Alternatives to 57 classics

Frank1985

Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2021
Messages
30
Reaction score
4

The Gear Page

F


Pups based on 57 Classics​

Watch
•••
F

frank1985

Member​

I've been experimenting with a few pickups lately and surprisingly none have improved upon the sound of the 57s in my Les Paul. They seem thick, syrupy with a tonne of mojo. The bridge is great for riffing on the bass strings while the neck pickup results in a lovely lead blues tone. Yes I could just settle but I'm very curious to hear what else is out there. What else should I look into that's based on and improves on the classics?

I like the sound of kossof, bonamassa, slash. I play blues, a bit of jazz, funk and heavy blues rock.

So far I've tried the following, tweaking pickup heights extensively.

Seth lover; that midrange is glorious, and not too sizzly. However the bass strings sound anemic and flubby.

OC Dynamite; similar to a BKP riff Raff, alnico v; not much 'body' to the tone. Thin lead sound

Mules; fuller sounding but pretty dull. not much mojo to my ears, though they are well spoken of among the Les Paul crowd.
 

Neffco

Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2013
Messages
4,315
Reaction score
10,466
I swapped mine for Antequitys.
 

mdubya

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
23,841
Reaction score
44,713
57 Classics with the right wiring harness (I prefer them with 300K pots) can be tough to beat.
 

Juan Tumani

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2022
Messages
853
Reaction score
2,343
The Gear Page
F


Pups based on 57 Classics​

Watch
•••
F

frank1985

Member​

I've been experimenting with a few pickups lately and surprisingly none have improved upon the sound of the 57s in my Les Paul. They seem thick, syrupy with a tonne of mojo. The bridge is great for riffing on the bass strings while the neck pickup results in a lovely lead blues tone. Yes I could just settle but I'm very curious to hear what else is out there. What else should I look into that's based on and improves on the classics?

I like the sound of kossof, bonamassa, slash. I play blues, a bit of jazz, funk and heavy blues rock.

So far I've tried the following, tweaking pickup heights extensively.

Seth lover; that midrange is glorious, and not too sizzly. However the bass strings sound anemic and flubby.

OC Dynamite; similar to a BKP riff Raff, alnico v; not much 'body' to the tone. Thin lead sound

Mules; fuller sounding but pretty dull. not much mojo to my ears, though they are well spoken of among the Les Paul crowd.
I don't consider 57s to be settling. They are my go to. If I'm only bringing one guitar, it will have those.

Non main guitars can have not 57s but I know 57s will always give me what I want.
 

mdubya

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
23,841
Reaction score
44,713
I thought I would score the ultimate 57 Classic killer by sourcing a couple of pairs of Tom Holmes H455/450s. I mean he designed the 57 Classic and for sure the 455/450 would be the "boutique" and uncompromised version of the 57, right?

Well, not even close! The TH 455/450 is bright and raunchy and aggressive. Play in the middle position and roll back the volumes and tones and they are all sorts of magical, but nothing at all like a 57 Classic.

I was surprised and thought I had experienced them (2 sets) and could move them on and replace them with something closer to what I thought I would like more (Wolftones are at the top of that list, I had James at Rewind rewind a set of modern 57 Classics which I didn't like so much, too).

Welp, that didn't happen. I cannot bring myself to remove the TH 455/450s from the two guitars I have them in. They are something else. On playback and when sharing recordings with others, they always shine. The brightness brings a real sparkle to recordings. I may not appreciate it in the room - I really prefer warmer tones - but there is no denying the reactions to the TH pickups.

So, that was my experience in trying to better 57 Classics. I got something completely different from what I was hoping for.

For the most part, I prefer P-90s these days, but always appreciate a good humbucker to keep things interesting.
 

cooljuk

Transducer Producer
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
18,399
Reaction score
28,753
The Gear Page
F


Pups based on 57 Classics​

Watch
•••
F

frank1985

Member​

I've been experimenting with a few pickups lately and surprisingly none have improved upon the sound of the 57s in my Les Paul. They seem thick, syrupy with a tonne of mojo. The bridge is great for riffing on the bass strings while the neck pickup results in a lovely lead blues tone. Yes I could just settle but I'm very curious to hear what else is out there. What else should I look into that's based on and improves on the classics?

I like the sound of kossof, bonamassa, slash. I play blues, a bit of jazz, funk and heavy blues rock.

So far I've tried the following, tweaking pickup heights extensively.

Seth lover; that midrange is glorious, and not too sizzly. However the bass strings sound anemic and flubby.

OC Dynamite; similar to a BKP riff Raff, alnico v; not much 'body' to the tone. Thin lead sound

Mules; fuller sounding but pretty dull. not much mojo to my ears, though they are well spoken of among the Les Paul crowd.

On TGP, you're sure to have everyone steer you to their favorite Duncan pickup and try to talk up their personal conversations with "MJ" on the phone about custom builds that Seymour made for stars in the 1970s and their specific DCR figures.

Here, you'll get more of a mix of recommendations, perhaps even including something of mine. That's flattering but I couldn't personally make a recommendation for anything until I hear what you don't like about the '57 Classics and why you want to swap them out. With that, I could probably help.

For the artists you listed, I'd certainly recommend other pickups but your post makes it sound like your ears or rig might prefer what many would consider the shortcomings of the '57 Classics.

What you refer to as "thick" and "syrupy" others would call "muddy" and "congested" in the same pickups.


What's your amp / speaker setup?
 

1allspub

Senior Member
Joined
May 26, 2015
Messages
5,239
Reaction score
6,550
Personally not a fan of 57 Classics... sterile at best, ice picky bridge and muddy neck at worst. Buuuuuut... if you like them, that’s all that matters. Maybe you just got an exceptional set.
 

ARandall

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2012
Messages
17,428
Reaction score
15,727
^ Yep, this mimics my experience. For a pickup on the rounded end of things they manage to be muffled and brittle at the same time. I remember buying some A2 versions of the basic GFS line that did what the 57's did but with more clarity in the mids and a more refined top-end.
 

Latest Threads



Top