New 8-string bridge pickup for RG8

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by mnemonic, Jul 11, 2017.

  1. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Hey guys, it's finally time to get a new bridge pickup for my RG8. It's an older one, Basswood body, Maple neck. I've been struggling along with the stock pickups for a long time now, as I'm primarily a seven string player so the 8 doesn't get a ton of play anyway. Currently it has bridge pickup only, and a single volume knob.

    I am in the UK, so the exchange rate to the U.S. is not great, so at this point, Bareknuckles for me are only a minor up charge over the likes of SD or DiMarzio, so I am really focusing on BK. Also I've never had a pickup from them before so I'd like to see what the fuss is about.

    What sort of sound am I after - I do like kind of neutral, moderate output PAF-type pickups. My current favourite sounding guitar at the moment is a hardtail alder strat with a SD '59 in the bridge, cranked up real close. I'd like to recreate the roar I get from that guitar, but not becoming a flubby mess on the 7th and 8th strings.

    I'm not really concerned about versatility as a mostly play metal (this is a one pickup guitar, versatility certainly wasn't part of the plan) but I don't want to focus on a tight and metal sounding 8th string at the expense of the other 7. Conversely, even though I'm primarily a 7 string player, I don't want to focus on how good the first 7 strings sound and neglect the 8th.

    For amps, I have an Axe FX II which I run into a Zilla 2x12 (V30/K100). For the last several months I've been using the Fryette D60 model, I love how dry, clear and punchy it is.

    I've been listening to clips and reading reviews, and I'm mostly convinced of getting a Bareknuckle Black Dog. There are a few metal-oriented reviews and some seven string metal clips that sound awesome, but I don't think I saw anything related to 8 strings.

    So my questions are:

    -Does anyone have any experience with this pickup in an extended range, metal context? How do you like it?

    -Does it handle the low strings well?

    -Are there any other pickups that might meet my expectations better?


    tl;dr - 'PAF or hot PAF that stays tight on the bottom and isn't boomy' is how I would describe what I'm looking for in a new 8-string pickup, does the BK Black Dog sound like its on target?


    Thanks guys
     
  2. cult

    cult SS.org Regular

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    I only know the Black Dog in a 6 string, but compared to my Cold Sweat it lacked a lot of low mids or bass, just didn't have that thump.
    For an 8 string I can see it working out.

    You might also like the Emerald, the CS is amazing in Basswood but might be too hot for what you are trying to achieve.
     
  3. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire L'enfant sausage

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    Just gonna copy paste what I said about the black dog from my 8 string shootout.
    I really dig the Black Dog. It's got a voice kind of like the Black Winter bridge but with more mid emphasis and a snarly evil sound under high gain. Has plenty of low end in this guitar too and surprisingly tight. A bit bright on the high end in this guitar though. It feels more like a good death metal/sludge pickup than a more modern sounding pickup, though it can definitely djent if you want it to. The coil split is super spanky too.
    I love the black dog for the snarling evil high gain tone, it just sounds so unbelievably mean with a tubescreamer and a boogie.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BUxRUsMAoES/
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/kile6q5nypv7k7m/Black Dog Medley.mp3?dl=0
    some more black dog clips, this time with the kemper using the same settings as my other clips. Tubescreamer is on throughout so it's a bit tighter and nastier than the base sound of the black dog.

    For reference I had this in a swamp ash body/ebony topped/ bolt on wenge neck 8 string so the black dog was a little bright on the high end. In darker sounding guitars it obviously won't be an issue.
     
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  4. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Awesome, I'll check out those clips when I get home.

    I'll also check out the Emerald.
     
  5. thoughtpyotr

    thoughtpyotr SS.org Regular

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    DActivators came stock on my s8. Freaking beautiful 10/10
     
  6. NickS

    NickS Rocket Surgeon

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    D-Activators in my DC800, pretty awesome....
     
  7. MerlinTKD

    MerlinTKD EIght.Fold.Path / Hinge Theory Contributor

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    Black Dog. Hands down. Depending on the tone you're lookinfor for, you'll probably want a OD on to tighten and push it.

    I've heard good things about the Cold Sweat for 8's, I love the Painkiller in my 7, and of course there's the Aftermath, but I really think you're on the right track with Black Dog.
     
  8. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Well I liked the Black Dog clips. I also had some spare time yesterday so I pulled the SD '59 out of my strat and put it into my RG8. Looks silly, doesn't even cover the first two strings. But it does sound really cool and it handles the low F way better than I expected.

    So if a BK Black Dog can beat a Duncan 59 I think I'll be really happy with it.
     
  9. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire L'enfant sausage

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    Another option would be the mule. I have no experience with it but it's basically a paf clone from what I've heard. Might be more up your alley.
     
  10. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    The Mule is certainly another pickup I looked into, and comparisons between the Mule and Black Dog. I think I am liking how the Black Dog is described a bit more though.

    Also, nolly did make some clips a while back of the Mule in a metal context, and it was awesome.
     
  11. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Weird, won't let me edit my last post.

    Anyway, I ordered the Black Dog, we'll see how I like it when it gets here. I also have a new volume pot and strings coming tomorrow, and I will cut my new pickguard on the weekend to accommodate the uncovered pickup.

    I will post pics and my thoughts.
     
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  12. cult

    cult SS.org Regular

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    I think you made a great choice.
    What pots are you using with it?

    I came to like lower output pickups with 1MOhm pots.
     
  13. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Planning on a 500k volume and no tone knob.

    It's the setup I have on most of my guitars, I like the extra bit of bite and clarity I get with no tone knob.
     
  14. cult

    cult SS.org Regular

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    It's about the same effect as using two 1MOhm pots in parallel, it makes up for the same resistance, you just have some more loading and capacitance using two pots instead of just one.

    Going for just one 1MOhm pot as a volume will result in even more bite and clarity.
     
  15. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Welp, BK Black Dog arrived, I installed it and have been tweaking it and messing around with height for the last two days.

    Surprisingly tight and clear pickup. Growly, present top end, real chunky. I'm able to turn up the bass a lot more with this pickup than many others, it really holds on to that clarity.

    It rolls off real good too, better than any of my other pickups, though I'm not sure if it's the pickup or because I also got a new CTS linear volume pot, which is so much better than the backwards-wired LOG pots most of my other guitars have. Basically on/off switches.

    Below I quoted my post from the RG8 mods thread, since it's easier that way on my phone.

    You may notice there's no way to adjust the pickup height. The plan was originally to pickguard-mount the pickup, however Bareknuckle don't tap the 8 string baseplates, they're drilled out for direct mount. So now I'm trying to think of a way to notch the pickguard route cleanly without it being wonky.

     
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  16. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Also, these are the screws Bareknuckle gave me for direct mounting. Coin for size reference, it's about the size of a nickel.

    If you order some, make sure to have some screws of your own. On the upside, they did give me a pack of strings, which is cool.
     

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