Top 5 Humbuckers You've Used

red_bull

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Here's mine:

1. Dry-Z
Closest I'll ever come to a real 59', and from what I can tell nearly indistinguishable. Why doesn't Maxon make these any more?

2. Ibanez Super 70's
Beautiful clean, nice blend of compressed and tonal range distorted

3. Duncan Antiquity JB/Jazz
Broad range and responsive, from dark and moody to thick and scorching. Bit too much squeal/feedback, and the Jazz is a little too hot for neck. Overall great replacement for vintage guitar that's lost its original open coils.

4. EMG 81
Most either love or hate the active pickup, I gravitate between both views depending on day!

5. PRS 57/08
Nice authentic PAF sound. However they squawk and drift in and out of phase a bit too much and it can be like an effect that can't be turned off.
 

kboman

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Don't really have a full Top 5 yet, I have too few guitars to experiment with :D

The best neck pickup so far is an old 1970s DiMarzio PAF. Very close to perfection.

Best bridge pickup is harder, not least because bridge pickups are so boring to begin with. Favourite so far will have to be my Dr Vintage from Wolfetone where I changed the magnet from A2 to A4. Sounds amazing with overdrive but still pretty bland played clean.

Still haven't tried the above two together! This could be the next step :)

Currently I have early 1980s set of DiMarzio K10s in my guitar, very nice but a bit pushy and very, very bright.

1. Dry-Z
Closest I'll ever come to a real 59', and from what I can tell nearly indistinguishable. Why doesn't Maxon make these any more?
They were expensive and time consuming to manufacture, I think it was just not worth it for Greco in the long run.

The original designer still makes and sells his own line of pickups and if you think MIA pickups are expensive... (I don't have his name or a link to source this so if someone wants to chime in, do!)
 
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I've used a bunch for different stuff over the years.

EMG-81 & EMG 85 - a fantastic bridge and neck combo for those who wants pristine cleans followed by super hot distortion. Great for metal, but not a "traditional" sound and probably avoided by most other genres. I could see them working nice for some jazz though.

Duncan Distortion and Duncan 59 - another fantastic bridge and neck combo that will give you that hot driving distortion but with a more traditional voice. This will open you up to play anything form pop to rock to metal.

Duncan "Vintage blues" set [two matched 59's] - essentially a modern PAF. for me this is the most versatile set and what I use most often these days a there really isn't anything you can't do with these pickups and make them sound good. They are a touch light for metal, but adding more gain to do metal isn't hard at all, so its easily doable if you're set on it.

Dimarzio X2N - as a bridge pickup this will always be "THE" motorhead sound to me.

Fender Texas Specials - WAY too bright and a touch hot for single coils. I don't care for them - who needs a twangier single coil?!?
 

gibsonguitar1988

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1. OX4 Set (mine are in the mid 8k range) - by far the most articulate yet ballsy lowish output humbuckers I've come across. They simply kick ass. Usually for me it's a battle between clarity and sounding chunky enough as I'm predominately a riffin' rhythm guitarist and these do the trick.

2. PRS 57/08 Set - another killer take on a PAF, but I don't experience the issues the OP stated. They are very clear as well, and sound killer in my Custom 24, giving what is a modern shreddy guitar a more vintage feel for this old blueser.

3. Seymour Duncan 59 Set - I consider this a modern approach to getting a more vintage rock sound. Definitely a bit more dark and IMO chunky, but at the cost of some clarity. I STILL prefer them over Duncan's Seth Lover set though, which to me is too icepicky. I use these in a brighter LP and it kind of balances it out somewhat.

4. Seymour Duncan 59/Custom Hybrid Bridge - this is a killer "PAF on steroids" kinda thing for a guitar where you might need to lean towards heavier tones but don't want to get into high output screamin' territory. I have one in the bridge of a Tele Deluxe. It pairs great with a 59 neck and really has a great AC/DC like crunch and searing lead tone. Really great pickup and quite possibly my fave SD humbucker for the bridge position.

5. Seymour Duncan JB Bridge - there are times when you NEED to be over the top, and there are times you want a one humbucker guitar. This pickup still smokes it's competition in this category. Super Distortion who? When you need to get your hard 80s rawk on, this is the pup. I have it in the bridge of a one humbucker Ernie Ball Music Man Benji (which is a one humbucker Silhouette) and it totally gets that old hair band 80s sound and a very chunky in your face tone. One trick pony, but a good trick IMO. If you pair it with a neck pickup, I prefer the 59. The Jazz model from Duncan does nothing for me personally.
 

1331

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1. The Custom Buckers in my R8 are the best pickups i have ever used!

2. The neck pick in a -72 Deluxe (mini humbucker) that I once owned is probably the best neck humbucker i have used. Very nice clean sound with that one.
 

paco1976

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T-Tops.

Tonerider Alnico II

SD 59/JB (though I prefer more classic humbucker, for hard rock/metal these are great, probably jazz too)
 

El Kabong

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Current Top 5 (Changes Quite Frequently)

Wizz Premium PAF Clones
OX4 Hot Duanes
Tom Holmes USA 450/455 Zebras
Sheptone Tribute PAF Set
Shed PAF Daddy

Honorable mention to:

Gibson CustomBuckers
Jim Wagner Fillmore Set
SD CS Pearly Gates
SD CS Bonamassa
SD Antiquities

Incoming:

Deacci GreenFaze
Deacci Pure Vintage LP59-Zero
 

red_bull

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1. OX4 Set (mine are in the mid 8k range) - by far the most articulate yet ballsy lowish output humbuckers I've come across. They simply kick ass. Usually for me it's a battle between clarity and sounding chunky enough as I'm predominately a riffin' rhythm guitarist and these do the trick.

