Wolfetone Legends

jbash

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I didn't want to give a "review" until I'd really had a chance to put many hours on these, and on different days so that my ears were getting recalibrated. I also went back and forth with my other Les Pauls to compare.

I'd had a dozen sets of pickups in my #1 guitar (along with countless mag swaps). After much Analysis Paralysis looking at a ton of other pickups, and funds in order, the Legends were chosen with some trepidation- not that I thought they would be bad, but would they be "right"?? Wolfe came through on the slight overwind on the bridge- they measure in at 8.76 (b) and 7.61 (n) on my meter/at my place. As cooljuk always says : DC resistance does not equal output, as they actually don't seem to drive my amp as hard as pickups that measure noticeably less. I had to wind up the gain a bit.

However they sound an order of magnitude better/bigger. My whole rig opened up. I think on the Wolfetone site someone reviewed them as being what you would imagine a 59 burst is supposed to sound like- of course all the bursts were different, but I get the sentiment. They have a sound that reminds you of Pearly Gates, or Page's #1 before the bridge pickup swap. As you wind the gain up they get a very pleasing grind and at a really jacked up Marshall level of gain they absolutely do a great VH1 Destroyer type tone. Lows are fat and clear, highs are fat and clear. Mids are present and things are vocal, but unlike many A2 pickups ( cough Duncans cough ) the vocal high mid does not sound fake/processed or artificially enhanced. It's natural, and never overbearing. Same for compression characteristics- top end is very open compared to most A2 pickups and they will bite but it's more of a sting instead of a cut/slice type of top end. Very percussive for A2- Many A2 pickups get lazy or tubby on the pick attack and these are very quick- again like in VH1s "you really got me" verse chords doing the muted part, it clanks. I'm guessing the Legend bridge would be fantastic in a '78 strat tribute guitar.

I tend to do three tones on the neck- rolled off to clean, Hendrix/Trower/Blackmore, and volume up tone rolled off to do stuff like Beck's Bolero. The Hendrix/Trower/Blackmore bit is a tough thing for most PAF types, especially A2, but these retain a good amount of clarity and "hear my train a comin" sounds pretty good..a "what if Jimi had used a Les Paul" type of scenario. So many A2 paf types (modern) get way too tubby on the low strings, and many modern A5s get really boomy. The Legend neck is pushing the envelope here: they are *almost" too tubby or woofy, but not quite for my rig.

Cleans remind me of Les Paul. * The * Les Paul. I love bebop Jazz, but not a player of such (too much of a hack) , and I found myself noodling around in that style-just because the pickups inspired me to do so. Early BB King spanky middle position tones.

Probably the best set of PAF types I've heard barring some actual I've played in 57s, 58s and a 61 335. I've never had a set of pickups make such a drastic positive difference in my rig. I've had new guitars that have done it, or upgrading my amp and speakers, but pickups are usually just a fine-tuning process and getting the "voice" eq'ed right. I'd say these are a bargain at full price and at the discounted price Wolfe is charging, you'd be a fool not to try a set and spend the same or more $ on a set of Duncans, Suhrs, DiMarzios, etc.

"Legends" indeed.
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Dr.Strangelove

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Very well said.
Thank you for the write up.
I hope you have cream underneath those shields.......would look rather nice on that guitar if you ever felt like going that way.
 

DeafDumbBlind Kid

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Back in my pickup swapping days, I've long wanted to try some of those. Now I buy pickups and let them sit in their shipping boxes unopened.
 

jbash

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Very well said.
Thank you for the write up.
I hope you have cream underneath those shields.......would look rather nice on that guitar if you ever felt like going that way.
Thank you. I opted for double black on both for the bobbins, as is my preference but agreed if he was able to do double cremes, that would look great on my #1 as well.
 

jbash

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Back in my pickup swapping days, I've long wanted to try some of those. Now I buy pickups and let them sit in their shipping boxes unopened.
A collector, eh? ;)

I'd say if you love what you have installed, then don't fix what isn't broke. But if you ever get around to wanting something new, I'd highly recommend.
 

DeafDumbBlind Kid

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yeah, a collector, LOL. I have a set of '61s pulled from an SG, a set of Monty's Bethel Peter Green, maybe a set or two of CV50 Tele pickups. The latter I'm more likely to use as builds.

Of my two Les Paul with humbuckers, I'm actually quite satisfied with the stock pups. I bought the other stuff back when I had an SG and a couple of Epiphones. Those are gone now so I don't really have a place to put them anymore. I should probably put them up for sale. The Peter Greens came in a beautifully wrapped, personalized package, with a wax seal and all. I almost don't want to open it ever but that kind of defeats the purpose of buying them, don't it?
 

TaterNuts

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Wolfe is the man. I have had a couple sets of his pickups (unpotted Legends and Mean/Meanest P-90s) and not been disappointed. Great prices, and killer turn-around time.
 

jbash

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Wolfe is the man. I have had a couple sets of his pickups (unpotted Legends and Mean/Meanest P-90s) and not been disappointed. Great prices, and killer turn-around time.
I ordered mine on a Friday morning, and they shipped the next Monday. Excellent turn around time for sure.

And yes, I forgot to mention my Legends are unpotted- they actually are less buzzy/quieter than the uncovered and potted pickups I had in it until recently, and squeal less when I get close to the amps
 

RocketKing

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Nice write up, thank you for your impressions.
I've always heard good things about wolfetones
 

BDW60

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I have a set of Legends in a 1980 Greco. They sound incredible. And loud … huge output for PAF style pickup. Open, snarly, swirly.
 

jbash

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I have a set of Legends in a 1980 Greco. They sound incredible. And loud … huge output for PAF style pickup. Open, snarly, swirly.
Exactly. They are much "bigger" sounding than anything I can remember. That's the way the actual PAFs I've played sound- they are not that high output but they sound bigger and louder compared to most modern recreations- Wolfe's Legends are similar to those originals in that regard.
 

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