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Pickups / Re: Recommendations for a superstrat
« Last post by Telerocker on Today at 06:01:25 PM »
Output of the VHII is nearly on par with my Crawler! If you have a highgain-amp it doesn't matter that much anymore. Vintage(hot) pickups > highgainamps work best for me. You can always use a booster or a TS-pedal to give the preamp an extra kick.
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Pickups / Re: Emerald vs VHII
« Last post by gavquinn on Today at 12:42:55 PM »
Hi Stephen,

Thanks for chiming in.

Yep, 500k V & T, both.

The USA Starla pickups were hotter than your common-or-garden Filtertron, itís got more mids and bass, therefore, this seems to overshadow the presence. Itís still got the treble, but only slightly, the presence brings the treble to the front, didnít happen here.. The pickup is pretty compressed too, thereís an evenness to the frequencies that sounds great, but I donít want it in the bridge unit. Through a cleaner amp like a V or F, with a mild overdrive, itís nice. Itís like a mix of humbucker AND singlecoil, maybe 66% H, 33% SC. It sounds lovely as a standalone, but thereís a catch to that..

Itís lovely and refined, records well and sounds nice live depending on the rig, but itís not beefy enough to kick and sing like something like a PAF type, or a P90 for that matter. It's not as open and twangy as a filtertron, it doesn't have that sparkle.

I plug in a LP with Monty's PAFs and the difference from the Starla pickup is like going from a Mule to a Warpig. (give or take) There's a big leap in volume, output and sustain to the PAF, it's FAR beefier. It makes a PAF seem hot. It's a bit weedy. At the same time, itís not bright and punchy enough to do a single coil sound. I could add treble for the neck for cleans, then overdrive is mega bright. Add to this a guitar thatís very warm and here I am!

To be honest, the guitar is magic, it vibrates like crazy, itís got a big fat neck, it feels like vintage Gibsons I played. I want to bring the best (for me) out of the guitar, not to leave a compressed, specific tone in it. My idea is Ė Ďimagine what it COULD be with the right bridge pickupí. Itís like an old Les Paul special with the timbers and construction, I donít want to leave it Ďunderpoweredí. The goal is a snarly, fat, SG tone.

Iíve plumped for the Emerald in the end Ė as stated; I thought a good call was to start with adding a small extra bump/boost across ALL frequencies to start, to get over the bigsbyís shrill string ringing overtones from behind the bridge. This worked before. Then I could add the humbucker output without losing the snap in the high end that a warm guitar needed to bring out. Itís all mahogany, 1 piece, so itís very warm, it needed more treble. With the emerald, the mids and bass would come up too, along with that presence.

Iím optimistic, which is to say; If this doesnít work, Iíll consider therapy.

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Pickups / Re: Recommendations for a superstrat
« Last post by Dave Sloven on Today at 09:44:57 AM »
It seems to be hotter than its resistance readings suggest.

To make a comparison, the Black Hawk bridge - one of the more powerful pickups in the range - has a resistance reading of only 8.6k

Don't go simply by the resistance reading.  Everyone who has experience of the VHII rates it as in the Emerald-Rebel Yell-Cold Sweat ballpark.

Here's a video of the VHII vs the Black Dog.  These are in a Les Paul, which tends to favour the Black Dog somewhat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgyhdVfznr4
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Pickups / Re: Recommendations for a superstrat
« Last post by Starfighter on Today at 09:13:43 AM »
The guitar has a pretty balanced sound, its a very good quality basswood it has, a little on the darker side compared to alder strats. You hear the brightness of the neck a little bit in the "snap" that the picking makes. The neck is 42mm nut and thin Jackson style profile, so the neck does not have as much wood as regular strats. Floyd Rose has a 42mm brass block and it definetly makes a difference. The sound becomes a bit deeper. Ofcourse these are the things you hear acoustically. VHII was my first instinct after hearing the Steve Stevens clip, very alive and articulate sound where you can hear all the pick scr@pes and palm mutes clearly, exactly what I want (played with a basswood Charvel I presume), but so many here recommend the HolyDiver for my kind of playing. My only worry is that the VHII might not be powerful enough for full on rock/oldschool metal, but I dont know if it the output makes here that much difference. I dont mind a bit brightness, but I do not want the John Sykes type of brightness.
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Pickups / Re: Recommendations for a superstrat
« Last post by Dave Sloven on Today at 06:16:31 AM »
I would probably go with your first instinct and get the VHII.  If you find it is a bit too bright you can temper that somewhat with a lower value volume pot or a resistor.  The Holy Diver might be a bit close to the JB for your liking.

