Guitar Pickup Review

Gibson Slashbucker Set

The Slashbucker hit the streets a few years ago. Most marketing is early 2020. But there are some of the pickups out there with a 2019 label on the baseplate.

Interesting note is that the original name actually is Slashbucker. Now, as we know, there is a pickup company that Slash has been with for decades. Slash even has his own model there. The word around the water cooler is that someone at that other company was not at all happy about the Gibson collaboration. Apparently, there is quite the dustup about it. So much so that “Slashbucker” moniker is no longer currently on the label on the Gibson baseplate. You should find Custom BB AL2 in it’s place. For Custom Burstbucker Alnico 2.

In other words, the suggestion is that the Slashbucker is a tweak on the Burstbucker model. How about we dig in a little to see what’s going on?


The Slashbucker… um, er… the Custom BB AL2 set is going in a double hum guitar. Big shock, right? LOL! The wiring harness has Bourns 500k pots, a Switchcraft 12120X 3-way toggle, and the Pure Tone Multi-Contact 1/4″ output jack. The guitar is tuned to E standard with 09-42 strings.


The thing is that Slash is looking for consistency. The same model he put in his Derrig Les Paul copy was serving him fine all those years. But Gibson couldn’t make a guitar that sounded as good as Slash’s Les Paul clone. So he wants a pickup with a voice to make the new Les Paul guitars sound like his preferred version.

And that is what’s happening here. Something to make the current authentic Les Paul guitars sound like the 35+ year old knockoff that has sold millions of albums. So Gibson is making a beefier, hotter pickup with this Slashbucker. The pickup itself has more grunt and more power. If you have a big-sounding guitar, this might be too much. A really bright or a really light sounding guitar could do well by this humbucker set. It’s good at filling out the landscape.

Some talk about the Burstbucker being an assymetrical wind, but you will see in the specs that there is not that much of an offset. Mids are a little throaty and the high end is fairly bold. The lows are big, but not necessarily tubby. There is a musicality to the Slashbucker but it does permeate the sonic palette. Clean amp settings can sound a little full, so ride that volume pot a little. But if you’re here, you are looking to be heard at the back of the room so much more than being subtle. Am I right?! LOL!

Slash Gibson Slashbucker 01

This set comes with vintage braided lead wire. But you know me! LOL! I have no problem with getting in there to get a reading off each coil. Let’s take a look

Slashbucker Custom BB AL2 Bridge
Series – 8.928 K
Inductance – 5.414 H
Split – 4.476 K
Split – 4.33 K
Parallel – 2.227 K
Magnet – Alnico 2

Slashbucker Custom BB AL2 Neck
Series – 8.569 K
Inductance – 5.124 H
Split – 4.374 K
Split – 4.193 K
Parallel – 2.14 K
Magnet – Alnico 2

Since I know you will be asking, here are the specs I have for the Seymour Duncan Slash Signature Pickups. I didn’t break in to this set, so you’re getting the basic readings here:

APH-2 Bridge
Series – 8.576 K
Inductance – 4.677 H
Magnet – Alnico 2

APH-2 Neck
Series – 8.192 K
Inductance – 4.369 H
Magnet – Alnico 2

And since Slash was originally using the Alnico II Pro set, I have a set on-hand that’s made by MJ back in the 80s. Just like Slash used in his Les Paul counterfeits:

APH-1 Bridge
Series – 8.112 K
Inductance – 4.668 H
Split – 3.946 K
Split – 4.141 K
Parallel – 2.023 K
Magnet – Alnico 2

APH-1 Neck
Series – 7.422 K
Inductance – 3.971 H
Split – 3.702 K
Split – 3.721 K
Parallel – 1.8552 K
Magnet – Alnico 2

Slash Gibson Slashbucker 02

Whew! I am about cross-eyed from looking at all those numbers, so how about something for the ears? Here a demo of the new Slash signature Les Paul that features the Slashbucker humbuckers:

New Slash Signature Models featuring Slashbucker pickups

There are 5 (five!) different Slash models that I can find on the Gibson website as of this writing. Of those, 4 (four!) of those have this Slashbucker Custom Burstbucker Alnico 2 set. The fifth is the $13k model with the Custombucker humbuckers. I’m not finding any models offered with the Duncan company selections. Unless they are off hiding in a different part of the Gibson website.

The Gibson Slasbucker set is going to be good for blues, country, funk, indie, jazz, classic rock, hard rock, reggae, heavy rock, metal, alternative, punk, garage, and more. It’s currently only available new from Gibson in a Slash model guitar. You can also find them pre-owned via the usual outlets. Since Gibson finally released the coveted Custombucker for direct sale, maybe the Slashbucker will be coming soon. Hopefully not at the same amped-up excessive asking price as the Custombucker! HaHa!

For reference, this Gibson Slashbucker Custom BB AL2 pickup set evaluation was conducted with a Fractal Axe-Fx II XL+ featuring Celestion Impluse Responses and Fractal MFC-101 MIDI Foot Controller.  In addition, real cabs in use are Marshall 1960BMojotone British, and Peavey 6505 cabs loaded with Celestion Classic Series Vintage 30s and Classic Series G12M Greenbacks.

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