Looking for a replacement pickup.

Major Chord

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Hi all.
The bridge pickup on my Epiphone Les Paul has been a bit wimpy and bland for my taste. I've had the guitar (a Standard Plustop Pro) for two years now, and while it sounds good, I want a pickup in it that can produce me some more output and more tone quality overall. More importantly, I want something that can play many different kinds of songs, since I play songs by Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Queen as well as stuff like Nirvana, Green Day and Foo Fighters.
I've looked at the Dimarzio Super Distortion and the Seymour Duncan 59/Custom Hybrid. Would all of you on the forum agree that these would suit me well based on the details given in the post?Also, can higher output pickups like these still handle cleans well?
 

Zoobiedood

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The 59/Custom Hybrid is a brilliant pickup that does modern & vintage tones well. I think it would work here, but I have 2 of them, and it is one of my favorite pickups. Not as 'honky' as a JB. It also sounds great split.
 

SJM

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The 59/Custom Hybrid is a brilliant pickup that does modern & vintage tones well. I think it would work here, but I have 2 of them, and it is one of my favorite pickups. Not as 'honky' as a JB. It also sounds great split.

^^THIS!^^ I have one in the bridge on one of my LP's. It's great both clean and dirty and doesn't lose much volume when coil split.
 

1allspub

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You'd be surprised at how well a Super Distortion cleans up (and it goes without saying it sounds great dirty ;)). It's always one of my "go to" pickups. It's a great pickup... there's a reason it's lasted for 40+ years.
 

brandonwound

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I would not only consider changing pickups but also upgrade your pots if you haven't done so. That can also make a big difference. Rolling back on the volume on higher quality pots make all the difference in my experience.
 

chunktone

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Hi all.
The bridge pickup on my Epiphone Les Paul has been a bit wimpy and bland for my taste. I've had the guitar (a Standard Plustop Pro) for two years now, and while it sounds good, I want a pickup in it that can produce me some more output and more tone quality overall. More importantly, I want something that can play many different kinds of songs, since I play songs by Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Queen as well as stuff like Nirvana, Green Day and Foo Fighters.
I've looked at the Dimarzio Super Distortion and the Seymour Duncan 59/Custom Hybrid. Would all of you on the forum agree that these would suit me well based on the details given in the post?Also, can higher output pickups like these still handle cleans well?

If your looking for something that would do nice clean tones I'd stay away from anything with ceramic magnets. Imo they tend to have a shrill harsh high end. I'd also avoid super high output pickups. I tend to like alnico 5 magnets with a wind about 12-14 k output. Motor City pickups make some great pickups. I have a Detroiter set in a LP and they're great. The Afwayu set is also great, but a bit higher output, around 16 K. Still pulls off nice cleans though.
 

LPofBorg

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The 59/Custom Hybrid is a brilliant pickup that does modern & vintage tones well. I think it would work here, but I have 2 of them, and it is one of my favorite pickups. Not as 'honky' as a JB. It also sounds great split.

I have used both the Seymour Duncan JB and the 59/Custom hybrid. Everything Zoobiedood says is accurate. The 59/custom Hybrid is an outstanding pickup and pairs well with a SD Jazz in the neck as well. Great blend of vintage and modern. Really fits the bill well. That's the combo that I have in my Plus Top Pro, wired into a 50's Jimmy Page harness.
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moreles

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Good advice above. The Super Distortion is not the right PU for you. The 59/Custom Hybrid makes excellent sense and would be a good choice. Many of us find the JB to be strangely compressed and too hot to be sufficiently versatile. I generally find it easy to generate a wide range of tones from PUs that are not overly hot, while my experience with most high output PUs is that it's impossible to get chimey cleans. Seymour Duncans do tend to deliver the tones for which they are designed and marketed. With some other makers, it's pretty hard to tell what you're really getting.
 

Dun Ringill

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When getting new pickups I do a ton of research. You can find sound samples online and reading the descriptions really helped me to narrow down what I was looking for. I would suggest trying this as well since everyone's taste and opinions may vary. Yours is the only one that matters for this issue.
 

sibyrpunk

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I have a Super D in my Epi, believe or not it's a very versatile pick-up, don't be fooled by the name. Another suggestion would be a DiMarzio Paf Pro.
 

purpledc

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I would stick with a lower to medium output humbucker and if the need arises boost it with an overdrive. For many years I was on a "pickup" quest. I tried many different models. Different magnets, different output levels. Through all of It I realized its easier to just boost a weaker pickup for the times you need it. Having a super high output pickup can actually limit you more than it can help you. Also I find many of the lower/medium output humbuckers have a character that just gets lost when you wind them too hot. I really prefer alnico II pickups. On the cheaper side is Tonerider who make a really great sounding pickup that is quality through and through. A little more expensive are the alnico II pros from Seymour Duncan. The 57 classics aren't bad either. As for things like super distortions? Never really cared for them. I think high output pickups were more needed when boost pedals and overall gain in actual amplifiers was limited. My philosophy is you can always boost a weak pickup to make is scream. But you cant make a harsh and hot pickup sing.
 

notjoeaverage

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Before ever changing any pickups in any guitar you should first change the wiring harness and possibly the pots and caps if you actually use your tone and volume controls, also converting to 50's style wiring would help before changing pickups and don't forget to play with pup and pole piece height.

