Customer Feedback for the IronGear Steam Hammer
"As a long time user of Irongear pickups having regular use of the Hot Slags, Texas Locos, Pig Irons and JailhouseRails, I thought I'd once again write to you to tell you how amazing your pickups are, in this case the Steam Hammers. I replaced a Lace Sensor Dually set up with an HSH set up using Steam Hammers and a Texas Loco in the middle. It never fails to amaze me how easily I forget how amazing these pickups are for the money and just when I think about going out and spending a hundred quid on a Bare Knuckle, I play one of yours for £25 and am astonished. The Steam Hammers are a awesome rock pickup with great clarity and bite. It compares favourably to my Suhr Aldrich humbuckers which are £90 a pop and sounds remarkably similar. Together with the Texas Loco in the middle, the set up covers all the bases and Stratty 'in between' tones are possible even though the Steam Hammers are brutal with some dirt. The neck is smooth and works well with lots of gain and the Steam Hammer cleans up well too when you roll off the volume. The next time I buy pickups, I really need someone to remind me that I'd be throwing my money away buying anything else." - Jonathan Davison, Newton Abbot
"Man... no words. Just put the Steam Hammer on -straight into my amp (hand-made inspired by Diezel/Bogner/Soldano) and a TS9. The BEST MID/BASS RESPONSE EVER HEARD!!!!!! Tight, punchy extremely clean! Great punch, also on shredding, still hot, creamy and fluid, I can hear perfectly each stroke... no words... brutal, extremely brutal! Thank you for this amazing WAR MACHINE!!" - Pier Marzano, Italy
"Subject: IRONGEAR STEAM HAMMER- THE GOD OF METAL. Just thought I'd email you to say how much I like these pickups! - I bought a rather battered ESP mh-50 off a friend recently, and I was impressed with the build quality and hardware for such an inexpensive guitar- except for that bridge pickup. For absence of a better word, a pile of shit. So I dropped in a Steam Hammer. This is the first time I've ever tried an IronGear in the bridge- I often used them in other guitars as neck pickups with a more expensive pickup such as a Duncan in the bridge. Wow. Just wow. The Steam Hammer has twice the gain of the stock pickup, is less harsh, but yet somehow tighter, clearer and more defined. I seriously hope people stop viewing IronGear pickups as good budget pickups, because they aren't. They are damn good pickups full stop. They annihilate every pickup I've tried with only the exception of the Bill Lawrence l-500. (they are both about equal) even better, they cost less for a set than one Duncan, so I can swap out Duncans in guitars, sell them, and actually make money. Well done Axetec! Consider me another member of the army of IronGear users out there. The build quality is as good as any, and I can't wait to see you introduce more amazing pickups!" – Joe Kingsbury, Wantage
"I fitted the Steam Hammer humbucker into the neck position of my USA Fender Stratocaster (H-H configuration) to compliment the Seymour Duncan JB in the bridge, and I am in love with the tone it produces. I mainly use it for clean/slightly overdriven work, cleans up very nicely, beautiful tone through my Marshall DSL100 into Marshall 1960B 4x12. Would definitely recommend, was very pleased with the clean tones as well as the overdriven tones.Will definitely be using IronGear pickups again! Many thanks!" - Steve @ 100 Stories Down
"After looking at many pickups, for my one-off mother-of-pearl and abalone bullseye Flying V, I thought I would give a matched pair of white Steam Hammers a go. At that kind of price if they were no good I wouldn't be out of pocket too much,,,,,,,,,, I shouldn't have worried, these pickups are the poodles privates. Clear, bright, and when cranked up they'll bite your friggin’ head off. Might just have to get a pair of Rolling =Mill 2s for my next project, a candy orange Firebird, Shelby racing stripes, Bigsby etc. Keep up the good work!" – Joe,(new excuse) Sevenoaks.
