Need your help with choosing pick-ups for an ES Les Paul

Discussion in 'The Custom Shop' started by Travis19, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. Travis19

    Travis19 Senior Member

    Messages:
    406
    Likes Received:
    437
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    I'm thinking about modding my 2015 ES Les Paul semi-hollow stocked with Gibson MHS pickups ('59-neck, tobacco burst). I love the look and feel of this guitar but it's tone can be harshly bright at times, which limits the amount of play that I usually like to have when using the volume and tone knobs.

    I'm going to be replacing the bridge with a Faber ABR-1, as well as installing Faber steel bushings and an aluminum tailpiece. My R8 & ES-335 both have Gibson '57 Classic pick-ups which sound great. But since I'm swapping out the MHS pick-ups, I thought that maybe I'd take the opportunity to try something from a different manufacturer. This guitar is unlike a solid-body Les Paul, nor is it like a 335; and as a relatively new model not much has been written about them on-line yet, so I need your ideas for pick-up replacement.

    I play Blues (e.g. Allmans/Peter Green), Jazz (e.g. Kenny Burrell) & Classic Rock (e.g. Crazy Horse, Black Crowes...etc) and prefer a darkly warm and thick tone. I'm leaning towards Seymour Duncan Seth Lovers, but there is a lot of love in this community for Fralins, Wizzs...etc.

    So what are your ideas for pick-ups for a small bodied semi-hollow?

    Cheers!

    P1015366 - Copy.JPG
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
  2. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Senior Member

    Messages:
    741
    Likes Received:
    201
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2015
    I love the sound of Seth Lovers in a semi hollow- perfect for the music you like.
     
  3. Travis19

    Travis19 Senior Member

    Messages:
    406
    Likes Received:
    437
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Thanks, man. I appreciate your input, and I'm glad to know that I'm on the right track.

    Anyone else have any thoughts?
     
  4. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,835
    Likes Received:
    6,034
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    The Seths are nice, but the gist of opinion is not dark and warm.....quite the opposite for a lot of users especially on the bridge.

    Tysontone has a great set that is wound to be full/fat. They've changed names since I bought so I can't tell you the current equivalent.
     
  5. Travis19

    Travis19 Senior Member

    Messages:
    406
    Likes Received:
    437
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Perhaps you're referring to the TTL-1 set, renamed to "The Preachers PAF" set. Does that sound right?

    I sent Tyson Tone an email to get their thoughts on my situation. Thanks for turning me on them! I'll let you know if I end up going with them.
     
  6. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,835
    Likes Received:
    6,034
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Could be that set.
    Bobby will be able to tell you better than I.....mainly as mine arrived slightly by accident as I'd ordered the lower output set . And it was only when I played them that I wondered why they weren't as clear as I was expecting (he did give me a great deal for either return or getting the set I wanted originally as well).
     
  7. Cdntac

    Cdntac Senior Member

    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    308
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2015
    I have a LPC Florentine --- essentially the same as your ES.

    While I liked the stock Ebuckers that came with it, I put a set of Robert's Luthiary Nuge pickups in it last summer and have had no desire to take them out.

    They're warm and creamy sounding pickups.
     
  8. Dilver

    Dilver Senior Member

    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    232
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    I'm running JM Rolph '59's in my CS-336 which is actually more similar to a Les Paul than the ES Les Paul (go figure), but I'm loving the PAF tones I'm getting.
     
  9. Travis19

    Travis19 Senior Member

    Messages:
    406
    Likes Received:
    437
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    After emailing with Bobby from Tyson Tones I've decided to go with the "Precious and Grace PAF" set. He also had a lot of good advice on my hardware as well. I also dig the idea of supporting a local guy. Thanks to ARandall for the recommendation!

    I've got Seth Lovers in my Heritage 575, so I felt inclined to try something new.

    The video clips sound fantastic! Thanks for the great recommendation. If the Tyson Tones don't work out I'll give 'em a try, especially since you play a LPC Florentine.

    All the reviews on these are very positive, thanks for recommending. I wish I could try them all!
     
  10. Cdntac

    Cdntac Senior Member

    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    308
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2015
    I found the Ebuckers that came in both my LP Florentine and my Explorer sounded a bit thin and weak at bedroom volume levels. But crank the volume and they became thicker and creamier. The Robert's Luthiary pickups sound good at all volume levels.

    A characteristic of Gibson pickups? I dunno.

    It's fun trying different pickups. Have fun!
     
  11. spad91

    spad91 Junior Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    I'd suggest trying out 300K volume pots with your current pickups in the first place, which will tame the brightness. It is a cheap option certainly worth trying. :)
     
    Travis19 likes this.
  12. Travis19

    Travis19 Senior Member

    Messages:
    406
    Likes Received:
    437
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Thanks for the tip, I hadn't considered pots. I'll research it. Cheers!
     
  13. renegade87

    renegade87 Junior Member

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    14
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2016
    I was going to suggest Duncan Distortion pickups, but it looks like you've already comitted to something else.

    Anyways, spad91 was definitely on the right track. Does your LP have a circuit board or old school pots? If it's got vintage style pots and caps and you're not afraid of doing a little soldering, you can experiment with your sound easily and cheaply without changing your pickups. Try a different cap value. For less than $6 you should be able to get 2 x Sprauge "Orange Drop" caps. But if you do decide to change out your caps, don't fall into the "Cap Trap". Vintage Bumblebees @ $130? Are you kidding me Gibson? A cap is a cap is a cap. Every type (Axial, Radial, Surface Mount etc.) perfoms the exact same function. Electrically they do the same job. I know, I place thousands of them on circuit boards every day and have for almost 30 years. 0.047uF is pretty standard for a Gibson/Epiphone dual HB setup. 0.022uF will bleed less treble, and 0.068uF would bleed more. Pots, use audio taper for the volume and linear taper for the tone. But at 300k or 500k, you're probably just going to turn them up all the way and leave them there anyways (like most all of us usually do...). Pots too are cheap (around $5 - $8 each)

    Good luck with your project.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
    Travis19 likes this.
  14. Erodr133

    Erodr133 Senior Member

    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    34
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    I'd go with Monty of Londons PAF's
     
  15. Mr Alarm

    Mr Alarm Senior Member

    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    32
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2013
    Nice axe! I've been dreaming about ES-LP since I saw the first pic of it. Testing one in music store did not cure the dreaming!

    If it is too bright, why the Faber or alu tailpiece? I have always thought that they are for brightening the sound.

    The Classic 57's will be darker. ... And hundreds of other pickups!

    And oh, please send the MHS-pickups to me! There is not too many of them for sale.
     

Share This Page