Seymour Duncan Antiquities vs. Gibson '59 Tribute pickups

Oldhophead

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Could anyone provide info or a review on Seymour Duncan Antiquity pickups versus '59 Tributes? I have a 2014 LP Traditional with the '59 Tributes. Has anyone switched the out for the Antiquities, and if so, what did you think? I am thinking about it, but would it make that much of a difference to be worth it? Thanks.
 

David Garner

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Antiquities are amazing in the right guitar. They loved my 16 Traditional. They didn't like my 93 Standard as much.

If you like the Tributes, I'd either 1) stick with them, or 2) buy the Antiquities used so you can flip them and not lose money on the deal. Since you have a Traditional 2 years older than mine, maybe they'll sound as good in yours as they did in mine.
 

Oldhophead

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Thanks David. Good advice. Hopefully others who’ve installed them into a 2014 Trad will reply before I decide to pull the trigger.
 

Jer

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Before you put new pups in, take out the crappy harness and put in a proper 50’s style one with 500k pots and some decent caps. I did this to my 2014 Trad and it now sounds amazing. It sounded good before but doing this mod turned it into a very vintage sounding LP. The 59’s really shine. I have Custombuckers sitting in a box and have not been tempted to even try them in that guitar.
Just a thought if you haven’t already pulled the trigger
 

jbash

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Better or worse is subjective.

The 59Ts are brighter, more focused and more aggressive than Antiquities, which are warmer, clearer, and a bit more tsme/laid back.

If you are leaning towards heavier and more distorted tones and like bite,, I'd stick with the 59Ts. If you are going for sweeter classic blues/blues rock I'd give the nod to Antiquities.

Not that both sets can't overlap each other, just general characteristics of either.

Interestingly enough I prefer the 59T bridge, but did not like the neck as much as a BB1 (which it is closely related to). In the Ants I prefer the neck over the bridge (this seems to always be my preference with Duncans-neck good, bridge..ehh)
 

MiniB

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I currently have a set of Antiquities in my R8 which I like for there warmer, softer feel so it doesn't get too spikey for my picking and a chimey Fender tube amp. I put a full-strength alnico 2 magnet in the bridge just to warm it up a bit and better balance it with the neck.

A cool bridge pickup if you're looking for a 'hot PAF' for more rock stuff with power and cut, but not too hot or edgy is the 'Brobucker' from the Duncan custom shop.
 

RocketKing

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Better or worse is subjective.

The 59Ts are brighter, more focused and more aggressive than Antiquities, which are warmer, clearer, and a bit more tsme/laid back.

If you are leaning towards heavier and more distorted tones and like bite,, I'd stick with the 59Ts. If you are going for sweeter classic blues/blues rock I'd give the nod to Antiquities.

Not that both sets can't overlap each other, just general characteristics of either.

Interestingly enough I prefer the 59T bridge, but did not like the neck as much as a BB1 (which it is closely related to). In the Ants I prefer the neck over the bridge (this seems to always be my preference with Duncans-neck good, bridge..ehh)
Just the reverse of my preference! :D
I liked the neck 59 tribute but not the bridge. Just too thin and trebly for my taste
 

RocketKing

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For the OP, I second @Jer suggestion but with a caveat :
You may not like the end result.
I also have a 2014 Traditional and I wanted to swap out the harness for a vintage style one with pio caps.
I originally intended to only change the harness and check it out but then I realized I would have been better off with other pickups entirely.
When I changed the harness the guitar tech told me that volumes were near the 500 k value but the tone pots were under 300!
Gibson advertised these as 500 k all round as per official specification.
My point is that if your harness also has similar values then you might like the pickups better but maybe it could be even worse.
In any case I also suggest getting a quality harness along with quality pickups if you have decided to change.
What don't you like about the 59 tribute set?
 

BlueCajun

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For the OP, I second @Jer suggestion but with a caveat :
You may not like the end result.
I also have a 2014 Traditional and I wanted to swap out the harness for a vintage style one with pio caps.
I originally intended to only change the harness and check it out but then I realized I would have been better off with other pickups entirely.
When I changed the harness the guitar tech told me that volumes were near the 500 k value but the tone pots were under 300!
Gibson advertised these as 500 k all round as per official specification.
My point is that if your harness also has similar values then you might like the pickups better but maybe it could be even worse.
In any case I also suggest getting a quality harness along with quality pickups if you have decided to change.
What don't you like about the 59 tribute set?
Similar to my experience with the pots of my 2014 Traditional. The tone pots were 500k audio taper but volumes were 300k linear. Swapped the volume pots for 500k audio. By that time, I’d already changed the pickups to Antiquities. Really opened up the sound for the better.

