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I"m going pickup shopping soon, I need a versatile pickup,

Gibson les paul

I'm looking at EMG cause i play anywher efrom metal to blues, to hardcore , w/e

I'm running thru a tube amp, Fender 68-72(not 100% sure) Princeton
Last edited by trout5076 at Dec 27, 2008,
EMGs aren't worth it unless you're willing to do the 18v mod if you ask me.

For argument's sake, though, what amp are you using?
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I wouldn't go with an EMG really. For versatility, I like Duncan JBs. But really, I have stock pickups in my Gibsons and they're just fine for everything I play (which also goes from metal to blues to funk to jazz to whatever the hell I feel like).
Megadeth > Metallica
Gibson > Fender
Randy Rhoads > Everybody

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Bare Knukle Pickups are best. Id look at the Nail Bomb, its very versitile
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Outside of pickups like the Dimebucker or Invader, EMG active humbuckers are just about the least versatile pickup on the market.

If you have the cash to spend, check out some smaller, boutique companies. WCR, WB, Bareknuckle, Wolfetone, they all make good pickups, albeit expensive. Look at WCR Darkbursts or the Fillmore. Both considered "vintage style" pickups, but used by everyone from Joe Bonamassa to the guitarist from Godsmack. There are some good Seymour Duncans as well that are much cheaper. The '59 bridge is a pretty versatile pickup that imo works well in les pauls and is cheap.

Assuming you have a valve amp, then maximum versatility will come from a vintage style pickup in the neck and a hot alnico pickup in the bridge. There are many types of vintage style pickups and the exact one really depends on the specific characteristics you are looking for. Same is true for the bridge.

So... Give us some more details.
Give us examples of specific bands from each genera that is important to you and tell us what it is that you like about their tone.

We also need to know what amp you are using
Not taking any online orders.
OKay I have a '68-72 fender princeton, valve,

I'm play gun's n roses, BLS, Ozzy, eric clapton, metallica, zepplin,

I will also probably be shopping at guitar center and i need to buy a pedal, i'm looking at about 60-100 spent on the pedal so that leaves me with just over 200 to spend on pickups, so a bit of a tight budjet here
You should probably look to spend more on a pedal. If I were you, based on your amp and the choices of artists, I'd spend the cash on a Carl Martin Plexi-tone rather than pickups. I can't think of a single pedal that is in your price range that can get you both convincing BLS tones and Eric Clapton tones out of that amp of yours. A CM plexi-tone is expensive but does the job fairly well. Spending the cash on EMGs is a huge waste of money, you'd never get anything close to Zeppelin or Cream sounds with those toneless things.
Last edited by al112987 at Dec 27, 2008,
I need the pickups,

I'm not looking for the pedal thats versatile, lol, i'm acually getting a pedal for the distortion I'm buying an Electro Harmonix Metal muff, prolly the large one, that can produce a great over drive sound as well,, but anyhow

the pickups in the guitar aren't stock i bought it off ebay, they are seymour duncan vintage blues they sound alot like zepplin, but my clean tone sounds like a muted trumpet and the harmonic response is terrible.
A metal muff for Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, GnR stuff? I mean, I guess if you want to sound like Killswitch Engage covering Bluesbreaker tunes, then by all means...

$200 on pickups will not get you a huge improvement over what you currently have in that guitar. If you're getting poor treble response, I am almost 99% sure it has to do with bad pots and tone caps. Not the pickups, I ran the SD "vintage blues" setup ('59 bridge and neck combo), and had zero trouble getting good harmonic response and a clean top end.
Last edited by al112987 at Dec 27, 2008,
I got another Pedal to fall back on lol that gets me all that and htis perticular metal muff has a great OD sound.

and my research tells me i can get great stuff just have to test it out. and the Pots are freakin new so they better not be bad.
If you have the money Bareknuckles are REALLY good. (They cost about 90 pounds per humbucker or 190 pounds for a calibrated set. This is about $280.00 USD plus shipping.)

If you're tight on budget, look into other SD's (There's a thread in UG where it talks about bunch of SD pickups and characteristics) and Dimarzio.
if you're getting bad treble response even with your guitar volumes all the way up, I almost guarantee you that it's a problem with the pots if your amp is not the problem. I've played through enough pickups to tell you that bad pots will keep any guitar from reaching it's full potential. When I swapped the stock pots out of my Gibson les paul (supposed to be 500k pots) they measured at 412k. Switching them out for CTS pots that were actually... in spec, was like lifting a blanket from over my amp. It was not the first time that I've seen Gibson pots that had values like that. The pots they use have a tolerance of somewhere around 20%. That's a huge and noticeable difference.

