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James... 08/04/2011

Tom Anderson H3+ : James...'s user review

« The most organic high output pickup out there »

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Tom Anderson is not know for hot pickups, but he still makes them. The H3+ is the hottest of the bunch. And believe me it's hot. Not distorted. Hot. A lot of high gain pickups really on making their own gain or high output. The H3+ is just hot. It overdrives amps the old school way. The voicing is different than most pickups of this kind. It's heavy in the low mids and very dark overall. It's never muddy, even in my Les Paul Classic I use it in. But it does have this dark, musty character in the mids. The other dimension here is how organic the pickup sounds. It's very very woody. This goes along with the darkness aspect too. A lot of pickups of this output tend to sound sterile. I'm not just talking about EMG's either. I think it has to do with the genre. A lot of high output guitarists seem to prefer a sterile sound. The H3+ is not for them. However, if you play metal or hard rock and you want to hear the organic complexities of your guitar, this is the pickup to get. Obviously with this high of an ouput, you aren't going to get the same organic tones of a 59 PAF. But it won't sound dry like an EMG either. I also really like the hi-fi clarity this pickup seems to have. It may be the added compression in the midrange I'm hearing. It has that "already tracked" sound that you don't usually get when you play live. I really like that about it.
This isn't a cheap pickup but it's not that expensive either. It's really not for everyone. But if you want to stand out from the pack in a high output situation this will definitely do that. It isn't my favorite pickup in the world, but I'm amazing at what it does to a les paul. It's a really dark and woody high gain tone that can't be had any other way.