Bare Knuckle Pickups Forum

Forum Ringside => Pickups => Topic started by: RobAbrams84 on October 29, 2020, 09:47:20 PM

Title: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on October 29, 2020, 09:47:20 PM
I'll try to keep this as brief as possible, I'm looking for a new set of pickups for my Mayones Regius, 24 fret, 25.4" scale, 6-string guitar.  It came with Seymour Duncan JB/Jazz pickups, which I don't like.  The JB is bright without being open, and has a very rounded, focused high-end that feels almost "blunt."  It reminds me of everything that I don't like about a Vintage 30 speaker.  The Jazz neck was actually OK for me.

I'm most used to Gibson Les Pauls, and I would like this Regius to be a sort of modernized Les Paul , with the crispness and snap that comes from a longer scale length, better upper fret access, flatter fretboard, etc.  I like Gibson Burstbuckers and Custombuckers (I have a nice R9) but I would like the Regius to be more modern, tighter in the bass, and have higher output.  Clean sounds are very important to me, and I would like to have usable coil splitting.  I usually tune the guitar a 1/2 step down but no more, so I don't need the extended low range that some modern players want.  I play mostly 80s, 90s, and 2000s alternative rock, and the heaviest that I get would be Katatonia, Alice in Chains, Porcupine Tree, some Opeth, etc.  Otherwise I'm usually in Foo Fighters, Stone Temple Piliots, Pearl Jam, Pink Floyd territory.

One caveat is that with a Les Paul I pretty much always have the Neck tone on 10 and Bridge tone on 5-6, and the Regius has a single shared tone control, so I'm having a hard time finding a set that balances out the way I want it to.

Tim here recommended the True Grit or Emeralds, and I tried the True Grits.  After some tweaking they were quite good!  I was surprised at how much I liked the split coil bridge, it sounded very Tele-like.  However, I felt that I was always wanting to roll my tone knob down halfway going to the bridge, or all the way up going to the neck.  I felt like the bridge could be a little warmer and the neck could have possibly had a little more highs. 

Because I found good prices on used ones, I bought an Emerald neck and Alnico Naillbomb bridge, and have been trying that combo for a couple of months.  Individually both are quite good, but I don't think that they mix all that well.  Personally the Emerald neck seems too warm for me (though it's quite nice), and the Nailbomb is perhaps a little bright.  Both pickups are also probably hotter than I really need, especially the Nailbomb, so I definitely don't want anything with more output than these.

Thoughts?  I'm thinking of putting the True Grits back in again.  Also of trying a Holydiver set, since I hear that the neck is pretty bright and the bridge is warm and full, which might solve my problem of always wanting to turn my tone knob down when I go to the bridge (this is a problem I have with every non-Les Paul, actually).  Other ideas might be some combination of Black Dog, VHII, or Abraxas, though I've heard that the Abraxas can be very loose in the lows and I'm put off of the EQ curve of the VHII and Emerald bridge on the website (both have less bass, more mids, and even more highs). 

Thanks! 

Quick edit: in case it wasn't clear, I really want this guitar to be more suited for the Katatonia, Opeth, Alice in Chains, Porcupine Tree stuff.  I have more vintage style guitars for PAF sounds, I just don't need it to do extreme modern metal or djent, etc.
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: darrenw5094 on October 30, 2020, 12:03:36 AM
Tight 80's and 90's I will suggest the holidiver. Hotter than vintage pups too. The set work well together although the riff raff neck is the brightest neck pup.
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: Dave Sloven on October 30, 2020, 04:25:10 AM
Holy Diver bridge and Emerald neck is a good combo

My only reservation here is that you didn't like the JB, and the Holy Diver is quite similar
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on October 30, 2020, 05:48:34 PM
Thanks guys.  The more I think about it, it's mostly the Nailbomb bridge that I'm not getting along with.  I can see why many love it, but it's too high output for my tastes and a bit too bright in my guitar.  The Emerald neck I could learn to live with, or possibly go back to the True Grit neck.  It's hard to decide how I actually feel about the Emerald neck since I don't think that it pairs very well with the A-bomb. 

I'm looking for a bridge pickup that is less hot than the A-bomb, hotter than a PAF but sweeter in the high end, without being mushy or loose in the lows.  I watched these two videos and the Holydiver may be a good choice, I notice that neither guitar used has a tone control and they don't sound like the bridge needs to be tamed at all, while the neck pickups (a VHII and Holydiver in these videos) are bright enough:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evEXJK7JFso

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTjgeWKILU4

Both of those sound more compressed and "processed" than I would like, but I'm basically assuming that's because of the way that they were recorded.

So the Holydiver bridge (possibly set) is high on my list, anything else that I should consider?  How does the Black Dog bridge compare to the True Grit and Nailbomb (the two BKP bridge pickups that I'm familiar with)?  I may not need as high output as the Holydiver. 

Thanks guys!
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: Dave Sloven on October 31, 2020, 06:25:33 AM
I would try a Holy Diver bridge with your Emerald neck first, and if you still aren't feeling the Emerald neck after a month or so then get a Holy Diver neck
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: Dave Sloven on October 31, 2020, 06:27:28 AM
The Black Dog has a similar character to the alnico Nailbomb and might not be any more satisfying for you if you don't like the Nailbomb
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on November 04, 2020, 07:49:13 PM
Thanks to those that have replied.  I'm probably not ordering more pickups for another week or two, so am still open to hearing other opinions. 

I'm definitely leaning towards getting a Holydiver bridge to go with my Emerald neck, though might possibly order a Holydiver set.  I think that I could probably be happy with either the Emerald or True Grit neck pickups that I already have though, even if they're pretty different from each other.

