I recently received for review two WCR Iron Man humbucking pickups and a magnet packaged separately. This was an interesting concept – the ability to switch magnets and compare


WCR Iron Man Humbucking Pickups I recently received for review two WCR Iron Man humbucking pickups and a magnet packaged separately. This was an interesting concept – the ability to switch magnets and compare is a great option for the truly tone-obsessed.

The manufacturer states that the pickup’s impedance is 22K, so I began by verifying this – I found it to be accurate, which was a good start.

The guitar I chose to pair with the Iron Man was a Les Paul Standard Custom Shop guitar. It has an ABR-1 bridge and features a long neck tenon. The electronics in this guitar had been upgraded to CTS 500k pots, which had each been checked and selected to be actually 500K. The pickups were all set to 1/16” from the strings when strings were fretted at the last fret.


First Up...
was the Alnico 8 magnet. I have to say that I was very surprised at the tone of this pickup. I was expecting something quite different because of the high impedance, but this pickup was extremely tight and full from top to bottom with loads of tight, low bass and very nice mids. The upper harmonics were even and the Alnico 8 Iron Man produced great overtones and extremely musical upper-harmonic feedback. There was an amazing pick attack to each note, no matter which register you found yourself in. The pickups were well potted and did not squeal, even when we cranked the gain way up. This pickup would cut through any mix with ease.


Second Up...
was the ceramic magnet – designated Ceramic 8. With this configuration, we were shocked to find even more, tighter bass. The Ceramic 8 revealed itself to be a good match for guitarists who operate in lower tunings; no muddy bottom here. The attack was stronger and more aggressive, and the sustain was even better than the Alnico 8 – although both are great for sustain. There was an extended upper range, which was to be expected from the ceramic magnet, but unlike some other ceramic pickups, it was not brittle. Zakk Wylde would probably love this pickup, as it is a great choice for metal guitarists and low tuned players.


Lastly...
we dropped in the Alnico 5 Iron Man. I found a softer, more compressed bottom end with rich, smooth highs, and a slightly lowered mid peak.

Although the pickup still had good sustain, it lost the amazing super sustain of the other two. The Alnico Iron Man was pretty bluesy for a 22K pickup; a direct comparison to a couple of other guitars with different pickups containing Alnico 5 magnets showed this one to be a bit smoother and a bit less aggressive, as far as pick harmonics go. It is still a strong contender, but remember the pickup is called the Iron Man, so I doubt if it was really intended for anything but straight ahead killer rock. That is what it does best.


Rating...
Tone...  
Craftsmanship...  
Features...  
Value...  
Overall...  




WCR Pickups
Starting at $180.00
20672 Gaughen Ct.
Soulsbyville, CA 95372
209-588-0621
www.crcoils.com

Our expert has stated his case, now we want to hear yours. Log on to premierguitar. com, click on “Forum” and share your comments and ratings.

Can an entry-level modeler hang with the big dogs?

Excellent interface. Very portable. Nice modulation tones.

Some subpar low-gain dirt sounds. Could be a little more rugged.

$399

HeadRush MX5
headrushfx.com

3.5
4
4
4.5

The allure of portability and sonic consistency has become too much to ignore for some guitarists, making smaller digital modelers more appealing than ever.

Read More Show less

"'If I fall and somehow my career ends on that particular day, then so be it," Joe Bonamassa says of his new hobby, bicycling. "If it's over, it's over. You've got to enjoy your life."

Photo by Steve Trager

For his stylistically diverse new album, the fiery guitar hero steps back from his gear obsession and focuses on a deep pool of influences and styles.

Twenty years ago, Joe Bonamassa was a struggling musician living in New York City. He survived on a diet of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and ramen noodles that he procured from the corner bodega at Columbus Avenue and 83rd Street. Like many dreamers waiting for their day in the sun, Joe also played "Win for Life" every week. It was, in his words, "literally my ticket out of this hideous business." While the lottery tickets never brought in the millions, Joe's smokin' guitar playing on a quartet of albums from 2002 to 2006—So, It's Like That, Blues Deluxe, Had to Cry Today, and You & Me—did get the win, transforming Joe into a guitar megastar.

Read More Show less
x