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Author Topic: Review: VHII & Nantucket90  (Read 2002 times)

JCN1218

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Review: VHII & Nantucket90
« on: December 29, 2014, 03:55:41 AM »
Quite a while ago, I came to the forum looking to get some opinions on pickups for a new custom guitar. That was back in February, and I finally got my guitar this November. After a month of getting to know it and and playing my first show with it, I'm finally ready to write a review. I'll start from the neck and work my way down.

Nantucket 90 Neck

If I were to describe the Nantucket in one word, I would go with "perfection." Seriously, I may have to replace every neck pickup in every guitar I own with one of these. The notes I play just seem livelier coming out of this pickup. They just kind of jump out of the speakers. It has an incredibly natural sound and is very touch sensitive, the dynamics of your playing really shine through. The tone is absolutely what I've been looking for in a neck pickup, woody and chimey, with a nice top end, and a smooth bottom, and amazing articulation and clarity. It pretty much nails that smooth as silk lead tone. It's also incredibly versatile, and it's clean tones are very articulate and bell like. Being a traditional P90, it does generate a bit more noise than a humbucker, but less than you'd think, and its gorgeous tone more than makes up for it.

VHII Neck (in middle position)

I don't use the middle position much by itself, but from my experimenting, the VHII neck makes a good middle position pickup. It's very smooth, clear and articulate. Pretty much everything the description on the site promised. Like most middle position pups, this one's not really about how well it stands by itself, but how it's used in conjunction with the bridge and neck. More on than in a bit...

VHII Bridge

The VHII bridge is so far my absolute favorite bridge pickup out of the BKP line that I've tried so far, and also my favorite bridge pickup that I've ever played... ever! This pickup absolutely growls, screams, cries, and wails in the most beautiful ways imaginable. People rave about how organic it sounds, but there's almost no way to describe just how gorgeous and natural it sounds. It's like my guitar is singing to me instead of me just playing it. The clarity is unparalleled, every note rings through so vividly that you'd think there was a separate output for each string. Chords range everywhere from a soft purr to a delicious crunch depending on how hard you dig in. It definitely has the best palm mutes/ rhythm tone out of any pickup I've played. Single notes just sing out of these pickups, there's no better way I can put it. This pickup reacts so fantastically to your playing, you really have to play it to believe it. Another thing I love about this pickup is that it has a very nice split tone. It doesn't loose its character, it just drops a little in output and gains some nice jangle and quack. One of my favorite split tones by far.

Fun Combinations

Two of my favorite tones from this setup are as follows: Neck + Split middle, bridge + split middle, and split bridge + split middle.
I like to use the Neck + split bridge for when I need the cleanest of clean tones. The added chime and jangle of the split VHII adds a completely new dimension to the sound of the Nantucket. It's very single coil/ strat sounding, but more full than that. It's especially fun to play chords with this setting. I also like using this combination with a little dirt to get a nice dirty strat sound; smooth and articulate with that added jangle. It's my go to combo for playing leads on Lynyrd Skynyrd songs.

Bridge + split middle takes all the amazing qualities of the bridge and adds that extra brightness of the split middle. It helps to add a little bit more of that vintage vibe to the bridge pickup, and I like it for more classic rock type songs like anything by Led Zeppelin. I could get a nice classic rock tone from rolling down the volume on the bridge, but this combo has much more mojo.

Split Bridge + Split middle is the other end of the dirty strat spectrum. I don't use it a lot for cleans because it's a bit harsh, but with some smooth gain to take the edge off, it really sings. I like to use this for rhythm any time a fat, single coil type sound is required. By itself, the bridge split sounds similar to a telecaster, but with the addition of the split middle, it starts to enter strat territory, but with some added balls.

This is definitely my favorite guitar, and if you stayed with me throughout this whole review, I think you'll understand why; it's bona-fide swiss army knife of tones! In one show, without touching my amp or pedals, I can go from playing Ozzy and modern metal to classic rock like Led Zeppelin and Lynyrd Skynyrd. It really does it all, and it does it spectacularly. If you play a wide variety of genres and styles and are looking for a pickup set to cover all your bases, look no further.

If you want to check out the guitar that these pickups are in, check out my post in the gear thread! Thanks for reading!
https://bareknucklepickups.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=32206.0
BKPs: BN,Mule,VHII,Nantucket,SM,MM,CS,PK,WP

Serratus

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Re: Review: VHII & Nantucket90
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2014, 10:43:13 AM »
Great review! :)
Bridge: (A)Pig, HD, Jugg, PK, (A)NB, Crawler, Aftermath, RY, Abraxas, Emerald, BD, VHII, RR, Cobra, Sinner, Trilogy, Stockholm, Supermassive.
Neck: IT, SM, CS, Trilogy, Emerald, Cobra, Blue note.

Kiichi

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Re: Review: VHII & Nantucket90
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2014, 11:31:00 AM »
Absolutly lovely. Congrats and thank you for the review. IŽll put it in the sticky right away.
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