I've pretty much crossed off bridge pickups like the Black Dog and Emerald, any others that I should perhaps consider?  The Crawler maybe...? 
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: ericsabbath on November 06, 2020, 12:26:49 AM
in my experience, the true grit sits right between the nailbomb and holy diver (despite of the lower dc resistance), but the holy diver has the most JB-like voicing out of the three

I'd say the holy diver youtube videos you posted are quite representative
the diver feels a bit smoother and middier compared to both true grit and nailbomb

I do think you should give the true grits another chance, though
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on November 08, 2020, 05:29:07 PM
Okay everyone, thanks again and I definitely appreciate the help!  I've done a lot more research, searching through the forums, etc., and I think I've decided.  I did a ton of research when I first bought the True Grits, but it was one of those cases of being spoiled for choice: you're always wondering if there is a better option out there.  Manufacturers in all industry actually use this psychology to their advantage (ever wonder why there are dozens and dozens of flavors of salad dressing to choose from?), but I digress...

My reasons for trying something other than the True Grits were 1) wondering if something might be even better, 2) wanting the bridge to be a little warmer (always rolling the tone knob down some), 3) having bought open coils and realizing that the guitar looks better with nickel covers, 4) finding good deals on an A-bomb bridge and Emerald neck that had raw nickel covers, and 5) everyone I chatted with at BKP seemed to recommend something different!

I really did like the sound of the True Grits, though.  I'll either pick up a Holyldiver bridge to check out with the Emerald neck, or go back to the True Grits.  Possibly I'll get a covered a True Grit bridge to soften the highs ever so slightly, but I realize that the effect is very very slight. 

Thanks again! 
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: Telerocker on November 08, 2020, 10:22:48 PM
I have the idea you might want to try a Crawler sooner or later. Yes, the lows are not the tightest in BKP-range, but imo tight enough for most styles you mention. It will deliver what the True Grit lacks in that particular guitar.
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on November 09, 2020, 06:55:13 PM
I have the idea you might want to try a Crawler sooner or later. Yes, the lows are not the tightest in BKP-range, but imo tight enough for most styles you mention. It will deliver what the True Grit lacks in that particular guitar.

Funny you say that, because before I bought the True Grits on Tim's recommendation, I had pretty much narrowed things down to the Holy Diver or Crawlers.  I was afraid that the Crawlers would be too loose for me, though I don't really need a super tight response.  How would you compare the Crawlers to the True Grits?
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: Telerocker on November 11, 2020, 12:38:11 AM
I have the idea you might want to try a Crawler sooner or later. Yes, the lows are not the tightest in BKP-range, but imo tight enough for most styles you mention. It will deliver what the True Grit lacks in that particular guitar.

Funny you say that, because before I bought the True Grits on Tim's recommendation, I had pretty much narrowed things down to the Holy Diver or Crawlers.  I was afraid that the Crawlers would be too loose for me, though I don't really need a super tight response.  How would you compare the Crawlers to the True Grits?

Maybe I am wrong, but imo the True Grit sounds a little like a tamer Nailbomb. I think the TG is brighter and less smooth than the Crawler, which has a unique growl, quite some center mids, round but not dull topend, but cleans up great as well. In terms of output there is not that much difference.

This vid represents the Crawler quite well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nN84qcU1DHM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nN84qcU1DHM)

Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on November 14, 2020, 01:46:11 PM

Maybe I am wrong, but imo the True Grit sounds a little like a tamer Nailbomb. I think the TG is brighter and less smooth than the Crawler, which has a unique growl, quite some center mids, round but not dull topend, but cleans up great as well. In terms of output there is not that much difference.

This vid represents the Crawler quite well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nN84qcU1DHM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nN84qcU1DHM)

I think you're right that the True Grit sounds like a more tame Nailbomb, actually.  Between the two bridge pickups, I definitely prefer the True Grit, but they're similar in their EQ at least. 

I went ahead and ordered a Holydiver, but I'll keep the Crawler in mind for the future.
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: darrenw5094 on November 14, 2020, 03:49:31 PM
I've always wanted to try the Crawler, but the Holydiver is my fave BKP.
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: Telerocker on November 14, 2020, 11:07:00 PM

Maybe I am wrong, but imo the True Grit sounds a little like a tamer Nailbomb. I think the TG is brighter and less smooth than the Crawler, which has a unique growl, quite some center mids, round but not dull topend, but cleans up great as well. In terms of output there is not that much difference.

This vid represents the Crawler quite well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nN84qcU1DHM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nN84qcU1DHM)

I think you're right that the True Grit sounds like a more tame Nailbomb, actually.  Between the two bridge pickups, I definitely prefer the True Grit, but they're similar in their EQ at least. 

I went ahead and ordered a Holydiver, but I'll keep the Crawler in mind for the future.

Diver is a good choice as well. Let us know if you're satisfied.
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on November 16, 2020, 07:39:23 AM

Diver is a good choice as well. Let us know if you're satisfied.

Will do, though I think it'll be a month or so before they arrive.
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: Nolly on November 26, 2020, 04:09:51 PM
I think the Diver was a good choice too. It has some similarities with a JB construction-wise but some important differences (lessened wind, coil offset, scatter-winding and BKP-spec magnet/metalwork) that add up to a noticeably more open top end, less nasal mid focus and a more dynamic response too, which I believe are the aspects of the JB that you identify as "blunt" in your original post.
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on November 28, 2020, 08:20:55 AM
Thanks for the input Nolly, and I hope that they arrive in another week or so; I can't wait! 

As an aside, I messed around with a bunch of speaker swapping in my cabs, and I'm liking the Nailbomb bridge and Emerald Neck better--individually though, not in the same guitar.  With a 4x12" of mixed Vintage 30s and G12H-75s, I'm really liking the aggression of the Nailbomb a lot more than I had previously.  It doesn't seem quite as versatile as I'd like, though.  And in an old Blackface Pro Reverb that I put two Neo Creambacks in, I'm finally LOVING the Emerald with the bright switch turned on.  Previously I'd always felt that the Emerald was too warm, but now it's just thick and wonderful; the bright switch really awakens it in that setup. 

