Jimmy Page #1 bridge pickup question

storey

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Hello, all. This is a fairly useless question/observation but i am curious and thought there may be a few on this forum curious as well, so here goes. I have read(as i know everyone has) about how Seymore Duncan designed and rewound pickups in London in the late 60s and how one of them (at least according to the press release for the Whole Lotta Humbucker set) found its way into Pages #1 and as the release says "blasted through a Marshall stack and into history." Now, until the whole Duncan WLB set came about, i had heard all these years that, while on tour behind LZ2, that the original double white PAF died and that Page replaced it with a plain nickel covered T top that stayed there the rest of Zeppelins 70s ride. So, did Page create the tone on all the classic Zeppelin albums with a custom wound Duncan or just a plain old T top? If anyone has the definitive answer, i would appreciate it. Thanks!
 

Coldacre

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the Seymour didn't find its way into Page's guitar til long after Zep finished. its the T Top on all stuff from 72-80.
 

DADGAD

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Also, the WLH is based on a set that MJ wound shortly after joining Duncan in '82. She said the very first artist pickups she did were for Jimmy Page and she could never forget those specs. 8.2k/8.8k. Alnico 5. These likely went into Page's red Bender LP as this was always his "experimental" guitar. His number 1 also got a Duncan in the late 80's/early 90's. This one was inspected by a very well known UK winder. The bridge pickup measured approx 8.2k and was AL5. Pretty much similar to a Duncan 59. I have tried this and it sounds good. I obsessed about it a few years back and the sources are rock solid. Those around here will know who I'm talking about.

The Duncan marketing info on the WLH set never specifically mentions Page other than some cheeky references. It also never really infers that Page used said Duncan during that time. It is however referenced that such a London artist has used his pickups but seems vague about the timeline as Page played in the 60's in London but used those pickups in the 80's.
 

storey

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Thanks for the answers, guys. Dadgad, you seem to be very knowledgeable about Page's gear both with and after Zeppelin. Im not at all being disrespectful to Seymore, but considering the blog about the WLH on the site and how it vaguely references Zeppelins sound (caption under photo of a Black Dog), it's kind of doing the smoke and mirrors thing.....
 

Classicplayer

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Also, the WLH is based on a set that MJ wound shortly after joining Duncan in '82. She said the very first artist pickups she did were for Jimmy Page and she could never forget those specs. 8.2k/8.8k. Alnico 5. These likely went into Page's red Bender LP as this was always his "experimental" guitar. His number 1 also got a Duncan in the late 80's/early 90's. This one was inspected by a very well known UK winder. The bridge pickup measured approx 8.2k and was AL5. Pretty much similar to a Duncan 59. I have tried this and it sounds good. I obsessed about it a few years back and the sources are rock solid. Those around here will know who I'm talking about.
Interesting post. Do you think that a '59 Duncan in the bridge would approximate some of Page's tones? Yesterday I was experimenting with my own Lester's bridge '59 with a bit more gain on my Blackstar and I thought I recognized the first few notes to "Since I've Been Loving You".

Classicplayer
 

Les Paulverizer

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Interesting post. Do you think that a '59 Duncan in the bridge would approximate some of Page's tones? Yesterday I was experimenting with my own Lester's bridge '59 with a bit more gain on my Blackstar and I thought I recognized the first few notes to "Since I've Been Lovining You".

Classicplayer
The '59 is an absolutely great pickup, I have one in the neck position of a Heritage H150 (their version of the LP Standard) and lemme tell ya, it stays there!
The only drawback with the '59 is that it's wax potted, unlike PAF's, T-Top's, and by and large any pickup prior to the 80's, and unpotted pickups feel much more lively and respond way better than potted ones.

Having said that, I have some great boutique & non boutique stuff fitted to my guitars (the OX4's being my favourite, without a doubt) but that '59 o' mine ain't going nowhere...!

