Bare Knuckle Ragnarok review

The active ’bucker slayer with a sweet side...

  • £265

MusicRadar Verdict

Never mind Viking legends; this thing is the holy grail.


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    Active pickup-like clarity from a passive format.

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    Handles distortion and cleans like a champ.


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If you’re into your Norse mythology, you’ll know that Ragnarök is a cataclysmic God-killing event that threatens to make corpses of Odin, Thor and Loki. 

Bare Knuckle’s Ragnarok humbucker, a collaboration between the firm’s Tim Mills and Periphery guitarist Misha Mansoor, wreaks its own brand of devastation. Loaded with ceramic magnets, the Ragnarok likes to do its talking with its fists. This thing was designed from the ground up to provide the high-output aggression and fat midrange of an active humbucker. The thing is, while ceramic magnet-fuelled pickups are great for extreme power, they generally suck at clean tones. 

Tim Mills has produced one of the most versatile humbuckers we’ve ever heard

That’s the big story here. Tim Mills has produced one of the most versatile humbuckers we’ve ever heard. The midrange on offer here isn’t just fat; it’s positively obese. Powerchords punch through your amp speakers loud and clear; bottom-string riffs sound huge.

The top-end is razor sharp when you dial in some distortion yet the pickup actually jangles on a clean setting - try that Jekyll and Hyde trick with your average active ’bucker. The bottom end is well-defined, too. That said, it’s never overbearing. You don’t get that lack of clarity found in many passive ’buckers. 

The Ragnarok comes available in a choice of colours and covers with two and four conductor wiring in six, seven and eight string formats. Yes, it’s been designed for aural mayhem but it can handle everything from overdriven classic rock to sweet country licks.