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View Full Version : Rio Grande BBQ pickup


Tommy Tourbus
10-15-2007, 01:56 PM
what's the general consensus of this unit here for a mahogany bodied geetar?

hacker
10-15-2007, 01:59 PM
Try it, you'll like it!

Stormin
10-15-2007, 02:31 PM
I've run the BBQ Bucker (usually with the Genuine Texas neck) in the following guitars:

1978 Les Paul Standard (mahogany) - favorite
2002 PRS CE-22 (mahogany) - 2nd best
2000 PRS Swamp Ash Special (ash) - 3rd best
1984 American Standard Stratocaster (alder) - least favorite

I'm a big fan of it - for what it costs. I've never felt the need to spend $185 for a WCR - the BBQ Bucker works really well for me for $84. I've had them with and without nickel covers and in both 2 and 4 conductor wiring. I do think they shine in a mahogany body tho. It sounds better in my LP than any other guitar I've tried. Scott Splawn (of Splawn amps) is the one who turned me on to it. He has them loaded in the guitar he tests all his amps with. This really worked out well for me since I run my LP with a Quickrod.

I'd sum it up by saying it's a ballsy, punchy, mid-rangey, articulate, grinding pickup. It is by no means overly hot. I'm very happy with the Warren Haynes, Gary Moore, ZZ Top vibe that it gives me.

Does that help?

Stormin!

teefus
10-15-2007, 02:33 PM
i tried the bbq/gen texas combo in a couple of mahogany guitars and thought it was too dark. it was a little to much of a distortion pickup for my tastes too. i tried it in a hamer 25th anniversary (mahogany with a small tone chamber) and in a hamer newport pro (mahogany hollow body with spruce top similar to a small bodied 335). the rios didn't stay in for too long. i ended up with a duncan '59 neck and fralin p92 bridge in the 25ht anniversary and fralin unbucker sin the newport pro.

Matt F
10-15-2007, 02:35 PM
i tried the bbq/gen texas combo in a couple of mahogany guitars and thought it was too dark. it was a little to much of a distortion pickup for my tastes too.

I thought the exact same thing. WCR Darkbursts.. problem solved ;)

I like the Lindy Fralin Applied for PAFs. More of a traditional sounding PU.. If that makes any sense.

Martin Horne
10-15-2007, 02:48 PM
I've got a Texas/BBQ set in my McNaught Phoenix. It sounds great in both humbucking and single coil modes; clear, clean, and lots of high end cut with no shrillness. I have WCRs in my new McNaught which sound great but honestly, I like both equally. The WCRs have a fat, warm PAF type tone while the Rios have a more modern aggressive sound IMO.

MuseCafeChris
10-15-2007, 02:56 PM
I've got a Texas/BBQ set in my McNaught Phoenix. It sounds great in both humbucking and single coil modes; clear, clean, and lots of high end cut with no shrillness.

This has been my experience.

I too have splittable Rio BBQs in a mahogany CE22 and an alder Strat. I like 'em in both. I haven't experienced any excessive darkness at all. Plenty of bite available. Definitely a hot, distortion-type pickup though.

Played the PRS for the first time with the Rios last night. Got lots of compliments from both listeners and others who played it thru my rig:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v156/ono_rocks/prsce22.jpg

scoob
10-15-2007, 02:56 PM
Sounds great in my LP Custom. If you want to spend $150-200 you will get a better pickup probably. Up to you. It is a little hotter than a PAF (11-12K), but not as hot as say a JB (somewhere around 14k I believe), etc.

Mark Ray
10-15-2007, 03:24 PM
Love the Texas/BBQ set in Thorn 29. They sound and react exactly how I wanted them to when describing to Ron what I was after. I can cook up some Texas boogie (as much as my fingers will let me anyway) with this setup, and the split tones are very usable.

