#1
I've been on the prowl to replace my gibson stock pickups (490/498) for a while, as the bridge is painfully midrangy/trebly, and the neck is a bit muddy.

Anyway, Im looking for a warmer sound in the bridge pickup, yet still have relativley high output. Something with a little less top end ear piercing grind, but still can do heavier styles if needed.

In the neck, I'm not AS picky. I like, just as everyone else, a singing neck pickup that sounds warm but still cuts through decently. Good cleans would be great too.

Im using a Orange RV50 with an Orange PPC412 cab. I am aware Vintage 30's are mid rangy and such, but I've tried a few other guitars with it that don't have the same high-end ear piercing sound of the stock 498's.

I'm not biased towards any brands, so just shoot any suggestions you have!
Gibson Les Paul Custom
Fender American Tele

F/S:
Orange Rockerverb 50
Orange PPC412
#2
i had the exact same problems with the stock pickups of a guitar i have and wanted the exact same thing you said. its a almost kind of wierd... anyway after about a month of research and deliberation i ended up getting a dimarzio air zone for the bridge and a seymour duncan phat cat p-90 for the neck.

the air zone is like the tone zone but a little lower output. it has huge low end and mid response and it plays great with distortion and its perfect for getting the van halen brown sound. and yes it really does kind of have a slight "half open wah pedal" sound to it and the harmonics are great. the only downfall is it sounds a little too grunty (made that up on the spot) for a good clean bridge sound because of all the bass and mids and the dramatic tone curve. it sounds alright clean or dirty when tapped to single coil mode but a little weak compared to a good strat bridge pup.

the phat cat is probably about as "singing" as a neck pup can get. its sound is in between a humbucker and a strat style single coil but its closer to a humubcker in overall tone. it has a lot of the warmth of a humbucker while still retaining some of the stratty bell like tone and "high definition" sounding top end. the output is high enough to pair with a typical paf type humbucker.

i would also recommend that if you get those or if you get the cat and any other four lead humbucker to get a coil tap on the bridge. if you dont have a strat to get strat sounds you can get a decent imitation and a lot of good sounds in the middle position with the bridge tapped. its a nice little bonus that effectively gives you two extra pickup configurations in your switching and it only costs 10 or 15 dollars to get the push pull pot to do it.
#3
Bare Knuckle Nailbombs?

What you just described sounds a lot like what a number of reviewers of the BKP Nailbomb were looking for on Harmony Central.
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#4
I looked up some clips of the nailbomb, and it sounds amazing, even with internet compression. My question is are they sold in retail, or where can you get them?
Gibson Les Paul Custom
Fender American Tele

F/S:
Orange Rockerverb 50
Orange PPC412
#5
nope, a few retail stores might carry them, however, the best bet you'll have is this go to

http://www.bareknucklepickups.co.uk/

and check out the other pickups they have there. If you come across a few you like, just email the evil genius, Tim Mills. He'll tell you exactly what you will like. Trust me, that will be last brand of pickups you will ever ever need to try.

I emailed Tim on 2 occasions with details of what my gear and rig was, what kind of tone / sound I was seeking and what kind of differences I would like to the tone. Tim emailed back within the span of less than 72 hours telling what I should try. The guy was spot on for my first ever Bare Knuckle Mircleman. I'm still waiting for my Painkiller, but I'm sure it'll be what I want.

All BKP are scatterwound by hand, and every pickup has its on signature character that will differenciate your Nailbomb from another guy's Nailbomb. Maybe you could also consider a calibrated Nailbomb set.

No offence to Michael or any of the Big 3 fans here. When you play a Bare Knuckle, it makes the other aftermarket pup sound like stock pickups. There are no shortcomings or characteristics lacking.
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#6
I see, so you have to pay in Euros, or whats the deal?

That's a good idea, i'll email him as well. Good to know their customer service is great.

I saw that you can buy calibrated sets, what exactly does that entail?
Gibson Les Paul Custom
Fender American Tele

F/S:
Orange Rockerverb 50
Orange PPC412
#7
Just charge it to your credit card. The credit card co will handle the forex translation. Off the top of my head I can't recall what the other payment options are. Just make sure if you use someone elses' creidt card, they're ok with accepting the packing and is someone you trust, cuz Tim'll only ship (via registered mail, so someone's gonna have to sign for it) to the billing address.

Calibrated sets means that the 2 pickups are calibrated in output and voicing to each other. So they're matching sets where the pickup is optimised for its specific position on that guitar. If you use calibrated sets, the output and the voicing will be good matches at the bridge and neck. If you use uncalibrated sets, the output or voicing may not be as perfect, but the difference might be marginal. I'm not entirely sure as I've never tried uncalibrated sets before.

