Burstbuckers vs 57 classics

Burstbuckers or ‘57 classic

  • Burstbucker

    Votes: 14 40.0%
  • ‘57 Classic

    Votes: 21 60.0%

  • Total voters
    35

greglawrence

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Just watched this video and another and think the burstbuckers sound too muddy to my ears.

Wowie Zowie! - Those 57's through that Marshall is tone to die for. LP and Marshall is a match made in heaven... at loud volume levels... for a younger man with a strong back or a rich man with a road crew. ;-) - And yes, all those pups are 'muddier' than the 57's. Some people call it 'thicker' -but can easily get lost in the mix onstage even at loud levels, but are great for single note soloing. Simply put, the 57's have more balls & clarity with lower output levels. Thanks for posting the comparison video.
 

garybaldy

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Ii have always like my 2004 LPS with BB Pros until I got some Tonerider AIVs.
 

Dirtyclinic

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I personally love the BB Pros. My main amp is a Fender with a lot of headroom and it's set a little on the bright side, so for me it works great. Maybe if I was using a Marshall I would like the '57s better. :wave:
 

oldflame

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Don't like BBs. I've got a set of BB's out of a Rossington if anyone wants them?
 

Jymbopalyse

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Unless you are plugging straight into the amp, does it make much difference any more?

With all the peddles and modelers out there, you can get a great classic/hard rock sound out of almost any pickup.
(I said almost everybody)

Straight into the amp.

57's are a nice clean pickup that I like to use for good old rock & roll. You know. Elvis and Bill Haley. Works with Dillion and Top Petty as well. Because they are clean, they work great with peddles too. But the peddles and amp need to do ALL the work shaping your tone for Classic Rock with these pups.

The question as to which Burstbuckers is valid. I've only played the Burstbuckers at the L&M showroom. I liked the B2 and B3 combo for Classic Rock but didn't much care for what I got out the B1. At low volume the BB pups seemed weak. Cranked, they had a better brilliance. Full disclosure though, this is trying them out in a L&M showroom. Not jamming or even sitting with a beer and funning around.


So. What amp and peddles do you use.

If you are plugging into a Line6 bean and a SS amp with 8 inch speaker . . . it doesn't much matter what pups you choose.
 

1all's Pub

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I’m gonna go ahead and say, neither. Waaaay more better options in the aftermarket than either BBs or 57s.
 

mdubya

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I loved 57 Classics until the craze to go to 500k pots on everything started. Whether it was that, or the specs of the pickups changed ( I think they did), the newer versions with 500k pots are bright and harsh in the bridge position.

I think it is clear that Gibson has had no idea what it was doing a lot of the time. If they would lock in the pickup specs and pot values, things would be more consistent, but the pickups and the pot values need to be mated for best results. 500k everything, all the time is not always the best solution. JMHO.

My belief is that they put different stickers on whatever pickups they have laying around and the sticker is the only think that determines what the pickups are.

Late 90's/early Y2K ES 335's with what ever spec harness they were using are some of the best sounding 57 Classics, ever. Ever. Glorious.

I know the 57 Classic specs have drifted and changed over the years. That leads me to believe that probably happened with other pickup models, too.
 

Christosterone

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Agree, my new PF 3 PUP LP has, from the neck down, 57 Classic, 57 Classic +, and 500T. Significantly different than Burstbuckers 61's in my Standard.
the 500t at lower guitar volumes with amp driving the sound can do so much...
496/500 is the most underrated combo on the internet imho
And pair that with a plus in the middle :drool:
-Chris
 

Wrench66

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I loved 57 Classics until the craze to go to 500k pots on everything started. Whether it was that, or the specs of the pickups changed ( I think they did), the newer versions with 500k pots are bright and harsh in the bridge position.

I think it is clear that Gibson has had no idea what it was doing a lot of the time. If they would lock in the pickup specs and pot values, things would be more consistent, but the pickups and the pot values need to be mated for best results. 500k everything, all the time is not always the best solution. JMHO.

My belief is that they put different stickers on whatever pickups they have laying around and the sticker is the only think that determines what the pickups are.

Late 90's/early Y2K ES 335's with what ever spec harness they were using are some of the best sounding 57 Classics, ever. Ever. Glorious.

I know the 57 Classic specs have drifted and changed over the years. That leads me to believe that probably happened with other pickup models, too.
My SG standard has 57 classics and 500 k pots. I have to turn the tone down to around 5 on the bridge. The 57 classic in the neck is the shiznit though.
 

