Having a good pickup specifically for djent requires some perks that help you getting that modern-metal sound, giving you a great high-gain output as well as some great mid-frequencies and the right punch and attack needed for this genre of music (for some general advice for this genre, you can also check out some general advices on djent here).
Is any 8 string pickup a good pickup for this subgenre of metal?
The answer may be yes, if you really know how to set up a great Equalization in the pedalboard, setting great Noise Gates in the effects chain and spend lot of time searching for a great setting with the amp, but anyway some pickups will give you lots of low frequencies or treble that will make it harder right in the beginning of the signal chain.
For this, having a good djent pickup can greatly help you: in this article we’ll see the best for your 8 string guitars!
1. SENTIENT ACTIVE MOUNT (SEYMOUR DUNCAN)
The Sentient Active Mount is a humbucker pickup, specifically made for delivering a versatile sound, both in very distorted settings and in clean mode, without giving a muddy tone or a bad unclear sound.
This is designed specifically for the neck, and can be paired with the other bridge options, the Seymour Duncan Nazgul or the Seymour Duncan Pegasus: pairing them together will give you a perfectly balanced metal tone, but that doesn’t mean that you can use them separately and using other pickups for neck or bridge as well.
This is made with Alnico 5 magnets, that give you a warm tone with lots of mids but can also deliver a lot of treble: this makes them very versatile if you want to use them for other genres as well, but they might be less adapt if you only want a djent pickup.
- Great active pickup with Alnico 5 magnets;
- Very versatile for playing both clean and high-gain;
- Lots of mids and treble
- Price range: about 130-150$
- If you only want a djent pickup then the bass frequencies of this pickup may not be the best for you;
- This is a neck pickup, and you’ll have to buy another one for the other pickup positions
2. FISHMAN FLUENCE TOSIN ABASI SET 8 BK
The Fishman Fluence Tosin Abasi Set is the signature model (made of 2 Active Humbuckers) of Animals As Leader‘s Tosin Abasi, and therefore it is specifically designed for a majestic djent tone from the very beginning: you get the Voice 1 Bridge and Neck Pickup and the Voice 2 Bridge Pickup in a soapbar shape.
The 2 parts of this set are specifically made for differents sound areas, made in order to give you a great sound when used for djent as well as a crystalline and perfect clean sound, making it possible to play both high output /high gain riffs and also clean percussive riffs, typical of the Animals As leader’s songs.
The features of the Voice 1 Bridge and Neck Pickup are:
- Great Eq with lots of low-midrange frequencies, very suitable for Djent;
- Alnico 5 magnets for a greater high-gain sound
Instead, the Voice 2 Bridge Pickup can give you:
- insanely clear clean sounds, perfect for clean riffs, and a lot of treble that enhances percussive riffs and other clean parts;
- Ceramic magnets
- Great both for clean sounds and for djenty and modern metal sounds;
- multi-coil combinations for lots of different tones;
- High-output sound with a very complete EQ
- Price range: about 300$
3. DIMARZIO D ACTIVATOR 8 BRIDGE DP820
The DiMarzio D Activator 8 is a passive 8 string Humbucker pickup, with ceramic magnets that can provide a versatile and great sound both for high-gain and with a lot of clarity even under loads of gain, despite being mainly a high-output pickup.
This model, thanks to the great clarity even with clean settings and to their balanced EQ, can be also very versatile and not limited to metal alone, and thanks to the accessible price it can even be used for powering up the sound of a low-cost guitar, giving you a brand new sound.
The output of the D Activator focuses most on midrange and treble, with far less bass frequencies (ideal for djent).
- Versatile EQ, with lots of midrange and nice treble;
- Lots of clarity even with a high-gain mode;
- Great for upgrading low budget guitars, thanks to the accessible price of the D Activator;
- Price range: about 100$ (for one pickup)
- The final output can become quite dark with some pickups, and may need some experimentation
4. LUNDGREN M8
The Lundgren M8 is the favourite model of Meshuggah’s guitarist Mårten Hagström, and it can give a brutal punch and a great clarity with loads and loads of gain.
This humbucker model with ceramic magnets can give you wonderful harmonics, thanks to its great treble EQ and a good amount of low end frequencies, that are great for its own signature clarity.
The only (partial) downside of this great pickup is the higher price (a set ranges from 350 to 400$), but if you need a pickup for djent then this is one of the ultimate models!
- Great clarity even with tons of gain and also perfect for djent;
- Brutal and huge midrange and good treble;
- The humbucker design and the ceramic magnets provide a great modern metal tone;
- Widely used by Ibanez in their guitars and also by Meshuggah’s guitarist Mårten Hagström
- Higher price than the other models (price for a set ranges from 350 to 400$ in general)
5. BKP THE JUGGERNAUT
“The Juggernaut” pickup model from Bareknucklepickups (BKP) is the signature model of Periphery’s guitarist Misha Mansoor: it can be bought as a set with the neck and bridge pickups.
One of the main perks of this model is the different composition of the magnets: for the Neck pickup there is Alnico 5, while for the Bridge one there is a unique mix of ceramic and Alnico 5.
The result is a great EQ, with a great bass response and a massive amount of mids, with a bright and very articulated treble for clean parts and for a lot of dynamics.
- Great set with a unique mix of Alnico 5 and Ceramic for a versatile sound;
- good bass response, huge midrange and clear and articulated treble;
- Signature model of Periphery, perfect if you’re into that modern metal sound;
- Price range: about 400$
- Price is not very suitable for low budgets
CONCLUSION: CHOOSING A DJENTY PICKUP FOR YOUR 8 STRING
A great pickup can help you shaping your tone for this modern-style metal subgenre, and there are quite a bit of options both for low budgets and for higher ones.
Some models are also focused on metal, while other are much more versatile and can be used for clean parts as well, where you need a lot more articulation and sound clarity, so this is another thing to consider when buying one model, as well as whether you want to use a passive or active pickup (as active ones need a battery to be installed as well).
If you want to read more about djent you can also check the other articles on this site:
- best strings for djent