Am I the only one? (Stock Pickups)

the1jj

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Am I the only one who swaps pickups, pots, caps, and wiring right out of the gate? Doesn’t matter what Gibson I buy, 95% of the stock guitars just don’t sound good to my ears without a little fiddling. Typically I go BKP Mules, Sheptone, or Wolfetone. American PIOs, and I usually replace those 300k’s with CTS push pulls.

Am I alone? Or am I just being a tone snob?
 

Dilver

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Every manufacturer has to find ways to keep costs down so things like zinc alloy bridges, plastic nuts, caps, and less than ideal pots and tuners come into play. They’re ”good enough” and won’t impact the player’s experience significantly. Lots of people say “I shouldn’t have to replace anything on a $2,000 guitar” and they’re mostly right. You don’t have to. But there are plenty of aftermarket parts available that are simply higher quality, made to higher tolerances, than stock parts, and they come at a cost. On the other hand, most of the great records we know and love were made using stock guitars. Go figure.

But I’m like you, most, if not all my guitars are modded to some extent. In most cases, it’s pickups, pots, caps and bridges.
 

sweetjimi

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I have an affinity to mod all my guitars no matter what... maybe I'm just a tinkerer at heart. Thinking about pulling the stock P90's out of my Special and putting in some Lollar 50's winds.
 

BKS

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I do swap but most of them are stock. Most of that I swap already had non stock pickups or were on really cheap tho nice guitars.
I do like most of Gibson stock pickups.
 

Der_Kaiser

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I feel that I am the one in the minority keeping my Les Paul electronics stock. I am actually a fan of Gibson pickups.
No I’m with you, I have modded a Les Paul with custom pickups and wiring but I really don’t think it has made it any better or worse than the Gibson stuff.

It’s cool and I’m glad I tried it but I don’t see me doing it again.
 

ajory72

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To my ears the 61’ Burstbuckers in my SG sounds the same as guitar tracks on my favourite albums by Zeppelin- Cream- Beatles- Stones… the post Henry era for me is ticking a lot of boxes… I can’t bring myself to change anything on it for fear I might alter its sound!

The beauty of the 61’ SG Standard for me is the pickups are great, has orange drop capacitors which are fine and 50’s wiring (no pcb) and the functionality is spot on too…. nothing to change here
 

GrandJunction

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Perhaps it's becasue I'm lazy . . . perhaps it's because I can't do electronics . . . or perhaps it's just becasue I only buy guitars that feel, play and sound good to me . . . but whatver the reason, ALL of my guitars are stock.
 

mudface

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I don't change a thing unless it's broke...... Even my 1978 Custom has it's original pots,... no static or dirt.... noise free and they work.... may not have a wide sweep but they do have a sweet spot i can nail everytime without looking. I have been playing it for over 40 years,... and like all my guitars they have character that fit the bill. Everyone will have their own wants out of their instrument.... and they are all absolutely valid. If you want to duct tape a DeArmond soundhole pickup to your Les Paul,... I got no argument with that.

;)
 

Shelkonnery

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I feel that I am the one in the minority keeping my Les Paul electronics stock. I am actually a fan of Gibson pickups.

No I’m with you, I have modded a Les Paul with custom pickups and wiring but I really don’t think it has made it any better or worse than the Gibson stuff.

It’s cool and I’m glad I tried it but I don’t see me doing it again.

I'm with you guys too.
I usually love the voicing of Gibson pickups.

I've kept my Gibsons stock for the past two decades+ and only recently I'm about to mod the newest of them. I already have most itens at hand - Suhr Aldrich bridge pickup, CTS XL pots and Sprague caps. I'm now looking at a Faber conversion kit.

It's purely GAS based and just for the fun of experimenting and trying new things.

But I'm no rush to go through with the mods because I also love the guitar as is, or else I wouldn't have gotten it in the first place.
 

searswashere

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I'm experimenting with pickups in my R9, but only because it came with burstbuckers and not custombuckers. I have an A3 low output set in it now (just made a thread) and may check out the latest Mike Turk PAF offering at the strong suggestion of some serious gearheads (with access to a real 59 burst or two).

The burstbuckers (once the neck was dialled in thanks to the guide on MLP) sounded good, I just found the CB's in my old 2016 had a little something extra.

I haven't needed to swap pickups since getting my PRS S2 in 2016 (likely sooner to be honest). I swapped the humbuckers out of a pair of player HSS strats in my last band, but to appease my bandmate as they sounded good stock.
 

Tim Plains

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I have a few times, and admittedly, bought pickups/harness in preparation and before I knew which LP I would buy next but I also have a few that sound great as is, so I didn't feel the need to upgrade.
 

skydog

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My Thorn JR90 cured me of all that. I couldn’t find better parts if I wanted to. Ron’s hand-built pickups, RS Superpots and RS Hovland Guitarcap, Sperzels,


1A86D17C-393D-46F9-9D67-420229E74954.jpeg
 

jbash

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I tend to tinker to my own detriment when it comes to pickups and pots/caps.
 

tincbtrar

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I'm experimenting with pickups in my R9, but only because it came with burstbuckers and not custombuckers. I have an A3 low output set in it now (just made a thread) and may check out the latest Mike Turk PAF offering at the strong suggestion of some serious gearheads (with access to a real 59 burst or two).

The burstbuckers (once the neck was dialled in thanks to the guide on MLP) sounded good, I just found the CB's in my old 2016 had a little something extra.

I haven't needed to swap pickups since getting my PRS S2 in 2016 (likely sooner to be honest). I swapped the humbuckers out of a pair of player HSS strats in my last band, but to appease my bandmate as they sounded good stock.
Which guide do you speak of? Tried to do a search and found a few threads, wanted to see which worked for you.
 

Gar

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I don't mod. I have in the past but with electric guitars there are so many variables between guitars, fx and amps that I just plug in, tweak and play. I switch guitars, tweak and play. Simple as that. Unless something is broken or defective I don't change anything. I am fortunate enough to have a few guitars to choose from and they all sound great, from my Squier Bullet Tele to my Les Paul Classic, the squier can do things the LP can't and vice versa. I had a LP Traditional that I put BKP Mules in once for the looks, tonally it was a different sound to stock, but not really better. I guess some pros switch stuff immediately as they have 'a sound' they need for consistancy, but other pros like Bonamassa switch guitar types all the time, I guess we are all different.
 

searswashere

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Which guide do you speak of? Tried to do a search and found a few threads, wanted to see which worked for you.

I finally learned about dropping neck pickups as I generally find them overbearing, but the pole piece bit really put the last pieces into place.
 

geezbill

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the only Gibson pickups i would swap are 490's or BB Pros.
 

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