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Author Topic: Review: Holydiver Revisited  (Read 11602 times)

darkbluemurder

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Review: Holydiver Revisited
« on: December 10, 2012, 09:46:40 AM »
In this thread at the very end I commented on the Holydiver bridge:

https://bareknucklepickups.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=16883.0

Meanwhile I have a Miracle Man in that guitar.

I have an ash bodied strat with a maple neck w/ maple board which was quite a heavy beast. I had my luthier make a pool route in there so I could use any pickup configuration. I put the following set up in there: the Holydiver bridge humbucker with two Lollar Special strat pickups I had lying around.

When I first plugged the guitar in I thought "no - this is all wrong - too much midrange". But after a few tweaks in the pickup height I totally dig the midrange push this guitar has. Single notes have a weight to them that they never had - and this is all over the fretboard, even at the dusty end. Yet there is a full chord crunch that lacks nothing. The guitar is very resonant but the HD does not overpower it. Finally it also works very well split together with the middle single coil.

So far I talked overdrive and high gain tones. What about clean tones? I don't really use clean tones much with an electric guitar - that's what acoustic guitars are for IMHO ;) The HD bridge clean tones are not quite my cup of tea - here the midrange can be a bit overbearing, especially if you cannot compensate for it with the amp tone controls. But having two single coils in this guitar I don't see that as a problem.

This guitar is now so much fun to play. On the bridge pickup it does the Jake E. Lee tones almost to a T even though his guitar has a rosewood fretboard. The best way to describe is if you listen to his attack tone on "High Wire" or "Ball and Chain", you will hear these characteristic chirps. They are all there with this guitar now. Great stuff.

Now what's left to do with that guitar? Enhance the wiring. I only got a 5-way selector wired the normal way except an automatic humbucker split in #4 (counting from the neck pickup as #1), master volume (500k log) and master tone (250k log). I got a 470k resistor which is in parallel to the volume pot when the humbucker is split to bring the load down to approx. 240k. I will use a push-pull pot in the third pot spot to be able to split the humbucker individually and wire the pot as a blend control to be able to combine bridge and neck pickups. I have this wiring in another guitar and find it very versatile, yet if I don't need it it is very easy to ignore.

Cheers Stephan 

GuitarIv

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Re: Review: Holydiver Revisited
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2012, 10:08:12 AM »
I had to play around with the height on my HD Bridge to resolve some problems I had with the sound and now I'm as satisfied as you seem to be. I love the Diver for being the perfect organic and clear sounding pickup which can go from blues to metal without a problem and I can't wait to get my next set...
May I "hijack" the threads topic for a minute and ask how you like the Miracle Man? Pretty interessted in getting one :)

Cheers

darkbluemurder

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Re: Review: Holydiver Revisited
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2012, 10:55:38 AM »
OFF TOPIC MODE ON:

I like the Miracle Man very much, too. In the alder guitar discussed in the linked thread it has a bit more output, bass and treble compared to the Holydiver. Since the alder guitar is quite dark, the difference between the two pickups may not be as pronounced as in other guitars.

OFF TOPIC MODE OFF.

Back to the HD: the ash guitar discussed here proved that BKPs are very sensitive to the guitars they are in. This is why you may sometimes read contradictory statements. In addition, not everybody understands the exact same thing about tonal descriptions so you need to read everything in the context given.

Cheers Stephan

Telerocker

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Re: Review: Holydiver Revisited
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2012, 11:05:55 AM »
It's a sort of same experience when I loaded my swampash strat with a Crawler and Irish Tours. Took me some time to find the sweet spot, especially with the middy Crawler. Once you got it right, you dig the beef and push of the Crawler, which is like the HD a very good bridgepickup in (non-mahogany) bolt-on guitars.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 10:56:54 PM by Telerocker »
Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.

GuitarIv

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Re: Review: Holydiver Revisited
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2012, 11:43:58 AM »
Thanks for the feedback Stephan, kinda wanna get myself two more pickguards loaded with different PUs as my Strat is my workhorse guitar, so I've been thinking about a H-S Setup (Miracle Man + Sinner) for teh Metalz to make things tighter and fatter in the low end and a SSS Pickguard for the funky and bluesy stuff, will very probably load it with Mothers Milk SCs. The guitar has a poplar body and an all maple neck so it has a lot of attack and snap to it :)

I was surprised how tight the HD actually is as this isn't what A5 PUs are known for, but I guess that's the BKP nature. Also read a few times that the Rebell Yell is tight as hell!

Btw for all the metal fans, Sylosis new Album Monolith was recorded with a HD loaded Les Paul:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2dFG7-09P0

Cheers

TheyCallMeVolume

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Re: Review: Holydiver Revisited
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2012, 02:36:37 PM »
Glad you like them! They're definitely up there on the short list of pickups I want.

Cpt_Gonzo

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Re: Review: Holydiver Revisited
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2012, 09:08:47 PM »
My two main guitars are both equipped with HDs.

Love how the HD has it's own character in both of them, and rocks as hell...in both of them!
It does pretty much everything aswell, even the cleanest Jazz and metalcore EMG cleans...

One is a Strat (Ash, maple, maple) with pretty much the same wiring the OP has (now, who had it first? :D), the other one a Les Paul with all braided, 50s wiring.

darkbluemurder

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Re: Review: Holydiver Revisited
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2012, 08:36:07 AM »
One is a Strat (Ash, maple, maple) with pretty much the same wiring the OP has (now, who had it first? :D),

Well - for the guitars we are discussing it was definitely you who was first. The other guitar which already has it has it for about two years.

