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Thread: BareKnuckle Pickup issue on a Ash body guitar

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2020

    Default BareKnuckle Pickup issue on a Ash body guitar

    Hello everyone !!

    I would like to ask for some help concerning this issue i`ve been going through !!

    I've got hold of an awesome custom built 7 string guitar that i've ordered while ago with an known local luthier, the guitar is awesome.. its mapple neck through , ebony fingerboard and solid Ash body. It has hipshot hardtail fixed bridge , gotoh locking tuners and a pair of Bare Knuckle Aftermath`s.

    I am experiecing alot problems with the overall sound of the guitar...wich i highly believe can be the pickups...i've been told that Ash wood is a very bright guitar.... and these BKP's aftermath seems to be very spikey / trebble'd high pickups as well... what's happening is....i am getting super spikey notes at the high strings.....and low strings are muddy.
    Strings may have a resonance when played openly, but if i digit seems like the frequency sound dies gets no sustain at all.

    I've heard about Dimarzio Time Zone`s being good PU's for ash bodied guitars....but i would like to have an advice off more knowledge people from here....could anyone please help me out ? anyone have any advice on the pickup choice i could be swapping in this guitar in order to get a better sound ?
    The chords also are sustain...the clean tones are spikey as well...sounding terrible..

    I play Doom/Death i am trying to go for a really crushing sound for chords...and that creamy sustained sound for leads...with a good balance between bass/trebble....

    Anyway... hopefully someone may help me here!

    Thanks you all !!


    - Arthur
    Last edited by Denial666; 01-17-2020 at 04:59 AM.

  2. #2
    Tone Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2019

    Default Re: BareKnuckle Pickup issue on a Ash body guitar

    The first thing I'd do is check the color code and ensure it's right. One friend had an Ibanez with bare knuckles and the persons dad who was handy with a soldering iron ended up putting the pickups in and he complained about hum and the pickups sounding weird because the pickups before it were dimarzio so he didn't know any better.

    For reassurance the color code is right with bare knuckles for a standard wiring it's
    red - to the switch
    green / white - coilsplit
    black / bare - ground

    assuming the pickup works the way its intended to (proper color code)
    is there a tone control on your guitar? If so what value tone capacitor do you have. There will be writing on the side if you're not sure
    pure nickel or other strings from your favorite string maker on the EQ chart will help. GHS, Dunlop, D'addario and so forth will help figure it out.

    Tell us about the gear you're using besides the guitar. The amp and or pedal combination can make or break the tone you're after. Tony Iommi for example heavily relied on the Dallas Range Master guitar pedal back in the day to get his sound. However since you're complaining about brightness perhaps a pedal called the Sabra Cadabra by Catlinbread I'd check out as it's still in production not like the range master. If it is like all vintage pedals people want too much for them.

    The best advice I can think of with pedals and or pickups is go with what your heroes use/used or bands with a similar tone you're going for.
    Last edited by shadowfire90; 01-18-2020 at 10:54 AM.

  3. #3
    Tone Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    S.E. Michigan

    Default Re: BareKnuckle Pickup issue on a Ash body guitar

    ^^^ Good advice there.
    Definitely want to make sure your wiring is correct. If, after you've figured out any troubleshooting, and you think it's just not the right pickups for that particular guitar, i might recommend a couple of things. I had a Schecter KM-6 Mark II, that was pretty similar in construction to your guitar. The Sentient/Nazgul combo in that guitar was really good. I just couldn't quite deal with how thin the neck was on that one, otherwise I'd have kept it. And for a very brief time, just before i sold it, i put a Black Winter bridge in it. Sounded pretty damn good but really didn't have a lot of playing time with it. Good luck!
    Schecter Banshee Elite-6 (Natural Gloss), Custom/59-A4
    Schecter Banshee Elite-6 (Cat's Eye Pearl), Black Winter/Sentient-A2
    Schecter Blackjack SLS, Full Shred/Jazz
    Marshall DSL-40CR

  4. #4
    Mojo's Minions
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: BareKnuckle Pickup issue on a Ash body guitar

    The pickups to a good degree are only ever reproducing the fundamental frequencies that the strings (chassis) are providing. In your case as its a neck-through, its the maple thats doing 80% of the tonal lifting.

    If the guitar has sustain acoustically, it will translate to the pickups/electrical side of things. If the note dies quickly, that will also happen through the amp. The nature of the pickup and physics makes it impossible for a ringing acoustic note to die quickly electrically.
    So those 'dead' notes you are finding will be the setup. The nature of the pickup just might make it a bit more obvious.

    The treble content is very individual. You have chosen several very bright toned woods all in one guitar. Of course not every guitar with the same wood choices will exhibit the same issue. In fact you might find another guitar assembled with blanks for the same trees as yours could be well different.
    In short, you might have a deal of trial and error in front of you. Many of us can help with suggestions of pickups that might be a step in the right direction. But as we don't own the guitar in question (nor your ears) it could be a long process - be prepared.
    Oh, and spikiness can actually be an upper mid thing as much as treble. Its the upper mids that tends to annoy the ears more than anything else generally speaking.

  5. #5
    Tone Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2019

    Default Re: BareKnuckle Pickup issue on a Ash body guitar

    Make sure the pickup height is set up properly. If you aren’t getting the sustain through the pickups that the guitar gets acoustically, they might be way too close and are dragging the strings too much.

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