New pickup choice for my Les Paul Traditional

alnico59

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Ok, I installed a JB/59 set last night. I'm liking the 59 in the neck. Not really vibing with the JB in the bridge.
Yup. The JB with the guitar's volume full up makes everything sound like RATT. Try backing down the guitar's volume to 7 - 7 1/2 then turn up for solos. IME, the JB splits nice.
 

B5Erik

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I had an Ltd EC401 (Les Paul shape) with JB/59 and I loved it for heavy stuff.. newer models of same guitar came with DiMarzio PAF ‘36 anniversary and i came across mixed feedback on them... some friends swear by their beauty and others totally hated them. I never owned, played, or heard them myself.

I would suggest the JB/59 (or Jazz) as it is most popular proven combination IMHO
I've got an EC-1000 with the JB/59 setup and it sounds amazing!

I had a Les Paul with the same set and it was noticeably darker and not nearly as good.
 

Zoobiedood

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But it's not necessarily "modern" rock. The heaviest sounds I go for would be early AIC, early Tool. I guess you could say early to mid 90s stuff.
Well, ha...I am lumping AIC and Tool into more modern bands. It is more of an age thing for me. But the Jazz/Custom set is wonderful for those bands.
 

Mockbel

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I've got an EC-1000 with the JB/59 setup and it sounds amazing!

I had a Les Paul with the same set and it was noticeably darker and not nearly as good.
Sorry I didn't mention that my EC was EC401VF.. this one has thicker and full thickness body than the normal EC401 or EC1000 ... should be closer to real Les Paul...

However, if you tried the same pickups on a "real" LEs Paul, so your comment is for sure more relevant
 

ARandall

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The JB has a VERY long history of spotted results in LP's. Something about the mid spike just doesn't sit with many individual guitars....or rigs. The Custom is usually a better option.......or the C/59.

If mag swapping is in your range then an A2 or a UOA5 has had good results for many - moving the spike to less piercing frequencies.
 

ledvedder

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Between the ceramic magnet and the maple top I'm betting it's gonna be bright. But nothing the guitar's tone knob can't fix.
I thought the same thing at first. That's why I've never even considered the Custom in the past. But, so many folks have recommended it for the bridge of a Les Paul, so I figured I'd give it a shot. I do have extra magnets (A2, A5, UOA5, A8).
 

alnico59

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This is my 2010 Traditional Plus. Honestly the stock '57 Classic/Classic + were just terrible sounding no matter what I did. The strange thing was I usually get along with the Classics. So instead of going down the pickup rabbit hole I bit the bullet and had a set of pickups wound specifically for that guitar taking into consideration it's weight, the non vintage pickup [wider] spacing and what styles of music I intended to play on it. From the first A chord I knew it was a bingo. Cost me $300. But it was one and done and I think I would of spent a lot more If I ended up chasing the dragon.
 

alnico59

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I thought the same thing at first. That's why I've never even considered the Custom in the past. But, so many folks have recommended it for the bridge of a Les Paul, so I figured I'd give it a shot. I do have extra magnets (A2, A5, UOA5, A8).
It's been a long time but one of my good friends back home had a mid 70's Standard with a Custom and I remember it sounding good. But he played really loud through older Boogie amps. I'm interested in your findings.
 

ledvedder

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This is my 2010 Traditional Plus. Honestly the stock '57 Classic/Classic + were just terrible sounding no matter what I did. The strange thing was I usually get along with the Classics. So instead of going down the pickup rabbit hole I bit the bullet and had a set of pickups wound specifically for that guitar taking into consideration it's weight, the non vintage pickup [wider] spacing and what styles of music I intended to play on it. From the first A chord I knew it was a bingo. Cost me $300. But it was one and done and I think I would of spent a lot more If I ended up chasing the dragon.
Mine is a 2016 Traditional. It has wider pickup spacing? The JB that I currently have in mine is F spaced, and looks odd because the polepieces are wider than the string spacing.

