We’ve looked at some pretty brutal pickups in the past, such as the Black Winter, but today we take a look at something for only the most extreme players… the Seymour Duncan Invader pickup set!


– Ceramic Magnet
– Passive Design
– Available in Black, White, Zebra or Custom Finish
– 16.6 DCR (Bridge) 7.5 DCR (Neck)
– 4 Conductor Lead Construction
– Available in Passive or Active Mounts
– Available in 6, 7, and 8-String Models

Note: The Invader works with both standard and f-spaced bridge designs, it doesn’t need a separate Trembucker/f-spaced model.


The bridge humbucker is the epitome of LOUD. Utilizing three large ceramic magnets and an overwound coil design, it’s a screaming high output pickup with no room for the weak. The EQ response on the bridge is very mid heavy with extremely beefy lows and a fairly conservative high end which prevents it from being too harsh, but it does sacrifice a bit of clarity and articulation.

The oversized metal oxide pole pieces combined with the Invader’s iconic hex caps allow for a broad capture area for each individual pole piece. What does that mean in English? It means your sound is very well balanced across all your strings, minimizing the volume differences between your highest and lowest string.

Rhythm parts have a consistent punch and bite on medium and high gain tones, with a very percussive pick attack that you feel in your chest. Lead tones demonstrate this trait extremely well, and alternate picking passages have an enhanced rhythmic quality to them as a result. To top it all off, both pickups have a week’s worth of sustain to boot.

Clean tones are not a strength of this pickup and can be likened to older Metallica clean tones in the sense that they are not pristine, bright, or articulate sounding, but lean more towards darker and rounder clean tones. Think more Peavey and Fender clean tones, and not Vox, Bogner, or Matchless clean tones.

The neck pickup has a more conservative output level, and is closer to the more powerful end of a medium output humbucker. It compensates for the increased low end that a neck pickup naturally has by producing less low end than its bridge counterpart.

With the decreased output, the neck pickup turns into a more viable solution for clean tones than that bridge, and with 4 conductor wiring, you could also easily set up a coil splitting modification to get vastly improved clean tones, delivering that sought-after single coil spank.

Final Thoughts

The Invader set does something very right in the high gain department – with tons of sustain, attack, and punch, these pickups are the most in-your-face sound money can buy. What they do well, they do really well. However, if you’re looking for a set of pickups that cover a wide enough range to meet your progressive metal or wedding cover band needs, these probably aren’t the set for you.

Sustain, attack, beef, and crunch… If you’re a guitarist that knows what you want, the Invader set will be a perfect match for you.

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Don’t forget we are Seymour Duncan authorized dealers. If you need our guidance in finding the right pickup for you, check out our custom order option, and we can get you the tone you’re after!

If you liked this article, check out our other reviews here!

This article was written by Connor Gilkinson, our editor located in Canada.

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