Username: Password:

Author Topic: Miracle Man Review  (Read 15447 times)

Slartibartfarst42

  • Welterweight
  • ****
  • Posts: 2125
  • Random Solution
Miracle Man Review
« on: July 01, 2012, 07:36:36 PM »
To give this review a sense of context, it is a review of a bridge version of the Miracle Man that has been installed into a Jackson SL3 Soloist, which is maple neck-thru with alder wings and OFR. The amp I used is a Blackstar HT60 Soloist and any effects I played around with came from an RP1000. In this same guitar I can (and will) compare it to an Alnico Nailbomb and Holydiver as this may help to clarify what I've found. I can also compare it to a Cold Sweat in a very similar guitar but let's start with how it compares to the BKP description on the website.

With the Holydiver I found that the BKP description didn't do it enough justice as although it does all the things they claim, it's actually far more versatile than you'd think. In comparison, the A-Bomb is claimed to be extremely versatile yet I didn't find it so. Horses for courses I guess but the description of the Miracle Man is spot on. It is hotter than the Holydiver but not by a huge amount and I'd say the A-Bomb sat between the two in terms of power, though with my failing memory, it may even be a touch hotter than the Miracle Man. There's not much between those two anyway. When you play it you are instantly aware that it is a Metal pickup and it sounds far more saturated than the Holydiver and Nailbomb. I'm not at all convinced I'd describe it as having 'surgically tight bass' but it is extremely articulate and I have no doubt it would handle lower tunings easily, though I only play in Standard. So far, so good  :D If you like the description on the website, you're probably not going to be disappointed.

The Miracle Man is clearly a Metal pickup and I doubt that comes as a surprise to any of you. The cleans are OK but they are a bit sterile, though in fairness, if you play a lot of cleans, I'd be surprised if you'd be looking at a pickup like the Miracle Man anyway. The cleans on the A-Bomb are certainly better and the cleans on the Holydiver are vastly superior. I think the best thing I can say about the Miracle Man cleans is that they are very usable and certainly a lot better than you might imagine from a pickup like this. Put it this way; if every other guitar you had at a gig broke and you needed to play some cleans, the Miracle Man won't let you down and nobody will think you sound terrible but realistically, you should have a second guitar for really good cleans. That may sound a bit like I'm having a go at the Miracle Man and I'm not because in the context of a pickup like this, 'usable' cleans are actually pretty impressive.

Distortion is where this pickup is at home and it is a home where it really excels. It is tight without being overpowering and it is aggressive without being at the stage where it's raping your sister so in that respect I'd say it strikes a really good balance. The distortion you get is smooth and warm despite the tightness and aggression so I'd say it's home is very much 80's Metal but be assured, that is just the starting point. The Miracle Man will go a LOT further than that and will cover modern styles with ease. Like the Holydiver, the Miracle Man nails 80's Metal songs, albeit with a bit more power and aggression but while the Holydiver will happily fall back into Hard Rock territory, the Miracle Man looks less at home there. It can do it quite well but the Holydiver does it better. What the Miracle Man does do well is push on past the 80's and into more modern Metal tones. In a bit of a mirror image, although the Holydiver can go into more modern Metal tones, the Miracle Man is far more convincing here.

You'd never guess it to look at the EQ data on the website but the Holydiver and Miracle Man sound far more alike than you'd think. This is obviously partly due to their smooth delivery but it's also because the EQ figures for the Miracle Man hide the fact that it has a lot of lower mids. This makes the pickup sound really thick like the Holydiver when you're playing rhythms and heavy riffs and with the added aggression and tightness it's great for chugging. As you move into a higher register you leave those lower mids behind so notes become more precise and you notice the tightness a lot more. In many ways it's the best of both worlds as it's fantastic for thick heavy riffs while also being a shredder's dream for solos. I'm no shredder and I love the fluidity you get on single notes with the Holydiver but even I can appreciate that the Miracle Man is a great lead pickup as well as a great rhythm pickup. There really are some fantastic sounds in there.