Anyhow I'm still eagerly awaiting the Holydivers and will report back when I've had some time with them.
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on December 13, 2020, 11:32:02 PM
Well, the Holydiver set finally came yesterday and I carved out some time today to install them.  With family stuff and holiday prep I only had about 20 minutes of moderate volume to play them with (all clean into an old Blackface Fender of all amps), but so far I really think that I made the right choice!  I don't think that I'll be changing these, unless they handle gain in a way that I don't like (which I don't foresee happening).

I went ahead and swapped the Emerald neck out as well, I wanted to try the calibrated set, despite how many people rave about the Holydiver/Emerald combo.  Just clean at least, I think that I prefer the Holydiver.  It's more open sounding and brighter, and not at all thin to me as I've heard some people say.  I don't know how it would respond to a cranked up tube amp playing blues rock yet, but so far I think that I like it more than the Emerald.  It really sounds much better than I had anticipated clean.

I feel the same way about the bridge: it sounds much better clean than I'd expected.  I like it the most by far compared to the True Grit and Nailbomb that I had tried previously.  It has a lot more of an open high end than I was expecting; it will probably compress more with gain, but so far I'm getting exactly what I wanted out of this set.  I get a really usable, great sound in all three positions (neck, both, and bridge pickups) without feeling like I have to EQ the amp again or fiddle with the tone knob.  It's all right where I want it now!

So that this isn't all praise, I'll add that the Emerald neck and True Grit bridge both had better coil tapped single coil sounds.  That's a slight bummer, but definitely secondary to the full humbuckers for my needs.

I'll mess around with more volume and gain this week, I'm sure (I have a Mesa Triple Crown for the harder rock and progressive metal stuff), but so far I'm extremely pleased.  Thanks for the help everyone!


Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: Nolly on December 16, 2020, 02:52:58 PM
Well, the Holydiver set finally came yesterday and I carved out some time today to install them.  With family stuff and holiday prep I only had about 20 minutes of moderate volume to play them with (all clean into an old Blackface Fender of all amps), but so far I really think that I made the right choice!  I don't think that I'll be changing these, unless they handle gain in a way that I don't like (which I don't foresee happening).

I went ahead and swapped the Emerald neck out as well, I wanted to try the calibrated set, despite how many people rave about the Holydiver/Emerald combo.  Just clean at least, I think that I prefer the Holydiver.  It's more open sounding and brighter, and not at all thin to me as I've heard some people say.  I don't know how it would respond to a cranked up tube amp playing blues rock yet, but so far I think that I like it more than the Emerald.  It really sounds much better than I had anticipated clean.

I feel the same way about the bridge: it sounds much better clean than I'd expected.  I like it the most by far compared to the True Grit and Nailbomb that I had tried previously.  It has a lot more of an open high end than I was expecting; it will probably compress more with gain, but so far I'm getting exactly what I wanted out of this set.  I get a really usable, great sound in all three positions (neck, both, and bridge pickups) without feeling like I have to EQ the amp again or fiddle with the tone knob.  It's all right where I want it now!

So that this isn't all praise, I'll add that the Emerald neck and True Grit bridge both had better coil tapped single coil sounds.  That's a slight bummer, but definitely secondary to the full humbuckers for my needs.

I'll mess around with more volume and gain this week, I'm sure (I have a Mesa Triple Crown for the harder rock and progressive metal stuff), but so far I'm extremely pleased.  Thanks for the help everyone!





I'm very glad to hear you're getting on well with the Holy Divers!
It's interesting how certain neck pickups get somewhat fetishised as a result of some people praising them publicly, resulting in others getting under-represented or overshadowed. I've certainly been part of this in the past (I even had a guitar with a Holy Diver/Emerald combination too!), but these days I'm most likely to choose and recommend the calibrated sets. Really, all of the neck pickups in the range sound amazing in their own way and have been carefully designed to complement their bridge models in vibe and output (and also to make sure they have a flattering sound when used simultaneously in a middle position), so unless there's a need for an unusual range of tones to be covered they are almost always considering as the primary option.
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on December 16, 2020, 07:30:15 PM
I'm very glad to hear you're getting on well with the Holy Divers!
It's interesting how certain neck pickups get somewhat fetishised as a result of some people praising them publicly, resulting in others getting under-represented or overshadowed. I've certainly been part of this in the past (I even had a guitar with a Holy Diver/Emerald combination too!), but these days I'm most likely to choose and recommend the calibrated sets. Really, all of the neck pickups in the range sound amazing in their own way and have been carefully designed to complement their bridge models in vibe and output (and also to make sure they have a flattering sound when used simultaneously in a middle position), so unless there's a need for an unusual range of tones to be covered they are almost always considering as the primary option.

A lot of it comes down to how difficult it is to describe what we want in words, I think.  Thick, tight, warm, soft, bright, shrill, aggressive, cutting, loose, etc, mean different things to different people, and then there are lots of variables to do with amps and effects and recording technique as well.  It's not surprising that certain pickups or combinations would become fetishized based on various posts on forums, or particularly well-recorded examples and that kind of thing. 

