What amps does Gibson use to test new pickup designs?

palmerfralick

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Took out my set of Custom Shop Pearly Gates and re-installed the Gibson 59 Tributes that came with my 2015 Traditional. I have a DSL20HR now that I really like and was curious what difference the 59's would make. So far very pleased with the lower gain 59's. I now have much more adjustment on the Ultra Gain channel. With the Pearly Gates it's was almost balls to the wall even at very low gain setting. The 59's offer much more latitude frorm just slight overdrive to the metal grind at wide open. After this I just wondered when Gibson is "designing" a new Burstbucker or whatever what amp is used by the pickup designers when dialing in a new pickup? we all know how different our Les Pauls sound with a different amps so which one do they use to get a tone they are satisfied with.
 

JaxLPGuy

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I can't answer your question but I have one of my own. What are your thoughts in general on the Pearly Gates? I almost bought a LP with one in the neck and the videos I watched sounded awesome. I passed but I've been curious ever since.
 

palmerfralick

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I can't answer your question but I have one of my own. What are your thoughts in general on the Pearly Gates? I almost bought a LP with one in the neck and the videos I watched sounded awesome. I passed but I've been curious ever since.
They sounded really good with the Marshall DSL20HR. It's just such a high gain amp (for me) I was trying to tame it a bit to be able to dial in a more of an JCM800 sound. I think the lower power 59's get it much closer than the PG's. It also helped when I installed a pair of original NOS Mullard EL34s.
 

musicmaniac

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If you want to tame that amp further put a 5751 in there. It tames the bite a bit more.
 

ARandall

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In practical purposes, it matters not (to any end user) what amp they use really. A different player will not only have their own natural tone, but will hear things differently. Plus they will be testing a different individual instrument to the one that you will buy, and maybe even a different style of instrument to the one you finally buy it in.

Gibson themselves have 2 contradictory forces at war with each other when they are making a new design, and these are the key factors in their designs:
The desire to be seen to be making a decent attempt at a PAF
The desire to make it the cheapest possible way they can.

And you can see time after time that the second becomes the dominant one once it is no longer exclusively fitted to the RI line - they get changed to make them cheaper whilst the name stays the same.

They have no market forces that a dedicated pickup maker experiences, they have a captive audience of people who buy the guitars being forced to buy the pickup as part of the deal.
 

sonar1

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I figured it’s an o-scope. Probably right next to HR’s spectrum analyzer.
 

Zungle

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They certainly don't test the pickups for tone or reaction to volume and tone knobs.
They plug in, select bridge, bridge/neck, neck, they work. Test the pots, they work. On to the next one.
Those 3rd generation TransTube Amps are harsh and fizzy.......as fvk.
 

moreles

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They're not testing pickup designs on the production line, for crying out loud! They're testing the circuit. Pickup design was executed long before the guitar goes into production, and certainly was not conducted in some "slap it in a body and give it a listen" method. The guy on the assembly line is just checking to make sure everything functions, he's not analyzing tone!
 

Phil W

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Gibson themselves have 2 contradictory forces at war with each other when they are making a new design, and these are the key factors in their designs:
The desire to be seen to be making a decent attempt at a PAF
The desire to make it the cheapest possible way they can.
You think a replicated PAF era pickup is expensive to make?
They were basic humbuckers with a specificish winding ... no more expensive than any humbucker; just metal, magnets and a length of thin copper. Don't believe the hype.
 

Bobby Mahogany

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You think a replicated PAF era pickup is expensive to make?
They were basic humbuckers with a specificish winding ... no more expensive than any humbucker; just metal, magnets and a length of thin copper. Don't believe the hype.
But...but...but... tone!
It's that special tone, Man!
That's gotta be worth something!
(Like a hundred bucks!)
 

ARandall

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You think a replicated PAF era pickup is expensive to make?
They were basic humbuckers with a specificish winding ... no more expensive than any humbucker; just metal, magnets and a length of thin copper. Don't believe the hype.
Well, lets dissect this.....so we can discard 'hype' and replace with 'fact'.

At the time they used machines that were of the time and not actually designed for the narrow bobbins they were made to wind. This led to some serious anomalies in the pattern they wound
At the time they used the wire of the day, which was cheap stuff made to poor standards of both the copper diameter and the insulation diameter. This has been measured.
At the time both the metals used for the magnets and the sundry metal components were full of impurities.....once again facts confirmed by testing in labs.

Now we come to todays pickups.
Made using machines that are designed for (or can accommodate to) winding on bobbins and wind very consistent even patterns.
The wire has a very tight tolerance of copper and insulation.
The metals in generic metals are also quite pure, as well as the magnet compositions rarely match those from the 50's

Now, the winders themselves say (and that is knowledgeable and experienced professionals who have posted here on this very forum) that if you just wind a pickup on a bobbin to match a K reading of an original PAF pickup using new materials (the way you claim that you could do any pickup), it will not come close to the sound of a PAF.
So if the goal is actually a PAF replica (or a soundalike), then yes you will have to spend some money and time to tweak either the components or the method to either compensate for, or to alter the materials to get to what was commonplace in the 50's. This will make them more expensive than if you just try and make a generic low output pickup.
 

LP1865

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Well, lets dissect this.....so we can discard 'hype' and replace with 'fact'.

At the time they used machines that were of the time and not actually designed for the narrow bobbins they were made to wind. This led to some serious anomalies in the pattern they wound
At the time they used the wire of the day, which was cheap stuff made to poor standards of both the copper diameter and the insulation diameter. This has been measured.
At the time both the metals used for the magnets and the sundry metal components were full of impurities.....once again facts confirmed by testing in labs.

Now we come to todays pickups.
Made using machines that are designed for (or can accommodate to) winding on bobbins and wind very consistent even patterns.
The wire has a very tight tolerance of copper and insulation.
The metals in generic metals are also quite pure, as well as the magnet compositions rarely match those from the 50's

Now, the winders themselves say (and that is knowledgeable and experienced professionals who have posted here on this very forum) that if you just wind a pickup on a bobbin to match a K reading of an original PAF pickup using new materials (the way you claim that you could do any pickup), it will not come close to the sound of a PAF.
So if the goal is actually a PAF replica (or a soundalike), then yes you will have to spend some money and time to tweak either the components or the method to either compensate for, or to alter the materials to get to what was commonplace in the 50's. This will make them more expensive than if you just try and make a generic low output pickup.
Well spoken sir!!!!
 


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