NPD! Whole lotta humbuckers

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by DADGAD, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. DADGAD

    DADGAD Senior Member

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    I just got them today. I've been really curious about these for a long time. I was going to get a set of Page pickups wound by MJ at the Duncan custom shop but it was a three week wait. No problem. I noticed that the specs for the WLH's and the Page set were the same. 8.2k neck, 8.78k bridge, AL5, both 4 conductor and aged nickel covers. I asked MJ if these were the same pickup and she confirmed. I get bored easily and decided I would change up my Page. Currently I have a long magnet '59 PAF in the neck and a Pat sticker T top in the bridge ala Page '73. I am curious to see Duncans interpretation of a Page set. This is the only spec MJ has ever wound for the Page pickups and is likely the same as the set that is in his red B bender Les Paul. Is it the same as the Duncan in his #1 (apparently approx. 8.3k), we'll see. I want to test a few combinations of these and if I can find a way to post them I will. I haven't been able to find any good clips. I think there is one youtube one but it's not very clear. Ob Com and his friend have a set and they have raved about them. For an 8.2K neck, it was not muddy at all I'm told. It has all the clarity and chime you'd expect.

    Here are the combinations that I am going to try. (through a handwired Plexi and Greenback 4x12)

    neck bridge
    PAF T top
    PAF WLH
    WLH WLH

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    The recipient!
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  2. theycallmetex

    theycallmetex Senior Member

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    Can't wait to hear about them! I've been wanting to try them for a while now
     
  3. DrakeZero

    DrakeZero Senior Member

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    Guess I am going to need to break out my soldering iron again. You are so picky :p

    Though I too am curious about them.
     
  4. DADGAD

    DADGAD Senior Member

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    Yes, heat that iron up. I wonder how they'll sound through your SIBLY.
     
  5. Ob Com

    Ob Com Senior Member

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    thats the nicest Page CS I've seen DADGAD :)

    What a beauty.

    Look forward to hearing your findings
     
  6. DADGAD

    DADGAD Senior Member

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    Drake Zero has my guitar and is doing the installation of the Whole Lotta Humbuckers. He is going to do a review of them for me and compare them to my previous setup (PAF and T Top). I'm not sure if I'm going to leave them this way or use a PAF neck, WLH bridge combo. That has yet to be tested. Stay tuned!
     
  7. Jessenoah

    Jessenoah Senior Member

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    Royal Albert Hall Tone or bust!
     
  8. DADGAD

    DADGAD Senior Member

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    Lol! You rascal!! No Hiwatt in my rig......Yet.
     
  9. DrakeZero

    DrakeZero Senior Member

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    I have the Catlianbread RAH pedal so it`ll be close enough.
     
  10. DrakeZero

    DrakeZero Senior Member

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    Well the switch is done, and I have played around with the WLH humbuckers, and I think I can make my first impressions. I`m sure most of us have heard about the WLH humbuckers from Seymour Duncan Custom Shop. Basically a limited edition humbucker that was released only in the UK to celebrate the many great british rockers. This has changed recently as the custom shop now sells them to the US through its dealers.

    Now one thing to note is the WLH humbuckers aren`t a new design by Duncan. Rather the are re-labelled Jimmy Page custom shop pickups that duncans has been selling for a while, and in fact Jimmy Page himself uses the bridge pickup in his current number 1.


    Now before I get to the WLH set, DADGAD asked me to give the current rig of the 1959 PAF neck and 1974 T-Top bridge a spin and make notes on its sound so we could compare it to the WLH set eventually.
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    PAF neck/T-top bridge combo:


    This combination to my ears is the sound of Jimmy Page in his early years of Led Zeppelin. The bridge pickup being smooth and airy in its sound, and being articulating while the 1959 PAF had that infamous bell like tone and chime especially on the mid range came out. This shows why this is considered the holy grail of pickups, and why so many winders attempt to remake a classic.

    As a whole this combo is perfect for classic Led Zep sound, but because of the low output of the T-top the only downside is that the pickups is they don't push the amp into overdrive and lack a bit of mass in the sound. Though again the PAF in my opinion was incredible to play and that is no joke.

