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Author Topic: Rebel Yell bridge review  (Read 12326 times)

Kiichi

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Rebel Yell bridge review
« on: August 07, 2013, 09:36:14 PM »
Hey guys,
looks like I finally got around to writing my first review. Having created the collection thread it is really a shame. Letīs just hope I can get around to the others faster ;)
At least I managed to get out a wall of text as I like to do.
Hope no one dies half way through and it helps some people.

Anyhow lets talk about has been my first and what is so far my absolute favorite BKP: The Rebel Yell bridge!

My short review is: IT F*CKING ROCKS!

Really that is the most important thing about it, but let me back off and elaborate.

I got this PU for a Ibanez S series guitar, with the goal of getting a very versatile rock and metal set.
After specifying what I want to BKP they said RY bridge, IT middle and Mule neck.
Went for it and am extremely happy.

Generally you get a nice rock and metal voicing which is generally on the modern side in feel but always has a great vintage vibe in there. Modern take on a classic sound one could say.
Makes sense cause it is wound in a modern way with vintage wire.

In terms of style this thing does so much, I can easily take it from blues to old school rock and pop punk, over old school metal (nWobhM and others) and powermetal to modern thrash and back again.
Anything that you want to rock really.
On the extreme side you can see what our dear Nolly did on Red Seas Fire with it and know that it can deliver both true classic sounds and technical modern metal.

How can it do so much and why?

Iīll first go through the three main frequency-bands one by one and then try to put that together and add details to the picture.

The low on the RY is a very cool thing in my eyes. It is generally not the big and crushing kind as you find in other pups, it is more of a punchy quality. The general voicing of the RY makes it a lot tighter than you might expect from a AV magnet PU.

It really is always tight, but warm and organic, the classic AV qualitys. What that results in is a bottom end I always like to describe in an analogy:
With other metal pups you get a bottom end that if it were a fighter it would be that really big guy whos punches just got in your direction and then through you. The RY is a smaller muscle packed karate guy who has these precise stone breaking punches, which do have insane force, but are more about hitting the right spot. And then there is the Aftermath which is some kind of cyborg.
Hope that gets is across somewhat xD
I really dig that punchy bottom end in comparison to the body check ones other PUs have.
 
While the RY is generally bright, it is not thin, as the bottom end is present and sure does its work, but is not the focus point of the voicing.
Also the bottom end response can be changed by height changes more than on any other PU Iīve tried.

The mids on the RY is where this thing really shines and they are at the core of the sound, especially the higher mids. Here the PU has a spike which gives it itīs voice, which as I said before rocks.
Low mids are there to fill things up, in the center mids you find a nice little growl, but it is in the highs mids where things get really cool.

I wanted a PU with a lot of harmonics going on that just feels alive and that is what the RY is. Alive and rocking. The higher mids are so full of harmonics it makes for a really nicely complex sound which is just up front and center, cutting through the mix like the egomanic hair metal singer pushing himself to the front of the band and doing insane show moves.

There is so much going on and it just screams out.

The high end on the RY is close the higher mids. It is definetly very present and cutting but not harsh. Again an extension of all the harmonics going on.
Also makes for a great pick attack.

All together this makes for a PU that will not only make you happy because it rocks and screams, delivers nice pinched harmonics and has an insane range of styles, it will also make your  bass player happy because while you still got weight and punch behind your palm mutes you are not interfeering with him, and you better keep that guy happy, bass over the head hurts...

I must also add that the RY is not only generally very versatile it is even more so because as I hinted before it is incredibly sensible to height changes, more so than anything else. Half a screw turn can have rather dramatic results.

Now I mostly talked about the distorted rythm tone (maybe I should have mentioned that earlier, but hey I talk about rocking all the time so whatcha expect I talk about), but I would like to loose a few words on the lead and clean tones.

I really like to use this PU for lead tones quite often, although I still use the neck for the majority of lead work. Thing is the RY is of course less rounded, more agressive and cutting, so when I want that extra thing to really throw this over and go crazy and stop with the sweet singing I go to the bridge. Plus then I can add in a pinched harmonics left and right (I play a lot on the high strings around the 12th to 15th fret) and I can get them suprisingly easily there, making for great Skid Row like things.

