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Author Topic: Painkiller vs Juggernaut  (Read 1536 times)

ericsabbath

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Re: Painkiller vs Juggernaut
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2019, 07:27:54 PM »
Nice to hear
I think you've made the best choice
I'd pick the PK mids over the JN any day
https://youtu.be/7Pu5JEx5Deo
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Le Mouk

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Re: Painkiller vs Juggernaut
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2020, 11:42:25 PM »
Hi everybody!
I played my Painkillers the last 7-8 months, I guess Iím done with the honeymoon phase, I can now post an objective review.
I tested my newly PK-loaded Carvin quite extensively, well hopefully enough to share an honest review...

I tried many pickups in the BKP range, but only have a decade of (almost exclusive)experience with the NB bridge and CS neck so Iíll logically compare my PK to them. I know, different string gauges, different woods, different bridges, all these parameters plays their role in the equation.
I worked my tone around my NB/CS combo for years, and everything in my rig, amp/pedals, is set up to enhance the NB/CS qualities.
At first, I didnít messed with the amp/pedals settings, to really highlight the differences with the Painkillers. And then I started to adjust the gain/eq, but surprisingly only very slightly. The output isnít that different between the two pickups. To my ears, the Painkiller sounds a bit louder, but mainly due to his voicing rather than sheer volume.

Both have a great clarity, or note separation, but I think itís a common characteristic of all the BKP pickups, no matter which category or model.
Both are harmonically rich sounding, all frequencies are covered, and specially well balanced. (But again, all BKP I tried share that quality. I didnít liked the Ragnarok, because "too much of everything", but thereís still a good balance across the frequencies range). With both NB and PK, harmonics just spread around like mad, pinched and tapped harmonics come across as easy as with EMG pickups (which were my main reference when it comes to Zakk-esque squeals, until I met the NB).
Both easily find their place in a mix, but the NB could disappear, if eqíed wrong. Not the PK, they just rape the mix in a awfully beautiful way, no matter what.

The PK bridge punches through the speakers as well as the NB. Both have a great immediacy in the initial attack (punch?). When palm-muting, the PK hits you at the throat and chest, the NB at the stomach, if it makes any sense!?  :laugh: Iíd say I slightly prefer the PK in the punch department, a tad less massive than the NB, but fast and cutting. It hits just right. Palm-mutes literally shake the ground. Staccato riffing sounds like controlled thunder, itís impressive!
 
On another hand, to me, what makes the Nailbomb a true keeper, is the bloom after the initial attack. I just love that characteristic!! When you hit that note and it just expands in your speakers, like "booooooooiiiiiiiiiinnnnng", for a lack of a better word! For single-note riffing, the NB hits gold.

The PK is more "linear", the note doesnít bloom as much, but stays constant. And strong! I much prefer the NB in that area, I guess that bloom is why other people describe them as being "organic sounding", as opposed to the more contemporary PK...?
The Painkiller sounds more modern than the Nailbomb, which sounds like a 90ís pickup to me. The PK isnít a bassy pickup at all. Itís tight and very percussive. The bass are never overwhelming, in fact I think the PK is perfectly voiced in the low-end for tight riffing, because it never interfere with the frequencies of the bass player. But still punches with the best of em! I really like the overall voicing of the PK, itís a nasty and abrasive pickup, easy and fun to play. Theyíre excellent at rythm work, tight riffing, intricate chords. A perfect metal pickup in my book. The NB is a beast, too, but you have to be careful with your bass frequencies, and the hi-mids can be annoying depending the amp/settings. But they have a growl on their own, something unique that I like a lot. The PK are a bit more "neutral", because they have no exaggerated frequency which could give it a sonic character.

 Iíve always been a gain freak. Not IHateEverythingButSatan kind of gain, but still... Consequently, my expectations werenít aimed towards low-gain or splitted capabilities when ordering the PK, and Iím not the most indicate person to review these aspects of the guitar tone. But Iím not deaf (yet), and I can say that the clean tones I can get out of the PK neck are among the most enjoyable I experienced. Really lush, and again, balanced across the spectrum. Mixing the neck humbucker and the splitted bridge sounds heavenly. The splitted tones are satisfyingly convincing, but nothing to write some funk about.

