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Q-Tuner Super High-Z Bridge Pickup

Ultra high-gain, neodymium pickup with unique look and clear sound.

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Searched Q-Tuner Super High-Z Bridge Pickup in Reviews


Clarity Like No Other - At A Cost featured

Comments Howdy y'all! A while back I read about a wacky new pickup made with neodymium magnets and after looking around the official web site I just knew I had to give this new pickup company a shot - that company being Q-Tuner pickups, of course.

Right away the first thing that will strike anyone checking out these pickups is the look. Definitely a gimmick of sorts the look of the pickup is totally unique and very cool (you can still get the pickup in traditional looking models). Q-Tuner offers an assortment of pickup styles from vintage-ish to metal-only. This review is specifically for the 'metal-only' flavored "super High-Z" pickup - I have no idea what the others sound like or how they interact with different guitars.

The first thing I noticed when I slapped my Super High-Z into my EB/MM JP6 guitar was the very open high end. The Super High-Z was specifically designed for that cutting high-gain tone that most metal players look for. The pickup excels at upper end note separation/definition. In a non-metal setting the high-end may come off as bit shriek-y but one should understand that when they buy the Super High-Z that they are getting the highest of high gain type of pickup. All Q-Tuner pickups have many poll pieces that can all be adjusted for various tonal combination's. With all of the polls flat the EQ curve of the pickup is very flat; almost too flat. The pickup can come off as being very sterile but also reflective of the guitar itself. I did try the Super High-Z in a Gibson BFG and the tone certainly gained from the BFG's chambered body. It didn't really match well with the P-90 neck pickup but that was to be expected.

The Q-Tuner Super High-Z does have it's fair share of disadvantages, though. First and foremost is the impact it has on sustain. I've done a direct comparison (as direct as one can get by using two pickups switched in one guitar) with the Super High-Z and my DiMarzio D-Sonic and even though the D-Sonic is a fairly powerful pickup the Super High-Z makes a noticeable hit to the sustain. Usually sustain is pretty minimally impacted from one high-gain pup to the next but when you can easily notice a loss it's a pretty sure sign of trouble. Next is the price - Q-Tuner pups do not come cheap. In fact they are expensive enough that considering the Super High-Z's somewhat lack of unique character and sustain reducing properties one could easily suggest simply getting a nice BareKnuckle pup and calling it a day. I understand that Q-Tuner can easily gain customers through simple curiosity but that certainly won't help them down the road if they become well known; they will have to lower their prices or fade away.

All in all the Q-Tuner Super High-Z is a cool looking pickup that is easy to recommend to the metal player whom has money to burn, but to the average player I'd say it's best to leave the expensive experimenting to others - you're not really missing much.

[Again, this is for the Super High-Z only. For all I know the "medium-Z" is the greatest pup of all time.]

Liked about it Top three things I like about the Super High-Z:

1)Ultra high clarity and note precision.
2)Looks bad-ass in most guitars.
3)Very tweak-able with its many adjustable poll pieces.

Didn't like Top three things I don't like about the Super High-Z:

1)Noticeably reduces sustain.
2)Very pricey.
3)Abnormal mounting.

Overall satisfaction:

By Johnny Two Tone
May 17, 2010
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