If you always play dimed upgrade the wiring when you change the pups or you will never really hear what they are supposed to sound like through the cost cutting bargain basement stock wiring.

If you put a 500hp V8 in a Vega it's going to be a faster car, but your only going to be able to have an advantage when you're already doing 60mph on the highway and want to accelerate. If you try and floor it from a standing start you'll twist the body and melt the tires fishtailing off the road, unless you put a cage and ladder bars in it.

Take a look at Jonesyblues.com to see what you can do to get the rubber to the road before you end up in the ditch.

This and all other forums are full of guys who buy set after set of pickups and never find what they're looking for. 1/3 of them would have been happy with stock pickups after a new harness, pots, caps and 50's style, 1/3 would better appreciate the stock pickups and be able to say after making adjustments with pup and pole piece height that they are looking for something different and be able to find the right ones without a lot of trial and error. The final 1/3 for some reason are never satisfied.

Good luck
 

cokekolev

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I totally recommend a Seymour Duncan Custom SH-5. It sounds huge when driven hard and has excellent cleans, sounds warm AND bright and never icepicky. Very versatile. It has more character than other high output pickups like for example the DiMarzio Super Distortion. To me and a lot of the guys on the Seymour Duncan forum it is the ultimate Les Paul bridge pickup. I use mine with a Duncan Jazz in the neck of my Epi LP sandard. Killer combination!
 

Major Chord

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To respond to what has been said:
It's definitely the bridge pickup that's bothering me. It's nothing with wiring.
I'm liking the 59 Custom Hybrid and the Custom but now Seymour Duncan also has a Saturday Night Special model that seems right up my alley...
But, this has helped me a lot in my decision...thanks so much!
 

Kamen_Kaiju

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No one mentioned amps.

What amp are you using? What are your settings? Do you use a dirt pedal?

Solid state or tube? Compressed SS High Gain or open wide tube driven Overdrive?


I'd think about amps first.

(I only say this because for too long I overlooked the EXTREME IMPORTANCE of the amp in my signal chain. Mod all you want but if it's not the right amp for the job the job wont get done.)
 

Major Chord

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No one mentioned amps.

What amp are you using? What are your settings? Do you use a dirt pedal?

Solid state or tube? Compressed SS High Gain or open wide tube driven Overdrive?


I'd think about amps first.

(I only say this because for too long I overlooked the EXTREME IMPORTANCE of the amp in my signal chain. Mod all you want but if it's not the right amp for the job the job wont get done.)

I use a Blackstar ID:30 TVP. It's one of those hybrid amps. I like it, but could it be part of the problem?
 

Jymbopalyse

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What Malikon said +2. Don't forget about your amp in the equation.

I have a set of 57 and 57+ running through a Messa Mark V. I can get almost any Classic Rock, 80's or 90's Rock and Metal sound I want. Now through my Marshall MG50fx (solid state) I Have to work, work, work, for suitable tone. IF I had any Fender Tube amp I would definitely need help in boosting gain and be looking for hotter pickups and probably something in a overdrive pedal as well.

Your Blackstar is a modeling amp I believe. It's going to take whatever signal you pass it and change/shape it digitally. My Trad-Pro has 500k Alpha pots (your Std might too) which are fine pots, but had the most cheap caps you could find. I replaced them with Orange Drop Capacitors and it really made a noticeable difference in controllable tone. It is so quick, easy, and cheap to do I recommend giving it a try. If you don't have Alpha Pots then I would recommend getting a new wiring harness that comes with CTS Pots, upgraded Caps and 50's wiring. IMHO You are holding back your total sonic potential with a substandard wiring harness.

If you decide to do a pickup upgrade, I would recommend (for the amp you have) a low power, not quite so hot pickup like the Gibson Classic 57 or 57+. Seymour Duncan has less expensive pickups like the Seth Lover which I hear are just as good. I would stay away from HOT pickups with your Modeling Amp to get the most versatility out of it. My next adventure is to explore the world of SD pickups.
 

JMon

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SD Pearly Gates - mind you, I have never played them. I have researched the hell out of them. I will have a set someday when I have another LP to slip them into.
 

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