R8/R9 Pups Just Ordinary

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

  1. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    But the pickups work well for some.
    We once again come to the case of 'why would you assume Gibson is going to make a stock guitar that just happens to be perfect for you'. Its a form of 'entitlement delusion' really
     
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  2. thebowl

    thebowl Member

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    Not really. People have always swapped pups in Strats to try to make them sound like something other than a Strat. The same can't be said about the really iconic Gibsons, the 52-60 Lesters, for example. No one in their right mind ever ripped the pickups out of a 59. PAFs are the Holy Grail of pickups. Multiple companies vie to see who can craft a replica that sounds the most LIKE a PAF. How many companies have a model called "PAF", or some variation on that theme?
     
  3. jlb32

    jlb32 Senior Member

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    No one in their right mind would swap out the original pickups in a Original Les Paul today, even if they hated the guitars tone, because the Originals are so rare, super expensive and collectible now.

    Back in the day though, I'm sure there were many pickup swaps when they were not considered collectors items and worth mega money.
     
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  4. thebowl

    thebowl Member

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    Uhhh, no. First of all, there weren't a bunch of people making aftermarket pickups back then. Secondly, players didn't pick up a vintage LP, play it a while, and say "well, it looks and plays real nice, but we gotta do something about that TONE..." LOL. You are just reaching now, which is fine.

    This is fairly simple. If Larry Dimarzio, Seymour Duncan and a dozen others can make authentic-sounding PAF pickups, so can Gibson. They make a P-90 pup that takes a back seat to no one, IMHO. Instead of coming up with a new flavor of "vintage" humbucker every couple of years, for marketing reasons, and sticking them into what is supposed to be a faithful reproduction of the world's most copied sound, they should make the absolute best PAF-style pup they can, and provide a guitar that doesn't send many buyers to immediately look for an upgrade. But they don't; hence the frustration of the other poster.
     
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  5. Tim Plains

    Tim Plains Senior Member

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    Are you serious? You actually think every single 50s burst made it through the 70s & 80s without modification?
     
  6. freebyrd 69

    freebyrd 69 Premium Member

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    How exactly do you know what the owners of these bursts were thinking? You have amazing skills? Time travel machine?

    You had one thing right, and that is where you said "IMHO". That "O" stands for OPINION. The other thing is this.....how many of these thousands and thousands of Reissue owners do you suppose have ever had their hands on a real 59 Burst for comparison? Also, describe "that tone"? Is it Billy Gibbons tone? Is it Gary Moore's tone? Is it Gary Rossington's tone? Amazing how all these Burst owners have really great but EXTREMELY different and identifiable tones isn't it? It's because there is a lot more to "that tone" than pickups themselves.

    I think it's a lot more elementary than you think. People (including myself) swap pickups because it is A) reasonably cheap, B) reasonably easy C) they are curious and like to experiment. I'll throw D in there for you which would be that they just flat out don't like the tone of the Gibson pickups, but I would bet A-C make up the majority of PUP swaps. Again, I'll go back to the percentage of Reissue owners that have had an authentic bursts in their hands and played it through their rig. You can't go by recordings, because that is even a more distorted gauge of "that tone" between the amp, cab, mic, recorder, your sound system, etc..

    I have 4 different sets of pickups in 4 of my Reissues, one of which is stock. Why? Not because the others were awful, but when I use them at gigs, I use them for different songs. For some, I like the lower winds, for other songs, a hotter, more aggressive PUP does the trick. I can tell you that one of the best sets I have IS from Gibson and were from a "Shanks" CC. I had another set that I sold to Jeff Massey from the Steep Water band who tours all over the world. He LOVES them.
     
  7. Pappy58

    Pappy58 Senior Member

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    When Duane Allman traded his Gold Top for the Cherry Burst, he negotiated to keep his 57 PAF's...and put them in the 59. So there is one example of one that was mucked with. Peter Green anyone? There were also tinkerer's that took the PUPs apart, changed magnets and/or re-wound them, coil tapped them etc. I believe most after market guy's were driven to market by these type activities. Not just gibby's, I know of many many vintage strat and tele pup's that were removed, modified and re-installed. Many years later someone analyzes one of those things thinking it's original! :shock::run:

    On to the original topic, I have a WH335 with BB1 and BB2, LPC with CB's, 16 R8 w CB's, and a 12 R8 w BB's. They all work well for me with some minor changes in amp setting at worse. I would give them all several points above the 60's era patent no HB's in the 60's models I grew up with. So no, I'm not going to spend many benjamins replacing them. :cheers::cheers2:
     
  8. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    Pickups didn't get swapped until the 70's.....but old guitars at that time weren't immune. But in the quest for more drive from non MV amps people had to put hotter pickups in. And yes....PAF's would have been 'not the right tone' in that case. I cannot see what brain-fade you suffer from that would make you unable to grasp this concept.

    And in your many rather rambling posts here one thing still is beyond your grasp (and indeed you are studiously avoiding acknowledging it) - the fact thats its only an opinion that you think the BB's are poor. Somehow you seem to think its a 'fait accompli' that anyone will swap out the pickups.....that they don't do the PAF thing for everybody.
     
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  9. GT40

    GT40 Senior Member

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    ^Not everybody even wants the PAF thing.
     
