#1
Hey all, I got a silverburst Gibson LP Studio not too long ago, and I was wondering what kinds of aftermarket pickups might be a good match for my guitar ? This guitar has the pull coil tap feature on the volume knobs, not sure if that matters or not. I play a pretty wide array of stuff, but mostly rock and metal. (think anything between Foo Fighters and Pantera)

I've never changed PUP's before, but from what I understand it's not terribly complicated. I have the stock 490R and 498T PUP's installed now, and I've read good things about burstbuckers... anyone have experience with these bad boys ?

I'm not really looking to swap out any time soon, just trying to get an idea of which ones to start looking at. Thanks in advance!

(oh, and I DID search before anyone posts "try the search bar". None of the probably 150 threads that came up addressed my specific questions that I saw.)
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#2
there are generally better value, better-sounding, aftermarket pickups available than gibsons.
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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#3
Quote by Dave_Mc
there are generally better value, better-sounding, aftermarket pickups available than gibsons.



That's what I'm trying to get an idea of... I didn't mean to mislead by mentioning the burstbuckers. I don't necessarily want to stick with Gibson PUP's, I had just heard good things about them.

Soooo..... are there any examples of better value, better sounding PUPs that you'd recommend ?
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He's obviously pretty young, and I'd guess he's being raised by wolves, or at least humans with the intellectual capacity and compassion of wolves.


You finally made it home, draped in the flag that you fell for.
And so it goes
#4
Oh, they did. But that's okay

Burstbuckers have more of a 'flat' sound, while traditional PAFs have more mids. That means the traditional ones usually sound 'warmer' and 'rounder', but having more lows and highs make the burstbuckers more 'well-defined' and usually clearer under distortion.

Some high-output pickups are good too, but tend to sound a little cheap when played clean.

I have a Paul with Burstbuckers. It's awesome. They weren't the original pups (it had 490/498s too), but it sounds great. I usually use the middle position for cleans, and the bridge and neck for distortion and blues/jazz, respectively. It's worth noting that that Burstbuckers originally came out of an all-mahogany guitar, and I thought they sounded pretty bad in that guitar. The maple top (you have one too) made a huge difference.

I also have a Paul with a Dirty Fingers in the bridge, and a Duncan P-rails in the neck. Also an awesome combo, but it doesn't do clean real well. I had to look around to find a good P90-style pup to match with the Fingers too, or else it wouldn't balance well ... thankfully, the boards here were able to help me with that.

The guitar with the Dirty Fingers does heavy rock and metal so much better. But when I'm playing clean (or clean-ish), the one with the Burstbuckers is a lot better. I'd say if in doubt, get the cleaner pickups. The Burstbuckers do metal much better than the Fingers does clean.

EDIT: To comment on the 'value' issue ... I've had nothing but good luck with Gibson pickups. I've had nothing but good luck with Seymour Duncans either, and they're usually cheaper. It just happened that the sound I wanted was better from the Gibson pups, but this is not always the case. And they do indeed cost more. I wouldn't say they're not worth the extra money, but I'd look around some. Just because I thought they were worth it doesn't mean that you will.
Last edited by jean_genie at Oct 14, 2009,
#6
budget isn't necessarily an issue. Like I said, I'm not changing out any time soon, so I have a lot of time to research.

I definitely want something that sounds good clean as well as with the gain cranked.

I've never changed PUPs before, but another question I had is this... will different pickups alter my sustain ? or is that more to do with the wood and natural resonance of your guitar's body ? I only ask because I used to have an epiphone LP ultra that I'm still kicking myself for selling... that guitar had sustain for DAYS. I've never played another guitar that would hold a note as long as that one.

so will the coil tap knobs make things much different for a PUP change ?
Quote by tubetime86
He's obviously pretty young, and I'd guess he's being raised by wolves, or at least humans with the intellectual capacity and compassion of wolves.


You finally made it home, draped in the flag that you fell for.
And so it goes
#7
coil taps allow you to make singlecoil like tones - they will require one or two more wires to set up, but its well worth it! the pups should alter sustain as well.

Also, if you are worried about wiring, it shouldn't cost too much to have a tech wire it. Some shops will even wire them for free if you buy the pups there!
#8
what other gear do you have? what specific aspects of your tone do you want to improve?
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#9
well I run my LP through a TS-9 Tube screamer (not modded yet), boss noise gate, into a triple rectifier head. I'm not terribly happy with the tone control out of this guitar with the stock pups. I'm looking for a somewhat warmer tone when I back the knob off, and the stock pups seem to just fall flat and lose nearly all sustain. I'm pretty happy with the cleans and the "cranked" sound, mainly I just wish it sounded a bit.... creamier ??? with the tone knob backed off. don't really know how else to describe it.

