Bare Knuckle Pickups Painkiller

Painkiller, Pastilla de Guitarra from Bare Knuckle Pickups in the Humbuckers Contemporary series.

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content in English
Hatsubai 13/04/2011

Bare Knuckle Pickups Painkiller : la opinión de Hatsubai (content in English)

"Huge midrange"

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The Bare Knuckle Pickups Painkiller is part of BKP’s contemporary line. It is a high output pickup with lots of midrange and aggression. Like all BKPs, this can come with various options regarding wiring, covers, screw colors, etc. The one I had was wound for the bridge position and came with four conductor wiring and a ceramic magnet.

The Painkiller is an absolute monster of a pickup. The midrange just oozes out of this thing. Although Tim says there’s not a lot of bass, this pickup is actually fairly thick sounding. More importantly, it’s extremely tight and clear. Unlike most high output pickups out there, BKPs manage to stay clear and open sounding. This helps make this very complex chords really shimmer and allows you to hear every little nuance. The treble is fairly aggressive in this, but I never found it to be overly trebly or icepicky in any way.

The pickup cleans up nicely, but I really feel this is a pickup meant for metal. It seems to work very nicely with mahogany and darker woods, but I bet it would sound great in alder and basswood as well. Midgain tones were also pretty nice. I never got to try split coil or parallel wiring with this pickup, so I can’t describe how those sound, unfortunately.

If you’re in the market for a more boutique pickup that delivers ridiculous clarity, tight bass and aggressive midrange, this is really the pickup you want to get. Its tightness is pretty crazy, and I think the only pickups that are tighter are the Miracle Man and the newly released Aftermath (which is really just a tweaked Painkiller). The price might sway some people away from these, and I can understand that. If the price is an issue, try to look for one used.