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Working with Porter Pickups we tested several options, and came up with a set that provides clarity, balance, but still has the ability to rock out when the moment is right. Taking advantage of the additional clarity and attack that you naturally get with a longer scale bolt-on guitar, we opted for Alnico 2 magnets in both pickups. Alnico 2 has a softer magnetic pull, which results in slightly less wound string attack, but a smoother top end with more open
harmonic response and better sustain. The tone secret of many hard rockers is a lower output A2 pickup put through a loud amp. There is a lot to be said for making the amp work rather than slamming it with a hot pickup.
The neck pickup is wound in the high 6Krange and is quite similar to the G&L P-90 -- which we like -- but the top end is a little smoother and cleaner. It's got ample low end response, and the longer scale and maple bolt-on neck allows the use of Alnico 2 without losing the natural snap of the Fallout. Adding some gain results in a touch-sensitive soulful crunch that is very responsive to pick attack, and easy to modulate. It's tailor made for expressive blues playing, and retains good clarity even with moderate amounts of gain.
The Alnico 2 bridge pickup is similar to the Porter Smooth Bridge, but underwound 5% and measures out in the 8.7-8.9K range. It's not a "weak" pickup, however the character is much different than the G&L or Duncan JB. Upper end clarity is greatly improved, and while there is ample treble response it's more refined and not sharp or spiky. The midrange responseis more balanced and less dark, and being mounted near the bridge you still get good attack qualities but with better bass response. It's whatwe like in a humbucker: Full sounding, but with lots of clarity, detail, and ringing harmonics.
When used with pedals or gain channels you do lose some of the tightness and immediacy of the JB or G&L AW4470. But the harmonics are a little richer, freer and more detailed. And there is no accentuated upper midrange bump that can get a little fatiguing at times. If your tastes run towards tightly
packed crunch, punk or harder stuff, the stock G&L pickup may be the hot setup. However, with modern amplifiers and pedals there is no shortage of gain, and the need for a hot pickup to overdrive the amplifier is not as important as it once was. Our preference is to dial back the pickup, hear what the guitar actually sounds like, and work the amp a little harder.
Life is all about choice, and many guitar players are by nature hopeless tweakers. There are not many ready-made options for the G&L Fallout, and we're excited to partner with Porter Pickups to create a set that brings out the best of this unique guitar design. Combine this with our exclusive Emerson Custom wiring assembly for Fallout, and you've got the ultimate custom setup.