Railhammer Alnico Grande Pickup

Railhammer expands their pickup line with the new Alnico Grande pickup, voiced to cover the in-betweens of vintage and modern sounding pickups.

Railhammer Alnico Grande Pickup

Because of the use of alnico 5 magnet, this pickup is described to have a warm tone that has some light compression. However, it is wound to be hotter than vintage humbuckers which give it a rounder, thicker sound with more sustain.

This pickup offers a nice compromise for players who want the dynamics and feel of vintage pickups, but want the pickups to have more grit like modern humbuckers. The company extrapolates, ""Perfect for the player who wants higher output and fatter tone than Railhammer's Hyper Vintage model, but prefers a less aggressive upper-mid/treble attack than the Chisel or Anvil models".

Like all Railhammer pickups, the Alnico Grande features the company's unique combination of rail and pole piece magnet design. This makes the pickup look different from conventional humbuckers, and the difference is not just skin deep.

The use of rail and pole in a single pickup is the brain child of Joe Naylor and his team. The idea behind it is that using rails under the wound strings will produce tighter and clearer tones because rails can only sense a narrow section of the strings. The large pole magnets on the three plain strings sense a wider section of the string, much like conventional pickups, and as such results in fatter high register notes.

Railhammer adds, "This (design) allows players to dial in a tight clear tone on the wound strings without the plain strings sounding thin or sterile. The result is improved clarity and tonal balance across all the strings."

Being a Vintage-Modern hybrid, the Alnico Grande's hotter output is complemented by tighter sound of wound strings. This allows for meaty rock riffs and power chords, especially useful for low-tuned guitars. The hotter output and large pole pieces on the other hand ensure your highs are not to thin sounding, giving you vintage-flavor snap and dynamics.

The company was also able to eliminate any moving parts within the pickup and improved the magnetic structure, according to them, this results in a stronger magnetic field that improves touch sensitivity, sustain and harmonic content. Dead spots when bending strings are also better avoided with this design. I should note that this may change the way notes "fade" when bending, which is a distinct feature of vintage pickups.

Other features of the Alnico Grande include: universal spacing, German silver cover, brass baseplate, four-conductor wiring with independent ground (allows custom wiring such as phase, series/parallel, etc.) and height tapered rails which contributes to consistent volume across all the strings.

The new Railhammer Alnico Grande is currently available in chrome or black color, pricing information will soon be available. Head over to Railhammer for the complete specifications and other details.

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