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Author Topic: Review: Stormy Monday Set  (Read 8128 times)

JCN1218

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Review: Stormy Monday Set
« on: April 11, 2016, 04:03:44 PM »
I didn't realize that I never did a review for these beauties until I checked the review thread and didn't see ANY reviews! So now seems like the perfect time to write one up.
So, I picked this set of SMs up about a year ago when I bought my Epiphone ES-175. The guitar came with Gibson 57 Classics as stock, and they actually sounded good. Definitely a useable set. But as I was getting more and more acquainted with the guitar (read: falling in love), I came to realize that my new #1 player needed some world class tone, and I knew right where to go to get that.

Bridge:
The Stormy Monday set in general could be described as smooth, and the bridge pickup delivers on this in spades as well as adding just enough treble and bite to your tone. In the fully hollow ES, it's nothing short of magical. I play it almost exclusively through my Vox AC15, which has a clean tone I would literally kill for. Bright, yet warm and incredibly smooth. Absolutely nails early Yes tones, imagine the sound from Roundabout and you have a pretty picture perfect idea of what this pickup sounds like. Through a Fender Twin, the cleans are just as immaculate, although on the particular Twin I was playing, the tone was more mellow and dark than my Vox. Through my Vox and my main distortion (Catalinbread Galileo), the SM really comes alive and delivers a rich and creamy overdrive that'll just blow you away. No doubt, these pickups handle a little dirt with the composure and grace of a bare knuckle fighter.

Neck:
Take everything amazing about the bridge pickup and add the mellow warmth and roundness that you expect from a neck pickup. I can even begin to describe how sweet this pickup sounds both clean and dirty. Again, if you're looking for Yes tones, this will get you there and then some. I think my favorite thing about this pickup is that it's so warm an silky smooth, yet it retains enough brightness and articulation to stay clear through even the most ferocious runs.

Middle Position:
This is my most used position, and in my opinion, the best part about these pickups as a set. Individually, these pickups are amazing works of art. Together they become something greater than just the sum of the parts. Again, I couldn't describe the tone in words, because it doesn't just blend the best of both worlds, it injects a brand new flavor and tonal character that I just can't get enough of. It's not as aggressive as the bridge, not as mellow as the neck, warm and round without ever sounding flabby, and also bright and shiny without ever being shrill or harsh. The middle position is definitely where these pups reveal their true magic.

Summary:
Buy these pickups if you're playing a hollow/ semi-hollow with clean tones or light gain tones in mind. They will absolutely not disappoint. The thing that really gets me is just how transparent and touch-sensitive they are. Playing it through a clean amp like a Twin or a AC15 will be like having a conversation with you guitar that you've never heard before. And of course, the string separation and dynamics are second to none, a staple of BKP quality. I've played quite a few pickups from the BKP range over the years since my first set, and I have to say that these are absolutely my favorite set so far. It's a little upsetting that they don't get as much love as the Mules or other models in the lineup. IMHO, the SM are rounded, warmer, and sweeter than the Mules (in my Epi Sheraton II) for point of comparison. Do yourself a favor and try them out.
BKPs: BN,Mule,VHII,Nantucket,SM,MM,CS,PK,WP

AndyR

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Re: Review: Stormy Monday Set
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2016, 05:32:29 PM »
Nice review. Pretty much my experience of them too.

I have Mules and Riff Raffs. Then last year I got the Stormies for a Les Paul Traditional - stunning.

I love them all, but the Stormies, for me, are special. So much so that I've got another set on order for an SG.
Play or Download AndyR Music at http://www.alonetone.com/andyr

Kiichi

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Re: Review: Stormy Monday Set
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2016, 08:43:31 PM »
Lovely to read. I can so see everything you say. I have no stormy set, yet, but just from my experience with the 10th (related to a hotter Stormy) I know what you mean. Especially when you talk about that conversation and that certain something extra beyond words. And the middle position too. Basically I think you are spot on.

As I have the 10th the PG is higher on my current list, but I 100% will get a set of Stormies at one point.

Thanks for writing this up, I am adding it to the sticky!
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

JCN1218

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Re: Review: Stormy Monday Set
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2016, 10:16:59 PM »
I'm kind of sad that I missed out on the 10th set. Seems like they'd be right up my alley. I still need a full set for my Les Paul traditional. I used to have a PK bridge in it, but I kind of grew out of the sound of that one.
BKPs: BN,Mule,VHII,Nantucket,SM,MM,CS,PK,WP

Kiichi

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Re: Review: Stormy Monday Set
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2016, 01:47:35 AM »
I'm kind of sad that I missed out on the 10th set. Seems like they'd be right up my alley. I still need a full set for my Les Paul traditional. I used to have a PK bridge in it, but I kind of grew out of the sound of that one.
Maybe you will get lucky on those some day. IIRC our own littleredguitar has gotten 2 sets second hand.

Saw the thread about the LP and will have a think on that.
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