Plasma-3 Review by Artist Jimi Forrest
Artist Jimi Forrest
Current Band(s): Fuzz Box, Sir Deville, Baby Jayne
Primary Guitar: Spawn SS-87 Custom
Pickups: Tesla Plasma-3 humbuckers (neck and bridge)
Over 20 years experience in studio recording, live performance and professional guitar instruction. I have played with, recorded with and worked for many musicians on the local, national and international level. Guitar technician experience includes setting up, customizing and maintenance of guitars for virtuosos Tony MacAlpine and Michael Fath among others.
I have also written guitar/equipment columns for Mid-Atlantic publications as well Peavey’s Monitor magazine. I am currently performing and recording with several projects as well as guitar instruction on a weekly basis.
My Spawn SS-87 Custom arrived with two Tesla Plasma-3 humbucking pick-ups. Dual humbuckers are my preference in both my studio guitars as well as my live performance guitars. After setting up the guitar from it’s original shipping state, I spent plenty of time putting the instrument through it’s paces for upcoming live performances and recording.
Starting with clean amp channels, the first thing I noticed was the warm, tight tone from the plasma-3’s. Through a tube amp, they produce a well-rounded sound. There is plenty of mid and high frequency response without losing the punch of the lower frequencies. The Alnico 5 magnets do a nice job of not pulling the strings out of rotation for a long-lasting sustain.
I tried a few amp settings with various degrees of overdrive with equal success. The tonal response continued to deliver. Nice sustain and great response from overtones on sustained notes and chords. Even with overdrive, the notes remained clear and responsive.
Next…it was full-on shred with high gain. Rhythm structures with palm-muting produced tight tones without losing sonic integrity. Plenty of punch! Every note remained defined and sonically sound. Without palm-muting, the notes rang with a long sustain with nice overtones.
After working with about every pickup on the market, (from guitar manufacturers to specialized pickup companies) the Tesla Plasma-3’s stack up to the competition. Great tonal frequency response no matter what amp setting you use. These pickups are marketed for Rock, Metal and Pop. They are sure to make many guitar players realize their sonic potential. This is a great quality product that should not be overlooked when searching for THAT tone.