best blues pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by SmokestackElRopo, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. SmokestackElRopo

    SmokestackElRopo Senior Member

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    Before anyone suggests search, I did. Now to the meat of it......I am really tired of Burstbucker pros in my standard. Any suggestions, anyone?
     
  2. PINKBITS

    PINKBITS Senior Member

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    I'd check out guitarforce. I have tried quite a few boutique style pickups and Kevins are as good as any. Fantastic winder.

    He also does an amazing deal for forum members.

    Products

    His lord of the blues set would probably be perfect.
     
  3. lowmach

    lowmach Senior Member

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    notice you have a lp with 57's

    how would you compare them with the BB pro's?

    i have bb pro's in one of my LP's and seth lovers in another. I like them both. the seth's have a very crystal clear tone where the BB's are a bit dull in comparison, but not bad sounded by any means. i installed 500k pots with the seth's so that may help with the open sound? But i think its the fact that they are not wax potted. the seth's are great blues pick ups!

    oh and my next set of pups will be a set of prs dgt's. helped a buddy install a set in his custom. wholly balls!!!!! I want some now!
     
  4. SludgeBurns

    SludgeBurns Senior Member

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    Anything labeled PAF should be good for blues in general.
     
  5. River

    River Senior Member

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    I don't have a set of those, but reading the specs, they've got the right ingredients. At that price, how could one not give 'em a try?
     
  6. Bandols

    Bandols Senior Member

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    If you enjoy the classic blues tone, I would recommend the Seymour Duncan sh-1 59 pickup. They sell them in a kit that has a really great blues tone in a les paul.

    I have them in my les paul standard and really brought my epiphone to life. I also am putting in an order to George for one of his kits and plan on putting these in my build. And they have 4 conductors for splitting which is nice as not all blues tones sound good with a humbucker imo. A soft single coil sound is nice every once and a while.

    Buy Seymour Duncan Vintage Blues '59 Humbucker Set | Humbucker Pickups | Musician's Friend
     
  7. PINKBITS

    PINKBITS Senior Member

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    Exactly. :cool:
     
  8. SmokestackElRopo

    SmokestackElRopo Senior Member

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    I have a set of 57 and 57+ in my Epi Ultra, but that guitar is almost a semi hollow. It is extremely chambered. The 57z are really great in that guitar, and I was leaning towards another set for the standard. But I was wondering what a general consensus would be of some of the talented and knowledgeable folks here.
     
  9. #1guitarman

    #1guitarman Senior Member

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    Kevins "Lord Of the Blues" set is fantastic...really warm "woman" tone with some down and dirty bite and snarl. I sold an Epi with this set in it and I wish I had kept the pups...Oh well...
     
  10. bluemoon

    bluemoon Senior Member

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    I just got a set of Vintage 57s from Kevin. I am picking up the guitar tomorrow. Will report back.

    He gave me a great price...
     
  11. freddarl82

    freddarl82 Senior Member

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    I'm kind of surprised no one has recommended changing out the stock electronics first, before shelling out money on pickups! I'd recommend an RS upgrade kit and some good PIO caps. You may be surprised how good the BB Pros can sound (or not. After all, it's completely subjective).

    I've had the opportunity to compare the BB's and Guitarforce a little bit. My main LP is a 57 Historic Goldtop with RS pots and repro Bumblebee caps. It sounded really good with the original BB 1/2 combo. It sounds incredible with a set of custom-winds Kevin did for me (essentially a hotter wind of the Vintage 57's). For comparison, a friend has a LP Classic with BB pros. I rewired it for him with CTS pots and some Mojo Foil-in-Oil caps (after a detailed cap shootout). I'll tell you what -- that Classic with BB Pros can hold its own. It really comes down to which sound you prefer. His Classic might be a little more of a "Rock" sound, whereas mine is a little chunkier and would be better for Jazz or Blues.

    Point is, the original Gibson electronics are nothing to write home about. I would recommend, ESPECIALLY if your Standard has any 300K pots (I can't remember if they do or not), get some good 500K pots in there first, then get some good tone caps. These steps usually give more Bang for the Buck than new pickups. THEN, if you're not pleased, you can go on the pickup quest.
     
