Burstbuckers vs. Custom buckers

Gibsonricky

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...I read in this forum such different opinions...It look like that Custom Buckers are not universally acknowledged as the best..IMHO would say that the powerful fat thick typical Gibson tone is coming with Burstbuckers....but I like also the CustomBuckers, smoother thinner and even twangy ( ! ? ) ...CUSTOM SHOP say the CB are the nearest to the legendary original PAF sound...We should then be aware that the real deal of Gibson tone is not the darkish fatty thicky one of all these years ?:hmm::hmm::hmm: Please help:D
 

Jimmi

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PAFs varied because of inconsistent winding. So no one pickup is going to capture it. The custom buckers are wax potted while the original PAF pickups were not. The early burstbuckers are also unpotted and are reasonable PAF copies if you swap the magnets for vintage magnets though not as good as the better boutique pickups,
 

Gibsonricky

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PAFs varied because of inconsistent winding. So no one pickup is going to capture it. The custom buckers are wax potted while the original PAF pickups were not. The early burstbuckers are also unpotted and are reasonable PAF copies if you swap the magnets for vintage magnets though not as good as the better boutique pickups,
...thks ...what about the tone matter..
 

Gibsonricky

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Ok..try now to be more clear. :)The question may be of two natures but still referred to the TONE
Historical : Which are the pups closest to the 59 target, BB or CB
Popular : can we say it does exist a specific LES PAUL GIBSON TONE among others? Something that can be defined as peculiar to Gibson Les Paul only ?
And one more, coming back to the BB and CB, is that correct to say that normally the CB are smoother thinner twangier than BB ..? :thumb:
 

jlb32

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Burst Buckers darker, fatter and thicker sounding than the Custom Buckers? Not from my experience.

I don't dislike the Burst Buckers. I think they sound pretty good but usually always wanted to change them out. I personally just like the Custom Buckers way more. Never have considered changing them.
 

strat1701

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I like the BB1 and BB3 that are in my Goldie. They have A2 mags, sounds perfect. I have a pair of PAF's that are in my 62 LP/SG and TBH, I have a 2013 R9 with custom buckers that IMHO sound really close to those PAF's.

That open, airy punch, pick lightly and then harder and your tone responds back. While I love Goldie's tone and pickups, if I had to say that one pickup IS close to a PAF, I'd have to give it to whatever winds are in that 2013 R9 wheatburst. Incredible sounding guitar.
 

SteveC

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The CB's in my '13 R9 sound pretty good - to me. I have no intentions of swapping them out for others. I never preferred the BB's… but, then again I ripped the Shaws out of my 81 LPC and replaced them with Seths. So, what do I know?
 

Jimmi

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...thks ...what about the tone matter..
Depends. Really it isn't just the pickups. Some guitars are a bit darker or brighter than others. The magical sounding bursts had a complimentary match.

I have PAFs that have A2 magnets and are higher resistance that sound brighter and almost like a Tele in the bridge and others less resistance with a4 magnets that are more punchy in the same position.

While I was swapping pickups in my conversion, I used a set of BB while waiting on a new set PAFs to come in and they sounded better than the custom buckers but that guitar has sounded great regardless if what pickups I have in it.
 

DADGAD

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I thought Custombuckers were unpotted?
 

winexprt

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I thought Custombuckers were unpotted?
I thought that too.

Until a member here a few months ago opened up a Custombucker he had and posted pics and it was indeed potted, although very lightly.

Back to the OP's question.

I absolutely love the Custombuckers in my R8. I have a set of Burstbuckers (1 & 2) in my 2008 Studio and they're quite nice. They seem a little hotter than the Custombuckers though.

Like others have said, it also depends greatly on the guitar. The same set will sound different on another guitar.
 

MiniB

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I have read from various sources that the Custombuckers are simply Burstbuckers with A3 magnets.
 

zoork_1

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PAFs varied because of inconsistent winding. So no one pickup is going to capture it. The custom buckers are wax potted while the original PAF pickups were not. The early burstbuckers are also unpotted and are reasonable PAF copies if you swap the magnets for vintage magnets though not as good as the better boutique pickups,
Sorry for derailing the thread, but...
After experimenting with stock pu's (1978-2009), boutique pu's and vintage pu's (PAF's, early Patent No's, late Patent No's and T-tops) I'm beginning to think materials matters most... :shock:

I base this on my findings from comparing PAF's and Mini PAF's. A full size PAF differs (designwise) in many ways from a mini PAF. Still, the mini sound close to the PAF... :cool:
 

DADGAD

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I don't remember my Page Burstbuckers being potted. They were essentially the same as today's A3 Custombuckers.
 

frankv

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Ok..try now to be more clear. :)The question may be of two natures but still referred to the TONE
Historical :
But there are so many factors that you " heard" that might be considered Historical Gibson Les paul. For instance, does a Les Paul sound the same thru a Vintage Marshall as it does thru a Vintage Fender?

