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Sidewynder Pickups The DarK review

Need to heat up your axe? The DarK will do it

  • £99.99
The DarK is the Sidewynder's hottest pickup to date

Our Verdict

The DarK is an excellent modern rock/metal 'bucker with power, clarity and - in parallel mode - a cleaner and brighter voice. Add Sidewynder to your retrofit pickup list.


  • Organic power and clarity. Parallel mode performance.


  • Nothing - as an intro to Sidewynder, we're impressed.

Sidewynder is a rapidly growing Scottish pickup producer, we take a look at its hot-running DarK humbucker.

"Sidewynder Pickups is gaining a foothold in the rockier, more metal end of the pickup market"

Back in the 70s, getting enough power to fry the front end of your amp wasn't as easy as it is today. Enter Larry DiMarzio's Super Distortion, which had nearly double the ohm-age and output of a Gibson PAF. It kick-started the retrofit pickup market and fuelled the tones of numerous players from Randy Rhoads to Kurt Cobain.

Scottish-based Sidewynder Pickups, with its compact range of snake-themed pickups, is gaining a foothold in the rockier, more metal end of the pickup market, and the Alnico V-powered The DarK is the company's hottest to date, boasting a DC resistance of 26k ohms - nearly double that of DiMarzio's Super Distortion. But on their own, numbers like this can be meaningless. Let's take a listen...


Replacing a double cream Super Distortion on our trusty Yamaha SG2000, the change is definitely noticeable. It's dark and loud with a trimmer low- end, thick mids and rounded but clear highs, which are less razor-edged than the SD.

A surprise comes in parallel mode, with a much brighter voicing that's lower in output, still hum-cancelling and a great match for our Seymour Duncan neck 'bucker, giving us vintage PAF tonality (neck), a rich ringing mix with The DarK in parallel mode, and switched to series mode all the power you need at the bridge.