We met a young rock star named Jimmy this month who wanted to upgrade his Jackson CWJ Dinky-style guitar with Seymour Duncan Mark Holcomb Alpha and Omega pickups.
Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man
We dig Jimmy. He’s a quiet young man who wants to play loud, fast, distorted guitar. When I was Jimmy’s age, I wanted to do the same. I still do, except sometimes I play slow and clean too.
Jimmy wants to rock. There was sheet music for Korn and other nu-metal tunes in his gig bag. But he’s just getting started. He colored in the 12th fret inlay and a few of the top position markers to make it easier to remember where his fingers needed to go.
Jackson Gets A Lift
Jimmy’s Jackson is a budget CW model, very light with a straight flat neck. Not sure why this Jackson has Fender stickers on it — rock ‘n’ roll, Jimmy. The guitar needed some work. The action was uneven, the input jack was bent, and it was missing an E-string.
Jimmy supplied us with a new set of D’Addario strings and a set of Seymour Duncan Mark Holcomb Alpha and Omega pickups. I wasn’t familiar with Mark Holcomb or his band Periphery, but they play very cool prog metal. Good taste, Jimmy! You should check out The Cruel Earth!
Hot-Rodded Muscle Machine
These are pricey high-output pickups, more expensive than the guitar itself. It’s almost like putting a Porsche engine into a Volkswagon — precisely what I would have done at Jimmy’s age. Hot rod, baby! We transformed Jimmy’s entry-level axe into a world-class, all-out shredding machine!
For a budget guitar, this Jackson was well-built. The tuners were a bit wobbly, but the tremolo block was thick and the bridge solid. We leveled out the frets and set the action low and fast.
From Shred To Soft
The Seymour Duncan Mark Holcomb Alpha (bridge) and Omega (neck) pickups are screamers with very high output. They sound outstanding soaked with distortion, but they were also very responsive when played clean. Check them out on the tracks below. Jimmy’s Jackson is a hard rock machine! Have fun learning and exploring with it, Jimmy!