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Bare Knuckle Painkiller Bridge Pickup

The ultimate high output 'Djent' humbucker with raw and focused grinding crunch, extremely fast bass response and aggressive upper mid impact. - - The hi-mid peak of the Painkiller humbucker together with its powerful triple ceramic magnet design makes it the perfect pickup for progressive technical metal styles. A combination of tight, resonant lows and intense pick attack lets the Painkiller dominate and punch through any mix. Clarity is never compromised, no matter how much gain is applied or how low the tuning and, as with the Cold Sweat, pick harmonics are totally effortless. - - The Painkiller neck humbucker is powered by a custom size ceramic bar magnet for masses of power and liquid-like sustain as well as matching the bridge in output. Although not the major role of a high output ceramic humbucker, clean tones have a fat, modern voice with the combination of bridge and neck being particularly good.

Price: $105 to $105 at 2 stores
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Worth a look if you want a high mid / gain naughty pickup featured

Comments With my experience in mind from playing a Warpig bridge, I decided to replace the Warpig with a Painkiller.

I did a bit more research on the Bareknuckle site and this ceramic magnet beast was apparently what I was looking for when it came to gain and mids. The Painkiller is apparently similar to the Nailbomb but features slightly more treble response and a lot more mids, as well as being a ceramic driven ultra high gain piece of kit.

Being in a band tuned to standard E, cutting mids are the entire basis of our sound and is crucial for me to be heard when playing live. The Painkiller is marketed as a "Djent" sounding humbucker, capable of intense mids and screaming harmonics whilst providing a tight bass response.

I've had a bit of a play through my main rig and I can tell the difference already from the Warpig. The pickup is what I'd class as naughty, maybe a little bit difficult to control for a beginner, however it provides amazing flexibility and tone for the skilled player. As expected the pickup leaped more into life and provide some crazy harmonics and mids when driven nicely through a high gain head and a decent cab. (ENGL Invader 100 and Orange PPC412) Get the amp settings right and you'll be able to cut through any mix.

I kept the Warpig mentioned at the top in the Neck position and makes a nice compliment to the set... both very powerful pickups.

So in summary: The painkiller, I am impressed with. It's basically a Nailbomb taken to the next level with increased harmonics, mid punch and few more trebs inserted into the mix. If you're after something insane that provides maximum flexibility, tearing mid punch and a dump load of gain then go for this model.

There is one very important thing to note however, read on... I used the Painkiller for the first time in practice the other month and just wanted to add this... if you're going to use this pickup in a high gain amp setup then I'd seriously urge you to make use of some sort of noise gate or noise suppressor. Or both.

I found the pickup so raw and loud I had to turn the sensitivity of my noise suppressor way up from the normal setting, the gate on the ENGL Invader wasn't having any of it on it's own. It ended up just letting the normal feedback response of not playing anything cut straight through even on full sensitivity... So now just to control this thing at the gain level I want, I need an NS2 noise suppressor and a built in ENGL noise gate. Get the idea? You have been warned. :)

The pickup gets 4.5 just because of this last point, it's maybe a little too hot with high gain.

Liked about it Great mids able to cut through a mix
Great gain and drive
Great harmonics as you'd expect from something so hot

Didn't like Might be slightly difficult for a beginner to control, I class this pickup as "naughty".
It might be a little too hot for some players, depends what you want out of your sound.

Overall satisfaction:

By D1m3b4g2
Sep 19, 2011
Last updated: September 22, 2011
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Very punchy, very clear!!!

Comments Guitar: Custom Ibanez RG565 w/ Swamp Ash body
Amp: B52 AT100 w/ Genz Benz GB412 G-Flex
Strings .10-.46 set (minus the .10) with a .70 for the low E
Tuning AEADF#B (Drop A)

Distortion: VERY high clarity! It handled my low tuning and death metal rhythm's like it's nothing! It even made my swamp ash body sound super punchy and brutal! It's also very good for high gain chords (you can hear every note ring out with its own life!) as well as shredding on the bridge pickup. It can also be used for low gain tones just as well as any kind of metal. Oh, and yes, it djents.

Cleans: Better than most bridge pickups are for them. Still not great for chords and such (but most bridge pickups aren't) but if you're doing fast runs on the clean channel, they're amazing!

The pickup is very responsive. You can hear your mistakes when you play it. I think that's a very good thing. It makes you play better.

Liked about it Medium-high output for better clarity.
Very middy pickup. Great for getting some real chunk out of your tone!
It's harsh when needed but also very smooth!

Didn't like The price. I'm not really sure if it was really *worth* more then, say, a Super Distortion or an EVO or any other DiMarzio or Seymour Duncan.

Now, that doesn't mean that it's not a great pickup. Because it is SUCH a great pickup! But I feel like a $95 DiMarzio can do just as good. No, I don't think so. I KNOW so.

Overall satisfaction:

By D.M.RG7620
Jul 18, 2012
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