From the manufacturer:
Specifically created for crushing Black and Death Metal, this neck humbucker is as fierce as the Scandinavian Winter.
The Black Winter pickup is a savagely high output passive humbucker built for extreme metal, and uses three large ceramic magnets to ensure maximum output and sustain in all high gain situations. The custom overwound coil design delivers incredible clarity in the mids and highs, while the low end stays controlled and focused. The Black Winter is designed to handle any tuning, no matter how low you go, and its voicing allows for aggressive sounding palm mutes, fluid sounding tremolo picking, and searing lead tones.
The Black Winter is as dark and vicious as the winters in Scandinavia with excessive grime and aggression; the right balance of mids, treble and bass to instantly take you from annihilating riffs to solos with cutting articulation. The Black Winter fills the needs of extreme metal guitarists with a tone that provides crushing distortion, punishing mids and lots of aggressive saturation and string sensitivity. The neck pickup delivers high output tone with the cut to give you fluid solo tone, and crisp, clear clean sounds. Hand made in Santa Barbara, CA, we offer the Black Winter in standard 6-string size, as well as 7 & 8 string passive mount with naked coils (or in Active ‘Soapbar’ Mount with exposed pole pieces). Comes with 4-conductor lead wire for multiple wiring options, and is vacuum wax potted for squeal free operation.
Ethan's picks for best videos/sound clips:
Here we have a short clip of the Black Winter Neck pickup by Seymour Duncan. It has a really fat sounding clean tone that is articulate, clear, and round. The lows are incredibly focused and the highs are rounded out, while the mids add a nice sparkle to the mix. In split coil mode (0:30), you can get some beautiful lead tones with mild overdrive. The tone is crisp and clear, with a smooth attack and sustain for very fluid solos. Although intended for death metal and other heavy applications, the neck pickup could pass as a solid pickup for jazz with its rich, full-bodied sound and precision. Skip to 1:00 to hear the pickup in a high-gain lead context, with brilliant upper harmonics and clarity for detailed solos that need to sing.
The player is Wes Hauch and he is using a Schecter KM-6 through a Friedman JJ-100 into a Two Notes Torpedo Live (Vox Cab).
This video from Tone Quest demos the Seymour Duncan Black Winter pickups and the variety of tones you can get with them. Skip to 1:20 to hear the bridge pickup on a clean setting. It has a nice presence and bite -- with brilliant mids and highs and a focused low end. Since the pickup is extremely high output, it's evident that the pickup will easily break up depending on your volume. The neck pickup (1:50) offers a balanced clean sound with plenty of low-end depth and high-end sparkle for an articulate sound. You can even get a respectable jazz tone (2:50 - 3:05) given the precision and tonality of these pickups. The Black Winter pickups really excel in high gain applications for brutal metal tones. Listen from 3:15 - 3:50 to hear the insane lead tones you can get with the bridge pickup. The accentuated mid and treble frequencies give you a sharp attack and bite for killer precision during shred passages, while the low end stays tight and controlled. Listen to the neck from 3:55 - 4:50 to hear the sweet leads you can get -- with a rounded sound that is dark and smooth for melodic death metal solos. For sweep arpeggios, alternate picking, and aggressive soloing, the Black Winter pickups really shine. Rhythm tones are impressive as well, with a high output and maximum sustain. The large ceramic magnets in the pickups really allow you to tune low and maintain clarity and punch with a lot of gain. The result is a crushing sound for punishing riffs, palm mutes, and chugs (listen from 6:00 - 6:30). Overall, these pickups are a great choice for metal players who need a lot of gain and detail.
The player is Rick Graham and he is using a Hagstrom guitar through an Axe FX II.
Here is four minutes of brutality brought to you by the Black Winter pickups from Seymour Duncan. Right off the bat you'll notice that these pickups have a very high output and pronounced top end. This allows you to really push a lot of gain and maintain a sense of transparency in your tone. With these pickups, metal players can tune their guitars as low as they want without having to worry about notes getting lost and muddled in a dense mix. Instead you get a crisp sound that is very articulate and thick with saturation for aggressive tones. Whether you are palm muting in drop B or doing sweep arpeggios up and down your fret board, you'll get be able to get brilliant metal sounds that are focused and precise.
The player is Ola Englund and he is using an S7G Solar6 through a Randall Satan amp into a Torpedo Live.
Get doomy tones with the Seymour Duncan Black Winter pickups! Take advantage of the hollow sounding clean tones, with a deep low end and glassy top end that sound warm and rich. Or jump right into high-gain territory (0:18) and have fierce death metal tones at your disposal. These pickups are incredibly articulate, allowing each note to shine and cut through the mix with amazing attack and clarity. The brilliant top end adds a whole layer of edge and bite to the tone for extra precision in high gain applications. With the Black Winter pickups, you can easily achieve dark and brutal timbres for a punishing black metal tone.
The player is Keith Merrow and he is using an Ernie Ball Music Man JP6 guitar.
Here is an excellent Seymour Duncan pickup shootout video, comparing 15 different pickups in a metal rhythm context. The same riff is repeated for each pickup demonstration and the amp tone and mix stay constant as well, so that you can hear the true sound of each pickup. Skip to 13:25 to hear the Black Winter bridge pickup. It definitely has a lot of top-end brilliance and tight lows, allowing for a grinding sound that is ideal for black metal. Each note is very transparent and the tone itself is very articulate. Riffing tends to stay tight and sharp with a cutting attack and notes resonate smoothly with great sustain. Listen at 16:55 to hear the pickup solo (out of the mix).
The player is Keith Merrow and he is using a Schecter Keith Merrow KM6 into a Seymour Duncan 805 Overdrive pedal through a 5150 amp and a Two Notes Torpedo Studio.
Taking a break from black metal, this clip highlights some of the melodic progressive and technical metal tones you can get with the Black Winter pickups. Listen to the warm rhythm tones at 0:11, or jump to 0:25 to hear a musical lead tone. Overall, the pickups have a very clear character that is smooth and round, yet the accentuated top end introduces beautiful harmonic overtones that make the lead tone sing. Listen at 1:35, when the tune transitions to a heavier metal sound. The rhythm tones are very precise, capturing all of detail and character of the aggressive riffs and intricate voicings. Once again at 2:52, the lead tones are incredibly tasteful -- with an amazing presence and sustain. The Black Winter pickups offer more than your standard black metal tones; they can really handle a number of applications with impressive tones across the metal map.
The player is Mohammad Aljasem and he is using an ESP Edwards Horizon guitar through an Axe FX II.