Username: Password:

Author Topic: Review: Rebel Yell set  (Read 4119 times)

Alfi27

  • Featherweight
  • ***
  • Posts: 266
Review: Rebel Yell set
« on: June 25, 2016, 02:35:32 PM »
Greetings fellas!

After I got my Gibson Les Paul R0 a few weeks ago, I figured out very soon that: this axe is just way too good to not have BKPs! This is definitely the best Les Paul Standard I have ever played, the weight is just perfect (3770 grams) but it is still not a bright LP like many of the light ones are. The tones were a little dark, a little loose in the low end but overall not bad at all with the stock pickups and electronics (Burstbucker 1 & 2). I could absolutely enjoy this guitar with the stock pickups and an electronics upgrade for instance.

About one year ago I sold a guitar quite similar to this one (at least on paper), a G0; basically an R0 with a plaintop. However, the playability was not even close to the R0 and it was more than 0.5 kg heavier. One thing I really loved about it though, one thing alone that was almost worth keeping it for: the epic tone! Produced by what? An RS kit and a Rebel Yell in the bridge position (and Cold Sweat in the neck position)! The moment the guitar went out, I decided that at some point I am going to get the Rebel Yell set.

So I totally did! And this time I went reverse zebra! Not that it is a totally unique look, but at least more unique than the very common (and of course classy) nickel cover look. And it looks extremely cool as well! More rock n' roll imo. I also think that uncovered pickups sound better, more open, less mellow and just "more of everything". Please do not turn this thread into a discussion about covered vs uncovered, start a new topic if you have something you want to express on that matter :smiley:

Like always I will focus a bit more on the bridge pickup (with drive), because I use it a lot more and never clean. This pickup is really hard to describe the tones of, but if I had to use one or two words it would be: (Just) right! It just balances really well with the guitar, and even though this is certainly not a bassy pickup the bass is huge! Probably more from the guitar than the pickup though. The famous upper mid spike was not very present either, again: probably because of the guitar. The upper frequencies have a really distinct «harmonic growl» to them, very hard to explain with words. Even though it really shines with harder rock tones, it can do much more! That was actually one of my concerns, considering that I have almost exclusively used vintage and vintage hot output pickups for quite some time now. However, I find it very close to the Abraxas regarding versatility. The Abraxas might take the edge because it is not quite as aggressive, but for any type of rock the difference is minor. It also cuts through the mix like a knife in hot butter!

The neck model was the one that really surprised me though! Outstanding, and I really mean outstanding clean tones! I think the guitars are to blame for this, but I prefer the clean tones to the Abraxas neck pickup. It is bright, but full and detailed at the same time, never sounding brittle (I do not think that is even possible in the neck position though). I can see why some people describe it as having some single coil qualities, but it sounds much fuller and rounder. I have never been a really huge fan of the Les Paul clean tones, and have always preferred the quacky and snappy tones of a good strat neck pickup and neck + middle. However, I play with drive more than 75% of the time, so it never made sense to me to have a strat around due to the very weak and inferior tones with gain. However, this one really turned me around and I think I can dig this one, at least close to as much as a strat! With heavy gain tones it is never muddy, and it can sound very fluid and smooth for some fast lead runs. It also cleans up very well, which is very important to me because I never change the channels on my amplifier when I play.

If you have a Les Paul that you would not consider bright, and you have already tried the Riff Raff/Mule set and decided that it was not quite for you (like me), or you for some other reason want to pass on them, this is the set for a Les Paul! Tim made this for the Les Paul Standard and that is something you really feel and hear when you try it. One thing that have twisted my mind for a while though, that I could not find any answer for here: Is the Abraxas and Rebel Yell pretty much the same pickup except for the magnet and slightly hotter wind of the Rebel Yell? They both use the 43awg wire and the Abraxas has less offset coils than the Mule at least. The Rebel Yell is not as contemporary as it might seem, so it would totally make sense.

However, here is a pic of the beauty! When I get my new Silver Jubilee 2553 stack next week there will be more eye (and ear) candy  :cheesy:

« Last Edit: June 25, 2016, 03:16:29 PM by Alfi27 »
BKs: Black Dog (b), Riff Raff (b), HSP90 Nantucket (b).

richard

  • Lightweight
  • ***
  • Posts: 812
Re: Review: Rebel Yell set
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2016, 05:47:21 PM »
What beauty !! I have two BK humbucker sets - Rebel Yells and Abraxas. Very different sounding beasts I find.  I'd say that they both tread a kind of middle ground with the Abraxas leaning towards vintage and the RY leaning towards modern. Both sets are great but for the type of music I'm playing at the moment the Abraxas has the edge. I won't comment on the difference in sound between covered and uncovered but these days I prefer the look of covers.
PRS Bernie Marsden Abraxas set
Gibson Firebird Studio  Rebel Yells
JV Strat  IT Bridge
Gibson SG Junior JB bridge
Cornford Roadhouse 30 combo
Yamaha THR 100 Dual

Alfi27

  • Featherweight
  • ***
  • Posts: 266
Re: Review: Rebel Yell set
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2016, 10:38:02 PM »
Thanks man! The guitar is very, very nice indeed! I think the guitars are so different that the pickups might seem more similar to me than they actually are, although I agree with your description of them both covering some kind of middle ground, where they are leaning toward different sides.

