After getting my first Dean Soltero, I wanted to upgrade a couple of things on the guitar of which one of the main things was the pickups. My typical go to pickup is usually the Seymour Duncan JB but I was thinking of trying something a little different this time. I did some research on some of the boards and the name Motor City Pickups kept coming up so I head over to Motor City Pickups to read up on the different offerings. After reading through a few models, the Afwayu caught my attention since I wanted a more modern tone for this guitar. The main thing that really intrigued me was that they were described as working great in both high gain and low gain situations keeping chord work clear and uncompressed with a tone that had depth and presence. Now that sounds like a pickup that would fit me perfectly. I decided to give them a call to ask a few more questions and actually got a hold of Wade the owner. He was such a pleasure to talk to, patient with my questions and was very knowledgeable about pickup construction. I also learned that couple of my favorite guitar players Ty Tabor and Jerry Cantrell are actually are using the Afwayu’s. After our conversation I was pretty confident that these would be a cool set to check out, so I got a set that arrived early this week and had my bud Brian drop them in. So did they live up to what I was expecting?
Let me say first that quite honestly after so many years of trying different gear, not much just really knocks my socks off. Yes, some things I get are better than others but many times it isn’t a “Oh wow!” reaction. We’ll when I plugged the Dean into my VHT Deliverance, hit a few chords chords and did a few runs I was like “Oh wow.. these lived up to the hype.” They instantly took a decent sounding stock guitar to a much better sounding guitar. As described, the pickups worked great in low and high gain settings with all the notes in the chords jumping out. The low end stayed tight and top end was present but not harsh at all. The main thing I can really say about them is they are clear through out the whole tonal spectrum. Being a single coil in the neck position type of guy the one thing I don’t particularly care for with humbuckers in the neck is some of them can be muddy and flubby. The Afwayu in the neck was very nice and fat but still clear with no mud and had a sweet top end. The bridge at 16k is a little hotter than I typically use but it was as well very clear and brought out the natural growl of the guitar.
Money wise they are priced higher than your common pickups like Duncan and DiMarzio but you are getting a hand made pickup which to me are worth it. Overall I think Wade is offering some very nice pickups that are worth checking out if you are in the market for some new pups and I've since getting the Afwayu's I put some other models in my other guitars and I love them.