Road test: SD ALNICO PRO II Slash pickups vs Gibson Slash custom Burstbuckers

sonar1

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So taken captive by my 2020 Gibson USA Slash Standard’s fat gronkin’ midrange, I miss it when it’s not there.
There was nothing at all wrong with my 2019 Standard ‘50’s cherryburst UNTIL I A/B’d with the Slash.

I mean, I happen to LIKE Burstbucker 1&2’s a lot! But the bridge didn’t have the same grainy wallop as the Slash.
So what? It’s OK to have two different sounding Les Paul’s, am I right?

But after a while I wanted THAT sound ALL the time! What to do?

Ordered the Seymour Duncan AlNiCo Pro II’s from Sweetwater for $209/set, and installed them in the Standard LP. These are the ones that went in the Custom Shop Slashes, and Slash still uses them in all his guitars. I’ve read that they are more aggressive and raw than the Gibson Slash custom Burstbuckers used in the USA production Slash Standards. I just wanted more “oomph” in the midrange.

My subjectively flawed take (deaf 70 year old):
The SD’s do seem brighter and rawer. I can get the same bridge pickup alone sound by rolling off some treble on the guitar, and a touch of volume down too.
The Gibsons -I feel- are a little smoother sounding indeed, and I prefer their character just a skoash more than the SD’s. That’s subjective. Different strokes, etc. And were talking’ nuances here. Neither set sound like regular Burstbuckers, though they’re all AlNiCo II sounding, if that makes sense to you. My 2013 R9 had Burstbuckers, and I peddled it after buying the Slash because I thought it was redundant sounding. Go figure: now I want the redundancy, at least in the mid bump. The 2019 Standard remains “airier” sounding. Both the R9 and the 2020 Slash sound a bit darker.

I have done no comparing with any distortion on: just clean through my RI 65 Deluxe pointed straight at my head.

So, SUCCESS! My Standard sounds better and is more useful to me now, even though I still prefer the slightly hot-rodded Burstbuckers in the Slash Standard. Just their character, which I can’t describe well enough to get across probably, so I’ll stop here for now.

Who knows? Maybe the SD’s will win on distortion day. But that’ll be for another day.

I should mention both guitars weigh almost the same 9.9lbs, and both pickup sets are wax potted, adjusted about the same, and both strung with new Earnie Balls. The Standard is slightly more acoustically resonant: the Slash a bit darker, acoustically.
 
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sonar1

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”Gronk” is a bouncy midrange presence I’ve never experienced before.
Usually I’m scooping out midrange, but this has a snarl to it.
 

framos

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To my ears the Burstbuckers are more scooped when compared to the Slashs, despite both being A2s.

I love the Slashs in the bridge, but I hear too much (lower) mids in the neck position for my taste. A bit too "bold".

EDIT: I refer to Duncan Slashs.
 
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sonar1

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To my ears the Burstbuckers are more scooped when compared to the Slashs, despite both being A2s.

I love the Slashs in the bridge, but I hear too much (lower) mids in the neck position for my taste. A bit too "bold".

I find Gibson/Slash Burstbuckers a bit more midrange prominent than regular Burstbuckers, and smoother than the SD ANICO II SLASHes overall, and I’m likin’ that!
A few more windings does the trick for me, though I do like reg Gibson Burstbuckers in plenty of guitars I’ve had them in.
So far my favorite Les Paul sound is the Gibson Slash burstbuckers , maybe my favorite overall guitar sound at this point in my life (so far) if I have my hearing aids in!
 
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sonar1

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To my ears the Burstbuckers are more scooped when compared to the Slashs, despite both being A2s.

I love the Slashs in the bridge, but I hear too much (lower) mids in the neck position for my taste. A bit too "bold".

EDIT: I refer to Duncan Slashs.

I’m starting to agree with you.
I might put the stock Burstbucker #1 back into the neck position of the Standard ‘50’s, since I think the bridge SD already gives me what I’m looking for, and I do like regular Burstbuckers generally. Not sure the SD neck is adding much. Might be moot point.
 

sonar1

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...
I might put the stock Burstbucker #1 back into the neck position of the Standard ‘50’s, since I think the bridge SD already gives me what I’m looking for, and I do like regular Burstbuckers generally. Not sure the SD neck is adding much. Might be moot point.

Nah.
After further review, I’m likin’ the way the Standard sounds just fine with the SD ANICO II Slash pickups.
New day, fresh ears. :slash:
 

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