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Author Topic: Just installed some blackhawks  (Read 6328 times)

northlane.josh

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Just installed some blackhawks
« on: July 07, 2012, 07:29:39 AM »
Recently my band scored a BKP endorsement and we've fitted out the remainder of our guitars that didn't have BKP's with a few different models. My other guitarist has this LTD viper 400 that is actually a fantastic guitar and it had an EMG81/85 set. It records really well but I thought that with the right set of passives it would be even better, we chose to try blackhawks in it to try and retain some of the characteristics of the EMG's that worked in that particular guitar. This is pretty much a copy/paste of what i sent back to BKP Ben about my thoughts:

After I installed them I did play on the guitar for an hour. They replaced an EMG 81-85 set in an ESP baritone viper and I used a 550k volume pot, 3-way selector and a coil split switch. The guitar has a maple set neck, rosewood board, lightweight mahogany body and it's 27" scale with a TOM bridge.

My impressions were:
-Voicing is absolutely spot on for anything heavy. The mids sit just in the right spot. There is enough low mids to create girth without mud, there is enough high mids for attack, grind and clarity but there is no honky characteristics that I found the painkiller and aftermath can exhibit on occasion. The highs seem to roll off similar to a C-pig so the treble response is sharp but not harsh, the highs are quite rounded.

-The dynamics of the pickup confused me. For one single notes have lots of girth and thickness and saturate like an active pickup, I've never heard this in a passive before. However when big open chords are played there is still good string to string separation and the notes don't smear together like with all the current active designs and every blade pickup I've tried. The blackhawks actually sound quite open, more open than aftermaths i think but retain all the punch of a more compressed pickup.

-The blackhawks are quite high output. This makes the coil splits absolutely unreal. I managed to coax some really cool stratty tones out of them and I think that the splits will really come in handy in a studio situation for cleaner passages.
-String to string balance is fantastic. low notes really pop out and have great attack, high notes aren't harsh at all.

In comparison to the EMG's the difference was night and day. Way more organic, less dry sounding. more balanced mids, fuller lows, more open highs, fuller low mids and most of all way more clarity. Output wise they seem to be quite similar but it's always hard to judge when comparing a passive to an active.

Overall super impressed with this pickup and I wish I'd tried it sooner. They are really unique and I dig them a lot. Now I'll have to get some of my own!

I only took one pic and the guitar was super dirty when I did because i had to fix a few other things while I had it. For the record I mostly use aftermaths in my guitars with a nailbomb neck
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Northlane, Sydney, Australia

witeter

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Re: Just installed some blackhawks
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2012, 08:38:52 AM »
Hey man thanks for the review and thoughts on the pups. Sounds awesome and really makes me want to try some! glad you are liking them and interesting to hear how it compared to EMG's

Kiichi

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Re: Just installed some blackhawks
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2012, 10:57:51 AM »
Yeah, thanks for the info! We need more reviews on here (especially of the Blackhawk).

The way you describe the girth and string definition it sound soooooo good.
God I need to find an axe to put these in....
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

northlane.josh

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Re: Just installed some blackhawks
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2012, 12:08:42 PM »
always happy to help out guys, it's a pity i couldn't hold on to it longer because i could have done some EMG/BH/AM comparison clips.
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Northlane, Sydney, Australia

Kiichi

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Re: Just installed some blackhawks
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2012, 12:14:33 PM »
always happy to help out guys, it's a pity i couldn't hold on to it longer because i could have done some EMG/BH/AM comparison clips.
Get. it. back.
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

northlane.josh

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Re: Just installed some blackhawks
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2012, 12:33:37 PM »
will probably end up recording a fair chunk of our next album with it so sit tight pal!
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Northlane, Sydney, Australia

TheyCallMeVolume

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Re: Just installed some blackhawks
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2012, 04:19:52 PM »
this review is tasty

Timuu

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Re: Just installed some blackhawks
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2012, 01:25:54 AM »
Thanks for the review!
Maybe it's just me, but you didn't really write about the neck, did you? So I'm kind of curious: how does it handle saturated and clean tones?

Anyway, the review was very helpful! :wink:

northlane.josh

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Re: Just installed some blackhawks
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2012, 10:58:45 AM »
Thanks for the review!
Maybe it's just me, but you didn't really write about the neck, did you? So I'm kind of curious: how does it handle saturated and clean tones?

Anyway, the review was very helpful! :wink:

thanks mate,
didn't spend too much time with the neck but it was very fluid when saturated and the cleans were quite rounded sounding and very warm. Overall it was a little dark but still had a very clear and open high end and wasn't boomy
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Telerocker

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Re: Just installed some blackhawks
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2012, 11:43:50 PM »
Good review! I wonder if the Blackhawks can do non-metal styles too and how they compare to the vintagehotrange.
Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.

northlane.josh

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Re: Just installed some blackhawks
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2012, 06:26:16 AM »
Good review! I wonder if the Blackhawks can do non-metal styles too and how they compare to the vintagehotrange.

you can get some nice stratty tones out of them when split but i didn't think the rolled off tones were spectacular and it's a little saturated for more vintage styled stuff. It's still very well articulated though so some people might have luck and I know that nolly really digs them for his fusion styled tunes.
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northlane.josh

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Re: Just installed some blackhawks
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2012, 06:29:18 AM »
To add to what I wrote above, if i need to do some lower or medium gain work I just use my universe with emeralds. They hold up great in low tunings but still have the voicing and harmonic richness to do just about anything
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Northlane, Sydney, Australia

Telerocker

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Re: Just installed some blackhawks
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2012, 12:29:56 AM »
Cheers! Blackhawks seems a little too modern for me. For now I stick with the BKP's I have.
Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.

Eyes Wide Shut

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Re: Just installed some blackhawks
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2012, 09:24:50 PM »
How would you say the Black Hawks compare to say, the Miracle Man?

northlane.josh

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Re: Just installed some blackhawks
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2012, 01:36:24 AM »
How would you say the Black Hawks compare to say, the Miracle Man?

I've only used the miracle man set on one occasion and it was quite a while ago in a guitar I wasn't too familiar with so it's hard to judge but I'd say the black hawk is a fair bit less scooped, especially in the high mids and has less extended lows. I am shooting in the dark a bit with this though.
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Northlane, Sydney, Australia