So anyhow I was lucky enough to get a couple of hours home alone yesterday, and I cranked up the Mesa as well as ran some pedals through some other amps.  The ultimate test for me is how they play with a band, but we're on a bit of a hiatus with COVID.  Still, I REALLY like these pickups so far.  The neck is thicker than I was lead to believe and handles gain well; it doesn't sound all that bright to me, frankly, though perhaps it is compared to other BKP neck pickups (certainly brighter than the Emerald).  It just seems very, very well balanced from top to bottom.  The bridge also handled gain very well, and notes sound pretty "weighty" with gain.  Again, the EQ sounds very balanced from top to bottom to me, at least in this guitar.  There are more highs than I thought there would be, without the level of aggression of the Nailbomb.  The Nailbomb cut very well in a band and I'm not sure how these will, but I don't really foresee a problem. 

I actually don't get the Holydiver to JB comparison that much, honestly.  I don't have much experience with JBs (because I don't like them), but the Holydivers definitely have more going on in the low end without sounding loose to me.  They just seem to have an overall more smooth spread of the EQ, whereas most JBs have kind of a mid or upper-mid hump that I feel sounds "blunt," for lack of a better word.  Like I'm being bludgeoned with only that particular frequency range.  The Holydiver is definitely a bit smooth/roller off in the highs compared to some bridge pickups, but not that much.  I really don't feel like I'm missing any particular frequency range and also that I'm not overly focused on a particular frequency range, either. 

I'm mostly writing all of this to potentially help someone in the future, as I found a lot of these threads using Google.
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on January 10, 2021, 07:01:29 PM
I'm just curious: what BKP set would have essentially the same tone (Bass/Mids/Treble/Presence, etc) as the Holydiver set, but be slightly lower output and less compressed?  I'm guessing Black Dogs or Abraxas.  Further down the output range to the Vintage sections, would the Mules be the most similar to the Holydiver in terms of B/M/T balance? 

Thanks guys, I'm just wondering in terms of possible future purchase for other guitars.  I really LOVE the overall balance of the Holydivers!
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: darrenw5094 on January 10, 2021, 07:04:48 PM
The diver is mid rangy in the center mids, just like the Abraxas, but the Abraxas is more classic rockand lower output.

The Mule being vintage output is very nicely balanced in the B/M/T side of things.
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: ericsabbath on January 11, 2021, 01:39:05 PM
I'm just curious: what BKP set would have essentially the same tone (Bass/Mids/Treble/Presence, etc) as the Holydiver set, but be slightly lower output and less compressed?  I'm guessing Black Dogs or Abraxas.  Further down the output range to the Vintage sections, would the Mules be the most similar to the Holydiver in terms of B/M/T balance? 

Thanks guys, I'm just wondering in terms of possible future purchase for other guitars.  I really LOVE the overall balance of the Holydivers!

black dog has a very similar curve and dense midrange texture, but a lot less compression (I've done a straight swap in my '73 lp custom)
I find the bridge black dog to sound and feel much closer to a holy diver than to a vhii, mule or riff raff
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: darkbluemurder on January 15, 2021, 10:01:34 AM
Maybe I am wrong, but imo the True Grit sounds a little like a tamer Nailbomb.

That is very interesting. I have seen the True Grit bridge humbucker described as a bigger brother of the Black Dog bridge - a hot PAF tone but with the output of a medium power pickup. I have one coming but as it will be going in a guitar where no other BKP ever was in the bridge spot I will not be able to provide a comparison.

Cheers Stephan
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: ericsabbath on January 16, 2021, 03:18:11 AM
Maybe I am wrong, but imo the True Grit sounds a little like a tamer Nailbomb.

That is very interesting. I have seen the True Grit bridge humbucker described as a bigger brother of the Black Dog bridge - a hot PAF tone but with the output of a medium power pickup. I have one coming but as it will be going in a guitar where no other BKP ever was in the bridge spot I will not be able to provide a comparison.

Cheers Stephan

I does have some resemblance with the black dog midrange texture, but it's about as hot as a holy diver, just not as mid centric as those
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: Nolly on January 16, 2021, 09:54:46 PM
In the BKP range the True Grit bridge is closest to the Emerald, though it is noticeably hotter wound than the Emerald and therefore has a lower resonant peak with more low end extension. The TG does have some crucial spec differences beyond the wind though, so it's not just a "hotter Emerald".
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: darkbluemurder on January 18, 2021, 08:02:04 AM
Maybe I am wrong, but imo the True Grit sounds a little like a tamer Nailbomb.

That is very interesting. I have seen the True Grit bridge humbucker described as a bigger brother of the Black Dog bridge - a hot PAF tone but with the output of a medium power pickup. I have one coming but as it will be going in a guitar where no other BKP ever was in the bridge spot I will not be able to provide a comparison.

Cheers Stephan

I does have some resemblance with the black dog midrange texture, but it's about as hot as a holy diver, just not as mid centric as those

Now that it is here and in the guitar, I must say Eric you nailed it with your description. Great pickup!
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: darkbluemurder on January 18, 2021, 08:03:05 AM
In the BKP range the True Grit bridge is closest to the Emerald, though it is noticeably hotter wound than the Emerald and therefore has a lower resonant peak with more low end extension. The TG does have some crucial spec differences beyond the wind though, so it's not just a "hotter Emerald".

Many thanks Nolly for this information.

Cheers Stephan
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on January 23, 2021, 05:40:37 PM
In the BKP range the True Grit bridge is closest to the Emerald, though it is noticeably hotter wound than the Emerald and therefore has a lower resonant peak with more low end extension. The TG does have some crucial spec differences beyond the wind though, so it's not just a "hotter Emerald".

It's interesting that you say this, because Tim originally recommended the True Grit or Emeralds for me.  I might have been completely happy with the True Grits if I had bought them with covers (or if they had been available in raw nickel, I love that look).  But possibly not; one of the problems of having all of these models to choose from is that you always want to try others! 

