Bare Knuckle Pickups Forum

Forum Ringside => Pickups => Topic started by: CommonCourtesy on June 11, 2018, 02:11:34 PM

Title: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: CommonCourtesy on June 11, 2018, 02:11:34 PM
Been a longtime BKP user, this question is regarding my Les Paul studio, made of mahogany, in drop b tuning. Previously I had an Aftermath in the bridge which was good for a while but found it too washy, switched that out for a ceramic Nailbomb which has improved it and got it nearer to where I like it and ever since I've just left it in there. Can't say I'm totally content with the tone though, whilst its got a lot of power and bite its very harsh and hairy sometimes, esp when playing lead lines. Palm muted power chords lack the thump (unless my EQ on the amp is wrong) and cleans are a bit shrilly. There's a bit more clean playing involved in this new band setup hence the decision to look at other pickups in the range.

The style is mainly metalcore (palm mute chuggy stuff, but also lots of single string riffs and extended chords too). Can be alternative rock sometimes.

My amp is a Peavey 6505+ though sometimes my mate borrows the guitar and it goes through a Blackstar Series One. Kinda helps when he plays it I can hear it out front in a band mix rather than on the stage. Also for information the bridge tone pot has been disconnected which gives a hotter signal (too hot perhaps) and I quite like it.

So I been considering switching to something like a Juggernaut, or maybe a Black Hawk. What will the Jugg give me that the Nailbomb can't? And same for the Black Hawk or any other pickup?

Suggestions and advice welcome.
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: Dave Sloven on June 11, 2018, 04:00:20 PM
I've recently installed an alnico Black Hawk in my Schecter Stiletto.  Cleans on bridge and neck are both nice, both are fluid for lead playing, and in terms of output and sustain it is as good or better than the A-Bomb and a lot less hairy. In terms of downtuning etc I find no disadvantage relative to the A-Bomb in C standard and in lower tunings it might be better.  The pickups also split nicely, which can be useful for clean playing.  I would also recommend them for series/parallel switching if you want to try parallel mode.

The ceramic version might be better for you.  There is a comparison video by Nolly on the ceramic and alnico models that I found helpful.  It's hard to go past either model for lead playing.  The alnico one might have the advantage for leads and cleans, the ceramic one for chuggy rhythm work.  I think either would be fine in a Les Paul.

You might also want to consider the Impulse, which has less output than the Black Hawk but from videos it seems not much less than the Juggernaut.

Like you I disconnected the bridge tone pot on my Nailbomb but I am finding it useful with the Black Hawk, although this might be because the Stiletto is brighter than the Explorer.

EDIT:  Here are the two Black Hawk videos by Nolly.  One is the set (ceramic bridge) in a Les Paul, the other is a comparison of the ceramic and alnico versions (7 string).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKw1F1Bd1-w

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qacdnnbe2k
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: CommonCourtesy on June 11, 2018, 04:26:37 PM
Hmm, the first clip (ceramic) sounds alot like my guitar now. The alnico more ballsy, so might be too similar?

Strangely I have the Alnico nailbomb installed on another Les Paul and it just works really well with particular guitar, I thought I'd get the same results in the one I'm talking about switching pickups but not quite.

Not fussed on switching modes, just looking for a plug and play type approach, no messing about! Hence bridge straight into output, I like that kinda directness.

Me and my friend don't do a lot of lead work though the latest stuff we've recorded has a bit more clean stuff, arpeggiated chords etc.
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: Dave Sloven on June 11, 2018, 04:51:32 PM
If you like the alnico Nailbomb (like I do) then I would recommend the alnico Black Hawk.  The A5 magnet seems to give a fuller tone and I think it is still tight enough.  As you can tell in the comparison video the cleans are nicer.
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: CommonCourtesy on June 11, 2018, 04:55:19 PM
It might be the wood of the guitar and the fact I use lighter strings on the other Les Paul, resulting in a brighter tone perhaps?

Or even if I switch to an alnico nailbomb into the guitar, as its a ceramaic one currently.

I have heard nice things about the Black Hawk however, being similar to an EMG etc.
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: Dave Sloven on June 11, 2018, 04:56:49 PM
There are a couple of soundcloud clips of these pickups by Nolly.

https://soundcloud.com/nolly/alnico-black-hawk-7-test

https://soundcloud.com/nolly/ceramic-black-hawk-7-test
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: Dave Sloven on June 11, 2018, 05:04:16 PM
From what I can tell heavier string tension brightens (rather than darkens) the tone.

Difference between the guitars is probably due to other factors.

I don't find the alnico Black Hawk to be overly similar to an EMG.  Compared to the Nailbomb it is more like an EMG, but it has a character and an openness that is very different from an EMG.
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: Nolly on June 11, 2018, 05:19:17 PM
Hey there,

With the tone removed from the equation you are going to get a lot more the pickup's resonant peak spike making its way through to the output, which sounds very much like what you're experiencing if you're describing it has having a shrill and harsh sound. With the 6505 I can't imagine preamp gain is an issue for you at all, so I would advise either re-connecting the pot, or installing a resistor in series between the volume pot live and ground to load it down in the same fashion a tone pot would. I'm fairly convinced this will help a lot! Assuming you don't have a "treble bleed cap" installed on the volume pot, rolling it off a bit then compensating with more amp gain will approximate the effect you would get if you did either of the mods I suggested.
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: CommonCourtesy on June 11, 2018, 05:26:21 PM
Hi Nolly, cheers for the reply!

I do get what you mean but I actually did like when the tone pot was disconnected! I prefer the hotter signal. As we all know the 6505+ head has gain on tap and its normally around 3 or 3.5 pre-gain, I also run a TS9/OD808 as well in front. A few times at soundchecks the soundguy has advised me to take away some of the high end on the amp.
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: CommonCourtesy on June 11, 2018, 05:26:57 PM
From what I can tell heavier string tension brightens (rather than darkens) the tone.

Difference between the guitars is probably due to other factors.

I don't find the alnico Black Hawk to be overly similar to an EMG.  Compared to the Nailbomb it is more like an EMG, but it has a character and an openness that is very different from an EMG.

Probably cos the guitar with the A-bomb is used in higher tunings, lol.
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: Nolly on June 11, 2018, 11:05:20 PM
Hi Nolly, cheers for the reply!

I do get what you mean but I actually did like when the tone pot was disconnected! I prefer the hotter signal. As we all know the 6505+ head has gain on tap and its normally around 3 or 3.5 pre-gain, I also run a TS9/OD808 as well in front. A few times at soundchecks the soundguy has advised me to take away some of the high end on the amp.

Sure thing! I'd recommend looking into the Ragnarok or Miracle Man to get a great heavy sound with less harshness while still maintaining a tight low end. The Ragnarok also coil-splits really well if you'd want to venture into sparkly cleans.
The thicker strings will definitely drive more output from the pickups, which will make things sound chunkier but less tight in the low end. You could also consider dropping down to a Black Dog, which gives loads of midrange grunt, tight lows and very nice articulate/smooth highs. In the hands of a metal player into a high gain amp it sounds every bit as aggressive as the contemporary options in the range.

If you want more low end punch from your amp, with 5150s it's often necessary to run the resonance at 8 up to full even if necessary. Perhaps you're already doing that though.
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: CommonCourtesy on June 12, 2018, 02:11:02 PM
I have seen demos of the Ragnarok, not overly sold by it, however. 90% of the set is played on the bridge pickup though, so its nice to just have a "set-and-forget" type set up.

One of my favourite bands is A Day To Remember (hence the username) and I really like their guitar tone. I have seen Neil has his own signature ESP now with an Aftermath in the bridge, and he also uses a Juggernaut. He was previously a Peavey head user too.

I actually run the resonance on 4/5! I found turning it up above that makes it a bit too muddy. And I use 12-56's.

Dropping down to a lower output pickup may be another option, someone did suggest Miracle Man when I first sought a pickup upgrade from the stock Gibson 498T pickup.

Is the Juggernaut just a total no then as it was the next one I was looking at installing and trying out.
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: Dave Sloven on June 12, 2018, 02:26:09 PM
Yeah I run the resonance on mine around 4/5 too. Presence on 5/6.

Miracle Man is higher output than most that have been mentioned, with the exception of the Black Hawk.  I think that resistance readings can be difficult to compare unless your wire and construction are basically similar, but the MM in my SG seems to be at least as hot as the NB in my Explorer.  The MM bridge is definitely hotter than the Cold Sweat I had in the bridge of that SG before, and I don't remember the A-bomb seeming as hot as the MM when I had it in there.  The MM is definitely smoother and less aggressive sounding than the A-Bomb, but I think the output is at least as much. It seems to be relatively close to that of the A-Pig in my other SG. The Black Hawk seems to be around the same output as the MM.

On the Juggernaut some of the better clips I've seen are those comparing it with the Impulse.  Here's one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5TL4WVdU30

There's also this video comparing the Juggernaut to the alnico Black Hawk, but I don't like this video as much (generally), although the big bottom end of the A-Hawk stands out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wOUAcGBpws
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: CommonCourtesy on June 12, 2018, 03:07:07 PM
It depends what cab I'm playing through as well. My 6505+ likes V30's but sometimes during support shows where there's backline share we have to play through Marshalls. But mostly its around 5. Presence usually the same, though on the Blackstar at the last show we did the soundguy told us to turn that knob down! Maybe cos it was too pokey.

