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bare knuckle Bare Knuckle Coldsweats
Overall Rating
Submitted: January 10th, 2011
by Kracked
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Sound Quality
So, I had a Duncan SH6  in the bridge and a JB in the neck when I bought this guitar. It sounded ok and very predicatble - not overly responsive to touch and not much in the area of dynamics in a high gain situation. I switched those pickups out to Dimarzio Crunch Lab in the bridge and a D-Sonic in the neck. Sound was improved greatly under heavy gain as the Dimarzios seemed to be much more articulate with that ever so slight compression on the attack that lets the note blossom a bit when you let it ring. The trade off? Rolling the volume down also meant losing clarity on the cleans leaving them sounding dull. I played and recorded several songs with that setup before I just had to hear the Bare Knuckles for myself.Holy Sh!tLet's talk about a fundamental transformation. First of all, I play through a variety of all-tube high gain amps - some modded Marshalls and other straight out customs. I also play everything from metal / heavy rock/ djent to edgy country.  At this point, I pretty much use my AxeFX exclusively since it has essentially replaced all of my amps and sonically sounds superior to all of them when recorded. Using many of the same patches on the Axe that I've been using for months, I felt like someone had lifted a blanket off of my rig when I plugged my guitar with the Coldsweats in for the first time. Chords under heavy distortion ring out crystal clear - I can hear every note equally. Pick attack is amazing - nothing gets lost. No muddiness. Everything cuts through with incredible definition. Strong highs - but not the frequencies that cause pain in your ears - these are the ones that define the attack and create the character of each note.Without changing anything else in my rig, I brought the guitar to practice one night like I always do and didn't tell anyone else that I had changed anything. After the first song, the bass player and other guitar player asked "What did you do to your rig, what are you doing different?" There were things that I had been playing forever in some of the songs that they had never really heard before that night - things that had been lost in the sonic mayhem. Just seems like the notes just jump out of amp now and find their own sonic sapce without being louder than anything else.The dynamics are incredible. I can also roll back my volume and clean everything and still retain the sparkle in the notes. I've never had that ability without having some kind of bypass cap across the  volume pot.I know this review sounds like I'm a teenager just falling in love for the first time, but rest assured, the hype about these pickups is not hype.
Reliability/Durability
I dunno - pickups either work or don't. These work. I'm sure if there were ever a problem, these guys would take care of it for me.
Price/Value
General Comments
I just ordered two more sets of BK pickups for other guitars of mine. Yeah, they are pricey - but not that pricey. I'd rather buy one set of these instead of perpetually trying other pickups spending twice as much or more in the long run...
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