I finally played with a full band last weekend; it's been hard since COVID-19 as our bass player moved far away due to economics, and our drummer is on a hiatus as his economic situation has changed a lot as well.  The Holydivers held up very well and I'm overall very happy with them.  Still, I'm considering putting the Emerald neck pickup back in.  I'm worried that it might be too dark for me and this guitar, as my original plan with the Holydivers was having a warmer bridge pickup and brighter neck pickup, so that I didn't need to keep fiddling with the tone knob when I changed between positions, but I'm finding myself missing the "weight" of that neck pickup.  I don't think that I want to try an Emerald bridge, as from sound clips it seems like it's lacking too much bass.  I sold my Nailbomb bridge; it was just too much for me, though I can see why so many people love it.

Anyhow to sum up, I'm really loving the overall EQ/balance of the Holydivers, though perhaps I could have gone with less output/less compressed pickups.  I'm used to PAF types, after all, and the True Grits retained a lot of the PAF flavor despite being pretty high output.  Still, it's nice having a more different type of sound out of this guitar than my others.

As an aside, let me just share this video here, I absolutely LOVE this riff:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNJlp73sew0

My set of True Grits took a while to dial in (height and pole piece adjustment), but they sounded very much like that to me.  If anyone is reading this thread, my first recommendation for a Mayones Regius might be a set of True Grits, actually.  My only real complaints about mine was that 1) I bought them uncovered (my fault), and 2)I kept wanting to turn the bridge tone knob down halfway. 
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on February 19, 2021, 08:09:42 PM
Just an update to my ongoing saga; I really love the look and feel of my Mayones Regius but have struggled to get it to sound how I want:

After playing at full band volume a couple of times, the Holydiver neck pickup just isn't giving me what I wanted.  I liked that it's brighter and I can run the tone knob full open when switching between neck and bridge, but otherwise the neck pickup is kind of strident and, dare I say, sterile.  Not that it's bad, but it's not very interesting and I miss the throaty/woody sounds of a good Les Paul neck pickup, especially for bluesier rock.

SO, I've put the Emerald neck in with the Holydiver bridge now, as many people do.  I'm liking it more, but have only played at home since making the change.  The Holydiver bridge is still basically giving me what I want, and it's warm/dark enough that it pairs well with the warmer Emerald neck.  I've also done some tweaking to heights and pole pieces, and I think that the two pickups are playing really nicely together now.

This might be THE combo, we'll see; otherwise I don't want to keep buying more pickups and might try one or both of the True Grits that I bought again.  The Regius is an 11-ply neck-through guitar (the only neck-through I've ever owned), and I have a feeling that the guitar itself contributes a lot of "stiffness" and maybe some hi-fi or "sterile" character to the sound.  It's hard to describe.
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: Dave Sloven on February 20, 2021, 03:24:31 AM
The only other pickup in the line that might be worth trying in the bridge position is the Miracle Man.

It is similar to the Holy Diver with more lows and low mids and more highs.  It is like a scooped Holy Diver and can be very good with neck through guitars, which can sometimes have a mid range honk

I'd be surprised if you found a better neck pickup for your needs than the Emerald.
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on February 21, 2021, 12:32:34 AM
Well I just had an hour or so alone at home to crank up my old Blackface Pro Reverb, and I think that this is it!  The Emerald neck really brought the feel back to the guitar, it adds back the throaty, vocal quality that I was missing.  It obviously doesn't sound a lot like a Les Paul, but some of that character is there.  I could actually play blues on the neck and middle positions.  It feels responsive to touch again.

I'm still pretty happy with the Holydiver bridge, and I see what the fuss is all about with this combination now.  I'm never 100% sure until I've played with the band a few times, but I'm really liking how everything sounds and, more importantly, feels.  The Holydiver neck didn't have much feel to me.

It's funny, I was doubtful about the Emerald when I had it paired with the Alnico Nailbomb; the NB was just so aggressive and sharp to me.  I thought that I wanted a smoother/warmer bridge and brighter neck pickup, but it turns out that the Emerald neck works well as long as the bridge is smoothed out to match.  This is nothing new to most people, but to sum up, the Holydiver/Emerald combo seems to cover all of the 70s blues-based rock stuff that I would want, while being able to kick into 90s alternative, metal, grunge, prog, etc.
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on March 09, 2021, 09:57:46 PM
I realize that this thread has become like my own little obsessive blog, but this guitar is driving me a bit crazy...

The Emerald neck was definitely an improvement over the Holy Diver neck in terms of throatiness and for blues, though it was a bit too warm and slightly lacking highs for my tastes.  I probably would have kept it, but whenever I compared it to my Les Paul or Suhr Modern neck pickups, I much preferred the tones of those!  So to finally isolate whether it's this particular guitar, the woods, the neck-through construction, or what, I decided to order an uncovered Suhr SSV neck pickup, just like I have in the Suhr Modern.  They're both 25.5" scale and 24-fret guitars (actually I think that the Regius is 25.4"), so those variables are the same. 

After about 5 days with the SSV neck in the Mayones Regius, I think that this is my favorite choice yet!  It sounds very much like the SSV in the Suhr Modern, just ever so slightly different, which could be due to the slight variation from one pickup to another, or to the different construction and woods, I don't know.  Anyways it's close enough that I'm very happy with it. The SSV has a lot more "soul" than the Emerald or Holydiver in this guitar.  It's hard to describe, but when I crank my old Pro Reverb and play blues and bluesy rock, it's extremely noticeable.

My one complaint currently about the SSV is that the split coil tone by itself could use more output and beef.  The way my Modern is wired, you only ever use the split neck together with the middle single coil, but the Mayones is wired differently, and I'm not sure how usable the single split neck sound is to me.  It doesn't sound bad, however. 

