Now, I know what a few people might think. “Isn’t Mojotone that place that’s been selling parts for about 20 some-odd years?” Yes. Yes, that’s the same place. They looked around and realized that they had all these parts there in front of them. So they put Tab A into Slot B and make their own brand of pickups.
Some people can be firmly in either of the Alnico-only camp or the Ceramic-only camp. Trust me when I see where everyone comes from on this issue. Generally speaking, it’s always best to trust one’s ears. But we are talking about guitar players here after all. HaHa! In this instance, the Black Magic has an Alnico 5 magnet going down the middle, just like you’d expect. Then there is a ceramic magnet in place of the keeper bar.
This is nothing new and something that you can read about among other products on this very website. The short version is while there is the probability of some gauss issues with the Alnico, the stronger magnet becomes the baseline supplier of the magnetism. And as the Alnico is part of the magnetic circuit, it can hold it’s strength as being part of a return path loop.
The Black Magic set is in a mahogany 2-hum double-cut shred-stick with a Floyd Rose. The harness is wired for series-parallel-split operation.
After a day of breaking it in, I start to work with some height and some pole adjustments. It is impressive how responsive the pickups are to those small tweaks. Very open and eloquent. Not at all a strictly face-melting shredder that you might expect from the official description. Quite versatile and a good solid rock pickup for a variety of genres. Great note separation for sustained open chords and great focus for barre chord chugging riffs.
It’s more articulate than one might expect from a double screw pickup. And not as harsh as you’d expect from a ceramic pickup. Actually pretty full sounding. Not thick, but full. The lows don’t flub and the highs don’t pierce and the mids seem even. The Black Magic set is expressive and vocal. It’s a powerful combination that is also overflowing with a musical voice. That makes it much more versatile than many other options.
Clean amp tones work very well with the Black Magic neck pickup. Plenty of push in series mode. A classic glassy chime in split mode and a polite tonality in parallel mode that’s excellent for strumming and jazzy lines. When in parallel on a clean amp setting, it cleans up better than you’d expect. Very workable clean tone in that arrangement.
The neck is excellent for the liquid fluidity of heavy blues to the punishing presence of metal to the exacting precision of staccato phrasing. While not quite as offset as the bridge model, the slightly asymmetrical coils of the neck position opens up the frequencies enough to allow a more open character.
Paired up with the Black Magic bridge, they are well-balanced with each other and work to each other’s strengths. I discovered a nice vibe in the middle toggle position with both pickups in parallel, which resulted in a very nice late-70s/early-80s rock character.
How about some specs:
Black Magic Bridge
Series – 15.28 K
Inductance – 8.449 H
Split – 6.948 K
Split – 8.368 K
Parallel – 3.797 K
Magnet – Alnico 5 & Ceramic
Black Magic Neck
Series – 9.055 K
Inductance – 4.274 H
Split – 4.927 K
Split – 4.132 K
Parallel – 2.246 K
Magnet – Alnico 5 & Ceramic
You can get your Black Magic humbucker individually or as a set directly from Mojotone ( <— link ). Check this out. You can order it with your choice of pole colors: black, chrome, gold or nickel. It’s also available with covers in those same finishes. The Black Magic is also available in a 7-string ( <— link ) configuration, as seen in the photo above.
There are a lot of good bridge humbuckers out there and I do like a lot of them. This is one that I didn’t expect to surprise me as much as it did. If you are bit of a pickup junkie, you will be blown away with Mojotone pickups. They offer a custom/boutique-level product and experience. Made in the USA and at reasonable rates.
For reference, this Mojotone Black Magic humbucker pickup set evaluation was conducted with a Fractal Axe-Fx II XL+ featuring Celestion Impluse Responses and Fractal MFC-101 MIDI Foot Controller. Real cabs in use are Marshall 1960B, Mojotone British, and Peavey 6505 cabs loaded with Celestion Classic Series Vintage 30s, Classic Series G12M Greenbacks, and Heritage Series G12-65s.
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