The Sledgehammer bridge humbucker pickup is another home run for Mojotone. It’s definitely one that I wish I’d tried a lot sooner!
Why not? Well, I have to say that the official product description really threw me off. My guitar goals don’t really factor in a low end that is “big” and “round”, or a high end with “warmth”. That suggests to me that it’s good for taming a really bright guitar. Then I see someone checking out the Sledgehammer and raving about it with a provocative new exposition. Now I have to get one! And away we go…
As always, ordering from Mojotone is a breeze. I definitely like how the pickups are made to order, so you can get the bobbin or cover that you prefer. There is currently no option on the site for pole piece finish, but I know you can ask if you call in to place the order. Yeah, I’m old school and like to talk to a human. LOL! Alternate pole colors that I’m aware of include black, aged, and gold.
The Sledgehammer is a bridge pickup that comes in f-spacing or standard spacing. Either spacing selection is the same dimension, so no special pickup mounting ring is needed. As for bobbin color, Mojotone keeps it simple with double black or the zebra variations. Oh Mojotone, if only you had that “Steve Vai green” for some 7-string options! HaHa!
For this evaluation, I am installing the Sledgehammer into the trusty test guitar. The wiring allows for series/split/parallel options. The guitar harness has Bourns 500k pots. Switchcraft 12120X 3-way toggle. Pure Tone Full Contact 1/4″ barrel jack During the install process, I take advantage of the opportunity to hit the frets with the Lizard Spit Fret Polishing System and to apply Lizard Spit Slick Nutz to relevant friction points. It has standard E tuning with 09-42 strings.
Right out of the gate, the big open character of this pickup is a groovy surprise. Not at all overly thick or too dense, as was my prior concern. The Sledgehammer drives home the low end with plenty of punch. For 80s riff rock, you get a nice amount of thud for your chugging pedal tones that balances out with a focused clarity. The highs have a glassy presence that delivers articulation without being shrill. The versatile mids of the Sledgehammer conjured traits that range from the raging pinch harmonics of Sykes and Wylde to the slippery intensity of Vai.
When it comes to cleaner tones, the pickup defines itself above the crowd. While the Sledgehammer is a bit hot, rolling back on the volume cleans up far better than many of the hot humbuckers on the market that I’ve seen. Even on a dirty tone, dialing down the guitar’s volume pot can tweak it chimey cleans and up to a bit of grit on the way to full blown mayhem. I still think that even on a clean amp setting, the Sledgehammer can hit pretty hard (ha! a pun!). In split and parallel mode, I still like to take the volume pot down a little.
While there is currently not a neck position Sledgehammer, I left a spare overwound P.A.F. style humbucker in the neck slot of the guitar. The Sledgehammer partners well, never overpowering that neck pickup. Going from bridge to neck is very smooth and transitions to the middle position are natural. As such, it gives me the impression that the Sledgehammer can be a good option for a gigging player that needs a lot out of one guitar.
Overall, I put the Mojotone Sledgehammer through it’s paces. It covers a lot of valuable sonic ground, making it a solid go-to option for many styles that can benefit from a high output humbucker. I’ve mentioned Vai a few times, as the Sledgehammer does seem to present me with a character that spans the blissful creamy sustain Passion and the articulate definition Warfare.
Series Resistance – 16.903 K
Inductance – 10.435 H
Split – 8.462 K
Split – 8.474 K
Parallel – 4.23 K
Magnet: Alnico 8
Check out this Sledgehammer 7-string demo from YouTuber Alex Kazhdan:
The Sledgehammer is good for hard rock, shred, prog rock, thrash, metal, punk, hardcore, alt rock, metalcore, fusion, and funk.
If this sounds like your cup of tea, the Sledgehammer is worth your valuable time. You can buy one direct from Mojotone HERE, or you can call them direct. It’s like getting a custom or boutique pickup in the more affordable price point that the big boys ask for a production model.
For reference, this Mojotone Sledgehammer humbucker 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 and Classic Series G12M Greenbacks.
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