In September we posted that a new Slash Les Paul was in the works, along with new signature pickups. Well, with the winter NAMM show just weeks away, details about lots of products are beginning to trickle out, including the new Slash pickups. Here’s what we know.
From the Seymour Duncan website:
“Though he has dozens of amazing guitars, since 1986 Slash has used pretty much one very special Les Paul for all recording [more on this below]. The Alnico II Pro Slash was designed to give Slash’s other Les Paul guitars – what he calls his “live guitars” – the exact tone of this legendary instrument.
“Like the standard APH-1 Alnico II Pro [a Duncan pickup, long Slash’s favorite], this pickup uses an Alnico 2 magnet [warm, fewer highs and lows than an Alnico 5 mag]. However, the Slash model is wound with just enough boosted output to push a stock Les Paul toward the sweet sustain and rude crunch that characterizes Slash’s sound as heard on hundreds of tracks. In addition, it comes with some of the same appointments found on the Seymour Duncan pickups in Slash’s ’86 recording axe, including single-conductor cable, long-legged bottom plate and wooden spacer. For the true fan, or the player who wants to capture Slash’s recorded tone, this pickup is a critical part of the tone chain. This is same pickup found in the newest Gibson Slash model Les Paul.”
So it sounds like a slightly boosted Alnico II Pro.
Here’s what Evan Skopp, who handles marketing for Duncan, said in a thread on the Duncan forum:
“Here’s the deal with the new Slash pickup. Virtually all the recordings you’ve heard Slash play on since 1986 were made with one guitar. Contrary to popular opinion, it’s not a Max: it’s a Derrig ,and it has stock Alnico II Pro pickups [Max and Derrig are two famous Les Paul clone builders]. The reason he uses that guitar, as opposed to any of his dozens of other Les Pauls, is because the Derrig just has a livelier, punchier sound. When he plays live, he’s less critical, but for recording, it’s almost always the Derrig.
“The new Slash pickup lets his other Les Pauls, what he calls his ‘live guitars,’ sound like the Derrig. That’s it. More details will be forthcoming shortly. But for now, we have to get the finishing touches on our NAMM presentation together.”
Duncan forum user “J Moose” also added these points:
> “The pickups in the Appetite guitar (the infamous [Derrig] copy) were stock off-the-shelf Alnico II [Pros]…. Nothing special, same ones that everyone else buys are the ones he’s been using for all these years. ”
> “The new pickup came about because the Appetite guitar sounded better than anything that Gibson has sent him….”
> “It’s said to have a hair more ‘body’ and bite.”
That’s all we know so far. Stay tuned!