Pickups for my es-339???

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by Narssistyx, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. Narssistyx

    Narssistyx Junior Member

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    Hey guys,
    I just recently bought a gibson es-339 and i love how it plays, but i find the stock pickups are a tad flat and muffled. I've been doing endless research on different brands such as : WCR, WB, Bareknuckles, Rio Grande, Lindy Fralins ect..


    I would love the neck pickup to sound "woody" and "thick" but articulate. And i would love to able to actually use my bridge pickups without it sounding thin and sterile. :shock:


    This search is like a never ending rabbit hole as you can see, so i thought i would ask you guys after reading countless threads on pickups :fingersx:
     
  2. rocknhorse1

    rocknhorse1 Senior Member

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    Have you replaced the capacitors yet? I would try that fist. It made a big difference with my BBpro's. Cost me $12.
     
  3. freddarl82

    freddarl82 Senior Member

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    He He He...

    Good idea, yes, but let's remember this is a ES-339 here. Changing capacitors can be a major PITA. If it were me, I'd plan the whole project well in advance, read the 335 Electronics Installation (a.k.a. How to take years off your life) Sticky thoroughly, then have at it!

    On my Greco 335 copy, I put in the RS pots, PIO caps, 50's style wiring, and ran pickup leads from the pots to the pickup cavities so I could easily experiment with pickups. I have a set of Guitarforce Lord of the Blues in there, and they sound fantastic, with exactly the qualities you desire, IMO.

    In another thread, I read someone who thinks the 57 classics are fantastic in the semi-hollowbodies. I've never tried them, but I see plenty of good comments about them. Perhaps you would want to consider doing the rewire and leave leads for pickup experimentation? Just a thought...
     
  4. Narssistyx

    Narssistyx Junior Member

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    How much would that make a difference, is it easy to do?
     
  5. freddarl82

    freddarl82 Senior Member

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    New pots and caps can make a significant difference. Gibson is not know for high quality "stock" electronics. The job is doable, but a bit more involved than on say, a Les Paul, where you simply remove the access cover and swap out components. With the 339, you will have to remove the electronics from the guts of the guitar, mod/replace the harness as desired, then get it back in the guitar (read the link I posted -- GREAT info from Hillbilly, who does it for a living). If you've never done any guitar wiring before, it's probably not the best "first" project... If so, take it to a pro and tell him what you want.

    As I alluded to in my previous post, I'm proponent of using TOP quality pots and caps and leaving a pair of pickup leads from the pots so you can easily swap pickups later on.
     
  6. Narssistyx

    Narssistyx Junior Member

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    thanks allot fred
    what are some good electronics?
    and how much would a tech ask for to do this?
     
  7. JMV

    JMV Senior Member

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    I'd check out Guitarforce. Lord of the Blues, specifically.

    Kevin makes some fantastic pickups. He goes by KevinT here on MLP. If you send him an email, mention you're an MLP member and he'll take good care of you. :thumb:

    GUITARFORCE Custom Pickups
     
  8. MojoMonster

    MojoMonster Senior Member

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    This.
    Pots and caps in a semi-hollow can be tricky/frustrating, so you want to enhance access to the harness solder points.

    And if you're mechanically inclined you could try magnet swapping.
    I hear that roughcast, un-oriented A5s are the sh*t.

    MM
     
  9. Narssistyx

    Narssistyx Junior Member

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    rewire or new pickups?

    Man i hate GAS..
     
  10. MojoMonster

    MojoMonster Senior Member

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    Rewire first.
    Then mag swap.
    Then new pups.
    Magnets run about $7 each, so cheap tonal option.

    If you're really nuts, you can do what I did and put Seymour Duncan Triple Shots in with the volume push/pulls and get the full Jimmy Page mode plus the ability to select which coils are being cut.

    MM
     
  11. Exluthier

    Exluthier Senior Member

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    How about try lowering the PUs first?
     
    Rich W likes this.
  12. Narssistyx

    Narssistyx Junior Member

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    whats the best rewiring kit money can buy?
     
  13. tolm

    tolm Bigsby Junkie Premium Member

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    I like P90s in a (semi) hollow-body and Bare Knuckle makes a mean pickup in my experience so that would lead me to put forward the Mississippi Queen humbucker-sized P90 as a possible option.
     
  14. MojoMonster

    MojoMonster Senior Member

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    Best is relative... and you can spend as much money as you have.
    That said, both Jonesy and RSGuitarworks(both members here) make equally excellent kits for under $100.
    You'll want high quality, low tolerance pots and cloth pushback wire if you're going vintage or silver/teflon if you're not.
    Typically, audio taper pots are used for volume and linear taper for tone, but there's no hard and fast rule.
    You can also get pots with different, "better" tapers.
    And there are those new Bourne pots that EVH uses that turn really easily.
    You won't need to change your 3-way switch or your output jack.
    And lastly, there are a wide variety of caps to choose from.
    From NOS chicklets to Russian PIO caps, to repro Bumblebees.(this is where you can drop some serious cash.)
    Oh, and you can try different wiring schemes, modern or '50's and dependent or independent volumes.
    And you might want to add a couple of treble bleed kits if you find your sound getting muddy as you turn down the volume.

    MM
     
  15. MojoMonster

    MojoMonster Senior Member

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    Seymour Duncan also makes the Phat Cat humbucker sized P-90 which is really magnet swap friendly.

    MM
     
  16. The_Sentry

    The_Sentry Senior Member

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    Upgrade to 500k Volume Pots before doing ANYTHING ELSE.....that's cheap, quick, and it'll probably fix your issue...

    (NOTE: Gibby 300k pickups...tend to sound dark, and "vintage-y" an' all that stuff! :laugh2: )
     
  17. Narssistyx

    Narssistyx Junior Member

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    THANKYOU EVERYONE FOR HELPING ME OUT !! :thumb:
    Its cool to see that you guys take time out of your days to help eachother

    What are some good 500k volume pots?
     
  18. MojoMonster

    MojoMonster Senior Member

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    CTS is pretty much the industry standard.
    If you can, find pre-metered pots. You want the ones that test out closest to 500K as you can get.

    MM
     
  19. Torren61

    Torren61 Senior Member

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    RS sells "superpots" that are CTS pots made to their specs and don't need a treble bleed kit. IMHO, if you're in for a penny... you're in for a pound when working on the electronics of that guitar. If you're going to swap caps, then just go all in and swap out everything saving the pickups for last. I like the advice of running leads to the pickup cavities so you can change out pickups. Your current pups might not be all that bad after you swap caps and pots.

    Besides, the wiring harness is going to cost around $185.95 for this RS Guitarworks Online Store : RS New Pre-Wired 335 Repro Harness - PW335BEE

    $174.99 for this RS Guitarworks Online Store : Pre-Wired Vintage 335 Upgrade Kit - PWVINT335

    or $129.95 for this, if you have the balls (and four conductor pickups) RS Guitarworks Online Store : Pre-Wired Vintage 'JP' Electronics Upgrade Kit- Short Shaft - PWJPSHORT
     
  20. Narssistyx

    Narssistyx Junior Member

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    Thanks allot Torren
    I agree, if im going to be replacing the pots, why not just improve all the hardware
     

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