I do like the coil tap feature. I'm not too worried about the difficulty of wiring, I'm pretty handy with a soldering iron.

Overall I love the guitar, and it wouldn't bother me to leave te stock pups in there. Just thinking I might find something that would give me that little extra bump in my sound.... Think David Gilmour's solo sound.
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He's obviously pretty young, and I'd guess he's being raised by wolves, or at least humans with the intellectual capacity and compassion of wolves.


You finally made it home, draped in the flag that you fell for.
And so it goes
#10
PM CorduroyEW he makes hand made pups and gives 10% off to UGers.

and also look at Wolfetones, i heard they're great
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#11
If you want a set of pickups that are based on the classic Gibson PAF sound look at the following...

Wolfetone Dr. Vintage
WCR Crossroads
Bareknuckle Mule
Seymour Duncan Antiquity

They're all a fair bit better than the BBs. I had BB's II/III in my studio for a while before I really knew much about good aftermarket PAF style pickups (I just figured, hey, well Gibson made the PAFs, their PAF replica must be good), but in reality, they just aren't that good. I had the bridge pickup rewound into an early '60s late PAF/early pat number style pickup by Wolfetone. I have that and a Dr. vintage in my les paul now, and they make the BBs sound muddy and lifeless in comparison, and I actually liked a lot of aspects of the BBs. If you have some serious cash to spend, there are pickups like Throbaks or Tom Holmes out there which will run you $450+, but personally I wouldn't put those into any guitar outside of the best sounding historics.
Quote by jpatan
well I run my LP through a TS-9 Tube screamer (not modded yet), boss noise gate, into a triple rectifier head. I'm not terribly happy with the tone control out of this guitar with the stock pups. I'm looking for a somewhat warmer tone when I back the knob off, and the stock pups seem to just fall flat and lose nearly all sustain. I'm pretty happy with the cleans and the "cranked" sound, mainly I just wish it sounded a bit.... creamier ??? with the tone knob backed off. don't really know how else to describe it.
I know exactly what you mean here. What you need are 500k pots for your volume and tone, and a nice set of PIO caps. I know a lot of people think that PIO caps are a bunch of voodoo, but to me, I've found that they add a nice touch. I have 0.015 uF for both my neck and bridge, the problem you have with your setup is that it probably removes too much high end at once. Try these upgrades, they'll make a difference, and it will be immediately noticeable. I recommend RS guitarworks's super pots for your volume, and you can use CTS 500k audio taper pots for your tone controls and buy a set of Russian PIO caps off ebay for like... $6. Do this, and rewire your guitar to the original '50s style wiring. It will hep you preserve high end when you roll the guitar volume down so it doesn't become all muffled and useless.

I do like the coil tap feature. I'm not too worried about the difficulty of wiring, I'm pretty handy with a soldering iron.
It's just my opinion but coil splitting is not particularly useful. Few humbuckers really sound good split, and it doesn't really add as much versatility as you would think as the single coil sound you get is really weak and lacks body. It's not anything like a strat.

Overall I love the guitar, and it wouldn't bother me to leave te stock pups in there. Just thinking I might find something that would give me that little extra bump in my sound.... Think David Gilmour's solo sound.
I don't know about that with a les paul....
Last edited by al112987 at Oct 14, 2009,
#13
Quote by jpatan
That's what I'm trying to get an idea of... I didn't mean to mislead by mentioning the burstbuckers. I don't necessarily want to stick with Gibson PUP's, I had just heard good things about them.

Soooo..... are there any examples of better value, better sounding PUPs that you'd recommend ?


sure, but they're better value in the UK than in the US, unfortunately. I know of similar makers in the US, and I've heard generally good things, but I haven't personally tried them. al112987 has a good list, also add to that stephens design, throbaks, harmonic design, lollar, high order, bg... etc. etc. etc. You have way too many options, rather than too few, lol. As I said, I haven't tried any of those.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#14
Quote by al112987
If you want a set of pickups that are based on the classic Gibson PAF sound look at the following...

Wolfetone Dr. Vintage
WCR Crossroads
Bareknuckle Mule
Seymour Duncan Antiquity
..............

This whole post +1
#15
You could try EMG's, 81/85. 60/81.
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#16
Quote by al112987
I don't know about that with a les paul....



Yeah, I thought about that after I posted it... I know he doesn't use a LP.

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. Especially al112987, that was a lot of info, thanks! I'll have to look into those mods for the volume and tone pots. And while I do like having the coil tap feature available, I agree with you that it's not terribly useful, and I actually rarely use it. There's a reason I bought a guitar with humbuckers .
Quote by tubetime86
He's obviously pretty young, and I'd guess he's being raised by wolves, or at least humans with the intellectual capacity and compassion of wolves.


You finally made it home, draped in the flag that you fell for.
And so it goes