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Author Topic: Holy Diver Bridge & Emerald Neck review! First thoughts!!!  (Read 3328 times)

AnnunakiMassacr

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IMPRESSION 1:

I just thought I'd write this review to show my first thoughts. I will continuously add to it as I become more familiar after playing different styles. But "IMPRESSION 1" I'm going to focus mainly on the Holy Diver bridge:

The guitar is an ESP Eclipse, with a Floyd Rose. Just the normal thinner model.

When I first played this guitar with the new pickups installed, I have to admit I wasn't all too impressed. But I was playing late at night, so had to keep the volume low. It's only tonight I've managed to play them at a "louder than bedroom" volume. At let me say, you need to let these pickups breathe. I just thought I'd add up to this point: I haven't had chance to play them clean yet, as I want to do a thorough test with them purely based on clean styles at another point. So this is strictly an over-driven review to start off with. And they will only include my thoughts from tonight, not the past couple weeks, as as I mentioned, I never got chance to play them properly.

I'm playing through an AXE FX II XL, so I went through a variety of amp profiles. I started off on the MESA MKIIC+ profile I have, and played a bit of Avenged Sevenfold. I tend to play this band when testing pickups as there's a lot of lead work, and it allows you to test how articulate the pickups are, as well as how they feel for the solos that require a more sophisticated touch. I have to admit, I wasn't expecting the rhythm playing to sound as tight as it was. I used to have a Rebel Yell set in this guitar, and I loved them. I'll describe between the 2 pickups (purely for the old JB debate), as well as how they compare to the JB. I'll start by bringing up that many people have said the Rebel Yell sounds like an old Seymour Duncan JB, and the Holy Diver sounds like a new and improved modern JB. Whilst these may be correct in some way...I'll describe my own analogy. The JB has that upper mid hump that people like, that provides all that harmonic goodness, and tight rhythm sound. Yes people say it's loose and flabby, but it all goes down to the amp. Now in the direction, I personally feel, the Rebel Yell goes with the JB, is that it keeps that upper mid hump and when you solo, it's very harmonically alive and turns your sustained notes to harmonics. It still has that JB singing quality to it, but borders between singing and screaming. Now I love that tone (and I'll be doing a separate review on why I love the Rebel Yell), and it also tightens up the bottom end more than the JB. So to me the Rebel Yell is a tightened up, clearer JB. The lows are almost like a karate kick in the chest (to quote another review). I was playing a bit of power metal with the Holy Diver, and when I play them bottom string palm mutes, whilst they are not bassy and rattle the floor boards, I feel bass shakes your feet, but the Rebel Yells "punch" goes right through the wall. So I wouldn't be surprised if next door could just hear pounding.

Now my point with this is that whilst the Rebel Yell uses the JBs harmonically gifted upper mids, and focusses everything to give you more of what you love...the Holy Diver tames them upper mids, and brings it back down to earth. People say it's shifted back to the centre mids...but I think it's bang on between the centre and upper mids. Whilst the Rebel Yell sings and screams...the Holy Diver sings! But it still has that rich harmonica quality in the upper mids the JB and Rebel Yell have, whilst restraining them from screaming. The added bonus is that the lows seem to breath a bit better. It's almost like the Rebel Yell's bottom end sounds like an entire army stamping their feet on a parade, but the Holy Diver's bottom end is almost like a ballet. But the choreography is still as tight as a nut. Perfectly in Rhythm! But doesn't hit you quite the same. It's more of a tight chunk. And I discovered all these qualities whilst still playing the Axe FX's MESA MKIIC+ setting. I really found this sounding great for that chunky Avenged Sevenfold riffing!

But to the solo sound: it's almost like it's singing to the point it's reaching them notes in a ballad where you need to keep the vibe of the song beautiful, but not so that it takes away the heart of the song. It still turns into harmonics on sustained notes, but a smoother kind of way. Best example I can give is if the Rebel Yell turned into harmonics like the Sustainiac system (Steve Vai), but the Holy Diver turns into them harmonically rich notes like Slash does. Don't Cry is a song that comes to mind when he reaches the end of the solo. But what impressed me more is that as well as being a great Rhythm pickup, the way it feels when soloing is very nice. It responds well to pick attack, as well as the dynamics of your fretting hand. I feel I can control how fast the note decays on long bends. And it also stays clear...rather than being clear, and fading into a note that sounds very blurry around the edges. Like that fuzzy effect some pickups make. I guess this is again down to the amp...but the pickup plays i great deal in this situation also. I actually ended up playing a bit of Marco Sfogli.

After this I changed the profile to Nolly's Rhythm sound. The profile is a bit dry, but I lowered the Noise Gate, as well as boosted the input drive, treble, and presence, and started playing along to Trivium's Ascendency, and Asking Alexandria's Stand up and Scream. I have to say, whilst the Rebel Yell provides a more razor precision low end, the Holy Diver has enough breathing room to sound bigger and chunkier. It fills a wider spectrum. If I was to play a D5 chord in Drop D, the Rebel Yell you would hear every note like it stands on its own, whereas the Holy Diver has breathing space so the the 3 notes in the D5 chord sounds like a family. The Rebel Yell sounding like the notes are all evenly fighting: no one the clear winner, but still getting their point across...so if you was transcribing, you could pick out the notes one by one. I actually think if you played a D5 chord with the Holy Diver, and then recorded the Rebel Yell D5 over the top...it would sound monstrous. I actually want to try this once the Rebel Yells are fitted into another Eclipse.

