Why don't I like my LP bridge pickup?

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Ok this is more for my fellow metalcore/heavier style players here i.e drop tuned chug type pals. But any input is greatly appreciated.

I haven't been 100 percent satisfied with the tone I'm getting from my Les Paul studio, (mahogany wood) tuned to drop b or c usually, never higher. For additional information my bridge tone pot has been disconnected as I dig a hotter signal.

Currently a BKP ceramic Nailbomb sits in the bridge pickup position and although they do great pickups something just isn't doing it for me. Its shrilly, over top-endy and ice-picky (excuse my technical terms). The low end is very loose and I think its more of a raw punk/hardcore/death metal type pickup as opposed to a tight/modern metalcore type one.

My live amp is a 6505+ but since my old band split I've mainly been using it more at home with a DSL5c.

There are all sorts of brands out there and I'm getting a bit lost for choice.

Other pickups in the BKP range are the Aftermath (what I had in there originally but for some reason decided to change it out) and the Juggernaut. Both are "thicker" sounding pickups according to BK and this is what they've advised.

I put a Seymour Duncan JB in a Strat a few months ago and I'm loving the tone from that but its more for pop punk and rock as opposed to metalcore. Its a very high-end type pickup which works nicely with for stuff like Green Day etc. So not sure if I should whack a JB in the guitar and hope it'll do low tunings well.

EMG 81 is another choice but the hassle of the batteries puts me off.

I looked at the Fishman Fluence Killswitch Engage signature pickups and they sound amazing from the demos, tight and chuggy! But they cost near enough £200 and there's still no guarantee they'll do the job in my guitar.

I may have to go down the route of putting a few pickups in and seeing what I like/don't like, I've already changed the pickup twice so far.

So any recommendations/advice would be welcomed, (or comments to stop "tone-chasing" and being a fussy git!)

Thanks in advance gentlemen.
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  • timmypixtimmypix Frets: 655
    It's weird, there are lots of posts on the BKP forum warning against the C-bomb in low tunings and this seems to corroborate that. 

    Personally I'd avoid the JB for chuggy things - found mine way too flubby and swapped it for a Holydiver which kept the amazing lead tone but tightened up the low end for chugs - all mahogany V, so should sound fairly similar. If you're liking the JB in the Strat but still want tightness I'd really recommend the Holydiver. It's just a slab of mids, nice and thick sounding, not surgically tight but tight enough.

    If you want a Holydiver but "more", then the recommendation on the BKP forum would seem to be the Painkiller.

    That said BKP's recommendations do tend to be pretty spot on. I've played a Juggernaut and it sounds like it should be flubby - lots of low mids - but it then feels super tight. Quite weird and really fun, and not as "dry" as the Aftermath. Ragnarok seems like it's more aggressive and less low-middy and the new Silo looks pretty intriguing, but might not be as aggressive as you're after.

    Sorry if I'm not necessarily helping with specifics but it might help direct your train of thought a bit!
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  • Yeah I have no idea why I got rid of my Aftermath! I think cos I have the alnico Nailbomb in another Les Paul used in higher tunings which I really like I automatically assumed I'd like it in this guitar in question, but its a totally different wood and setup.

    Also the magnets play a part, I kinda prefer alnico but ceramic seems to be tighter.

    Holydiver never came into the recommendations, but I have heard its like their version of a JB. Usually all my playing on this guitar is rhythm, so mostly powerchords, riffs and chugs. Don't really do lead and this is my go to metalcore guitar so its dedicated for that.

    Painkiller doesn't get a lot of mentions esp in LP type guitars for some reason, hmm. Ragnarok came into the equation, and a lot have been ordering them for Les Pauls so maybe that's another option. Funnily enough BKP's first recommendation when I contacted them initially was an Aftermath.
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  • timmypixtimmypix Frets: 655
    Yeah I have no idea why I got rid of my Aftermath! I think cos I have the alnico Nailbomb in another Les Paul used in higher tunings which I really like I automatically assumed I'd like it in this guitar in question, but its a totally different wood and setup.

    Also the magnets play a part, I kinda prefer alnico but ceramic seems to be tighter.

    Holydiver never came into the recommendations, but I have heard its like their version of a JB. Usually all my playing on this guitar is rhythm, so mostly powerchords, riffs and chugs. Don't really do lead and this is my go to metalcore guitar so its dedicated for that.

