Swapping to Standard Pickups on Direct-Mount Models

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SolidOrangeTiger
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Swapping to Standard Pickups on Direct-Mount Models

Postby SolidOrangeTiger » Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:28 pm

All,

I recently swapped my SCB6's stock Lithium pickups for Bare Knuckle Rebel Yells. During this process, I had a lot of trouble finding specifics about how to fit standard pickups to the routes for the Lithiums. I wanted to post my tech and I's findings here in case they help someone else.

Everything below should apply for any Kiesel direct mount model with Lithiums, Thoriums, Berylliums, or Illusionists installed.

Disclaimer: Not all pickups are created the same size. Everything below applies for pickups that fit the standard size for Bare Knuckle Covered Pickups or smaller:
https://www.bareknucklepickups.co.uk/upload/support/6_string_wide_spacing_5e7e9e7.pdf

1. The pickup cavity corners need a very slight route to allow covered Bare Knuckles to fit. It's not enough to add any significant cost to the job; this swap was $80 (new pickup cost not included). Uncovered Bare Knuckles fit with no routing.

2. The pickup cavity depth does not need any routing; the existing routes are plenty deep.

3. The screwholes in the guitar do not need to be modified on either side. If you look at the Lithium pickup platforms, there are three threads on either side. The screwholes in the guitar are the same as the platforms, so when you go to a standard pickup, you just use the existing center screwholes on both sides.
https://www.kieselguitars.com/products/KL12B

5. You'll need to re-use the screws from the Lithium pickups as most Kiesel bodies are pretty thin. Avoid using the screws provided with the new pickups to avoid screwing through the back of the guitar.

6. Either tri-tabs or standard tabs fit, but the outsides of the tabs do need to be filed slightly. I recommend going with tri-tabs since there is less material to file.

7. Ensure your new pickups have short leg mounts.

Photos:
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Last edited by SolidOrangeTiger on Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:47 am, edited 3 times in total.
Kiesel Arsenal:
--- C6C: Orangeburst Quilted Maple over Black Limba. (2018)
--- SCB6X: Trans Orange/Crimson V-Burst Burl Maple over Koa. (2019)
--- K6H: Fire Crotch Flamed Maple over Roasted Swamp Ash. (2019)
--- D6X: Natural Flamed Koa over Roasted Swamp Ash. (IN PRODUCTION)

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spudmunkey
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Re: Swapping to Standard Pickups on Direct-Mount Models

Postby spudmunkey » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:35 pm

Thank you for the awesome post!!

I can see this being referenced frequently whenever this question comes up, both here and elsewhere online. :)

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SolidOrangeTiger
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Re: Swapping to Standard Pickups on Direct-Mount Models

Postby SolidOrangeTiger » Wed Mar 27, 2019 3:59 pm

spudmunkey wrote:Thank you for the awesome post!!

I can see this being referenced frequently whenever this question comes up, both here and elsewhere online. :)


You're very welcome, happy to help! Feel free to link as many people as you'd like here.

Also one note I forgot above: Kiesel already confirmed with me that the Lithium-style pickup routes used on all direct-mount models are the same regardless of if they're covered or not. Everything above applies to both covered and uncovered Lithium style pickups.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to fire away and I'll do my best to get you an answer.
Kiesel Arsenal:
--- C6C: Orangeburst Quilted Maple over Black Limba. (2018)
--- SCB6X: Trans Orange/Crimson V-Burst Burl Maple over Koa. (2019)
--- K6H: Fire Crotch Flamed Maple over Roasted Swamp Ash. (2019)
--- D6X: Natural Flamed Koa over Roasted Swamp Ash. (IN PRODUCTION)

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Re: Swapping to Standard Pickups on Direct-Mount Models

Postby spudmunkey » Wed Mar 27, 2019 4:04 pm

SolidOrangeTiger wrote:Also one note I forgot above: Kiesel already confirmed with me that the Lithium-style pickup routes used on all direct-mount models are the same regardless of if they're covered or not. Everything above applies to both covered and uncovered Lithium style pickups.


Thankfully they started doing something similar when they came out with their S22 covered pickups. No matter what pickups you got from Carvin, the routes were large enough for those covered ones. They were still on the "cozy" side for some other pickups, but it was a step in the right direction.

Then, once they released the Lithiums the routes seemed to get slightly bigger again (that might not be true, but it feels true). And most recently, when they came out with their own 7-string covered pickups, they again enlarged the 7-string pickup routes to fit those, making pickup swaps on those still easier on all but the largest pickups.