With the Holy Diver having this "breathing room", I decided to quickly try some Marshall profiles. And I have to say, it has a certain "Les Paul Roar" to it. Not too polished...but not to separated. It really fills out that spectrum in the centre of a band setting.

As I said, I'll do a separate Rebel Yell review - which I love - but I didn't want to give away too much why I like the Rebel Yell over the Holy Diver in certain situations. And I will be adding the Emerald review very soon. And I will especially be adding clips, as well as extra reviews which go into pros and cons of more specific styles.

Anyways, thanks for reading. And I'm sorry I droned on. It's just really hard to explain...but I tried the best I could :)
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 09:02:00 PM by AnnunakiMassacr »
BKPs: ESP Eclipse I CTM FT w/Riff Raff bridge/Mule neck - ESP Eclipse I CTM w/Rebel Yells - LTD EC-1000 FT w/Aftermaths - Music Man JPIX w/Juggernauts

darkandrew

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Re: Holy Diver Bridge & Emerald Neck review! First thoughts!!!
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2015, 11:29:18 PM »
Interesting ... I've had Crawlers and Rebel Yells in my Eclipses and it sounds like the Holy Diver fits in somewhere in the middle of the two.

fdesalvo

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Re: Holy Diver Bridge & Emerald Neck review! First thoughts!!!
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2015, 11:32:11 PM »
I haven't seen you this fired up about a pickup in a while.  This is a really solid and well written review.  I feel as though I have not only witnessed the pickups, but your English accent, as well haha.     :afro:


Interesting ... I've had Crawlers and Rebel Yells in my Eclipses and it sounds like the Holy Diver fits in somewhere in the middle of the two.

Can you expand on this?

AnnunakiMassacr

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Re: Holy Diver Bridge & Emerald Neck review! First thoughts!!!
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2015, 12:00:56 AM »
I've not played the Crawlers yet, unfortunately. I'm about to order an Abraxas after months of debate. But maybe it could be there. But again, a lot is determined by the pickups winding, etc. All I could do was compare to a very well known pickup, And I know a lot of people wonder about the HD, RY, relation to the JB. I could type a hell of a lot more. But I wanted to portray my first impressions. I'm going to be experimenting a lot, so expect more added :)

And don't judge my English accent on this haha. It was very quickly written. I just thought I'd write what sprung to my mind without over thinking it haha
BKPs: ESP Eclipse I CTM FT w/Riff Raff bridge/Mule neck - ESP Eclipse I CTM w/Rebel Yells - LTD EC-1000 FT w/Aftermaths - Music Man JPIX w/Juggernauts

fdesalvo

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Re: Holy Diver Bridge & Emerald Neck review! First thoughts!!!
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2015, 12:03:08 AM »
A masterful review, my friend lol.  I enjoyed reading it.

AnnunakiMassacr

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Re: Holy Diver Bridge & Emerald Neck review! First thoughts!!!
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2015, 12:31:57 AM »
Thanks. I feel I haven't even scratched the surface. And TBH, I felt I probably was chatting on for a while haha. I really look forward to adding extra input over the weeks. I'm playing Dire Straits's Brothers in Arms at the moment :)

Here's a picture of the guitar anyways
BKPs: ESP Eclipse I CTM FT w/Riff Raff bridge/Mule neck - ESP Eclipse I CTM w/Rebel Yells - LTD EC-1000 FT w/Aftermaths - Music Man JPIX w/Juggernauts

darkandrew

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Re: Holy Diver Bridge & Emerald Neck review! First thoughts!!!
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2015, 07:04:15 AM »
I haven't seen you this fired up about a pickup in a while.  This is a really solid and well written review.  I feel as though I have not only witnessed the pickups, but your English accent, as well haha.     :afro:


Interesting ... I've had Crawlers and Rebel Yells in my Eclipses and it sounds like the Holy Diver fits in somewhere in the middle of the two.
Can you expand on this?

I agree with the comments about the Rebel Yell - it's a great pickup with a nice high-mid peak that really cuts through a mix (as opposed to the A-bomb that sits very nicely IN the mix - but that's another post). To my ears the Crawler has some similarities in terms of string articulation and overall output volume but shifts its emphasis down to the low-centre mids. It works very well in the Eclipse for 80's new wave stuff. For a bit of fun, I play in an 80's covers band and with Rebel Yells in one guitar and Crawlers in the other I have all bases covered.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2015, 07:26:03 AM by darkandrew »

Inceptic

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Re: Holy Diver Bridge & Emerald Neck review! First thoughts!!!
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2015, 06:16:09 PM »
Looking forward to more thoughts, and hearing some clips!

Kiichi

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Re: Holy Diver Bridge & Emerald Neck review! First thoughts!!!
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2015, 09:58:13 AM »
Lovely review. You touch on so many great points, and in a nice writing style as well. Look forward to reading more, especially how the Emerald fits into the picture, with specific comparison to the RY.

Oh, and thank you for writing this up to begin with, IŽll put it up on the sticky right now! Much oblidged mate!
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