Help with pickups

Help with pickups

Postby High Peaks » Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:46 pm

I recently got a Gibson Les Paul Studio. Beautiful guitar, very different from what i typically play. My problem is that the pickups seem way to boomy for me. Its killing me with the bass. Even when i cut the bass completely( normally i play with it at about 2) Its just overpowering. Th esit elists these as its pickups:

The pickups currently installed in this model are the Gibson 490R Alnico magnet humbucker in the neck position and the Gibson 498T Alnico magnet humbucker in the bridge position

Anyone have any experience with these pickups? Any suggestions for replacemetns? Maybe some vintage schallers?

I want to have the LP sustain, just with a crisper tone.
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Postby tigerstrat » Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:58 pm

I really like the Duncan Jazz Model for a tight-sounding medium-high output Neck humbucker.... ymmv
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Postby strumminsix » Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:50 am

I'm a fan of the SD Pearly Gates.

However, most likely if you take the guitar to your tech he can adjust the pups to get them more pleasing to your needs.
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Postby alcorelectric » Sat Mar 08, 2008 6:42 am

I got a set of schallers that I pulled out of a heritage Les paul If your interested in a swap let me know
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Postby Pete B. » Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:31 am

This is the 2nd thread this week where guys buy guitars that don't sound good to them... What gives???

The other guys said he bought a guitar that is... "...not even close to the tone I am looking for".

I would say... return the guitar(s) and start over with your guitar search.

fwiw... Don't buy anything that you aren't initially satisfied with most/all aspects of.

Yeah... you can change the pickups/electronics later, but imho, all aspects of the guitar have to be in the "totally acceptable" range, at the point of purchase.
I reccomend feeling like "I can slap on a new set of strings and play a gig with this axe tonight" as a good starting point for a guitar purchase.

fwiw. I played Les Pauls from the mid 70's to early 2000's.
I like the setting with both pickups on, but the neck pickup volume rolled off slightly (like just enough to increase the treble a little).
I like the bridge pickup for anything like the intro to Big River, (this includes a ton of Jerry stuff in lower regesters in general, but is usually too bright above the 12th fret).
I use the neck pickup for anything that sounds like the song "Spooky", but otherwise I always felt that the neck pickup on most LP's is too muddy for my taste (although I would often flip to the Neck pickup for solo'ing above the 12th fret).
~pb
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Postby High Peaks » Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:46 am

In response to the last quote. I've been playing for close to 20 years. I've owned enough guitars through the years to know what to expect. If you read the thread carefully it says"help with pickups" not with guitar. I don't have any experience with the newer stock LP pickups. I typically always play with Dimarzio,Schallers, or SD PAF's. SS gave the best advice, which was to bring it to my tech. That was actually what i had planned on doing. The thread was more to see if anyone else had any input on the particular pickups.
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Postby High Peaks » Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:52 am

BTW after reading your post a little more. I have to disagree with a guitar being ready on day 1. Maybe its different because i'm a lefty, but i need to grab the good ones when i see them. And the expense of replacing the pu's( if need be) is completely worth the cost.

I wouldn't dream of using the LP for any Jerry. For that i would use my Strat with super II's, coil taps, UGB and loop.

So, i agree with a lot of what you said, just didn't think it was appropriate for this thread.

Peace :D
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Postby dpmphoto » Sat Mar 08, 2008 11:48 am

Install a set of pearly gates and be done with it.
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Postby strumminsix » Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:01 pm

while i agree with Pete that guitars should be good to go at point of purchase that's not possible in most situations.

most pickups are setup rather generically so they can do some jazz, some blues, some rock, etc...

but every guitar, imo, needs a good 30 mins with a tech to have it setup just right.

so, imo, the guitar should be close at point of purchase.[/i]
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Re: Help with pickups

Postby Pete B. » Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:31 pm

High Peaks wrote:I want to have the LP sustain, just with a crisper tone.


Maybe try an SG?
Maybe the Ash body LP?

The inherent "tone/timbre" of "your instrument" is what you are trying to "pickup", right?
If it's too Boom-ee/bass-ee for starters, my expierence has been that you're just gonna chase tail with this pickup thing.

I have formed an opinion that I will share...
My Pedal Steel has "modular" pickups.
I can change pickups in about 5-10 seconds by just sliding one out and sliding the next one in.
I've tried several pickups in quick succession (this is KEY!) without changing amp settings, (and with turning the knobs to try to get the best out of each pickup).

Pickups don't make that big a difference.
Sure some are louder/quieter or have more treble/bass.
I have found you can turn the tone and volume knobs on your amp and/or guitar, and simulate most pickups very closely, with whatever pickup is currently in your guitar.

Some will disagree, it's O.K though, right?
I am very much from the let's find an instrument we like, and play it, camp.
('Not real big on modding an instrument I'm not initially happy with).
Again, I'm all for whatever you want to do... I just don't think it's the pickups, myself.
What you are describing is what LP's sound like.
Can you post a clip of the offending tone?
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Postby WSPHead » Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:05 pm

Pete B. wrote:This is the 2nd thread this week where guys buy guitars that don't sound good to them... What gives???

The other guys said he bought a guitar that is... "...not even close to the tone I am looking for".

I would say... return the guitar(s) and start over with your guitar search.

fwiw... Don't buy anything that you aren't initially satisfied with most/all aspects of.


You must be referring to my "New Guitar...HELP" thread. I chose to buy that Highway one strat guitar for the following reasons:

Nitro finish
70's Headstock
price ($775 is the going price) I payed $575

I thought I could deal with the pickups for a while after playing the guitar at guitar center.. It is different when you take a guitar home and plug it into your gear. The exact options I want do not exist on a new guitar. If money was not an Issue I would have bought a $1700 Fender strat 62 RI Hotrod. I hear what you are saying about buying a new guitar that doesn't have the tone you want, but sometimes that is the thing to do. :smile:
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Postby shakedown_04092 » Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:55 am

FWIW, I have Schaller Golden 50's in my custom 'doc replica and they f'in scream something fierce.
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