Bare Knuckle pickups-What’s the deal?

Midnight Blues

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Can't remember what I paid for them, but I've had a set of "PG Blues" in my Deluxe since 2011 and I love 'em! To me, they're the best replication of Peter Green's tone that I've heard. On top of that, Tim Mills was a jot to deal with.

Having typed that, $400.00+ for pups is pretty steep IMHO, but there are more expensive pups out there. It's all about what the market will bear (or should I type "bare". :laugh2:).
 

ErictheRed

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Which Suhr PUPs have you used, Thornbuckers? Single Screw? Double? Aldritch? Which are your favorite?

I've tried the ML and V60LP Strat pickups, and like them both very much but the ML the most. I'm not much of a Strat guy to be honest, though.

For humbuckers, I've tried the Thornbuckers and every one of the Single Screw variants. I don't like the Thornbuckers much personally, they are a bit too weak and thin for my tastes (though some people love them). The Aldrich pickups were a bit too much for me, though I've only tried them in someone else's guitar and not for very long. The SSV neck pickup is my all-time favorite neck humbucker, I find it perfectly balanced and soulful. It "smears" double stop bends in a beautiful way. The SSV+ is a fantastic all-around bridge humbucker, and the SSH+ is a great higher-output bridge humbucker that cleans up well and works great in a band setting. However, it's a bit mid-heavy to me. I've recently tried a SSH and I think that I like it most out of all of the Suhr bridge humbuckers that I've tried, but it hasn't been that long. It's pretty similar to the Bare Knuckle True Grit bridge to me.

YMMV and all of that. I haven't tried as many different brands as other people, but I've played quite a few Seymour Duncans, DiMarzios, Bare Knuckles, Gibsons, and Suhrs, and the Suhrs are my favorite. SSV neck and either SSV+ or SSH bridge. I ike the SSH+ bridge a lot also.
 

cybermgk

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I've tried the ML and V60LP Strat pickups, and like them both very much but the ML the most. I'm not much of a Strat guy to be honest, though.

For humbuckers, I've tried the Thornbuckers and every one of the Single Screw variants. I don't like the Thornbuckers much personally, they are a bit too weak and thin for my tastes (though some people love them). The Aldrich pickups were a bit too much for me, though I've only tried them in someone else's guitar and not for very long. The SSV neck pickup is my all-time favorite neck humbucker, I find it perfectly balanced and soulful. It "smears" double stop bends in a beautiful way. The SSV+ is a fantastic all-around bridge humbucker, and the SSH+ is a great higher-output bridge humbucker that cleans up well and works great in a band setting. However, it's a bit mid-heavy to me. I've recently tried a SSH and I think that I like it most out of all of the Suhr bridge humbuckers that I've tried, but it hasn't been that long. It's pretty similar to the Bare Knuckle True Grit bridge to me.

YMMV and all of that. I haven't tried as many different brands as other people, but I've played quite a few Seymour Duncans, DiMarzios, Bare Knuckles, Gibsons, and Suhrs, and the Suhrs are my favorite. SSV neck and either SSV+ or SSH bridge. I ike the SSH+ bridge a lot also.
Perfect. Thank you. Yea so MANY models/brands just have a problem with Neck pickups.
 

fry

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I noticed last week that Sheptone pickups had a dramatic price increase. There was a thing on the website explaining it, saying that he’s been putting it off, but supplies have skyrocketed, and he couldn’t hold off any longer. I think they were $280, they are now $400 for a set of humbuckers. I personally think there are plenty of great options for a lot less money, but to each his own. Wolfetone is still running the Covid discount of 25%, that is a hell of a deal. I also noticed that Eminence speakers that had been around $74.99 are starting to show up for $109.99. I guess materials have gone up, and it’s starting to affect the whole industry.
 

ErictheRed

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I would love to try Wolfetones, but they only make Gibson-spaces bridge pickups. Something to keep in mind, otherwise I'd be all over them.
 

raytsh

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I had 4 custom Skervesen guitars and all of them had BKP. I never regretted that decision. I really like those pickups.
 

Jim Connelly

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Hey, guys. I’ve had my eyes on a set of Bare Knuckle pickups, but they’re like over $400 for the pair. Can they really be that good? Please only respond if you’ve actually played or heard them (in person).

I am lover of the bare knuckle. I bought a set of Virgil Arlo and put my bare knuckles back in. This is in a 2018 R9 with Brazilian board. I don't know from experience but I believe I would like them more than real PAF pickups. From what I've heard, real PAF humbuckers give a great tone and growl but a little too chimey sounding ( for me anyway). I've been chasing great tone for a long time and bare knuckle has the clarity I want and no muddiness on the lower notes of the guitar. I remember at first playing full first position chords and being able to distinguish each note in the chord better, or note separation as they call it. I love them. They are in all of my Gibson custom shop guitars.
 

Repo251

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most the boutique pups are tha tprice except mojotone.. ive bought 6 sets, all brilliant! stormy mondy, pg blues, abraxas, riff raff and war pigs... excellent pups..
 

DocGid

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“Worth” is really subjective.

I’ve tried a fair amount of boutique style pickups at this point. If a particular set has that sound that you’re trying to get to, the “worth” part has to be up to you.

Essentially all of those pickups have been really good, but some of the sets I’ve played have been really special. But what I like in a set might not quite be what the next guy is looking for.

I haven’t tried Mules, but have tossed around the idea a lot, and I don’t know if I’ve ever read a negative experience with them.
 