    Painkiller doesn't get a lot of mentions esp in LP type guitars for some reason, hmm. Ragnarok came into the equation, and a lot have been ordering them for Les Pauls so maybe that's another option. Funnily enough BKP's first recommendation when I contacted them initially was an Aftermath.
    The Juggernaut might have more of the Alnico response you seem to prefer while still have the ceramic tightness but...

    TBH it sounds like you just want an Aftermath back. It's easy (and fun!) to overthink these things but if you know it does exactly what you want then it seems obvious to me. 

    I did this before I got the Holydivers - I knew they were exactly what I wanted, then I'd have a quiet week at work browsing forums, look at every alternative.... then end up back with the Holydivers, and they've done exactly what I wanted. Then I did exactly the same thing again before getting Black Dogs for my 7.

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  • johnljohnl Frets: 1987
    How weird - I'm currently looking for a replacement for my Les Paul Bridge pickup which is....a ceramic nailbomb. I've also found it pretty underwhelming (especially compared to the cold sweat in the neck which sounds great) so I'm thinking of switching to the Silo. 
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  • timmypix said:
    Yeah I have no idea why I got rid of my Aftermath! I think cos I have the alnico Nailbomb in another Les Paul used in higher tunings which I really like I automatically assumed I'd like it in this guitar in question, but its a totally different wood and setup.

    Also the magnets play a part, I kinda prefer alnico but ceramic seems to be tighter.

    Holydiver never came into the recommendations, but I have heard its like their version of a JB. Usually all my playing on this guitar is rhythm, so mostly powerchords, riffs and chugs. Don't really do lead and this is my go to metalcore guitar so its dedicated for that.

    Painkiller doesn't get a lot of mentions esp in LP type guitars for some reason, hmm. Ragnarok came into the equation, and a lot have been ordering them for Les Pauls so maybe that's another option. Funnily enough BKP's first recommendation when I contacted them initially was an Aftermath.
    The Juggernaut might have more of the Alnico response you seem to prefer while still have the ceramic tightness but...

    TBH it sounds like you just want an Aftermath back. It's easy (and fun!) to overthink these things but if you know it does exactly what you want then it seems obvious to me. 

    I did this before I got the Holydivers - I knew they were exactly what I wanted, then I'd have a quiet week at work browsing forums, look at every alternative.... then end up back with the Holydivers, and they've done exactly what I wanted. Then I did exactly the same thing again before getting Black Dogs for my 7.

    Yeah the Juggs have a mix of both magnets so it could be my happy medium!

    I read about the Aftermath being a one-trick pony but its very good at that trick! I found out recently one of my favourite bands guitarists uses this in his signature ESP Ltd, and we have a similar style of playing so if its enough for him it should be the same for me! He also has Juggs in another signature model.
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  • johnl said:
    How weird - I'm currently looking for a replacement for my Les Paul Bridge pickup which is....a ceramic nailbomb. I've also found it pretty underwhelming (especially compared to the cold sweat in the neck which sounds great) so I'm thinking of switching to the Silo. 
    Damn seems like there's a few people not happy with their ceramic Nailbomb eh. They'd be good if I was playing doom metal/thrash type stuff where the guitar tone isn't as polished and tight sounding. But I'm not.

    I've seen the Silo come out but not seen enough of it for it to be an option. Impulse was another one but again, not seen enough of it.
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  • jdbwalesjdbwales Frets: 160
    Try a lower output pickup and stack pedals for
    more gain.
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  • prlgmnrprlgmnr Frets: 2142
    I'm not sure exactly what this translates to in real terms but I believe the Holy Diver is their version of a JB from the 80s as opposed to a modern JB.
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  • AlegreeAlegree Frets: 471
    tFB Trader
    Stop shopping by brand and start shopping by specs. Every manufacturer does a wide range to hit lots of different tastes, there's bound to be stuff in everyone's catalogue you won't like. 
    Alegree pickups & guitar supplies - www.alegree.co.uk
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  • sgosdensgosden Frets: 1438
    Try some oil city blackbirds, or talk to alegree. 
    I had a prototype high out put alegree in my custom 24 that was insane. 
    I ended up taking it out for something more mellow cos it just kept making me play behemoth 
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  • sweepysweepy Frets: 3301
    BKP Rebel Yell should sort you out 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 48698
    Seymour Duncan Invader.

