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Author Topic: 7 string bridge humbucker (korina body/maple neck): Painkiller, Nailbomb, or...?  (Read 321 times)

cdondoros

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Hi all.

Have a custom axe being built by the awesome folks at Balaguer Guitars. Basically it's designed to be usable for all genres of music (single coils in the middle and neck), but geared specifically toward my djent-ish/prog-ish metal band. The body wood is going to be korina with a maple neck and fretboard and I'm hoping to find a pickup where my picking hand dynamics can coax both contemporary single-string modern metal sounds out as well as some more vintage, 90s groove metal/80s thrash stuff as well.

I've got Black Hawks in my Schecter KM-7 (ash body, maple neck, ebony fretboard) and I dig 'em. They're a big step up from other pickups I've used, such as the DiMarzio Titan 7 or Ionizer or Duncan Nazgul or Pegasus. Being the alnico version in the bridge, however, there's a small degree of low-mid graininess that I'm not a huge fan of, and maybe a little more presence on the top end than I'm used to (that could be the body/neck woods talking).

As for amps, I use a variety. Revv G20 is my go-to for gigs and Axe II for recording. For non-extreme metal purposes, an '83 Marshall JCM 800, '71 Super Bass and '65 Bassman.

I've found myself drawn pretty heavily toward the trifecta of the Painkiller/Nailbomb/Miracle Man, leaning pretty heavily toward the Painkiller due to its upper mid response and perceived versatility. The sound clips lead me to believe it checks off a lot of the boxes referenced above - plenty articulate and aggressive - while also seeming quite balanced. Not very interested in Aftermaths, the Misha custom models or Warpig.

Anybody have experience with similar tonewoods and needs? Cheers and thanks to all who helped with my last pickup recommendation!
« Last Edit: November 16, 2020, 06:55:56 PM by cdondoros »

Dave Sloven

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I have the alnico Black Hawk set and the Impulse set (among others), also the ceramic Black Hawk.

The low mids thing is typical of a Black Hawk.

I found that the Impulse lacks this and has a tighter low end. It lacks the high end of the ceramic Black Hawk and Miracle Man.  I would say that the high end is similar to that of the alnico Black Hawk.

I think the extra high end you are experiencing might be due in part to the woods.  There is certainly more top end with a ceramic magnet and I would be surprised if the Painkiller has less.
BLACK HAWKS
IMPULSES
WAR PIGS
STOCKHOLM
COLD SWEATS
MIRACLE MAN

https://slovendoom.bandcamp.com/releases

Nolly

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I think the Painkiller could be good, but it's dependent on a a few factors that not many people talk about -
How far away from the saddles is the bridge pickup mounted? This is massive deal for defining the frequency range that the bridge pickup.. picks up. If it's closer than average (accounting for relative measurements if it's a longer scale guitar) you'll get a tighter low end but a lot more upper mids, and that would count out the Painkiller in my opinion.
Are you going to be running volume and tone pots or just a single volume (or use no-load pots)? Lots of people omit the tone pot these days, and the lack of loading from having one there (even if it's on 10) causes the resonant peak of the pickup to spike. Again, this would be something that would make the Painkiller end up sounding a bit harsh. You could use a 250k volume pot though, which would compensate for the lack of tone pot.
What string gauge are you using? The Painkiller has a lot of sub low end content that can get overbearing if you're using thick strings.

Even with all that, I reckon that Dave is right, and that the Impulse might be the way to go here! If you like the Black Hawk, the Impulse will be more of what you like with less of what you don't.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2020, 04:00:40 PM by Nolly »

Dave Sloven

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I REALLY like to run the CTS push-pull 550K pot that BKP sells to split the coils on both pickups and the rest of the pots BKP 550K CTS.  Whether i have the push-pull on  the volume or the tone really depends on where there's room in the guitar.  It doesn't make much difference.  I am also a big fan of the BKP Jensen 0.022uF PIO cap, but they are big - I call them "Donkey Kong caps" because they look like the barrels in Donkey Kong - so on my Stiletto 6-FR I have the push-pull on the volume pot simply because the big cap won't fit in the cavity with the push-pull in the tone position.

I also run treble bleeds, but they are the single coil spec.
BLACK HAWKS
IMPULSES
WAR PIGS
STOCKHOLM
COLD SWEATS
MIRACLE MAN

https://slovendoom.bandcamp.com/releases