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Thread: pickup advice

  1. #1
    Forum Frontman fudd's Avatar
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    Default pickup advice

    hey guys,


    thinking about building a les paul and was wondering what pickups you all have had good luck with. My candidates are emg 81/85, Duncan 1978, Gibson 1959 tribute in the bridge. After that I'm drawing blanks. Any ideas would be welcome.

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    12.10.17 @ 07:53 PM
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    Have you thought about EVH Wolfgang pickups with the nickel covers? Just wondering, as I know you're obviously an Eddie fan.

    How about Pearly Gates, Slash models, PAF Pro, or Seth Lover pickups?
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    Forum Frontman fudd's Avatar
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    Yeah I've tried the Evh models and they don't have good enough lows for me. Mids are great but no lows and so so highs. I've also had a paf pro and a super distortion. I've been looking at the vintage super 70's pickups but they are expensive as hell.


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    I thought this was going to be a thread about how to pick up chicks, man.

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    Forum Frontman fudd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAF View Post
    I thought this was going to be a thread about how to pick up chicks, man.
    It's in the guitar thread so you're half way there.


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    My combo is a Gibson Classic '57 in the neck, and an SD '59 in the bridge in my Paul's and SG's over the years. Both the nickel cover versions. Love them as a set. The '59 is a little hotter and brighter than a lot of the Gibson vintage stuff, but still sounds and has the vintage response and bite. It cuts through. More PAF-ish, but still has enough power to let harmonics pop out, and feels nice and dirty, and responsive to your attack with a moderate gain setting on your amp. I do love the Gibson '57 in the neck though, because it gives that creamy, bluesy tone you expect from a Paul that I think the SD lacks a bit. I find the '59 a little too bright for the neck.
    Really depends what you're looking for. All I know is I love this combo over what most associate with the modern Gibson pickups shipped in Standards, Specials, and Studios which I find very bright and have no low or mid balls. Burstbuckers aside. They are also very good.

    One manufacturing note though. If you are looking for chrome/nickel covered pickups for cosmetics, Gibson does a far better job in this area. New, they shine like a flawless mirror, but the SD '59....you can see some amount of wirewheel/tooling marks that come through the finish from their prepwork. I don't really care as I don't coddle my guitars, so I let 'em tarnish and pit, but if you're a stickler for perfection, it might be detracting.

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    I have the JB/59 combo in an Ibanez LP shaped thing. I don't like the way the guitar plays, but it sounds amazing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CalFB View Post
    I have the JB/59 combo in an Ibanez LP shaped thing. I don't like the way the guitar plays, but it sounds amazing.
    Cool! I've had mixed results with the JB in some guitars....not bad, but just not what I was looking for in a specific guitar.... but the 59 sounds great in pretty much anything, and works for a variety of styles. I like that it doesn't compress so much in the preamp. I like that it actually responds to your attack so faithfully. You pick softer, it chimes nicely, and when you really muscle through the strings, it delivers the goods. You don't have to nurse the volume knob so much. I'm always full up, and get pretty much every kind of phrasing just with attack. Compared to say a typical Dimarzio PAF type which always seem to be hotter to my ear. I found I'd always have to roll down to around 6 or 7 to get the gain where I'd want if there was a softer passage. No big deal, but not having to be aware of that, and letting my touch control the output is a luxury to me!
    One of the best general purpose pups out there IMO.
    Last edited by we die young; 12.30.15 at 02:50 PM.

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    I've heard nothing but good things about the Duncan '59!!!
    Never owned one myself, yet hear all the praise heaped on it from multiple players.

    Seriously done with the EVH Wolfgang guitars. I've had enough. Can't stand the toggle switch location, and I do prefer the EBMM body style and/or even the Strat style. If the EVH Striped Series guitars had a neck pickup (even a single coil sized), then that's all I'd buy from here on out!

    Point of the rant^^^ is that I really want to unload two of my Wolfgang guitars, and start fresh with something else. Possibly even start that Sambora Strat I wanted to do a while back, with a PAF Pro or Duncan '59 in the bridge, and single coils in the middle and neck... New Year, new tastes....
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    I have a Seymour Duncan Custom Custom in the bridge position of mine, and really like it. For the neck, I'm using a Gibson 490R. I mainly play the bridge pickup though, so the neck pickup barely sees any use.