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dbone
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Re: Swapping to Standard Pickups on Direct-Mount Models

Postby dbone » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:12 pm

Thanks for the tech tips, How do you like the bare knuckles rebel yell in that guitar. How are they different from the Kiesel pups.Thanks
dbones Lefties
SH550 M22SD M22N
DC150 M22T/M22V, DC150 M22SD/M22N
DC400A, K12B/K12N, DC600 M22SD/M22V, DC800 A80B/A80N
AE185 C22T/C22N/Piezo, AE185-12 H22T/H22N/Piezo
CT7M KL14B/KL14N, Bolt C22T/AP11/AP11, AC375, CL450, AC275K, SB5000 J99A pups

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SolidOrangeTiger
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Re: Swapping to Standard Pickups on Direct-Mount Models

Postby SolidOrangeTiger » Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:20 am

dbone wrote:Thanks for the tech tips, How do you like the bare knuckles rebel yell in that guitar. How are they different from the Kiesel pups.Thanks


You're welcome!

I like the Rebel Yells a lot! The reason for the swap is because I have a Crescent with Lithiums in it and pre-swap, both guitars were very similar in tonal functionality. The Rebel Yells have breathed new life into my SCB6 and given it its own unique sound.

I consider the Lithiums very articulate, transparent, and voiced towards the high-mids and trebles. They sit on top of the mix very well. This makes them a great lead pickup.

Compared to the Lithiums, I would say the Rebel Yells are a lot more forward. When you dial up the gain, the Lithiums cut more and more where the RY's get more aggressive (though I wouldn't say anywhere in the realm of "djenty"). The Rebel Yells are most prominent in the high/low mids and have a strong amount of low end. The treble is rounded off (at least compared to the Lithium it is), but definitely still present and the pickups still squeal well with harmonics. All of the Rebel Yell's tonal characteristics come together as a pickup that blends into the mix well, but can cut it with the right EQ when you want it to.

Overall, I'd say the Rebel Yells are an excellent rhythm pickup at lower crunch settings and an excellent hard rock / metal pickup at higher gain. The Lithiums on a six string standard tuning I would more characterize as versatile across the entire spectrum of rock. I don't think the Lithiums excel with higher-gain metal sounds until you get into the drop tuning/multi-scale/extended scale territory. I suppose this is why the Illusionists/Thoriums are now offered.

I would call the Rebel Yells an extremely nice compliment to the Lithiums. However, I wouldn't put either pickup in a guitar made of brighter woods like Walnut/Maple: In those guitars I would lean more towards the Berylliums (low output) or Bare Knuckle Holy Divers (high output) (something to make up for the lack of bass response). I think Lithiums or Rebel Yells are both better suited for warmer woods like Koa, Mahogany, or Limba. I don't really think you can go wrong with either choice in those guitars; you'll just get two different kinds of sounds that are equally awesome.

The description on Bare Knuckle's product page is very accurate to the real deal.
https://www.bareknucklepickups.co.uk/pickup/humbucker/rebel-yell

I can get my SCB to sound extremely close to both of these demo sounds with the right EQ settings:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csUHApTaF_Y
https://soundcloud.com/darthphineas/dream-warriors-pickup (Note this is a comparison between Rebel Yells and Holy Divers. See description for timestamps of each pickup. I'm talking about the RY parts.)

Sorry for the long response, but hope that helps!
Last edited by SolidOrangeTiger on Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Kiesel Arsenal:
--- C6C: Orangeburst Quilted Maple over Black Limba. (2018)
--- SCB6X: Trans Orange/Crimson V-Burst Burl Maple over Koa. (2019)
--- K6H: Fire Crotch Flamed Maple over Roasted Swamp Ash. (2019)
--- D6X: Natural Flamed Koa over Roasted Swamp Ash. (IN PRODUCTION)

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dbone
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Re: Swapping to Standard Pickups on Direct-Mount Models

Postby dbone » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:21 am

Thanks that’s all good information to think about.
dbones Lefties
SH550 M22SD M22N
DC150 M22T/M22V, DC150 M22SD/M22N
DC400A, K12B/K12N, DC600 M22SD/M22V, DC800 A80B/A80N
AE185 C22T/C22N/Piezo, AE185-12 H22T/H22N/Piezo
CT7M KL14B/KL14N, Bolt C22T/AP11/AP11, AC375, CL450, AC275K, SB5000 J99A pups


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