If you do email him, just accept whatever option or opinion he gives you, assuming you described your exact tone. The man knows his pickups and will give you the exact tone you're looking for better than any forumite will be able to tell you. Alternatively, just visit the BKP forums, they have loads of sample clips and the members are really helpful as well.
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Last edited by ragingkitty at Mar 3, 2009,
#8
Quote by ragingkitty

No offence to Michael or any of the Big 3 fans here. When you play a Bare Knuckle, it makes the other aftermarket pup sound like stock pickups. There are no shortcomings or characteristics lacking.

Just my opinion but I would not hesitate to take a set of WCRs, Lollars, or Wolfetones over Bareknuckles.
#9
Quote by ragingkitty
Just charge it to your credit card. The credit card co will handle the forex translation. Off the top of my head I can't recall what the other payment options are. Just make sure if you use someone elses' creidt card, they're ok with accepting the packing and is someone you trust, cuz Tim'll only ship (via registered mail, so someone's gonna have to sign for it) to the billing address.

Calibrated sets means that the 2 pickups are calibrated in output and voicing to each other. So they're matching sets where the pickup is optimised for its specific position on that guitar. If you use calibrated sets, the output and the voicing will be good matches at the bridge and neck. If you use uncalibrated sets, the output or voicing may not be as perfect, but the difference might be marginal. I'm not entirely sure as I've never tried uncalibrated sets before.

If you do email him, just accept whatever option or opinion he gives you, assuming you described your exact tone. The man knows his pickups and will give you the exact tone you're looking for better than any forumite will be able to tell you. Alternatively, just visit the BKP forums, they have loads of sample clips and the members are really helpful as well.


Ah, ok that's easy enough, thanks.

The calibrated sets sound like it would optimal, but I cant realy decide if its worth double the price If i remember correctly.

Ok, no arguments there. I have a pretty simple signal path so it shouldnt be too difficult.
Gibson Les Paul Custom
Fender American Tele

F/S:
Orange Rockerverb 50
Orange PPC412
#10
Quote by al112987
Just my opinion but I would not hesitate to take a set of WCRs, Lollars, or Wolfetones over Bareknuckles.


Have you tried any WCR or Wolfetones?

I'm really interested in the Wolfetones, but can't find much about them.
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Last edited by ragingkitty at Mar 3, 2009,
#11
Quote by dcdossett65
Ah, ok that's easy enough, thanks.

The calibrated sets sound like it would optimal, but I cant realy decide if its worth double the price If i remember correctly.

Ok, no arguments there. I have a pretty simple signal path so it shouldnt be too difficult.


Well there's a slight discount, but from my experience and that of reviews I've read online. When it comes to Bare Knuckles, its never too expensive for the tone it gives you. Someone on Harmony Central mentioned that once you play through a BKP, its like you suddenly realised that your amp has been sounding dead all along before the BK pup.

From what I understand, the neck and bridge Nailbombs share identical characteristics, but can sound somewhat different. The bridge is supposed to be awesome for high gain and the neck has lovely cleans, but at the same time, they are supposed to be great for harmonics and are generally very balanced (though some people suggest it has a very slight mid range scoop, altho that could be due to their amps).

I've bought 2 Bare Knuckles already and am prepared to drop money for another 2 humbuckers and a single, the tone is that good. That's my personal opinion though.
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#12
Quote by ragingkitty
Have you tried any WCR or Wolfetones?

I'm really interested in the Wolfetones, but can't find much about them.

I currently use WCR Fillmores and am looking to put a set of Wolfetone Dr. Vs into another les paul. I played a set in someone's R7 not long ago, loved them.
#13
Quote by ragingkitty
Well there's a slight discount, but from my experience and that of reviews I've read online. When it comes to Bare Knuckles, its never too expensive for the tone it gives you. Someone on Harmony Central mentioned that once you play through a BKP, its like you suddenly realised that your amp has been sounding dead all along before the BK pup.

From what I understand, the neck and bridge Nailbombs share identical characteristics, but can sound somewhat different. The bridge is supposed to be awesome for high gain and the neck has lovely cleans, but at the same time, they are supposed to be great for harmonics and are generally very balanced (though some people suggest it has a very slight mid range scoop, altho that could be due to their amps).

I've bought 2 Bare Knuckles already and am prepared to drop money for another 2 humbuckers and a single, the tone is that good. That's my personal opinion though.


