Help me decide on a BKP Bridge?

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Wilson94Wilson94 Frets: 24
Looking to upgrade the bridge humbucker pickup on my Suhr Modern T Satin to a BKP.

What would you recommend? The body is african mahogany and tone wise I am aiming for something close to Jerry Cantrell in Alice in Chains, but something that is different enough for to have some uniqueness about it. I also play jazzier and cleaner stuff on top of Grunge, Thrash and Hard rock but that is usually on the Neck humbucker.

Two people have recommended the Holy Diver but I'm not sure. Reasons for your choices would be really great too thanks! 
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  • All sorts of factors can come into play here, tuning, amp, any pedals, string gauge etc. Obviously the wood on the guitar is reactive to whatever pickup it is.

    I play more modern metal type stuff, but I have the Nailbomb in my Les Paul's. Its a very hairy aggressive pickup with a lot of power. There are two different magnets, alnico and ceramic and I have one of each. My main band guitar is a LP and its made of mahogany. It works nicely with Nailbombs but that's just my opinion. Might work for thrash and hard rock.
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  • I'd personally look at mojopickups and tell him exactly what you are after.
    You could try oil city pickups too

    If you want off the shelf I'd rather go Seymour Duncan
    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
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  • thegummythegummy Frets: 631
    If you email them they'll get back with a recommendation fairly quickly.

    Tell them what you want to be different from the pickup in there already.
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  • sweepysweepy Frets: 1643
    If you want a focussed and aggressive pickup, go and fit a BK Rebel Yell
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  • sgosdensgosden Frets: 584
    Either a rebel yell or holy diver. 
    Favourite I've tried, very beefy in my custom 24. Is hot without getting into the harsh crazy aggressive nature of stuff like the war pig. 
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  • KebabkidKebabkid Frets: 1336
    Is it an SSH+ in the bridge?

    Just a thought but have you considered staying with Suhr and trying an Aldrich? Seems it'll give you the oomph you require. It might be a better pairing and might be worth looking into.


     www.cairoeast.co.uk - Madness Tribute band (Bass Player) and guitarist elsewhere
    Feedback - http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/57885/
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  • mudslide73mudslide73 Frets: 1598
    I'm a big fan of the Crawler... very versatile.
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  • Wilson94Wilson94 Frets: 24
    Kebabkid said:
    Is it an SSH+ in the bridge?

    Just a thought but have you considered staying with Suhr and trying an Aldrich? Seems it'll give you the oomph you require. It might be a better pairing and might be worth looking into.


    Hi, yeah you are correct, it is indeed a SSH+. Haven't looked into any other Suhr pickups, been mainly looking into BKP as they seem to live up to the hype from what I've seen
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  • Wilson94Wilson94 Frets: 24
    All sorts of factors can come into play here, tuning, amp, any pedals, string gauge etc. Obviously the wood on the guitar is reactive to whatever pickup it is.

    I play more modern metal type stuff, but I have the Nailbomb in my Les Paul's. Its a very hairy aggressive pickup with a lot of power. There are two different magnets, alnico and ceramic and I have one of each. My main band guitar is a LP and its made of mahogany. It works nicely with Nailbombs but that's just my opinion. Might work for thrash and hard rock.
    True. Tuning is mainly Eb, I haven't got it yet but will be getting a Friedman PT-20 soonish, and I play 9's, if any of that helps.

    It's a shame there isn't a shop that stocks like 30 of the same guitars but each with different pickup combinations, so you can really hear the difference.
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  • Wilson94Wilson94 Frets: 24
    sgosden said:
    Either a rebel yell or holy diver. 
    Favourite I've tried, very beefy in my custom 24. Is hot without getting into the harsh crazy aggressive nature of stuff like the war pig. 
    Which is your favourite? The holy diver or rebel yell?
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  • KebabkidKebabkid Frets: 1336
    Actually, there's a few comments on the BK site and the Aldrich comes up in posts and people there think the Holy Diver is similar in raunch but much clearer, less muddy and generally, better.
     www.cairoeast.co.uk - Madness Tribute band (Bass Player) and guitarist elsewhere
    Feedback - http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/57885/
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  • Wilson94Wilson94 Frets: 24
    Kebabkid said:
    Actually, there's a few comments on the BK site and the Aldrich comes up in posts and people there think the Holy Diver is similar in raunch but much clearer, less muddy and generally, better.
    So from what you have read, the general consensus is that the holy diver is a better version of the aldrich?
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  • thegummythegummy Frets: 631
    Bare knuckle must have a lot of hype cause I've never played one but very much want them and plan on buying a set soon (without playing it as there's no way to really)
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  • sgosdensgosden Frets: 584
    Wilson94 said:i
    sgosden said:
    Either a rebel yell or holy diver. 
    Favourite I've tried, very beefy in my custom 24. Is hot without getting into the harsh crazy aggressive nature of stuff like the war pig. 
    Which is your favourite? The holy diver or rebel yell?
    Holy diver * 

