#1
Ok, so I'm sure everyone is probably sick of threads like this, but I just bought my first Les Paul (finally!) and I wanted to change the pickups. The Les Paul is a Studio Vintage Mahogany Faded (rosewood fretboard). From what I've read the mahogany top and back make it somewhat dark. I don't think it sounds exceptionally dark, however I do find the Burstbuckers to be somewhat muddy/underpowered. Perhaps the muddiness is due to the character of the guitar itself, I can't be sure, but what I am looking for are pickups that will be able to play anything from crystal clean to searing metal distortion. I'm sure no one pickup can do this perfectly, but generally speaking, I just want something very balanced/even sounding, and, of course, more power. Since this is my first LP, I really am not sure what to get. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

P.S.Let's try to keep the price for both pickups (neck and bridge) under or around $200US, if possible.
2008 Les Paul Studio Vintage Faded Mahogany, Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifier, Basson B412. 2009 Fender Geddy Lee Jazz Bass, Ampeg SVT-VR, SVT410HLF
Last edited by Thrillhouse86 at Feb 25, 2009,
#2
Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB in the bridge and the SH-2n Jazz in the Neck
Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everybody I've ever known.

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#3
a set of bare knuckles would do you well
nailbombs/warpigs, and you can get a calibrated set from them
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#4
Those Bare Knuckles are a bit out of my price range. As for the SDs, how would you compare that combo to a DiMarzio Super Distortion/PAF Pro combo?
2008 Les Paul Studio Vintage Faded Mahogany, Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifier, Basson B412. 2009 Fender Geddy Lee Jazz Bass, Ampeg SVT-VR, SVT410HLF
#5
I've had a Super Dist/PAF combination on a guitar and I found the PAF a bit lacking. Maybe a Breed at neck? They are supposed to have a warm sound.
My Yanny has a Bill Lawrence 500L at the bridge and I love its bright but metally sound. Like an EMG active with better definition for solos. (but not quite as loud)
I pick up my guitar and play
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Last edited by Lurcher at Feb 25, 2009,
#6
Emmmm, not sure. Those were the pups that I spec'd up when I was thinking about replacing the pups in my LP studio, never actually got round to it. I had similiar requirements as yourself as those pups sounded like just what I wanted
Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everybody I've ever known.

¨°º¤ø„¸¸„ø¤º°¨
#7
How did you like the Super Distortion? What kind of guitar was it installed in? I have heard it is sort of bright, which might help round out my "dark" sounding all mahogany LP.
2008 Les Paul Studio Vintage Faded Mahogany, Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifier, Basson B412. 2009 Fender Geddy Lee Jazz Bass, Ampeg SVT-VR, SVT410HLF
#8
Ah, my Super was in a Pack Leader which was a single lump of Walnut with Ebony Fretboard and tiny frets.
I pick up my guitar and play
Just like Yesterday

T C Ellis Series 2 LP w/Skatterbrane Quiescence pups
Cort EVL-K6
Yamaha RGX211 modded
H&S Electric 12-string
Shaftsbury Ricki 4001
'84 Fender Yale
Roland Cube 15x

#9
Thanks for the info guys. I'll check out both a Super Distortion/Breed and an SH-4/SH-2 combo. I wish I could buy all of them and compare them side by side...
2008 Les Paul Studio Vintage Faded Mahogany, Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifier, Basson B412. 2009 Fender Geddy Lee Jazz Bass, Ampeg SVT-VR, SVT410HLF
Last edited by Thrillhouse86 at Feb 25, 2009,
#10
try raising the pickups first if theyr low, because my m8's Gibson LP Studio is exceptionally hot (good way) with default PUPS so naturally i assume urs shuld b aswell.
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#11
Duncan Custom 5 bridge, Pearly Gates neck.

They're bothe relatively bright too so should balance out the mahogany nicely.
Actually called Mark!

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#12
bridge pup - dimarzio d-sonic
neck pup - dimarzio humbucker from hell

you can't really get much cleaner than the humbucker from hell.
My Gear
Guitars:
-Gibson Les Paul Studio
-Ibanez "lawsuit" Les Paul
-Ibanez S470
-PRS SE Custom

Amp:
Marshall TSL100
Marshall 1960a cab

Effects:
Dunlop 535q wah
Visual Sound Liquid Chorus

Pickups:
Guitarforce
MHD
#13
^ yeah, that'd work too - i certainly can't argue with the D-Sonic for a balanced sounding pickup. I guess it depends on what the TS wants to focus on. The D-Sonic is kind of clinical to my ears, like a surgeon's knife. Great pickup, but better for higher gain stuff certainly, for me it was a bit harsh and soulless for lower gain stuff.
Actually called Mark!