I'm not quite sure what my next step is.  I like the Holydiver bridge a lot, possibly more than the Suhr SSH+ in my Modern.  I may keep the SSV and Holydiver bridge, but I ordered the SSV neck uncovered (to eliminate all variables) and the Holydivers with raw nickel covers.  I could order another SSV in raw nickel, or find a raw nickel cover that I could install myself.  I might just keep them mismatched.  I still may go back and put the True Grits in this guitar after a while, now that I've tried so many different pickups.  Perhaps I (or really Tim) had it right all along with his first recommendation of True Grits or Emeralds?

So to sum up for anyone with this same issue (I've read other threads elsewhere that call the Regius a sterile or clinical sounding guitar), the SSV neck so far seems to offer good clarity, a full EQ curve, plenty of output, and most importantly the "soul" and vocal quality that I found missing in the Holydiver (and, to a lesser extent, the Emerald).  It could also be that uncovered pickups work better with the Regius to my ears. 
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: b.gandt on March 10, 2021, 02:13:08 PM
 "This is nothing new to most people, but to sum up, the Holydiver/Emerald combo seems to cover all of the 70s blues-based rock stuff that I would want".

Rob, this catches my eye.  I am using a set of Mules in one guitar that do this also, but reading this makes me think that if I end up with another humbucker equipped guitar, this combo may compliment my Mule equipped guitar nicely.  I've been interested in the Holydiver based on other comments in different threads, and this tops it off.  I take a lot from the 70s period, and I don't mind charging it up it a bit. 

On the other hand, the Crawler that's in my Strat does well in that area also...

It's been enjoyable following this thread!
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on March 10, 2021, 04:09:21 PM
"This is nothing new to most people, but to sum up, the Holydiver/Emerald combo seems to cover all of the 70s blues-based rock stuff that I would want".

Rob, this catches my eye.  I am using a set of Mules in one guitar that do this also, but reading this makes me think that if I end up with another humbucker equipped guitar, this combo may compliment my Mule equipped guitar nicely.  I've been interested in the Holydiver based on other comments in different threads, and this tops it off.  I take a lot from the 70s period, and I don't mind charging it up it a bit. 

On the other hand, the Crawler that's in my Strat does well in that area also...

It's been enjoyable following this thread!

Well, check my previous post as I've revised my opinion.  The combo sounded good, but every time I cranked it up and compared it directly to either my R9 or Suhr Modern, I found the neck pickup lacking.  I realize that the Emerald is one of the most popular neck pickups, but to me in this guitar, it sounded too warm, too smooth, too polite if you will.  The Holydiver bridge is pretty warm, smooth, and polite (for a higher output pickup), but since it's in the bridge position it has some more natural higher-end sting on it, or whatever you want to call it.  The Emerald neck was pretty good, but for my tastes I'm finding the Suhr SSV better.  It's more even, not quite as warm and full as the Emerald, but it handles gain well and has more "sting" on the top, with more soul to me.  With a cranked up old Fender, you really feel it on bends. 

Anyway I realize that this Regius has become an obsession, but that's what happens when you get a guitar that looks and feels perfect to you, but you can't get to sound just right!  I'll get it there. 

Regarding your guitar, I've read that the Holydiver and Crawler are pretty similar, so it might not be worth swapping one for the other?  I've never tried a Crawler, but people say that it's even thicker, though not quite as tight.  The Holydiver is fairly tight to me, and is actually brighter than I was expecting based on most reviews.  At least in this guitar, it's a very full-sounding pickup that seems to do just about everything well, so I'm happy with it. 
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: ericsabbath on March 11, 2021, 09:10:48 PM
"This is nothing new to most people, but to sum up, the Holydiver/Emerald combo seems to cover all of the 70s blues-based rock stuff that I would want".

Rob, this catches my eye.  I am using a set of Mules in one guitar that do this also, but reading this makes me think that if I end up with another humbucker equipped guitar, this combo may compliment my Mule equipped guitar nicely.  I've been interested in the Holydiver based on other comments in different threads, and this tops it off.  I take a lot from the 70s period, and I don't mind charging it up it a bit. 

On the other hand, the Crawler that's in my Strat does well in that area also...

It's been enjoyable following this thread!

not sure I'd say the holy diver has a straight up 70's voicing, but it surely does the early Jeff Beck Tele-Gib thing
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on March 12, 2021, 02:18:34 AM

not sure I'd say the holy diver has a straight up 70's voicing, but it surely does the early Jeff Beck Tele-Gib thing

Yeah I wouldn't say that the Holydiver has much of a 70s voicing at all, really.  When I initially wrote that, I meant that the Emerald brought in a lot more of that 70s sound.  I think I was in a bit of a honeymoon period with the Holydiver/Emerald pair, though, which wore off fairly quickly.  I do like the Holydiver bridge a lot, but it sounds more modern to me than 70s.  Possibly some of those big 80s hair-band guitar sounds, even though that's not what I use it for. 

I'm seriously considering putting the True Grits back in, at least in the neck...we'll see.  I'm sort of insane, I realize!  But I'm happy to have discovered that the SSV neck in the Regius sounds almost identical to the one in the Suhr Modern, so I think that all of my issues are solvable.  Whatever the woods or design are doing to influence the sound seems to be very very small (I'm never been a big believer in tonewoods in solid body electric guitars, anyway). 
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on March 13, 2021, 09:51:23 PM
I put the True Grit neck back in...and still preferred the SSV.  SO, I tried:

1. Seymour Duncan Jazz/JB
2. BKP True Grit set
3. BKP Emerald neck and Nailbomb bridge
4. BKP Holydiver set
5. BKP Emerald neck and Holydiver bridge
6. Suhr SSV neck and BKP Holydiver bridge
7. BKP True Grit neck and Holydiver bridge

The Suhr SSV neck is my favorite, and I actually like the Suhr SSH+ on my Modern a lot as well.  I do love the Holydiver bridge still though, I have no complaints there!  After all this, I think I'm going to go back to the Suhr SSV neck and BKP Holydiver bridge and call it done...at least for a while!

Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on March 16, 2021, 12:26:33 AM
For anyone still reading, is there any reason that I might try a VHII neck?  It seems universally loved, though not always paired with the Holydiver bridge.  I'd only consider trying another neck pickup here if it's 1) less sterile and strident than the Holydiver, 2) brighter with more "sting" than the Emerald, 3) has more "soul" and is better for blues than the Holydiver, Emerald, and True Grit.

The only reasons I'm even remotely considering ordering another neck pickup are that I like that the split coil sound will be higher output, and that with another BKP pickup I can get an exact aesthetic match with raw nickel cover.
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: ericsabbath on March 16, 2021, 08:12:46 PM
the neck vhII is probably the closest to the ssv
not sure I'd call it brighter than the emerald, but definitely less middy and smooth
it is surely bright, a lot like a bridge riff raff, but when installed in the bridge position
pretty balanced in the neck, like a punchier paf

but maybe you should just try a Mule
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: Telerocker on March 17, 2021, 01:17:58 PM
"This is nothing new to most people, but to sum up, the Holydiver/Emerald combo seems to cover all of the 70s blues-based rock stuff that I would want".

Rob, this catches my eye.  I am using a set of Mules in one guitar that do this also, but reading this makes me think that if I end up with another humbucker equipped guitar, this combo may compliment my Mule equipped guitar nicely.  I've been interested in the Holydiver based on other comments in different threads, and this tops it off.  I take a lot from the 70s period, and I don't mind charging it up it a bit. 

On the other hand, the Crawler that's in my Strat does well in that area also...

It's been enjoyable following this thread!

Well, check my previous post as I've revised my opinion.  The combo sounded good, but every time I cranked it up and compared it directly to either my R9 or Suhr Modern, I found the neck pickup lacking.  I realize that the Emerald is one of the most popular neck pickups, but to me in this guitar, it sounded too warm, too smooth, too polite if you will.  The Holydiver bridge is pretty warm, smooth, and polite (for a higher output pickup), but since it's in the bridge position it has some more natural higher-end sting on it, or whatever you want to call it.  The Emerald neck was pretty good, but for my tastes I'm finding the Suhr SSV better.  It's more even, not quite as warm and full as the Emerald, but it handles gain well and has more "sting" on the top, with more soul to me.  With a cranked up old Fender, you really feel it on bends. 

Anyway I realize that this Regius has become an obsession, but that's what happens when you get a guitar that looks and feels perfect to you, but you can't get to sound just right!  I'll get it there. 

Regarding your guitar, I've read that the Holydiver and Crawler are pretty similar, so it might not be worth swapping one for the other?  I've never tried a Crawler, but people say that it's even thicker, though not quite as tight.  The Holydiver is fairly tight to me, and is actually brighter than I was expecting based on most reviews.  At least in this guitar, it's a very full-sounding pickup that seems to do just about everything well, so I'm happy with it.

Diver is brighter and tighter than the Crawler, which is tight enough for me, but maybe not if you want to play metal. The Crawler is more of an Uber-Mule.
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on March 25, 2021, 12:32:01 AM
So here's the latest drama: I ordered a Suhr SSV neck in raw nickel, drilled the mounting holes slightly wider to 7/64" (I've changed pickups in this guitar so much that I know the routine), and...it doesn't fit.  The actual covered neck humbucker doesn't fit into the Regius cavity!

The covered BKPs have all required a bit of force, but they all fit.  Pretty annoying since I can't return the pickup now...

I guess I'll just keep an uncovered SSV in the neck or possibly try another BKP neck with the Holydiver.  Or perhaps I'll find a black uncovered Holydiver bridge so that it matches the SSV neck.  This is pretty annoying as I really thought that I'd finalized the pickups on this guitar!  The raw nickel SSV even matched close enough to the BKP raw nickel covers that the difference is hardly noticeable until you're very close.  Bummer.

Anyone know the closest BKP neck to the Suhr SSV neck?  I think I'll start a new thread asking that.

Edit: Just noticed that Eric suggested that the VHII might be closest to a Suhr SSV.  I already started another thread, though.
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on April 28, 2021, 07:14:25 PM
The Final Chapter:

Because I couldn't fit a covered Suhr SSV into my Regius, I went ahead and ordered a VHII in raw nickel a month ago.  I had no complaints with the Suhr SSV at all, in fact I really love that pickup and thought that it paired very well with the Holydiver.  Still, I somehow wanted to give another neck pickup a try here, even though I've dropped a lot of money into this guitar already!  I mostly wanted the aesthetics of a raw nickel cover.  I also had the extremely strange experience of my high e-string getting stuck on the lip of the bobbin of my uncovered SSV in rehearsal last week when I was really spanking the strings hard.  I thought that I'd broken a string at first...anyway I've never had that happen before, and generally prefer covered pickups. 

I've only had it installed for a few days, and in the past I've had some definite honeymoon periods with Bare Knuckle pickups, so I don't want to jump to conclusions too quickly.  However my initial impression is that this is one of the most impressive neck pickups I've ever played!  It's just fantastic for what it does.  It splits very well, too.

The VHII sounds more different from the Holydiver bridge than the Suhr SSV did.  I'm not sure yet whether that means it's a better or worse match; for instance, both the SSV and VHII sound closer to the Holydiver bridge than the Holydiver neck does.  Sometimes you want your bridge and neck pickups to be similarly matched, and sometimes you want them to be able to provide more contrasting sounds.  The VHII and Holydiver combinations is somewhere in between those two extremes. 

