Username: Password:

Author Topic: Holy Diver Bridge Review  (Read 8176 times)

johnny_rock_it

  • Flyweight
  • *
  • Posts: 73
Holy Diver Bridge Review
« on: August 26, 2016, 08:31:39 PM »
Thank you to everyone for recommending me the Holy Diver bridge pick up. I did a poll asking BKP forum members what would they recommend for my super strat (Holy Divers vs Rebel Yells). It was a unanimous decision for the HD and I'm really happy with the pick ups. They sound incredible and such a great match to my guitar.

The guitar I put them in is my Suhr Strat HSS. Quick specs of the guitar it was fitted in: 25.5" scale, alder body, maple neck, rosewood board, stainless steel frets with 510 gotoh bridge, steel block. I have it wired via a 5 way. Master Volume, Tone 1 controls tone for Neck/Middle, Tone 2 controls bridge.

Strats (to my ears) has this natural jangly sonic quality about them, and it works great with single coils--which gives strats that bell-like tone it is so well known for. But in my opinion, having that jangly quality makes it hard to work well with a humbucker. I've often struggled with the single coil bridge in a strat because it sounds so thin and a bit brash to my ears. A good sounding humbucker in a strat has been challenging because the jangliness of the strat often clashes with what I like in a humbucker tone. Often makes it sound even honkier in my experience. I mean if you think about it, single coils and humbuckers are so different they "require" different pots (250k vs 500k). Of course I'm using the term 'require' loosely here.

After spending some time with the Holy Diver, I realized it is an incredibly versatile pick up. Part of the reason is because (in my opinion) it sits right on the border of vintage sound and modern sound. The pick up has got this thick, creamy, smooth characteristic about them. It can definitely do harder stuff like metal, but it doesn't quite have the bite and thrashy aggression to really push it as towards the contemporary camp in my ears. It sits on both sides of the fence in my opinion which just adds to the already versatile strat.

The jangliness of the strat works well with the pick up, rather than clash against it. These pick ups really shines when it comes to single notes and phrasings. The Holy Diver is probably a dark pick up inherently (?); but the alder and maple neck brightens it up a bit to neutral grounds. I would describe the single notes as having a singing, articulate, clarity about them. Think of solos being played in a rock ballad song. Sort of like that. It is full sounding but not very bassy, more prominent in the mids and treble.

Distorted chords sound thick, creamy and full, but nothing over the top where everything is just distorted mush.  Rhythm sounds versatile enough to cover a lot of different genre. There is plenty of output, yet there is smoothness and warmth within its voice. Lower the volume a bit to 8.5 or 9 (or lower your gain), and you're right around the PAF territory. Pretty amazing for a high output pick up.

Speaking of volume, it reacts REALLY well with my 500k volume pot as well. I am getting usable tones from about 7 to 10, but usually put it on 9 or 10.

I currently have Suhr's V70 in the neck/middle that sound pretty good. The HD splits pretty well in the 2 position. I honestly can't tell too much of a difference between the 2 position of a HSS and SSS Strat (assuming the humbucker is wired for a split). They both quack and it sounds basically the same to me. 

I highly recommend the holy diver to: 1) anyone with a fat strat 2) someone that is looking for a hard but smooth rhythm pick up 3) someone that plays a lot of lead

I'm thinking maybe I should have gone with a white open coil, (or even better if BKP had parchment as a option). I have cream single coil covers, but they are a lot yellower than the bridge color. It doesn't bother me too much and I'm really happy with the pick up.

Thanks for reading.



« Last Edit: August 26, 2016, 08:56:48 PM by johnny_rock_it »

Telerocker

  • Middleweight
  • *****
  • Posts: 7422
Re: Holy Diver Bridge Review
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2016, 11:57:37 PM »
I'm glad the Diver it's at it's place in this guitar. It's an eighties kind of hardrock pickup, so not real brutal.

 Btw, that's a very nice Suhr. A friend has a Suhr Classic HSS in Dakota Red (which was the best among 9 Classics). When my handmade MXG Custom by Patrick Eggle with Crawler and Irish Tours falls apart, I will definitely see if I can get a Suhr. Absolutely topnotch guitars. A tad more modern than a Fender, but so well made and versatile in HSS.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 10:59:54 PM by Telerocker »
Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.