    Another excellent choice for the bridge is a (believe it or not) Dimarzio Super Distortion. I think this pickup gets overlooked, and it's really a shame. It really is a great pickup, and sounds great in a Les Paul.
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    Earlier this year, I replaced the 57 Classics in my Les Paul Traditional with a pair of Duncan Antiquities. I'd been happy with the 57s since I bought the guitar in 2010, but more recently had been hankering for that brighter PAF tone that comes with unbalanced coils and no potting. The Antiquities do that job very, very well. I moved the 57s into an MIJ Tokai SG, and their more mid-focused tone suited that guitar better. I've since bought a Gibson Derek Trucks SG with 57 Classics, and I love the way the 57 Classics sound in that.

    In general, I find I'm favouring low to medium power pickups. In my youth, I wanted everything as hot as it could be, but with age I'm finding better tone in cooler pickups. A few have mentioned the Duncan 59, and I think that's my favourite after-market neck pickup; it seems to balance with just about everything.
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    I tell ya Fuddman....

    I love the Duncan 78 man.... just can't seem to find anything (to my ears anyways....) that comes close to that tone. I had one in my old custom made Star replica and I loved the tone soooo much. Nothing comes close to that in my book. The Duncan 78 would get my vote.

    Rob

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    Quote Originally Posted by fuddman5150 View Post
    hey guys,


    thinking about building a les paul and was wondering what pickups you all have had good luck with. My candidates are emg 81/85, Duncan 1978, Gibson 1959 tribute in the bridge. After that I'm drawing blanks. Any ideas would be welcome.
    Guess I`ll be the first to ask , what kind of tones do you want to get and what amp are you playing thru?

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    I have a Custom 78 for sale, as I'm not in love with it. I put a JB in my Frankenstrat and am in love with it. I recently put Wolfetones in my Les Paul; a Dr. Vintage in the neck and Marshallhead in the bridge. LOVE THEM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RRvh1 View Post
    I've heard nothing but good things about the Duncan '59!!!
    Never owned one myself, yet hear all the praise heaped on it from multiple players.

    Seriously done with the EVH Wolfgang guitars. I've had enough. Can't stand the toggle switch location, and I do prefer the EBMM body style and/or even the Strat style. If the EVH Striped Series guitars had a neck pickup (even a single coil sized), then that's all I'd buy from here on out!

    Point of the rant^^^ is that I really want to unload two of my Wolfgang guitars, and start fresh with something else. Possibly even start that Sambora Strat I wanted to do a while back, with a PAF Pro or Duncan '59 in the bridge, and single coils in the middle and neck... New Year, new tastes....
    The '59 really is good, especially given that today's amps have all the gain you could ever ask for. You can saturate a preamp with a lipstick pickup these days!
    So unless you're playing through a vintage non master volume amp (like I do) and craving gain you won't need to push your amp real hard (again, like I do) or use any overdrive. It just has a great sound, and is so responsive to your picking attack which I really like. Is it a handcrafted scatterwound pickup? No, but for a mass produced model at an affordable price, it's really worth trying.

    Another similar SD is the Pearly Gates. It's real close in it's "feel", but it has a little more brilliance to the highs which people can take or leave I guess, but it's also got a nice sound. I'm running a couple of them currently as well.
    It doesn't seem to matter what I put the '59 in, it always sounds good. Someone else mentioned Dimarzio Distortions, and loving them too. I totally concur here as well, though my experience has been pretty limited to the vintage late 70's originals originals. I have a stock set in my old Attila, and they are amazing pickups. They squeal like pigs live because they have no potting,(not sure if the new ones are...I'd think so though) but it's my main recording guitar. It has a pretty unique wiring circuit in it as well which keeps the clarity when rolling off the volume which works so well with the Distortions.
    I did try a newer one a number of years back, and I found it real noisy for some reason, so maybe just a one off bad pickup, but at the time it set my feelings toward them. I was kinda shocked when I opened up the Attila to find them in there. Totally changed my mind on them.
    They are a pretty hot pickup to be honest, but I don't find them overbearingly so, even on a high gain amp. They still sound smooth and don't over compress.
    Quite usable.
    Last edited by we die young; 01.05.16 at 08:58 AM.

 

 

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