Seymour Duncan Black Winter Pickups: In-Depth Review

Seymour Duncan Black Winter pickups are high-output humbuckers specifically designed for extreme metal genres. With their unique construction and powerful output, these pickups are perfect for delivering crushing riffs and scorching leads. Lets get into the details.


Black Winter Pickup Features

  • Coils: Overwound coils for maximum output and aggressive response.
  • Magnets: Ceramic magnets provide high-output power and a tight low end.
  • Pole pieces: Custom hex screw pole pieces for precise string balance.
  • Covers: Available in black or white matte finish to match your guitar’s aesthetic.
  • Wiring: Four-conductor wiring allows for coil splitting and other versatile configurations.
seymour duncan black winter guitar pickups for metal
Black Winter Set

Classic Metal Tone

The Black Winter pickups are designed to deliver a brutally powerful, heavy tone perfect for extreme metal genres. Key tonal characteristics include:

  • Tight low end for crushing palm-muted riffs
  • Slightly scooped midrange for aggressive and powerful rhythm playing
  • Searing high-end attack for cutting leads and solos

You can hear the amazing tone of the Black Winter pickups in the YouTube video below.

What Sets Black Winter Pickups Apart

  • Unique voicing tailored specifically for extreme metal genres
  • High-output design for powerful and aggressive sound
  • Ceramic magnets for tight and focused low end
  • Custom hex screw pole pieces for even string balance
seymour duncan black winter trembucker bridge pickup
Black Winter Bridge Trembucker

Things to Consider Before Purchase

  • May not be suitable for players seeking a more versatile tone compared to the Invaders for example (see below for comparisons)
  • High output can make it challenging to dial in cleaner sounds
  • Ceramic magnets may be perceived as harsh or cold compared to Alnico magnets
  • Not ideal for softer playing styles or genres

Famous Users of the Black Winter Pickup

  • Mick Thomson (Slipknot)
  • Ola Englund (The Haunted, Feared)
  • Jeff Loomis (formerly of Nevermore and currently with Arch Enemy)
  • Ben Weinman (The Dillinger Escape Plan)
  • Mark Holcomb (Periphery)
  • Emil Werstler (Chimaira, Daath)
  • Matt Heafy (Trivium)
  • Jason Richardson (All That Remains, Chelsea Grin)
  • Christian Muenzner (Necrophagist, Obscura)

Seymour Duncan Blackened Black Winter

The Blackened Black Winter is a limited edition of the Black Winter pickup. The main difference lies in the aesthetics, featuring a unique blackened, distressed cover that adds an extra touch of darkness to your guitar’s appearance.

seymour duncan blackened black winter guitar pickups for metal
Blackened Black Winter

7-String Guitar Compatibility

Seymour Duncan Black Winter pickups are available for 7-string guitars, providing the same high-output and aggressive tone for extended range instruments. They look good too…

Seymour Duncan Black Winter vs Nazgul

Lets get into some comparisons. When comparing the Seymour Duncan Black Winter and Nazgul pickups, there are some distinct differences in tone and construction:

  • Black Winter: Designed for extreme metal, with a tight low end, scooped midrange, and aggressive high-end attack. Ceramic magnets provide a more aggressive and powerful sound.
  • Nazgul: Aimed at progressive and modern metal, featuring a strong low end, focused midrange, and crisp high-end clarity. Alnico 5 magnets offer a smoother and more balanced response. Check out my full review of the awesome Seymour Duncan Nazgul Pickups.

While both pickups are suitable for heavy styles, the Black Winter is more aggressive, while the Nazgul is better suited for progressive and modern metal with more clarity.

Seymour Duncan Black Winter vs Invader

The Invader pickup is another one of Seymour Duncans popular pickups. Lets look at some details on the Invaders first.

Invader: Known for its high output and thick, saturated tones, the Invader is a versatile pickup suitable for various heavy music styles, from punk to metal. It features three large ceramic magnets, providing a rich and full-bodied tone with plenty of sustain.

The Black Winter is tailored for extreme metal with its aggressive and powerful character, while the Invader offers more versatility and a thicker, fuller tone, making it a suitable choice for a wider range of heavy music styles. Check out my full review on the Seymour Duncan Invader Pickups here.

The Verdict

The Seymour Duncan Black Winter pickups are an excellent choice for those seeking a powerful, high-output pickup tailored specifically for extreme metal genres. Their unique construction and tonal characteristics make them stand out among other pickups in the market. However, their aggressive nature may not be suitable for all players or genres. In this review, I find that the Black Winter pickups are an outstanding option for those looking for a crushing tone and powerful output.

Thank you for reading!

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