Jimmy Page #1 T-Top Bridge Pickup

Dazza

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Just thinking of it there's an old thread around here with a member creating a 'fake' T Top using a neck Gibson 490? with a magnet swap. The video clips of his JP tone were really impressive.

Daz
 

cooljuk

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I read somewhere he was interviewed and he said the pickup failed in Australia and was replaced with a P.A.F. (His words)
I’m not sure why everyone thinks the new pickup was a T-Top
You can see it in photos. Unlike some other guitar mysteries (Greeny / Beano) Zeppelin was so hugely documented that there’s a ton of photos and video of all their gear and a real detailed timeline.

Back when this happened, the term “T-Top” was probably non-existent. They were just “humbuckers”, to everyone, including Gibson. PAF/T-Top are terms that we came up with later on.
 

AcVox

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The term 'T Top', as the previous poster alluded to is a relatively recent addition to descriptions of Gibson pickups. When you think about it, it makes sense.
There's more Gibson 'buckers now than ever, so we need these terms so we don't get confused, but the term PAF was used well into the 1970s to refer to any humbucker as no one but Gibson made them.

Now this changed with the DiMarzio Super Distortion, but that's another story entirely..

Jimmy may have reffered to his replacement pickup as a PAF, this doesn't change the fact that images of #1 clearly show a T Top in the bridge of that guitar.
 

DADGAD

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With a Page Bucker 8.0k AL3 (Gibson) and a late 70’s T top, I got some great tones. it was through a Plexi so don’t forget the amp part of the equation. I’ve also gotten very comparable tones with other great pickups but don’t forget the amp’s partnin the equation.
 

cooljuk

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I agree that the amp, speakers, and the right sounding Echoplex are a HUGE part of the sound. Extremely important. I talk people out of my JPP pickups regularly, if they aren't running an appropriate rig. In the wrong right, they might not be a great match.

...but pretty much any late 60's - mid 70's Marshall or a good replica will do the deed. Certainly not the case with the pickups.
 

DADGAD

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I agree that the amp, speakers, and the right sounding Echoplex are a HUGE part of the sound. Extremely important. I talk people out of my JPP pickups regularly, if they aren't running an appropriate rig. In the wrong right, they might not be a great match.

...but pretty much any late 60's - mid 70's Marshall or a good replica will do the deed. Certainly not the case with the pickups.
I briefly had an EP-3 echoplex and I was really, really surprised what the preamp part did for the tone. I have an EP-3 preamp pedal bit it’s not the same. The EP-3 colors the sound in a way that combined with the other elements (pickups and amp) get you closer to a more authentic Page type tone. It really blew me away.

The right style pickups is an important part of the recipe for sure. Even if your rig is right, if the beginning of the signal chain of off, the rest will be too. You can’t add what isn’t there. Such is the fun (and expense) of tone chasing.
 
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cooljuk

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I briefly had an EP-3 echoplex and I was really, really surprised what the preamp part did for the tone. I have an EP-3 preamp pedal bit it’s not the same. The EP-3 colors the sound in a way that combined with the other elements (pickups and amp) get you closer to a more authentic Page type tone. It really blew me away.

The right style pickups is an important part of the recipe for sure. Even if your rig is right, if the beginning of the signal chain of off, the rest will be too. You can’t add what isn’t there. Such is the fun (and expense) of time chasing.
I've got three early EP-3 Echoplexes. Every one sounds significantly different, with the echo off. Just the preamps. One boosts the treble and is very bright, another is warm and dark sounding. The third, sort of between the two but more compressed. They are just so completely different. The brighter one is the one that gets the most "Pagey into a Plexi."

I've also got a handful of supposed "Echoplex preamp pedals" and none of them sound like each other or any of my Exhoplexes. The EP Booster, probably the most popular, is nothing even close to any of them. It's a cool boost but, even set as bright as possible, is fuller and warmer than any. The closest one I have to my bright "Pagey" EP-3 is a Chase Tone Secret Preamp. That one gets the job done. Actually, I have two. One with NOS parts, and it really does have a little more treble character than the other. Both are great, though. That'd be my present recommendation to anyone chasing Page's live Zeppelin sound. No affiliation.
 

Dazza

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I'll second the Chase Tone Secret Preamp - it adds sparkle / chime in the top end that really brings out pick attack etc.

Besides the natural tone of the guitar Jimmy's #1 would have 500k pots compared to typical 70's Gibsons with 300k, so there's increased highs from the T Top over contemporary LP's. Likewise my 70's EDS1275 restoration has a 500k harness and more than enough highs on tap.