    I know it's an old design, and I have no idea what metalcore is, but if you want a high-output pickup with no shrill top-end and tight lows, it's still worth a try. Cheap second hand...

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • ICBM said:
    Seymour Duncan Invader
    The Duncan Designed / Performer / Detonator "offshore" version of that pickup is also supposed to be pretty good.

    The Gibson Tony Iommi signature humbucker was made for down-tuned, high gain.

    The BKP WarPig is nice on an SG. Maybe less so on an LP.
    Be seeing you.
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  • I'm after something similar for my epiphone les Paul, bare knuckle recommended me the miracle man & ceramic nailbomb sets. It's got emgs in at minute I do like the 81 but really dislike the 85 in neck so fancy a change.
      Maybe the miracle man set would do the trick?  I was thinking that, aftermath or alnico nailbomb set. 
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  • sweepy said:
    BKP Rebel Yell should sort you out 
    Does it do lower tunings well? Its not one of the more well known modern metal ones.
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  • timmypixtimmypix Frets: 655
    sweepy said:
    BKP Rebel Yell should sort you out 
    Does it do lower tunings well? Its not one of the more well known modern metal ones.
    It does - it's got quite a lean bass end and then screaming upper mids. Useful if you want a tight bass for a lot of the modern metal stuff without the surgical tightness of the Jugg/Aftermath/Painkiller and you're going to be playing lots of leads.

    I'd still say the Aftermath or Juggernaut seem to be what you want.
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  • ICBM said:
    Seymour Duncan Invader.

    I know it's an old design, and I have no idea what metalcore is, but if you want a high-output pickup with no shrill top-end and tight lows, it's still worth a try. Cheap second hand...
    Hmm similar output to a JB isn't it? More nastier I would think.

    Metalcore is the modern kind of metal drop tuned chuggy riffs usually with a mix of screamo and clean singing.

    Here are some examples and the kinda tone I'm after:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2nK8Jq-IEI

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWIcan_tlKs

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z77EWZcZ37A

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-5ABdVRkek

    Very generic sounding but tight and chunky. Tunings range from drop c down to a.

    As I'm using a smaller combo amp more maybe I need a bit more output? But still have that option if I use my 6505+ again it'll do a good job.
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  • Nath_R89 said:
    I'm after something similar for my epiphone les Paul, bare knuckle recommended me the miracle man & ceramic nailbomb sets. It's got emgs in at minute I do like the 81 but really dislike the 85 in neck so fancy a change.
      Maybe the miracle man set would do the trick?  I was thinking that, aftermath or alnico nailbomb set. 
    What amp are you using? I have an Epi Les Paul too with an alnico Nailbomb and its great in that. But that's not a metalcore drop tuned guitar, its usually in standard or drop d.

    I haven't seen much of the Miracle Man set though I think its pretty high output.
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  • I've just seen Seymour Duncan do a bridge pickup called "Pegasus" and its a game changer! From 1.15:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S25gCqNeOyk

    He's using a LP type guitar and that tight chunky low end sound is the one I'm after! Also in drop c.

    Very tempted. Very tempted...
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  • timmypix said:
    sweepy said:
    BKP Rebel Yell should sort you out 
    Does it do lower tunings well? Its not one of the more well known modern metal ones.
    It does - it's got quite a lean bass end and then screaming upper mids. Useful if you want a tight bass for a lot of the modern metal stuff without the surgical tightness of the Jugg/Aftermath/Painkiller and you're going to be playing lots of leads.

    I'd still say the Aftermath or Juggernaut seem to be what you want.
    Another factor is my downsizing of amp from a high gain 120 watt to a smaller 5 watt combo. Still tube though and enough gain to play the styles I linked above.

    Its definitely lining up to be one of those two however the SD Pegasus is slightly cheaper, has a bit less output but still tight and clear.
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  • timmypixtimmypix Frets: 655
    The Pegasus is great - like a refined JB. Less flubby and less nasal but still a noticeable upper mids honk. I have a friend with a Pegasus/Sentient set in a Les Paul and it can do pretty much anything, provided you want that upper mid honk/cut.

