Bare Knuckle Black Hawk

Active humbucker sound, in a passive package

  • £210
  • $335
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Our Verdict

From razor-sharp Ramones chugging to dynamic metal lead work, The Black Hawks score full marks on every level.


  • Superb rock tones, brilliant clarity. They look great, to boot!


  • None so far.

For the Black Hawk series, Bare Knuckle set out to build a passive humbucker with the characteristics of an active pickup. The goal? Power and clarity without the batteries.

"The pickups' blade polepiece design means the Black Hawks are suitable for any string spacing"

Fitting the pickups to our Schecter PT model is straightforward, thanks to some easy-to-follow instructions. The pickups' blade polepiece design means the Black Hawks are not only suitable for any string spacing, but they also make our PT look even cooler.

Beneath the quartet of nickel- plated steel blades lurks a trio of ceramic magnets on the bridge pickup and Alnico V jobs on the neck 'bucker. You can request Alnico V mags on the bridge pickup if you prefer a little less treble bite than the ceramics provide.


The Black Hawks have a lower DC output than our stock Schecter SuperRock pickups, but you'd never know it when you plug the guitar in.

The bridge 'bucker is punchy without being lairy. Pile on the filth and there's no reduction in the impressive note separation. The clarity in full 'bucker and coil- split modes is stunning on both the neck and bridge units. The BKPs expose the inherent muddiness of regular humbuckers and offer a genuine alternative to active EMGs.

These pickups are the balls. The fact they look so boss makes taking them out of our PT even harder.