Lysol

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I didnt like the BB3 as it couldn’t handle heavy distortion very well so I swapped it for a 500T. With Clean and light gain it sounded fine.
 

jamhandy

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I love the '57 Classics if they come in a guitar, but too many options in the aftermarket to buy them as replacements. Gibson wants a ridiculous $200 each for the 4-conductor type of '57 Classics...

I like to swap pickups in humbucker equipped guitars... the '57 Classics get their tone from the Alnico 2 magnets... Burstbuckers have Alnico 5 magnets... there's your tone difference... Lindy Fralin has a really cool page that discusses the different types of Alnico magnets...

As far as if I were swapping pickups and wanted some nice Alnico 2 magnets in them like the '57 Classics have, I'm looking hard and long at the Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates pups. 4-conductor (I love to coil split my hummers), Alnico 2 magnets... HALF the price of the Gibson 4-cond '57 Classics (the Gibson folks smoke too much crack when designating prices on their products... like (cough) $4,699.00 for a Les Paul Custom... WTF ???)

My next test project for the SD Pearly Gates pups is going to be putting them in re-wire of an Epiphone Dot (ES-335) (I will also totally re-wire it with 50s/vintage wiring, new pots, caps, wire, jack and the neck/bridge Pearly Gates set.) That's kind of a standard hobby thing I do that I've had excellent results with on other guitars. I'll also replace the top hats with speed knobs because I will adjust the nut on the pot so its easy to get my fingers under for push/pull coil split.

Here's the poop on the SD Pearly Gates

As far as choosing a new guitar, well first I'd let some other clod take the 30% hit out the door on the new price, and look for used mint. As soon as you walk out the door with any brand new guitar, you instantly lose 30% or so of the value. If you buy used-mint, the guitar holds all of the value after the purchase (unless you pay too much for it in the first place)

And... since you are wanting to add another guitar, and with Gibson on the head stock, I wouldn't waste money swapping pups on a Gibson. It should either have the sound you want, or it doesn't come home. So I recommend an in-store test drive. See what you like, then shop the Internet for the model you want used-mint.

As far as pickup swapping, I find excellent deals on Epiphone guitars, then do a total re-wire from pickups to jack. I have some really nice projects that I've made that way.

I have a dumb ass cousin that has more money than brains who bought a brand new R9 Les Paul for the really stupid money Gibson asks for these these days..., then swapped the pickups... then sold it wholesale to a vendor that sells used/mint on the Internet. "because he had 3 x R9's and didn't need this one"... ugh... so IMHO, he played mad scientist with a super expensive guitar, f-ed it up real good with pickups it was not engineered to go with, plus it forever will never be "all original"... duhhhh...... then like a spoiled brat with too many toys, sold it for pennies on the dollar wholesale, hahahaha

Don't be that guy...
 
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Injector

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I've got BB1 and BB2 in a Les Paul and a 335.
They sound awesome in both, but then so do '57 Classics.
 

steveb63

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I love the '57 Classics if they come in a guitar, but too many options in the aftermarket to buy them as replacements. Gibson wants a ridiculous $200 each for the 4-conductor type of '57 Classics...

I like to swap pickups in humbucker equipped guitars... the '57 Classics get their tone from the Alnico 2 magnets... Burstbuckers have Alnico 5 magnets... there's your tone difference... Lindy Fralin has a really cool page that discusses the different types of Alnico magnets...

As far as if I were swapping pickups and wanted some nice Alnico 2 magnets in them like the '57 Classics have, I'm looking hard and long at the Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates pups. 4-conductor (I love to coil split my hummers), Alnico 2 magnets... HALF the price of the Gibson 4-cond '57 Classics (the Gibson folks smoke too much crack when designating prices on their products... like (cough) $4,699.00 for a Les Paul Custom... WTF ???)

My next test project for the SD Pearly Gates pups is going to be putting them in re-wire of an Epiphone Dot (ES-335) (I will also totally re-wire it with 50s/vintage wiring, new pots, caps, wire, jack and the neck/bridge Pearly Gates set.) That's kind of a standard hobby thing I do that I've had excellent results with on other guitars. I'll also replace the top hats with speed knobs because I will adjust the nut on the pot so its easy to get my fingers under for push/pull coil split.

