#1
Not sure if this is the right spot, if not I apologize.

Anyway, I'm looking to replace the pickups in my Gibson LP custom. Currently it's running the 490r/498t set and I truly hate them. Running it into my Mesa T-verb it is anemic, bright, no power, no balls, nothing. In contrast my Ibanez RG1570 sounds big fat and mean with the Dimarzio crunch lab/liquifire set installed. Really a night a day difference.

I am torn between about a million options at this point and I have no idea which way to go. I'm looking at all of the usual suspects, Duncan, Dimarzio, EMG, Bare knuckle, etc.

When it comes to what I currently have, the RG sounds fantastic but it's dark, twice as dark as the LP and while it sounds amazing with the recto running it into the Friedman BE-OD it looses definition and sounds a little mushy. I think the darkness would be too much for the LP, so I am not even really looking at the same pups there. I will also be getting a Schecter with the Nazgul/Sentient set here soon. With that I have 2 guitars basically set up for metal and I don't really play metal!

My thoughts on the LP have bounced around a lot. I am about 90% convinced that I want a set of bare knuckle pickups. Now, which ones is another deal. In my opinion for what I am looking for there are about 3 "tiers" of BKP I could go with. First being vintage, I could run a black dog in the bridge and a mule in the neck. This would produce a very nice PAF tone but I worry that it won't be "enough" as I'm not necessarily looking for the classic rock sound and I felt that the Gibson burst buckers I had previously just needed "more" as they wouldn't push the amp and were very quiet. Second option would be to fall into the middle, not super high output but with a modern voice, something such as the nail bomb, holy diver, miracle man, etc. Third tier would be to just go all out and get something super mean and aggressive, this would mean the war pig.

I was just about convinced to go with the holy diver as I figure it should land right about where I want to be but I am afraid that the pickup may have a JB quality to it where it's just aggressive and bright. I HATE the JB.

At this point I have started looking at the usual suspects and see some interesting things, with Dimarzio I was thinking something like a super 3 or maybe even an EVO sounds cool from the description. On the Duncan side I'm liking the idea of the pearly gates but I read that they can sort of fizz out under gain. Also the 36th anniversary looks pretty good. I may even possibly be open to the idea of a JB but from my previous experience with them (in a Jackson) I despised the tone of that pickup.

So anyway, to recap. LP custom Magogany with maple top, ebony board. Looking for more clarity and power. The 498 is a fizz bomb and sounds absolutely puny compared to the crunch lab. I need something that sounds thick and mean but isn't too hot so that it pushes the front of the amp (or Friedman pedal) into mush. Also, I would like it if it could also clean up if needed with the volume.

I was looking at BKP simply because I like the idea of having them, it doesn't have to be BKP. I would be very glad to hear suggestions of something that may work better for me with the recto, thanks in advance!
Gibson Les Paul custom
Ibanez RG1570
Schecter KM7
Mesa Boogie triple rectifier
Rectifier 2x12"
#2
what value volume pots do you have in the LP?

if they're already 500k miracle man in the bridge would likely work well (though that's the only bridge BKP I've tried). it's very tight and although hot, not really that compressed. about the only real drawback (well, two if you count the price ) is, being ceramic, it's not maybe as versatile as an alnico. a lot of people pair it with the cold sweat in the neck, but again that's the only neck BKP I've tried
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?
#3
Dave_Mc

Yeah, they're 500's.

The miracle man definitely crossed my mind. Only thing I worry about is the output being too much for the Friedman, like the crunch lab is. I actually emailed them and they said holy diver but I don't know. That one strikes me as more of a "hot 80's" type thing.
Gibson Les Paul custom
Ibanez RG1570
Schecter KM7
Mesa Boogie triple rectifier
Rectifier 2x12"
#4
Yeah it's hard to know. At some point you kind of have to bite the bullet and take a chance.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?
#5
Before I suggest any pickups, I'll suggest this: make a list of pickup companies you like, trust, or interest you for whatever reason and just shoot them a quick email. In my experience, they're usually pretty good about helping potential customers match the tone in their heads with the products they offer.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#6
Yeah. (I always suggest the same with speakers.) You won't get any recommendations for other companies' products (usually!), but as long as you bear in mind that you're getting a recommendation for the best pickup for the tone(s) you want *that that company manufactures*, you can do ok. You'll know more than you did before asking, and they may suggest stuff that you hadn't thought of.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?
#7
BKP makes good stuff. Since you're already considering BKPs, take a closer at their HB-sized P90s. A pair of those- or a HB/P90 setup- could get you into the tonal territory you're trying to reach.

Besides BKP, my personal other "usual suspects" when considering upgrading pickups are (in no particular order): Vintage Vibe, The Creamery, TV Jones, Lollar, Railhammer, Rio Grande, Lace. I also like Wilkinsons and STEWMAC's Golden Age pickups, but consider them mostly for lateral exchanges without expending too much money.

I used to recommend Teslas, but they seem to have folded. Still, some NOS & used ones are still floating around out there.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#8
Guys, today was an eye opening day on this topic.

I posted this same question on a couple of other forums to attempt to get a good variety of opinions. On one of the forums a guy said "you need to put an A2 magnet into the 498" Now, I've never done a magnet swap before but I looked it up online and it's stupid easy. I didn't have an alnico 2 lying around, but I had a set of pickups from a BC rich lying around. Those had ceramic magnets but I figured I would be able to experiment. I tossed the ceramic magnet into the 498 and that was a HUGE mistake. Literally the worst tone I have ever heard.. However, I did some reading online and realized that the 490 had an A2 in it.

So, I swapped the A2 into the 498 and the A5 into the 490. Massive improvement in tone, took all of the harshness away and has a nice vintage character but still handles the higher gain stuff pretty well. Now, it's still not what I'm looking for but I learned something. I learned that I don't like the high mid aggressive tone. I think I would prefer something smoother and more bassy but with a slightly higher output than the 498 has.

With this new knowledge I think I may look into having the SD custom shop build me a pickup to my spec. The A5 in the 490 neck is fantastic and I don't think I even need to replace that one now.
Gibson Les Paul custom
Ibanez RG1570
Schecter KM7
Mesa Boogie triple rectifier
Rectifier 2x12"
#9
sweet anything that saves you money is a good thing.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?
#11
Hey man . Just out of curiosity , do you like the nazgul? I find it kind of muddy . At least for my style and my amp. I'm not a big fan of it . Are you into it ?
#12
jedigovnaUG

Do not have it yet. Should have it within the next couple of weeks. It's on a 7 string so should be interesting.
Gibson Les Paul custom
Ibanez RG1570
Schecter KM7
Mesa Boogie triple rectifier
Rectifier 2x12"
#13
jedigovnaUG

I got the guitar tonight. So far so good, the pickup is lower power than the crunch lab but I wouldn't say it's muddy. Certainly not bright but brighter than the CL and seems to retain its clarity to my ear.

Again, it's on a 7 string so that may have something to do with it one way or the other.
Gibson Les Paul custom
Ibanez RG1570
Schecter KM7
Mesa Boogie triple rectifier
Rectifier 2x12"
#14
i really like wolfetones in lp guitars. they are cheaper then bkp if you are in the us.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer