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Thread: Black Winter owner.... Feedback so far????

  1. #41
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Gone_Shootin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black Winter owner.... Feedback so far????

    My order of pots, caps & tubes showed up the other day, and I finally had the chance to install the Black Winters into my Explorer today. I've only had the chance to play them through my little Peavey Vypyr practice amp and my Fender Blues Jr so far, and A/B'd the Explorer woth my Les Paul which has a Screamin' Demon & a Pearly Gates. Here are my initial impressions:

    With the Vypyr:
    Compared to the Demon in my LP the BW bridge has more fizz on top and has more of a grind/growl in the mids. The tightness of the bottom is comparable, but I had to dial back the gain on the amp to get the clarity I wanted with the BWs. But bear in mind, this is a cheap.crappy practice amp, and not a good tube amp, which I will be playing through tomorrow at practice. And of course the Demon's output isn't even in the same ballpark. As far as the BW neck compared to the Pearly Gates goes, again, the BW has more on top, the mids seem to hit at a higher frequency, and the low end is a lot tighter than the PG. The BW neck is excellent for pristine clean stuff. It's got a beautiful chime to it, but it doesn't do bluesy or funky stuff as well as the PG. But for the music my band plays, the BW neck will work just fine. And don't get me wrong, with the volume rolled back it will do some funk, but just not as well as the PG. But never the less, it's staying put. I like it for what it is. It's the first humbucker I've had that I don't feel the desire to split for clean stuff.

    Through the Blues Jr:
    I had about the same luck Lucy did. It didn't sound all that great, but then again the only guitar I have that sounds good through that thing is my Telecaster. So par for the course, lol.

    Tomorrow, I'll be playing through at my Mesa Triple Rec at band practice, and if I remember I'll bring my little video camera.

    ETA: Forgot to mention; I also re-wired the Explorer. It now has one volume, one tone, 3-way switch, Bourns 500k pots, and a big fat 600 volt .047uf Orange Drop cap.

    ETA2: Also, there shouldn't be any need for '50s style wiring or treble bleed with these pups. They seem to maintain plenty of treble with the volume rolled back. And I've started out with the pups flush with the pickup rings and like them there so far. I may experiment with height later on, but for now it's good.
    Last edited by Gone_Shootin; 08-03-2013 at 04:01 PM.

  2. #42
    Super Toneologist Lucy Diamond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black Winter owner.... Feedback so far????

    Hi again...guess who.

    Just on a lark the other day, I threw my Bogner ecstacy red pedal through the clean channel of my Road King and the Winters made it freakin scream.

    Absolutely no excess noise. It cleaned up pretty well with the volume knob, considering it's a pedal manufactured by the people who make Randalls now and the gain was set to ridiculous.

    It has been over two weeks and I am still in love.


    ~LD
    For the record, Lucy Diamond is a stage name and a movie reference and I'm a guy.

    Also, the Dimarzio PAF Pros that came in my 1991 Blue Floral Ibanez Jem are some of the best paperweights ever made.

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  3. #43
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Gone_Shootin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black Winter owner.... Feedback so far????

    Well, I. didn't get the chance to play it through the Mesa today. Hopefully I'll have better luck Wednesday.

  4. #44
    Tone Member Despised's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black Winter owner.... Feedback so far????

    I really need to decide if I want the Nazgul & Sentient set, or the Black Winter set for my ESP Alex Wade sig model... Either one so far trumps the Distortion 7 set I was considering.

    My question here for those who have these, in ANY version of 6, 7 or 8-string: How do these sound when in split coil modes??? How's the distortions and cleans when in split/single coil mode???

  5. #45
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Gone_Shootin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black Winter owner.... Feedback so far????

    Quote Originally Posted by Despised View Post
    I really need to decide if I want the Nazgul & Sentient set, or the Black Winter set for my ESP Alex Wade sig model... Either one so far trumps the Distortion 7 set I was considering.

    My question here for those who have these, in ANY version of 6, 7 or 8-string: How do these sound when in split coil modes??? How's the distortions and cleans when in split/single coil mode???
    I won't known the answer to that until I buy a set for my Jackson USA King V (the next guitar I plan on putting BWs into). That said, they are very chimey in full mode when clean.

  6. #46
    Super Toneologist Lucy Diamond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black Winter owner.... Feedback so far????

    Quote Originally Posted by Despised View Post
    I really need to decide if I want the Nazgul & Sentient set, or the Black Winter set for my ESP Alex Wade sig model... Either one so far trumps the Distortion 7 set I was considering.

    My question here for those who have these, in ANY version of 6, 7 or 8-string: How do these sound when in split coil modes??? How's the distortions and cleans when in split/single coil mode???

    I don't wire my pickups that way anymore. They never act like single coils and everything just seems to sound and feel better to me when the humbuckers are full on hard wired as humbuckers. I always got a hollow, nasaly overtone when I split coils (even in full mode) so I just don't do it.

    I can tell you that with The Black Winters, you won't need to. You can turn the volume down and get amazingly chimey and funky tones.

    I have split coils on my Invader 7 and my '59 7 and I don't like them at all.

    Good luck and enjoy,

    ~LD
    For the record, Lucy Diamond is a stage name and a movie reference and I'm a guy.

    Also, the Dimarzio PAF Pros that came in my 1991 Blue Floral Ibanez Jem are some of the best paperweights ever made.

    What are you doing right now? Thread.

    Follow me on Instagram: @LucyDiamond777

  7. #47
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Gone_Shootin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black Winter owner.... Feedback so far????

    I messed around with the pickup height a little last night and it made a lot of difference. I thought I loved them where they were, but I raised them both up a bit (I don't have exact measurements), and it brought out more of a bluesy sound in the neck pup and made the bridge pup seem more alive.

    And a question for those that also own Black Winters, what was/is your favorite pickup(s)?

    Mine are (maybe) a Screamin' Demon in the bridge and a Pearly Gates in the neck, but the BWs are putting up a good challenge.

  8. #48
    Toneologist Grindspine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black Winter owner.... Feedback so far????

    Quote Originally Posted by Despised View Post
    I really need to decide if I want the Nazgul & Sentient set, or the Black Winter set for my ESP Alex Wade sig model... Either one so far trumps the Distortion 7 set I was considering.

    My question here for those who have these, in ANY version of 6, 7 or 8-string: How do these sound when in split coil modes??? How's the distortions and cleans when in split/single coil mode???
    The Black Winter 7 set sounds intriguing. I am still considering if I want to keep my V77/V87 set in my Ibanez 7 string; the sound is pretty comparible in clarity, output, and bass response to my other guitars once pole pieces and pickup height was adjusted. I am still half considering the Nazgul in the bridge with a Distortion 7 in the neck though.

    I am also half considering if I want to replace the Duncan Dimebucker in my Washburn with a Black Winter as the BW seems to have the necessary brightness with more body. I am slightly worried that it would be muddy in mahogany though. Has anyone used a BW in mahogany yet?

    Third, I have been wanting to update the pickups in my crappy import B.C. Rich with EMG x series pickups. I like the 18 volt 81 in that guitar, but the two battery setup is a problem with the batteries hitting some of the wiring. The BWs are another contender though. I kinda wanted pickups that have a strong enough voice to cover up the fact that the wood in that guitar is crappy basswood ply.

  9. #49
    Tone Member Despised's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black Winter owner.... Feedback so far????

    Quote Originally Posted by Grindspine View Post
    The Black Winter 7 set sounds intriguing. I am still considering if I want to keep my V77/V87 set in my Ibanez 7 string; the sound is pretty comparible in clarity, output, and bass response to my other guitars once pole pieces and pickup height was adjusted. I am still half considering the Nazgul in the bridge with a Distortion 7 in the neck though.

    I am also half considering if I want to replace the Duncan Dimebucker in my Washburn with a Black Winter as the BW seems to have the necessary brightness with more body. I am slightly worried that it would be muddy in mahogany though. Has anyone used a BW in mahogany yet?

    Third, I have been wanting to update the pickups in my crappy import B.C. Rich with EMG x series pickups. I like the 18 volt 81 in that guitar, but the two battery setup is a problem with the batteries hitting some of the wiring. The BWs are another contender though. I kinda wanted pickups that have a strong enough voice to cover up the fact that the wood in that guitar is crappy basswood ply.
    Well, after hearing the demos that Keith did, it gave me a much better perspective on which one(s) I am more heavily considering, the Nazgul, the Distortion, and the Black Winter. If I had to place them in order of tonality, it'd be as follows:
    *Black Winter: More defined and a lot sharper than the Distortion, will definitely brighten up a dark guitar from what clips I've heard of it.
    *Nazgul: Better than the distortion, and a lot tighter than the Distortion. Has a more focused and refined tone, yet more cutting.
    *Distortion: very tight, sharp, and has a good high-mid and high boost to help brighten up dark sounding guitars.