In many ways I'd say the Miracle Man occupies the middle ground between the Holydiver and the A-Bomb and I know that sounds crazy because they're both alnico and this is ceramic but on this guitar at least, I swear it's true. The Miracle Man has the aggression and tightness I associate with the A-Bomb but it also has the smoothness and warmth I associate with the Holydiver. Although it lies between these two, in reality, it's a lot closer to the Holydiver than it is to the A-Bomb, as you might have already guessed as I've already mentioned the Holydiver quite a lot and described it in relation to 80's Metal. In comparison the A-Bomb has a very 90's Metal feel to it in that it's very aggressive, tight and edgy, while the Holydiver and Miracle Man are beautifully smooth in their delivery. Both the A-Bomb and Miracle Man are aggressive pickups, both are tight and both are aimed at Metal players but similarities after that are more limited. As you might expect with an alnico magnet instead of ceramic, the A-Bomb has much better cleans than the Miracle Man, even if they're not in the same league as the Holydiver but what is more surprising is that I found the A-Bomb to be far more aggressive than the Miracle Man and somewhat tighter too, which I wouldn't have expected from an alnico pickup at all.

As for the Cold Sweat, that's very different. Again, there's an 80's Metal feel to it but the Cold Sweat is much brighter. It's tight like the Miracle Man but the lack of lows and lower mids mean it's nothing like as thick sounding. If you have an H-H guitar the Cold Sweat neck would be great with a Miracle Man in the bridge and if it's H-S-S like my Jackson, the Trilogy Suites are really nice.

In the past I've always shied away from getting a Miracle Man because I assumed it would be too aggressive and too tight for me but it's not. I asked for a pickup that is smooth, thick and warm like the Holydiver but with a bit more tightness and aggression in the low end (without going as far as the A-Bomb) and more screaming highs. That is EXACTLY what I got in the Miracle Man so I am extremely happy. I'm still going to put a zebra Holydiver in my PRS because I want a little daylight between the two guitars and the Holydiver is a lot more versatile but for what I was wanting in my Jackson, the Miracle Man is absolutely perfect. If your starting point is 80's Metal and you want to push on from there into more modern tones, the Miracle Man is a great choice. Thick, warm and smooth with aggression and articulation - what could be better?
« Last Edit: July 01, 2012, 07:45:36 PM by Slartibartfarst42 »
BKP owned:

Bridge - Emerald; Cold Sweat; Crawler; A-Bomb; Holydiver; Miracle Man; Sinner; Trilogy Suite

Neck - Emerald; Cold Sweat; Crawler; Holydiver; Sinner; Trilogy Suite

itamar101

  • Lightweight
  • ***
  • Posts: 680
Re: Miracle Man Review
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2012, 10:35:15 PM »
Very nice detailed review :)
I'm glad you like it.

Kiichi

  • Welterweight
  • ****
  • Posts: 2492
Re: Miracle Man Review
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2012, 11:11:55 PM »
Nice one, I will definetly consult this one.

I kinda think we need to make something like a sticky that gives links to all these great reviews that are posted on here. Would be really nice I think and would help me a lot in deciding.
BKPs in use: 10th set / RY set / Holy Diver b, Emerald n / Crawler bridge, Slowhand mid MQ neck/ Manhattan n
On the sidelines: Stockholm b / Suppermassive n, Mule n, AM set, IT mid

Slartibartfarst42

  • Welterweight
  • ****
  • Posts: 2125
  • Random Solution
Re: Miracle Man Review
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2012, 12:34:03 AM »
Glad you liked it. I know what you mean about reviews being in a central point as when I'm looking for pickups I always try searching for reviews but they're not always easy to find. It can be quite frustrating at times, which is why I tend to write such long reviews for other people.
BKP owned:

Bridge - Emerald; Cold Sweat; Crawler; A-Bomb; Holydiver; Miracle Man; Sinner; Trilogy Suite

Neck - Emerald; Cold Sweat; Crawler; Holydiver; Sinner; Trilogy Suite

TheyCallMeVolume

  • Welterweight
  • ****
  • Posts: 1602
Re: Miracle Man Review
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2012, 03:00:16 AM »
WOW. Great work. I think this review alone makes me want the Miracle Mans!

darkbluemurder

  • Welterweight
  • ****
  • Posts: 2214
Re: Miracle Man Review
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2012, 08:44:41 AM »
Great detailed review. It matches my experience with the Holydiver and Miracle Man almost exactly. Both are great pickups.

