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Author Topic: Supermassive HSBP90 neck and Warpig alnico bridge review  (Read 3689 times)

Pilsner

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Supermassive HSBP90 neck and Warpig alnico bridge review
« on: August 07, 2014, 01:34:20 PM »
I got these on recommendations from BKP and you guys here at the forum. They are fitted in my Ibanez SZ520 (Vol+Vol+Tone), set neck mahogany guitar with quilted maple top and provide a range of heavy yet beautiful tones, played mainly through a Tiny terror and an old Randall RG300. I got the set in burnt chrome which looks absolutely gorgeous although the finish has faded a bit and become less colourful since I installed them. They were a breeze to fit in the guitar, with lengthy cables and good, clear instructions. I had some issues with the sound of the Warpig at first but the fault was on me and now it sounds great. On to the pickups!


 When first having a look about what models to get, I made a post here on the forum, asking what to get:

Wishes and desires: I like pickups that are responsive to my right hand action going from quite clear and mellow to a more edgy driven sound depending on my playing. We jam A LOT and i usually run single channel amps so it really has to respond well to volume changes.

Cleans: Soundwise i'm looking for ballsy and creamy, lush and somewhat jazzy cleans that break up nicely without sounding brittle and twangy. I do a lot of droning delay-echoey "post" stuff.

Dirty/Hi Gain: Gritty, thick and reheheally heavy without very much treble but enough mids to cut through. I love the tones of Elder, earlier Mastodon and later Cult of Luna when it comes to distortion. [/i]


And indeed, they do deliver on this. With the right guitar, amp and strings they cover A LOT of ground.

The Supermassive is very full and chunky sounding with great cleans, responding very well to volume roll-off. With heavy gauge strings I get the feel of playing wooden logs with bells attached to them, if that makes any sense.. It is quite dark/bassy in my setup and I’ve been contemplating putting a treble bleed in there since the tone pot is very very rarely below 70% unless I'm using crazy amounts of effects or drone-style playing. Rolling off on the volume however removes a lot of the bass but also tones down the P90 bite a bit. It might very well be that the bridge PU of the complete set balances this out, but the pig is also a great match, both in output and tonal offerings.

These two together lets me do meaty cleans and crunch, full blown distortion and fuzz, and when the SM has a quite loose and uncompressed sound on full blast the Pig smooths it out nicely with added tightness and the overall response is a lot less flabby.

I will not go into depth on the Warpig since it's already been reviewed many a times however I'm starting to feel it is too metal for me and I'm considering getting a Supermassive for the bridge instead since I've fallen in love with the P90 tone. But on the other hand I am tempted to get a Pig for the neck to complete the set and see how they sound together. My only issue is with the cleans, as they lack any real character to my ears. The other is the extremely high output. I have never tried pickups this hot before, and I'm not sure it is my way. It seems to compress and flatten the natural tone a bit, which in certain types of music can be desirable - but for me, most of the time it's not. I almost never play these pups on full volume as I feel they hit my pedals and amps too hard making it harder to dial in a sweet tone however plugged straight into a tube amp, they can really make it sing. Since the guys at BKP seem to know what they're doing I'll probably go with complete sets in the future.

We recorded a couple of songs in the rehearsal room a while back where I use aforementioned guitar and pickups with the Tiny Terror. The longer ones are with the BKP-guitar, and the shorter one is a Tokai with burstbuckers (I slap the bass on that song). https://soundcloud.com/entering-orbit (I know the volume is quite low. If anyone has any advice on how to get the master volume levels up on demo recordings without compressing the life out of it, it would be greatly appreciated.)


To round things off I just want to say that I have become a Bare Knuckle believer. There is something very special about the response, dynamic range and tonal capabilities in these things. The craftsmanship, service and packaging is really top notch. So thanks to the people here that helped me choose, and thanks to Ben and the guys at BKP for providing excellent pickups!
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 01:44:50 PM by Pilsner »
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Kiichi

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Re: Supermassive HSBP90 neck and Warpig alnico bridge review
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2014, 02:20:05 PM »
Cheers mate and thanks for the review. I added it to the collection.