For the stuff you are talking about playing, I really don't think you can get a better set of pickups than the SD '59 set for under $200.
Last edited by al112987 at Dec 27, 2008,
i'll check it out, and i'm not UK Jak archer,

But my pots should be good and i hardly play full volume, but i do sometimes, and they have a decent amount of treb, but the harmonic response isn't the greatest on the artifical, sometimes the harmonics are quite good, but there is no gauruntee but they just don't have the right sound to me.
forget the EMGs, or go play some LPs wit EMG sets in em and you'll see why people say they are toneless and sterile... I personally think the LP speaks deep enough to deserve good passive pickups with some real soul, so i'd look to Seymour Duncan personally... Maybe a Custom Custom and Distortion set?
Staying within your $200 budget I would say your best bet is a Seymour duncan 59 neck and a custom 5 bridge.
Not taking any online orders.
yeah whats a custom 5? like a custom wound Alnico 5 magnet, i've been pointed toward Alnico 2 and i've heard opinions on Burstbuckers?
okay, with this whole pickup, thing, my amp is acting weird, i started playing w/ my volume knobs and my amp,(single channel, '68-72, tubes are about 10 years old , it was given to me liek this) its making a popping noise and the volume levels keep changing first time doing this

and its my bridge pickup
Yep, probably bad tubes, volume fluctuations, odd noises, could be either power tubes or preamp tubes. I'd change power tubes first. One of those shorting out can take out a few other components.
how much is it gonna run me its an old amp and i have no idea where to start, its been making popping noises for a while the volume in fluxes for a while.

And i have to do my shopping trip the 31st for the pickup, so but i'll be doing alot of testing, but grr i thought my tubes were going bad, my dad still owes me another 500 so i'll see what i can do.
Fender Princeton is a 3 tube amp is it not? Unless I'm getting it confused with another amp, but it's a preamp tube, power amp tube and a rectifier tube? Maybe... 50-60 bucks unless you want to buy super expensive tubes or NOS tubes.
forsak: is there a problem w/ GC cause they know more than i do, and it would make my life simpler to get them swapped there.

AL112: um, its got three tubes and then two silver cyldiners encasing something, but i know nothing about these things lol i'll take a picture for you
picture would be nice. Silver cylinders encasing something... well I know certain Fenders used gray filter caps, those could be it. Otherwise if the preamp tube doesn't have a silver cover I couldn't tell you what it was without seeing it.

speaking of which if it's an old amp, it probably needs a cap job as well. Old, leaky filter caps are bad...
Quote by trout5076
forsak: is there a problem w/ GC cause they know more than i do, and it would make my life simpler to get them swapped there.

You know, they really don't know much more than you (no offense to you). They have a poor selection of tubes and a good majority of the employees will give you bad advice, in regards to tube amps and biasing.
rofl at a guitar center salesperson trying to convince me that I didn't need to rebias the amp that I built.

it literally went...

me: "Ok... so you guys don't burn in these tubes, if the bias drifts after I set it and these things burn out, can I return them?"
him: "No, we have a no return policy on tubes, what kind of amp are you running"
me: "Marshall bass spec plexi"
him: "Oh, you don't need to rebias that amp"
me: "It's fixed bias, in fact the only reason,
him: "KT66 is a cheap brand, these el34s are Groove Tubes, you don't need to bias these, I use them in my own amp" (my jaw literally dropped at this comment)
me: "Sir, with all due respect, I assure you they need to be biased, I built this amp, I know how it works."
him: "Let me go help this customer over there real quick, I'll brb
Last edited by al112987 at Dec 28, 2008,
Oh... wow I can't really see anything, but it looks like the top of a filter cap.

Does it look like a big cylinder with gray plastic wrap around it? If so, then yeah, its a filter cap. If you haven't had them changed in the last 10 years or so (I take it you haven't if the tubes are that old), I'd advise you do so. It's not an expensive fix, but it needs a tech if you're experienced with working in amps. The tubes are cathode biased though so those you can just plug them in and play.
okay good i can't date this amp its getting on my nerves, i've been trying everything

i need help i don't know any one who does this and i've only had this amp a couple months my uncle had it for that time just gave it to me,
Yeah, if the amp has been sitting around for some time, definitely get a cap job done.

Stuff like THIS tends to happen when you are running old caps.

edit: wait can you provide a complete shot of the back of your amp? I may have the Princeton you'ret alking about mixed up with a different type of Princeton.
Last edited by al112987 at Dec 28, 2008,
grab yourself some DiMarzio's I like the Air Norton and the Super Distortion, also the Tone Zone and Cruiser are nice
Oh Hey look at my signature

okay, i have guitar center to rely on here in Pittsburgh so cross my fingers on it.
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