For clean sounds I generally do not really dig the RY bridge as it sounds too middy, which makes it hardly usable for me, HOWEVER, I have an autosplit wiring and my RY turned around so that the screwcoil is away from the bridge and when I go into the autosplit position I get the slugcoil, which is closer to the bridge plus the middle (Irish Tour), which makes for the most glorious clean sound for strumming (also cool for picking, but neck is better). Super clear single coil like sound, rather tele than strat like with a quality in the high end you assosiate with brand new strings (yes that goodness at any time). This position was even further improved when I added a PRS style 2,2k resistor in series with the green and white wire of the bridge PU, which results in the screw coil not being completly shut off, giving me a little extra output and bottom end. Amazing stuff.


Want a PU that rocks? Screams? Breathes life into guitars? Has a punchy low end? Is versatile?
Get the Rebel Yell and youīll want more, more, more!

Cheers
Kiichi




Anyone read this far? Cool, have a pint mate!
Did I forget to touch upon something? Got questions? Go ahead I will answer anything and add in things I might have forgotten.

Edit: Forgot my gear as fhn_lopes pointed out. I use a Orange Tiny Terror Hardwired Edition (gain and tone at about 2 o clock usually) loaded with TAD STR Powetubes, a a JJ AX7 in V1 and a Tung Sol AX7 in V2 going into a Marshall 2061CX hardwired cab which is 2x12" loaded with Celestion G12H30 speakers.
In front and always on when not clean is my Juansolo Klon(e) set to the more setting which is 2, 12 and 10 o clock.
For clean tones I use the same cab, but with a HTH Amp 5W Fender Tweed Champ style loaded with a 6L6 powerstage tube instead of the 6V6 it came with. Sometimes gets an extra compressor from a MXR Supercomp set very lightly so it mostly impacts sustain and the attack only very slightly.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2013, 01:11:25 PM by Kiichi »
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

Philly Q

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Re: Rebel Yell bridge review
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2013, 09:49:32 PM »
Anyone read this far? Cool have a pint mate!

I'll have a nice glass of Merlot.

Nice work, good review!  8)
BKPs I've Got:  RR, BKP-91, ITs, VHII, CS set, Emeralds
BKPs I Had:  RY+Abraxas, Crawlers, BD+SM

GuitarIv

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Re: Rebel Yell bridge review
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2013, 10:18:08 PM »
Great review Kiichi, although you're not making it easier for me to ignore my G.A.S. and get a RY myself...  :?

bepcepkop

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Re: Rebel Yell bridge review
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2013, 02:50:30 AM »
Just curious, what kind of power metal bands you would associate this pickups sound for?

Dave Sloven

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Re: Rebel Yell bridge review
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2013, 03:38:33 AM »
Would it be good for Dio?  Maybe the Craig Goldy era?  I saw Goldy playing with Budgie a few years ago, absolutely fantastic.
BLACK HAWKS
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WAR PIGS
STOCKHOLM
COLD SWEATS
MIRACLE MAN

https://slovendoom.bandcamp.com/releases

Kiichi

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Re: Rebel Yell bridge review
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2013, 11:34:35 AM »
To be honest I am not that well versed in all the power metal band, maybe I am too young, so I canīt comment too much on that actually.
I feel it is nice for newer stuff like (old) Edguy or (mostly old) Avantasia, at least I would feel very comfortable playing it with the RY.
Helloween (Keepers should be easy) also works nicely. Blind Guardian too, older stuff mainly I would say.

Just had a listen to "All the fools sailed away". With the RY in a LP or something thicker than the Ibby S I can see it doing that.

When I think of powermetal there is just always a lighter more middier sound than other metal and upper mids seem important.

I am pretty sure with a proper amp and some tuning it can be tuned to any powermetal sound more or less as long as it can use the upper mid spike and a generally slighly lighter (that punchy thing) and agressive sound, which to me it does with powermetal.
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

Dave Sloven

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Re: Rebel Yell bridge review
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2013, 11:49:35 AM »
Just had a listen to "All the fools sailed away". With the RY in a LP or something thicker than the Ibby S I can see it doing that.

For some nice Magica era Goldy stuff go to 5.00 on this clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtqLjzuSsOU

But yeah when most people think 'power metal' it's Helloween, Dragonforce, or something of that nature.  Of that genre I don't mind Helloween but really only listen to Dio
BLACK HAWKS
IMPULSES
WAR PIGS
STOCKHOLM
COLD SWEATS
MIRACLE MAN

https://slovendoom.bandcamp.com/releases

bepcepkop

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Re: Rebel Yell bridge review
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2013, 12:15:35 PM »
Yeah, I'm talking more old Stratovarius, Helloween and Gamma Ray and the endless clones of them. I am leaning towards the Holy Diver in my Ibanez S but I keep hearing about this quality sound in the RY that isn't in other pickups, that keeps me intrigued.