"playing wooden logs with bells attached to them" has to be my favorite sentence from a review in forever. I get what you mean and talk about colorful language. =)

Oh and welcome to the P90 club. They are awesome tone machines that a lot of people seem to overlook. I just love how they got the fatness and power of the humbucker, the openness and attack of a single coil, and on top of that an insane midrange roar. Scream or sing, they can do it. LOVE it.

I got my SM neck paired with a Stockholm bridge (which is kinda an extra supermassive) and that is also a great pairing. I like my necks lower output than my bridge so that works. Depeding on what you wanne go for that could also be a possibility for the bridge.


PS: Change your name, today is international IPA day, no Pilsner allowed  :evil:
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

Pilsner

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Re: Supermassive HSBP90 neck and Warpig alnico bridge review
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2014, 02:42:01 PM »
I got my SM neck paired with a Stockholm bridge (which is kinda an extra supermassive) and that is also a great pairing. I like my necks lower output than my bridge so that works. Depeding on what you wanne go for that could also be a possibility for the bridge.

When ordering the SM i was actually told to order a Stockholm but add HBSP90 Supermassive in the notes. I know it's kinda hard to compare neck and bridge pups, but how would you say they differ in broad strokes? I think i agree with you on the output thing - the SM has less than half the rated output of the Pig and yet they are very easy to match in output volume.

PS. Saturday is IPA day for me. A local brewery is having a small festival, Hoppapalooza, in the parking lot with several brewers invited to show of their finest drinkables - and of course i will be there to sample the goods!
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 03:03:48 PM by Pilsner »
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Kiichi

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Re: Supermassive HSBP90 neck and Warpig alnico bridge review
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2014, 03:02:01 PM »
I got my SM neck paired with a Stockholm bridge (which is kinda an extra supermassive) and that is also a great pairing. I like my necks lower output than my bridge so that works. Depeding on what you wanne go for that could also be a possibility for the bridge.

When ordering the SM i was actually told to order a Stockholm but add HBSP90 Supermassive in the notes. I know it's kinda hard to compare neck and bridge pups, but how would you say they differ in broad strokes? I think i agree with you on the output thing - the SM has less than half the rated output of the Pig and yet they are very easy to match in output volume.
That ordering things is just about letting them know you need it in a humbucker housing, procedure as usual.

Be careful with reading DC resistance as output, it is not the same at all. You can see that with what you have. P90s usually are pretty high output, but open. That is due to the strong and big magnet. The DC resistance tells you something about the wire only. With thinner wire you can get a lot of turns in for a certain coil size, a lot more than with thick wire. Thus you get a higher DC resistance.
The resistance only really tells you something when comparing pickups using the same wire, and even then it is not really output (again, that is also a lot the magnet), but rather hotness (compression and such, resulting in percieved output). The warpig has a large DC resistance and is rather hot and compressed, the Blackhawk has similar actual output with much lower DC resistance, due to different wire, coilform and one hell of a magnetic field.

In short, DC resistance is not output.

Right now I actually canīt say too much about the SM in comparison with the SH, cause I have not been able to play that guitar for 2 months now. Give me like 2 weeks or so and I can tell you more.
What I can say about the SH bridge in general is that it is really nasty and raw. Very agressive growl. The P90 provides an amazing definition on the bottom strings, something you likely have noticed on the neck pickup already. Also harmonics are a piece of cake due to the full frequency response.
When comparing both neck and bridge of SM and SH they were discribed to me as the SH being hotter, with more bottom end, and more agression.
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: Supermassive HSBP90 neck and Warpig alnico bridge review
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2014, 03:39:42 PM »
I think you would probably be happiest with either a Stockholm or an alnico Nailbomb in the bridge slot. Either will go well with the Supermassive.  Although I have both I'd find it hard to compare them as they are in very different guitars.  The Nailbomb is currently in an Explorer, where the low mids and high mids seem more prominent, but in an SG there were a lot of raspy mid-mids.  I think a Stockholm would probably be happy there if a Warpig has worked out okay (even if too 'metal').  I the same guitar an A-Bomb is definitely more middy and has more cut than an A-Pig.  I've tried both in my Explorer.  I found the Warpigs to be too dark there.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 03:41:33 PM by Agent Orange »
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