    Through Marshally amps. It's just got grunt without being abrasive. 
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  • Wilson94Wilson94 Frets: 24
    sgosden said:
    Wilson94 said:i
    sgosden said:
    Either a rebel yell or holy diver. 
    Favourite I've tried, very beefy in my custom 24. Is hot without getting into the harsh crazy aggressive nature of stuff like the war pig. 
    Which is your favourite? The holy diver or rebel yell?
    Holy diver * 

    Through Marshally amps. It's just got grunt without being abrasive. 
    I guess you could argue a Friedman PT-20 is marshally right? May go for a HD bridge
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  • Over the years I've owned a lot of Bare Knuckles and written loads of detailed reviews on their website. the Holydiver is the closest they do to the Aldrich pickup. It's marketed as 80's Metal tone but has a slightly more modern flavour. It is essentially a smooth sounding distortion. A very close relative, which nobody expects, is the Miracle Man. It has all the smoothness of a Holydiver and a hell of a lot more tone that anyone should expect from a ceramic pickup. Think of it as a Holydiver that has a bigger bottom end thanks to slightly more low mids than the Holydiver and more highs while everything is that little bit tighter. A third option might be a Black Dog. Think of this like a Holydiver but taken down a step towards Classic Rock. Hard Rock/ Metal. It's an extremely versatile option that shares a lot of DNA with the Holydiver but is less compressed. All three of these should work fine in your guitar.

    Personally, I no longer use BKP. They're very good but too expensive for what they are and what I need. Look at a Classic '83 from The Creamery as it's significantly better than a Holydiver and a fraction of the price. Alternatively, their Double Six is better than the BKP Miracle Man for far less money.
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  • Wilson94Wilson94 Frets: 24
    Over the years I've owned a lot of Bare Knuckles and written loads of detailed reviews on their website. the Holydiver is the closest they do to the Aldrich pickup. It's marketed as 80's Metal tone but has a slightly more modern flavour. It is essentially a smooth sounding distortion. A very close relative, which nobody expects, is the Miracle Man. It has all the smoothness of a Holydiver and a hell of a lot more tone that anyone should expect from a ceramic pickup. Think of it as a Holydiver that has a bigger bottom end thanks to slightly more low mids than the Holydiver and more highs while everything is that little bit tighter. A third option might be a Black Dog. Think of this like a Holydiver but taken down a step towards Classic Rock. Hard Rock/ Metal. It's an extremely versatile option that shares a lot of DNA with the Holydiver but is less compressed. All three of these should work fine in your guitar.

    Personally, I no longer use BKP. They're very good but too expensive for what they are and what I need. Look at a Classic '83 from The Creamery as it's significantly better than a Holydiver and a fraction of the price. Alternatively, their Double Six is better than the BKP Miracle Man for far less money.


    When you say it is 'better', how so? What makes it actually better
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  • thegummythegummy Frets: 631
    Over the years I've owned a lot of Bare Knuckles and written loads of detailed reviews on their website. the Holydiver is the closest they do to the Aldrich pickup. It's marketed as 80's Metal tone but has a slightly more modern flavour. It is essentially a smooth sounding distortion. A very close relative, which nobody expects, is the Miracle Man. It has all the smoothness of a Holydiver and a hell of a lot more tone that anyone should expect from a ceramic pickup. Think of it as a Holydiver that has a bigger bottom end thanks to slightly more low mids than the Holydiver and more highs while everything is that little bit tighter. A third option might be a Black Dog. Think of this like a Holydiver but taken down a step towards Classic Rock. Hard Rock/ Metal. It's an extremely versatile option that shares a lot of DNA with the Holydiver but is less compressed. All three of these should work fine in your guitar.

    Personally, I no longer use BKP. They're very good but too expensive for what they are and what I need. Look at a Classic '83 from The Creamery as it's significantly better than a Holydiver and a fraction of the price. Alternatively, their Double Six is better than the BKP Miracle Man for far less money.
    Did you play any of their paf style ones?
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  • markjmarkj Frets: 205
    I’ve had numerous pickups from bare knuckle but stopped using them when I discovered oil city pickups. Speak to Ash the maker/owner and tell him what you want. 
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  • KebabkidKebabkid Frets: 1336
    edited January 13
    There's various posts on Aldrich and BKs and even comparing them to others but here's one and just do a search. That's what I did for your post and have no personal experience of either. Miracle Mans are also coming up as something good if you wish to go with BKs.