Cheers Stephan

EDIT: The Miracle Man bridge is now in the guitar discussed here https://bareknucklepickups.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=16883.0.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2012, 09:17:13 AM by darkbluemurder »

braintheory

  • Bantamweight
  • **
  • Posts: 193
Re: Miracle Man Review
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2012, 09:27:21 AM »
I'm surprised you say the Nailbomb is tighter and more aggressive than the Miracle Man.  I have a Miracle Man in a Gibson Les Paul 68 Custom reissue and it's pretty damn tight.  Only the painkillers and aftermaths in my other guitars were tighter, but not by much.  Also, I've never played a nailbomb, but everything I've read about it makes it sound like it would be less aggressive, particularly in the high end.  My Miracle Man has a sharp, biting top end and I've read that the nailbomb has warm, smooth highs, but the nailbomb is probably more aggressive in the center and high mids.
Engl Artist Edtion
Engl Invader
Friedman Phil X
Gower Rockmonster
Mesa/Boogie Mark III Coliseum
Mesa/Boogie Mark IIC+
Peters FSM/Halo
Randall Thrasher
Rhodes Gemini
Wizard Modern Classic

ericsabbath

  • Welterweight
  • ****
  • Posts: 4648
    • Colidium
Re: Miracle Man Review
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2012, 05:02:24 AM »
Great detailed review. It matches my experience with the Holydiver and Miracle Man almost exactly. Both are great pickups.

+1
they were my first bridge BKP's and bought for the same guitar (a jap lp copy)
and then the cold sweat

one thing about the miracle man, is that it gets better and better the louder you play
it tends to sound a little boxy at low volumes, but at band volume, it sounds huge and open, more alive and organic and the harmonics sound a lot bigger and really jump in the mix
if you're this impressed at home, you'll be amazed at gig volume
Riff Raff, Mules, Black Dog, VHII's, Cold Sweat

ericsabbath

  • Welterweight
  • ****
  • Posts: 4648
    • Colidium
Re: Miracle Man Review
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2012, 06:55:28 AM »
I'm surprised you say the Nailbomb is tighter and more aggressive than the Miracle Man.  I have a Miracle Man in a Gibson Les Paul 68 Custom reissue and it's pretty damn tight.  Only the painkillers and aftermaths in my other guitars were tighter, but not by much.  Also, I've never played a nailbomb, but everything I've read about it makes it sound like it would be less aggressive, particularly in the high end.  My Miracle Man has a sharp, biting top end and I've read that the nailbomb has warm, smooth highs, but the nailbomb is probably more aggressive in the center and high mids.

well, that's relative
I'd say they are as aggressive as the other
the miracle man is a little tighter indeed and has an edgier top
I thought they had a lot in common... they were both bassy, tight and aggressive, both having a lot of low mids, the nailbomb has flat upper mids, while the miracle man has some upper mid scoop
I feel that the miracle man sounds a bit cleaner, sometimes, although the nailbomb is warmer sounding
Riff Raff, Mules, Black Dog, VHII's, Cold Sweat

Slartibartfarst42

  • Welterweight
  • ****
  • Posts: 2125
  • Random Solution
Re: Miracle Man Review
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2012, 08:56:06 AM »
Perhaps I should clarify the whole Nailbomb thing.

I'm happy to accept that the Miracle Man is the tighter pickup as in all honesty, I didn't find much in it in terms of tightness. The A-Bomb is certainly a bit thicker at the top end. However, I certainly felt there was a lot more aggression in the A-Bomb and I think a lot of that has to do with the smooth delivery of the Miracle Man. There is an aggressive edge to it but the smoothness means it's never OTT. It just felt 'right' to me because I was looking for something that was that step beyond the Holydiver and that's what I got whereas the A-Bomb was a brutal beast in comparison. When I played the A-Bomb it was like having lots of dry wood on fire as it really crackled when played. It felt angry, fierce and 'in your face' whereas the Miracle Man feels more subtle in comparison. When I played the Miracle Man for the first time and was looking for a bit of aggression my immediate reaction was 'Oh YESSSSSS' as it had everything I liked about the Holydiver but enough aggression to make it a bit sinister; a bit like the Holydiver's bad brother - the black sheep of the family. My reaction to the A-Bomb was completely different because the aggression was overpowering. Its ferocity was dominant and rather than a bit of an evil brother to the Holydiver, it was an axe murderer come to rape and pillage. That's why I just didn't find the versatility in the A-Bomb that is mentioned on the website because although I could tame it a bit, that edge was always there. In all honesty, there were elements of that aggression that I did like but the problem was the guitar as I just didn't feel the Jackson had enough natural beef in it to tame the beast but I think it would be awesome in something with quite a bit of mahogany. It certainly highlighted to me the importance of having the right pickup for the right guitar.

