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Options Help & Special Orders


SPECIAL ORDERS & OPTIONS

Bare Knuckle Pickups offer many different options so it hard to stock everything.  This page will help you sort through all the different Bare Knuckle Pickup options to choose what is right for you.   And it will also answer many of the commonly asked questions.  Feel free to give us a call directly at 856-583-1317 with anything you need help with.

Covers & Color Options

Here are some of the different color options and finish options available.  If you see something you like or want but that we aren't showing on our website give us a call at 856-583-1317.




Options Help



Here are some of the commonly asked questions we get regarding the
options you have to choose from with Bare Knuckle Pickups.  If there's
anything not answered here, or you'd like to know about Bare Knuckle or
pickups in general, email or give us a call.





  1. What does "calibrated set" mean?
  2. What is the difference between braided two conductor and four conductor?
  3. What spacing is right for my bridge humbucker?
  4. Stock vs RWRP middle single coils.
  5. Flat magnet profile or vintage stagger?
  6. What is four conductor wiring?
  7. What is the Bare Knuckle Four conductor color code?
  8. Can braided two conductor wire be changed to four conductor?
  9. Can covers be added or removed from a humbucker?
  10. How long is the warranty and is it transferable?
  11. What is DC resistance?
  12. What is resonant peak?
  13. What is a pickup's impedance?
  14. What does RW/RP mean?
  15. What is polarity?
  16. What is wax potting?
  17. What is scatterwinding?
  18. Are all scatterwound pickups unique?
  19. Why do scatterwound pickups sound different to machine wound ones?
  20. What is the difference between a humbucker and a single coil pickup?
  21. Can Bare Knuckle Pickups be mixed with other manufacturer's pickups?
  22. Are Bare Knuckle Pickups F spaced?
  23. Is there an optimum height for best pickup performance?
  24. How easy is it to install a pickup?
  25. Does it matter which way round a pickup is fitted?
  26. What is the correct value pot to use?
  27. What are zinc plate steel baseplates?
  28. What is the difference between vintage long leg and short leg baseplates?
  29. What is the Tele 4 way mod?
  30. What is the difference between braided 2 conductor and 2 conductor + screen options for P90s?
  31. What is the difference between potted and unpotted coils?
  32. What spacing is right for my bridge humbucker?


What does "calibrated set" mean?


Answer: A calibrated set of
humbuckers(or single coils for that matter) are pickups wound to
optimize tone and output for their respective position, ie bridge and
neck humbuckers are wound differently and often feature different
magnets too. The strings move alot more over the neck pickup and
generate more current so neck pickups are often wound to have a lower
output in comparison to a bridge in order to achieve better clarity and
balance between the pair. The best way to think of a calibrated set is
as a matched pair.



What is the difference between braided two conductor and four conductor?


Answer: Braided two conductor
hook up allows series operation only (humbucking!) whereas four
conductor hook up allows advanced wiring options such as
series/parallel, in/out of phase and coil splitting.



What spacing is right for my bridge humbucker?


Answer: Spacing refers to the
distance from E pole to E pole on the bridge pickup of a humbucker
equipped guitar. Standard spacing, usual with fixed Gibson style bridges
is 50mm(it's actually 49.4mm on BKPs as per the original Gibson PAF but
is rounded up to 50mm in the industry). Wide or F(Fender) spacing is
typical of trem equipped guitars and is 53mm as per original Fender
spacing. The majority of Gibson guitars are standard spaced although
they have occasionally used a wide spaced bridge on some SG and Flying V
models. PRS, despite fitting standard spaced humbuckers as stock are
actually wide spaced on their trem equipped guitars.Neck pickups are
always standard spacing. If in doubt...get the ruler out!



Stock vs RWRP middle single coils.


Answer: A stock middle coil
will have more mid range on the in between positions of the 5 way
selector and not be hum canceling. You'll also notice marginally more
volume across the whole set of 3 coils. Fender Strats originally came
with 3 stock wound/polarity coils. RWRP middle coil will hum cancel in
positions 2 and 4 of the 5 way selector, arguably more versatile than a
stock middle coil and popularized by players like Mark Knopfler and Eric
Johnson.



Flat magnet profile or vintage stagger?


Answer: A vintage stagger
handles the heavier 7.25" radius of a vintage fingerboard and works well
right up to a 10" radius. The stagger is how Leo Fender heard the
strings to balance the best and Bare Knucle uses the more common '56
stagger with the E/A magnets at 17.6mm, D/G magnets at 18.4mm, B magnet
at 16mm and high E magnet at 16.8mm. Bare Knuckle can also produce the
earlier '54 stagger with low G pole on request. Flat magnet profile
gives better string to string balance on modern radius finger boards of
10" and flatter. At the end of the day it's a matter of preference and
what works best for the individual-some players use a vintage stagger on
very flat fingerboard radii of 14" and love it!!



