The Knockout series is one of Mojotone’s more encompassing offerings. You can find a Knockout model for Strat (6 and 7-string), Tele, Jaguar, and Jazzmaster styles. And even for bass, with the P-Bass and Jazz Bass (4 and 5-string) options.
The design of the Knockout is like a P-90 in the general approach. Adjustable polepiece screws are in play, rather than rod magnet poles. The bottom of each pole screw is flanked by a bar magnet. With the exception of the Alnico 4 on the Jazzmaster style, all Knockout magnets are ceramic.
For installation, they are going in my 1990 American Standard Stratocaster with a maple neck and board. I am using the Mojotone Solderless Strat Blender Harness, so install is a snap. This harness lets me blend in some neck to positions 1 and 2, and some bridge into positions 4 and 5.
If you want it even easier than that (and what guitar player doesn’t? LOL!) check out the Knockout Strat Prewired Pickguard. When ordering direct from Mojotone, you can choose the color of the pickup cover as well as the color of the pickguard. Additionally, Mojotone also offers pickguards for ’57 and ’62 styles in addition to the more modern standard style.
I’ve been looking forward to checking out the Knockout pickups, as it’s also giving me the opportunity to run through my new Mojotone British-style 4×12 straight speaker cab.
Right away, it’s clear that these pickups are for players that want a little more meat with their potatoes. A little more horsepower under the hood. A little more…. alright, you get the idea! HaHa!
The P-90 structure definitely allocates a bit of that vibe to the Knockouts. Beefier than single coils, but not as big as humbuckers. Plenty of snap and attack, with a bit of a punch. Tweaking the pole height can really open up more character to suit your own style.
Across the range of different amp setting, the Knockout Strat pickups are bold and harmonically textured. Lows are full and controlled, where highs are big and edgy. You can get jazzy and twangy on a clean amp tone, with plenty of space for cowboy chords.
It’s really interesting how this set interacts when dialed in to dirtier settings. When considering a little edge and a bit of overdrive, you are able to easily get from SRV and Clapton to the higher voltage arena rock. And going into an even higher saturation, the Knockouts hold together really well for precise riff rock and juicy spandex-themed licks. Always articulate and very responsive.
Ready for a demo from Alicia Keys’ own Hanan Rubinstein:
And this demo, going through a Mojotone Blackface Bassman Style Head Kit for cleans and a Mojotone British 45 Style Head Kit for dirty tones:
How about some specs:
Knockout Strat Bridge
Resistance – 9.064 K
Inductance – 4.809 H
Magnet – Ceramic
Knockout Strat Middle
Resistance – 8.003 K
Inductance – 3.827 H
Magnet – Ceramic
Knockout Strat Neck
Resistance – 6.948 K
Inductance – 2.992 H
Magnet – Ceramic
The Knockout Strat pickups are an excellent choice when you’re looking for a punchy Strat tone that can put you out in front. Versatility is the name of the game here and the Knockout has your back. They are good for Blues, Country, Funk, Indie, Hard Rock, Alternative, Jazz, R&B, and more!
For reference, this Mojotone Knockout Strat 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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