Guitar Pickup Review

Gibson Eruption Humbucker Set

The Eruption humbucker set is pretty much what you think it is. Another take on the Eddie Van Halen tone. The novelty here is that this set is designed by the same man that is behind the Peavey Wolfgang humbucker pickups. And that Peavey recipe is pretty much confirmed to be what Fender is using for their Wolfgang pickup via EVH Gear. My opinions on all that will come a little later.

An interesting factoid that came my way suggests that these Eruption humbuckers are the same as Gibson’s “70s Tribute” humbuckers. Differences are longer legs and vintage-style braided lead wire for the 70s Tribute. The clearly makes the Eruption pickups more versatile to install.

At the end of the day, the best of the pickups that Eddie is known for are just good rock roll generators. Does the Eruption set fit in to that category? Let’s take a look!

Gibson Eruption Humbucker Black
Gibson Eruption Humbucker Black
Installation

The Eruption 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.

As something that I consider a missed opportunity, the mounting feet are the standard square shape. That means that if you want this set for your Wolfgang or your Music Man models, be ready to modify something for things to fit.

Evaluation

There is really not a lot to say about this set that isn’t already on-record about the existing Wolfgang sets. Because that is pretty much what these are. These are humbuckers made with the intention of capturing all the best parts of all the other pickups that are out there. They ride the line between too little and too much, to give a best of both worlds approach (ha! see what I did there?!).

In any of the official EVH humbucker sets over the past 30 years, it is the neck position that really steals the show? Mostly because the DCR is so high that it break conventional wisdoms of what people expect. So that I’m clear, all these different Eddie neck pickups are solid.

Anything to say about this pair of pickups is truly going to be redundant to even the most pedestrian Eddie fan. The thing here is that they are just a little more accessible and affordable. Peavey doesn’t sell theirs over the counter and EVH Gear are more expensive. But again, I think Gibson dropped the ball with the mounting feet. Yet you can look at it like this: some other big company tried to put out some Eddie pickups earlier this year and it’s bad – real bad. There’s enough pedigree with this Eruption set to ensure you won’t have to worry about how they sound.

Gibson Eruption Humbucker Zebra
Gibson Eruption Humbucker Zebra
Specs

As I know people will ask, I’m going to go ahead and put specs for the Peavey and the EVH/Fender Wolfgang models as well.

Eruption Bridge
Series – 15.001 K
Inductance – 8.71 H
Split – 7.534 K
Split – 7.5 K
Parallel – 3.754 K
Magnet – Alnico 5

Eruption Neck
Series – 16.252 K
Inductance – 7.833 H
Split – 8.159 K
Split – 8.119 K
Parallel – 4.067 K
Magnet – Alnico 5


Peavey Wolfgang Bridge
Series – 14.41 K
Inductance – 8.071 H
Split – 7.174 K
Split – 7.283 K
Parallel – 3.615 K
Magnet – Alnico 5

Peavey Wolfgang Neck
Series – 16.835 K
Inductance – 7.894 H
Split – 8.512 K
Split – 8.402 K
Parallel – 4.23 K
Magnet – Alnico 5


EVH Wolfgang Bridge
Series – 14.449 K
Inductance – 8.281 H
Split – 7.265 K
Split – 7.206 K
Parallel – 3.616 K
Magnet – Alnico 2

EVH Wolfgang Neck
Series – 17.812 K
Inductance – 7.993 H
Split – 9.208 K
Split – 8.651 K
Parallel – 4.446 K
Magnet – Alnico 2


Demo

Sorry. Seeing no official video for this product. When they do release one, I’ll update it then. Otherwise, you can listen to anything Eddie released between about 1996 until his last tour and you’ll basically know how these sound.

However, since they tell me the Eruption and the 70s Tribute are the same, you can listen to 70s Tribute samples throughout this demo. Not exactly going for the high-octane 6-string-pyrotechnic crowed, but it’s something

Conclusion

There are so many pickup companies out there that make something with a Van Halen theme. Of those, a fair share basically hit a certain set of specs and the fanboys come running with wads of cash. Some are OK and some not so much. But that doesn’t matter. The fanatics still roll pickups to hunt for the brown sound. As I’ve said before, Eddie used a lot of pickups. A lot. There is no one pickup to capture even one album. Sure, it was in his hands. But it was also about the amp.

The Eruption humbuckers are fine for a rock and roll style of music. Are they identical to the aforementioned Wolfgang models? Back to back in the same guitar, you will hear the subtleties. Or you can not think about it and imagine you’re playing one of those other Wolfgang sets. Sure, it’s designed by the same guy that previously did stuff with Eddie. For the purists, it’s still not something that Eddie used. If you want what Eddie played, pay $50 more. I can see any player’s decision to go either way.

For reference, this Gibson Eruption humbucker set evaluation was conducted with the following: Fractal Axe-Fx II XL+ featuring Celestion Impluse Responses and Fractal MFC-101 MIDI Foot Controller.  ADA MP-1 Tube Pre-Amp loaded with Tube Amp Doctor ECC83 Premium Selected tubes, using the ADA MC-1 MIDI Controller. Fryette LX II Stereo Tube Power Amplifier. Physical 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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