Is a Pickup upgrade worth it?

Ringwood

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I have a 2012 Trad pro with a 57 neck and BB3 Bridge.
Im not as thrilled as i should be with the tone. lacks definition in the lows, a bit muddy, and the tone knobs feel like they want to open up a bit more but can't, a bit of the blanket over pickup effect.
Ive tried all combinations of heights, pole piece, etc.
I like a warm tone but not when it is muddy.

what i want to know is your opinions of wether it makes much difference to upgrade them?
Are the stock 57's and BBs suppose to be really good, or just mediocre?

Ive been told to explore Seth lovers, Pearly gates, Shaws and Lindy Frailin PAFS.

I like Knopfler, Fogarty, classic rock, clean to dirt, and my maximum dirt would be the lower gain AC/DC, not distortion.

opinions?
 

Dolebludger

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If it sounds like your tone knobs are rolling off highs when they are as far open as they will go, you might consider a change in the caps to a different value. I'm not enough of a cap expert to recommend a value, but I'll bet some others here are.
 

cooljuk

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Changing the cap values will only change at what frequency the treble is rolled off, when the tone knob is rolled back. If there isn't enough treble with the tone knobs already on 10, changing the cap values won't help that.

Changing the pot values to something higher would increase the amount of treble with the controls on 10 (at the cost of some upper peak resonance).

Using 50's wiring will allow more treble to pass through when the volumes are not on 10, but will made no difference when everything is already on 10.

It's also true that those pickups, made with Gibson's modern materials and methods (and wax potted), will never have the open breathy top end clarity of vintage PAFs and certainly not vintage P-90s. That clear airy "Fogerty sound" is a pretty high standard to hold any modern Gibson pickups/electronics to. Early 1950's A3 P-90s are truly amazing for that. Some hot A4 PAFs will get you to Knopfler, but it takes a real special pickup to have high turn count coils and not sound muddy and dark. AC/DC (Angus SG) is probably best addressed with lower output coils and A5 magnets.
 

zoork_1

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I have a 2012 Trad pro with a 57 neck and BB3 Bridge.
Im not as thrilled as i should be with the tone. lacks definition in the lows, a bit muddy, and the tone knobs feel like they want to open up a bit more but can't, a bit of the blanket over pickup effect.
Ive tried all combinations of heights, pole piece, etc.
I like a warm tone but not when it is muddy.

what i want to know is your opinions of wether it makes much difference to upgrade them?
Are the stock 57's and BBs suppose to be really good, or just mediocre?

Ive been told to explore Seth lovers, Pearly gates, Shaws and Lindy Frailin PAFS.

I like Knopfler, Fogarty, classic rock, clean to dirt, and my maximum dirt would be the lower gain AC/DC, not distortion.

opinions?
Nothing dramatically wrong with 57 and BB.
What amp and speakers do you play?
 

ehb

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Harness... Quality pots and caps... I'd get that out of the way first if you're going to change stuff...

I put a Tone Man 50's in my Goldie (Bournes & Oranges)..... Made a difference over the Gib stock stuff...

Check YouTube and Google for the harness options out there... Research before jumping... 50's may not be for you but a new harness standard wiring just may be the ticket...

Then, if you decide pickups, PM cooljuk (above) and describe what you are looking for as to tone, and he can probably fix you up... I haven't bought his pickups yet as I have no need presently, but I did buy his book. He knows stuff....serious stuff....probably dark stuff nobody talks about too.... ;)
 

ARandall

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Pickups make a huge difference to your tone. Not only in the actual spread of frequencies they produce but also in the way they respond to your playing style.

BUT......there are a lot of other parts to your chain as well.

Electronics (as comprehensively explained by Cooljuk (AKA James from ReWind pickups) help the pickups shine like they are capable of, the guitar itself is the chassis that the 'pickup engine' is mounted to and the amp is the 'racetrack' - if we're going for more car cliche's. Each part is necessary for the whole experience.

You can do things stepwise.....changing out the harness first to see what those pickups are capable of.....then looking at the pickups. But if you don't have a stellar amp then you're never going to get the full experience.


As to the pickups themselves.....well that is very personal. There are as many who like the pickups as those who despise them. As each player is unique, you can see how that can come about - as much as individual opinions of the pickups can be irrelevant to you.
 

Ringwood

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changing out the harness first to see what those pickups are capable of
Thanks for all the tips!
so i take it the harness is all the electronics from the jack up to the pickups. I also assume its best to get a complete new set of something reputable rather than start switching out individual components. what recommendations do you guys have for Harnesses?
 

scovell001

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Hi Ringwood,

I think James Cooljuk is you guy on all fronts here. I’m sure He can sort out a harness with matched 550k pots for you & caps to suit your budget.

