with hot pickups that they lose character and tone. I needed a crunchy rhythm with strong mids and an over the top lead sound. I want to get squawking pinched harmonics whenever I please. Not only that but I need it it to clean up nicely and react well to a treble bleed circuit. A humbucker for every situation, for players not afraid of a bit of gain.
Not much to ask, eh!
I got through a lot of wire and magnets experimenting over the years to get this set right. I suppose I worked on it for about 5 years, different magnets, winds, wire thickness, insulation, winds per layer – there are a lot of factors. Whenever I felt I was close I used them at a gig to hear how they sat in the band. Pickups can sound quite different next to a drummer or in a mix. I tweaked and adjusted…
Eventually I was happy with the design and I was lucky enough to have legendary Kiwi band ‘Head Like A Hole’ help out with road testing. I knew if they came back from tour happy then I was on to a winner. They did.
When you get it right it feels so good, a sensitive pickup rich in harmonics is so much fun so I called it the “Cloud Nine” which how I felt at the end of it all.
This is the pickup set I gig with myself in my covers band now. I have them in an Epiphone Sheraton and also in my Flying V. With this set up it works for everything from The Smiths to Metallica and all points in between. I don’t feel the need to swap guitar – these pickups work for everything.
Cloud Nine-hot humbucker
Enjoy this? You may also like…