Philly Q

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Re: Rebel Yell bridge review
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2013, 12:41:44 PM »
When I had a Rebel Yell - in a thin-bodied all-mahogany Les Paul - the tone always made me think of '80s hair metal (specifically Ratt....)

Would that adapt to power metal, given a slightly more neo-classical playing style?  I've heard most of those power metal bands mentioned, but only in small doses.

Ignore me if I'm just confusing matters.
BKPs I've Got:  RR, BKP-91, ITs, VHII, CS set, Emeralds
BKPs I Had:  RY+Abraxas, Crawlers, BD+SM

fhn_lopes

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Re: Rebel Yell bridge review
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2013, 01:02:33 PM »
GREAT piece of text right there Kiichi! Liked the way you put things together, gave me a nice idea of what this thing is capable of.

Just one thought, I think we should allways add into our reviews what amp, cab and speakers we are using, and if possible, the pedals too. Results may vary a LOT, and I say that bc my guitars behave VERY differently according to the set I'm using.

My VHII loaded strat may sound a bit harsh in a JCM800, but it sounds perfect in my plexi.... but in a mesa mark III it's a prog metal machine! What a pup for prog metal, really punchy and tight (when you use a TS pedal). Very different from the brown sound I get in my rig... just my 0.02$

cheers!
"Too many pickups, too little guitars"

Kiichi

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Re: Rebel Yell bridge review
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2013, 01:03:50 PM »
Hair metal certainly is a strong suit of the RY. Gives me a lot of Skid Row. Thinking of Round and Round that works amazingly too.
That is a tone I am a bit more familiar with as well.

Good point fhn_lopes, very valid. Will add it in immediatly.
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

bepcepkop

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Re: Rebel Yell bridge review
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2013, 01:35:05 PM »
Listening to round and round now, tone-wise, yes, but perhaps it's just because it was recorded in the mid 80s it has less power than the power metal of the 90s. Really not sure what to do now, bloody S shape body ! !  :?

If it was a thicker chunk of wood I would grab the RY no worries.

bepcepkop

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Re: Rebel Yell bridge review
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2013, 01:40:40 PM »
Interesting that you say it should be capable of old Avantasia, Not sure if you know the song, The Tower, during the verses when the song kicks in, there is some tight palm muted fast riffing, if the RY can pull off that tightness and tone on the power chords.. I'm in !  :D

Kiichi

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Re: Rebel Yell bridge review
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2013, 01:52:48 PM »
Interesting that you say it should be capable of old Avantasia, Not sure if you know the song, The Tower, during the verses when the song kicks in, there is some tight palm muted fast riffing, if the RY can pull off that tightness and tone on the power chords.. I'm in !  :D
Of course I know the song! I have all the Avantasia stuff sides the newest album and seem em live twice so far. Just giving the tower another listen figure it out.
I can say I probably could not really pull it off with my Orange as I find the sound to be a bit more american. Could probably do it with a Marshall too, but not with my amp.
However with a fitting amp and correct settings I think the RY could pull it off, probably even in a S but donīt hold me to it, that is more of a guess.

The tighness should not be an issue if you have a tube screamer of something to make sure the low end is kept in check. The RY is as tight as alnicos can come I think.
The voicing all should fit, as I feel there is that old school upper mid spike in there two, or at least I think to hear it right now, but that is not with my good headphones but with my normal system.
The amp of course has a big big part.

Still for that kind of tone generally the RY would probably be my first choice I must say. Dunno how exactly the HD or Cold Sweat for example would fare, which both should be cool too.
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

bepcepkop

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Re: Rebel Yell bridge review
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2013, 02:01:45 PM »
Ahhh.. lucky man, not many bands like that come to Australia... :( Thanks again for the help, great review btw, it sparked my interest back to the RY. hehe.

My amp will soon be a Laney Ironheart studio into an 11R to shape and tweak the tone and for effects. I think that side of things will achieve the sound I'm after, I know Timmo Tolki used Laneys for a long time there and the Ironheart is supposed to be pretty good, doubt I will ever need to use full distortion for what I want.