Gibson Classic '57 pickup spacing questions.

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by gregggyf, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. gregggyf

    gregggyf Senior Member

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    Good Morning I have a few general questions concerning Gibson's Classic '57 pickup.

    1. Could you please tell me the pickup spacing (in mm) for the Classic '57 pickup?

    2. Is the Classic '57 pickup sold individually or as a set?

    3. If the Classic '57 is sold as a set, are both pickups the same pickup spacing?

    Thank you very much.

    Greg
     
  2. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Banned

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    57 Classic and Classic plus as well as Burstbucker 1, 2 and 3 are all spaced the same 1-15/16" (49.2mm) and they ARE sold individually.
     
  3. LPCustom72

    LPCustom72 Senior Member

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    Are you saying the pole pieces for each string are spaced the same for the bridge and the neck PUPs?
     
  4. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Banned

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    Yes!! Neck vs bridge spacing is a modern concept. PAFs, T-Tops etc were all spaced the same (exception was some narrow spaced neck PAFs for some Jazz guitars 1-13/16") The 490R/490T (or 498T) and 496R/500T are modern pickups with 1-15/16" spacing for the neck and 2-1/16" spacing for the bridge. But vintage correct pickups have the same spacing (1-15/16") for bridge or neck. Once upon a time there was no such thing as a neck or a bridge pickup. They pulled the next pickup out of the bin and put the damned thing in whatever hole they were working on.
     
  5. gregggyf

    gregggyf Senior Member

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    Hello LP Custom,

    I am assuming that these pickups do have the same string spacing for both the bridge and neck pickups.

    It makes me wonder as to why did Gibson produce pickups in the past that were specifically designed to go into a certain position on the guitar.

    Or another way of thinking is that you can get by fairly well with a "standard" spacing or in this case 49.2mm.
     
  6. gregggyf

    gregggyf Senior Member

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    Thank you Skatterbrane for the good answers.
     
  7. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Banned

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    You're welcome! I am not sure if the 2-1/16 spacing started in the 80s? But if not, it started in 1990. Shaw pickups of the 80s were all 1-15/16" spaced as well. And I THINK the normal P490s of the 80s were too.

    I wish I had paid attention to all the non-Shaw equipped Les Pauls I owned from the 80s.

    The reason why the 57 Classics and Burstbuckers are all 1-15/16" spaced is because they are meant mostly for Reissue Les Pauls and are meant to be like PAFs
     
  8. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Banned

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    It is possible that the Bill Lawrence circuit board pickups were the first to be neck or bridge spaced. (just a theory, I have never measrued the few I owned) The HB-1 and the HB-2 or the HB-R and the HB-L.
     
  9. gregggyf

    gregggyf Senior Member

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    Skatterbrane,

    Regarding PAF's, if both pickups are 49.2mm spaced, in your opinion (especially if the pickup is uncovered) would alignment at the bridge look... poor?

    What is distance is considered standard alignment? Is it 50mm?

    Would a 1998 Gibson Les Paul Classic "get by" with "standard spacing"?

    Thank you again.

    Greg
     
  10. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Banned

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    I think any Les Paul would do more than just "get by" with vintage spacing. They would greatly be improved by taking those modern style pickups out and putting in 57 Classics or Burstbucker (the AlNiCo II version NOT the Pro version) in. Remember they were built to take vintage spacing. They used vintage spacing from 1957 (first year for humbuckers) through the 80s. And all the reissues and Historics use vintage spacing as well. The wider spacing for the bridge on USA Les Pauls since 1990, serves more as cosmetic for placating purposes. (ALL Gibson P90s are vintage spaced!!)

    Spacing would be my last concern when chosing a pickup.
     
  11. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Banned

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    Why is vintage spacing not a problem on a 1985 Standard, but all of a sudden it is an issue on a 1991 Standard? The Traditional Standard is SUPPOSED to be a resissue of the 80s Standard, so it SHOULD have vintage spaced humbuckers in both positions. (I have no idea what pickups come in the Traditional, I have not paid any attention to the USA line after I finally could afford Historics)
     
  12. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Banned

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    50mm is standard for Asian copies. 49.2mm (1-15/16") is standard spacing for any vintage Les Paul or Historics (and ALL Gibson Les Pauls before around 1990 or so) And the strings do not perfectly align over all the poles in either the neck or bridge anyway (or seldom does) and you would never notice this from the angle you see when you are playing.

    I understand 57 Classic are now being use in many Gibson USA models now, and they are all vintage spacing. I have never kept a set of 490R/498T or 496R/500T pickups in my Les Pauls, before I started making my own pickups, I replaced them with either Shaws, 57 Classics or Burstbucker 1 and 2 combo. I LOVE the Shaws and I also dug a Burstbucker 1 in the neck and a 57 Classic Plus in the bridge.
     
  13. guitarcase

    guitarcase Senior Member

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    Trads 57 and 57 + Standards bb pros.
     
  14. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Banned

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    Thanks well then the Traditionals have vintage spacing in both neck and bridge (I am not sure about the BB Pros, the few sets I had were both spaced the same, but I read somewhere that the bridge is wide spaced, but maybe that person ASSUMED they were because many people ASSUME a bridge pickup always has wider spacing, which is the exception rather than the rule)
     
  15. gregggyf

    gregggyf Senior Member

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    Thank you very much again Skatterbrane.
     
  16. LPCustom72

    LPCustom72 Senior Member

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    All:

    Thanks for your responses. Very helpful. I have some Wolfetone Dr. V's that are spaced for the particular position but a set of Tim Shaws that are not. Bought them off Ebay from a reputable seller. Additionally the ink-stamped numbers indicate one is for the bridge and the other for the neck. The ohm rating for each pickup supports this assumption. I wondered if there was a problem or not. Obviously not - whew!
     
  17. peterjc

    peterjc Senior Member

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    Hey Skatterbrain I am going to put suhr doug aldrich pickups in my 96' standard replacing the 498's and since they are trebuckers which one's should i go for the 50mm or 53mm aldrich's? They say on suhr website that if you have les pauls the 50mm spacing is the one. I'm confused should'nt i be getting the 53mm spaced? If i did get the 50mm will i have to renotch my saddles? Thinking of getting an ABR1 bridge anyway so if i go with 50mm spacing what should i notch my saddles too? Cheers
     

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