Comparing the VHII to the SSV: the VHII definitely has more output, but still has excellent clarity.  Despite being higher output, it's a bit more polite than the SSV in some sense; the SSV has more sizzle/sting on top than the VHII, for sure.  The SSV sounds more raw.  The VHII is a bit smoother and warmer, though it's not nearly as warm or smoothed out as an Emerald, for instance.  The VHII has a great EQ for a neck pickup to my ears, despite being more polite than I was expecting. However with gain, that same quality that sounds polite at first turns into fluidity.  It's got a lot of "juice" and is very fluid and weighty, similar to the Holydiver bridge in that sense.  This is where it really shines to me, though the cleans are excellent as well.  I can definitely see why so many shredders love this pickup (I'm not much of a shredder myself). 

The real test is with the band of course, but I'm about 99.99% sure that THIS is my final pickup combination!  I'm loving the Holydiver bridge more and more as time goes by; it's got an excellent weight behind single notes and a great fullness to chords, is tight enough for me, and to my ears is incredibly versatile.  It's almost more of a medium output pickup than high output, definitely lower output than my Suhr SSH+ and the Alnico Nailbomb.  The Alnico Nailbomb is sometimes described as a do-it-all pickup than can handle hot blues, classic rock, and modern metal equally well, but that really wasn't my impression of it in this guitar at all.  It seemed to always want to explode into 90's and beyond hard rock and metal, and I didn't think that it had very good cleans.  The Holydiver is more versatile to me, and actually doesn't sound stuck in the 80s to me at all.  I actually don't like much 80s music of any type... 

So my original intention was to have the Mayones Regius be kind of a "Les Paul on steroids," and in some sense that's what I've got.  Now that I've had it for a while and tried various pickups in it, it's become a little more modern than I had originally envisioned.  It still does the older stuff pretty well, but I've definitely got a great guitar for Alice in Chains, Katatonia, Tool, Opeth type of stuff, all the way up to, say Plini and all but the most extreme modern sounds.  I'm really happy and it's become an excellent tool for my sonic arsenal, it has a different place than my R9 or Suhr Modern HSH (the other humbucker guitars that I have).

Just one last thing for anyone struggling with a Mayones Regius: after a lot of pickup changes I think that the guitar itself, with that 11-ply neck-thru design, has a quite fundamentally bright, tight, and somewhat clinical/sterile sound.  I can see why a lot of modern metal and prog guys favor them, just keep that in mind when looking for pickups.  I'd suggest warmer pickups than you might initially think of (that's what seems to be working for me, anyway).
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on May 13, 2021, 05:16:34 PM
Quick update: I'm still loving the VHII neck, it's definitely my favorite Bare Knuckle Neck humbucker so far.  It's not much like the Suhr SSV though; it's more modern, voiced darker, yet still clearer with better note separation.  It's not quite as bassy or warm as the Emerald, but it's warmer than I was expecting.  Split coil tones are just as good as the SSV to my ear, but with extra (necessary) output.

The output is surprisingly high, higher than the SSV, True Grit, Emerald, and Holydiver necks, and hotter than any PAF-style neck I've tried.  It's actually a little hard for my Holydiver bridge to keep up, so I spent a long time dialing in the heights and adjusting the pole pieces slightly before I got them reasonably balanced.  Which makes me wonder: how hot is the VHII bridge?  Is that the highest output of the Vintage Hot series?  I'm just surprised at how powerful the VHII neck is, and I see why it's often paired with a Nailbomb for instance.
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on July 11, 2021, 05:30:19 PM
Well after all of this craziness, I've gone back to the True Grits.  It's been over a month now and they're going to stay; the moral of the story is that you should just listen to Tim from the beginning!  These were his first recommendation for me. 

Caveat that the Suhr SSV is still my favorite neck humbucker of all time, and I may try pairing it with the True Grit bridge, but the True Grit set is working really nicely for me right now.  I liked the Holydivers a lot, but in the end they were too compressed for my liking, which I didn't always notice until playing at full volume with the band for a while.
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: Dave Sloven on August 03, 2021, 11:24:35 AM
This thread inspired me to order a True Grit 53mm open coil bridge humbucker for my Schecter C-1 Blackjack SLS FR-S that originally had a Seymour Duncan Full Shred in it.

The fact that it is between the Emerald, Black Dog, and Holy Diver was especially appealing to me for this guitar, which has become my '80s guitar (tuned to Eb)
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: ericsabbath on August 03, 2021, 01:10:05 PM
This thread inspired me to order a True Grit 53mm open coil bridge humbucker for my Schecter C-1 Blackjack SLS FR-S that originally had a Seymour Duncan Full Shred in it.

The fact that it is between the Emerald, Black Dog, and Holy Diver was especially appealing to me for this guitar, which has become my '80s guitar (tuned to Eb)

sounds like a win indeed
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on August 06, 2021, 09:29:05 PM
I'm still happy with the True Grits, and we have our first gig since the pandemic on Sunday, so I'm stoked!  I'll be playing only this guitar, almost all 90s, 2000s, and 2010s harder rock and alternative.  Should be fun, though it's an outdoor gig and I never know how the mix sounds to people when playing outside.
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: b.gandt on August 19, 2021, 03:21:54 AM
 How’d the gig go with the True Grit?
Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: RobAbrams84 on August 21, 2021, 04:06:59 AM
It went really well!  Unfortunately due to the rise in new COVID-19 variants and "breakthrough" infections, the other two gigs that we had booked are cancelled.  I don't know when we'll get to gig consistently again...

I also don't know when we'll have good videos edited from that gig, but the bass player's wife snapped a picture of when my toddler ran up and started head banging (and demanding my guitar):

Title: Re: Pickup recommendations for Mayones Regius
Post by: b.gandt on August 21, 2021, 11:13:43 PM
Digging on Pop's rocking!   :cool: