Price paid: $ 350
Purchased from: BKP online
Sound — 9
Bought the Alnico V bridge version with the paired neck pickup, for rock to metal style, on a Gibson Les Paul Classic Plus, using a Line 6 Spider Valve HD100 (MKI) amp, and I play rhythm and lead guitar for 2 different bands.
Tone: Wow. Let's talk about midrange! It's really full of mids and lower mids, highs are sweet and lows avec rich. Output is high but very moderate high compared to the original Gibson 500T of my Les Paul, which is hotter. Lows could be a little tighter to me, but still sounds great, and harmonics come easily. Totally noiseless and sounds good with split coil. I really like how much you can control your tone with volume knob, but I slightly dislike the little loss of brightness when you roll down the knob. Yet the tone is very warm and beautiful with a lot of character. The neck is bright and great, but a little disappointing since it does not capture the Les Paul tone best (but I'm a PAF/vintage PAF whore when it comes to neck humbucker on a LP).
Well, I bought it to experiment it, I consider trying the hotter ceramic version of it, but I'm very satisfied!
Reliability & Durability — 10
Can't say anything wrong about this set: the two pickups complement each other very nicely, it's very well made, beautiful and seems reliable and durable, as my other BK pickups I bought. The split coil option is great, and I find my guitars most reliable with these pickup. They are a little expensive in my opinion, but you get what you pay for, for the tone and general quality, and the whole package box of these pickups with the sticker and the instructions (which were helpful!) is really nice. Thanks Bare Knuckle!
Overall Impression — 10
I play anything from rock to death metal (mostly) some bluesy and jazzy stuff... been playing for 15 years and experimented a nice bunch of pickups. Bare Knuckle offer really impressive pickups, like the Nailbomb, the Mule, and the Painkiller (those I tried from BKP). I played on Gibson pickups, DiMarzio Evo 2 and some Seymour Duncans as well, and when it comes to BKP, I'm impressed how present your tone is in a mix (thanks to the strong mids) and I never get a muddy tone. Can't say this Nailbomb is better than the chunkier 500T, since they're very different. But I like the tone and it suits very well my Les Paul for now!