Sound is in the ear of the beholder (Deep, eh?), but there's always a 'but'...
The effect of this pickup on my little practice amp was so dramatic that I put off reviewing it till I'd had a chance to run it through my Boogie. It's pretty amazing, but it might also not be what you're looking for.
Kent Armstrong, like a lot of pickup designers, strips down early classic pickups and analyses them, in this particular case it was a '57 PAF, and if that's what you want he does as near an exact a copy as is possible of a product that was never quite 100% in the first place. In olden days all pickups were hand wound so no two of them were quite the same, so that's what you get, hand wound pickups that aren't all quite the same. There's a quality floor so all PAFs were great, but occasionally you could get really lucky and get one that was nearer perfect than the rest.
That may be what I've got here because if they were all this good no one would buy anything else.
The simple idea was, take a bog-standard PAF them remake it with the kind of internal workings that we have available nowadays, tweak it to within an inch of its life. This is the bridge pickup that I chose to go with the neck pickup I reviewed earlier, but where that one was a near exact '59 sounding PAF, this one kicks it up a step. It has a bright attack rather like an acoustic guitar, but with enough sustain to keep Carlos Santana happy until the clock strikes 13 on Tuesday the 42nd of never, play it through a clean channel and you get instant Duane Eddy, use the coil tap option and you get Nile Rodgers, wang your whammy a bit and there's Link Wray, add echo and you're into Shadows territory.
And there's the problem, I'd imagine these little marvels would be ideal for fans of tapping, I reckon they do a great Hendrix but you might not agree, with the Hurricane neck pickup I was confident in recommending it for Mayal/Early Cream Clapton and Santana from the 3rd album onwards because even through my practice amp it sounded right, this pickup is altogether more subjective. It may be because I got the two wired out of phase, but when I play them together I get a pretty good Peter Green so by now you're probably thinking 'blues', but in fact the Nitrobucker is also great for shitkickin' country, it's fairly easy to make it sound like a Telecaster on heat, and with a little slapback it's a rock'n'roll animal, although curiously, to me at least, it sounds a little modern for 'Johnny B Goode', but sounds just right for 'Aint' that just like a woman?', the Louis Jordan track that Chuck Berry nicked the riff from, finally add a little grunge to your amp and it grunges like, er, a sackful of grunge that's just had its dinner.
I'd have to say, if you think this sounds like something you like, read a little more about it just to be sure, but with the Boogie's valves just taking the edge off the jangle a bit without hurting all those wonderful harmonics, I love it. Pull offs and hammer ons are all sharp and distinct and make me sound way better than I am, and when I'm being thoughtful the note holds patiently while I think of the next one.
To sum up then. Amazingly low priced for a hand wound, versatile, sounds like it has its very own aural enhancer, but in the end its beauty is in the ear of the beholder.