Bare Knuckle pickups is an up and coming pickup maker from England. They are known for their custom wides and made to order pickups. They also have a great line of production pickups that have a wide variety of tones. Bare Knuckle pickups are some of the hottest most brutal passive pickups out on the market. They have been taking over the metal scene by storm and I know people who have switched from active EMG pickups to these passive Bare Knuckle pickups because the passive pickups have a more aggressive sound. The Trilogy Suite Single Coil Set is a set of pickups that will give a huge tone to any Stratocaster. They are sold in a set of 3 because no stock pickups can keep up with one of these single coils. They have insane output for true single coils. The neck pickup has an output of 12.5k which is the same as the middle pickup. The bridge pickup has an output of 15.5k which is hot for even a humbucker. Even at these output ratings these are not the hottest single coils Bare Knuckle pickups makes. These pickups have the vintage tone with super high modern output. The low end on these pickups are huge. This is good because hot single coils that are eq'ed for high end can have a really harsh sound. The low end in these pickups help tame the harshness of having super high output. The neck pickup is super round and smooth like what you want when playing high gain leads in the neck position. The neck pickup can be paired with other humbuckers in the bridge if you are the kind of guy who likes the single in the neck and humbucker in the bridge configuration. The bridge pickup has a beastly sound. The low end of the pickup combined with the natural twang of a strat bridge position means you get a monster tone. Palm muting with one of these in the bridge and you may think you have a set of EMG's in your guitar. If you are looking for some insane output single coils that still retain lots of vintage tone these are some of the best on the market.
The Trilogy Suite is a contemporary single coil that Tim at Bare Knuckle Pickups offers. These are for those looking for a strong output pickup in their strats. It features an Alnico V magnet, two conductor wiring and flat pole pieces, but I’m sure you can order it with staggered pole pieces. There are also other options you can choose from such as base plate material and whatnot.
The name was given to it thanks to Yngwie Malmsteen, a leader in neo-classical heavy metal shred. These pickups are a very modern sounding pickup, but they still have some old school overtones going on. The low end on these is huge. I can’t stress that enough. These are super huge sounding, and they’re guaranteed to make anything they’re in absolutely roar. It’s tight enough to where it can handle super fast triplets, but it’s not super narrow like so many other tight pickups. The midrange on this is also very strong. It’s meant to push and amplifier into overdrive easier. Treble has been pushed back so that they don’t get too bitey like so many other singles are known to get.
To me, these are pickups for those looking to play heavy metal with their strats. I find that I like the neck version the best as they sound super round and vowely. The quack sounds are awesome on this pickup, too. Paired with a humbucker, it seems to be a nearly perfect output. It’s not quite as modern and loud sounding as the Sinner, but it’s also not as vintage sounding as the Irish Tour.
I only tried these in alder since that’s what my strat is made out of, but these will probably work in any neutral to bright wood. I bet these would sound absolutely wonderful in both basswood and swamp ash. Mahogany might be a bit too much due to the midrange. If you’re looking for some great shred pickups for your strat, I recommend checking these things out. They should deliver what you’re looking for.
These were without a doubt some of the worst Strat type of pickups I've ever used.... I purchased a heavily modified Jimmie Vaughan signature Fender Strat with these installed at the tail end of last year. I had heard so many good things about BKPs and was hoping that a $300 set of pickups would sound at least passable... I was wrong. The nature of the pickups was extremely hot and scooped sounding, not at all what I was looking for. The name to me implied reference to an Yngwie Malmsteen type of sound. For those that don't realize, Yngwie uses very low output pickups into a cranked Marshall with a boost. These do not do his tone, or any other classic "Strat" tone justice in my opinion.
For starters, they had FAR too much output for a pickup that was apparently (given its name) supposed to ape a classic "Yngwie" tone. This made for a very muddy and bad sounding set of pickups. To me, the idea of high output and Strat pickup together is never a good combination and these pickups prove why. Clean tones were far too bass heavy and fairly flat in the treble, with no midrange to speak of. There was none of the glassy top end and shimmer that make a Strat pickup shine. Compared to my '79 Strat that had stock greybottom Fender pickups, my JV Strat with these pickups just sounded dead out of the water. Also, the fact that they were extremely scooped in nature was a huge annoyance and frustration to me. I like pickups that have a neutral frequency response that allow your picking dynamics and amp texture to come through. With these pickups, all I noticed was a sound that scooped the mids out to a point that all I felt I could use them for was thrash metal... very disappointing.
I wouldn't be so harsh if it wasn't for the fact that these pickups are around $300 for a set. Handwound or not... they're absolutely terrible and I feel bad for anyone paying for the $300 hype. If you want good Yngwie esque tone, look into the DiMarzio HS3s, YJMs. or the new Seymour Duncan YJM Fury pickups. All of them are much cheaper and sound much better than these abominations.
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Bare Knuckle Pickups Trilogy Suite Single Coil Set images