#1
Im getting a Epi LP custom, and will be getting new pickups and electronics. Are Burstbuckers better than Seymour Duncan JB/Jazz. I'll be playing Led Zep sort of bluesy clean sometimes, distortion other times, through my JCM 800.

I do like pickups with a bit of gain, and I like really trebly sounds, I normally have my tone turned up full and my presence and Treble on my amp up near full.

Opinions on which to get?
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#2
I'd personally wait a few months to swap out pickups.

Play your new Epi through it for a while, get a feel for the tones the pickups have and play around with the settings, then once you've learnt your tone and feel happy about it, you could look at new pickups to refine your tone even more.

Also treble and 'presents' on near full up? Ouch!

Epiphone Les Paul Standard w/ SD Alnico Pro II's
Fender Aerodyne Telecaster & Stratocaster
Marshall JCM 800 4104 combo


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#3
^ tbh some amps just don't have that much of a naturally trebly sound
but i agree play it for a while listen to how you feel its lacking then choose pickups based on that
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Line 6 Spider III 120 (for sale £90)
#4
For the tones you describe, I'd seriously consider Irongear Hot Slags. Loads of grunt when you need it but ease the volume back and there's the classic sounds too.
But if you want to spend a good bit more then the Duncans get my vote.
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#5
Which SD's were you thinking about?

My Les Paul still has the stock Burstbuckers. Reasonable gain, but sometimes not quite enough. Very clear focused mid and a tight treble, though too much gain and the tone rolled off you can start to notice the loose bass end, but no worse than any other passive pickup I've played.

Great lead sounds in both positions, from the strong but not "honky" mids, covers clean right through to modern metal (for which you'll be boosting your 800 anyway) quite nicely, over all quite a respectable pickup. I may change mine out BK's at some point, but yeah, overall a good pickup.

Hope I helped.
Guitars:
Gibson Les Paul Standard
Gibson Explorer New Century
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Framus Cobra
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#6
burstbuckers and jazz/jb are two completely different types of sounds... Burstbuckers are PAF-ish whilst the jb is hot and bright and the jazz... well, imo just isn't that good, kind of bland and lifeless sounding, really lacking in terms of a balanced, full tone.

If you like pickups that will push the front end of your amp and are really bright then you would like the JB.

If you want a pickup that will get you a Zeppelin tone, a JB can get you certain qualities of it, but I would still get a PAF-style pickup for that purpose. Or I would get a PAF-style neck and an Alnico II pro bridge and swap the magnet for a short alnico 5 magnet.

But my suggestion of do-it-all pickups are Wolfetones Marshallhead Mk IIs. Basically they're your typical, slightly hotter than average late '50s/early '60s PAF copy. The normal Marshallheads are really popular but some people might find that they just have too much midrange and have too much of that cocked wah sound. I'm not a big fan of that personally unless I'm doing a Duane Allman impression. But the Mk IIs are very balanced, bright and go a long way. Only downside here is that they cost more ($260 uncovered) and there is a wait time for them (a few weeks)
Last edited by al112987 at Nov 14, 2009,
#7
I think I'll wait and see what pops up used on the net, but I was leaning more toward the burstbuckers. And I have treble and mids up high 'cos it really cuts through. Thanks for the input.
Epiphone Les Paul Custom
Les Paul Copy
AX Copy
Ibanez Gio

JCM 800 4211

Vox 847
Marshall Guv'nor 2

Need more amps!
#8
Quote by GuitarGetsMeSex
I think I'll wait and see what pops up used on the net, but I was leaning more toward the burstbuckers. And I have treble and mids up high 'cos it really cuts through. Thanks for the input.
If you watch classifieds on The Gear Page, My Les Paul, Les Paul Forum and the Seymour Duncan User Forums really nice pickups will pop up for really good prices. Some cork sniffer standards like WCRs, Bareknuckles, Wolfetones for ~$200, along with your usual suspects in Seymour Duncans, Gibsons, etc.

In general I would advise against burstbuckers. It's just my opinion, they're solid pickups and when you get them stock in a guitar you may not want to bother changing them but as an aftermarket pickup, there are better options out there for the same price and much better options out there for a slight bit more. It all depends how much you want to spend. I had a pair of 2003 Burstbuckers 2 and 3 in my les paul for a while and eventually got them rewound into something else. They were just too bright and harsh. I know you say that you like a lot of high end, but you won't realize until you actually have a set of REALLY trebley pickups that you might want to dial it down. Something like Duncan Antiquity will have a softer, rounder top end, but it will still have great bite and presence, it just sounds much sweeter and more musical without the spikey-ness. I have a set of Wolfetones that are really quite bright but without the same harshness that I got out of my BBs, they just remind me a lot of Mike Bloomfield's tone on Alberts Shuffle or Stop from "Super Sessions."

But generally I consider Seymour Duncan's PAF-style pickup offerings to be superior to Gibsons and around the same price. The Seth Lovers and the Antiquity models. If I were looking for that kind of pickup in that price range, I'd definitely go for one of those.

Otherwise, if you can spend more, I'd look at smaller, custom wound pickups. If you can swing the price tag something like these would really be up your alley I think...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRAJqdZcz5k

(go to around 0:56)
Last edited by al112987 at Nov 14, 2009,
#9
al112987 Thanks, I never considered Seth Lovers. What model in paticular would be best do you reckon. I don't really buy something I can't get in NZ so thats why I'm mainly stcking to the Gibsons and the S/Ds.
Epiphone Les Paul Custom
Les Paul Copy
AX Copy
Ibanez Gio

JCM 800 4211

Vox 847
Marshall Guv'nor 2

Need more amps!
#10
Seymour Duncan Seth Lovers are very good pickups.

