NPD: Guitarmory Red Stone 7-string pickup set

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by LeviathanKiller, May 12, 2018.

  1. LeviathanKiller

    LeviathanKiller Knee-shooting Archer

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    I bought an Agile Septor Pro 727 (NGD here) about year ago that I had come with the Bare Knuckle Aftermath set installed. With the bridge, the clarity was great but the low end was never that full really and any kind of chugging/palm-muting would get compressed pretty hard and everything sounded very twangy. That coupled with the guitar's 28.625" scale and it was all the clarity and articulation you could want but weird dynamics and no body. The neck pickup was horrendous, very thin, needed lots of gain to get smooth. It was like playing with a noise gate too high almost. I messed around with the height of the pickups but they always retained those qualities that I disliked. That's not to say they were super bad (at least the bridge wasn't) but they weren't very useful for me personally.

    I recently (re)discovered Guitarmory pickups because I wasn't really feeling any of the Bare Knuckle offerings (I already have the Juggernaut set and will be getting an Impulse set for a different guitar). I really wanted to stay with hand-wound pickups since every time I've compared hand-wound to machine-wound, the former always had better clarity. So I got the Red Stone (Alnico 5) set from Guitarmory. Received them yesterday, installed them today. They came with some nice Guitarmory merch. 2 sticks (1 large, 1 smaller) and 2 picks (both jazz III shaped, one was about 2mm thick and the other was about 1.14mm). Pickups came in a nice branded box all cushioned inside.

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    These are specified as low output and I agree. I have to add about 1.5 to 2 in gain and lower the noise gate threshold from on most Axe-Fx presets I use which were made with high output pickups (Aftermath, Nazgul, etc).

    They are VERY clear without being lifeless. I don't feel like these have a very peaky EQ curve. I'd say they're almost like a hybrid of my Fishman Fluence Modern set, Keith Merrow set, and the BKP Aftermath bridge. Very clear, very articulate, but no odd mid-peaks like the Fishman KM and BKP Aftermath sets and more clarity than the Fishman Moderns (which aren't as clear the KM set imo).

    I noticed they are very responsive to picking strength. I've seen people mention this about the BKP Juggernaut set and I feel that way about them too. These are similar in that aspect (not in any others though afaik. Juggs are darker than these in tone btw). Pick lightly, get overdriven tones, pick harder to get more gain/girth.

    The split coil sounds were pretty good but I didn't get to test them for long since it I didn't have a proper push-pull pot to use and had accidentally wired them into split mode at first because I followed the BKP wiring color scheme which is NOT the same as Guitarmory's. :lol:
    I'll update on the split sounds once I get a push pull pot.

    Summary:
    • Clear and articulate
    • Low output
    • Mostly flat/even EQ
    • Responsive to picking strength

    Overall, I'm really impressed with Guitarmory. My only negatives were that the screw holes seem really close to the edge and once I tightened the pickups down the screw head caused the edge of the screw hole to crack off a small bit of the plastic material that the soapbar casing is made of. That's partly my fault but it would help if the screw holes were farther into the soapbar. The holes on the bridge were closer to the edge than the bridge's. Guitarmory needs to standardize this better. I have a feeling the wood cases are probably better but they cost extra and I wanted to cut costs on my first purchase with them since I didn't know much about them.

    Second, is that the leads seem kind short. Plenty enough to get inside the cavity and do what I need but it's definitely a con when it comes to selling them if I ever decided to or if I had a made a mistake that required cutting a bit. Meanwhile, the BKP leads were super long and required a zip tie in there even.

    These are just my initial impressions though. I'll follow-up in a month or so later or whenever my opinion changes. Meanwhile, I'm going to be looking at getting some other sets (Atlas, Foxbat, Polaris, or Orion) or some pickup rewinds into those sets.

    Here's before and after sound clips. Kept the gain the same as with the Aftermath set so you may notice that right away since it's high-output vs low-output sets. Also, after restringing with a heavier gauge I went a semitone lower in tuning. I definitely notice a difference in person and I listened to my recordings myself and think you should hear a good amount of difference with how much more open and beefier the Red Stone set is compared to the Aftermath set.

    Bare Knuckle Aftermath bridge:
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/cd4ithppx2tpcmq/20180511_185049_bkp_aftermath_bridge.mp3
    Guitarmory Red Stone bridge:
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/7c2gngmnygfh5v1/20180511_185049_guitarmory_red_stone_bridge.mp3

    Bare Knuckle Aftermath neck:
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/qrchqb9645f9c97/20180511_185049_bkp_aftermath_neck.mp3
    Guitarmory Red Stone neck:
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/1odaczvitwzzsjk/20180511_185049_guitarmory_red_stone_neck.mp3
     
  2. LeviathanKiller

    LeviathanKiller Knee-shooting Archer

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    Link to the video if the embed doesn't work for you

    Sort of a demo of the Guitarmory Red Stone 7-string set. Most demos are too short and/or buried in production in my opinion. No post-processing here. Not a song or anything specific, just random playing really and it's not perfect.

    Pickup set is in a mahogany body Agile Septor Pro 728 (28.625" scale") with an ebony fretboard.

    Running through a Fractal Axe-Fx II XL+ using the Das Metal amp and ML Sound Lab's ML Angle SM57-M160 01 IR. The gain was on 5 plus a boost from a T808 OD drive block. Usually, my gain is around 2.5 or 3 with my other guitars so that lets you know the output of these. The cleans at the end are the Shiver Clean amp model with the same IR.

    Sorry for the abrupt ending. My camera battery died.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
  3. Sollipsist

    Sollipsist SS.org Regular

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    Great demo! Thanks for showing off the pickups instead of the production. Too many demos fail at this.

    The Foxbats are so good that I'm buying another guitar to give them a proper home. Funny you mention the leads - I had almost too much extra... but I didn't follow their advice about orientation, so my leads are on the top right instead of the bottom left of the pickup. I figured with two virtually identical screw coils, it shouldn't make much difference, right?
     
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  4. LeviathanKiller

    LeviathanKiller Knee-shooting Archer

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    I just put mine with the leads coming out closest to the routed channel/hole to get to the cavity. If I hadn't, it might have been really difficult to control and solder if not too short period.
     
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  5. Sollipsist

    Sollipsist SS.org Regular

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    Wow, that is really short then. Mine are bundled up taking the place of a middle pickup, and still plenty of slack. I'd send you my extra length if I could!
     
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  6. LeviathanKiller

    LeviathanKiller Knee-shooting Archer

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    Dang, you got a ton then compared to me! One of the Guitarmory guys (Michael I believe) noticed this thread when I first posted it and passed that issue on to Nic who actually makes the pickups. IIRC

    I've ordered a few more sets so hopefully they all come with good lengths.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
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