We often pay no attention to the amps of yesterday year. I would suggest that the amps used in those years were as big a factor as any in getting that so called PAF vintage sound.

We often have little info on what those amps were, how they were EQed or even what and how old the power tubes were. Yet we sometimes think that the pickups are all there is to that "sound" often it is not.. Not even close.
 

Jimmi

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Sorry for derailing the thread, but...
After experimenting with stock pu's (1978-2009), boutique pu's and vintage pu's (PAF's, early Patent No's, late Patent No's and T-tops) I'm beginning to think materials matters most... :shock:

I base this on my findings from comparing PAF's and Mini PAF's. A full size PAF differs (designwise) in many ways from a mini PAF. Still, the mini sound close to the PAF... :cool:
When it comes to magnets I definitely agree. Maybe the other materials also. The poles are more square at the top on vintage. Some think the aged metal is better. I even like the late pat# s with the orange wire with a magnet switch away from the A5. They usually run hot and make good bridge pickups...cheap compared to other pat# /PAFs to boot.
 

Bluefox

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What is often called the "classic Les Paul sound" from records from the late sixties early seventies is due to the kind of metal used to make the pickups, which made them sound a certain way regardless of resistance values and magnet grades. Of course some was darker, some hotter, some brighter, but there was a common character due to the metal.
The amps, as vintage Fender and Marshall amps and their speakers sounded very different than modern amps. Usually those amps were adjusted for a very bright tone and players controlled it using the guitars controls, volume and tone.
Any video of players from that era shows them fiddling with the controls on the guitar.
They also used to play loud, and when pushed, a vintage amp brings a compression to the tone that even the best overdrive cannot replicate exactly.
I would say that those vintage tones are due to player's attitude and technique, amp/speaker matching, very resonant guitars and only a little percentage from the pickups.
Even if vintage PAfs varied, most were quite bright, and I think the idea of the "fat, dark Gibson sound" came from the Norlin guitars with later Patent Number and 300k pots. Clapton got his famous "woman tone" not using dark pickups, but bright pickups with the tone rolled down on his guitar. Do that on a guitar with warm pickups and you get a muffled sound and the attack disappear, while on those recordings the tone become dark but the attack is still there.
The amps were relatively low gain compared to most amps of today, but use them at very high sound levels, with slightly microphonic pickups on the verge of feedback and the saturation appears to be much higher than it is in reality, with a sensation of power due to the amp pushing those speakers to their limit (in that era to blow speakers was quite normal).
Today there are PAF replicas very close to the originals, but even with them to get those sounds is necessary to use a good Les Paul or ES 335 with at least a good Marshall Reissue, the pickups are only a little part of the whole chain, and probably not the most important.
 

Gibsonricky

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What is often called the "classic Les Paul sound" from records from the late sixties early seventies is due to the kind of metal used to make the pickups, which made them sound a certain way regardless of resistance values and magnet grades. Of course some was darker, some hotter, some brighter, but there was a common character due to the metal.
The amps, as vintage Fender and Marshall amps and their speakers sounded very different than modern amps. Usually those amps were adjusted for a very bright tone and players controlled it using the guitars controls, volume and tone.
Any video of players from that era shows them fiddling with the controls on the guitar.
They also used to play loud, and when pushed, a vintage amp brings a compression to the tone that even the best overdrive cannot replicate exactly.
I would say that those vintage tones are due to player's attitude and technique, amp/speaker matching, very resonant guitars and only a little percentage from the pickups.
Even if vintage PAfs varied, most were quite bright, and I think the idea of the "fat, dark Gibson sound" came from the Norlin guitars with later Patent Number and 300k pots. Clapton got his famous "woman tone" not using dark pickups, but bright pickups with the tone rolled down on his guitar. Do that on a guitar with warm pickups and you get a muffled sound and the attack disappear, while on those recordings the tone become dark but the attack is still there.
The amps were relatively low gain compared to most amps of today, but use them at very high sound levels, with slightly microphonic pickups on the verge of feedback and the saturation appears to be much higher than it is in reality, with a sensation of power due to the amp pushing those speakers to their limit (in that era to blow speakers was quite normal).
Today there are PAF replicas very close to the originals, but even with them to get those sounds is necessary to use a good Les Paul or ES 335 with at least a good Marshall Reissue, the pickups are only a little part of the whole chain, and probably not the most important.
Great :applause:
 


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