For the second release in Monty’s signature series, we are delighted to have teamed up with the veritable guitar legend that is Bill Steer. Perhaps the most influential British Metal guitarist of the last 30 years, Bill is best known as a founder member of the band Carcass and as an early guitarist with the band Napalm Death. For his exceptional playing and musical innovations, Bill is widely regarded as one of the best metal guitarists in the world and is a true pioneer in the grindcore and death metal genres. Not a man content with being merely a master of the metal, Bill is also an incredible blues-rock guitarist, exhibiting both his guitar and vocal his talents in his band Firebird.
Bill asked us to make him a set of pickups that matched a high-output bridge pickup with a slightly less aggressive vintage-voiced neck pickup. In particular, he wanted both pickups to keep plenty of top-end sparkle and clean up really well. Simply put, he wanted a set of pickups as versatile as he is, able to cover a massive range of tones. Designing a bridge humbucker that fulfilled all these requirements meant departing from the typical formula; high output Humbuckers often end up using ceramic magnets and very thin wire, both of which keep things nice and tight at high gain but often make the pickup very flat and brittle as you turn down. We’ve used an Alnico 6 magnet instead, matching power with alnico warmth. We’ve also used a pretty substantial offset between the two coils, helping keep clarity and responsiveness despite the thinner wire. The neck pickup is a slightly more traditional affair, essentially an overwound version of our PAF pickup with an Alnico IV magnet, with a wonderfully full, thick sound that never loses clarity.
These pickups are wax potted with our usual magic potting technique to ensure that you can play at Bill Steer approved volumes without any concerns at all. Lovingly hand made here in our UK workshop using 42-gauge plain enamel (Neck) and 44-gauge AWG SPN 155 (Bridge) wire:
Neck - Alnico IV, 7.7k
Bridge - Alnico VI, 16.5k
The pickups come with a vintage 49.2mm string spacing the same as Bill's, if you want a more modern wide spacing please just let us know by putting a note on your order and we will be happy to make them for you.