The R0 mellows out the Rebel Yells and make them sound very big and massive, in contrast to the DC Standard which is chambered and sounds less full, but I would not say brighter. I have never owned an SG, but I would imagine the DC being very close to one tonally.

The Rebel Yell has more bite due to the Alnico V but it sounds very balanced, with a slight natural focus on the low mids and bass. The DC is more focused in the upper mids, so I am pretty sure the respective pickups match really good with the guitars they are in!

All of this being said, I am actually not 100% sure that I would pick the DC for a gig where I had to cover a lot of ground, even though it has the ability to split the coils. I use the split to clean up an overdrive sound 90% of the time (1v 1t setup), but it is much more of a hassle to change quickly from clean to overdrive compared to the traditional Les Paul setup where I can just switch between pickups.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2016, 10:08:24 AM by Alfi27 »
BKs: Black Dog (b), Riff Raff (b), HSP90 Nantucket (b).

38thBeatle

  • Middleweight
  • *****
  • Posts: 6098
    • http://www.myspace.com/alteregoukband
Re: Review: Rebel Yell set
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2016, 11:06:08 AM »
A beauty. I am normally in favour of covers on pickups but I think in your case it adds a nice contrast to the top of that guitar. Reading and writing about tone is always hard but I think I can get exactly where you are coming from in what you are after. Sadly my personal experience of BKP Humbuckers is non existent ( I have kind of promised a couple for my 339 but that will to wait for now and besides I quite dig the stock pickups). But congrats on the guitar and the upgrade.
Send three and fourpence we're going to a dance
BKP's: Apache, Country Boy, Slowhands.

Kiichi

  • Welterweight
  • ****
  • Posts: 2492
Re: Review: Rebel Yell set
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2016, 05:58:09 PM »
Thanks for the writeup, it is up in the sticky now!
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

darkbluemurder

  • Welterweight
  • ****
  • Posts: 2214
Re: Review: Rebel Yell set
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2016, 09:26:11 AM »
Love that darkburst/reverse zebra look! And BTW good pickup choice and nice review!

Have fun with that axe,
Stephan

Jimmy E Moorby

  • Lightweight
  • ***
  • Posts: 670
    • http://www.youtube.com/user/jimmoorby
Re: Review: Rebel Yell set
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2016, 01:23:53 PM »
Nice review.

What was it about the rebel yell that you preferred to the riff raff or vice versa?

Telerocker

  • Middleweight
  • *****
  • Posts: 7422
Re: Review: Rebel Yell set
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2016, 06:15:54 PM »
That guitar looks superb Alfi. Glad you like the Rebel Yells. They seem to fine in this axe.
Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.

Alfi27

  • Featherweight
  • ***
  • Posts: 266
Re: Review: Rebel Yell set
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2016, 08:52:51 PM »
Thanks fellas! Absolutely outstanding pickups and of course guitar! Compared to the Riff Raff the tone is less "screechy" sort of, especially in the highs. The Riff Raff had some strange stuff going on in the upper mids to treble area, that I simply could not get along with. I know that Angus get his bright and extremely bitey tone from his pick attack, and I have a very heavy right hand technique as well so I think the combination was just too much.

Finally got the Silver Jubilee today, and the combination is just plain deadly! I think this is the closest I have ever got to "the sound in my head", cranking the amp with master at about 6 gave me goosebumps! Seriously. Even though the amp does not lack gain, it is nice with some hotter pickups to drive it properly. Here is a photo of the awesome combo also!

BKs: Black Dog (b), Riff Raff (b), HSP90 Nantucket (b).

Kiichi

  • Welterweight
  • ****
  • Posts: 2492
Re: Review: Rebel Yell set
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2016, 12:14:39 AM »
No shock there. The holy trinity for most 80s stuff seems to be RY + LP + Marshall. I already get vibes of Ratt, Roades, and others, and I only have one of the three going really (well Orange amp into Marshall cab, so 1 1/2).
Damn, I got to get me a Marshall asap for so many reasons....
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