Here's the poop on the SD Pearly Gates

As far as choosing a new guitar, well first I'd let some other clod take the 30% hit out the door on the new price, and look for used mint. As soon as you walk out the door with any brand new guitar, you instantly lose 30% or so of the value. If you buy used-mint, the guitar holds all of the value after the purchase (unless you pay too much for it in the first place)

And... since you are wanting to add another guitar, and with Gibson on the head stock, I wouldn't waste money swapping pups on a Gibson. It should either have the sound you want, or it doesn't come home. So I recommend an in-store test drive. See what you like, then shop the Internet for the model you want used-mint.

As far as pickup swapping, I find excellent deals on Epiphone guitars, then do a total re-wire from pickups to jack. I have some really nice projects that I've made that way.

I have a dumb ass cousin that has more money than brains who bought a brand new R9 Les Paul for the really stupid money Gibson asks for these these days..., then swapped the pickups... then sold it wholesale to a vendor that sells used/mint on the Internet. "because he had 3 x R9's and didn't need this one"... ugh... so IMHO, he played mad scientist with a super expensive guitar, f-ed it up real good with pickups it was not engineered to go with, plus it forever will never be "all original"... duhhhh...... then like a spoiled brat with too many toys, sold it for pennies on the dollar wholesale, hahahaha

Don't be that guy...
Thanks for the links, the Lindy Fralin website was particularly helpful.
 

dro

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Not crazy about BB 1and 2 . BB pro's in my '05 and '06's sound great to me. I put BB 1 and BB 2 in a Custom. SOunds good just don't have that Special tone. Never liked 57's in a Les Paul. They're fine for an SG or 335. Just lack something in Les Paul. But that's just me. I like what I like.
 

jbash

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Haven't read the replies., but my 2 coppers

How do we define "Classic Rock"? Is that Live at the Fillmore? Appetite for Destruction? Live & Dangerous? Tres Hombres? Zeppelin II? Unleashed in the East? YesSongs? Frampton comes Alive? Live at Leeds? Strangers in the Night? Second Helping? Toys in the Attic? Diary of a Madman?

I've heard people call all those albums Classic Rock, yet they are all completely different. A specific artist/sound/album would probably help you narrow down a choice.

They both approximate, and I use that word lightly, a certain type of "PAF" sound profile and very different. They are hot dogs and hamburgers. Apples and Oranges.

Old 57 Classics (i.e. the first few years of production) were very warm/creamy/smooth sounding. Approx 2005, they changed materials, and they started to sound more aggressive and "hard", or "harsh". I've had a few sets of both, and I really like both of them., though for different reasons. Newer/Current are tighter, bassy , and super thick. Some would say mud. My experience says the electronics, metals and specific guitar are determines whether they sound good or not. I have a set in (now my Son's) 2014 Classic and that guitar is very clear with piano like lows and highs naturally and not alot of midrange. . The 57s sound clear as a bell and huge even with 50s wiring. Notes ring out true in heavily distorted chords (He plays high gain punk rock stuff). In darker or midrangey guitars, they will accentuate that darkness or mud. I think they sound best in Semi-hollows- 335, etc.

Burstbuckers are a different sound. And there are a few types. Generally they are a bit more raw, loose, and open in the top end- Not compressed. They have more bark, and more bite and clarity on the low strings.. They sound a bit wider and less focused than 57 Classics. With 50s wiring they can be downright harsh flat out on the volumes. I prefer them with modern wiring. The BB1/2 and Slashbuckers are my personal favorites because I prefer the feel and sound of A2, but I like clarity and bite of A5., and the BBs kinda bridge the gap. The Slashbuckers also clean up/react better to volume/tone control changes than any of the other Burstbuckers when combined with modern wiring. They are probably the most versatile of the lot, which has surprised the hell out of me, There is also a higher output BB3 pickup. I never found the right guitar for that pickup after trying it several, but many folks love it. Then there are the 59 Tributes which are a lower output version with hot coils reversed.

BB Pros (A5), 61s are Alnico 5 versions with moderate and lower output respectively. Stock, I like the 61s better, and they both take other magnets well. UOA5 and A2 being my favorite.

I've tried all of the above, in a few to many guitars. Best is subjective, and what sounds good on one guitar , may sound like complete crap in the next . Either will work fine when matched to a guitar that likes them. I would hone in on a few specific sounds you like and work from there taking into consideration your particular guitar's natural tone.
 
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