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Author Topic: Riff Raff vs Mule vs MQ - my review!  (Read 14837 times)

Twinfan

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Riff Raff vs Mule vs MQ - my review!
« on: October 16, 2006, 11:10:32 PM »
Seeing as how I've now got all three pups, I thought I'd do a review of how they compare.  They're fitted in three different guitars made from similar woods, and here's how they sound:

Riff Raffs

I have a calibrated set of Riff Raffs in chrome with two conductor wiring in an all mahogany Epiphone SG.

The neck pickup is great for bluesy styles, with a nice bit of bite and no mushy tone whatsoever.  I usually find neck pickups to be really woolly, but the Riff Raff is nice and full with plenty of clarity.  A great all round blues tone, but with a slight edge.

In the mid position, you get a great "Red House" tone by rolling off the treble pickup volume a touch and rolling off a bit of tone from both pickups.  A nice chunky tone with plenty of depth and character.  It also does a great "Paperback Writer"...

The bridge pickup is what I bought the set for - with the right amp settings it's Angus.  There's a great bite to the tone, although that is at the expense of some mids.  Riff Raff is a great description of the sound, as it's that wiry, snarly tone Angus got for that track that really characterise this pickup.

Mule

I have an open coiled and tapped zebra Mule in the bridge of my cedar body/mahogany neck Gordon Smith GS-1.

Compared to the Riff Raff, there are more mids and a fuller tone.  I can get a great "Jailbreak" (by Thin Lizzy, not 'DC) vibe and with a cranked valve amp you get a superb rock tone.  Nice and full.

When tapped, you get a very useable single coil tone although it is a touch thinner than a true Strat sound.  Very good for bright, clean parts of a song like the verse arpeggios of "Learn to Fly".

The Mule is billed as the all rounder, and that's exactly what it is!


Mississippi Queen

I have a tapped chrome Mississippi Queen in the bridge of my cedar body/mahogany neck Gordon Smith SG-1.

Compared to the Riff Raff and Mule, there's more bass and lower mids.  There's loads of clarity, even though this is one thick sounding pickup with a nice biting treble.  Classic P-90 tones.  Again, the description of Mississippi Queen is perfect for this pickup as Leslie West's tone on that track is what you get - a beefy and meaty humbucker-beating growl.

When tapped the treble is still there, but it's more rounded.  Whack on a nice chunk of gain and you've got "Paranoid" perfectly.  

So there you go - I hope that's of use to some people!

lulusg

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Riff Raff vs Mule vs MQ - my review!
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2006, 01:49:51 AM »
I have found the review really useful. Great :)
Just passing by

Tol

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Riff Raff vs Mule vs MQ - my review!
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2006, 04:34:09 AM »
Does tapped mean less output?  I really like P-90s  I wished I had a guitar with some.

Twinfan

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Riff Raff vs Mule vs MQ - my review!
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2006, 07:55:27 AM »
Yeah, tapped refers to a tap in the coil so you can have less output.

With humbuckers, you usually get wiring for a coil split i.e. the option to only run the screw coil to get a single coil type sound.

fps_dean

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Riff Raff vs Mule vs MQ - my review!
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2006, 08:08:15 AM »
Cool, now give them all to me! buahaha :)
Real men turn their volume to 11!

Rebel Yells + Les Paul = the Ultimate Rock Pickup.

indysmith

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Riff Raff vs Mule vs MQ - my review!
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2006, 12:31:58 PM »
hmmm, i'm always tempted by mules (as opposed to RYs) for my LP when i hear about them. Making it hard for me :(
LOVING the Mules!

Philly Q

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Riff Raff vs Mule vs MQ - my review!
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2006, 09:35:25 PM »
Thanks Twinfan, very informative.  Since you've taken the trouble to write that review, I'll plague you with a couple of questions.

I've just ordered a Riff Raff so I'm leaving this a bit late :roll: , and I know you're the YC/DC man, but how do you find it copes with "bigger" tones than Angus's?  I'm wondering how it handles heavier (but still 70s-ish) rock and more distortion.

Also does it respond well to volume and tone control changes?  I'm hoping for some versatility.
BKPs I've Got:  RR, BKP-91, ITs, VHII, CS set, Emeralds
BKPs I Had:  RY+Abraxas, Crawlers, BD+SM

dave_mc

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Riff Raff vs Mule vs MQ - my review!
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2006, 10:12:56 PM »
excellent review!

have you tried any of the bkp p90's to compare to the MQ?

:drink:

Twinfan

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Riff Raff vs Mule vs MQ - my review!
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2006, 10:33:26 PM »
Quote from: Philly Q
Thanks Twinfan, very informative.  Since you've taken the trouble to write that review, I'll plague you with a couple of questions.

I've just ordered a Riff Raff so I'm leaving this a bit late :roll: , and I know you're the YC/DC man, but how do you find it copes with "bigger" tones than Angus's?  I'm wondering how it handles heavier (but still 70s-ish) rock and more distortion.

Also does it respond well to volume and tone control changes?  I'm hoping for some versatility.


Hi Phil,

Riff Raffs cope well with plenty of distortion and their character still shines though.  With my Laney GH50L I can get plenty of thump, although you won't get the midrange push of a Mule.  We did a cracking "Waiting for an Alibi" in rehearsal a few weeks back with me on the SG and as I'd boosted the bass that tone was pretty big!

I don't use any booster pedals for solos, I do it the Angus way - volume on 6ish for rhythm and up to 10 for lead breaks.  It's not the best way to do it given twin channel amps etc now, but with BKPs the old school way works pretty good.  With the volume rolled off the tone stays nice and clear, but with less output so it cleans up really nicely.

I use the tone controls when I'm playing bluesy stuff at home and the Riff Raffs respond really well in that situation too.  I don't think you'll be disappointed  ;)

Twinfan

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Riff Raff vs Mule vs MQ - my review!
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2006, 10:34:37 PM »
Quote from: dave_mc
excellent review!

have you tried any of the bkp p90's to compare to the MQ?

:drink:


Hi Dave,

I'm afraid not!  I'd love to get a twin P-90 guitar so I can have a P-90 in the neck of something...

Philly Q

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Riff Raff vs Mule vs MQ - my review!
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2006, 11:58:26 PM »
Quote from: Twinfan
I don't think you'll be disappointed  ;)

Good man Dave, just what I wanted to hear!

Thanks again for the info.
BKPs I've Got:  RR, BKP-91, ITs, VHII, CS set, Emeralds
BKPs I Had:  RY+Abraxas, Crawlers, BD+SM

dave_mc

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Riff Raff vs Mule vs MQ - my review!
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2006, 12:31:45 PM »
Quote from: Twinfan
Quote from: dave_mc
excellent review!

have you tried any of the bkp p90's to compare to the MQ?

:drink:


Hi Dave,

I'm afraid not!  I'd love to get a twin P-90 guitar so I can have a P-90 in the neck of something...


ok, no problem man!

:drink: