Back in 2015 we released Mark Holcomb’s signature Alpha & Omega pickups as a limited edition Seymour Duncan Custom Shop exclusive. It wasn’t long before all of the sets were gone, but as Mark (and our customer service and social media department) will attest, fans never stopped asking for their chance to own a set. And when Mark started using Custom Shop iterations in 7 and 8-string, the calls – nay, demands – from fans reached a new high.
We heard you loud and clear. So now the Alpha & Omega has moved out of the Custom Shop and into our regular production range in 6, 7 and 8-string versions. And the 6-string Omega bridge model is available in both standard and Trembucker variations, so you can find the pickup to suit your guitar whether it has a standard string spacing or a slightly wider one (as found on tremolo-equipped guitars).
“The Alpha & Omega set has been the heartbeat of my sound for the past several years,” Mark says. “Since we developed and released the first 6-string set in the custom shop, I’ve had the same pickup set in every one of my 6, 7 and 8-string guitars, live and in the studio. It has remained one of the few components of my rig and setup that I haven’t even thought about tweaking.”
The Omega bridge pickup is hotter than a vintage-style humbucker but not as high-output as you might expect: its aggression comes from its ceramic magnet and a custom wind that emphasise attack and detail. “The Omega bridge pickup came out super cool,” Mark says. “It’s very, very aggressive and snarling, with that percussive quality that I like in the low mids. My style is based on really big chords with a lot of voicings, and I didn’t want to sacrifice any of that in the bridge pickup.”
The Alpha neck pickup has a similarly powerful high end and more harmonic content than typical neck pickups. And attack. Lots of attack. “The Alpha neck pickup has lots of pick attack – probably the most pick attack of any neck pickup I’ve ever played,” Mark says. “But it’s still very fat and glassy.”
Here’s a brand-new video of Mark demoing and discussing the new pickups.