    WLH neck/WLH Bridge:


    So all that you have been waiting for the WLH set. Before I go on I have to mention a few changes that were done to the guitar as per request of DADGAD. I took out the MSSC Holy Grail harness that was in the page previous and using part of the Pages original rig I installed a push/pull switch on the bridge tone so the bridge could be out of phase with the neck pickup when it was pulled and 50's bumblebee spec'd at .022uf.

    [​IMG]
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    The sound of WLH set can pretty much be said in two words, Big and Loud. The bridge pickup especially has a mid range growl, and bass that just punches you in the gut when you strum hard on your attack.

    Now I said before that Jimmy Page uses the bridge pickup of this set on his number 1 Les Paul. (Maybe others but I can't be sure) However he uses a PAF in the neck and not the WLH neck. While it's not a 60's PAF, the neck pickup does a good job. It's sounds very close to the BK mule's neck pickup with a thick bass and mids, but also a little bit of top end for those woody solos down the neck.

    Also, the pickups clean up very nicely with the guitar volume adding another benefit to these pickups. I also wired the pickups to put the bridge out of phase of the neck when the selector was in the middle and the tone pot pulled. The out of phase sound is unique to say the least giving off a sound like a ghostly wail as you dig into the strings. I liked it that's for sure and it might cause me to do it to one of my les pauls at least.

    All and all, the only reason I could think of for not people not liking the WLH set is if you aren't a fan of Jimmy Page's modern sound of growling mids that border on the line of hard rock. You won't find that airy open feeling the T-tops gave off on this set, but if you want a pickup set that gives you a nice Jimmy Page sound with more grit and punch to your sound then definitely consider this set. I know I'm already am.



    Now the next step of course would be to try the 59 PAF and the WLH bridge together, but I'll save that for another day unless DADGAD doesn't like the neck sound and wants to go back to his PAF.

    Hope this helps, and DADGAD you owe me something for writing something this long :p

    [​IMG]
     
  11. X–Ray

    X–Ray Cowbell by Misadventure Premium Member

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  12. DADGAD

    DADGAD Senior Member

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    Once again, thank you Drake for all the effort and review. You are much better with describing these things than I am.:thumb::thumb::thumb:

    Please note, the second pic Drake posted is the MSSC Holy Grail harness. The 4th pic is the stock Page harness with 50's bees, I just stored it on the flamed maple board that comes with the holy Grail harness. Great stuff!
     
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  13. DADGAD

    DADGAD Senior Member

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    Ok, so I finally got to play them today on Drakes SIBLY. All I can say is WOW! It's been a long time since I tried a set of HB's that totally fufilled the expectations and sound that I had in my mind. Compared to my '59 PAF which has a woody chime. The WLH neck has the chime but it has a wetter sweetness to it, which is the only way for me to describe it. The bridge has the grunt to drive an amp and at 7-8 volume gets a good crunch and at 10, adds a little sizzle to the top to spice it up without sounding like a Metal crunch. On the neck, turn it up to 10 and tone down to 5 and you can get that sweet fat "American Woman" tone. This set is basically a hot PAF set but has no mud for a 8.2k neck. Chimy, sweet, bell like tones. MJ has wound a really sweet set of pickups here. If you like Pages O2 type tone, and the Wembley Foo fighters (Rock and roll/ ramble on) version, this is your ticket. If you want the RAH tone , cough*cough* Jesse*:naughty: then you should go a little more traditional. These pickups can be found through some US dealers and maybe the Duncan custom shop if you give them a call. Next I try them on the Plexi......
     
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  14. DrakeZero

    DrakeZero Senior Member

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    Placed an order for a set, and mine should be here sometime this week. : )
     
  15. jcsk8

    jcsk8 Senior Member

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    Are they potted?
     
  16. DADGAD

    DADGAD Senior Member

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    Yes they are potted, and sound great. I love them alot. The neck has great clarity and the bridge has a great vintage crunch.
     
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  17. jcsk8

    jcsk8 Senior Member

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    Just happened to see a pair around here, wich I never imagined as they're limited to 150 units. I'm trying to make a pair of 36th's that I have plus money if the seller accepts.
     
  18. Its Luke

    Its Luke Premium Member

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    Drake did you get your pickups?
     
  19. DADGAD

    DADGAD Senior Member

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    He did. And they will be for sale soon I think.
     
  20. Its Luke

    Its Luke Premium Member

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    That doesn't sound good...... What happened?
     

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