The Silo humbuckers are the newest addition to Bare Knuckle’s contemporary category of pickups. They are made for, and in conjunction with, Rebea Massaad.
You may know Rabea from his work with Frog Leap Studios or perhaps some of his demo videos. His demo of the BKP Ragnanok is a big hit, as are his videos of the BKP Boot Camp line of pickups. For me, I dig Rabea’s discussion on how to use a compressor. It’s one of the more misunderstood and commonly mis-used pedals. He lays it out so that even a guitar player can figure it out. LOL! Check it out:
Think it’s fair to say that Rabea knows his onions? Yep.
While talking to the lads at BKP, they suggested that I also try out their 550K Bare Knuckle CTS pots and their Bare Knuckle Jensen caps.
This means a new wiring harness for one of the test guitars and it sure benefits from the upgrade. Per BKP’s suggestion, the bridge tone gets 0.022 μF and the neck tone gets 0.0015 μF. These parts are top notch and will be getting a dedicated article coming very soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
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.
Right away, the Silo humbuckers strike me as particularly versatile. Not too rude nor too polite, while still being both. It’s a really interesting sort of Goldilock’s voicing: a scrummy amount of what you want and what you need.
On a dirty amp setting, the bold and juicy character of the Silo bridge is great for hard rock, heavy metal, prog rock, and doom metal. A range of Jake E Lee to Jerry Cantrell to Tony Iommi quickly pop to mind. Clean amp setting for the bridge are robust and where the dynamic taper of the BKP 550K pots come in to play. Wiring the Silo bridge in split and put in to an edgy amp is a good recipe for hot blues character.
The Silo neck is most brilliant. An even balance to the EQ and a tone that exceeds the specs. This is another example of where one might get cheeky with what’s on paper when they need to just try it out. Double screws, 7.18K, and relaxed highs on the tone graph could conjure expectations of something soft or dull. But not so. The neck is chock full of personality and voice. The 10-to-15 fret area does well at avoiding that honky nasal character, which is a benefit in my book. Good cut up high and a bold low end.
The split voice on a clean amp setting are sublime in the neck and middle positions. Toying around with the bridge tone in the middle position is great fun for interesting and adaptable options.
Here is a full-on heavy and aggressive demo of the Silo set, as in use by Rabea:
Want some specs?
Series – 15.287 K
Inductance – 7.077 H
Split – 7.639 K
Split – 7.668 K
Parallel – 3.827 K
Magnet – Alnico 5
Wire – 44AWG
Series – 7.621 K
Inductance – 3.686 H
Split – 3.803 K
Split – 3.815 K
Parallel – 1.9051 K
Magnet – Alnico 5
If you have a minute and want the full monty on all the tones, check out Rabea give the Silo set a gallop through all the amp settings:
And here is a demo of the 7-string version:
There are over a dozen options in Bare Knuckle’s contemporary catalog. A bit of something for everyone. The Silo set is quite suitable for a wide range of genres. It does strike me as a product-improved hot-rod set of humbucker pickups.
The 6-string set that I have here are adorned with black bobbins, short legs, 4-con lead wire, and the filister screw options. Of course the Silo comes with all the bobbin and cover options you can expect from Bare Knuckle. You will see that the ones that Rabea is using in his demos have the bolt pole option, for example.
The Silo humbucker set delivers a tone for a voice not previously heard. Definitely check them out. The blokes at Bare Knuckle are renowned for helping people discover a great match. Drop them an e-mail or stop by their social media channels (links below) with specific questions about what’s best for you.
For reference, this Bare Knuckle Silo humbucker pickup set evaluation was conducted with a Fractal Axe-Fx II XL+ featuring Celestion Impluse Responses and Fractal MFC-101 MIDI Foot Controller. Real cabs are Marshall 1960B cabs with Celestion Vintage 30s and G12M Greenbacks.
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