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Unread 11-15-2011, 07:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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burstbucker pro (replacement)

hey mlp, so my studio delxue (see avatar) has a burstbucker pro in the bridge at first i thought it was a very good sounding pickup, but now im starting to realize it's decent at best... i usually play all my rock/metal oriented things (think van halen, megadeth, black sabbath, guns n roses and everything in between) with my bridge pickup, and the burstbucker pro is a very bright sounding pickup, which i usually just solved by turning down my tone knob, but im starting to realize it has pretty poor sounding bass response. i need a replacement pickup to suit my needs, but my burstbucker pro is a reverse zebra, so should my replacement also be a reverse zebra, or should i just get a covered pickup and then cover the the 490r in the neck? and id prefer if i could retain the coil split feature i have. i virtually never use my treble pickup for clean tones btw, that's what my neck p'up is for . also, it may just be the amp im using at the moment, but i feel like it lacks in clarity and articulation. thanks
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Unread 11-15-2011, 07:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: burstbucker pro (replacement)

How much are you willing to spend?

To cover all those bands I would say either a Duncan JB, Dimarzio Super Distortion, or the EVH Frankenstein Humbucker.
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Unread 11-15-2011, 08:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: burstbucker pro (replacement)

around $100-$150 i've heard great things about the dimarzio paf 36th anniversary, but would that suit my needs?
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How much are you willing to spend?

To cover all those bands I would say either a Duncan JB, Dimarzio Super Distortion, or the EVH Frankenstein Humbucker.
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Unread 11-15-2011, 08:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: burstbucker pro (replacement)

Not so much. I have a few that will do the trick. Are you just doing the bridge or the neck and bridge.
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Unread 11-15-2011, 09:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: burstbucker pro (replacement)

Personally, I think there's a few things you could try before you go pickup-shopping, and save a bunch of money in the process (assuming you have not upgraded any of the stock electronics in your Studio):

1. Get rid of the stock ceramic capacitors. These are widely viewed as harsh and irritating. 1st choice would be PIO caps (Russian K40Y9's run $5-8 each), mojotone Oil-filled Vitmin T (about $4.50 each), or Orange Drops (about ($1.50 each).

2. A magnet swap with either roughcast A2 or UnOriented A5. Mags only cost $3-5 dollars and would be easy to swap in your BB Pro since it is uncovered. Either of these mags will give you nice, well-defined highs without the harshness.

3. Replace stock Gibson pots and wiring with CTS 500K pots and use vintage-style braided wire.

The BB Pros may not be as bad as you think (they tend to get a bad rap around here, perhaps unjustified). Here is a link to Jonesy's "Mojotone Capacitor Shootout" thread where I posted a friend's video playing his LP Classic with BB Pros, CTS 500K pots, and Mojotone Vitamin T caps:

Mojotone Capacitor Shootout

If you listen to the video, I would hardly describe his sound as "overly bright" or "harsh.". (Granted, he's playing a decent guitar through a KILLER amp, a Voodoo Labs Plexi clone). I just think these are the first logical (and cheaper) steps to take in seeking your tone. "Pickup-hunting" can get VERY expensive! If you put in quality wiring, pots, and caps, even if you later decide the BBPros aren't doing it for you, you'll still have a BETTER guitar for the effort.
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Unread 11-15-2011, 09:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: burstbucker pro (replacement)

alright, i saw your post, and that guitar sounds great i wanna do all the things you mentioned, except there are a couple of problems: i have no clue as to what ceramic capacitors are, i have no idea how to replace those, the magnets (which i assume are in the pickups), or the pots and wiring, and i'm assuming it involves a soldering iron, which i have 0 experience with. so... where do i start?
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Originally Posted by freddarl82 View Post
Personally, I think there's a few things you could try before you go pickup-shopping, and save a bunch of money in the process (assuming you have not upgraded any of the stock electronics in your Studio):

1. Get rid of the stock ceramic capacitors. These are widely viewed as harsh and irritating. 1st choice would be PIO caps (Russian K40Y9's run $5-8 each), mojotone Oil-filled Vitmin T (about $4.50 each), or Orange Drops (about ($1.50 each).

2. A magnet swap with either roughcast A2 or UnOriented A5. Mags only cost $3-5 dollars and would be easy to swap in your BB Pro since it is uncovered. Either of these mags will give you nice, well-defined highs without the harshness.

3. Replace stock Gibson pots and wiring with CTS 500K pots and use vintage-style braided wire.

The BB Pros may not be as bad as you think (they tend to get a bad rap around here, perhaps unjustified). Here is a link to Jonesy's "Mojotone Capacitor Shootout" thread where I posted a friend's video playing his LP Classic with BB Pros, CTS 500K pots, and Mojotone Vitamin T caps:

Mojotone Capacitor Shootout

If you listen to the video, I would hardly describe his sound as "overly bright" or "harsh.". (Granted, he's playing a decent guitar through a KILLER amp, a Voodoo Labs Plexi clone). I just think these are the first logical (and cheaper) steps to take in seeking your tone. "Pickup-hunting" can get VERY expensive! If you put in quality wiring, pots, and caps, even if you later decide the BBPros aren't doing it for you, you'll still have a BETTER guitar for the effort.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 12:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: burstbucker pro (replacement)

Drop in harness would be a great place to start. You can get them for a decent price from some of the members here. Real easy to instal and comes with great parts already assembled. I go with Matt over at Martin6string customs. You can see there stuff in the vendor section under MSSC
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Unread 11-16-2011, 01:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: burstbucker pro (replacement)

I did a magnet swap and dig what I hear now ....

/z
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Unread 10-11-2013, 07:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: burstbucker pro (replacement)

I installed a 300K volume for my Burstbucker Pro and it just sounds like I turned the treble and presence down slightly. Still sounds awesome! I also installed a 300K in my SG and LP Standard which have the Gibson Bill Lawrence HB-L and sounds a touch darker, like I turned the tone knob down. Either way, they all sound fat and thick, and I would say, better for sure. The Bill Lawrence Gibson HB-L is one of the best Gibsons ever.
Since I tend to replace bridge pickups periodically, I prefer to keep the neck pickup stock which is a Burstbucker Pro and this one may benefit from a 1 meg pot. Luckily there are lots of companies selling long split shaft 1 meg pots. However, the darker nature of the neck pickup is a beautiful thing and I may leave it alone.

I have used Burstbucker Pros for years and Gibsons HB-L and HB-R pickups as well. These are some of my favorite Les Paul pickups, but even BETTER with 300K pots for the volume in the bridge. My BB Pro sounds alive, cutting, yet thick and warm depending on how I run the volume and tone. I used to run WCR, Wolfetone, Duncans, and Rios and I am happier with the stock Gibsons.
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Unread 10-11-2013, 12:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: burstbucker pro (replacement)

I found what may be a helpful link; a review of the BB Pros going back to 2004.

Burstbucker pro's (alnico V) review:

I really have the opinion that the Studio Deluxe's pickups (490R & BB Pro) were selected by Gibson for this model guitar for their overall sound and versatility. I have the same pickups in my Studio Deluxe (2010) and with careful height adjustments as well as pole piece tweaking, I really like the tones I get from my setup. I usually look for versatility in pickups. I like the ability to go from 50's and 60's Jazz guitar tones (thick and creamy) to Classic Rock tone and this combination of 490R and BB Pro get me there. Read the link above about tweaking the amp's gain. That might be a big help.

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