Guitar Pickup Review

Bare Knuckle Brute Force Humbucker Set

The Brute Force is the next humbucker we are looking at from Bare Knuckle’s Boot Camp selection.

As a reminder, the Boot Camp series is a ready-to-go easily-approachable range of quality pickups. Choose your voice or your output. Then choose from Strat, Tele, Humbucker, or P90 styles. As simple as that. These are also deftly-applied gateways in to the much more comprehensive line of offerings from Bare Knuckle.

In general, the Brute Force line is going to be much like what you expect from a more contemporary or high-octane character.

BKP Boot Camp Brute Force Zebra
BKP Boot Camp Brute Force Zebra

For this application, I’m going with the same guitar in play for the Old Guard humbucker evaluations. A double cut 2-humbucker mahogany body with maple neck and maple fingerboard. The harness contains the same BKP pots and caps. 550k pots, 0.022μF cap for the bridge, and the 0.015μF cap for the neck. The guitar has 10-46 strings and is in E standard tuning. 

During the install process, I take advantage of the opportunity to hit the frets with the Lizard Spit Fret Polishing System and to apply Lizard Spit Slick Nutz to relevant friction points.

Boot Camp Brute Force Nickel Cover 6-String
Boot Camp Brute Force Nickel Cover 6-String

The Brute Force humbucker set is very much at home as a distortion-class pickup. Running on a hard-hitting ceramic magnet, the voice has powerful rock and metal tones. The vibe is a classic balance of strong mids, deliberate lows, and powerful highs.

On paper, this bad boy sports a strong resemblance to the Painkiller set. I think it’s fair to say it goes a little further than just paper. Not a clone, but the DNA is quite similar. In other words, no, we are not talking about a cheap way out for any notorious tightwad guitarists. LOL!

For your dirty amp tones, the Brute Force set is mean and screaming for blazing crunch and hard-hitting leads. If you’re an older geezer like me, just think of NWOBHM or of the Sunset Strip. HaHa! The neck position is powerful enough for sustaining hard-blues styles that can hold together under high gain. While both positions yield potency, they are given the wise design of not being way over the top.

You cleans will be a little bigger on this set. Wiring for split or parallel options will help a lot, as will riding the volume and maybe a tweak of the amp. Individual bridge or neck positions will have a bit more push, while the middle position will deliver a little jangle. If you wire them up to be out of phase in the middle slot, it can be quite versatile for many textures.

Boot Camp Brute Force Nickel Cover 7-String
Boot Camp Brute Force Nickel Cover 7-String

Want to see/hear a sample? Here is a demo of the entire Brute Force line, with the humbucker kicking in right at the beginning:

Bare Knuckle Boot Camp Pickups | Brute Force

Brute Force Humbucker Bridge
Series – 15.305 K
Inductance – 6.497 H
Split – 7.711 K
Split – 7.622 K
Parallel – 3.83 K
Magnet – Ceramic

Brute Force Humbucker Neck
Series – 13.656 K
Inductance – 5.524 H
Split – 6.846 K
Split – 6.83 K
Parallel – 3.415 K
Magnet – Ceramic

BKP Boot Camp Brute Force Black

The Brute Force is good for high gain rock, progressive metal, thrash, hardcore and extreme metal styles.

The Boot Camp series humbuckers are available in 6 and 7-string variations with standard or wide pole spacing. They come with 4-conuctor wiring and triangle tab mounting feet. Nickel and gold covers are an option, as well as black or zebra bobbins.

For reference, this Bare Knuckle Pickups Boot Camp Brute Force humbucker set evaluation was conducted with a Fractal Axe-Fx II XL+ featuring Celestion Impluse Responses and Fractal MFC-101 MIDI Foot Controller.  Real cabs in use are Marshall 1960BMojotone British, and Peavey 6505 cabs loaded with Celestion Classic Series Vintage 30s and Classic Series G12M Greenbacks.

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