Human cytochrome P450 46A1 (CYP46A1) is one of the key enzymes in cholesterol homeostasis in the brain. The crystallization and heavy-atom structure solution of an active truncated CYP46A1 in complex with the high-affinity substrate analogue cholesterol-3-sulfate (CH-3S) is reported. The 2.6 angstroms structure of CYP46A1-CH-3S was solved using both anion and cation heavy-atom salts. In addition to the native anomalous signal from the haem iron, an NaI anion halide salt derivative and a complementary CsCl alkali-metal cation salt derivative were used. The general implications of the use of halide and alkali-metal quick soaks are discussed. The importance of using isoionic strength buffers, the titration of heavy-atom salts into different ionic species and the role of concentration are considered. It was observed that cation/anion-binding sites will occasionally overlap, which could negatively impact upon mixed RbBr soaks used for multiple anomalous scatterer MAD (MMAD). The use of complementary cation and anion heavy-atom salt derivatives is a convenient and powerful tool for MIR(AS) structure solution.