#1
Just got a 2013 Gibson LP Traditional off Reverb. It doesn't sound great, especially on the gain setting through my mesa boogie mark V which is shocking. How can i verify that the pickups are the '57 classics and not something else? What would stop the seller from swapping out the real pickups for some shittier ones? 
#2
nothing would stop a seller from swapping out pups so it could be a concern. only way to really tell would be to take out the pickup. on the back there should be a designation.  of course the pups may just need to be adjusted. when you say bad what exactly is bad about them? those pickups aren't meant to be metal monsters 
#3
Yes, unscrew the mounting rings and have a look at the backs of the pickups. There are plenty of pics on the internet to show what they should look like. You could also check the selector switch for evidence of re-soldering.

Do you know how those pickups are supposed to sound through your amp? It might just be incompatibility between your expectations and your gear, as monwobobbo  implies..
#4
Quote by Tony Done
Yes, unscrew the mounting rings and have a look at the backs of the pickups. There are plenty of pics on the internet to show what they should look like. You could also check the selector switch for evidence of re-soldering.

Do you know how those pickups are supposed to sound through your amp? It might just be incompatibility between your expectations and your gear, as monwobobbo  implies..

I'm gonna check in a little bit. I think you and mono are prob right about my expectations. I have a tendency to be disappointed at first and then slowly grow to love my gear. Come to think of it, I think it's happened with every piece of gear I own except my Taylor 214 acoustic. 

I just assumed I was going to sound like Slash straight away---speaking of which, maybe a dumb question, but which pickups would be the best to get that tone? The Slash Seymour Duncan set?
#5
Quote by RyanMW2010
I'm gonna check in a little bit. I think you and mono are prob right about my expectations. I have a tendency to be disappointed at first and then slowly grow to love my gear. Come to think of it, I think it's happened with every piece of gear I own except my Taylor 214 acoustic. 

I just assumed I was going to sound like Slash straight away---speaking of which, maybe a dumb question, but which pickups would be the best to get that tone? The Slash Seymour Duncan set?

way more to it than pickups to sound like anyone.  the Slash sig pups might help but you need a similar amp as well. just because you have a LP no reason to think you would sound just like Slash. if it were that easy you wouldn't need this forum. hell i have a strat but don't sound like Jimi Hendrix or Ritchie Blackmore  
 . 

for the record the Slash pups aren't all that similar to the 57 classics
#6
+1 Most of the tone is in the amp, not the pickups.

I find the same, that you kind of grow into the sound your gear makes, as you learn to use its strengths and avoid the weaknesses. - And the 214 is one of my favourite acoustics.
Last edited by Tony Done at May 25, 2017,
#7
There are about 30 different HB PUs that will do Slash just great.  A Chinese knockoff LP through a decent JCM800 in the hands of a decent player can do Slash all night long.

PROTIP:  It ain't the pickups.  
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#8
The Epiphone Tribute Plus comes with real Gibson Classic 57 pups. I can't tell you the number of times I see these Epi Tributes on Ebay at fairly good prices and the seller lists the pups as "Alnico II" pickups. They remove the Gibson Classic 57's and sell them separately for more than $200 a set. It seems to be quite a common thing.
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#9
What are you comparing the guitar tone to? Other Les pauls or...? If you're coming from brighter sounding instruments then the warmth of the Les Paul might seem more obvious. Maybe you're just not used to it's tone yet. It's easy to check what's in it though, so just check for yourself. Remove the strings and unscrew the screws on the pickup rings.
#10
They could be fakes.  It is common for people to pull the 57's and replace them with a cheap "accurate" pickup.  It's also possible that the 57 isn't the pickup for you.  Or perhaps you just don't know how to use it.  Most guitar shops would be able to tell you if they were real just by looking at them.  Post a picture of the front and back faces of the pickup and I'd bet people here could tell you if they were real.
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