Guitar Pickup Review

Bare Knuckle Aftermath 7 Humbucker Set

The Aftermath 7 string humbucker set is something I am looking at with a certain specificity. It’s going in an Ibanez. And Ibanez is putting the Aftermath in plenty of guitars these days. That should say something about what the manufacturer thinks about how it pairs up with their guitars.

It’s also available in a shade of green that’s particularly suitable for the guitar it’s going in to. My intrepid long-time readers know that I don’t get too excited about gear being a certain color. It still sounds the same, right? LOL! This is definitely an exception.

When Ibanez paints with this color on this type of guitar, they call it “Loch Ness Green”. In the Bare Knuckle color menu, it’s easy to find as simply “green”. This 7-string is house-bound and never sees the light of day. As such, the original bobbin colors have no fading and look virtually new. I suppose that’s a roundabout way of saying the BKP green is a spot-on swap that will maintain the integrity of the original appearance.

BKP Aftermath 7 black w nickel bolt
BKP Aftermath 7 black w nickel bolt

This Aftermath 7 humbucker set is going into an Ibanez Universe 7-string. That’s a basswood body, 24-fret maple neck, 25-1/2″ scale rosewood board, and Edge 7 locking tremolo system. The harness is original, as is the middle single coil. The guitar has a standard tuning of low B on the 7th, using 09-54 strings.

The Ibby Universe switching that I’ll be covering is as follows:

Ibanez Universe Switching
Ibanez Universe Switching

That means I’ll have a little split action with that middle single coil.


For those that recall my article on the Aftermath 6-string humbucker set, there’s talk of different pole options. Not so much here. To stick with the original look of the guitar, this Aftermath 7 set is all bolt pole pieces. By nature of the pole length and design of the bolt head, the character is a little more precise and with added focus.

The bridge position is all about control, thanks to the powerful ceramic magnets. First and foremost, the control of the low end. That can be big deal in an extended range instrument like a 7 string. The balance of the mids is slightly less throaty to my ears than the 6-string version. The mids accentuate low-end definition while assisting in the soaring harmonics of the highs. For hard rock and metal, this pickup is right at home.

The neck is almost a bit of a counterpoint. Getting power from an Alnico 5, it’s bigger in the low end. And in an interesting twist of fates, I’m finding the upper register to be fairly woody. For my preference, I still maintain the Aftermath neck could benefit from have an option for a ceramic magnet. But as it stands, it lends itself to big cleans and bold lead lines. With a full set of Aftermath 7 humbuckers, the bases are pretty much covered.

BKP Aftermath 7 blue w gold screw
BKP Aftermath 7 blue w gold screw
Hum Single Hum Configuration

The stock single coil is ceramic (yeah, I know. lol!). However, the Aftermath 7 set works together well with it in the 2 and 4 positions. The configuration is for the closest humbucker coil to the middle be joined in those selections. Again, the Alnico neck and the ceramic bridge serve up a nice heaping helping of variety. Particularly on clean amp settings. If I were to select a Bare Knuckle single coil to fill that spot, I might start with the Trilogy Suite or most likely the Sinner.

James Phillips demonstrates the Bare Knuckle Aftermath 7 string humbuckers

Aftermath 7 Bridge
Series – 14.883 K
Inductance – 5.861 H
Split – 7.45 K
Split – 7.458 K
Parallel – 3.725 K
Magnet – Ceramic

Aftermath 7 Neck
Series – 11.285 K
Inductance – 4.873 H
Split – 5.637 K
Split – 5.654 K
Parallel – 2.822 K
Magnet – Alnico 5

What do you say we look at that up next to the 6-string version:

Aftermath 6 Bridge
Series – 15.373 K
Inductance – 6.52 H
Split – 7.693 K
Split – 7.719 K
Parallel – 3.847 K
Magnet – Ceramic

Aftermath 6 Neck
Series – 11.829 K
Inductance – 5.545 H
Split – 5.921 K
Split – 5.923 K
Parallel – 2.96 K
Magnet – Alnico 5

Readings are practically identical? Isn’t the 7-string bobbin longer and would take more wire? Wouldn’t that make the DCR higher? What does it all mean?

Well, I can only apply a little bit of insight to this one. There are places that wind to the status quo and places that wind to the end result. In my opinion, the status quo would be to throw the same number of turns on the longer 7 string bobbin and end up with a higher resistance. My take on the end result would be that getting the same voice from the 6 and 7 (and 8) string versions of the same model and let the meter readings fall where they may. My thoughts on this set is that BKP is listening for the end result, which I think offers a consistency that most guitar players want.


The Aftermath 7 is good for punk, hardcore, hard rock, progressive & djent metal, nu-metal, thrash, death metal, metal core, and extreme metal styles. It is available in 6, 7, and 8-string variations. There are over a dozen bobbin colors and pole screw options to choose from when ordering. If you like covers, BKP offers many cover and radiator selections to personalize your humbuckers.

For reference, this Bare Knuckle Aftermath 7 humbucker pickup set evaluation was conducted with a Fractal Axe-Fx II XL+ featuring Celestion Impluse Responses and Fractal MFC-101 MIDI Foot Controller.  In addition, 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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