Boutiques dont impress

Redfish

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I have a Godwood in the bridge of one my Les Pauls and I love it as well. A great sounding pup. It is fat and juicy in the bridge position and really works well but I don't think it sounds anywheres close to a T-Top. Of course that is just my opinion, we all hear things the way we hear them. On your neck pickup dilemma. I got a tip a good while back that has served me well. I set my amp up volume wise so that the lead volume on the neck pickup is cutting through the mix when the guitar volume is on say 6-7...no higher than 8. Keeps it a lot less muddy. That may work for you or it may not but it might be worth a try.
Thanks for this, I generally run my neck PU on 8 and just use the middle position for most neck pu stuff. If I go to 10 on the neck pickup alone it makes me play up and down the board ( out of the box) more to avoid the muddy low strings so I guess it has its good points.Not trying to hijack Niilopi’s threat but he may profit from this discussion. My main gigging guitar from 82 to 2000 was a 25/50 Anniversary Custom that I bought used and was told it was made in 78? Would that have had T-tops in it? Realizing that was a very different guitar with an ebony board and multi piece maple neck it was the best sounding LP I’ve ever owned and I’ve owned several nice R8, R9’s and a 68 Custom Reissue. My drummer who is still with me has never forgiven me for selling it. I just couldn’t take the weight anymore (10.5 pounds) and the thin neck profile was giving me hand cramps. I could go back and forth between both pups at any volume without worrying about it on that guitar. I never considered trying T-tops. Looks like it’s time to get the wallet out.
 
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rockinlespaul

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Boutique is great, but I have definitely had instances where the stock pickups were better.

I once had a wraptail R7 that sounded absolutely incredible with the stock Burstbuckers. I pulled one out in favor of a Tom Holmes pickup. The Holmes sounded terrible and the burstbucker went right back in it. Good luck in your search.
 

bulletproof

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TBH, I think some guitars have great stock pups. I have no need to replace the P90s in my LP special.
Boutique is great, but I have definitely had instances where the stock pickups were better.

I once had a wraptail R7 that sounded absolutely incredible with the stock Burstbuckers. I pulled one out in favor of a Tom Holmes pickup. The Holmes sounded terrible and the burstbucker went right back in it. Good luck in your search.

+1 on the stock.....my dear ole ‘80 Custom ( still heartsick over losing it) had the best damn pickups. Hot and nasty,clean and bright.....the ole girl was like Prego,man....it was in there:laugh2:

 

CheopisIV

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If you're looking for great sounding budget pickups, I've tried some GFS 59s and would recommend the bridge (neck was garbage). A Duncan Jazz neck is a nice clear pickup that'd match up well. I personally love the Duncan 59's but that neck can also be dark so if your guitar leans that way, it should be avoided.

Burstbuckers get a lot of hate but they're fine pickups as well. Unpotted aftermarket Burstbuckers sound much better than the potted stock units to me. Of course if you're going high gain, it won't really matter and the potted might serve you better.

Nothing wrong with T-Tops either! They also get a lot of hate but they have their place. I love me some T-Top tone.
 

Les Paulverizer

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Unpotted aftermarket Burstbuckers sound much better than the potted stock units to me.
So I've heard, I know that Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick) has some 1st generation unpotted Burstbuckers and he swears by them, and if he doesn't know how to recognise great pickups honestly I don't know who does!
I much prefer unpotted pickups myself, apart from when it's required by any given employer I tend to favour loud early-to-mid 70's style Rock & Roll (Led Zeppelin, Mott The Hoople, Foghat, Humble Pie, Spiders From Mars & everyone who ruled in the late 60's/early 70's type of outfits) and frankly I've never had a problem with unpotted pickups, sure they tend to feedback but it's the kind of feedback that's perfectly controllable and extremely musical; if I was to plug into a "Quintuple Rectifier"(!) Mesa Boogie and play all out Heavy Metal then it might be a different story, and I would use the appropriate gear of course, but for what I do (and I play quite loud as it helps to make my playing more dynamic) unpotted is the way.
I've heard that some customers complained about the unwanted feedback they were getting (why buying a 50's Reissue Les Paul in the first place then, get an ESP with EMG's!!!) they got from those pickups so as they have to supply what the market demands Gibson started wax potting Burstbucker's...
My R8 came with Burstbuckers 1 & 2, I found them to be eminently playable pickups and the ONLY reason I replaced them was because they were potted and I though "with these pickups is not a proper '58 reissue" so I fitted a pair of OX4's, which are just perfect in every sense!
On my #2 Les Paul I have a Seymour Duncan 59 in the neck position and an old early 90's Gibson 57+ at the bridge, pretty stock/production stuff, and they sound absolutely fantastic! Granted, they are not potted but hey, don't fix what ain't broken!
 

