60's Standard 61 pickups?

Musha Ring

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I know these pickups have been around for years now and aren't anything new, but I've never seen too much said about them. Search result brings up a handful of threads with vague responses, or guys talking about them in SGs. When a 60s Standard gets talked about I don't see much said about the pickups.

Those of you here that own them in an LP or have owned them, what do you think of them? Did you give them a chance with a good setup, etc?

I can pick up a used set right now for a great price and I'm curious if it's worth my time/money. Yes, I can and should make up my own mind rather than rely on others, but if majority says they stink, I'll move on.
 

InTheEvening

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I recently got the standard 60’s with the 61 pickups and was curious to know more about them as well.
I actually got to ask Phil McKnight about them and he said in the SG’s he preferred the 57 classics but didn’t go into why.

It’s my first set of Gibson pickups, so I can’t compare them to other Gibson pickups. But so far, I love the neck pickup. I do find the bridge is piercing and thin. I have to turn down the tone knob to 3 and that immediately warms it up and it sounds way better that way but I don’t love it yet, still figuring it out.
May just need some more tweaking with the pole pieces and height adjustment which I’ve been playing with. I’ve heard they can sound great, so I plan to spend more time tweaking the bridge before I decide to change it out.

Regardless, I think they both sound awesome with high gain and hard rock. The alnico 5 has a nice punch to it.

I posted a video demoing of some of the tones with the 61R/T pickups here if you’re interested. Tone demo starts at 02:25.
 
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coreydm676

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I've A.B. Tested the 61R and 61T in my 60s Standard against my 2000 classic with Seymour Duncan Antiquities and compared recordings. The 61R and 61T seemed a little brighter but over all they sounded almost identical. They are a PAF style pickup and I wouldn't be surprised if they are just rebranded burstbuckers.

Given the two guitars sound so close I've decided to replace the antiquities with a custom wound set from Sigil pickups, should be arriving this week.
 

AJK1

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I have them in my 2020 Les Paul Classic
They sound great !
 

Knoby

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I had them in my 2019 LP classic but I changed them out for BB 1&2 pretty quickly because I thought they were higher output than I wanted and quacky. But I will put them back in to give them a real chance with proper setup.
 

Platte City Paul

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Check out Trogly's review. Around the 8:25 mark, he says the 61s are Burstbuckers.

 

madh4ttr

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Yes, they are burstbuckers. It clearly states that in the descriptions. I love them. I think they sound fantastic.
 

BDW60

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Yes, they are burstbuckers. It clearly states that in the descriptions. I love them. I think they sound fantastic.
Not exactly. They have the opposite coil as the slightly overwound one compared to Burstbuckers. They also use Alnico 5 magnets instead of 2.
 

madh4ttr

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Not exactly. They have the opposite coil as the slightly overwound one compared to Burstbuckers. They also use Alnico 5 magnets instead of 2.
Yes Exactly. From the Gibson website

Iced Tea
A Whole Lotta Les!
The new Les Paul Standard returns to the classic design that made it relevant, played and loved -- shaping sound across generations and genres of music. It pays tribute to Gibson's Golden Era of innovation and brings authenticity back to life. The Les Paul Standard 60's has a solid mahogany body with an AA figured maple top, and a slim taper 60's-style mahogany neck with a rosewood fingerboard and trapezoid inlays. It's equipped with a classic-style Tune-O-Matic bridge, aluminum stop bar tailpiece, Grover Rotomatic "Kidney" tuners, and gold top hat knobs with silver reflectors. The Burstbucker 61R (neck) Burstbucker 61T (bridge) pickups are loaded with AlNiCo V magnets, audio taper potentiometers and orange drop capacitors.
 

BDW60

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Yes Exactly. From the Gibson website

Iced Tea
A Whole Lotta Les!
The new Les Paul Standard returns to the classic design that made it relevant, played and loved -- shaping sound across generations and genres of music. It pays tribute to Gibson's Golden Era of innovation and brings authenticity back to life. The Les Paul Standard 60's has a solid mahogany body with an AA figured maple top, and a slim taper 60's-style mahogany neck with a rosewood fingerboard and trapezoid inlays. It's equipped with a classic-style Tune-O-Matic bridge, aluminum stop bar tailpiece, Grover Rotomatic "Kidney" tuners, and gold top hat knobs with silver reflectors. The Burstbucker 61R (neck) Burstbucker 61T (bridge) pickups are loaded with AlNiCo V magnets, audio taper potentiometers and orange drop capacitors.
Just because they are calling them Burstbuckers doesn’t mean they are identical to traditional Burstbuckers they have always done. Because they’re not. They don’t have the same magnets and they don’t have the same wind. That’s why they gave them the 61 designation. Because they are different. Otherwise they would have just called them Burstbucker 1 and 2 like they always have. This is not hard to grasp.
 

