Pickups/wiring for ES-Les Paul semi-hollow style guitar


Junior Member
Oct 1, 2022
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New to the forum. My friend recently built a ES-Les Paul style semi hollow guitar and gave it to me. Right now it has some generic pickups in it. I've been playing it for a while and ready to upgrade the pups and electronics. I've played acoustics, mandolin, etc, for a long time but this is my first electric so I'm looking for some advice on what to put in there.

I'm looking for a dynamic sound, something that is highly responsive to pick attack for melodic playing. Something that stays round, full, and warm until you hit it hard and it brightens up a bit. I generally stay closer to a clean tone, with some edge on it. Representative range of sounds I'm aiming for: Phish, Heavy Things; John Scofield, Endless Summer; BB King, Blues We Like. Secondarily, I know it's not a tele, but a bridge pup that provided a bit more twangy articulation for country style picking would be cool! Having that as a secondary sound option would be great.

I've been reading a lot of posts on here and based on sticking to a budget of $500-600 for everything, seems like maybe Seth Lover or Antiquities might be the way to go? I would appreciate suggestions on pots, and if I should change the wiring, switch, etc. I can solder, but I don't know much about the benefits of different wiring styles (modern, etc.), so I'm reading up on that but recs are welcome there too.

Cheers, Mark

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