What are the specs of the pickups you had made? And where did you get them made?
 

alnico59

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Mine is a 2016 Traditional. It has wider pickup spacing? The JB that I currently have in mine is F spaced, and looks odd because the polepieces are wider than the string spacing.

What are the specs of the pickups you had made? And where did you get them made?
Well compared to an Historic, which I also have, Yes. The Historic LP's from '99 and up have the closer vintage style spacing which is slightly closer towards the direction of the neck. So I had the bridge pickup for the Trad slightly over wound to compensate that. The winder told me the bridge pickup would be too bright and slightly weak if not so. I don't see a lot talking about this and wonder if it could be why so many can't find the right set? My guy knew better and asked which guitar they were going in. Seems important.
 

alnico59

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And I mean wider as in further apart from each other. Not wider across such as F spaced.
 

ledvedder

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Finally had a chance to install the Custom tonight. Wow this thing is bassy! I'll have to play around with it for a while to see if I can get it dialed in right.
 

JohnnyN

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Finally had a chance to install the Custom tonight. Wow this thing is bassy! I'll have to play around with it for a while to see if I can get it dialed in right.
I had a guitar with a Custom and replaced the magnet with an A4. Sounded great - in that guitar :)
 

ledvedder

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I had a guitar with a Custom and replaced the magnet with an A4. Sounded great - in that guitar :)
I have a bunch of magnets (A2, A3, A4, UOA5, A8) and I've been contemplating which ones to try.
 

alnico59

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I have a bunch of magnets (A2, A3, A4, UOA5, A8) and I've been contemplating which ones to try.
A5 = Clarity at higher volumes, slightly more push and increased bass.
A2 = Compresses more making the notes gel, slightly darker and less output than the A5.
A4 = Bold, rounded mids, less treble.
A3 = More chime, usually less output, less bass.

Of course the wind could change things dramatically. I would probably start off with the A5, then go A4, then A3 and finally the A2 if it's the SD Custom. Keeping in mind there is a ceramic mag in there now.
 

ledvedder

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Well, I found a Duncan Seth Lover set on ebay for $160 so I grabbed them. Maybe low output is what I'm looking for in the Les Paul. I'm so used to medium/high output pickups in my other guitars (superstrats and Peavey Wolfgang with FR bridges) that I thought higher output would be what I'd like in the Les Paul.
 

jcsk8

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SD a2pro (or Slash´s)
Dimarzio 36h anniversary.
Booth can cover a lot of ground from classic rock to heavy metal and won´t squeal with heavy distortion, still sounds warm and articulated.
The Dimarzio´s sounds a bit more "vintage" if the term applies.
 

E1WOOD5150

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I was pretty satisfied with anything familiar and average/more expensive. First it was Dual Sound, then 490r, 36th anni, Antiquity, sh-1n, again 490r, again sh-1n, Maxon U-1000 and Whole lotta.
You have to learn to listen to your guitar and to response using amp properly. Off course, neck pickup height is crucial like vol pot which is always at 8.5 on my Les Paul.
The magic starts when you adjust neck pickup sound first. Then compromise (if necessary) with adjusting bridge pickup height/vol/tone. My Les Paul neck pickup spreads warmth & joy when I do solos stepping on Boss ge-7 with some 300 and 1.6k over the line.

Sir, I bow to you with the utmost of respect. I had been a little put off by the tone of my Les Paul through my Dirty Shirley Mini. The bridge pickup was too bright, and the overall tone felt abrasive. So, yesterday after I got home from work, I was jamming along to the stereo, and I remembered this post...

I now have a nice, full clean neck pickup, with a nice round tone with the TS-9 engaged, and a bit of snarl with the GE-7 on top of that. The middle position is now MUCH more usable, especially with the neck rolled off to about 7 or 8. The TS-9 in the middle position is a fantastic rock rhythm tone, and the EQ pedal on top of that is very usable, too. I have to roll the tone back to about 7.5 on the bridge, but the tone is full, and still cuts. If I need the extra brilliance to get into Tele territory, its there. I have to be on my P's and Q's with the pickup selector and a bit more conscious of the volume and tone pots, but damn! What a difference.

Thank you very much!!
 




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