"I just put a Steam Hammer in my RG570 (bridge position) today. It sounds great, very high output, it drives my tube amp very nicely. I will definitely be buying more for my other guitars in future." – Joe, Sheffield
"I recently bought a Steam Hammer bridge pup to slap in an Ibanez RGR321EX. It came with 'Designed by EMG' Ibanez pickups, which were just plain shite, and then I had an EMG 81 & 60 set in it, but they were too harsh….the Steam Hammer was a revelation. I'd become disillusioned by overpriced pickups, and I'd heard great things about IronGear by word-of-mouth, so I chose a Steam Hammer bridge model for in the neck of the Ibby. Needless to say, I practically orgasmed at the result. Okay, it's voiced and spaced for the bridge, but I wanted something slightly hotter in the neck.. and it delivers. It's smoother and fatter by far for clean and lead work, than my EMG 60, and annihilates the poor excuses for pickups that manufacturers put in as stock. I've got my eye on a Hamer Standard (explorer style), which will get a Steam Hammer set in it, as soon as it's mine. Seriously, I couldn't believe my luck - £22, and I got an awesome pickup, which actually looks killer too, and you guys even ship them in cool boxes.. for £22! Legends, the lot of you. Anyway, thank you!" – Stu, Gloucester
"I finally got my pair of SteamHammers installed into my Epiphone SG....WOW! I was expecting some kind of improvement in sound over the stock hardware but nothing prepared me for the leap my instrument has taken since the SteamHammers have taken up residence. They are aggressive and have bite and awesome sustain but are also incredibly versatile for the mellower end of the spectrum. I will definitely be getting IronGear pickups when the time comes to update my Explorer. I got fantastic service from my first enquiries to delivery and even afterwards, I said it before but I will say it again....WOW!" - Ben, London
"Thank you for the superb pair of Steam Hammer pickups. They've turned a great guitar into something that, sound wise, blows the real thing out of the water, with not a hint of muddiness. Brilliant :-) A very satisfied customer." - Ian, New Mills
"I was completely blown away (by the IronGear Steam Hammers) smooth, so responsive and a hell of a good sustain." - Nev, Anglesey
"I replaced the stock pickups on my Hamer and hadn't heard much about your gear until I read some of the feedback on the site, so I thought I would chance it (at £24 each they're an absolute steal), HOLY SHIT! These babies are hot and sing like a metal choir, but back off on the gain and you're in flavour country, oh the redneck blues. The bridge really brings out pinched harmonics and the neck is just sweet fat heaven quite frankly. Clean they are very punchy and with a new set of strings on my Hamer has never sounded better. I can't believe that a pickup that costs so little compared to the "big boys" can sound so f*cking good! Right, enough gibber jabber I'm off for some serious Hendrix style feedbacking." – Big C, Glasgow
"Excellent Steam Hammer pick up just fitted to my Pacifica bridge position. Has transformed the guitar at a fraction of the cost of more famous brands." - Dave, Lincoln
"Just want to say thanks for the Steam Hammers, (I've) had a few days to appraise. I can't believe the quality, both in presentation and performance, at such a price. The range of sounds I can get (fitted in a Patrick Eggle Berlin) is amazing, and authentic. Split, Out-of-phase, and full on, they deliver. Thanks for a great service." - David, Worthing
"I bought an IronGear Steam Hammer pickup from you and to be honest, I'm shocked at the price to performance ratio. I would gladly pay 3 times the online price for one of these babies! The combination of the Steam Hammer with my down tuned, fixed bridged mahogany bodied Ibanez creates a roaring metal tone worthy of a price tag far higher than what has been advertised. In addition to the excellent product, I have also experienced excellent service from IronGear. All my emails were replied to in a speedy and courteous manner, with the staff all too happy to provide me with a wiring diagram suitable for my particular guitar and recommendations/advice about pickup selection and tone. I'm over the moon with my purchase and will seek to put these great pickups in all my future guitars. Thank you for the great products and keep up the excellent work." - Praveen, South Harrow
"I decided to strip down and rebuild my ESP EX-50, never had a problem with the pickups it came with until I compared it to this monster. It (the Steam Hammer) was so quiet in terms of picking up background noise in comparison to the ESP, and yet so responsive to little string variations I make when playing. I think all of my guitars are going to be getting an upgrade to this lad. The price is cheap as chips too. Very good value." – Oliver Deegan, Dublin
"I thought I must put finger to keyboard to compliment you on your Steam Hammer pickup, which I have used for year or so now. I was actually looking for something for my Tele, which has a humbucker in the bridge position. Something which could remind you of that country twang yet be able to unleash the power of Satan amongst other things. A previous review mentioned this country flavour when clean. After listening to sample after sample of all sorts of pickups I plunged for the Steam Hammer. I can report that in this scenario it’s a real hit, so if you want to supercharge your humbucked Tele in this way and still retain some of its character, I can't see there’s much alternative. From clear cutting cleans with an edge, to biting leads, and crunchy rhythm – it seems to do the lot, and is very responsive to tone controls – all that bite keeps the muddiness at bay resulting in a great range of sounds – I use a very low value cap in one of my switched tone positions which seems to boost the high mids into a pinched and powerful smooth lead. Great stuff." - RH, Hampshire
"I just dropped a Steam Hammer into the bridge position of my Ibanez RG to replace the Infinity 3 that came as stock which was ok but nothing special. WOW !!! I can't get over how good this pup sounds and what a difference it has made to the tone. Tons of crunch for heavy rhythms and amazing overtones on leads – sounds almost like controlled feedback as the note starts to decay. Sustain has improved significantly as well. Until now I thought Dimarzio was the way to go for aftermarket pickups but I'm a lifelong Irongear man now. They're cheap at twice the price too!" - Adam, Romsley
"I was quite sceptical when reading the posts on yer site. In the back of my mind, I suspected that Axetec had possibly posted those themselves for promotional reasons. I seriously can't believe how good the Steam Hammer is and I've been playing through all sorts since 1989! If you play the likes of Priest, DIO, Anthrax, Saxon, or Slayer, I Highly, Highly recommend this! And Yes its Great "dry" also! What a purchase, best spend ever! fact, you couldn't beat it with a big stick !" - Chris, Omagh, County Tyrone. Metal all the Way!
"Just fitted a Steam Hammer into the bridge on my guitar, can only describe the difference in sound as wow! I'd been looking at a Dimarzio Super Distortion, but didn't have the dosh ( like many I suspect). I gave it a try after listening to the soundclips, and I'm utterly blown away by the sound, just what I was looking for, and I saved a fortune to boot! Seriously, if your looking for a top quality pickup, look at IronGear!" - Richard Bell. Swansea
"I recently bought Steam Hammers from you and fitted them to my Dean ML Noir, wow I'm so impressed. Have bought numerous Seymour Duncans but wasn't entirely happy with them, and didn't want to spend the outlay on Dimarzios or BareKnuckels. After reading some reviews and listening to them decided on Steam Hammers, and can say I'm well impressed through my Bugera 6262 their just awesome. Got the crunch and saturation I was after, got the right amount of highs,mids and lows will certainly recommend IronGears and will certainly buy some myself in the future, thanks." - Ricky, Galashiels
"I bought an Epiphone SG400 on Ebay, worn brown, vintage look. After being thoroughly impressed with the Hot Slags in my Epiphone Les Paul a few years ago, I immediately ordered a set of zebra Steam Hammers for the SG, and had my luthier fit them for me. I play lead guitar in a classic/hard rock covers band, and decided to use the SG with new Steam Hammers for a gig last night instead of my usual Schecter Hellraiser Solo 6. Through my Orange OR50, I ended up using the SG for the whole gig; I took the Schecter just in case, but didn't need it. The Steam Hammers were amazing, certainly high output, but very middle range heavy through the driven OR50 with overdrive boost. Thick, articulate, clear, punchy, with loads of sustain. And the pinch harmonics were flying out! Very happy; and with a few plastic hardware changes, and the zebra Steam Hammers, it looks like an old vintage SGJ, love it! Thanks again IronGear!" - Matthew Aldridge, Buckley, Flintshire.