2. PRS 57/08 Set - another killer take on a PAF, but I don't experience the issues the OP stated. They are very clear as well, and sound killer in my Custom 24, giving what is a modern shreddy guitar a more vintage feel for this old blueser.

3. Seymour Duncan 59 Set - I consider this a modern approach to getting a more vintage rock sound. Definitely a bit more dark and IMO chunky, but at the cost of some clarity. I STILL prefer them over Duncan's Seth Lover set though, which to me is too icepicky. I use these in a brighter LP and it kind of balances it out somewhat.

4. Seymour Duncan 59/Custom Hybrid Bridge - this is a killer "PAF on steroids" kinda thing for a guitar where you might need to lean towards heavier tones but don't want to get into high output screamin' territory. I have one in the bridge of a Tele Deluxe. It pairs great with a 59 neck and really has a great AC/DC like crunch and searing lead tone. Really great pickup and quite possibly my fave SD humbucker for the bridge position.

5. Seymour Duncan JB Bridge - there are times when you NEED to be over the top, and there are times you want a one humbucker guitar. This pickup still smokes it's competition in this category. Super Distortion who? When you need to get your hard 80s rawk on, this is the pup. I have it in the bridge of a one humbucker Ernie Ball Music Man Benji (which is a one humbucker Silhouette) and it totally gets that old hair band 80s sound and a very chunky in your face tone. One trick pony, but a good trick IMO. If you pair it with a neck pickup, I prefer the 59. The Jazz model from Duncan does nothing for me personally.
I share some of your sentiments on jazz. I find them too hot and too much high end for neck. Its like I don't get enough variation in tone between bridge and neck position.
 

tazzboy

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Sheptone Tributes and Custom Set

ReWind, Creme Brulees, Low out

Lind Fralin Pure PAF

Zhangbucker Duanebuckers.

Haven't try yet are the OX4.
 

rockinlespaul

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This is a updated list. As of now and in no particular order....

1) Rewind low winds w/A2 mags

2) Throbak... just about everything.

3) Rolph '58 Pretenders

4) Vintage DiMarzio PAF/SD combination.

5) Rick Norman Phoenix Burst set

I used Wolfetones exclusively for years and his Legends are very good.

The absolute best humbucker I ever used, other than real deal PAF's was a set of Wolfetones I called the 50s mag set. It was a set of double creams made from old busted up PAF's. That set sounded great in everything I put them in.
 
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AHGrayLensman

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1. BKP Emerald (bridge+neck)
2. Seymour Duncan Custom (bridge)
3. PRS McCarty (bridge+neck)
4. Tonerider Alnico 4 Classic (neck)
5. Wolfetone Marshallhead Mk. II (bridge)

(Yeah, I really like A4 neck 'buckers...)
 

robertoa1a

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I'm a vintage blues sort of cat. My 80's drummer friend was in town today and he wanted Metallica and Black Sabbath.

I had to set down the les paul w/ vintage pups and get out the Jackson with EMG's.
It was fun!

I need them all!!! (One of each).
 

red_bull

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Here's mine:

1. Dry-Z
Closest I'll ever come to a real 59', and from what I can tell nearly indistinguishable. Why doesn't Maxon make these any more?

2. Ibanez Super 70's
Beautiful clean, nice blend of compressed and tonal range distorted

3. Duncan Antiquity JB/Jazz
Broad range and responsive, from dark and moody to thick and scorching. Bit too much squeal/feedback, and the Jazz is a little too hot for neck. Overall great replacement for vintage guitar that's lost its original open coils.

4. EMG 81
Most either love or hate the active pickup, I gravitate between both views depending on day!

5. PRS 57/08
Nice authentic PAF sound. However they squawk and drift in and out of phase a bit too much and it can be like an effect that can't be turned off.
YouTube example for each:

1. Dry-Z
Greco EGF-1200 1980 Dry-Z Maxon Selmer Bassmaster Plexi Selmer 4x12 Cabinet - YouTube

2. Ibanez Super 70's
http://youtu.be/iDd3LGdYDCY

3. Duncan Antiquity JB/Jazz
Seymour Duncan JB Model vs 35th Anniversary JB vs Antiquity JB Shootout Comparison - YouTube

4. EMG 81
EMG 81 VS SEYMOUR DUNCAN JB - YouTube

5. PRS 57/08
PRS SC 245 Demo(with 57/08 pickups!) - YouTube
 

hotrod128z

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1st : SD production floor custom, JB with gold pole pieces

2nd: SD 59 neck

3rd: current (2011 Dirty Fingers)

4th: 1983 Dirty Fingers

5th: older model Tone Zone


hotrod
 

Lungo

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BCR GregWinds
Bare Knuckle Nailbombs
MHD Manfreds
The KXK pickups in my KXK 7 DC #10
Dimarzio PAF Pro. One of the most underrated under appreciated pickups you can buy.
 

Coldacre

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1. ReWind Electric "JPPost72" neck PAF

2. ReWind Electric "JPPost72" bridge T Top

3. Gibson 498T

4. Seymour SH-55

5. Seymour JB
 

darthphineas

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I find it is much easier to track down and nail bridge models. So I'm going to focus on neck models. In no particular order:

Wolfetone Grey Wolf
Manlius T-Top Replica
DiMarzio EBMM Axis
 

6077dino

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In no order:
- Tom Holmes USA 450/455
- Kloppmann 59
- Lundgren 57 heaven
- Throbak sle 101 plus
- OX4
 

HRC

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1 Classic 57
2 Super 57
3 498T
4 Burstbuckers
5 Whatever the bridge pickup is in the made in china Modern Playrt Tele
 




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