    Speak to Tim at BK or Jonathan @FelineGuitars as he stocks BKs. He knows his stuff and might be able to guide you.

    https://forum.bareknucklepickups.co.uk/index.php?topic=20284.0


     www.cairoeast.co.uk - Madness Tribute band (Bass Player) and guitarist elsewhere
    Feedback - http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/57885/
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  • I would go for a Ho;ydiver for AIC but would also consider a Miracle Man a good choice for that territory of tione 
    Bizarrely the neck Miracle Man with it's A5 magnet  is a good choice for the bridge but not sure if you can get it 53mm spaced easily from BKP

    Many guitars have a re-sale value. Some you'll never want to sell.
    Stockist of Earvana nuts, BKP, Oil City And Monty's pickups. Sperzel, Tonepros, Gotoh and Graphtech too!
    Expert guitar repairs and upgrades - fretwork our speciality! www.felineguitars.com.  Facebook too!

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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 10090
    +1 to the suggestion of getting in touch with Tim, I did that for a reccomendation
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1523
    Mahogany body and more umph - I’d go for the Aldrich I have them or BK in a few guitars and they are great.      I’m liking the RY in a les Paul at the moment as though - if you go BK then I think it might fit better than a HD,  imo the HD is a better fit in an ash or alder body. 
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  • Wilson94 said:
    When you say it is 'better', how so? What makes it actually better
    The thing with the Holydiver is that it sets itself up as an 80's Metal pickup and it's good at getting a general approximation of that tone but there's always a more modern feel to it. In my experience (and I know many disagree) the wire makes a huge difference. The sort of tone that pickups of that style produce tends to require 43AWG wire but the Holydiver uses 44AWG because Tim prefers to put more turns on the bobbin. The Classic '83 uses 43AWG, which is far more appropriate to that era and as a result it catches that tone more effectively. Both pickups are smooth but 43AWG helps to give pickups a slightly raw hairiness that more modern wire like 44AWG doesn't. If you listen to something like Jake E. Lee, you're essentially listening to a Classic '83. I only bought one by chance after a friend said how good they were. It absolutely blew me away. Mine was made with the classic alnico 5 magnet but Jaime will also make it with either a ceramic or alnico 8 magnet if you prefer. Nothing is held in stock so you'd have a longer wait than with BKP but what you get will be custom made to your own personal requirements. The Creamery is my first choice for pickups now. I own a Classic '83, a Double Six, a Creamery '59 and a neck pickup that was loosely based on a Creamery '59 but made to my own specification.




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  • ab2017ab2017 Frets: 19
    If you want Jerry Cantrell tones get a JB by Seymour Duncan he has always used that
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  • I've used a JB before. It came in a Jackson Soloist with a maple neck-thru design and was absolutely awful. I changed it to a Miracle Man which was far better. Oddly enough, I transferred the JB to an alder guitar I had lying around (a Pacifica I think) and it was far more impressive in that but still not a patch on the Classic '83.
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  • BucketBucket Frets: 7596
    Well isn't the Rebel Yell quite similar to a JB?
    - "I'm going to write a very stiff letter. A VERY stiff letter. On cardboard."
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  • ab2017ab2017 Frets: 19
    Swap the magnet in a jb to match playing attack and bodywood. Never bought into the cork sniffery of bkp.
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  • Wilson94Wilson94 Frets: 24
    Think I'm more confused than ever now, so many suggestions, should have made a poll lol. I like your detailed reasoning for the Classic '83. Does anyone know if you can buy BKP covers separately? May get a classic '83 and a BKP cover over it
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  • Why would you want to?

    And in reply to Bucket, no, a Rebel Yell is not like a JB or Holydiver or Classic '83. The Rebel Yell has more of an open sound. It's primarily a Hard Rock pickup that is tight enough to take a lot of gain if needed but the others don't have that open sound. I've used BKP extensively over a number of years and I swore by them. They are superb, there's no doubt about it but I learned enough about pickups over the years to then both take educated risks on other manufacturers and design my own pickups. The best neck pickup I've ever owned is in my Gibson Les Paul and it was built entirely to my specification for just £60 by Catswhiskers pickups but I only got there after many years spending a small fortune on pickups from other manufacturers. These days I know exactly what works for me so all my bridge pickups use 43AWG wire and all but one use an alnico 5 magnet. In the neck I prefer 42.5AWG wire, though I also use 42AWG and 43AWG at times. I also never get covers as I prefer the extra bite you get from open humbuckers. You would find the Holydiver a very good pickup and in mahogany, you may even prefer the Miracle Man but I think Jaime at The Creamery can make you something better and do it for a lot less money.
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