To me the Seymour Duncan '59 is the "Digitech Bad Monkey of pickups"; overlooked only because it's cheap.
Talk about "perceived value", uh...?
 

DADGAD

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I am no guitar prodigy by any stretch but I have gotten approximate Pagey sounds from a lot of pickups. Some pickups have better response and dynamics. I have a few mid to late 80's 59's which I tried and they are pretty good. They tend to be inherently a little dark. I think we often overlook the amp part and tend to over emphasize the pickups. If you get both right that puts you a lot closer than pickups alone. I searched high and low for a Orange AD30 single channel and boy was it worth the wait. A lot of Page, hard rock and classic rock tones in there.

I have a set of WLH's (Custom Shop) and try are in my Page B bender replica. They are raw, lively and potted!

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Les Paulverizer

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Some people go on about capturing the "Jimmy Page sound" but the first question is; which sound????
Jimmy Page (whom I greatly admire as a player/writer/producer/performer/visionary) is a master painter and has used various colours and shades as it's apparent when analysing his body of work, more than most of his peers, not to mention various different guitars. And it still obviously sounds like him.

I think some folks put way too much emphasis on the gear when a player's Tone comes from his attitude, approach, the way he holds the pick (unless he's Jeff Beck, of course!) the way he frets, the way he "sees" things, etc etc. and then the gear, which of course plays a part in the equation but much smaller than people attribute to.

Stanley Clarke always sounds like Stanley Clarke and he doesn't always use Alembic basses in the studio, Jimi played "All Along The Watchtower" on a Gibson Flying V, Carlos Santana has used various brands of guitars, David Gilmour played the "Comfortably Numb" solo on a Les Paul(!), and so on & so forth.

Basically, and I abhor using "template phrases" but this time I think it really applies, Tone is in the fingers.
 

VictorB

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When people refer to the "Jimmy Page tone" they're after, it's usually one of the live tones he had, and he went through specific phases...

Tele, PAF, T Top, Duncan's...

And then there's the various amps he used live.

It's all over the net if you want to look it up, very easy to find.


On that note, at one time a had a set of the Duncan custom shop Page pickups, (wish I never sold the guitar they were in, but I was in a rush) which are now referred to as the Whole Lotta Humbucker set.

They NAILED his LP tones on the Jimmy Page and the Black Crowes discs.
 

DADGAD

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When people refer to the "Jimmy Page tone" they're after, it's usually one of the live tones he had, and he went through specific phases...

Tele, PAF, T Top, Duncan's...

And then there's the various amps he used live.

It's all over the net if you want to look it up, very easy to find.


On that note, at one time a had a set of the Duncan custom shop Page pickups, (wish I never sold the guitar they were in, but I was in a rush) which are now referred to as the Whole Lotta Humbucker set.

They NAILED his LP tones on the Jimmy Page and the Black Crowes discs.
I've had my WLH's in my Page #1 and through the Orange with some overdrive gets several shades of Page. I considered getting an unpotted set to see what difference there would be.

Yes, the "which Page tone" are you after is very broad, but like LZF said most people are focusing on a particular era. Jessenoah has all kinds of authentic gear. He even plays through a vintage Echoplex EP-2 which is a huge thing people overlook, and he pulls off a great Page tone. He lives and breaths Page and the "attitude" comes through his fingers as a result.
 

cheetah77

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I've had a bunch of the Page winds from many of the boutique guys and they all sounded good, but my late 60s T-Top at 7.8k is dead on for the early/mid 70s Page tones. There's a honk there that none of the others had.
 

darthphineas

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there is a story floating around about when Tim at BKP has the #1 in his shop, that Tim ran some tests and confirmed at least one of them pretty much matched the spec on his Riff Raff model. I've seen a Mule and a Riff Raff be considered the "Page set", but I am not clear which is bridge and which is neck. Tim makes some great stuff and is good about replying to emails, so it wouldn't hurt to ask.
 