I see, Good thing my amp has mid-range up the ass.

Do a lot of people use a different pickup than the nailbomb in the neck, or is it fairly popular?
Gibson Les Paul Custom
Fender American Tele

F/S:
Orange Rockerverb 50
Orange PPC412
#14
Quote by al112987
I currently use WCR Fillmores and am looking to put a set of Wolfetone Dr. Vs into another les paul. I played a set in someone's R7 not long ago, loved them.


What do they sound like? What's the eq curve like? Are they scatterwound (tho I recall someone mentioning that they are). What really comes out in your face?

Anything you can tell me would be great.
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#15
Quote by dcdossett65
I see, Good thing my amp has mid-range up the ass.

Do a lot of people use a different pickup than the nailbomb in the neck, or is it fairly popular?


I don't see why you could not.

Another popular config on the forum include having the Mule in the neck and the Nailbomb in the bridge. Though I do see a lot of people using the calibrated pair

Maybe you could tell me what kind of music you play or who you're trying to soudn like or the EQ curve you'll like the pup to throw out, maybe I can suggest something else, cuz teh nailbomb tends to be the go-to pickup for me.
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#16
Quote by ragingkitty
What do they sound like? What's the eq curve like? Are they scatterwound (tho I recall someone mentioning that they are). What really comes out in your face?

Anything you can tell me would be great.

They're (the Dr.Vs).... bright. That's really what really stood out to me initially, they remind me a lot of a Seymour Duncan Seth Lover model with more harmonics and articulation. I don't know if they're actually scatterwound or not. It seems like everyone has their own opinion on whether or not PAFs were actually scatterwound or not. I really dig them though, and I think they are very reasonably priced.
#17
Quote by ragingkitty
I don't see why you could not.

Another popular config on the forum include having the Mule in the neck and the Nailbomb in the bridge. Though I do see a lot of people using the calibrated pair

Maybe you could tell me what kind of music you play or who you're trying to soudn like or the EQ curve you'll like the pup to throw out, maybe I can suggest something else, cuz teh nailbomb tends to be the go-to pickup for me.


I see. Ill look into the mule as well then.

To be honest, I play literally everything on this guitar but blues, as I have a strat for that. I would say a good 75% of the playing is higher gain, not so much palm mute chug riffs of sorts, just higher gain music from alternative to newer in flames style. I also play a lot of clean stuff with delay and such, but not open chords and strumming, just clean stuff in general. Right now, since the 498t is so mid/treble heavy, I roll off the treble and mids about 1 notch, and the bass anywhere from untouched to +1 notch. I dont have the mess with the EQ to the extremes though, as it is a great sounding head on just by itself.
Gibson Les Paul Custom
Fender American Tele

F/S:
Orange Rockerverb 50
Orange PPC412
Last edited by dcdossett65 at Mar 3, 2009,
#18
As a first I would try for the Nailbomb, but definitely email Tim with details like your rig, the style of music, what kind tone you want and the eq curve you're looking at. Oh yeah, he will also need to know your amp too.

You could checkout the others like:

Miracle Man - this is an ass kicking pickup (based off an active pickup) with responsive bass, slightly compressed mids and screaming highs - great for the gothenburg-ish sound.

The War Pig - this is has a scooped eq that is also supposed to be great for cleans.

Holy Diver - Sorry I can't recall what this sounds like now.

Painkiller - Think of the Miracle Man, but with more mid-range hump and emphasis, but I think this might be way out there for you.

Emerald - This is a vintage output HB, so it might not achieve that level of gain you want, but then you can always turn your gain knob. However its supposed to be good for them cleans and with an Alnico V magnet, it should have a smooth overall tone.

Given your amps, you may want to consider the Alnico magents as compared to the ceramic ones to avoid pushing your amp into extreme overdrive.

I've got the Miracle Man, it and screams out all over my mate's guitar even on lower gain settings because of all the layers of harmonics that the BK pups throws out.
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it's so cool to hate Gibson, even the federal Department of Justice hates them.

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( . .) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny into your
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Last edited by ragingkitty at Mar 3, 2009,
#19
Quote by al112987
They're (the Dr.Vs).... bright. That's really what really stood out to me initially, they remind me a lot of a Seymour Duncan Seth Lover model with more harmonics and articulation. I don't know if they're actually scatterwound or not. It seems like everyone has their own opinion on whether or not PAFs were actually scatterwound or not. I really dig them though, and I think they are very reasonably priced.


Hmmm, I really want to try the Fenris humbucker, but they don't accept credit cards (outside of paypal) so that's a bummer.
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