#1
I picked up a Gibson Midtown the other day. Even before it arrived I was planning to change the pickups.

I think I'm after quite a soft sound, probably vintage. I'm a big fan of Johnny Marr and his sound and the Les Paul and 335 he uses are from the 60s. I'm after more jangle than rock.

I had been thinking of Duncan Antiquities but I have a set of Seth Lovers from a previous project, and I'm told that the difference between these isn't massive.

But how do the Seths compare in character to the burstbuckers in the Midtown? Brighter, darker, softer?

I'm just trying to unnecessarily make mods to a guitar while it's so new.
#2
Which model of Midtown is it? Burstbuckers come in four different types, and the Midtown has been made with a mixture of three of them.

The most common Midtown has the BB #1 and #2, which are almost exactly the same as Seth Lover pickups, except stock ones are wax potted (ones you buy separately aren't wax potted, like Seth Lovers). The bridge (#2) is wound very slightly hotter and the neck (#1) is wound very slightly cooler, but the difference really is so minimal that you'd never notice it in a playing situation; just lowering the bridge pickup by one millimetre will make it equal the Seth Lover.

So, in short... unless you have one of the oddball Midtowns which has a BB #3 (very overwound), no, the Seth Lovers will not provide much of a change.

First, consider removing the screw pieces from the stock Burstbucker pickups. This immediately unbalances the coils, resulting in a tone almost like splitting the pickup, but not quite as thin and harsh. You can, of course, put the screw pieces back in if you don't like it, so there's no risk to trying it. You could also replace the screw poles with less conductive ones, such as the hex pole pieces that DiMarzio use a lot, to unbalance the coils more than they are stock but not as much as removing the poles entirely.

If that doesn't work out for you, I'd suggest any of the following (or a mixture of them):

- SD Jazz set, and either set them very far from the strings or wire the coils parallel.
- SD Phat Cat set. Not hum-cancelling, but it's much clearer than any humbucker.
- DiMarzio Bluesbucker & Humbucker From Hell. Don't pay attention to the name, the HFH is very low output with a very, very bright and thin sound. The Bluesbucker has a tone similar to the SD Phat Cat, and is a good bridge pickup to balance with the HFH.
- DM EJ Custom set. Halfway between the Burstbucker/Seth Lover design and something like a HFH. Specifically designed to make a Les Paul sound like a Grestch, so in a Midtown they'll help brighten things up a lot.
- If you have the money, go to http://www.creamery-pickups.co.uk and take a look at his 'Black Cat' pickups. You can't get more 'jangle' than those. You can also e-mail him and he's very good at making things to order.
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#3
Quote by MrFlibble
Which model of Midtown is it? Burstbuckers come in four different types, and the Midtown has been made with a mixture of three of them.

Yes, I should have specified, it's the Midtown custom, with the Burstbuckers 1&2. I've heard from some that the Seths are 'better' that the BBs, but if they're similar in character I might need to keep looking.

Quote by MrFlibble
If you have the money, go to http://www.creamery-pickups.co.uk and take a look at his 'Black Cat' pickups. You can't get more 'jangle' than those. You can also e-mail him and he's very good at making things to order.

From the look of it, the black cats are only £70 each, which is less than what I paid for the Seths, and certainly less than the Antiquities I had been considering. I've bought some pickups from Jaime before and he's a nice guy to deal with and his stuff is top notch. In fact, I might go to him for some vintage humbuckers anyway - they're probably cheaper than the duncans. It's just a bit harder to get demos to check out the sounds.
#4
Ah, so you're familiar with his pickups, then.

I've had several different pickups from him—humbuckers, single coils, P-90s, dual single coils in P-90 covers, all sorts—and so far I've felt that every pickup he's made for me has been exactly as he has described/I've asked for.

I certainly wouldn't want to give the impression that somebody is utterly incapable of making an inappropriate-sounding pickup. But for my money, going on my (entirely personal and subjective) experience, I am happy to buy from him even without being able to hear the pickups first.
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