    Just found your thread on the BKP forum (coincidence, I'm not a stalker!) and it seems the consensus from the extra detail you've provided there is the Juggernaut. 

    Just beware, the Juggernaut and the Pegasus are radically different pickups - Juggernaut is big, fat and tight, Pegasus brighter and more "traditional"/restrained but very clear.
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  • LestratcasterLestratcaster Frets: 679
    edited November 2019
    timmypix said:
    The Pegasus is great - like a refined JB. Less flubby and less nasal but still a noticeable upper mids honk. I have a friend with a Pegasus/Sentient set in a Les Paul and it can do pretty much anything, provided you want that upper mid honk/cut.

    Just found your thread on the BKP forum (coincidence, I'm not a stalker!) and it seems the consensus from the extra detail you've provided there is the Juggernaut. 

    Just beware, the Juggernaut and the Pegasus are radically different pickups - Juggernaut is big, fat and tight, Pegasus brighter and more "traditional"/restrained but very clear.
    Yeah the guitarist in the 3rd link (Chunk! No Captain, Chunk!) uses a Pegasus and its quite chunky! Its said to go with mahogany guitars really well too.

    Ha well there's more posters on here (the BKP forum seems dead now) so more opinions!

    I wonder if there's a pickup winder out there who can do a hybrid of the Juggernaut and Pegasus?! I like the warm mid-range of the BKP but the ballsyness of the SD chuggs!
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  • Bung a tube screamer or a Boss Overdrive in front of your distorted amp, always tightens things up for me. I have a Les Paul Classic with burst buckers, sounds great for rock but doesn't have the tight low end for more modern stuff....until I introduce my Tube Screamer into the mix! 
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  • Bung a tube screamer or a Boss Overdrive in front of your distorted amp, always tightens things up for me. I have a Les Paul Classic with burst buckers, sounds great for rock but doesn't have the tight low end for more modern stuff....until I introduce my Tube Screamer into the mix! 
    I use a TS9 live which works very well, have to still back off the high end though as its so trebley!
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  • Bung a tube screamer or a Boss Overdrive in front of your distorted amp, always tightens things up for me. I have a Les Paul Classic with burst buckers, sounds great for rock but doesn't have the tight low end for more modern stuff....until I introduce my Tube Screamer into the mix! 
    I use a TS9 live which works very well, have to still back off the high end though as its so trebley!

    Maybe try it in your effects loop pal? I always run into the front end but apparently you get a different tone through the loop. 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 48698
    Lestratcaster said:

    Hmm similar output to a JB isn't it? More nastier I would think.
    No, it's much darker, thicker and tighter than a JB.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • Bung a tube screamer or a Boss Overdrive in front of your distorted amp, always tightens things up for me. I have a Les Paul Classic with burst buckers, sounds great for rock but doesn't have the tight low end for more modern stuff....until I introduce my Tube Screamer into the mix! 
    I use a TS9 live which works very well, have to still back off the high end though as its so trebley!

    Maybe try it in your effects loop pal? I always run into the front end but apparently you get a different tone through the loop. 
    I don't normally use it with my combo amp, have done a few times and its been alright.
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  • ICBM said:
    Lestratcaster said:

    Hmm similar output to a JB isn't it? More nastier I would think.
    No, it's much darker, thicker and tighter than a JB.
    Hmm, so maybe another option apart from the Pegasus, for palm mutes I like that "chock chock" type sound from them.
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  • What amp are you using? I have an Epi Les Paul too with an alnico Nailbomb and its great in that. But that's not a metalcore drop tuned guitar, its usually in standard or drop d.

    I haven't seen much of the Miracle Man set though I think its pretty high output.
    I use hx stomp into fx loop of marshall origin at the minute, use jcm 800 boosted with ts 9 times out of 10.  To be honest my I haven't tried loads of different types of pick ups so taking advice in board. So watching this thread with interest  :)
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 48698
    Lestratcaster said:

    I use a TS9 live which works very well, have to still back off the high end though as its so trebley!
    Maybe try it in your effects loop pal? I always run into the front end but apparently you get a different tone through the loop. 
    Don't put an overdrive pedal in the FX loop, or any other distortion/fuzz/gain-type pedal. You risk causing a feedback loop and making the amp self-oscillate, which in rare cases can damage it. It usually sounds poor anyway.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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