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  10. alnico59

    alnico59 Premium Member

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    I remember back around '90-'91 reading an edition of Guitar World or GP (can't recall 100%) with Perry and Whitford on the cover, interview inside talking about what they were using to record and tour Aerosmith's Pump. Something about they kept going back to SD JB's in their vintage LP's cause, in their words, they just sounded so good.

    The guys plugging straight into NMV amps and the heavier rock guys know that PAF's are NOT always the answer. Not enough gain to push and sometimes not fat enough up high for solos. However today there are many ways to get around this.

    IMHO the best attribute of a PAF is clarity. Not that the magnet used will always be the final authority. But usually an A2 is good. But an A4, A3 and finally the king A5 gives the most note clarity and definition and the least amount of compression.

    To my ears and what I am looking to get out of a PAF type pup is the tone Mike Bloomfield had going on. For crunchy heavy rock rhythm and fat solos - I could think of better choices. But I'm a blues guy so I love them there PAF's!

    Ymmv. But that's what I'm hearing.
     
  11. MikeC

    MikeC Senior Member

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    Silly, silly.

    Tone has always been in the fingers.
     
  12. ntotoro

    ntotoro Member

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    Tell that to the purchasers of original 'burst with non-original pickups because someone else wanted whatever the flavor of that particular day was. Pickups are pickups. The guitar is what someone really wants.

    Nick
     
  13. grayd8

    grayd8 Senior Member

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    CB's were absolutely positively okay. I found they lacked clarity and heat. Every boutique pickup I have dropped in my R9 was an improvement.

    I currently have some nos wire Wizz pickups in my R9 and I don't see that changing anytime soon, if ever.
     
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  14. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    Low-wind OX4s in my R9 also a considerable improvement on stock CBs and will not be coming out. CB bridge was too harsh and thin while the neck was too flubby and bassy: CB bridge was underpowered compared with CB neck.

    The OX4s are spot on: bridge is bright and cutting but not unpleasant; neck is vowelly, slightly dry, no flub. They are correctly balanced as as set.

    My sense is that there is a lot of variation among CBs - possibly deliberately so, per original Gibson PAF production. Sometimes you get lucky; sometimes you don't.
     
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  15. MikeC

    MikeC Senior Member

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    The CB pickups in my 2913 R9 doesn't sound too shabby at all.

    I love their tone, especially the neck and the the middle position for blues/hard rock. I wouldn't swap them, no way no how.
     
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  16. alnico59

    alnico59 Premium Member

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    That's exactly how I would describe the set I pulled from my 2014 R8.

    Most of the ills I experienced was while playing with OD. Clean they were nice and the middle tones were really spectacular. But when introducing gain, especially with the bridge CB, the reaction was to go harsh with a dry sterile character. The neck CB made my guitar sound like there was always too much relief in the neck.

    It's funny how different the guitar sounds now. Folks who say that pickups are only 25% of the sound couldn't be any more wrong compared to what I experienced. I actually had a set of BB 1&2 in there for a short time before my hand wound A5 PAF replicas arrived. Even the BB's were an improvement from the CB's. At least the BB's are fat and have balls. Attributes I expect from a LP.

    The only bummer is, with the Historic line kaput, I wished I had kept those CB's. However at the time I knew I would never, ever use them again. Seeing them easily sell for $300+ a set - I couldn't resist. I think they sold in a matter of hours once I listed them online. Somebody else's baby.

    Although the CB's didn't work out for me I have to give Gibson credit for their effort. They could of easily kept going with the BB's. Or, designed another A2 something pup. But they went out on a limb with the rarer A3 design. It was definitely a change and it appears most like them.
     
  17. Dilver

    Dilver Senior Member

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    Well, there's always the possibility - and I use that word intentionally, as I'm basing this on nothing other than logical economics - that Gibson merely took the Burstbucker and swapped out the magnet for an A3. Voila! It's a Custombucker! They would have had the cost of goods, supply chain and assembly process all figured out already to make Burstbuckers. This would be the most economical way to make a new pickup (covers aside) I'd love it if someone who owned both could do a mag swap on a burstbucker and compare the two.
     
  18. alnico59

    alnico59 Premium Member

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    I don't think so only because my tech dismantled as set of BB's. He said they are seriously over wound. Find it hard to believe that the A3 in the CB would change those winds that much. Just a stab, who knows.
     
  19. Dilver

    Dilver Senior Member

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    BB 1, 2 or 3? I don't think it takes all that much for Gibson to do lower winds on pickups - they've done it for dealers like Wildwood Guitars on their '57 Classics. It would just make sense that given their financial issues, they would try to repurpose what they currently have in stock/source/make to avoid any incremental costs. But I'm just guessing.
     
  20. Stuff

    Stuff Senior Member

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    That's been my experience to date. All the Historics and CS's I've played to date with CBs have been all over the place for tone. I found a couple that do it for me; I've played plenty more that just didn't. There's a lot of difference between the two that I have. Without changing the pups, hard to say how much of that is the CBs and how much of that are the guitars they're in.

    I've never played a vintage burst, so I can't compare CBs (or anything else!) against that sound. Maybe if I had, I'd be disappointed with CBs too.
     

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