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...it's a seagull

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i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


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Last edited by steven seagull at Feb 25, 2009,
#14
Quote by steven seagull
^ yeah, that'd work too - i certainly can't argue with the D-Sonic for a balanced sounding pickup. I guess it depends on what the TS wants to focus on. The D-Sonic is kind of clinical to my ears, like a surgeon's knife. Great pickup, but better for higher gain stuff certainly, for me it was a bit harsh and soulless for lower gain stuff.



for the mid to lower gain stuff I find you got to scoop the mids a bit more to get it sounding great. It definitely excels at high gain stuff, but sounds damn good clean.
My Gear
Guitars:
-Gibson Les Paul Studio
-Ibanez "lawsuit" Les Paul
-Ibanez S470
-PRS SE Custom

Amp:
Marshall TSL100
Marshall 1960a cab

Effects:
Dunlop 535q wah
Visual Sound Liquid Chorus

Pickups:
Guitarforce
MHD
#15
Quote by Bendybaws
Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB in the bridge and the SH-2n Jazz in the Neck



xOne Million. I did this with my Parker. Greatest decision ever.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#16
I definitely still want something that has some character to it. I'm not a huge fan of "sterile" sounding pickups. Although I want something very dynamic with a broad frequency response, I don't mind (if not prefer) a little coloration; makes the guitar sound more natural to me. Thanks again to everyone for the suggestions. You've given me a lot to research.
2008 Les Paul Studio Vintage Faded Mahogany, Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifier, Basson B412. 2009 Fender Geddy Lee Jazz Bass, Ampeg SVT-VR, SVT410HLF
#17
Don't overlook Gibson pickups. I have 2 Dirty Fingers in my SG, it's one of my favorite tones. Definitely look into it if your looking into high output Dimarzios. Maybe a 57 Classic or a Plus for the neck.
#18
Quote by JELIFISH19
Don't overlook Gibson pickups. I have 2 Dirty Fingers in my SG, it's one of my favorite tones. Definitely look into it if your looking into high output Dimarzios. Maybe a 57 Classic or a Plus for the neck.

Gibson pickups are nice. But.
The Dirty Fingers are shit.
Just saying. Actually, I concur with the '57 suggestion but would argue that they're somewhat overpriced; the Duncan '59 is arguably a better PAF copy, the Bare Knuckle Mule is probably the best widely available PAF style pickup and the PRS 1957/2008 are reputedly incredible but very limited.

Now slightly more on topic, I would suggest that the muddiness you're experiencing in your tone is due to the compression that occurs in your amp, specifically the Valve Rectifiers. By the way,
Quote by Thrillhouse86
I am looking for are pickups that will be able to play anything from crystal clean to searing metal distortion. I'm sure no one pickup can do this perfectly

You might be surprised at the the sheer versatility of Bare Knuckle Nailbombs; they're lauded not only as insane metal pickups, but as having a clean tone of a standard you probably couldn't even get from a Duncan Jazz.
Of course, you have stated BKPs to be beyond your budget, so I suggest the closest thing you could get to the Nailbombs would be the DiMarzio Breeds, however these are much darker voiced and so with a mahogany/rosewood guitar into a Triple Rec you're at risk of sounding like mush.
I'd suggest a PAF Joe at the neck position; it's very much like a PAF Pro with more character. The clarity of the PAF Pro remains in abundance but the tone is given a more vintage vibe while remaining suitable for high gain application. You might also like the Air Norton, which is very beefy and harmonically rich at the neck position, but to me sounds to overpowering in the midrange, something you again may want to avoid bearing in mind your set-up.
With regards to the bridge pickup it's difficult to thing of something besides Bare Knuckles that's both very versatile and brightly voiced (if a darker voicing would have been appropriate I would have suggested a DiMarzio Tone Zone or Breed). I suggest the Duncan Custom 5; being an overwound PAF in the vein of Van Halen, it will be very versatile but always in a more vintage way; think Randy Rhoads rather than James Hetfield, metal wise. Otherwise, a Bill Lawrence L500 or D-Sonic would rock, but you'd lose some clean tone at the bridge.
Finally, I can't stress enough; if you can afford Bare Knuckles, do it. The Nailbombs are perfect for you and the tone really is worth the extra money.
Last edited by Rock Pig at Feb 25, 2009,
#19
Ok, so I've done some more research and I have found good and bad reviews for pretty much every pickup I've looked into...except the Bare Knuckles (except any bad reviews I mean, plenty of good ones out there). I think I can save up a little longer and get a set of those. My questions are as follows; When it comes to the clean, can both the bridge and neck get a nice clean tone. Let me stress that I don't want just a GOOD clean tone, but a GREAT one. And can they really get a GREAT vintage crunch distortion/bluesy overdrive as well? Maybe even some fat jazz tones? I do consistantly play all those styles so it is important, especially since this is my only guitar at the moment.
2008 Les Paul Studio Vintage Faded Mahogany, Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifier, Basson B412. 2009 Fender Geddy Lee Jazz Bass, Ampeg SVT-VR, SVT410HLF
Last edited by Thrillhouse86 at Feb 26, 2009,
#20
Quote by Thrillhouse86
Ok, so I've done some more research and I have found good and bad reviews for pretty much every pickup I've looked into...except the Bare Knuckles. I think I can save up a little longer and get a set of those. My questions are as follows; When it comes to the clean, can both the bridge and neck get a nice clean tone. Let me stress that I don't want just a GOOD clean tone, but a GREAT one. And can they really get a GREAT vintage crunch distortion/bluesy overdrive as well? Maybe even some fat jazz tones? I do consistantly play all those styles so it is important, especially since this is my only guitar at the moment.