From your descriptions above, his low wind set with an A4 neck & A2 bridge would probably be what you’re looking for.
 

Benjammin

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A harness upgrade would be good, but some aftermarket pickups wouldn't hurt either. Some people don't find changing pickups to be worth it, but they're usually happy with the stock tone. If you're not happy with the stock pickups, I don't think you'd find 57s to be that big a difference. Different voice maybe, but quality-wise, its more a lateral move IMO. I've tried a few boutique PAF style pickups, and they all blew Gibson pickups out of the water. Vineham pickups are great quality and will cost less than Duncans or Dimarzios
 

Antigua

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I have a 2012 Trad pro with a 57 neck and BB3 Bridge.
Im not as thrilled as i should be with the tone. lacks definition in the lows, a bit muddy, and the tone knobs feel like they want to open up a bit more but can't, a bit of the blanket over pickup effect.
Ive tried all combinations of heights, pole piece, etc.
I like a warm tone but not when it is muddy.

what i want to know is your opinions of wether it makes much difference to upgrade them?
Are the stock 57's and BBs suppose to be really good, or just mediocre?

Ive been told to explore Seth lovers, Pearly gates, Shaws and Lindy Frailin PAFS.

I like Knopfler, Fogarty, classic rock, clean to dirt, and my maximum dirt would be the lower gain AC/DC, not distortion.

opinions?

A lot of people dont realize that the pickups and the guitar cable and whatever the guitar is plugged into are all a part of the same tuned circuit. If you're using "off the wall" parts, like a 57 neck pu, and you get a muddy sound while other users of the same pickup are able to get clear tones, that suggests it might be due to something else in the signal chain. Do you have a decent cable? Are you plugging straight into the amp? Does the amp have flexible EQ utilities?
 

zoork_1

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If you're using "off the wall" parts, like a 57 neck pu, and you get a muddy sound while other users of the same pickup are able to get clear tones, that suggests it might be due to something else in the signal chain.
+1
 

John

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IMO, it would also help to know what amp you're plugging into.

Personally, I hate Burstbuckers/BB's. But then again, I usually dabble in modern/heavy metal and hard rock, so they're not even a go-to pickup for my uses and preferences. They lack the bite and clarity I'd like out of a humbucker, fwiw.
 

bulletproof

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2 words:
har ness

Changing the cap values will only change at what frequency the treble is rolled off, when the tone knob is rolled back. If there isn't enough treble with the tone knobs already on 10, changing the cap values won't help that.

Changing the pot values to something higher would increase the amount of treble with the controls on 10 (at the cost of some upper peak resonance).

Using 50's wiring will allow more treble to pass through when the volumes are not on 10, but will made no difference when everything is already on 10.

It's also true that those pickups, made with Gibson's modern materials and methods (and wax potted), will never have the open breathy top end clarity of vintage PAFs and certainly not vintage P-90s. That clear airy "Fogerty sound" is a pretty high standard to hold any modern Gibson pickups/electronics to. Early 1950's A3 P-90s are truly amazing for that. Some hot A4 PAFs will get you to Knopfler, but it takes a real special pickup to have high turn count coils and not sound muddy and dark. AC/DC (Angus SG) is probably best addressed with lower output coils and A5 magnets.

Harness... Quality pots and caps... I'd get that out of the way first if you're going to change stuff...

I put a Tone Man 50's in my Goldie (Bournes & Oranges)..... Made a difference over the Gib stock stuff...

Check YouTube and Google for the harness options out there... Research before jumping... 50's may not be for you but a new harness standard wiring just may be the ticket...

Then, if you decide pickups, PM cooljuk (above) and describe what you are looking for as to tone, and he can probably fix you up... I haven't bought his pickups yet as I have no need presently, but I did buy his book. He knows stuff....serious stuff....probably dark stuff nobody talks about too.... ;)

Pickups make a huge difference to your tone. Not only in the actual spread of frequencies they produce but also in the way they respond to your playing style.

BUT......there are a lot of other parts to your chain as well.

Electronics (as comprehensively explained by Cooljuk (AKA James from ReWind pickups) help the pickups shine like they are capable of, the guitar itself is the chassis that the 'pickup engine' is mounted to and the amp is the 'racetrack' - if we're going for more car cliche's. Each part is necessary for the whole experience.

You can do things stepwise.....changing out the harness first to see what those pickups are capable of.....then looking at the pickups. But if you don't have a stellar amp then you're never going to get the full experience.


As to the pickups themselves.....well that is very personal. There are as many who like the pickups as those who despise them. As each player is unique, you can see how that can come about - as much as individual opinions of the pickups can be irrelevant to you.

Yahtzee!!!
 

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