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Author Topic: Abraxas Review  (Read 1239 times)

stratguy23

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Abraxas Review
« on: April 13, 2018, 11:54:17 PM »
First, I want to start this review off with a disclaimer. I got the opportunity to try out the Abraxas set because I did some work modifying a friend's guitar. The guitar the Abraxas set went into is a PRS SE Tremonti. I also swapped in a Core Nut, John Mann MannMade 2000NOS bridge, and locking tuners. The guitar is inherently dark (darker than I like). The new parts definitely made the guitar ring more and helped tuning, but the guitar is still pretty dark.

Now, with that out of the way, my thoughts on the Abraxas set. They have chrome covers, and it is a matched set. My friend did not opt for coil splitting but did want a phase switch. For the bridge pickup, it is quite neutral tonally, very balanced. Personally, for my tastes, the top end is too rounded. I prefer a pickup with more inherent top end sparkle/cut/sizzle. The neck pickup is actually not much darker than the bridge. It has the character of a neck pickup, but it isn't as dark of a pickup (relative to its position) as the Abraxas bridge. The Abraxas set is very responsive to tonal changes on the amp because the tone is so balanced. You can get sparkle from the Abraxas if you set the amp up right, but it doesn't have that character inherently (I scooped the mids a bit and boosted the highs on a Mesa Mark 5:25 to get it to sound nice clean). It does well with gain but does not handle gain as well as the other Bare Knuckles I have tried (Crawler, Holy Diver, and Juggernaut). For how hot the Abraxas bridge is (over 14k) it did not seem as hot as I was expecting it to be. It definitely does not drive an amp as hard as the Holy Diver or Crawler. I prefer bridge pickups with more character, so honestly it isn't really my thing. I can see why some would really like the Abraxas bridge, especially if you use your amp to do the heavy tonal lifting (I don't own the Mark 5, it belongs to my friend), which my friend does. He also wanted a guitar with a thick and throaty tone. The Abraxas set is definitely thick. It can sound throaty but isn't as inherently throaty as I was expecting given what I have read about it and the specs of it.

Kiichi

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Re: Abraxas Review
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2018, 09:11:27 AM »
Thanks for the review. Interesting thoughts there.

I added this 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

lonestarrevival

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Re: Abraxas Review
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2018, 04:00:45 AM »
Very similar experience here, too rounded, too balanced, definitely not as agressive as I like - on a Les Paul.  I attributed those to the A4 and that kept me from trying the Mules despite the acclaim they receive.  I am still interested to try the neck pups of both sets, many people love A4 pups for the neck position.

stratguy23

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Re: Abraxas Review
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2018, 02:50:43 PM »
Very similar experience here, too rounded, too balanced, definitely not as agressive as I like - on a Les Paul.  I attributed those to the A4 and that kept me from trying the Mules despite the acclaim they receive.  I am still interested to try the neck pups of both sets, many people love A4 pups for the neck position.

I have a Greco Les Paul that I love everything about except its amplified sound. My plan was to replace the pickups with Mules because the guitar is a burst, but after my experience with the Abraxas set I'm hesitant now just like you. I definitely preferred the neck pickup in the Abraxas set (so does my buddy who owns the guitar). I am now leaning towards the Emerald set because it is still PAF voiced but brighter with A4 in the neck and A5 in the bridge. I feel like that might be the ticket for me. My friend who owns the Juggernauts told me he played the Emeralds in a Les Paul and loved them.