DADGAD

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there is a story floating around about when Tim at BKP has the #1 in his shop, that Tim ran some tests and confirmed at least one of them pretty much matched the spec on his Riff Raff model. I've seen a Mule and a Riff Raff be considered the "Page set", but I am not clear which is bridge and which is neck. Tim makes some great stuff and is good about replying to emails, so it wouldn't hurt to ask.
That is true. Tim measured Page's PAF neck and it came in at about 8.68k AL2. I suspect it was measured in the circuit so from what I'm told it will meter higher so it may actually be around 8.2k ish. Some pots don't zero out as I'm told from Bill M. Something technical like that. I don't even want to try speaking for him. After all, who would be bold enough to unsolder the pickups in Page's #1? Tim's Riff Raff is a close match to the bridge in spec. Not sure of the wind, but it likely does the more
modern Page thing well.
 

OldBenKenobi

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He used a Tele until '69. Then he used #1 with the original PAFs until 1972 when the bridge died. Then he used #1 with a T-Top in the bridge until the end of Zep. Then at some point in the 80s he got a Duncan.

Led Zeppelin 1 is all Tele. LZ 2, 3 and 4 are PAFs (plus some Tele). Houses of the Holy, Physical Graffiti (excluding, I presume, any material that may have been recorded prior to the pickup switch), Presence and In Through the Out Door are T-Top. Of course, with the albums there are so many more variables going into his sound that #1 can sound completely different from song to song.

Live is more easily measured. Royal Albert Hall is PAF. How the West Was Won, The Song Remains the Same and all of Disc 2 of Led Zeppelin DVD are T-Top. Celebration Day is SD.

For my money T-Top all the way. Just a really cool pickup.
 

OldBenKenobi

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Here's something to read anyway...
It's amazing how vague that is. There is no guarantee that one sentence has anything to do with the next.

The only way that blurb could relate to Page in anyway without being a marketing fabrication is if Seymour modified the pickups in #1 prior to 1972. If that was the case I imagine it would be pretty major news in the Pagetone world.

Otherwise he could basically be saying "These pickups are replicas of pickups I made in the 80s based on modifications I made to other people's pickups in the late 60s."
 

DADGAD

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It's amazing how vague that is. There is no guarantee that one sentence has anything to do with the next.

The only way that blurb could relate to Page in anyway without being a marketing fabrication is if Seymour modified the pickups in #1 prior to 1972. If that was the case I imagine it would be pretty major news in the Pagetone world.

Otherwise he could basically be saying "These pickups are replicas of pickups I made in the 80s based on modifications I made to other people's pickups in the late 60s."
I'm sure the marketing guys were intentionally vague. It should be interpreted as, " Here is a set based on a set we wound for Page in the 80's, who happened to be a major session player in London in the 60's. That was during the time when I rewound lots of pickups for those guys.".

Regardless, The pickups are awesome. Funny thing is that you could always order them from the Custom shop long before they were named WLH. They just didn't advertise it. I almost bought a set that was made in 2003 before I got my Custom shop set.
 

OldBenKenobi

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I'm sure the marketing guys were intentionally vague. It should be interpreted as, " Here is a set based on a set we wound for Page in the 80's, who happened to be a major session player in London in the 60's. That was during the time when I rewound lots of pickups for those guys.".

Regardless, The pickups are awesome. Funny thing is that you could always order them from the Custom shop long before they were named WLH. They just didn't advertise it. I almost bought a set that was made in 2003 before I got my Custom shop set.
I've heard they sound cool and I wish I had a spare LP lying around to stick a pair in. Someday I will.
 

DADGAD

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If you do order them from the Custom shop and unpotted. I'm curious to see
how it turns out.
 

afranke

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i have a wlh bridge pickup and it is awesome for a off the shelf mass produced pickup.
I would say its almost as good as some boutique pickups ive tried.
 


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