Taming the treble/high end on a Kiesel DC7X - Which pickup?

Rotatous

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Hey guys,

So my lead guitarist has this 27" Kiesel DC7X equipped with a BKP ceramic Nailbomb in the bridge (stainless steel frets too). The BKP was included in the deal when he bought the guitar and sounds better than the stock pickup did.

IMG_9459.jpg

The guitar works for live use but whenever we go to record we always end up going with one of our other guitars like my Stef B7 or his Agile 727 because the Kiesel just sounds absolutely harsh and ice-picky. This sucks because he'd really like to be able to use it for recording but I'm thinking we'll probably need to swap the BKP out with something that can mellow out the sound a bit. I think the guitar is naturally bright sounding and the SS frets just add to the equation. We go back to the EMG-equipped guitars all the time (and if it were my guitar I'd probably just throw some in there) but he'd like to at least try to stay with passive since EMG only makes one option for 7 string single coil and the cleans aren't the best generally.

So my question is are there any passive pickups you guys would recommend for taming some of that twangy, overly djenty, harsh sound? Anything with some of the pleasant properties of EMGs but maybe a bit better cleans?

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
 

Matt08642

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I've heard good things about DiMarzio D-Activators, especially when split for cleans.
 

spudmunkey

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I'm sure you've tried it, but have you tried playing with pickup height at all?

It's also only got a volume knob. A tone knob tuned up to 10 isn't the same thing as having no pot in the signal at all. Might be worth experimenting with adding a tone pot, even if it's just kept hidden inside the control cavity once hooked up. Adding a resistor would accomplish the same thing, but a pot is a variable resister so it's more flexible.
 

KnightBrolaire

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try some capacitors and different pot values before jumping to a pickup swap..
 

Scordare

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Like others have suggested..the lack of a tone control is adding to the natural brightness of the guitar. You could change volume pot to a 250k…add a tone control either with a dual concentric pot or something hidden inside..another trick is to try a long cable 20–25ft. A longer cable will have more capacitance and roll of more highs. As far as pickup recommendations..maybe try a Tone Zone 7.
 

TheWarAgainstTime

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I have a DC7X too. It's a dual humbucker setup, but I also got mine with one volume/no tone like his. The stock Lithium pickups were reeeeally bright, especially in this particular guitar. It's all walnut with a maple board and top and even sounds super bright unplugged. I tamed a little bit of clank/chirp in the pick attack by wiring in a resistor and capacitor in series as if there were a regular tone control. You could just as easily wire up a "real" tone control and leave it all the way up and tucked away in the cavity, but the resistor/cap solution takes up less space.

Here's a comparison I did a while back of a few different pickups in that guitar: In order, the pickups are a BKP Ceramic Warpig, Dimarzio Blaze Custom, BKP Ragnarok, and Dimarzio Ionizer. I also have the DI files here, if it helps: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1lCrCYvMgu_G5gnGrEms5H-CLvSQ6jCIa

The tonal difference between nickel and stainless frets is negligible at best, otherwise the open notes would sound super dull and out of place by comparison. As for what pickup would suit his guitar, it really depends on how far from the "core" sound of the current set he wants to stray from as opposed to just taming some brightness. Pickup height can make a HUGE difference, so try backing it off more than normal as well as up as close to the strings as you can just to get a feel for which way sounds closer to the ideal tone. It may also be something as simple as trying an alnico magnet in the same pickup to round off some top end.
 

Emperor Guillotine

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I'm in no way a Dimarzio fan, but I'd suggest checking out the new Dave Davidson signature Dimarzio Occult Classic. It's literally just a Dimarzio Super 3 in a 7-string format with higher, more modern output. If you know anything about the Super 3, it's a tweaked version of the original Super Distortion but designed specifically for lightweight, bright-sounding guitars with bolt-on necks. The Super 3 is all low/bass and lower mid emphasis (think frequencies below 1.2k) with an interesting tonal peak. It's a very dark-sounding pickup by design and can absolutely knock out any excessive brightness, ringing, etc. that might be inherent to that Kiesel. The Occult Classic is the same, but just (like I said) with higher output.

