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Discussion in 'Pickups' started by Zibson, Feb 29, 2008.
I can buy this one for about 100 Euro. What do you think? Is this a real T-Top?
I can tell you three things about t-tops. First they are used on Angus Young's favorite SG. Second they are high output Alnico II pickups. Third they are the second most valuable humbucking pickup in the world. Only the original PAF is worth more. DO NOT get rid of them if you own them. If you do sell them remember they're worth hundreds of dollars
I thought the T-Tops had a smaller Alnico 5 magnet and they´re not high output as far as i know.
I think most of them are below 8kOhm DC resistance, i´ve seen some having 8,6kOhm.
hmmm i beg to differ. i think your opinions are a little over the T-top
Generally, I would have to agree. It can be a crapshoot. Just search ebay for "PAF" and take a look at "completed listings" (quite a few sellers sell their t-tops with PAF in the title - not to say it's bogus. These sellers clearly refer to them as T-tops). One guy had three different sets up (gold covers, never removed) for $600-800. But, only one set sold. Another guy had two separate auctions for his two "stamped" patent number pickups from his '76 LP Custom (covers removed). Each sold for about $100. I've watched these on auction from time to time, and it seems like they often sell for $70 - $110. I just sold my '76 LP Custom with original T-Tops a few weeks ago. I would say they were good, not great. My '57 VOS Goldtop with Burstbuckers sounds WAY better to me - one of the reasons I sold the 76 (I had tried Seth Lovers and Rio Grandes, too. The T-tops were the best for a vintage sound in this particular guitar, but, again, not even close to the Goldtop with Burstbuckers).
Blues Power, are you perhaps thinking more of the early (pre T-Top) patent sticker pickups? Here's an excerpt from the provide.net article linked above:
"When buying used Gibson pickups, many people will buy the "Patent No." style with an unopened nickel-plated cover. This pretty much guarentees you'll get a "good" pickup at a fair price (opposed to buying a PAF pickup with the "Patent Applied For" decal intact, which sell for more money). Sonically the nickel plated covered patent# pickups are excellent values, as they are very similar in sound to a real PAF pickup (but are much less expensive). Note if you buy a chrome covered Gibson pickup, it's a crap shoot as to what's inside - it could be either a T-bucker or not (but chances are good it will be a T-Top). For this reason I would generally avoid chrome covered Gibson humbuckers (unless they are really inexpensive), as the odds are against you in hopes of finding a non-Ttop. "
According to this article, the early patent-number sticker pickups (pre T-Top) could be considered the "second most valuable pickup."
That's true. My pre-t-top pat. #'s were considered pawnshop junk when I bought them. They're worth a couple thousand more now, but I'll never sell them.
But I don't think T-Tops would be 3rd, either. Original Filter-trons go for insane amounts of money, (as do many Rowe/Dearmond originals, but those are probably equal in value with T-tops, not more.)
Plus, there's Tom Holmes pickups. While he sells them new for under $600 a set, they sell on ebay for quite a bit more than that.
There's also the Greco Dry-Z's which are getting kinda ridiculous. Close to $1000 now... Some claim those are the best post-PAF humbuckers ever made. I've never heard them up close and personal, but lotsa guys go nuts for them.
note to self, start unpacking box of old Greco pickups and get them ready for sale! Insane!
You mean all those old pickups like Paf's and T-Tops that I dissected in my early years are worth a lot today? I am a dumb a$$...
You're telling me! When I first heard that, this was my face:
I've not heard these pickups, so I'm not going to judge them. The Japanese companies like Tokai and Greco did a fantastic job making Les Pauls: if they went through that trouble making PAF's I'm sure they're fantastic.
I can't help but wonder though, if this isn't partly a result of true Bursts being so expensive. Normal guys can't afford $300,000 guitars, or $10,000 pickup rings.
Compared to that, a Greco, even one with $1000 pickups, is far more affordable, and is still relatively vintage, rare and sought-after. It gives you some of that hen's teeth mojo and pride, and you don't need to sell your house to get it.
I'd love to hear a set of these someday. I just partly wonder: if they had the forumla so correct, (which is what some people say,) why would they deviate from it? And even if they had, (to accommodate high=gain players, ) wouldn't they still be able to come up with a similarly good pickup now?
Some guys claim the mid-80's was when alloys, wires, and magnets forever changed, making the Dry-Z's the last of the great PAF=style pickups. Whether or not that's true ....
I've owned a couple lawsuits over the years, and played and worked on or with many more. And to be brutally honest, whenever the pickups were stock, I felt they were a hugely weak link in the chain. I played an Ibanez ES-175 that had real dog pickups in it, but with some Lollars, it turned into one of the best sounding hollowbodies I've ever heard.
All I know is, Will Boggs, Tom Holmes, Jason Lollar, Lindy Fralin and Dave Stephens are all winding some damn fine PAF-style pickups, that can even fool guys who have original PAF's or early Pat. #'s.
Maybe metals and parts have changed, but all of these guys are getting incredible sounds from modern materials. Which is a big relief for guys like me who love PAF tone and can't afford them, (or even Pat. #'s anymore...)
And it's nice to know how much love and work went into these pickups, and that each one will be great, unlike the hit-and-miss originals.
Oh, yeah, one more thing: My '76 T-Tops DC resistance measured out in the 7.4K range. Most of the T-Tops I've seen on ebay, when the seller discloses the D.C. resistance, are also in this range, and seldom greater than 7.5K. Now, I know that D.C. resistance is a very rough guide and does not really say whether a pickup will sound "good" or not, but humbuckers in the 7.4K range would not be considered "high output" by most...
you can be taco boy
all right i was wrong. they are lower output pickups. but otherwise what i said is true to the best of my knowledge.
I say one thing wrong and everyone attacks me.
Not sure anyone attacked you - I for one was interested by your post. Bit of a late response though...
I didn't know T-tops used AlNiCo magnets. I'd always thought they were ceramic. Learn something every day...
T-Tops in my '78 Gibson:
Looks like a minter, mr. if6was9 !
I made this pic for a brother who needed some pointers on how to do realistic ageing. I think it's fit for this thread as well:
Your "Paul" has definitely seen more action than mine. That's what you'd call a relic in a natural way. I'll bet that it still plays and sounds just as sweet as it did when it was new.
Mine is close to being mint (a few issues that don't show up in the pic). I play it a lot but I also baby it way to much.
Peace Out and Rock On!
I just checked my `71 Les Paul BB Customs pickups, same Patent number stickers as the Thread starter. Pat No 2,737,842. These still have the pickup covers on.
I am bumping an old thread. I recently purchased a 74 Les Paul Custom 20th Anniversary. The T-Top pickups on this guitar have the patent number stamped, but there is also a small black sticker with "Thermal T Tempering" on it. I have never seen one like this. Anyone ever seen this before ?. It has the older slotted screws. The bridge pickup has had the cover off at one time as you can see by the solder. I will be taking the cover off to take a look for the T's. Here is a pic of the bridge and neck.