The Juggs in that first clip sound a bit fatter and fuller, whereas the Impulses sound tighter on the low end.

Second clip the Black Hawk has a lot of grunt there! Seemed little sustain when he did that tappy stuff on the Juggs though.
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: CommonCourtesy on November 24, 2019, 02:18:20 PM
Ok so after reading some online reviews and researching a bit, I think its boiled down to two choices:

1. I put an Aftermath back in, I know I said I didn't like it before but it'd certainly be less hairy/honky than a Nailbomb.
 
2. I try the Juggernaut, smoother mids and tight low end, great for the playing I want to do, the guitar is solely used in drop tunings so won't be using it in E standard.

AM seems to be a one-trick-pony for metal players it seems, going by online consensus, Juggernaut seems to be a djent-type pickup but I do like what I hear from it in non-djent demos.

Which option do I take?!
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: Dave Sloven on November 25, 2019, 12:26:59 AM
I haven't used either the Juggernaut or the Aftermath.

I've been enjoying the alnico Black Hawk though, and I've installed another set of them in my back up guitar, a C-1 Blackjack ATX.  The Black Hawks are a massive improvement on the Seymour Duncan Blackouts that came in it.
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: one on November 25, 2019, 07:40:37 AM
Most versatile Juggernaut, the best modern pup in my opinion, not only for djent, for god sake! ;)
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: CommonCourtesy on November 25, 2019, 09:02:09 AM
As mentioned I originally had an Aftermath in there and it was good, I have no idea why I switched it out! May have to put one back in and see what it痴 like with my tone disconnected. Might be ok as it gives me a bit more high end but not as shrilly as the Nailbomb.

I知 very interested in the Juggernaut and how it works in a Les Paul, so I may go with that and see if I like it.

I put a Seymour Duncan JB in a Strat a few months ago and I really like it so thought if I put one of those in my LP it壇 give me the same joy but might be too high end and muddy for low tunings.
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: CommonCourtesy on December 01, 2019, 07:58:07 PM
Tried drop tuning my Strat with the JB and I found anything lower than C it will get flubby but it does have more upper mid cut to it, like most SD's do.

First choice for me is to try a Juggernaut but I'm worried it won't cut through, maybe a SD Nazgul/Pegasus may give me that although not as fat and chunky?
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: one on December 03, 2019, 07:16:28 AM
Exactly, and bear in mind that the Nazgul is even more djentish than the Jugg imo. I had one in a swamp ash baritone and the upper mids associated to djent were even more present, I think
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: Dave Sloven on December 03, 2019, 10:37:48 AM
Have you considered the Impulse?  Here's a comparison with the Juggernaut

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_LG7_5AE8U
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: CommonCourtesy on December 03, 2019, 01:59:02 PM
I watched that video last night actually.

Very small differences between the two! Impulse does sound a bit thinner compared to the Juggs though.
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: CommonCourtesy on December 03, 2019, 05:42:16 PM
Exactly, and bear in mind that the Nazgul is even more djentish than the Jugg imo. I had one in a swamp ash baritone and the upper mids associated to djent were even more present, I think

I don't really djent but I like tight chugs lol. What I'm worried about if I put a Jugg in is it won't cut through like some of the SD pickups. Nazgul has more upper mid cut but could be flubby on the low end.
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: one on December 04, 2019, 07:16:44 AM
Exactly, and bear in mind that the Nazgul is even more djentish than the Jugg imo. I had one in a swamp ash baritone and the upper mids associated to djent were even more present, I think

I don't really djent but I like tight chugs lol. What I'm worried about if I put a Jugg in is it won't cut through like some of the SD pickups. Nazgul has more upper mid cut but could be flubby on the low end.

Exactly, I think Juggs are a bit more rounded and balanced than nazguls (also love nazguls, I must admit), and I don't play any djent either
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: ericsabbath on December 04, 2019, 08:25:57 AM
I'd pick a miracle man instead for that combo (les paul;B tuning;6505)
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: CommonCourtesy on December 04, 2019, 08:27:20 AM
Exactly, and bear in mind that the Nazgul is even more djentish than the Jugg imo. I had one in a swamp ash baritone and the upper mids associated to djent were even more present, I think

I don't really djent but I like tight chugs lol. What I'm worried about if I put a Jugg in is it won't cut through like some of the SD pickups. Nazgul has more upper mid cut but could be flubby on the low end.

