I recently got a chance to check out some Entwistle HDN pickups. I was curious due to only ever having used pickups which utilise alnico and ceramic magnets. These pickups use Neodymium magnets, which are very powerful, and create a hot and focused sound.
“HDN” stands for High Definition Neodymium, and they certainly live up to their name with a focus that’s rarely achieved by passive pickups. They are incredibly tight, and react well to harmonics. The guitar used in this video was tuned down to C# but it still delivers plenty of mids and cut.
The only downside I can see is their tightness might be slightly overboard in some guitars, resulting in an unpleasant thinness. This can be heard particularly clearly in the ‘Clean’ section of the video demo.
Another potential downside (but only time will tell) is that, due to their cheap manufacture (and subsequent cheap RRP, these were £19 each!) they might not stand the test of time on the live circuit quite as well as their more expensive competitors.