But here is the thing, PAFs all sounded different, so all the PAF copies will be somewhat different. Seths use a polished magnet and balanced coils whilst Burstbuckers in comparison use rough cast magnets and asymmetric coils, it adds some detail in the high end but sacrifices some sweetness.

What kind of sound are you looking for? Like specifically, what artists? Any clips? Here is what I consider to be the ideal PAF sound:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIArmP6HcZk

Which may or may not what you are looking for.
#11
Hell yeah that sound right there. I would be playing with slightly more overdrive but thats it.
Epiphone Les Paul Custom
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JCM 800 4211

Vox 847
Marshall Guv'nor 2

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#13
$220 SH-55 for one???

Well, honestly, for that kind of price, I'd really suggest you look at ordering something like a Wolfetone Marshallhead or Dr. Vintage. You'll have to pay VAT and increased shipping, but I highly doubt that those will add up to $100, which is what you'd be paying if you bought the Duncans. Imo, they're superior, but again, it's just a matter of taste. I was really going for that Bloomfield sound when I got my Wolfetones and I really specified the specs that I wanted. What I did was get one of my old Gibson pickups rewound, but a new one from him cost $130-$150 uncovered, and he has a 30 day rewind policy, basically if there is anything you don't like, send it back and he'll rewind it again. I'd really look into that if the Duncans really are THAT expensive. My guitar gets that Bloomfield tone perfectly, and through a Marshall it's got more of that British overdrive with that same bitey, but singing top end and detail (MB is playing through a Fender twin in that video). If you would like, I can record a clip later or something (I was thinking about doing one tomorrow anyway) and you can hear what they sound like? Here is the clip I have already, but this is the middle position with the bridge turned down (so it's mostly neck pickup) and I think what you really want to hear is the bridge pickup (which I want to try to get a clip of)...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLP40kLrprM

And here is the tone of the Dr. Vintage...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfwDJkt5Ttk
In comparison, my bridge pickup (which was a custom wind) is less compressed, a little more low end and grunt, less mids but a more present top end. Not quite as thin, but still very bright and snappier on the attack. I really think that for what you're looking for you would like something like it. It's a low wind though, measures at about 8.2k and is unpotted (however, is noise free even in high gain situations, doesn't squeal at all) but really with the overdrive units of today, you don't really need something that really hits the front end of your amp. A low wind will stay bright and clear through a huge spectrum of sounds.

That being said, I'm really picky about PAF style pickups, I have no experience with the Skys, they might be great, they might not, but I'm also the kind of person who is willing to pay more to get exactly what I want.
Last edited by al112987 at Nov 15, 2009,
#14
Yeah I'm still a bit sketchy about buying things from overseas, but from your description thats just what I need. Anyway I have a while untill I get the money.
Epiphone Les Paul Custom
Les Paul Copy
AX Copy
Ibanez Gio

JCM 800 4211

Vox 847
Marshall Guv'nor 2

Need more amps!
#15
Has anyone tried Tonerider Alnico IV?
Epiphone Les Paul Custom
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Ibanez Gio

JCM 800 4211

Vox 847
Marshall Guv'nor 2

Need more amps!
#16
Quote by GuitarGetsMeSex
Has anyone tried Tonerider Alnico IV?
I haven't but a set similar in spec by a winder with a great rep is Lord of Blues set by Guitarforce. Has all the vintage PAF appointments. What I suggest is joining the MLP forum, and asking the winder about them there (his username is KevinT) and he has a special price for forum members $125 a set (which is a great price).

Here is a clip
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=833261&songID=6688524

And Rock Monkey makes his Blackbacks which are the same kind of idea you can ask him about those as well, A4 PAF style which gives a slightly different character compared to your usual A2 and A5 PAFs. PAFs came with all different sorts of magnets randomly (A2, A3, A4, A5) and they all have slightly different sounds. (Supposedly most PAFs were A4 though and A2 to start with and then more A5s started showing up in the late '50s and they were mainly A5 in the '60s and there were very few A3s, though I think that's mostly speculation). I feel like A4s are a good middle ground between A2s and A5s though.

Anyway, what kind of artist are you aiming for here?
Last edited by al112987 at Nov 20, 2009,
#17
Just a nice PAF, something along the lines of Jimmy Page. And also do you know anything about Gibson Classic '57 plus? There are some nearby I can buy and I'd feel safer buying something local
Epiphone Les Paul Custom
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Ibanez Gio

JCM 800 4211

Vox 847
Marshall Guv'nor 2

Need more amps!
#18
Gibson '57 classic is one of the better PAF copies out there. Only problem I've had with them are they sound a little too boomy in the neck, but otherwise, very smooth and warm tone. Never tried the classic plus.

I would really not be too scared to buy over the net, I know it may seem like a gamble but most of the reputable winders are great to do business with, they have reputations at stake. I know a guy overseas on another forum had some trouble with his Wolfetones getting lost in the mail and Wolfe just wound him another set for free. But if you're really against it, then I'd go for an Antiquity or Seth as my first choice, '57 classic for my third choice. Duncan '59 also might do well for you, it's a little more aggressive than either the Seth, Ant or Gibson, and honestly, to my ears, may lack a bit of character (they don't quite honk the way I like PAFs to) but it's solid. Here is a good clip of the Seth I stumbled upon recently.

http://soundclick.com/share?songid=8353152

And here is a quick clip that I did whilst taking a study break (studying on Friday night... ugh)

http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/al112987/music/all/play736884

(SIBLY test); the neck pickup that I have is generally pretty close to the Antiquity but brighter and there really isn't a SD equivalent for the bridge pickup that I've got in there. Sorry for the bad playing, it's 1 take and I was in a bit of a hurry.
Last edited by al112987 at Nov 21, 2009,