Bare Knuckle pickups-What’s the deal?

Stolen#961253

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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).

For the money Wolfetone Dr Vintage or Legends… i had a pair of those Mules in a R8… i prefer the wolfetones. I have em in 4 Lesters…
 

BluesDudeAK

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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.
I've been trying out pickups as a hobby for the past 20 years and listened to hundreds . . . respectfully disagree that the difference is minuscule. I've only tried BK's in Strats and Teles and while they were all pretty good, no keepers. My '90 classics have Sigil Holy Grail pickups - '58 and '59 old wire versions, and sound pretty amazing. Toneriders are probably the best bang for the buck out there as far as pickups go.
 

Starfire

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Iv had mother’s milks, black dogs, Irish tours and mules. Of all those I have one mule neck left. I bought those in 2008-2010 for far less than they are now. All these were wound by Tim Mills and Hayden?? I believe. Iv also had pretty crappy customer service more than once.

For Teles I like Don Mare. Humbuckers I’v tried OX4, Zangbucker, and K&T and would choose those over BKP every time. The main thing is to understand the return policy of the winder. Otherwise it is an expensive crap shoot.
 
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Jennysan

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Have set of Bare Knuckle Stormy Mondays in my LP Trad. Low output AlNico 2 pafs. Paid just under $300 about 2 years ago. Glad I got them, they are never coming out. Best blues pups ever.
 

Roxy13

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I have a pair of Stomy Mondays as well, but they were gifted to me. Probably the best pickups that ever have been though and they are staying :)
 

zdoggie

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I agree with hamtone I've been using thro-bak and cant find anything that sounds better to me yeah their expensive but well worth the cost ,thro-bak has a lot of demos to listen to also klein ,I think makes a descent sounding bucker but my first choice is thro-bak .

zdog
 

CoolRene

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They’re sure good, hand-wired and so are many others. I guess it’s all a matter of personal taste and choice. Some are voiced right and fit the guitar you mount them in, but the same model can sound poorly on another instrument. I’d rather not tweak a guitar that sounds right with stock pickups, but I’d be adventurous with my own builds…
The Mule, Stormy Monday, Riff Raff are nice ones, but so are Seymour Duncan’s for about half the price… Your call mate: experience a few and let your ears decide !
 

cadlane

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I've got a set of Slow Hands in my '94 Strat Ultra and love them. They've got the zinc plated steel bases, and sound just as described - dark and thick...very different from a typical Strat sound, and what I was after for this guitar.

As mentioned in many comments above, they sound like they are described on the BKP website. You don't have to listen closely to find the described sound, it hits you in the face. An "exaggerated" sound as someone else stated above.
 

Archtopanimal

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The Painkillers are the set I was looking at.
You can get these secondhand often . Watch Ebay . They flip regularly as they're not a popular keeper .
USD400 for a pair of hummers is getting expensive . Have you tries Wolfetone Pickups ? Wolfe is heaps less money and a first class product too , but with less choice of finishes .
 

BKS

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I believe some think of the painkillers to be a little icepicky but perfect for baritone.
Mine are in my baritone and i love them.
 

Archtopanimal

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I just worked my way though a set of speced-up Mules on the website . Geez , they are expensive at GBP274 delivered overseas . That's tax free too . Those in the UK would be paying GBP295 delivered with VAT . Nutz !
 

skydog

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Iv had mother’s milks, black dogs, Irish tours and mules. Of all those I have one mule neck left. I bought those in 2008-2010 for far less than they are now. All these were wound by Tim Mills and Hayden?? I believe. Iv also had pretty crappy customer service more than once.

For Teles I like Don Mare. Humbuckers I’v tried OX4, Zangbucker, and K&T and would choose those over BKP every time. The main thing is to understand the return policy of the winder. Otherwise it is an expensive crap shoot.
Why would you expect a return policy unless they arrived DOA?
 

skydog

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I've been trying out pickups as a hobby for the past 20 years and listened to hundreds . . . respectfully disagree that the difference is minuscule. I've only tried BK's in Strats and Teles and while they were all pretty good, no keepers. My '90 classics have Sigil Holy Grail pickups - '58 and '59 old wire versions, and sound pretty amazing. Toneriders are probably the best bang for the buck out there as far as pickups go.
When a guy pays $400 for new pups, you best believe they sound better! You’d have to A/B them successfully 80% of the time to convince me.
 

frater106

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There does happen to be a set of double-black BK Painkillers for $40 off new on eBay right now. I am tempted to go ahead and pick them up. I'm going to sleep on it, though. That's not really much savings. I may just pony up and get new ones made the way I'd like them.
 

Starfire

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Why would you expect a return policy unless they arrived DOA?

Some winders offer a return or replacement if you are not happy with the pick ups, so long as you follow the rules- don’t cut the cable etc. Bareknuckle do this themselves if you buy direct. I believe you have 14 days.

Whether pick ups suit your particular guitar and amp is a very expensive crap shoot, so this has saved me quite a bit of money over the years.

I don’t expect anything I just ask (or read the FAQs). You should try it.
 
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Gas4LPs

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My guitar teacher Chris Buono got a The Mule set for his R9. He seemed to like them. FWIW, not every pickup change is an improvement. Some work in one guitar and not in another.
 

Lungo

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I had a set of 6 string Nailbombs that I tried in three different guitars. Sounded good in all of them. Also had a set in my 7 string that sounded good.

The Bare Knuckles were good but I think there’s some hype with the name and cool looking covers. My 7 string has Jeff Loomis Blackouts now and will never be switched to anything else. The 6 string set is gone as well.
 

ErictheRed

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I believe that Bare Knuckles do allow for an exchange towards another set if you don't trim the pickup leads within 14 days of arrival. They have to have been purchased at a dealer, though.
 

BKS

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With exception of my painkillers i paid between 90€ and 150€ for a set. Cheapest were my brown sugar set as they were a gamble. Both the Mules and pg blues were between 140/150€ all second hand. Not all that long ago. Buying second hand might be a good deal on these pups.
 

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