Ever Put Old Pickups in a New Les Paul?

scozz

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Check YouTube. More than a few people have done it.

I love this guy’s videos, he’s got a very expressive style, great tone, and the production of his videos is top notch!


Sorry, I didn’t mean to get off topic,...
 

BIG Dave

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I did it to a 2002 R8. The pickups are unmolested, covers never off, PAF’s from a busted ‘61 SG. Previously, I had a pair of Timbuckers In that guitar. Was it a day and night difference? No, more of a different shade of PAF tone. Did anyone in my band notice? No. Did anyone in the audience notice? No. Did I notice? Sort of. Was it worth $4K? Probably not. What I did learn is that I can stop trying every new PAF that comes out and just focus on playing instead.
 

solidwalnut

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I put a T Top pu from a long-gone '79 The Paul into a '59 replica build, into the neck pu slot. I definitely got the 'vintage' vibe', scooped mids. Pretty cool, except I'm sure you can get that with you great pu winders out there!

I put an EVH Frankenstein in the bridge slot. Cuts through!!
 

DesolationBlvd

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After being impressed by a vintage X2N in my Epiphone, I swapped it into the Gibson Trad Pro, sold the Epiphone with Gibson pickups, and never looked back.
 

Giabrone

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I like this thread...

FWIW I was not happy with the original pups in my 71 LP Custom. After doing just enough ‘research’ I pulled the trigger on a set of Pat # PAF decedents (7.6 neck, 7.7 bridge kOhms) and wired them up. I can’t think of the right superlative to describe the improvement...but my heart melts everytime I play tgat thing now. That middle position ‘honk’ and a much greater dynamic change from low to high volumes were some if the immediate improvements.
 

lpfan1980

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I have an '89 LP Standard that I bought on a whim, all stock, for a ridiculously cheap price. Was a great playing guitar, is my favourite go to 9/10. I swore I wouldn't change a thing on it other than the tuners (preferred Grovers). I happened to have a project guitar that kind of fell apart that I'd put a 70's Super Distortion - again, got it really cheap (maybe £30) because the wires had been cut but I knew a guy who would fix it free of charge.

I decided to chuck it in the '89 to test it out rather than sell it mainly because it matched the PU ring colour and worse case I could just put the original back in. As soon as it was in, the guitar became an absolute beast. It worked really well with the neck pickup and gave me a sound I was looking for. So much so, I have considered also putting a Super Distortion in my other Les Paul.

Personally, I wouldn't be spending out the kind of money PAFs go for to put in a relatively modern guitar when, like so many others have said, you can get something similar for much less money. But if you find something for the right price, get lucky with what you find then it can really improve an already good guitar. I wouldn't judge someone who does buy PAFs and if that's what works for them then good for them. Just my 2 cents.
Cool story your LP sounds like one cool guitar!
 

GermHerm

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I would not bother too much about the PUs as long as they are crabby. I would never buy old PAFs for 2k+. There are so many 'vintage' winders who are doing an excellent job. It is only a matter of personal taste. The rest is tone shaping.
Please keep in mind that at that time when '57-'60th PAFs were produced, this was not Rocket science, it was simple coil winding. The 'good' sound was created by 'accident' (unsymmetrical winding). The rest is standard production with available parts - nothing more, nothing less.
 

cooljuk

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The 'good' sound was created by 'accident' (unsymmetrical winding). The rest is standard production with available parts - nothing more, nothing less.
That's not quite accurate, actually. Many PAFs have closely matched coils, at least of the selection that I have repaired and studied. Every factor plays into the resulting sound and the coil patterns, wire properties, steels and magnets are all about equally important. Bobbin internal shape alters coil pattern so you can count that as among the most important, also.

There really are no accurate standard production parts, honestly. I suppose the braided shield wire and some baseplates that are available commercially are pretty accurate but that's about it. If that wasn't the case, I'd have saved a ton of money investing in tooling, research and custom parts.

There were definitely some happy accidents that resulted in PAF sound but recreating those is as difficult as recreating the original Bursts, themselves, and something that all these decades later even the best still struggle to come close to.
 

OBX351

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Sort of......the previous owner bought this guitar with Lollars in it. He put real PAF zebras in this guitar and took a bunch of pics of it. But the PAFs didn't sound as good as the Lollars and he switched them back.
 

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vintageguitarz

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Anyone ever do this?

i see a lot of YouTube videos where they compare a vintage Les Paul to a newer one with boutique pickups. But not the other way around.

Say you have a 2019 Standard and put some 50's original PAF's in. How close to a "vintage" '59 tone can you get?

Seems much cheaper? :)

FWIW, I'm thinking of putting a vintage PAF in the bridge of my 2019 Standard or a vintage P90 in my 2019 Special.

Here's the serious Flaw in your idea .... have you ever priced a pair of Legitimate Gibson 50's PAF's ???