Kiichi

  • Welterweight
  • ****
  • Posts: 2492
Re: Holy Diver Bridge Review
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2016, 01:49:50 PM »
Nice axe and lovely pickup. Glad to hear you like it as much as I do. =)

Also thanks for writing up the review, I added it to the big sticky in the sky.
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

ericsabbath

  • Welterweight
  • ****
  • Posts: 4648
    • Colidium
Re: Holy Diver Bridge Review
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2016, 09:03:11 PM »
amazing pup
Riff Raff, Mules, Black Dog, VHII's, Cold Sweat

Pale Rider

  • Bantamweight
  • **
  • Posts: 200
Re: Holy Diver Bridge Review
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2016, 01:44:50 AM »
It's a really special pickup and one of my favourites. It has a very full and deep tone, that's why it sounds so good for leads, it makes the guitar sound heavy and massive somehow. It's hard to describe. Congrats, cool looking guitar. You can always get new cream covers to match with the 'bucker. I personally am a big fan of different pickup/pickguard colours. My warmoth strat is white guard/black pickups and I love it.

Edit: By the way cream pickups and knobs will match the headstock perfectly in that Suhr.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 07:56:24 PM by Pale Rider »
Painkiller :: Miracle Man :: Holydiver :: Trilogies

::::::::::::::: ME(N)TAL DISTORTION ::::::::::::::

Telerocker

  • Middleweight
  • *****
  • Posts: 7422
Re: Holy Diver Bridge Review
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2016, 09:04:59 PM »
I went for white on white. The picture on the bottom is before I BKP'd my strat. It had Rio Grandes in it. Not bad, but the Muy Grande was microphonic as hell.



Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.

johnny_rock_it

  • Flyweight
  • *
  • Posts: 73
Re: Holy Diver Bridge Review
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2016, 10:48:53 PM »
Amazing looking guitars guys!

My pickguard is parchment, so the white would not have been a perfect match either. Probably not as much as the cream but it's ok. The guitar came with a black humbucker so it was never matching to begin with.

If I come across a used holy diver in white maybe I'll pick it up and do a swap later down the line, but I'm loving the pickup so much I don't wanna change a thing.

Telerocker - What guitar is that? It's gorgeous!

Is it a custom built one? I don't recognize the fret inlays.

What is the top wood? Rosewood?
« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 10:56:15 PM by johnny_rock_it »

Telerocker

  • Middleweight
  • *****
  • Posts: 7422
Re: Holy Diver Bridge Review
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2016, 11:18:18 PM »
Amazing looking guitars guys!

My pickguard is parchment, so the white would not have been a perfect match either. Probably not as much as the cream but it's ok. The guitar came with a black humbucker so it was never matching to begin with.

If I come across a used holy diver in white maybe I'll pick it up and do a swap later down the line, but I'm loving the pickup so much I don't wanna change a thing.

Telerocker - What guitar is that? It's gorgeous!

Is it a custom built one? I don't recognize the fret inlays.

What is the top wood? Rosewood?

It's an MXG Custom. Not well known outside the Netherlands. The great Patrick Eggle made some series superstrats for the Dutch guitarshop Maxguitars in the Hague. The brand MXG refers to the name of the shop. First series were handmade, later they moved the production  to the USA, and made it more massproduction, although the quantities were not enormous, so it stayed a luxury superstrat. I don't know if there are big qualitydifferences between the first and the later series.

The idea was to produce guitars that could rival Suhr and other superstrat-brands. They came in various versions, but all with quality timbers and a superb finish.  Mine has a light resonant swampashbody, a cocobolo-top, a maple neck with ebony fretboard (12 inch radius and a slightly wider neck than a Fender Standard USA strat). The trem is a two point ABM. As a bonus it has the falling leaves inlays.

I modified it a bit. I replaced the lockingtuners with Sperzels, installed a rollerbridge and swapped the pickups for a BKP Crawler and Irish Tours. The five way switch goes from hb, hb with middle-singlecoil, middle, middle- en neck and necksinglecoil. The toneknob is a push-pull for splitting the Crawler for the F-quack in the fourth position or a tele-esque singlecoil sound on the bridge. So, seven sounds.

It's my all purpose guitar which has seen many stages and always delivers the goodies. Plays like a dream and stays in tune very well, due to a proper setup by my tech. I don't know if it's on par with a Suhr, but it must be close. It sounds huge with the Crawler.


« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 11:20:07 PM by Telerocker »
Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.

johnny_rock_it

  • Flyweight
  • *
  • Posts: 73
Re: Holy Diver Bridge Review
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2016, 02:58:43 PM »
It's an MXG Custom. Not well known outside the Netherlands. The great Patrick Eggle made some series superstrats for the Dutch guitarshop Maxguitars in the Hague. The brand MXG refers to the name of the shop. First series were handmade, later they moved the production  to the USA, and made it more massproduction, although the quantities were not enormous, so it stayed a luxury superstrat. I don't know if there are big qualitydifferences between the first and the later series.