What is four conductor wiring?


Answer: Individual
termination of the start and finish leads from each coil of a humbucking
pickup to a cable with four separate conductors plus a shield. This
allows extremely versatile switching arrangments such as
series/parallel, coil split, in/out of phase and so on.



What is the Bare Knuckle Four conductor color code?


Answer: Black =start of screw
coil
White = finish of screw coil
Red = start of slug coil
Green = finish of slug coil
For standard series operation solder the red to the pot tag, the black
to ground(usually the back of the pot casing) and solder the green and
white together.



Can braided two conductor wire be changed to four conductor?


Answer: Yes, if you decided
after buying a Bare Knuckle humbucker that you'd prefer four conductor
wiring, it can be changed over for a small charge subject to return of
the pickup to Bare Knuckle Pickups. Please contact CMC Guitars first if
you bought the pickup from us.



Can covers be added or removed from a humbucker?


Answer: Bare Knuckle Pickups
removes covers free of charge as part of their commitment to customer
service so that your warranty isn't invalidated as long as the pickup is
returned to Bare Knuckle Pickups by registered mail. A cover can be
added to any Bare Knuckle humbucker and we only charge the cost of the
covers, fitting is free provided you pay for the shipping.



How long is the warranty and is it transferable?


Answer: The warranty is for
life to the original purchaser subject to returning the registration
form. The warranty is non-transferable and does not cover damage through
misuse or improper handling, normal wear to covers, installation
charges or any form of modification or repair undertaken by anyone other
than Bare Knuckle Pickups Ltd.



What is DC resistance?


Answer: It is the resistance
to the flow of Direct Current. In practice it is used as a very general
indicator of a pickups power with a higher DC reading yielding more
power and a darker sound. However the gauge of the wire also has
enormous bearing on the sound and different wire with similar DC
readings will not have the same power or sound. As always, let your
hands and ears be the judge.



What is resonant peak?


Answer: This is the frequency
that the impedance of a pickup is at its highest. A higher resonant
peak usually indicates a brighter, more open sound within a certain type
of pickup, i.e. humbuckers or single coils.



What is a pickup's impedance?


Answer: A measure of the resistance to the flow of AC(guitar signal!).



What does RW/RP mean?


Answer: Reverse wind/reverse
polarity is used with reference to a common modification to the middle
pickup on a Strat. With a 5 way selector a RW/RP middle pickup will act
as a humbucker when combined with the bridge and neck pickups in
positions 2 and 4. The magnetic polarity and the wind direction of the
pickup is the opposite to the other coils on the guitar. This enables a
stock coil and RW/RP coil to be wired together in parallel or in series
allowing hum canceling operation. This modification is common to StratĀ®,
TeleĀ®, P90 and P&J Bass coils. In fact, anywhere that hum canceling
is required from 2 or more single coils.



What is polarity?


Answer: This is the relationship of positive and negative electrical current or magnetic poles to each other.



What is wax potting?


Answer: When a coil has been
wound it is immersed in a mixture of paraffin and bees wax to solidify
the coils and help guard against microphonic feedback.



What is scatterwinding?


Answer: Scatterwinding is the
process of guiding fine copper wire by hand in a random or scattered
pattern around a bobbin that is spun by a machine. True scatterwinding
can only be done by hand and requires a degree of skill to get the
required tension along with consistent results.



Are all scatterwound pickups unique?


Answer: To a certain extent
each pickup will be unique and have it's own character but within the
boundaries of its specification. For instance no two Riff Raff
humbuckers will be identical but they'll all have the same number of
winds, the same wire, the same magnet and therefore similar overall
sound characteristics and performance.



Why do scatterwound pickups sound different to machine wound ones?


Answer: Scatterwinding by
hand can be time consuming but it has many advantages over conventional
machine winding, not least a far superior sound. When a coil is
scatterwound, the wire isn't as close or even, layer on layer, as with a
machine and this lowers the distributed capacitance that exists between
the turns of the wire. Lower capacitance allows more top end through,
the resonant peak increases slightly and the pickup has a flatter
frequency response across its range. The result is a clearer, more open
sound that has the impression of being louder purely by the amount of
extra detail and dynamics present.



What is the difference between a humbucker and a single coil pickup?


Answer: A humbucker consists
of two coils usually wound in the same direction however the electrical
path to ground travels in opposing directions in each coil and the
magnetic polarity is reversed. The humbucker is designed to cancel out
60-cycle hum and has a fatter, richer sound to that of the taller,
narrower single coil that can be prone to 50/60 cycle hum.



Can Bare Knuckle Pickups be mixed with other manufacturer's pickups?