I'd not really considered Pages' strings until I played Jimmy Sakurai's R8 with EB Slinky 8's. The wound strings especially having far less mass and bass than my 10-46. I had to use his extra light Herco pick as I simply play too hard being long used to 10's with a light Herco. I was constantly over pitching !

Check out Jimmy Sakurai in his various Zeppelin show videos (Mr Jimmy) or with Jason Bonham. He's the real deal from shoes to amps, pedals etc it's all authentic stuff. I don't think he travels with his original Burst though. Though Japanese his appearance and style is uncannily 70's era Page. Lovely guy too.

Daz
 

ARandall

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The secret preamp is a great pedal....I'd never expected to have an 'always on' pedal, but that one is.
In fact I've got 3, the most useful one has the 3 position eq toggle.
 

Classicplayer

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The secret preamp is a great pedal....I'd never expected to have an 'always on' pedal, but that one is.
In fact I've got 3, the most useful one has the 3 position eq toggle.
Are you using the Tone Secret in front or into an effects loop?


Classicplayer
 

Jimi03

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I got a black magick reverb thats kinda dark sounding (thinking about trying a jenson p12q to maybe make it sound more like the sundragon and or not as dark sounding) the secret preamp pedal with the 3 way toggle switch on the bright setting helped alot for the page tone. I got james' jppost72 set in my 50's les paul standard and as far as the "right rig" i dont have a plexi...i wish i did. I got my les paul with a new harness with vipots 550k jppost72 set into a catalinbread RAH into the secret preamp pedal into the supro black magick. Its not a plexi but that's all i got right now. I turn the bass to 0 and the treble all the way up bc it sounds so dark i think its the supro bd12 speaker. Thats why im looking into the jenson p12q speaker. Supro aparently is putting them in the normal black magick combo now. Not sure what happened to supro but i think the company that owned the name went belly up and the new company i think tried to make the black magick look like the sundragon.

The black magick with the jenson p12q deff seems like it was alot less dark sounding but it was a YouTube video so im not quite sure since i didn't see it in person. Any ideas on the black magick with the speaker swap?

Any one know anything about supro getting sold or going bankrupt?



I tried to put The secret preamp pedal into the catalinbread RAH and it seemed like it just sounded like a fuzz pedal. Anyone got there secret preamp in a different order?
 

Dazza

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I tried to put The secret preamp pedal into the catalinbread RAH and it seemed like it just sounded like a fuzz pedal. Anyone got there secret preamp in a different order?
The CT Secret Preamp has a high output impedance which rolls off highs. Likely not an issue with original EP3 units ran into a JMP bright channel as it was in the day. You can retain more highs by placing a buffered pedal after it. I swap places between the CTSP and an MXR EP103 pedal or Korg tuner to achieve this as required. There's a clear and obvious difference that may assist your Black Magic amp.

I didn't get on with the RAH pedal personally. Then again I don't get on with drive pedals as I much prefer the direct tone/feel of non master amps from 18 watts up.

Daz
 
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Jimi03

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Any tips on a single power supply for the secret preamp thats quiet? I plugged my 1spot in and its humming quite bad, maybe they just hum bad idk but i hate it and could use a good quiet supply that is not really expensive
 

Dazza

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If my memory is correct its 150mA and I've read it doesn't like sharing power supply via a daisy chain. I use a Pedal Power II so never had an issue. I'm sure the multiple TGP threads will give you an answer.

Daz
 

74JMP

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The first album was all Telecaster, actually. Except for "You Shook Me," Page used a Flying V on that song.

II, III and IV were recorded with his stock Les Paul, on the songs that he played a Les Paul.

I know a lot of people love Pagey's "post '72" sound, and I do too, but personally, I've always thought he sounded best when his Les Paul had the stock pickups.
He also made the jump from the Hiwatt to Plexi right before
 

Jimi03

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The Duncan is quite different than the T-Top, the former effectively being a wax-potted hot-PAF style.

The Duncan in the bridge of his #1 seems to be essentially a '59 that was custom-wound for Jimmy by MJ. She also wound the custom set in his #3 Les Paul which later became the Custom Shop Jimmy Page pickups. That being said, AFAIK, the bridge pickup in #1 is different than the bridge pickup in #3. The closest production Duncan pickups to #1 and #3 are the '59 bridge and Whole Lotta Humbucker set respectively.

According to Tim at Bare Knuckle Pickups (who actually worked on Page's #1), the Riff Raff is VERY similar to the current #1 bridge pickup. Jimmy's current #1 pickups are A2 Neck and A5 bridge and both are on the hotter end of PAF specs at 8k plus. The actual measurements are around here somewhere.
How do you know the guy from bare knuckle pickups worked on page's #1?

And how do you know what magnet and what not jimmy has n hs #1?
 

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