I put Zakks EMG's in my Studio and I think they give a great clean sound.

pic,

Guitars:
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Amp:
Roland Cube 30

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#21
oh does it have the burstbucker 57's?
Maybe you could try the 498T 490R that come in Studios, or for a little hotter 496R and 500T.
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Last edited by I am wet : Today at 03:26 XM.
#22
Quote by I am wet
oh does it have the burstbucker 57's?
Maybe you could try the 498T 490R that come in Studios, or for a little hotter 496R and 500T.


I am not sure if they are Burstbucker '57s, but they are Burstbucker Pros. Also, I have heard nothing but bad things about the 498T and 490R.
2008 Les Paul Studio Vintage Faded Mahogany, Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifier, Basson B412. 2009 Fender Geddy Lee Jazz Bass, Ampeg SVT-VR, SVT410HLF
#23
^correct.
Regarding BKPs, the Nailbomb cleans are very, very good. You won't be dissapointed unless you have very high standards. A lower output alternative that would achieve excellent cleans and lower gain tone would probably be the Emerald or the VH2. I would suggest the VH2 as it has tighter bass response and a little more clarity to my ears, meaning it will probably be slightly more versatile. You could also look into the Rebel Yells, which are VH2s mixed up with Cold Sweats.
Head to the Bare Knuckle Pickups official forum if you're serious about BKPs; don't worry, it's the friendliest forum in the world and they really know their stuff.
#24
I know im not the TS and i probably shouldnt be asking the questions, but which is better for high gain shred in the neck position, the Dimarzio PAF Pro, or the PAF Joe?











(^ the end of the world)
#25
throw the 496r and 500t in that bitch, theyre gibsons best pickups IMO and the 496r has beautiful cleans in the neck position. With some overdrive they have more bite and are more responsive than any of gibsons other pickups
2008 M.I.A. HSS Strat
Marshall JCM 900 50w Dual Reverb
Last edited by LPstudioWRz28 at Mar 12, 2009,
#26
Quote by Thrillhouse86
I am not sure if they are Burstbucker '57s, but they are Burstbucker Pros. Also, I have heard nothing but bad things about the 498T and 490R.


Studios don't come with Burstbuckers. LP Studio's come with 490R and 498T pickups.
Are you sure you have Burstbuckers. The Burstbucker Pros are brighter than the standard LP Studio pickups.


http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/Les-Paul/Gibson-USA/Les-Paul-Studio/Specs.aspx
#27
You're right, studios don't come with burstbucker pros. However, Vintage Faded Mahogany Studios do.

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Gibson-Les-Paul-Vintage-Mahogany-Electric-Guitar?sku=517536

Carved mahogany top and mahogany back
'59 rounded Les Paul mahogany neck
Rosewood fingerboard
Tune-o-matic bridge with stopbar
Chrome hardware
Alnico V BurstBucker Pro pickups
2 volume and 2 tone knobs, 3-way switch
Gibson Les Paul Vintage Mahogany Electric Guitar
2008 Les Paul Studio Vintage Faded Mahogany, Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifier, Basson B412. 2009 Fender Geddy Lee Jazz Bass, Ampeg SVT-VR, SVT410HLF