Exactly, I think Juggs are a bit more rounded and balanced than nazguls (also love nazguls, I must admit), and I don't play any djent either

What tuning do you play in again? Would Nazguls do low tunings well?

I知 still undecided between Juggernaut and Nazgul this is so hard!
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: CommonCourtesy on December 04, 2019, 08:29:11 AM
I'd pick a miracle man instead for that combo (les paul;B tuning;6505)

Hmm a few have said the MM works well in Les Pauls, I知 not playing the 6505+ much these days however. More the DSL combo.
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: one on December 04, 2019, 12:46:41 PM
Exactly, and bear in mind that the Nazgul is even more djentish than the Jugg imo. I had one in a swamp ash baritone and the upper mids associated to djent were even more present, I think

I don't really djent but I like tight chugs lol. What I'm worried about if I put a Jugg in is it won't cut through like some of the SD pickups. Nazgul has more upper mid cut but could be flubby on the low end.



Exactly, I think Juggs are a bit more rounded and balanced than nazguls (also love nazguls, I must admit), and I don't play any djent either

What tuning do you play in again? Would Nazguls do low tunings well?

I知 still undecided between Juggernaut and Nazgul this is so hard!

I sold my Nazgul, (miss it a bit though my bandmate use it at rehearsals) but I had them both in B and A standard and drop, same as with my Juggs, both sets hold low tunings very well. You'd probably like either. In my opinion, both are awesome similar pups, but I think the nazgul is a slighty bit more brutal while the Juggernaut is a tiny tad more versatile.
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: CommonCourtesy on December 04, 2019, 01:41:35 PM
Exactly, and bear in mind that the Nazgul is even more djentish than the Jugg imo. I had one in a swamp ash baritone and the upper mids associated to djent were even more present, I think

I don't really djent but I like tight chugs lol. What I'm worried about if I put a Jugg in is it won't cut through like some of the SD pickups. Nazgul has more upper mid cut but could be flubby on the low end.



Exactly, I think Juggs are a bit more rounded and balanced than nazguls (also love nazguls, I must admit), and I don't play any djent either

What tuning do you play in again? Would Nazguls do low tunings well?

I知 still undecided between Juggernaut and Nazgul this is so hard!

I sold my Nazgul, (miss it a bit though my bandmate use it at rehearsals) but I had them both in B and A standard and drop, same as with my Juggs, both sets hold low tunings very well. You'd probably like either. In my opinion, both are awesome similar pups, but I think the nazgul is a slighty bit more brutal while the Juggernaut is a tiny tad more versatile.

Hmm the lowest I'll be going is drop A# and that won't be very often, 90% of the time it'll be in drop b or c. Nazgul will probably be cheaper but I like the Jugg cleans, they sound really nice, and although I don't play alot of cleans there will be sections in say, Killswitch/Parkway Drive songs where there's a clean section.

Still hankering after the Aftermath too, which is more dry sounding but maybe with a new amp setup I might like it again, who knows.
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: Jimmy E Moorby on December 05, 2019, 12:48:21 PM
I've had an alnico black hawk and the juggernaut in a les paul custom.

Hate to say it but the Juggernaut was awful....the low mids of that pickup combined with the low mids of the guitar wasn't good at all......to my ears it created the effect of just hollowing out the mids in the guitar.

Ive had an alnico black hawk in a les paul and it sounded perfect for metal.  For ALL OUT metal the black hawk has been my favourite pup in a les paul but I prefer the rebel yell for versatility and that's also sounded great for that style too. 
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: CommonCourtesy on December 05, 2019, 03:22:16 PM
I almost went for the Juggernaut but have decided on putting an Aftermath back in which is what I originally had.

If I still don't like it I will try a Jugg next but I think I will!
Title: Re: Switching to another bridge pickup
Post by: CommonCourtesy on December 16, 2019, 05:28:53 PM
Right so Aftermath back in and its reminded me how much I missed it!

Instantly alot better than the Nailbomb, tighter, less hairy and still chunky! Tone pot reconnected as well, which helps tame some of that high end ice-picky-ness. Went down to drop b and its still clear under high gain. Played through 3 different amps, my DSL5, with a tubescreamer as I felt the flubby low end needed tightening up. Also when in anything lower than c I didn't use the deep button switch on the amp as it made it very muddy.

Then my 6505+, which probably sounded the best even though I couldn't turn it up to gig volume. Then a friend's Kemper, it sounded so big and chunky on some of those profiles!!

Also my friend gave me an ESP Ltd (ES-50 I think ts called) which I plan to put some Juggernauts in, that way I can get the sounds from each pickups I like, I think the ESP is a longer scale neck too.