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"Impulse" Signature Pickup Launched

Posted by Nicola
30th March 2017

The Impulse Humbucker

As promised, if you have been keeping an eye on our TwitterFacebook and Instagram accounts over the past week, you will have noticed that we've launched our first pickup of 2016. 

Impulse: "A finely tuned pickup for the lowest tuned player." Josh Smith, Northlane.

The Impulse humbucker pickup, created with Northlane guitarist, Josh Smith, has now been launched. Josh Smith is one of the founding members of Northlane and, as a skilled guitarist, he knows what he wants from a pickup. Bare Knuckle fan Josh knew that he wanted a down-tuned baritone guitar pickup that could be as versatile as possible, and sound good all over the fretboard.

Together with Tim Mills, Bare Knuckle Pickups’ founder and MD, they have created the Impulse humbucker. Impulse has a neutral and broad-sounding mid-range, which acts to enhance the natural voice of the the guitar without adding any offensive frequencies. Josh was aware that his low tuning with a large string gauge required some key aspects from a bridge pickup, his setting of choice. Josh and Tim knew that Impulse couldn’t be too high output or it wouldn’t be clear enough, but at the same time, it needed a certain amount of low end compression to hold everything together, with a degree of high end compression to keep higher notes full. Josh says: “The lower register notes had to really pop out and remain clear and still sound thick while the highs couldn’t be harsh; a balancing act that’s quite hard to achieve on a baritone, especially a 7 or 8”.

“Most of all I wanted it to sound sweet and musical and even across the whole register and feel good to play on!” Josh.

A Finely Tuned Pickup For the Lowest Tuned Player

After considerable prototyping and beta testing Tim and Josh decided on custom size Alnico V magnets to power the Impulse. The tone is full, thick and harmonically rich at the same time, and even splits extremely well.

“The Impulse bridge humbucker is the tightest sounding Alnico pickup I’ve ever heard.” Josh.

Impulse has been designed for baritone guitar players like Josh, but Les Paul players with big strings will get a lot out of this pickup too; Josh says they: “will love the clarity without anything too bright sticking out and the low-mids getting too cluttered”.

With Impulse, progressive players will love the versatility and harmonic richness, whilst down-tuned metal players will love the fullness and tightness they get without any mud, especially if they're using an amp with a thick, low-midrange.

The Tone

Players tuned in open or alternative tunings with a lot of range will like the consistency in tone, compression and feel between registers. Rock players will love the full and muscular mids of Impulse, and how it handles medium gain applications. Pedal junkies will love how they take to overdrive, fuzz, modulation and time based effects without getting lost.

“The thing about the Impulse set that I like the most is that they're real players pickups, and although designed for me, they don't sway towards any particular genre of music. Just about anyone can buy these pickups and get a lot out of them in most applications. Whether you're a lead player with red-hot chops, or the rhythm player holding down the meat and potatoes, Strat or Les Paul, or baritone 7 string like me, the Impulse set has something to offer to you”. Josh

Impulse is available now in 6 and 7 string formats to suit all string spacings.

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