I’m occasionally tempted to switch back to the 59 Tributes, just for fun. But then I remember how bright the 59 Tributes were and wonder if the 500k volume pots would brighten them up too much. The overall tone really is a sum of many parts.
 

AJK1

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59 Tributes - Potted
Antiquities -Unpotted
Tributes get good reviews so I’m not sure why you’d want to replace them
I owned a set of Antiquities and liked them a lot but found the bridge pickup a little weak
I use a Seth Lover bridge now in that LP and it’s much better
 

RocketKing

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I was wondering about Seth lovers myself for my es 339, I wonder how that would turn out:hmm:
I don't want to hijack the thread OP, just thinking out loud on a related issue :D
 

jbash

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If you want to try some 59Ttributes- find a set of the 61 Zebras. Same pickups but with A5 mags. I bought a set for cheap for my 2014 Classic. Swapped mags- sound was pretty much identical. I ended up trading them for some 57 classics because the guitar needed more lows/low mids- but that's probably an easier and cheaper way to get a set of 59Ts. And the 59T/61Z were just BBs with the screw/slug coils reversed.

Unsure if the new 61 BB are the same pickup or not.
 

Oldhophead

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Thanks for your input. What harness and pots and caps would you recommend? I have read that the Emmerson Electric harnesses are great for these. What did you use?

Before you put new pups in, take out the crappy harness and put in a proper 50’s style one with 500k pots and some decent caps. I did this to my 2014 Trad and it now sounds amazing. It sounded good before but doing this mod turned it into a very vintage sounding LP. The 59’s really shine. I have Custombuckers sitting in a box and have not been tempted to even try them in that guitar.
Just a thought if you haven’t already pulled the trigger
 

Oldhophead

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For the OP, I second @Jer suggestion but with a caveat :
You may not like the end result.
I also have a 2014 Traditional and I wanted to swap out the harness for a vintage style one with pio caps.
I originally intended to only change the harness and check it out but then I realized I would have been better off with other pickups entirely.
When I changed the harness the guitar tech told me that volumes were near the 500 k value but the tone pots were under 300!
Gibson advertised these as 500 k all round as per official specification.
My point is that if your harness also has similar values then you might like the pickups better but maybe it could be even worse.
In any case I also suggest getting a quality harness along with quality pickups if you have decided to change.
What don't you like about the 59 tribute set?
I have a 1966 ES-335 with original patent number pickups that I have had for 40 years, and I LOVE those pickups. The 59T neck sounds darker, and the neck too bright and aggressive. I am looking for something closer to the pickups on that 335. What harness and pots would you suggest? Thanks for your input..
 

RocketKing

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I have a 1966 ES-335 with original patent number pickups that I have had for 40 years, and I LOVE those pickups. The 59T neck sounds darker, and the neck too bright and aggressive. I am looking for something closer to the pickups on that 335. What harness and pots would you suggest? Thanks for your input..
Well as I said before I think it's more of a question of a pick up swap rather than a harness change.
If the neck sounds dark and the bridge too bright, and you have already tried changing pick up height, then I would say it's more a question of pick ups.
If the stock harness is already 500k all round as advertised then you're not going to get a brighter neck.
If it's like my old one, with 300k tone pots, then going to 500k might make the bridge even brighter on 10 on the tone knob.
Perhaps you should consider some repro patent numbers that are in line with what you have on your 335.
I got a set from Rewind, great stuff.
 

Jer

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The harness I used for the trad was from Lonnie at Creamtone. It is a ‘50’s style harness with real drifted PIO sprague Bees (Long shaft pots). Great service and it comes already set up and partially soldered. Easy install and did wonders for the tone. The old harness from Gibson was the crappy pots and orange drop caps on a metal plate.
Anyways, every single guitar sounds different so it’s hard to say. But dropping that Creamtone harness in is only going to improve things. Good luck my friend.
 

somebodyelseuk

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I know I keep banging on about it, but if you're going to mod a guitar, get a digital multimeter at the same time you get a soldering iron.
People blow a lot of money changing pickups, without checking the pots are in spec. I've had pots that weren't even within the 20% tolerance. Don't think that because it says CTS, that they're any better.
As mentioned above, custom harnesses are a good way to go, because the reputable guys will measure the pots before they use them.
 

Angus Blackmore

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Antiquities are amazing in the right guitar. They loved my 16 Traditional. They didn't like my 93 Standard as much.

If you like the Tributes, I'd either 1) stick with them, or 2) buy the Antiquities used so you can flip them and not lose money on the deal. Since you have a Traditional 2 years older than mine, maybe they'll sound as good in yours as they did in mine.
Sound advice.

Have you ever tried a set Antiquities of a quitéis in a chambered Les Paul and a non weight relieves Les Paul? Apologies, I don’t know the body specs of the 2 guitars you mention in your post.
 


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