R8/R9 Pups Just Ordinary

Discussion in 'Historics & Reissues' started by theebony, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. theebony

    theebony Member

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    Its been done to death, I get it.

    I am just disappointed in recent(last10years or so) Gibson Pickups. Focus put on R8s and R9s, BB.

    I have some vintage guitars and also a couple of R8s, 2011 both of them. I have tried to adjust the pickups every which way possible, adjusting the amp to extremes and all the usual suspects.
    Fact is, to my ears they sound good, but nowhere near articulate and great anymore.
    A close friend with a Music shop agrees with me that the RIs just fall slightly short, however if you haven't heard the changes in sound then you will love them as they ae still amazing instruments.

    I swapped the standards out for a set of Slash pups purely just from frustration, I don't mind slash but this isn't about chasing his tone, I have my own.
    This is about taking a chance on SD pups from frustration and I have never really done this, I have always been the purist.

    Massive difference, clarity comes through just amazing. I kinda feel the Gibson pups were muddy no matter what I did, these ae just great. Now I have other Gibson pups that ae amazing and I love them, Just not the BB in the R8's, they lack a lot and for guitars that cost a lot, they fall short I feel.

    I'm sure there are many more out there that do the same and just open up the guitar to really enjoy it again. Just not these BBs.

    Again, not want to start a war, they have a sound, I just don't think its versatile. I don't go in for the pickup was made for rock, blues or metal thing, that's more your amp and how you play it or pedals you use I think, A good PUP should be clear from the start and then you can build it to wherever you want.

    IMO, which means FA :)
     

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  2. VictorB

    VictorB Formerly LZF Super Mod

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    I feel the same way, I gave a few sets of custombuckers a try, couldn't get them to sound good at all.

    Threw a set of Electric City pickups in a few of my Historics... difference is night and day.
     
  3. theebony

    theebony Member

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    I get it , absolutely!! I feel if you have nothing to reference against you would be in love with what came in the guitar, after all they are amazing instruments, it just when you slot in some other quality pickups you will possibly wonder why you didn't at the beginning. Again, I just put in the slash ones as I had access to them, I'm sure that there a lots of options out there that blow the standard ones away.
    :)
     
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  4. VictorB

    VictorB Formerly LZF Super Mod

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    Don't get me started on the crappy pots Historics come with, lol.

    Replacing them made a huge difference as well.
     
  5. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    As many people have been disappointed by real PAF's they have tried, it is fair to say expectation can play as much a part as the actual tone.

    But of course your ears are unique, and there is no way you would ever expect any one pickup to be 100% what you want to hear out of the box no matter what guitar it comes in - which is perhaps where expectation comes into it again......as in you are expecting that just because you have spent a lot of $$ on a guitar that it is somehow going to magically be fitted with a pickup that is just what you want. Gibson are not mind readers you know.....even if they did have the ability to wind to precisely your wants.
     
  6. rich85

    rich85 Senior Member

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    I started going down the paf rabbit hole

    Then realised I owned a nice sounding guitar and changing the sound by 1% to sound more vintage made me a bit of a wanker really. Put those BB's back in and never looked back.

    Fair enough if you dont like them. My point is I swapped them out chasing some magical tone. Silly.

    I blame this forum completely haha

    The pots and caps are complete rubbish though.
     
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  7. theebony

    theebony Member

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    I'm not really chasing a vintage tone, you can dial that in.
    What I cant stand is the PUPs sound muddy, may just be mine though.

    Quality is not what it used to be. They just don't clean up as nice as I want, even 57s eat them .
     
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  8. FennRx

    FennRx Senior Member

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  9. Tim Plains

    Tim Plains Senior Member

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    They're just pickups, replace them or don't buy the guitar in the first place, I don't see why it would be frustrate you.
     
  10. blackie2

    blackie2 Senior Member

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    I just ordered a set of OX4's and I'll try them out and compare them to the Custombuckers. One of the set will stay in the guitar and the other I'll sell. Not really a lot of downside to swapping pickups other than taking the time to do the soldering correctly.
     
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  11. Sixstring63

    Sixstring63 Senior Member

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    Agreed, pulled the CB's out of my 2013 R8 and threw in a set of SD PG's that Duncan sent me for free quite a few years back in exchange for a demo video, Big difference! I can imagine even more when I swap out the pots. They measured good when I changed the pu's so I left them in for now. Did change the fake bumble bees to PIO caps though.
     
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  12. Xrun Morzov

    Xrun Morzov Senior Member

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    IMHO CBs are times better and correct than BBs. Still there are hundreds of boutique options for $200-$500 a set, as well as decently priced older Gibsons - I like T-tops for instance. Someone will vote for Tim Shaw.
     
  13. Dilver

    Dilver Senior Member

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    I wasn't thrilled with the Custom Buckers in my 2017 Custom Shop Standard '58. I am really loving my OX4 neck/Florance Voodoo bridge pickups. But it all depends on what you hold as your benchmark tone.
     
  14. Crotch

    Crotch Members Only Premium Member

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    The CB's in my Shanks are probably one of the nicer pickup sounds I have in my guitars. But I love underwound, which these are supposed to be.
     
  15. thinkgreen

    thinkgreen Senior Member

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    My cb's in my 2013 r8 are sweet. Like many things there must me good and bad ones. I'm sure you will find the right sounds your after soon enough.
    I do like the sd antiquates and even the pearly gates
     
  16. zamdrang

    zamdrang Member

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    When I first discovered historics my immediate reaction was how terrible the BBs sounded, particulary 1/2. Shrill, not touch sensitive, kind of plunky sounding for lack of a better word, they have the definitive clink that I cant stand. Prior to that I would sometimes play a guitar with 57 classics, and even 490/496/498/500s that I would like, but I have never once played a guitar with BBs in that I thought sounded anything close to inspiring.

    To me all BBs do is rekindle the interest in PAFs by sending players looking for that tone in their head their new too-expensive LP is supposed to have :) To my ears they are so terrible I shake my head they were ever green lit to be put in such a fine instrument as a historic LP, like a set of low buck tires on a Ferrari.

    I like the Wildwood spec BB much better ... to me they are warmer, more touch sensitive and more musical, I have yet to hear anyone confirm it (or play them myself) but i guess that is basically what the current CBs are??
     
  17. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    Here you go again....assuming that because you don't like a pickup that there is a global quality issue.

    People love T-tops, and people despise T-tops.
    People hate Shaws and people love Shaws.

    Is this the era where 'quality' was where you expect it to be??
     
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  18. GT40

    GT40 Senior Member

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    I'm just glad I don't know any better.
     
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  19. PierM

    PierM Premium Member

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    I also don't really love the CBs in my R8, but I do agree this doesn't tell anything about quality. It's just about personal preference. I do myself prefer underwound Alinico II with plenty of headroom and dynamic...but I'm still wondering how to make the swap smart enough to A) save the CBs from losing value (so maybe I should not reuse the covers for the new pups) and B) give the new pups the correct look for the R8 VOS. Doesn't sound a great deal I know...LOL.
     
  20. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Bionic Member Premium Member

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    I didn't read the whole thread but I get the gist of it. I'm actually very impressed with the responsiveness of my stock tone and volume pots. But not so much with these custombuckers.

    That's why I'm looking for a set of uncovered WIZZ DOUBLE CREAM with RINGS. Hello all you out there with a set sitting around collecting dust.
    I know you have to many pickup sets and not enough Les Paul's for them!
    And I you are feeling the urging need to hook a fellow forum brother up with a good fair price! :bowdown
     

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