The standard 7-string Super Distortion or 7-string D-Activator from Dimarzio could also probably fit the bill for you as both are fairly good at controlling the high end due to their EQ curves, but I don't think they'd be as good of a solution as the Occult Classic as of right now. I've heard some pretty bad clips of playing with the 7-string Super Distortion and 7-string D-Activator, but a lot of artists do use both. They just don't sound beefy enough to my ears personally.

Aside from that, you cannot go wrong with a BKP Warpig as a bridge pickup for modern, high-gain music applications in my opinion. I've heard Warpigs used in all types of guitars, all types of woods, all types of build configurations and constructions, and I've never heard anything even remotely negative regarding excessive brightness, shrillness, or that "ice-picky" harshness that we all know too well in the treble frequencies when a Warpig is holding down the bridge position in a guitar.

Oil City makes a pickup called The Hel that is literally their take on the BKP Warpig. Same output level, same DC resistance, same EQ curve, same response, etc., but it just feels a little more "boutique" or "handmade" (I guess) if that's an applicable term to even describe a pickup. It's one hell of a powerful pickup but still controllable, and it could definitely remedy the issue with that Kiesel in the same way that the BKP Warpig can.
 

KnightBrolaire

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I'm in no way a Dimarzio fan, but I'd suggest checking out the new Dave Davidson signature Dimarzio Occult Classic. It's literally just a Dimarzio Super 3 in a 7-string format with higher, more modern output. If you know anything about the Super 3, it's a tweaked version of the original Super Distortion but designed specifically for lightweight, bright-sounding guitars with bolt-on necks. The Super 3 is all low/bass and lower mid emphasis (think frequencies below 1.2k) with an interesting tonal peak. It's a very dark-sounding pickup by design and can absolutely knock out any excessive brightness, ringing, etc. that might be inherent to that Kiesel. The Occult Classic is the same, but just (like I said) with higher output.

The standard 7-string Super Distortion or 7-string D-Activator from Dimarzio could also probably fit the bill for you as both are fairly good at controlling the high end due to their EQ curves, but I don't think they'd be as good of a solution as the Occult Classic as of right now. I've heard some pretty bad clips of playing with the 7-string Super Distortion and 7-string D-Activator, but a lot of artists do use both. They just don't sound beefy enough to my ears personally.

Aside from that, you cannot go wrong with a BKP Warpig as a bridge pickup for modern, high-gain music applications in my opinion. I've heard Warpigs used in all types of guitars, all types of woods, all types of build configurations and constructions, and I've never heard anything even remotely negative regarding excessive brightness, shrillness, or that "ice-picky" harshness that we all know too well in the treble frequencies when a Warpig is holding down the bridge position in a guitar.

Oil City makes a pickup called The Hel that is literally their take on the BKP Warpig. Same output level, same DC resistance, same EQ curve, same response, etc., but it just feels a little more "boutique" or "handmade" (I guess) if that's an applicable term to even describe a pickup. It's one hell of a powerful pickup but still controllable, and it could definitely remedy the issue with that Kiesel in the same way that the BKP Warpig can.
Where did you hear that the occult classic is a super 3? I've used that and his imperium set, and I'd argue they are nothing alike. The super 3 is quite dark, to the point of being muddy, and it's higher output than the imperiums. It has a less responsive low end than the imperiums too. The imperiums are also relatively mellow on the high end but they never get muddy ime. The Super 3 is great for doom/sludge but doesn't hold up for techy riffage ime.

The occult classics look more like mildly tweaked imperiums based off of their website.

Also as counterpoint about the warpig. I had a ceramic warpig that was spikey as fuck on the high end in one of my old 8 strings. It was the main reason I sold that pickup.
 


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