One last aspect of the PK Iíd like to point out is the ability to clean-up very well. I play quite a lot with the volume knob, and the PK delivers in spades. All gain levels from crunch to "stop it" are obtainable at a flick of a knob. They beat the NB on that point, in my opinion.

To sum it up, I still think that the perfect pickup doesnít exist. Mine, at this stage of my quest, would be a mix of these two : the attack and voicing of the PK, but with the liveliness of the NB.

Maybe one day Iíll try to put the NB in the Carvin, and the PK in the Washburn, just to see... :wink:
« Last Edit: January 20, 2020, 08:46:11 PM by Le Mouk »

one

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Re: Painkiller vs Juggernaut
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2020, 07:17:33 AM »
superb review, pity that I can't stand the nailbomb (except for the 8 string, that I'm starting to enjoy when not playing the first strings)

CommonCourtesy

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Re: Painkiller vs Juggernaut
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2020, 04:17:38 PM »
I never got on with the Ceramic Nailbomb either in one of my guitars, something about it just didn't work with that particular one.

Will be putting a Juggernaut in another one sometime so interested to see how that goes.

Le Mouk

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Re: Painkiller vs Juggernau
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2020, 08:36:46 PM »
Thanks for your answers.
My Nailbomb isnít the ceramic version, Iíd like to know first hand how they compare, even after reading the many threads on the subject). And Iím still curious about the Juggs, too! And now, with the new Silo, I can see how Iíll be in trouble the next time Iíll have to decide which BKP to get!  :grin:

superb review, pity that I can't stand the nailbomb (except for the 8 string, that I'm starting to enjoy when not playing the first strings)
Can you please explain what you dislike about your Nailbomb, precisely on the first strings? (Biggest or smallest, by the way?)

Le Mouk

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Re: Painkiller vs Juggernaut
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2020, 08:51:23 PM »
Here they are...

Le Mouk

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Re: Painkiller vs Juggernaut
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2020, 08:52:37 PM »
 :wink:

one

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Re: Painkiller vs Juggernau
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2020, 07:20:06 AM »

Can you please explain what you dislike about your Nailbomb, precisely on the first strings? (Biggest or smallest, by the way?)

Firstly, my NB is ceramic, and similarly as someone said, I can't stand pure ceramics lately, or at least some bkp ones. when I mean the first strings I mean the thinnest. The NB I had in my 7 string was boomy in the lowest strings, the chuggs weren't deep enough while in the thinnest strings the sound was thin AF with shrill solos and in general little presence. Maybe the walnut top of the guitar had something to do enhancing the trebblish character of the pickup, but anyway I hated it with a passion and changed it for a WP, improving it a lot though I'm still not 100% happy, and that's why I say maybe BKP Ceramics are not my thing.

Le Mouk

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Re: Painkiller vs Juggernaut
« Reply #23 on: Today at 01:46:58 AM »
Thanks for clarifying.
Iíve never been a fan of ceramic magnets.
I had the DiMarzio SuperDistortion, and the SD SH5 custom, both ceramic. I found them "chemical" sounding. I donít know how to describe it. Maybe thatís more the feel than the sound in itself, but to me thereís usually something sterile with ceramic pickups.
Thatís why I was a bit reluctant to order the PK at first, but after trying my friendís PK-loaded Ibanez on my rig, I decided to giveíem a chance. Iím glad I did, they work great in my Carvin, which was intended to be my "metal guitar" anyway.
But I would still chose the NB over the PK. :grin:
I donít know, Iíve always loved to "fight" a little bit with the gear. I used to prefer the more flattering gear back in the days, but as I grew as a player, I tend to prefer amps/guitars that give you back what you put into! And the alnico Nailbomb has been my favorite bridge pickup for the last decade exactly for that, because to me, itís the perfect blend of dynamic, punch and hugeness.
That said, Iím really happy with the PK, theyíre fantastic metal pickups!