Zander of Puppets

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I have decided I would like some new pickups to replace my Kiesel Lithiums in my DC-700. I play both rhythm and lead stuff from all over the metal spectrum. I need something that chugs well but can handle more technical stuff so having good note separation is important. Having a good or at least decent clean sound is also a must. I am heavily leaning towards the Black Winters but I have some questions.

My guitar is a pretty heavy neck through with a 5-piece walnut/maple neck and a swamp ash body. How do you think the Black Winters will sound in that build?

I also want to know how they stack up compared to some more expensive options. I am mostly interested in how they compare to a BKP Ceramic Warpig or a Lundgren Black Heaven (Ceramic? Alnico?), so if anyone has first hand experience with those, it would be great. I can get a barely used set of Black Winters for almost half the price of the other brands but if money isn't an issue, do they hold their own? I know sounding better is subjective but just curious what your opinions are.

Thanks!
 
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KnightBrolaire

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1. What do you dislike about the lithiums?
2. Black Winter tend to do well in most guitars ime, except for darker sounding ones.
3. CPig is going to have better cleans, a bigger low end and a brighter high end with a more upper mid feel versus the black winter. The Black heaven set has much better cleans than the black winter set, the low end is clearer and a bit tighter, the midrange is more low mid growly, the high end is pretty open.
If you have a brighter sounding guitar I'd avoid the cpig or black heaven unless you have a way to mitigate the sharper high end.

If versatility is what you need, there are better options from Duncan tbh, like the 59 custom hybrid or pegasus/sentient set.
 

bigcupholder

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Don't fall for the idea that something more expensive is necessarily better. That's a classic lazy marketing trick. Seymour Duncan is as good as anything else.

Are the Lithiums just too bright and thin? Or was there something else you specifically wanted to improve? How is the unplugged tone of the guitar compared to others you have and what pickups did you enjoy in other guitars?
 

Hoss632

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I love 6 string black winters but not the 7 string set. I find em a bit to muddy. What is it that you don't like about the Kiesel Lithium set? And have you considered other Kiesel sets as well like the Illusionist and maybe a holdsworth in the neck?
 

Zander of Puppets

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1. What do you dislike about the lithiums?
I should be clear that I don't dislike the lithiums per se, but I would like to try something new. I like the attack, clarity and versatility but the sound can be a little shrill in certain scenarios, I think mostly the bridge pickup when doing single note stuff. I also like how it sounds while chugging but I think it may be missing a bit of lower end growl/warmth at times.

Out of curiosity which of the three pickups is your personal favorite?
 
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Zander of Puppets

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Don't fall for the idea that something more expensive is necessarily better. That's a classic lazy marketing trick. Seymour Duncan is as good as anything else.

Are the Lithiums just too bright and thin? Or was there something else you specifically wanted to improve? How is the unplugged tone of the guitar compared to others you have and what pickups did you enjoy in other guitars?
Like I mentioned in the previous reply, I like the clarity and attack but I think a bit more warmth might be beneficial as they can sound shrill sometimes.

I would say unplugged the guitar sounds pretty bright, but not overly so. I have two swamp ash 7 strings and the kiesel is brighter than the other. For lack of better words, the notes kinda have a sparkly bite to them without sounding harsh.
 

Hoss632

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Like I mentioned in the previous reply, I like the clarity and attack but I think a bit more warmth might be beneficial as they can sound shrill sometimes.

I would say unplugged the guitar sounds pretty bright, but not overly so. I have two swamp ash 7 strings and the kiesel is brighter than the other. For lack of better words, the notes kinda have a sparkly bite to them without sounding harsh.
I would say if the bridge position is mainly the concern Kiesel's Illusionist probably would be a solid solution. SD wise the black winters will have a HUGE wall of sound comparatively, if anything the opposite of the Lithiums. Here's a video Keith Merrow did 10 years or so ago demoing about 8 different duncan 7 string bridge pick ups. Maybe that'll at least help give a ball park if what you are looking for. I will add another Duncan 7 string pick up worth looking at is the Alpha/Omega set, and possibly even the Dimarzio Titan set as well. Between the Warpig and the Black Heaven I'd go Lungren's myself. Just a preference though.
 

BrutalRob

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I should be clear that I don't dislike the lithiums per se, but I would like to try something new. I like the attack, clarity and versatility but the sound can be a little shrill in certain scenarios, I think mostly the bridge pickup when doing single note stuff. I also like how it sounds while chugging but I think it may be missing a bit of lower end growl/warmth at times.

Out of curiosity which of the three pickups is your personal favorite?
How about just swapping the magnet for alnico 8? Cheapest way to get a different sound and alnico 8 will beef up your tone
 

KnightBrolaire

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I should be clear that I don't dislike the lithiums per se, but I would like to try something new. I like the attack, clarity and versatility but the sound can be a little shrill in certain scenarios, I think mostly the bridge pickup when doing single note stuff. I also like how it sounds while chugging but I think it may be missing a bit of lower end growl/warmth at times.

Out of curiosity which of the three pickups is your personal favorite?
I prefer the black heavens tbh. The black winters are probably a better fit if your guitar is brighter sounding. They won't be as clear as the lithiums, but you'll get that low mid growl/low end you want.
 

hilljack13

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I had a pair of BW in a 6-string a few years ago. Sold the guitar but I have a 7-string set waiting to get installed. For me and what I like, I have a hard time moving away from them.
 

BabUShka

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If you need slightly warmer sound and more growl, you should consider the SH5 Custom or other Custom version as suggewted above.

Fantastic. But underrated pickups! I got rid of a JB and Duncan Distortion, and swapped them both with SH5 in a Eclipse and Schecter ATX. Honestly, if Seymour Duncan named this pickup something fancy, everyone would be all over it. I have a Nazgul in another guitar. It gets a lot of hype, and its a good pickup. But look out.. A third SH5 might be on the way.

(to be fair, i have not tried the Black Winther, so No comment here.)
 

Eyelessfiend

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My BW loaded guitars are super versatile but theres definitely more versatile pickups from Duncan. I'd be looking at a Pegasus or a Custom for that. I have a Apig and its great but very different beast than the BW.
The BW is very mid heavy but works well in lots of guitars/tunings.
 


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