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darkandrew

Your favourite pickups?

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Posted (edited)

Over the years I've tried many pickups from many manufacturers - EMG, Seymour Duncan, Bare Knuckle, Dimarzio, etc. Although different pickups have different roles and suit different guitars, of all the pickups I've used, Bare Knuckle Nail Bombs are probably my overall favourite. They feature Alnico V magnets in both the bridge and neck pickups (BKP also offer a ceramic option in the bridge if you want it) and although they are definitely modern in tone, they do a really good job of bridging that gap between modern and traditional pickups. The bridge pickup has a very bright, hairy, top end and then flattens out very quickly, giving you plenty of pick attack but also a pickup that sits perfectly in a mix - it really is the ideal rhythm pickup. The neck pickup is similarly bright yet balanced with no boomyness and a lovely woody tone. They're not cheap though, currently a new set direct from Bare Knuckle would cost you around £250, and they are very sensitive to pickup height - 1/2 a turn can make the difference between being in the sweet spot and being well outside of it, but if you're willing to invest your hard-earned money into buying the pickups and your time into getting them set up just right then they are definitely worth the time and expense.

 

 

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Edited by darkandrew

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I’ve always liked DiMarzio, from my first SDHBs that I fitted to my Aria LP back in the ‘70s, to the Heavy Blues and Area Hot that I have fitted to my current Tele. Not only are their products top drawer, they are also the most helpful company to deal with. They answer email enquires quickly and really thoroughly (even the top guys there who deal with the likes of Satch, Vai and Johnson get involved), which is more than I can say for my experience with a well known, California based company.

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32 minutes ago, ezbass said:

I’ve always liked DiMarzio, from my first SDHBs that I fitted to my Aria LP back in the ‘70s, to the Heavy Blues and Area Hot that I have fitted to my current Tele. Not only are their products top drawer, they are also the most helpful company to deal with. They answer email enquires quickly and really thoroughly (even the top guys there who deal with the likes of Satch, Vai and Johnson get involved), which is more than I can say for my experience with a well known, California based company.

I've never had to contact Dimarzio but have tried that other well known US pickup manufacturer that you mention and understand your sentiment - the reply took two weeks to arrive and was just a "cut and paste" answer from their website that didn't actually answer my question. Are there any particular Dimarzios that you'd recommend? 

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At least you received an answer, there was just tumbleweed for me.

As for recommendations, it all depends on what you’re trying to achieve. I wanted to give my Tele a P90 tone, so I asked the nice chaps in NY and they came back with the Area Hot T for the bridge and Heavy Blues Vintage for the neck. I remember the SDHBs being absolute monsters that ate Gibson PAFs with ease. If I was retro fitting a humbucker fitted guitar these days, I think my start point would be the Air Nortons as I like the description of them.

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Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, ezbass said:

At least you received an answer, there was just tumbleweed for me.

As for recommendations, it all depends on what you’re trying to achieve. I wanted to give my Tele a P90 tone, so I asked the nice chaps in NY and they came back with the Area Hot T for the bridge and Heavy Blues Vintage for the neck. I remember the SDHBs being absolute monsters that ate Gibson PAFs with ease. If I was retro fitting a humbucker fitted guitar these days, I think my start point would be the Air Nortons as I like the description of them.

My recollection of the Super Distortion is similarly monstrous but I prefer a bit more subtlety these days. Have you tried the Air Nortons? I've read about them, etc, and they do sound interesting but never actually tried them myself - I might have to give them a go one day, especially with Bare Knuckle' s prices continuing to creep up.

Edited by darkandrew

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No, I’ve not tried them, but when I was looking into HBs (quite some ago) these are the ones whose description seemed to fit my requirements at the time. DiMarzio’s descriptions seemed to be very accurate and not just sales speil.

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