They cost MORE than a new complete Les Paul Standard. WHO would do that? WHO except a Celeb with 100x more money than you or me have to blow?
 

cooljuk

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Here's the serious Flaw in your idea .... have you ever priced a pair of Legitimate Gibson 50's PAF's ???

They cost MORE than a new complete Les Paul Standard. WHO would do that? WHO except a Celeb with 100x more money than you or me have to blow?

I have original PAFs and P-90s, among other vintage pickups, in modern guitars. Others here do, as well. I wouldn't call myself a celebrity.

Having a modern Gibson with PAFs in it doesn't' cost any more than having two modern Gibsons or two fancy amps or a ton of pedals, etc. Not even close to the cost of a very modest vehicle to get around in. PAFs are expensive for guitar pickups but they aren't some unobtainable thing. ...yet.
 

rogue3

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I did it to a 2002 R8. The pickups are unmolested, covers never off, PAF’s from a busted ‘61 SG. Previously, I had a pair of Timbuckers In that guitar. Was it a day and night difference? No, more of a different shade of PAF tone. Did anyone in my band notice? No. Did anyone in the audience notice? No. Did I notice? Sort of. Was it worth $4K? Probably not. What I did learn is that I can stop trying every new PAF that comes out and just focus on playing instead.
whoa.right on brother.there ya go.not so big.more fine detail.
 

OBX351

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Sorry I forgot to add a few things to my last post.

In my newer/reissue P90 guitars I've replaced the original pickups with Lollar P90s. The difference is significant. Also with all of my newer guitars I replace the pots and caps with vintage and new PiO caps and new 550k pots with vintage wiring. This change also makes a difference. The cost isn't as high as putting PAF pickups but it isn't cheap either, and it does make a big difference in tone.

I know a few guys that will swap out new tubes for vintage tubes in their amps when they record. They swap back when they're done. Maybe this is similar to putting in a set of killer sounding PAF in a guitar. Either way it's hugely expensive and it may not be worth doing. Especially with all the boutique PAF style pickups on the market.

Maybe the middle ground is to find a killer set of early patent sticker pickups and a vintage style harness.
 

Christosterone

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I may get shot for this amigo,..... THE most responsible part of any tone is in the FINGERS......... There... i said it.

:rofl:
best guitarist ever saw was Roy Clark...didn’t matter what pups he had..
‘heck, he did this on tv mics...
his right hand was so fast the tv picture couldn’t capture it...
moral of the story: I would’ve bet dimes to donuts this was on a nylon classical board...

‘’but my favorite pup combo is 496r/500t so maybe I’m not to be trusted...


-Chris
 

davidrebel

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I have new (2010s) and old (1950s & 1960s) Gibsons and everything in between (nothing really expensive, though, but some good guitars nonetheless. I like the amplified sound of my 1950s Juniors and Specials and 1960s 335s the most, and while I can get a decent sound out of pretty much anything, I realize, that these old Pat.-Sticker-T-Tops ring my personal bell (I can't respectively don't want to afford PAFs, mind you). That beeing said I collected a whole drawer full of stickered T-Tops and threw them into pretty much any Gibson built after 1980 that stayed with me (plus some HB guitars from other brands, too). I always liked the result better than before, mainly because I am not crazy about hot high output pickups. So, to answer the OPs question in short: Yup, done it, and for me personally it worked - everytime (even with cheaper guitars)!
 

Bobby Mahogany

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Legit PAFs? Nice. or maybe not.

On one of Joe Bonamassa Instagram posts, He said that not all of the vintage guitars are great guitars. Some are just old and valuable. He tries to keep those stock. The great players, he will refret and tweak if needed, and play them.
Play them?
Are you fucking out of your mind?

;)

That's one of the things that I really like about Joe Bonamassa.
He takes the nice instruments (and the vintage amps!) to the gigs
and make a lot of people happy to enjoy them!
:thumb:
 

Uncle Vinnie

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Regardless of the comparison, Greg do play some tasty stuff. :thumbs:
 

Herbie74

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The owner of Peavey talks about there is no magic in manufactured components that can’t be recreated. To me the tone difference is on the old growth wood. The wood allows some notes to ring out while dampening others.
 
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LOSTVENTURE

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My 2011 P90 Traditional has pickups that I salvaged from a 1956 Gold Top over 50 years ago. Those same pickups were in a my converted 1972 Deluxe for over twenty years intil I rebuilt the Deluxe with new miniBuckers and moved the P90s into the Trad. All that has been changed were the covers, cream to black, on the ebony Traditional.
 

dro

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Play them?
Are you fucking out of your mind?

;)

That's one of the things that I really like about Joe Bonamassa.
He takes the nice instruments (and the vintage amps!) to the gigs
and make a lot of people happy to enjoy them!
:thumb:
Never understood those who buy guitars and just lock them away. If I could afford a OG 1960 Les Paul. You bet I would play it. Granted I wouldn't take it to the corner bar. But if you could afford it you could afford the insurance as well.
 




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