  12. PINKBITS

    PINKBITS Senior Member

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    Just shoot Kevin an email. Don't get caught up in the "hype" of some other winders around this place :cool:
     
  13. Fixxxer

    Fixxxer V.I.P. Member

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    to me blues is less about the pickup and more about the technique..
     
  14. TeleDog

    TeleDog V.I.P. Member

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    Alnico IIs, Pearly Gates, those are nice. It also depends on what sort of tone you're looking for. BB King and Gary More, they both play blues, very different tones! lol
     
  15. PINKBITS

    PINKBITS Senior Member

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    Trust you to chime in with some actual reality to this thread :rolleyes: :laugh2: :thumb:

    Blues is what it is. Pure emotion :cool:

    Nothing wrong with a nice PU to help you to tap that tech/emo though mate :thumb:
     
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  16. LawDaddy

    LawDaddy Senior Member

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    I back some national blues acts, here's my take. Blues is a big umbrella, with a lot of tonal possibilities. I've gigged for one Old Blues Dude who liked my Music Man Axis Super Sport plugged directly into a Mesa Boogie Blue Angel. The Axis has the DiMarzio EVH pickups. But, great clean/crunch tone. Go figure.

    For my Les Pauls, I have one with the DiMarzio 36th Anniversary pups - highly recommended. They're a definite change from the BB Pros if you're looking to just change them out.

    I have another LP that has a BB 3 in the bridge, and a BB 2 Pro in the neck. I love this combo because it has a real sweet chime in the middle position, which to my ears is real important in traditional blues. Believe it or not, it took me awhile to arrive at this combo. I went through a lot of pups searching for the best middle position sound, just to arrive back at Gibson-branded pups. I start another project soon and this setup is looking like my #1. You might consider moving your BB 2 Pro from the bridge to the neck, and plunking a regular Alnico II BB 3 in the bridge.

    The BB Pros are *real* sensitive to adjustments in height and polepiece setting. Try lowering them and raising the polepieces before you give up on them.

    Finally, take the advice above and swap out the pots and caps. I like the regular RS CTS 500k pots, over the counter Orange Drops, all wired '50s style. Doing so will really open up your available tonal palette.

    Hope this helps.
     
  17. SmokestackElRopo

    SmokestackElRopo Senior Member

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    Decisions.....decisions. After using the 57 classics in my Epi, I really like the warmth of the Alnico II magnets. I know it was a major deal compared to the Epi pups. I can only do it a little at a time, but my take on the BBZ after 2 years is kinda poor.
    Two weeks ago I had the neck plekked, a setup for .009z and I thought that might help, but when compared to the Epi, it still does not match up tone wise. It really loosened up and lowered the action, and it plays like a wet dream.
    The tone I seek is a warm creamy almost low key approach. I don't use much gain in my playing so maybe this info will help.I should have said so up front.
    Thanx to all for the replies and info so far.
     
  18. LawDaddy

    LawDaddy Senior Member

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    The '57s definitely have that warm thing going on. There's a bunch on eBay, you may want to check them out. You may also look at the the SD Alnico II Pro, I would describe it as warm, also. Don't let the Slash association get in the way, it's a nice pup.
     
  19. Fixxxer

    Fixxxer V.I.P. Member

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    Thanks bits!

    I believe a thicker guage string, and messing with the tone knob will get someone better results than a pickup swap, especially with the neck pu.

    I say this because, EMG's have a good blues tone, fitty 7 classics have a good blues tone, duncans, wolfetone, guitarforce, wcrs, etc...

    and that is just humbuckers, lets not forget our p=90 friends and single coils.

    That's just this guys view.

    Free at last .... free at last...
     
  20. moodyedge

    moodyedge Senior Member

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    call be biased but i think theres only one solution...

    bareknuckle stormy monday

    with a name like that........it hits that nail on the head....ive got one in the bridge on my 97 standard....and i love it...pure...organic....natural...warm.......lower output....its bliss through an orange rocker head

    very good pickup..

    mine is unpotted to be closer the that vintage blues growl......alnico mangets too.,..cant sure which ones.. theres clips on that redpersona myspace page of my band playing and that pickup in action

    www.myspace.com/redpersona

    shameful plug but if you wana hear what the pickup sounds like...take a look at 'mr big'
     

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