First Bare Knuckle Pickups - going in my traditional

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by Assault Bacon, Aug 14, 2017.

  1. Assault Bacon

    Assault Bacon Gold Supporter

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    Hey everyone -

    2016 Les Paul Traditional (no weight relief) -

    It's not that I dislike the '57 Classic / Classic Plus combo that came stock. It's that after playing it for a few months, I'd like something with a bit more "balls," for lack of a better term. So, I'm ordering a set of Bare Knuckle Black Dogs for it.

    I don't plan to split them or anything. Probably just wire them up like they are now.

    Here are my questions:

    First, stock pots are 500k non-linear for 2 volumes, 300k linear for 2 tones. Bare Knuckle offers 550k volume pots and there's arguments as to whether they're snake oil or not. Thoughts?

    Second, any recommendations on caps?

    Thanks -
     
  2. framos

    framos Senior Member

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    550k pots (w/ 10% tolerance) is just way to make sure the pots measure at least 500k. Whether it will make a difference or not, depends on what your 500k spec'd pots actually measure. But assuming a pot measuring exactly 550k and another measuring exactly 500k, the difference will be subtle. However, I found the BKP pots to have a slighly better taper and are smoother to turn if compared to Gibson stock.

    Don't sweat too much on caps, any decent PIO will do just fine. These days I use Sprague Vitamin Q.

    Congrats on the Black Dogs, they are great pickups!

    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
  3. rclausen

    rclausen Senior Member

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    Only get the new pots if you actually use your volume and tone controls, otherwise leaving everything on 10 negates any benefit. If you do adjust your controls than I highly recommend swapping out the current pots for better ones. As previously mentioned, cap types are less important that cap values. Either a pair of 0.022 caps will work or a 0.015 for the neck and 0.022 for the bridge
     
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  4. Assault Bacon

    Assault Bacon Gold Supporter

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    Thanks guys. That's the info I need.

    I don't use the volume pots a lot right now, but that doesn't mean I won't down the road. Frankly, the only time I play with them is when I'm cleaning up the signal or pushing it.

    Now that I say that, I guess I do use them and just don't think about it. :naughty:
     
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  5. Assault Bacon

    Assault Bacon Gold Supporter

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    On their way...

    I'll throw them in, see what's what and decide on the pots later.

    Thanks guys.


    [​IMG]

    Going in this, by the way:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
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  6. guidothepimmp

    guidothepimmp Senior Member

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    awesome, congrats.. bkp rock..

    enjoy the goodies that come in the packaging!
     
  7. Assault Bacon

    Assault Bacon Gold Supporter

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    What should I look for? I'm getting them from Music Zoo. Brand new, but I've never dealt with Music Zoo before.

    My curiosity is piqued.
     
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  8. guidothepimmp

    guidothepimmp Senior Member

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    hey bud, the pickups come in a box with a certificate confirming output, a set of rotosound strings, a bkp sticker and a bkp guitar pick.
    i have bought 6 sets of bkp and all came packaged like this
     
  9. Assault Bacon

    Assault Bacon Gold Supporter

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    Shit. Music Zoo called. I'm out of luck. Ordered, a UPS tag was generated, but the pickups were not on the shelf. They were very nice about it.

    Screwed. Oh, well. I'll figure it out.
     
  10. cousingrandpa

    cousingrandpa Senior Member

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    Order them direct from BK, that's what I always do & the price is usually better. I have 6 guitars with them.
     
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  11. Bad.Seed

    Bad.Seed Senior Member

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    I have to disagree with this statement. When I got my 2005 standard and 2016 traditional, both guitar's volume pots measured around 250k (pretty low when theyre supposed to be 300k) and both guitars sounded a bit muffled to me.

    I ended up swapping out thw volume pots on both guitars for CTS 550k pots 5% tolerance, and WOW. Both guitars came alive through the amp. With the volume on 10, I noticed a big difference. No more muffle blanket over the speakers effect.
     
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  12. motorcobra

    motorcobra Member

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    I've got a BK setup in my Les Paul 2012 Trad Pro, Riff Raff bridge, Mule neck with the BK 550 pots in my tones. In upgrading, I had a very similar experience to Bad.Seed's. The stock guitar played great, looked great but the pickups were total wooly muffled, scooped, weird sounding crap. With the BK pots and pickups, it's now a VERY wide-open sound with the tones on 10. In fact, I find I typically have my tones rolled down to get a 70s Paul sound. Weren't the pot values back then more in the 300 range?

    Please weigh in with your experience with the Black Dogs! While I love my Riff Raff, I am intrigued by something a little more overwound.
     
  13. Assault Bacon

    Assault Bacon Gold Supporter

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    Well, here's what's happening:

    Adam from Elysian is an acquaintance from another forum. He builds guitars and pickups.

    I bought a set of his pickups that spec'd out at 10.5 bridge and 8.35 neck - reverse zebra. I received them yesterday, and I'll probably put them in either this week or this weekend if I get too busy. If anyone is interested, I'll let you know my thoughts on them after a bit of playing.
     
  14. garybaldy

    garybaldy Senior Member

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    I may have misunderstood what I have read on this forum in the past but I thought the whole point of using a 550K (ie. the BK ones) instead of a 500k was to allow more treble through WHEN on 10. (eg out of two pots, putting the highest K for the neck and lowest K for the bridge - subtle but worth it)
    Please correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  15. Assault Bacon

    Assault Bacon Gold Supporter

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    So... an update:

    I received my Elysian pickups this week and since I was itching to try them but didn't have the time to install them myself, I hauled everything over to the tech last night. He knocked the job out and called me this morning. (It's back to school time and kids all want instruments and repairs and such, so I frankly didn't expect to see my axe until Monday.)

    I picked it up and plugged it in for a few minutes before going to lunch with my wife.

    Even she said, "That sounds fantastic." I need to put more time into them, but I'm really impressed so far with how well this set of pups works in my Traditional. Adam hasn't named this wind - he calls it "vintage hot." I told him you need to find a name for these.
     
  16. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    Yes, you are on the right track....but its even more significant than that. You manipulate the entire pickup's tonality with different value volume pots - so all the way through the dial is different and you cannot compensate with knob twirling.
    The tone pot allows more treble through at 10 with higher value pots.......but unlike the volume pot if say you were to turn a 500k tone down to where it reads 250k, you would have the same result as a 250k pot on 10.

    This is a chart of a pickup's resonant frequency shift with volume pot value.
    pick-up-frequency-response-with-load.gif
     
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  17. Assault Bacon

    Assault Bacon Gold Supporter

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    The Elysian pickups worked out perfectly. It's been a week now and I couldn't be happier with them - unless they were standard zebra instead of reverse, that is, and that's just a little OCD, probably.

    I've been working on a lot of heavy blues / hippy music / stoner rock, as of late. With or without distortion/fuzz, I'm getting great definition and tone. These pups are very responsive to the volume knob and clean up nicely.

    For the sake of the current discussion, I may go buy upgraded pots at some point and see what difference it makes. For right now, though I'm just happy that this swap worked out.

    NOTE: Also found out, though this process, that the source of my guitar had listed the OE pickups as '57 Classic in the neck and '57 Classic Plus in the bridge... they weren't. Both pickups were '57 Classic. The company apologized, but I love the guitar anyway and I replaced the pups, so it is what it is.

    I have two '57 Classic Plus pickups in my Doublecut - I think I'll take one of these Classics, put a nickel cover on it and replace the neck pickup in the DC.

    Thanks again for all of the info, guys.
     
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