"I love my ESP Ltd. 103QM but the standard Humbucker was thin and brittle sounding so after the success I had upgrading my Hamer, I got a Steam Hammer. Boom. I actually cannot say enough good things about these pickups. I didn't think the sound would change much because it is a floating Floyd and the sustain is quite a bit lower than my fixed bridge guitar. I was wrong. I play through a POD XT and because of all the modelling I thought I wouldn't notice much change but I had to completely change my patches to accommodate the roar of these things. Amazing. Loaned out the Hamer I upgrade 2 years back to a fellow band member, he couldn't believe how good the Steam Hammers sounded. I love you guys." - Colin Walls, Glasgow
"I simply had to send an email to show how amazing the Steam Hammer humbucker is. I've started doing some YouTube cover songs for fun and a couple have required me to tune down quite low so I dug my old shitty Ibanez SA160 out (about £200 worth) and threw the Steam Hammer in. It simply transforms the guitar. For proof here's the video : Listen to the main riff. It's insane! Just pure power! This is a cheap old guitar which now sounds amazing. I've always lived by the motto 'you get what you pay for'. But I've learned recently that there are exceptions to this rule and IronGear deliver massively.The pickups are better than any Seymour Duncans I've tried, and trust me I've tried a few. I have numerous guitar builds on the horizon and I know where I'll be buying my hardware and pickups. I can't recommend you highly enough, and more importantly - Isn't it nice to find an honest supplier?” - Dave Hunter, Birmingham (2/2/16)
"Gobsmacked! I fitted the IronGear Steam Hammer in the neck of my Les Paul Studio and I'm blown away! I Finally got rid of that awful Seymour Duncan Jazz Blues, sounded like it was buried in a bucket of mud! Thanks. I would never have believed a pickup at that price point could be so sweet!" - Dave Keane, Halesowen (10/3/16)
“I have an ESP with an EMG 81 nice clean sound but very harsh and sterile sounding rock sound so I swapped it out for the Steam Hammer totally unexpected. ....lovely clean ....bright focused articulate for rock and then when coil tapped I can sound just like Richie Kotzen. Beautiful. I added the Jailhouse Rail in the neck position they go together fab. I’d really love to try another Steam Hammer in the neck but I just don't want to cut a bigger hole. My new favourite pickup.” - Steve Holt, Castleford. (25/7/16)
£36.95 inc. VAT
Worldwide Shipping via Axetec Ltd
Specification & Product Details
Bridge = 52mm, Neck = 50mm
Nickel Silver
Length: 68 mm x Width: 37 mm x Height: 22 mm (including lugs)
Black, White or Cream Coils.
500kOhm Pots, .022µF Tone Capacitor(s)
Bridge = 15kOhm, Neck = 14kOhm
Supplied complete with screws and springs
Pole Spacing:
Baseplate Material:
Recommended Components:
DC Resistance:
Magnet Type:
44AWG enamel
Coil Wire:
The Steam Hammer is a balls out high-gain rock pickup. It's capable of some great subtle tones as well and retains excellent clarity despite its high output.
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Price & Availability

High Output Humbucker

There are hot pickups, and then there's Steam Hammer. Stunning, controllable performance. Bolt everything down, turn up the wick & hold on!
This pickup excels at high-gain rock sounds. It has real power in the midrange and plenty of top-end to really cut through with superb note definition. The Steam Hammer (along with the Hot Slag and Rolling Mill) is one of the "Big Three" humbuckers that were introduced back in 2007 and brought IronGear to the attention of thousands of guitarists in the world-wide community. Since then, it's gone from strength to strength and is a firm favourite with our users.
Also check out the Steam Hammer's sister pickup, the Hammer Head. They share very similar specifications apart from the pole-pieces, but where the Hammer Head wins on bass response, the Steam Hammer has the edge on clarity.
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Guitar Pickup Engineering