A brass block in the trem will help.  It doesn't need to be an extra thick one.  I have the Gotoh GE1996T with a standard thickness 33mm brass block and that sounds pretty sweet.
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Pickups / Re: Recommendations for a superstrat
« Last post by Telerocker on Today at 02:58:44 AM »
If you're after the EVH tone the VHII is the first call. It's an uncompressed dynamic touchsensitive pickup so you can dig in to let it scream. The topend is clear and cutting, but not shrill. The VHII has a fair amount of bass and mids for a vintagehot pickup. It's the hottest BKP in the vintage(hot) section.

The VHII should do well in basswood. How bright is the natural voice of your guitar (considering the maple neck)? If bright the HD might be a good advice from the folks at BKP. Yes, it has the mids, but in a pleasant way. Not as pronounced and thick like the Crawler. Topend cuts well. The amount of bass is just right for basswood and mahogany based guitars. A great pickup for hairmetal.
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Pickups / Recommendations for a superstrat
« Last post by Starfighter on March 21, 2019, 06:50:20 PM »
Hello everyone

Long time lurker first time poster. I've decided to pull the trigger on a BKP and need to make my mind on the pickup. I'm getting a new San Dimas style strat with Basswood body and Top Mounted Floyd Rose and 1pc maple neck. I've consulted the good folk at BKP and they recommended the HolyDiver, this also seems to be the forum favorite for strat type bolt ons and 80s type music in general. I would like to have a discussion about this also at the forum.

My baseline sound is EVH tone and Gary Moore Wild Frontier. I like the "on the verge of feedback" tone. I need to have fantastic Pick Attack dynamics, meaning that I want to hear it when I pick very hard, not just mushing up. Also want great harmonics. Have listened to all the sound clips BKP page has to offer. Cold Sweat, HolyDiver, Nailbomb, Crawler, Rebel Yell all sound pretty good to me and they all have their ups. The VHII Steve Stevens clip sounds especially good to me.

I'd like to be able to pull off the Scorpions Love At First Sting tone, a bit bright but still full. I do not play heavier than Iron Maiden, Accept or Old School Metallica, so the high end contemporary pick ups are off my grid I suppose. A lot of my favorite sounds have been played by PAF type pickups so I do not mind a PAF style voicing at all, infact I would prefer the pickup to have PAF DNA in it.

Things I dont like: Seymour Duncan JB and its abrasive midrange push which sounds dry and thin. I do not mind a midrange push in general if its somewhat balanced and not in your face like it is on the JB. In my own playing I dont like dry sounds like Jake E Lees tones for example. I do not want the Dimarzio "Vowel" type tone for this guitar.

Responses and discussion will be appreciated.
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Pickups / Re: Emerald vs VHII
« Last post by darkbluemurder on March 21, 2019, 11:18:47 AM »
I am not at all familiar with the Starla pickup but it seems you have a difficult guitar to find the right pickup for if a Filtertron type pickup does not have enough bite and presence cut. And if you also think that the tone was too compressed with the original pickup I would go for the VHII bridge in favor over the Emerald. The ones I had were very bright and cutting even in rather warm sounding guitars with 500k pots.

Speaking of pots - have you checked the value of yours? They should be 500k. Lower values tend to make the tone less bright.

Hotter pickups will usually have more bass and compression than lower output pickups but that is not always true. Even comparing two pickups in one guitar will not automatically translate to another guitar.

Cheers Stephan
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Pickups / Re: Anyone know the first Bare Knuckle model?
« Last post by stratguy23 on March 21, 2019, 02:33:24 AM »
Thank you telerocker and Dave for your responses. Those two make sense as the first ones.
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