Answer: Yes, our pickups are
suitable to be used alongside the majority of other manufacturer's
pickups although it is always wise to check the polarity and wind
direction, especially in the case of single coils, as occasionally the
polarity or wind direction may be different. It is always best to get a
coil wound correctly and the right magnetic polarity from the outset so
if you are in any doubt please contact us and we'll make sure you get
sorted out whatever it takes.



Are Bare Knuckle Pickups F spaced 53mm?


Answer: All Bare Knuckle humbuckers are available in 50mm (Gibson) and 53mm (Fender) spacing. Single coils are 52mm spaced as standard.



Is there an optimum height for best pickup performance?


Answer: Adjusting the height
of a pickup is essential to obtain the best sound and volume balance
with other pickups on the guitar. More volume and power are present
closer to the strings while the pickup will sound clearer further away
but have less output. Start by adjusting the bridge pickup close to the
strings whilst barring across the strings at the highest fret of the
guitar. Adjust the pickup away from the strings until no overtones or
false harmonics are heard and the best balance of power and clarity is
achieved. Once the bridge pickup is adjusted for maximum performance the
other pickups on the guitar can be adjusted by ear to gain optimum
volume balance.



How easy is it to install a pickup?


Answer: If you follow our
wiring schematics, pickup installation is quite straight forward as long
as you work carefully and methodically. Always use a soldering iron of
at least 25 watts and make sure it is at full temperature before
starting. Check all surfaces that require soldering are clean and free
of grease before separately tinning all wires and surfaces to be
connected with hot solder. If you have any doubts or have never
installed a pickup, get a reputable guitar technician to do the job for
you. As always contact us and we'll help as much as we can.



Does it matter which way round a pickup is fitted?


Answer: Bare Knuckle
humbucker designs feature both symmetrical and asymmetrical coils.
Traditionally the screw coil goes nearest the bridge and nearest the
neck respectively, but feel free to experiment for optimum tone.



What is the correct value pot to use?


Answer: The volume pot is
typically 250K or 500K, the higher the value the brighter the sound.
Historically Gibson has always used 500K pots and Fender 250K pots but
it pays to experiment.



What are zinc plate steel baseplates?


Answer: Zinc plated steel
baseplates for Strat coils add more bottom end definition, clarity and
power to the coil. They work on the same principle as a Tele bridge
baseplate with tapped mounting holes so height adjustment screws thread
directly into the baseplate ensuring it will never fall off. The
baseplates are waxpotted with the coil to provent microphonic feedback.
Whilst it is most common to fit one to the bridge coil only, the zinc
plated steel baseplates work well on middle and neck coils too.



What is the difference between vintage long leg and short leg baseplates?


Answer: The 1/2" vintage long
leg humbucker mounting is common on Gibson guitars or any guitar with a
generous pickup cavity.The shorter 1/4" long humbucker mounting leg is
more suited to shallow routed/slimmer bodied guitars such as Strats, PRS
etc.



What is the Tele 4 way mod?


Answer: By adding a separate
ground wire to the Tele neck cover it i possible to wire a Tele set to a
4 way switch which will give the additional option of both bridge and
neck in 'series'(as opposed to the standard 'parallel' mid setting). 4
way switch settings are : 1. bridge 2. bridge and neck in parallel 3.
neck 4. ridge and neck in series. This mod works the best on 'stock'
wound Telecaster coils as opposed to RWRP.



What is the difference between braided 2 conductor and 2 conductor + screen options for P90s?


Answer: 2 conductor + screen
provides the start and finish of the coil and a separate ground making
it easier for series or parallel connections with more than one coil
while braided 2 conductor has a single internal conductor and the
braided jacket is effectively the other conductor and used as ground.



What is the difference between potted and unpotted coils?


Answer: The very first
humbuckers from the '50s were not wax potted and the practice of
immersing coils in wax to prevent microphonic squealing didn't become
common place with humbuckers until later in the '70s and '80s(single
coils have always been wax potted). Unpotted coils have a very dynamic
and touch sensitive feel with a brighter edge which is well suited to
low gain playing while potted coils are much more practical for any
playing style where high amounts of preamp gain and loud volume are
used.



What spacing is right for my bridge humbucker?


Answer: Spacing refers to the
distance from E pole to E pole on the bridge pickup of a humbucker
equipped guitar. Standard spacing, usual with fixed Gibson style bridges
is 50mm(it's actually 49.4mm on BKPs as per the original Gibson PAF but
is rounded up to 50mm in the industry). Wide or F(Fender) spacing is
typical of trem equipped guitars and is 53mm as per original Fender
spacing. The majority of Gibson guitars are standard spaced although
they have occasionally used a wide spaced bridge on some SG and Flying V
series. PRS, despite fitting standard spaced humbuckers as stock are
actually wide spaced on their trem equipped guitars. Neck pickups are
always standard spacing. If in doubt...get the ruler out!


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