Opus-1 Review by Artist Xavier Martinez

Artist Xavier Martinez

Guitar Player / Composer

Barcelona, Spain


I recently acquired a set of gold covered Opus 1 pickups for my recently purchased Gibson® Les Paul Custom. It came with the usual stock set of 490R / 498T pickups, which I found way too woofy and muddy sounding. I wasn’t looking for more output , I needed more clarity since I tend to like vintage-ish sounding pickups.

Both pickups have certainly a little less output than stock (we are talking about a pair of pickups which are in the 7k-8k area) but that was the idea, since I boost my signal with pedals.

The Opus 1 neck is very sweet sounding, sounding similar to a Duncan® SH2 Jazz, has plenty of highs and tight low end, this is the perfect neck pickup for darker sounding guitars like mine. You can’t avoid playing “Sweet child of mine”, it has that kind of tone really. It’s equally good for dirty and clean stuff too, it’s an awesome pickup for jazz lines if you roll off the top end a bit. Actually I think this pickup would work well with 250k pots in case you want to combine it with single coils. I have a parallel switch and then it becomes a really glassy pickup, perfect for 80’s studio cleans.

In the bridge position it has lots of clarity and snap, and you can really use it for any style. Well, if you are into extreme detuned metal then you might consider a Vintage Extreme or Plasma 7 since they are better suited for that. It has enough punch for classic rock and pop and if you rely on external boosters, it can do high gain metal without an issue. I also have an Opus 1 in the bridge of my strat, with a difference : it is the uncovered version. Clearly the covered version has a bit more smooth highs and the uncovered version brings up the upper mids a bit. It is a subtle difference but it’s there, I think I like the covered Opus 1 for the neck position, and the uncovered version for the bridge position.

As a resume, these are very good sounding, very versatile pickups you can use for almost any style. They will mercilessly define all you play –mistakes included- J. They have a very clear and smooth sound and will let the guitar character to freely ring through them. But the best is their price tag !!