Is it me or are Burstbuckers sounding better these days…

Gibsonrocknroll

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I didn't care for the burstbuckers. I like the classic 57/57 plus combo.
 

DaveSG

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@mjross I completely agree. I used to have an '07 SG Reissue that had burstbuckers and was one of the worst guitars I've ever owned. The sound was thin, and chords never had a full 'together' sound - always sounded disjointed. What made it worse was that guitar was trying to replace a guitar that I mistakenly sold in a fit of ignorance - a glorious 2005/2006 Gibson SG Guitar Center exclusive '62 Reissue, which was one of the best guitar tones I've EVER gotten.

With my 2021 LP Std 50s, I knew it came with BBs and I wanted to hate them. But I don't. They took me completely by surprise. I had an obvious bias against them and that bias was crushed. I was going to put in an original set of PAFs that I have, but haven't felt the need to since I don't think they'd improve the guitar by much. I still might just for kicks, but it would really be out of curiosity, as the sound is completely satisfactory.
 

mjross

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@mjross I completely agree. I used to have an '07 SG Reissue that had burstbuckers and was one of the worst guitars I've ever owned. The sound was thin, and chords never had a full 'together' sound - always sounded disjointed. What made it worse was that guitar was trying to replace a guitar that I mistakenly sold in a fit of ignorance - a glorious 2005/2006 Gibson SG Guitar Center exclusive '62 Reissue, which was one of the best guitar tones I've EVER gotten.

With my 2021 LP Std 50s, I knew it came with BBs and I wanted to hate them. But I don't. They took me completely by surprise. I had an obvious bias against them and that bias was crushed. I was going to put in an original set of PAFs that I have, but haven't felt the need to since I don't think they'd improve the guitar by much. I still might just for kicks, but it would really be out of curiosity, as the sound is completely satisfactory.
Yeah, the Throbaks I recently purchased for my Standard are still sitting on the shelf. I pulled out the Standard to make a decision about replacing the pickups or just leave well enough alone. I think I’ll just leave well enough alone! I’m an old engineer and I truely believe, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’m sure I’ll find a home for the Throbaks. Rock on Sir!
 

MyLesPaul462

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I like to look around at other PU sets just for kicks, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to stick with them (BB 1 & 2) in my 21' LP Std 50's. I can't understand the hate for them honestly. They're a solid set. Plenty clear, open, and present, with plenty of top end sparkle. And tons of dynamic range between cleans and super overdriven. I'd be curious to hear what people have hated about BB's.
 

spacerealm

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sorry but Burstbuckers are lame, they sound ok but IMO Seymour Duncan blows them away. just my opinion of course, same goes for Classic ;57;s ;)
 

nrjanoes

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My 2015 Les Paul came with BB, great sounding and versatile
 

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Tubedriver

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Burstbuckers have always been spectacular pickups. 12 years ago I had Lindy Fralin coil tap a set for my 2006 PRS Custom 22.
 

lordraptor1

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burstbuckers in gibsons are FINALLY catching up to the burstbuckers that have been in epiphones since 2000. however having had a 00 gibson and an 14 epiphone i kept the epi and got rid of the gibby, overall teh epi was far superior to the gibson ( i know people will disagree and that is fine) however, my epiphone spends more time in its case because my hand built lp is far superior to the epi. of course i have sd slash pups in my hand built LOL.
 

Classicplayer

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I've posted many comments of my like for the BB 1 & 2 in my 2018 Traditional. They are good sounding to my ears, but I made sure I spent plenty of time getting their heights just right to sound their best. In the process, I found that tweaking a few pole screws (to get string string volume balance) improved this set even more.
I'm glad to see favorable comments posted in this thread, because Burstbuckers really are better pickups than some reviewers make them out to be.

Classicplayer
 

lanningwk

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I’m going through rotation and pulled out my 2020 Standard Gold Top. I’m not sure what’s going on but these damn Burstbuckers sure sound killer. Overall the guitar is amazing but I just do not remember Burstbuckers sounding this good. Maybe I just got a good set or something. Bought a set of Throback 101’s but I‘m struggling thinking about changing out the Burstbuckers. What are you guys experiencing?
My goldtop of the same year also sounds far better than my 04 Std - specifically in the neck. The bridge isn’t as noticeable but the neck difference is massive. On my 04, unless I’m specifically looking for slash tone, my neck is a little too muddy to do anything else with. If I’m looking for a thicker sound, I usually go middle position with the neck volume rolled back to 7-8 and the bridge volume at 10. My ‘20 goldtop though, I can run on the neck position full volume and actually roll the tone knob back and still love the sound. Very thick but articulate and not muddy. Granted I am comparing ‘04 Burstbucker V’s to my goldtop which has 1 and 2’s and that may not be very fair but I will say, I’ve read forums for years about how much people hate burstbucker V’s and have yet to see many forums about hatred for modern BB’s
 

jap545

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Yes I noticed that too. BB1 and BB2 are my favorite combo for years now. I've noticed these last couple years that the newer ones sound even more exceptional.
 

juanpuol

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Well, maybe not relevant, but I do have a Trad 2019 with BB. I just made a short video comparison between that and my Slash Goldtop Victoria:

I don't think the BBs have much to envy. Same as some other coment I just read above... the BBs sound great for the music I like plying and they have the sound I identify a LP with. That is why I chose it over other models when I went to the store.
 

Steelryder

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I've found the '61s to be unusually sensitive to height. I've had them in two different guitars and each time they have taken quite a bit of tinkering to get right, but once you get them dialed they are some of the best pickups I've ever used.
I found this thread and post interesting. I do have a question for everyone about pickup height. I have 4 Les Pauls all with BB. Two are weight relieved and two are traditional. All are High Performance. I find that the traditional have more grit in the sound which I like, and the weight relieved, one is brighter than the other and both are brighter than the traditional. Could this be a result of pickup height? And is there a sweet spot distance from the strings? Would you measure this while fretting a particular fret, say the 14th? Just curious to know what you all think about what is right and the technique used to determine it. Thanks
 

mjross

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I found this thread and post interesting. I do have a question for everyone about pickup height. I have 4 Les Pauls all with BB. Two are weight relieved and two are traditional. All are High Performance. I find that the traditional have more grit in the sound which I like, and the weight relieved, one is brighter than the other and both are brighter than the traditional. Could this be a result of pickup height? And is there a sweet spot distance from the strings? Would you measure this while fretting a particular fret, say the 14th? Just curious to know what you all think about what is right and the technique used to determine it. Thanks
Really wish I could help but I know very little about pickup height adjustment. I pretty much depend on my tech to adjust the height properly. Every one of my guitars go to him shortly after I receive them! Hopefully someone will chime in with a answer to your question!
 

Classicplayer

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I found this thread and post interesting. I do have a question for everyone about pickup height. I have 4 Les Pauls all with BB. Two are weight relieved and two are traditional. All are High Performance. I find that the traditional have more grit in the sound which I like, and the weight relieved, one is brighter than the other and both are brighter than the traditional. Could this be a result of pickup height? And is there a sweet spot distance from the strings? Would you measure this while fretting a particular fret, say the 14th? Just curious to know what you all think about what is right and the technique used to determine it. Thanks
It could be down to weight relief, rather than pickup heights. My Trad's BB 1 & 2 are +- 4/64” between string and pole on the high e-string side when pressing the string at the highest fret. Just in the process of tweaking the heights, I've found that a 1/32” difference either way can make or break the tone. On the low e-string side, I lower (or raise) the pup height so that the two e strings more of less are the same volume. You might prefer a touch louder low e-string or not. This will take a bit of close listening to get it the way you prefer. Then I make sure the other strings are not noticeably louder of softer sounding compared to the two e strings.

There is a thread on this forum's pickup page at the top that helps when setting pickup heights and (if necessary) pickup pole screws.

Classicplayer
 

brandall10

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I have a '13 R8 that sounds great as-is, but I ended up preferring the BB's from an 05 R7 to its custom buckers.

For the most part, it probably comes down to just the guitar itself.
 

golfnut

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When I bought my Standard 50's last April my intention was to upgrade the wiring (RS Guitarworks vintage wiring) and the pickups to either wolftone or vineham. I did do the wiring but I'm really apprehensive about changing out the pickups. I'm loving how the guitar sounds now. Could it be better if I replace the pickups? Maybe but I've been disappointed in the past. The burstbucker 1 and 2 sound fantastic. So I'm less excited about messing with a good thing.
 

dro

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Well there is BB1, BB2, BB3, and BBPro's.
I have always been a fan of the BB Pro's and the Les Paul's from the early to mid 2000's.
All 2 conductor shielded wire models.
The bb 1, 2, and 3's were not wax potted, the BB Pro's were.
I have used Aftermarket BB Pro's bought from Gibson, that I didn't like.
It needs to be a set that came on a Les Paul new.
I put a BB1, 2 set in a Custom and haven't played that guitar since.
Sounds good. Just doesn't have that special, play me quality.
Have used BB Pro equipped Les Paul as my go to guitar for live, and at least one if not more tracks on every recording I've done since 2005.
#1
Dessert burst.jpg
 

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