But actually the ash body/maple neck guitar could only have the Holydiver bridge and I still would be very happy with it - the single coils are a nice extra for the clean tones :) 

Cheers Stephan

case report

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Re: Review: Holydiver Revisited
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2012, 08:54:04 AM »
My two main guitars are both equipped with HDs.

Love how the HD has it's own character in both of them, and rocks as hell...in both of them!
It does pretty much everything aswell, even the cleanest Jazz and metalcore EMG cleans...

One is a Strat (Ash, maple, maple) with pretty much the same wiring the OP has (now, who had it first? :D), the other one a Les Paul with all braided, 50s wiring.

I love Holydiver on my Jackson Fusion Pro '90 (HSS, basswood, maple/ebony, 24.75 scale) for classic '80 metal...
I'd like to get Holydiver even on Charvel San Dimas style 1 (HH, alder, all maple, 25.50 scale), togheter with Emerald on neck...
Do woods and scales make the two guitars different on sound even if both equipped with HD (bridge)?
(I know, it's a philosophical question  :lol: but in one hand I want to hold HD main character, in other hand I'd like to get 2 different guitars)
Gibson Les Paul Historic 1958 - Stormy Monday
Charvel San Dimas - Holydiver (b) -Crawler (n)
Jackson Fusion Pro - Holydiver & Trilogy Suites

GuitarIv

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Re: Review: Holydiver Revisited
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2012, 09:35:44 AM »
I love Holydiver on my Jackson Fusion Pro '90 (HSS, basswood, maple/ebony, 24.75 scale) for classic '80 metal...

A fellow Jackson Fusion owner! :D

I have to try the Diver in my Fusion yet, currently it's sitting in a Poplar Body, All Maple Neck Strat and it fits well in there...

Brow

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Re: Review: Holydiver Revisited
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2012, 12:46:14 PM »
I have a pair of Holydivers in my Ash/anegree bodied Patrick Eggle Climaxe and I've always been a bit indifferent towards them if I'm honest.

After reading GuitarIvs post about his HDs I'm going to follow the advice Feline gave in that thread and mess with the heights a bit as I'm not sure it's the pickups setup that needs tweaking or if it's a bad guitar/pickup mismatch.

If that fails then I plan on moving the HDs into my Jackson DK2M and then trying to find a better fit for the Eggle.

As regards the MM/TS combo I have that in my alder bodied BC Rich Gunslinger and it's great for the 80s Rock I use that guitar for. I can imagine that with a more suitable amp that they'd also do the heavier styles really well too.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 10:29:39 PM by Brow »
Selling lots of gear, enquire within!......

Cpt_Gonzo

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Re: Review: Holydiver Revisited
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2012, 01:08:38 PM »
My two main guitars are both equipped with HDs.

Love how the HD has it's own character in both of them, and rocks as hell...in both of them!
It does pretty much everything aswell, even the cleanest Jazz and metalcore EMG cleans...

One is a Strat (Ash, maple, maple) with pretty much the same wiring the OP has (now, who had it first? :D), the other one a Les Paul with all braided, 50s wiring.

I love Holydiver on my Jackson Fusion Pro '90 (HSS, basswood, maple/ebony, 24.75 scale) for classic '80 metal...
I'd like to get Holydiver even on Charvel San Dimas style 1 (HH, alder, all maple, 25.50 scale), togheter with Emerald on neck...
Do woods and scales make the two guitars different on sound even if both equipped with HD (bridge)?
(I know, it's a philosophical question  :lol: but in one hand I want to hold HD main character, in other hand I'd like to get 2 different guitars)

Yes, they are still two very different sounding animals. The one still sounds like a Lester, the other one like an Ash Strat.
LP, think Gary Moore lead tones and all that...the Strat sound slike a Hot Rodded Blackmore machine.
At least with my "OD1" amp settings.

They sound the same in a way you'd like them to sound the same. I can swap them without adjusting the amp and they both have that BKP organic quality and clarity.

ericsabbath

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Re: Review: Holydiver Revisited
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2012, 01:14:10 AM »
I could definitely hear the badlands thing with the holy diver, even in les pauls
oh those mids  :D
Riff Raff, Mules, Black Dog, VHII's, Cold Sweat

Cpt_Gonzo

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Re: Review: Holydiver Revisited
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2012, 11:26:55 AM »
It's just the way these mids make everything so musical, tubey and somehow fluid...I mean, other pickups smear together, the Holydiver works together.

Complex chords under gain with vibrato added...the Diver really formed my tone in a positive way. It's a musical lifechanger, but I guess that applies to BKP overall.

nkay

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Re: Review: Holydiver Revisited
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2012, 04:28:05 AM »
I love Holydiver on my Jackson Fusion Pro '90 (HSS, basswood, maple/ebony, 24.75 scale) for classic '80 metal...
I'd like to get Holydiver even on Charvel San Dimas style 1 (HH, alder, all maple, 25.50 scale), togheter with Emerald on neck...
Do woods and scales make the two guitars different on sound even if both equipped with HD (bridge)?
(I know, it's a philosophical question  :lol: but in one hand I want to hold HD main character, in other hand I'd like to get 2 different guitars)

Careful with the Charvel San Dimas, at least the Japanese Pro Mod, the pickups are direct mounted. I tried the HD in mine, and it sat too low from the strings. I tried to shim it up temporarily to see how it sounded closer to the strings, and it still didn't sound right, and I thought it would be perfect for this guitar. It just didn't work.