REVIEW: Seymour Duncan Alternative 8

Seymour Duncan’s Blackout and Livewire active pickups are utterly killer, with their unprecedented power and monster tone, but not everybody wants to play actives. Some don’t like their attack, some don’t like their tone, some don’t like their headroom. Some simply want a fat-sounding humbucker with plenty of output. For them, Seymour Duncan offers the Alternative 8 passive humbucker. The 8 in the Alternative 8’s name is derived from the Alnico 8 (Aluminium/nickel/cobalt alloy) magnet at its heart – in fact, this pickup marks the first time this magnet has been used by Seymour Duncan.
The Alternative 8 has a DC resistance of 17.68k, making it one of the hottest passive humbuckers in Seymour Duncan’s history, almost stepping on the toes of the mighty Distortion Parallel Axis, a ceramic magnet humbucker which weighs in at an imposing 21.3 k. The pickup features hot coils wound for maximum output, enhanced further by the natural qualities of the Alnico 8 magnet. While a ceramic magnet might sound tight and bitey, Alnico adds warmth and presence to the midrange as well as the upper mids, while reeling back a little on the fizzy buzz factor inherent in ceramic magnets.

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