Which pickups??

Discussion in 'Pickups, Pickups, Pickups' started by sothoth, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. sothoth

    sothoth New Member

    Just got a LP in blueberry burst, should arrive in about a week. Yay!!

    Pickup options:
    1) Keep the Burstbuckers (the safe bet)

    —OR indulge my pickup junkie tendencies and get—

    2) A Duncan Seth Lover set
    3) A Bareknuckle Abraxas set (a little hotter than my normal tastes but amazing sound)
    4) Lollar Imperials
    5) Duncan Pearly Gates
    6) Something else

    Love PAFs, want something that retains the character of a PAF but either a little more output or a slightly different personality than the BBs

    Any ideas appreciated.

    Playing style is blues rock, AC/DC type rock, classic rock, and occasionally (but doesn’t need to be convincingly) Metallica. Basically some distortion but I don’t want a super hot and muddy HB since I’m not 15 anymore and like, but don’t play, metal much.
  2. johnreardon

    johnreardon Active Member

    Hi you and your ears are really the only one who can decide what to do. If it was me I would give what comes with the guitar a chance before doing anything.

    The guitars I have Burstbuckers in sound great to me plugged straight into my valve amps.

    People change things in guitars because they think they are 'upgrading'. They then convinve themselves that the guitar sounds and plays better because they have invested time and money. Sometimes it may, but far too often it doesn't.
  3. Infant

    Infant Active Member

    I'm with John on this one. Once you receive it, play it for a while ...you might like what you hear! All my guitars are still stock when it comes to pickups....pots are a different story.
  4. jimilee

    jimilee Member

    I upgrade because I want to explore different sounds. I have PAFs, Pearly Gates, BB1 and 2, 2 and 3. Classic 57s, 59s. So what I’m saying is, have fun with it. Play the BBs and then experiment form there.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. sothoth

    sothoth New Member

    How do you like the Pearly Gates?
  6. johnreardon

    johnreardon Active Member

    I get my different sounds by fiddling the guitar and amp knobs and using my fingers, but hey it's a free-ish world so as long as people have fun then that's the most important
  7. Tradplayer83

    Tradplayer83 New Member

    I think the 57ers are the pickups you're looking for.
  8. GibSG

    GibSG Member

    I love the 490/498 Gibson combo, Classic '57 are great too , my favorite S Duncan combo is the '59 SH-1.
  9. Infant

    Infant Active Member

    Hmmm....looks like you've got 5 or 6 different suggestions before you've even tried out the guitar. [emoji32]

    Suggestions will be as varied as there are forum members. Like some of us have said, give the originals a chance.

    Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk
  10. sothoth

    sothoth New Member

    I was hoping for a lot more suggestions so I can occupy my mind with pickup research while I wait for the guitar to arrive. :)

    I’ll give the originals a chance for sure. Then, I will undoubtedly decide that I need to TRY new pickups, spend money and effort to install them, and then rationalize why it sounds SO MUCH BETTER with the new ones installed.

    So what’s your favorite humbucker?
  11. Infant

    Infant Active Member

    Again, I don't change them out. If it doesn't sound good from the get go, I don't buy the guitar.

    My ES137 has the stock Classic '57s in it. My '72 Tele Thinline RI has Fenders own humbuckers which are just some standard sounding HBs. That guitar just required new pots as the 250k ones that came with it made the pickups sound muddy. Ten bucks for 500k pots and the guitar sounds great. Those are my only 2 HB equipped guitars. The rest are either P90 or Fender single coils.

    Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk
  12. SAguitar

    SAguitar Active Member

    Well all right, Rob! Way to go, job well done. 57 Classics are great pickups in my opinion, and Fender Wide Range humbuckers certainly have their fans, so I'm glad you have them dialed in to your satisfaction.


    Maybe I've been lucky in that I'm usually able to sit down with the actual instrument that I'm thinking about buying. If I'm not happy with the sounds I can get with the stock pickups, I move on to another guitar. It is sort of funny that the same pickups can sound so much different in different models of the same guitar, Les Pauls in particular.
    I have to guess that the body color must have something to do with it.
  14. sothoth

    sothoth New Member

    I go for looks and feel, and make upgrades if the pickups aren’t ideal.

    But... I also have a nice bridge humbucker in hand and a nice humbucker sized p90 neck, so I might try that. I won’t buy anything new this time. I’m in that 90 meetings in 90 days stage of my pickup addiction recovery.

    If I wasn’t such a crappy player I’d probably not get so into picking cool gear. :)
  15. johnreardon

    johnreardon Active Member

    Me too. To be honest can't be bothered messing about with a guitar. If I don't like the way it plays and sounds in my hands, I move on.

    Always assume the manufacturer knows better than me anyway
  16. SAguitar

    SAguitar Active Member

    I'm on both sides of this fence. I have spent a lot of time and money rewiring guitars and some got better. Some didn't and I either kept trying different pickups or went back to stock. I just indulged the habit because I was interested in it. Of course now I have a box of unused pickups to choose from when I get that crazy urge again.

    We should always remember that a great many of the classic tones that we revere were recorded with factory stock guitars.
  17. Advice fro someone who's been there, done it and wasted a lot of money...
    I'm usually a 'if it ain't right, don't buy it' guy, BUT I have been known to buy guitars specifically to change them. These days, I tend towards, 'if it feels good and plays good; I can fix everything else'.
    My advice, and this is the way I go these days, is if you're into changing pickups, save a lot of money and learn everything there is to know about how they work - there's a helluva lot more to it than DC readings and magnet types.
    Also, exhaust every possibility with what you have and use the factory recommended height settings as a guide, not gospel - to be honest, I don't think even Gibson's guys have a clue how to set a humbucker up properly, these days, based on how they arrive at the stores.
    Rather than blow £200 on a pair of pickups which you may not get the best from, just because you don't know how to set them up properly, buy a used LP copy and pull the thing apart, adjust everything that it's possible to adjust...
    As SAguitar said, a lot of the classic recordings were done on instruments at a time when there was no such thing as 'aftermarket parts'.
  18. johnreardon

    johnreardon Active Member

    Another thing to remember is that those guitars were new or newish, so this stuff about wood aging etc is more than a bit hard to believe.
  19. Don't get me started on wood...
    How many times do we hear/say that mahogany is dark/warm sounding, yet the SG is completely mahogany and actually brighter than a Les Paul... and a 335 is mostly maple and yet 'warmer' than a Les Paul???

    Top and bottom of it was, they had very few options back then - even the amps had less knobs on them - they just got on with it. We have too much to fiddle with these days.
  20. sothoth

    sothoth New Member

    Tinkering is fun.

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