InTheEvening

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Not exactly. They have the opposite coil as the slightly overwound one compared to Burstbuckers. They also use Alnico 5 magnets instead of 2.
Would they still be considered PAF style pickups in this case? Or are they closer to T-tops with the Alnico 5 magnets?

I wonder what pickup was made in 61 that had specs like the 61R/T.
 

Wise Guy

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I know these pickups have been around for years now and aren't anything new, but I've never seen too much said about them. Search result brings up a handful of threads with vague responses, or guys talking about them in SGs. When a 60s Standard gets talked about I don't see much said about the pickups.

Those of you here that own them in an LP or have owned them, what do you think of them? Did you give them a chance with a good setup, etc?

I can pick up a used set right now for a great price and I'm curious if it's worth my time/money. Yes, I can and should make up my own mind rather than rely on others, but if majority says they stink, I'll move on.
I didn't like my 61 bridge p-up. It was too bright when played clean. Granted I could roll off the tone but I'd just rather have a ceramic in the bridge anyway to darken it up a bit. So a 500T went in and I never looked back. The neck p-up on the other hand, is one of the nicest sounding pickups I've played in awhile.
 

Musha Ring

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I recently got the standard 60’s with the 61 pickups and was curious to know more about them as well.
I actually got to ask Phil McKnight about them and he said in the SG’s he preferred the 57 classics but didn’t go into why.

It’s my first set of Gibson pickups, so I can’t compare them to other Gibson pickups. But so far, I love the neck pickup. I do find the bridge is piercing and thin. I have to turn down the tone knob to 3 and that immediately warms it up and it sounds way better that way but I don’t love it yet, still figuring it out.
May just need some more tweaking with the pole pieces and height adjustment which I’ve been playing with. I’ve heard they can sound great, so I plan to spend more time tweaking the bridge before I decide to change it out.

Regardless, I think they both sound awesome with high gain and hard rock. The alnico 5 has a nice punch to it.

I posted a video demoing of some of the tones with the 61R/T pickups here if you’re interested. Tone demo starts at 02:25.
Cool video!

About the 57's.. I've owned three Traditionals, all came with 57's. I know that's a popular pickup but I couldn't get them out of my guitars fast enough. I replaced one set with Whole Lotta Humbuckers, another with Duncan 59s, and another with Dimarzio paf variations.

I put one set of 57's in an SG, another in a Flying V and the other in a 339. They sounded so much better. More crisp and middy. I like the sound of them a lot in every Gibson that isn't an LP.

I just recently acquired an older set of 57's and was thinking of trying them again in my main LP, but haven't yet.
 

Musha Ring

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Would they still be considered PAF style pickups in this case? Or are they closer to T-tops with the Alnico 5 magnets?

I wonder what pickup was made in 61 that had specs like the 61R/T.
I believe Ttops were right in that ballpark with the A5s and the output.
 

01GT Eibach

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I didn't like my 61 bridge p-up ... So a 500T went in and I never looked back. The neck p-up on the other hand, is one of the nicest sounding pickups I've played in awhile.
Nice! How balanced is the 500T with the 61-Neck? I never played a 500T w/o a 496R, so just curious.
 

BDW60

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Would they still be considered PAF style pickups in this case? Or are they closer to T-tops with the Alnico 5 magnets?

I wonder what pickup was made in 61 that had specs like the 61R/T.
Oh yeah- they’re not a hot wind at all. I didn’t love them and took them out of my Original 60s, but they weren’t bad at all. Didn’t have them measured but I have seen on line where they have been measured around 8K for both pickups. So hotter than T Tops I think but still in the PAF zone.

What they are is edgier than Burstbuckers, with more cut and slightly more driving of the amp. The bridge pickup in mine was able to be tamed with a slight twist of the tone knob, but I just didn’t care for the neck very much. Lots of playing around with height and pole pieces, to no avail. I knew the guitar itself is fantastic, so just needed to find a better fit.
 

gball

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I had them in an SG, and considering picking up a '60s Standard. In the SG they were killer, some of my favorite pickups ever. They are a big part of the reason I am thinking of the Les Paul, along with the SlimTaper neck. I think someone mentioned it above but they do remind me very much of T-Tops, which IMO is a very good thing.
 


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