Recommendations for a clear, low output neck pickup to match the T-top in my SG?

thrashmetl

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So I've got a Bacchus SG, amazing, pulled the stock pickups, JB/59 types, and pulled the ReWind JPPost72's that I won here a while back from my LP and dropped them in the SG. I'd heard T-tops sound great in SG's and the ReWind bridge, a T-top clone, does sound amazing. The neck pickup though is a PAF type at 8.2k with a highly degaussed UOA5, just isn't working in the SG, though it did work pretty well in the LP. While it has great character, it just doesn't have the clarity I need in a neck pickup. I was thinking that I would just get another T-top clone for the neck, but I put the bridge in the neck to experiment, and while it had the clarity I craved, it just didn't have much character for some reason. I kind of remember this being the case too when I played my friends '78 LP Custom too so I think k just don't like T-top necks.

Now the ReWind bridge T-top is 7.5k with a Short A5 magnet, what neck PAF type would you recommend to match that in the neck? I'm thinking A2 pickups probably won't work because of the lack of pick attack compared to A5, but I'm open to suggestions.
 

morbidalex666

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The T-tops (originals and clones) that I've played all had a bright, tight and more strident sound than any paf-type I've had.

The clearest and brightest of all was a pat sticker T-top, a '69 I believe, that measured at 7.2k and had a short magnet (prob A2). No lack of character in that one, let me tell you - I could play crunchy rhythms with that T-top at the neck position all day long.
I had put that pickup in the bridge position without a cover as well and it was way too shrill.
You could order something like that from various winders at various price ranges.

I read that you think a T-top won't suit you, but I think that could give them a second chance, since IME they have what you ask for.

I suggest a low-wind T-top (still within original range though), like 7.2 -7.3k, with a short A2 magnet plus a spare short A5 magnet for experimentation. I would also leave it uncovered. An uncovered bridge T-top (like the JPP-72 bridge) is hard to be matched in its sparkliness, by a neck pup.

If that fails, I can't think of a traditional humbucker that will do the trick better. Maybe a Deacy Zero or a humbucker sized P-90 or sth.
 

rclausen

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The hotter PAF neck is going to sound 'warmer' in an all hog guitar like an SG than it will with a maple cap guitar like an LP. You should look in the Vendor section right now because James (Rewind) is selling off some extra stock and believe he has a low output neck pickup for a good price.
 

thrashmetl

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The hotter PAF neck is going to sound 'warmer' in an all hog guitar like an SG than it will with a maple cap guitar like an LP. You should look in the Vendor section right now because James (Rewind) is selling off some extra stock and believe he has a low output neck pickup for a good price.

Awesome, thanks for the heads up.
 

cooljuk

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I suggest a low-wind T-top (still within original range though), like 7.2 -7.3k, with a short A2 magnet plus a spare short A5 magnet for experimentation. I would also leave it uncovered. An uncovered bridge T-top (like the JPP-72 bridge) is hard to be matched in its sparkliness, by a neck pup.

I agree but I wouldn't go short A5, I'd use a long oriented A5 or the A2. I know some oriented A5s have a thuddy bass, but not all do. I tend to save the creamier and thicker sounding short A5s for bridges and bright guitars.

If you do go PAF-style in the neck, with the jangly, punchy, spanky T-Top in the bridge you're likely going to have to use a very bright design of PAF to get the balance in volume and bass between the two pickups that you may be after. If you go too low in output of a PAF, chasing brightness, you'll loose some of the vocal resonance that makes a great thick meaty humbucker. Bright coil patterns, alloys, screw head shapes, and magnet choices will all be key to balancing everything out if you go this way.
 

Brewdude

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I have a very similar situation, I have the ECP T-Top clone that reads around 7.6k I believe. For my neck I have a late 60's T-top that I swapped in a polished A4 magnet to see what it sounds like (it sounds great:thumb:). I plan to do a full on magnet swap test eventually, but hey, life gets in the way:)
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If you search around you can probably find a similar pickup that would sound great for not obscene money. Other than that there are a lot of well respected winders on this forum that I'm sure could wind you a great pickup if you told them what you are looking for. My favorite neck pickups have an A3 magnet in them, its sort of an oddball combo but from what I've experienced it works really well:hmm:

I'm a ECP convert so take it with a grain of salt but I think the neck of this set would pair well with a T-Top. I have them in a different guitar and I think the neck would work well with the T-top clone. To me they are a nice bright, twangy 50's pickup sound that is very clear despite the relatively low output (7.4k)
Skydogs
 

AJK1

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I just got a SD JAZZ Antiquity neck pickup in one of my guitars and it is a very sweet and articulate pickup, i use it with a WLH in the bridge and it is a great combination
 

ARandall

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A humbucker sized p90 might also be an option. The singlecoil nature helps keep out the mud, and adds cut.
 

ZWILDZR1

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I have a set of the Brandon wound t-top clones. They are in the 7.76 and 7.5 range with the short A5 magnets. I recently reinstalled the BB2 back in the neck it was in the 8.3 range with the A2 magnets. Both are covered and what I see is the BB2 is definitely louder than the A5 t-top. So with that in mind not sure what way to go. My styles have changed over the years in that I spend more time playing on the neck pickup and then use both more than I use the treble pickup. I thought about taking out the other t-top and reinstalling the BB3. Now coming upon this post I wonder what maybe trying a magnet swap in one of the T-tops using the longer A2 would give. The neck BB2 is nice and clear it just has more punch than the short A5 t-top. So now time to ponder what to do. I do like the clarity of the A2 BB2. Yes I forgot the guitar has Martin Six String pots and 50's wiring with PIO caps.
 

ZWILDZR1

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I ended up swapping the magnet from the BB3 into the T-top clone. I am going to leave it in a while but so far I like how it sounds. With the short A5 it sounded tighter and now with the A2 it's more to my liking. Since I'm not sure if I will leave it that way I didn't put the cover back on. Being a black guitar it looks better with the cover on. :hmm:
 

bill m

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Short A2 and around 7.5/7.6k would match perfect with your t-top bridge and would also balance perfectly. I find long A2's to bee too warm.
 

thrashmetl

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Short A2 and around 7.5/7.6k would match perfect with your t-top bridge and would also balance perfectly. I find long A2's to bee too warm.

Hey Bill,

The think about A2 that I'm worried about is the difference in pick attack. Short A5 in the bridge has tons of snap and edge, but I'm afraid that even Short A2 in the neck would have a pick attack that's too soft compared to the bridge. What say you?
 

bill m

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Not many neck pickups at all will match thee snap and pick attack of a t-top in the bridge, but a short A2 is still my recommendation and may surprise you. You could also go with another short A5 in the neck.
 

ThroBak

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Not many neck pickups at all will match thee snap and pick attack of a t-top in the bridge, but a short A2 is still my recommendation and may surprise you. You could also go with another short A5 in the neck.

I agree short A2 in the neck works great. Many Pre-T-Tops came with short A2 in the neck. It's what I use in my late Pre-T clone.
 

bassmannlespaulman

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Not many neck pickups at all will match thee snap and pick attack of a t-top in the bridge, but a short A2 is still my recommendation and may surprise you. You could also go with another short A5 in the neck.


The sg is already a snappy sounding guitar acoustically. ...add a short alnico 2 which is a spanky magnet n you'll have a great tone. ..I have short alnico 2s in my sg custom & it sounds great
 

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