    Since the guitar the BW's would go in is a mahogany neck-thru, it needs something to help break up the tremendous low end and dark growl it has. Despite al the griping I may have done earlier about when we'd finally see and get these (new models), I'm glad I held out even longer to hear some really good sound clips of them in a comparison. Because of hearing the Distortion vs. Nazgul vs. Black Winter, I think I'm going to try the Black Winters first. And IF I don't like them or find them to be too much, I can always return/swap them, or I KNOW that someone would be more than willing to buy them from me to fund a Nazgul & Sentient set.

    In regards to swapping the stock Ibanez pickups, I would. IMHO, there's only 1 good set of Ibanez pickups and they don't even make them in a 7-string version, the Infinity series. The Infinitys seem to have a perfect balance of output, clarity and tone that the Axis series and the V7/V8 set seem to miss. And something like the Black Winters or the Nazgul/Distortion combo would be a HUGE difference in your tone. A good friend of mine has put his Nazgul in one of his RG7620's, and he's super pleased with it. And while the set of custom rewinds in my AW-7 sound awesome, I still think I can do better with it. It's my Stephen Carpenter that I'm having a tough time deciding upon what to put in it, because I've grown bored with the DiMarzio D-Activators, and the guitar and I both crave some new life and flavors out of it.

  10. #50
    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: Black Winter owner.... Feedback so far????

    Bright is good, but is it as gritty as the distortion? (

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    Super Toneologist Lucy Diamond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black Winter owner.... Feedback so far????

    Quote Originally Posted by orpheo View Post
    Bright is good, but is it as gritty as the distortion? (
    It is everything you want in the distortion but not as open and clear. It is very compressed and extremely tight in a very usable way. I'm leary about saying very compressed, because I don't want you to think EMG...I want you to think "oh yeah...that's the $h!t"

    The Winters have a much darker overall quality than the distortions.
    For the record, Lucy Diamond is a stage name and a movie reference and I'm a guy.

    Also, the Dimarzio PAF Pros that came in my 1991 Blue Floral Ibanez Jem are some of the best paperweights ever made.

    What are you doing right now? Thread.

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  12. #52
    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: Black Winter owner.... Feedback so far????

    Ah, good, thanks. No, not for me. clearly. I love lower output pickups, I love high output pickups but I want as little compression as possible.

    I'm thinking that this pickup would make a great hybrid with the full shred, to make it more open yet keep the tightness.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Gone_Shootin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black Winter owner.... Feedback so far????

    Played the BWs through my Triple Rec last night and it didn't sound good. The sound was woofy and had too much in the low mids. So after practice my drummer and I sat down and he listened while I messed around with the pickup height some more. By the time I was done we both agreed that it sounded a lot better, but I still wasn't satisfied. We're going to practice again Friday night, so I'll give it another try in a band setting and I may take the amp home so I can spend some quality time dialing the Black Winters in. And I put off recording anything until I do get things dialed in. I'll keep y'all posted.

  14. #54
    Mojo's Minions Edgecrusher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black Winter owner.... Feedback so far????

    Quote Originally Posted by Gone_Shootin View Post
    Played the BWs through my Triple Rec last night and it didn't sound good. The sound was woofy and had too much in the low mids. So after practice my drummer and I sat down and he listened while I messed around with the pickup height some more. By the time I was done we both agreed that it sounded a lot better, but I still wasn't satisfied. We're going to practice again Friday night, so I'll give it another try in a band setting and I may take the amp home so I can spend some quality time dialing the Black Winters in. And I put off recording anything until I do get things dialed in. I'll keep y'all posted.
    Boogies can be really picky about different guitars/pickups I dont have a triple rec but my dual rec and MKIV i have to reset the knobs pretty much completely when swapping guitars or pickups. Might be the case for you too you might have to sit down and re-dial in the tone on your amp.
    "It keeps you fit - the alcohol, nasty women, sweat on stage, bad food - it's all very good for you." -Bon Scott

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    you better than any girlfriend, because it screams louder, it's easier to pick up, and it shuts up when you take your plug out." -Rip Glitter

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    Toneologist Grindspine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black Winter owner.... Feedback so far????

    Quote Originally Posted by Gone_Shootin View Post
    Played the BWs through my Triple Rec last night and it didn't sound good. The sound was woofy and had too much in the low mids. So after practice my drummer and I sat down and he listened while I messed around with the pickup height some more. By the time I was done we both agreed that it sounded a lot better, but I still wasn't satisfied. We're going to practice again Friday night, so I'll give it another try in a band setting and I may take the amp home so I can spend some quality time dialing the Black Winters in. And I put off recording anything until I do get things dialed in. I'll keep y'all posted.
    Without using an overdrive to boost the mids, I have a hard time getting a Rectifier to not sound woofy.

  16. #56
    Super Toneologist Lucy Diamond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black Winter owner.... Feedback so far????

    Definitely turn the bass way down on Boogies, especially with Black Winters.

    I have six of them and it is the same with each one.

    Also...for the record...the Black Winters and the Mesa Stiletto don't get along....AT ALL. The Stiletto is a b!tchy amp to begin with...the Winters just P!$$ it off even more...it's just too metallic without an overdrive to smooth it out. If you are going to use pedals, then...fine...but just the guitar (with Black Winters equipped) and the Stiletto....bech. It isn't the Winter's fault either. That amp is just weird.
    For the record, Lucy Diamond is a stage name and a movie reference and I'm a guy.

    Also, the Dimarzio PAF Pros that came in my 1991 Blue Floral Ibanez Jem are some of the best paperweights ever made.

    What are you doing right now? Thread.

    Follow me on Instagram: @LucyDiamond777

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Gone_Shootin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black Winter owner.... Feedback so far????

    Yeah, this Triple Rec has a lot of lows too. In fact I usually run with the bass most, if not all the way down. The woofy part I was talking about, though, was an over abundance of low mids. But by the time I got done adjusting the bridge, I really had no complaints, but just feel like I could do better If I sat down and really tweaked things.

    As far as the amp's tone goes, I do plan on installing some EL-34s. I tried the Winged C EL-34s out of my JVM the other day and liked what I heard. The lows were tighter and there was more of a punch to the upper mids. Definetly what the Rec needs. But it was only 4 tubes instead of 6 (yes I ran them in the inner 4 sockets, so no real danger except for a slightly hotter bias), so I didn't really get the full effect of a full compliment of tubes. But in the meantime I will do some more tube rolling in the preamp.

  18. #58
    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: Black Winter owner.... Feedback so far????

    Ok, let me recap the black winters.

    are they are gritty as the distortion?
    Are they as fat and think and chunky as the invader?
    Are they as bright and tight as the fullshred?
    are they as fluid as the JB?

    The moment SD releases a pickup that's as fluid as the JB, as tight as the fullshred but has the chunk of the invader and the grittyness of the distortion if I pick hard.

    that's what I'll buy.

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    Default Re: Black Winter owner.... Feedback so far????

    yes
    no
    yes
    no

  20. #60
    Tone Member Despised's Avatar
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    Default Re: Black Winter owner.... Feedback so far????

    Quote Originally Posted by orpheo View Post
    Ok, let me recap the black winters.

    are they are gritty as the distortion?
    Are they as fat and think and chunky as the invader?
    Are they as bright and tight as the fullshred?
    are they as fluid as the JB?

    The moment SD releases a pickup that's as fluid as the JB, as tight as the fullshred but has the chunk of the invader and the grittyness of the distortion if I pick hard.

    that's what I'll buy.
    Here's the best way to get an idea of the BW's compared to a lot of other Duncans...
    *Black Winter vs. Distortion 6:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vc0C...e_gdata_player
    *Black Winter 7 vs. Nazgul 7:
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ne9eIeg-ND8

    For comparisons of others like the Distortion vs. JB vs. Custom vs. Invader vs. Anything else, I'd check out the videos that Keith Merrow has posted up on YouTube of the comparisons. Even though they are all distortion and metal toned, it'll give you the basic idea...

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