#1
I only have these in the neck and middle positions of a Jackson SL3 Soloist (maple neck-thru, alder wings and rosewood board) so unfortunately I can’t comment on what the bridge model is like. I can’t honestly say that I find these pickups to have a particularly ‘muscular 'P90-esque' tone’, which is what it says on the website, though I can see why such a comment is made because it’s certainly possible to get that sound out of them but it doesn’t have to be always present. Obviously, such a description may relate more to the bridge model. However, they certainly have a ‘deep, resonant bass, wide mid range response and a totally modern voice’. The tone is unquestionably modern but I think there’s more to the pickup than this, so saying that it gives ‘anything but vintage tone’ may be a bit misleading.

Let’s start with where this pickup is most at home and that’s for lead work. Run these pickups through an amp with some decent gain cranked into it and they really sing. The character is distinctly single coil and lacks the body of the humbuckers I’m used to but they’re far from being particularly thin sounding. They’re highly articulate right across the fretboard with lower notes on the fretboard being considerably less mushy than many bridge pickups I’ve played. I’ve found them to be highly responsive to pickup height to the extent that lowering the neck pickup away from the strings more than I normally would I found them too tight even for a bridge pickup! Even with the neck pickup close enough to the strings to balance with the Holydiver at about 2mm, I had no trouble with note definition. The pickup remained well articulated long after Seymour Duncan Hotrails had given up and turned to a mushy mess.

Due to the excellent articulation, the pickups work very well when played together. I’ve had a push/pull tone knob fitted so that I can permanently engage the bridge humbucker so position 5 becomes the neck and bridge and position 4 can give me all three pickups working together. The humbucker is never split on my guitar and even with all this going on the guitar remains clear, with a full sound that gives a lovely chorus effect and is slightly phased. There are some seriously good tones to be had by using different pickup combinations when you’ve got Trilogy Suites and I think I like that about them best. The tonal options are just fantastic.

I was originally after a creamy lead sound like Dave Murray when using the neck pickup and the Trilogy Suites will deliver that. OK, it’s not quite the same but then Dave Murray isn’t using single coils. The point is, it will give you a creamy tone as well as giving a really searing lead tone if you want it to. In this respect, I’ve found the pickups to be VERY responsive to adjustments to the tone control. In the past I’ve never really bothered using the tone control on a guitar but the Trilogy Suites are so responsive that it would be a crime not to use this facility. Stepping back on the gain, adding a touch of delay and tweaking the tone control yields a beautiful Blues tone and this is where I find the ‘anything but vintage’ tag a little misleading. These are actually very versatile pickups and I can see why they’re so popular on the Bare Knuckle forum. I don’t actually think there’s a lot that can’t be done with these pickups. If you’re really only wanting to play Blues, then fair enough, I daresay something like 'Slowhands' model will do it better but if you want a set of pickups that can do pretty much anything then you could do a hell of a lot worse than buy these. They’re undoubtedly hot pickups (my neck and middle are wound to a DC resistance of 13 if that helps) but they never feel either unduly hot or too weak for any application I’ve tried.

So, are there any weaknesses? If you want to shove the neck pickup on by itself and strum some clean(ish) chords, it’s not really full enough for my tastes. Humbuckers, to my mind at least, do that a lot better. This is the only thing I’ve found so far where I prefer the Hotrails that these have replaced, which is perhaps a little surprising. In this application, the Trilogy Suites just aren’t full enough or warm enough. You can get around this to a degree by using different pickup combinations as I indicated earlier but for songs where I’d be doing more clean strumming I’d be tempted to just use a different guitar. I don’t think this is really a problem with the pickup; I just don’t think this is an application where any single coil is likely to excel, at least to my ear. This is a lead pickup and it’s a bloody good one. I’ve found them to be well balanced and I can’t think of any woods where these wouldn’t work. If you want real single coil character in a highly versatile format for great leads then I would highly recommend these.
Gibson Les Paul Studio with Catswhiskers pickups
PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 with Creamery pickups
Fender Standard Stratocaster with DiMarzio pickups
Takamine GN30
BluGuitar AMP1
#2
Why not post this in the UG Contributions section and submit this review?
Reported.
Woffelz

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Ibanez RG2550Z/SRX430
Alesis Core 1
BIAS FX


I'm a student. I've got no time or space for an amp!
#4
Great review TS, any chance of some decent clips?


Quote by Woffelz
Why not post this in the UG Contributions section and submit this review?
Reported.



Dick head.

1977 Burny FLG70
2004 EBMM JP6
2016 SE Holcolmb
#5
Quote by Woffelz
Why not post this in the UG Contributions section and submit this review?
Reported.


My apologies, I didn't even realise there was a 'Contributions' section! If it's better suited somewhere else, by all means move it. The same goes for the review of the Holydiver pickup I also posted. My only aim in writing the reviews was to provide detailed information to other guitarists that may be useful to them. After all, Bare Knuckle pickups aren't cheap so I reasoned that it may help to have as much detail as possible before parting with so much money. I have no ulterior motive in posting these reviews at all so I apologise to you if this has offended you at all and I thank the others for their support, understanding and their appreciation of the effort I made.
Gibson Les Paul Studio with Catswhiskers pickups
PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 with Creamery pickups
Fender Standard Stratocaster with DiMarzio pickups
Takamine GN30
BluGuitar AMP1
#7
TBF pickups usually fall under GG&A or maybe GB&C

Nice review though..
Clips and pics though would be killer


Nice to see an in depth review.