B5Erik

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I love my boutique pickups. The best pickups I own are boutique pickups.

Having said that, my Epi LP Trad Pro sounds fantastic with it's stock ProBuckers! I wouldn't change them out for anything.
 

CheopisIV

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I had a Faded Epi Dot Studio a few years back and no pickups aside from the original Epi "caked-in-wax-whatever-they-were" sounded good in that guitar. I pushed a lot of different things through it but those stock pickups fit it best.
 

bassmannlespaulman

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I've had to tweak almost every set of pickups i bought.... they sound very good but the sweetening part is wonderful and frustrating process that must be done.
 

dc007

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Thanks for this, I generally run my neck PU on 8 and just use the middle position for most neck pu stuff. If I go to 10 on the neck pickup alone it makes me play up and down the board ( out of the box) more to avoid the muddy low strings so I guess it has its good points.Not trying to hijack Niilopi’s threat but he may profit from this discussion. My main gigging guitar from 82 to 2000 was a 25/50 Anniversary Custom that I bought used and was told it was made in 78? Would that have had T-tops in it? Realizing that was a very different guitar with an ebony board and multi piece maple neck it was the best sounding LP I’ve ever owned and I’ve owned several nice R8, R9’s and a 68 Custom Reissue. My drummer who is still with me has never forgiven me for selling it. I just couldn’t take the weight anymore (10.5 pounds) and the thin neck profile was giving me hand cramps. I could go back and forth between both pups at any volume without worrying about it on that guitar. I never considered trying T-tops. Looks like it’s time to get the wallet out.
Yes it would have most likely been T-Tops in that guitar.
 

captcoolaid

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Its all a matter of what you are hearing at a certain point of your musical career. What I mean by this is your ear changes and hears different parts of your tone differently. Highs may not sound as bright lows become boomy etc......

Some times stock pups are perfect at purchas hence why we buy the thing. But as time goes on and we settle into the guitar or bass we find we have different needs as our pick attack and phrasing become either more relaxed or more aggressive that's where custom and boutique winders come in.

Me personally I like boutique with the exception of 1 pickup. I got this pos first act that kills. I have wound a few bridge pups for it but the stock pup is back in it.

Why did you take the BBs out of it, was there something missing?
 

Niilopi

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hmm. but i liked the burstbucker tone isnt that supposed to be a PAF tone or is it a hybrid? I actually traded the burstbuckers out because i tought i would get more. I tried my friends Throbaks and they certainly had something more to them and i got excited. The burstbucker doesnt have those nice complex tones but the basic overdriven sound is just great. Maybe if i found that burstbucker drive tone on some boutiques it could work for me? Any ideas?
 

dc007

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Yes the intention of the Burstbucker is to emulate a PAF. If you like the Throbaks then perhaps that is what you should have bought. I certainly like them as well but they are pricey. I like Wolfetone Legend pickups a lot too. Both of those do the drive thing well. You may have to dig into your wallet and start trying some stuff out. There are many reviews here and as stated before call one of the winders and explain what you want.
I have a BB1 and BB2 I got from Gibson some time back. They are not potted so they are a little more open especially playing clean. I might sell them. PM me if you are interested.
 


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