ElChoad

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I had a 2012 Studio Nitrous that had Rebel Yells in it. They were great. Super responsive to the controls. Now I have Black Dogs in my '14 Trad Pro II Goldtop. I love them. I picked them up used on eBay in '15 for a decent price. There is something special about the Black Dogs. We have a dealer not too far from where I live, so I got an opportunity to try several in Les Pauls before I sealed the deal. I have never looked back. Very happy with them.

I have a Heritage H-150 I am thinking about swapping pickups in, but I am going to do something unpotted in that. Probably Wolfetones Legends.
 

GermHerm

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I use a set of 'The mule' PAFs in a LP Custom Shop 'Skinnerburst' since some years. I like them. However, $ 400.00 is a high price. I assume you are able to buy them for around $ 300.00. I payed 250.00 EUR in a Music Shop in Germany.
 

wully

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I’ve had a couple of humbuckers, in different guitars, and a pair of tele pickups (in a tele). I bought mine back in the day when they were a new upcoming brand. I remember you could phone up and speak to Tim(?) directly and talk over different options before you placed your order. They didn’t seem particularly cheap, then. I suppose they were a bit more expensive, but you were getting hand wound scatter wound boutique pickups, and maybe that was worth paying a bit more for..?
Since then, all kinds of pickup makers have cropped up. There’s almost too much choice, these days.. Of course there are loads of perfectly good pickups out there, at various price points.. Fwiw, I replaced the bkp brown sugar set, in my tele, with a set of iron gears, which were quite a bit cheaper, and I much preferred the sound. There’s no doubting the quality of them, and for some people, they’ll have the sound they’re looking (or listening) for, but the prices now, are to my mind scandalous.. but you pays your money, and you takes your choice, I guess.. Personally, I wouldn’t go there again..
 

drugprowlingwolf

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I have BKPs in basically everything I own that isn’t vintage. I’ve got the veneer board set in a strat build, broadcaster set in a tele, mules in an LP, riff raffs in a 335, and have had some Nantucket p90s.

I find them all to have a “rock voicing” that straddles the line between vintage tone/vibe and modern know how. They sound like particularly good examples of their respective pickups. I could see some people calling them boring or sterile. I like using them with minimal effects into loud tube amps and they really shine.

I don’t know that I’d drop 400+ for a set though. Perhaps for the humbuckers - the mules and riff raffs are truly excellent.
 

jlf599

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I have a set of Abraxas in my LP Standard and absolutely love them. I'm also a huge fan of the Emeralds (had them in an Explorer that I've sent sold).

I think both of those sets were just under $300 when I bought them...but that's been awhile.
 

eigentone

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I own a Stormy Monday set and a Sultans set. I can’t complain about the sound or build quality. I like both sets. These are more vintage voiced pickups, which I think they do really well. For years I incorrectly assumed Bare Knuckles were more for the metal player. I also had a Half Note set which were amazing but the guy who bought my R4 wanted them in there.

They have a disadvantage because we have a lot of good winders here in the US.
 

IanHenry

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Hi,
Can I make a suggestion? If you are paying that sort of price for pickups, can I suggest looking at Cream T pickups. I haven't tried them myself but they do come highly recommended, particularly their Whisker bucker and their Bernie bucker (Billy Gibbons & Bernie Marsden respectively)
Cream T Pickups - Guitar Store | Liverpool & Ormskirk (creamtpickupsdirect.com)

Those aren't faithful reproductions built in the same way as the PAF's were made in the '50s, they're just built to sound
 

skydog

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Most modern boutique built humbuckers are built with nickel silver base plates and covers, maple spacers, enamel 42-43 gauge wire, and quality magnets. The differences between a Tonerider and say a Throbak are miniscule. Derek Trucks could play a properly set up Epiphone SG and sound like Derek Trucks. Strings will make more of a difference.
 

LeftyGtrPlr

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I've tried the ML and V60LP Strat pickups, and like them both very much but the ML the most. I'm not much of a Strat guy to be honest, though.

For humbuckers, I've tried the Thornbuckers and every one of the Single Screw variants. I don't like the Thornbuckers much personally, they are a bit too weak and thin for my tastes (though some people love them). The Aldrich pickups were a bit too much for me, though I've only tried them in someone else's guitar and not for very long. The SSV neck pickup is my all-time favorite neck humbucker, I find it perfectly balanced and soulful. It "smears" double stop bends in a beautiful way. The SSV+ is a fantastic all-around bridge humbucker, and the SSH+ is a great higher-output bridge humbucker that cleans up well and works great in a band setting. However, it's a bit mid-heavy to me. I've recently tried a SSH and I think that I like it most out of all of the Suhr bridge humbuckers that I've tried, but it hasn't been that long. It's pretty similar to the Bare Knuckle True Grit bridge to me.

YMMV and all of that. I haven't tried as many different brands as other people, but I've played quite a few Seymour Duncans, DiMarzios, Bare Knuckles, Gibsons, and Suhrs, and the Suhrs are my favorite. SSV neck and either SSV+ or SSH bridge. I ike the SSH+ bridge a lot also.

I've had a different experience with the Suhr Aldrich pickups in my Les Paul Custom. I changed out the 498t (and 57 Classics) for the Suhr Aldrich. It is hot, but not too hot. It cuts through the mix and is really sweet and soulful it's my favorite all time humbucker pickup.

Just wanted to add my $0.02
 

keys88

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I once picked up a guitar on trade that had a Bareknuckle Nailbomb in the bridge. It was cool, sounded just like a hot ceramic pickup should. But I'm not sure I would have bought it myself. There are countless other really great pickups out there for every style of music. I just can't see myself paying so much more for something that does pretty much the same thing.
 

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