I can tell that Bareknuckle is a popular brand around here. I am decidedly curious about them, and I am wondering what it is about them that makes them superior to the big name brands like Seymour Duncan and DiMarzio. Superior to the point of being worth paying twice as much for. I've listened to the samples on their website, but to be honest all the "modern metal" samples sound virtually identical to me. This isn't meant to knock the pickups or the samples themselves, but to point out that my ears simply don't distinguish whatever subtle differences everyone else is hearing.
So far my favorite pickup combinations in my guitars have involved either a Duncan '59 or Jazz in the neck and either a Duncan Custom or JB in the bridge. I've tried various DiMarzios (D-Activators, Breeds, SuperDistorts, LF/CL) which all sound good, but I find myself gravitating towards the Duncans the most. They tend to produce a big open sound that I like, in contrast to DiMarzios which seems to have a more controlled, focused sound which feels kinda "smaller" to me somehow.
Proponents of Bareknuckles like to describe their tone as "monstrous" and so on, which I'm never quite sure how to interpret (I don't really know quite what to imagine in my mind's ear, so to speak). So if anyone has a more in-depth description of their experiences with them, I'd love to hear it. Ultimately I'm looking to learn what the sonic/tonal qualities are in Bareknuckles that make them desireable above and beyond the Duncans and DiMarzios out there. Are they really worth taking a $300 chance on?
The BKs sound pretty good to me, but not enough to warrant the 200% price increase over Duncan, or the 150% increase over Suhr and Anderson's pickups for me.
There are some models I'm pretty sure I'd like and I'd love to try out, but honestly the costs involved (and how happy I am with my current tones) means that I probably won't be doing so anytime soon.