The idea was to produce guitars that could rival Suhr and other superstrat-brands. They came in various versions, but all with quality timbers and a superb finish.  Mine has a light resonant swampashbody, a cocobolo-top, a maple neck with ebony fretboard (12 inch radius and a slightly wider neck than a Fender Standard USA strat). The trem is a two point ABM. As a bonus it has the falling leaves inlays.

I modified it a bit. I replaced the lockingtuners with Sperzels, installed a rollerbridge and swapped the pickups for a BKP Crawler and Irish Tours. The five way switch goes from hb, hb with middle-singlecoil, middle, middle- en neck and necksinglecoil. The toneknob is a push-pull for splitting the Crawler for the F-quack in the fourth position or a tele-esque singlecoil sound on the bridge. So, seven sounds.

It's my all purpose guitar which has seen many stages and always delivers the goodies. Plays like a dream and stays in tune very well, due to a proper setup by my tech. I don't know if it's on par with a Suhr, but it must be close. It sounds huge with the Crawler.

Thanks for the details regarding your guitar. If I ever come across one used in the US, I may have to pick one up assuming my gear budget isn't shot.

I'm sure it's just as top notch (if not better) as the Suhr line up. That top looks incredible and well done with the mods.

500k pots with .022 uF caps I presume?

Telerocker

  • Middleweight
  • *****
  • Posts: 7422
Re: Holy Diver Bridge Review
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2016, 11:53:15 PM »
It's an MXG Custom. Not well known outside the Netherlands. The great Patrick Eggle made some series superstrats for the Dutch guitarshop Maxguitars in the Hague. The brand MXG refers to the name of the shop. First series were handmade, later they moved the production  to the USA, and made it more massproduction, although the quantities were not enormous, so it stayed a luxury superstrat. I don't know if there are big qualitydifferences between the first and the later series.

The idea was to produce guitars that could rival Suhr and other superstrat-brands. They came in various versions, but all with quality timbers and a superb finish.  Mine has a light resonant swampashbody, a cocobolo-top, a maple neck with ebony fretboard (12 inch radius and a slightly wider neck than a Fender Standard USA strat). The trem is a two point ABM. As a bonus it has the falling leaves inlays.

I modified it a bit. I replaced the lockingtuners with Sperzels, installed a rollerbridge and swapped the pickups for a BKP Crawler and Irish Tours. The five way switch goes from hb, hb with middle-singlecoil, middle, middle- en neck and necksinglecoil. The toneknob is a push-pull for splitting the Crawler for the F-quack in the fourth position or a tele-esque singlecoil sound on the bridge. So, seven sounds.

It's my all purpose guitar which has seen many stages and always delivers the goodies. Plays like a dream and stays in tune very well, due to a proper setup by my tech. I don't know if it's on par with a Suhr, but it must be close. It sounds huge with the Crawler.

Thanks for the details regarding your guitar. If I ever come across one used in the US, I may have to pick one up assuming my gear budget isn't shot.

I'm sure it's just as top notch (if not better) as the Suhr line up. That top looks incredible and well done with the mods.

500k pots with .022 uF caps I presume?

Yep.

I think Suhr made the last few years really a step up in quality, consistency and character. The old Pro 1 en 2 series sounded a bit generic and some even a tad thin, but the classic my friend has, is a beast with a lot of mojo. They are not cheap but compared to Fender CS I think they're better value.
Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.

mantrasky

  • Flyweight
  • *
  • Posts: 86
Re: Holy Diver Bridge Review
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2016, 10:27:40 AM »
johnny your Suhr looks nice! and I also love the Holy Diver. I recently installed a Black Dog in my Fender Custom Shop Strat and I chose the "Cream" because I went for the Vintage Look, just seem to go great with the Seymour Duncan Antiquity Texas Hot Single Coils,
« Last Edit: August 10, 2018, 11:07:17 AM by mantrasky »

Pale Rider

  • Bantamweight
  • **
  • Posts: 200
Re: Holy Diver Bridge Review
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2016, 05:23:34 PM »
That Fender looks great, the cream pickups match the neck perfectly.
Painkiller :: Miracle Man :: Holydiver :: Trilogies

::::::::::::::: ME(N)TAL DISTORTION ::::::::::::::

mariak

  • Strawweight
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • BKPs:
Re: Holy Diver Bridge Review
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2016, 12:32:23 PM »
if you think about it, single coils and humbuckers are so different they "require" different pots (250k vs 500k). Of course I'm using the term 'require' loosely here.