I was at band practice last night so the Miracle Man was able to open up a bit and you're perfectly right Eric; it was incredible. I couldn't get the smile off my face all night and I still don't think I've settled on the perfect pickup height. The Holydiver was best very close to the strings so does anyone have any insight on the Miracle Man?
BKP owned:

Bridge - Emerald; Cold Sweat; Crawler; A-Bomb; Holydiver; Miracle Man; Sinner; Trilogy Suite

Neck - Emerald; Cold Sweat; Crawler; Holydiver; Sinner; Trilogy Suite

darkbluemurder

  • Welterweight
  • ****
  • Posts: 2214
Re: Miracle Man Review
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2012, 10:03:46 AM »

 It just felt 'right' to me because I was looking for something that was that step beyond the Holydiver and that's what I got  When I played the Miracle Man for the first time and was looking for a bit of aggression my immediate reaction was 'Oh YESSSSSS' as it had everything I liked about the Holydiver but enough aggression to make it a bit sinister; a bit like the Holydiver's bad brother - the black sheep of the family.

I still don't think I've settled on the perfect pickup height. The Holydiver was best very close to the strings so does anyone have any insight on the Miracle Man?

Again a very accurate description of the Miracle Man.

As regards the pickup height - my experience is that the MiM sounds best not too close to the strings, especially on the bass side.

Cheers Stephan

eighteen-0-nine

  • Bantamweight
  • **
  • Posts: 107
Re: Miracle Man Review
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2012, 10:08:29 AM »
I think I'm most probably going to be getting a custom Feline Lion made (Mahogany Body with Maple Cap/Mahogany Neck with Ebony Fingerboard) and wondered if the Miracle Man would be good for this?I was originally going to get a Holy Diver, but I was thinking if the Miracle Man is like a Holy Diver, it will provide a tighter tone that cuts in mahogany?

Slartibartfarst42

  • Welterweight
  • ****
  • Posts: 2125
  • Random Solution
Re: Miracle Man Review
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2012, 04:21:50 PM »
The Holydiver seems to work in everything so I'm sure it would be fine and I certainly still want one in the bridge of my PRS but I can see the logic of using a Miracle Man instead. The Miracle Man has a big grin factor and in all that mahogany the extra cut will be very much appreciated and you'll retain everything you like about the Holydiver. If you need great cleans I'd think twice but otherwise go for it  :D
BKP owned:

Bridge - Emerald; Cold Sweat; Crawler; A-Bomb; Holydiver; Miracle Man; Sinner; Trilogy Suite

Neck - Emerald; Cold Sweat; Crawler; Holydiver; Sinner; Trilogy Suite

eighteen-0-nine

  • Bantamweight
  • **
  • Posts: 107
Re: Miracle Man Review
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2012, 04:25:15 PM »
Well I do a lot of shredding on the neck pickup, so the Miracle Man neck would be cool for that. But like you said, I'd really like cleans on the neck pickup too, so I'd be looking for a different one if you have any ideas?

itamar101

  • Lightweight
  • ***
  • Posts: 680
Re: Miracle Man Review
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2012, 04:32:31 PM »
Well I do a lot of shredding on the neck pickup, so the Miracle Man neck would be cool for that. But like you said, I'd really like cleans on the neck pickup too, so I'd be looking for a different one if you have any ideas?

Remember that this review is on the miracle man bridge alone. Why not go for a "mix m match" set? A Holy Diver Neck and Miracle Man Bridhe for example.