Mark

ReddRanger
10-15-2007, 03:57 PM
BBQ in my '03 LP Standard bridge. Works for me.

seajay
10-15-2007, 04:03 PM
I love the BBQ in the bridge of my LP Standard ('02). Just a great, ballsy pickup for hard rock. Can be a little dark sounding. Me likey dark tones though.

rastus
10-15-2007, 04:13 PM
I have had similar experiences with a BBQ that I have. I got it out of a Les Paul that I bought to flip. I put correct stock 57's in that LP, so I had the BBQ and an Antiquity that came out of the guitar. The Ant I used in another LP I have, I used the BBQ first in a Korina Gibson V. This axe has a dark meaty sound with a tight mid, soft highs and thunderous bass. The BBQ was too dark and wooley to my ears. I removed it and slapped the Factory Shaw PAF back in the V.
I next tried it on a modded 77 LP special that has been routed for buckers, belongs to the singer in my band. This guitar is a tad over 10 pounds. The BBQ was a little more hot than the guitar needed, but sounded quite good. The guy preferred a Seth Lover SD that we tried, so the BBQ was left with no slot again.
The next one I put it in was a winner. I had my friend's stepson's Gibson worn SG special over at my place to put on a bone nut and dress the frets (the kid plays costantly, wears out frets in a matter of a few months). He recently got a used 97 Lone Star strat with a Pearly Gates p/u in the lead slot. He wanted a pickup for the SG that sounded more like the Strats, so I slapped in the BBQ in place of the stock lead p/u. BINGO!
Man, that pickup suits the SG perfectly. He uses it through a JCM 900 combo with a lot of bottom and gain, with pretty strong midrange grind. The BBQ has extra output, smoother less fizzy distortion, dead quiet. The guitar was a little dark and compressed in stock form. Now it's a fire-breathing monster. The kid told me he has been back on the SG since the swap, and he doesn't have to adjust settings on the Marshall at all when switching between the SG and Lonestar. As a bonus we stuck the Gibby p/u in his modded MIM std Tele at the rhythm position. He was not using the Tele at all, but with the humbucker added, he is now using it for most his clean songs. It has a Rio Grande texas hot Tele bridge p/u BTW, and man that thing cooks also.
I think a bright guitar that needs some extra juice and a tight bottom with a sizzling midrange will take to a Rio Grande BBQ like a duck to water.

paulg
10-15-2007, 04:36 PM
A buddy of mine gave me two Rio pups, I installed them in a LP. Wow, sounded great! I always thought they were a Texas neck and BBQ bridge. I removed them and was suprised to find they were both BBQ's (and I don't smoke pot!). Trying them against other humbackers never gave me the thrill of two BBQ's. I find the same parallel when trying to match Strat pups. Your better off with a set of matched (or slightly calibtated ) pick ups.

keith_t4e
10-15-2007, 08:17 PM
Perfect segue into my ? The texas neck pup which goes with the BBQ buker seems to have a lot less output. I have a chrome covered BBQ to go in my new lp custom silverburst. I'm considering leaving the 490 in the neck because I've heard they go well with BBQ bukers. The texas is rated a lot lower output than the BBQ. I think it is like BBQ 12 Texas 9. I'm also thinking of going with the dual calibrated for an ash body strat.

scoob
10-16-2007, 06:51 AM
I left my stock '95 neck P/U in, and they sound great together. "almost" acoustic like if that makes sense. Nice mid scoop but still projects.

HHB
10-16-2007, 07:57 AM
I really dug the one I had, not much into humbucker in general ( I buy a humbucker guitar twice a year then sell em LOL ) it was great for rock

papersoul
07-16-2008, 06:22 AM
Those with the BBQ in a CE-22, what did you have prior? I am wondering if you had the Dragon IIs. I thiink the BBQ is an improvement ver those. Not so sure about the Dragons, which rock as is. ;)

SgtThump
07-16-2008, 07:01 AM
I agree with most others in this thread... I think they are dark and meaty with high output. I've only tried them in Les Pauls (a '71 LP Custom and my R8) and they make those guitars sound SUPER MEATY. They are dark, though. Too dark for some people.

I first had the single conductor BBQ in my LP Custom and it sounded great. Meaty, but not TOO dark. Then I moved that pickup to my R8 and it got even darker. I bought a 4-conductor BBQ for my LP Custom and it didn't sound dark enough. lol...

I don't know if the different I'm hearing is the pots (the LP Custom had 500k and I think the R8 has 300k, right?), the characteristics of the guitars themselves, or if the 4-conductor BBQ is brighter. Not sure...

Chris

Festus
07-16-2008, 10:53 AM
The BBQ is pretty hot, runs about 11.5k to 12k on the meter usually. I like the basic tone, but can be dark for some guitars, and a bit too hot for my taste. I really like the Texas in the bridge with Rio Grande's new Buffalo bucker in the neck.

papersoul
07-16-2008, 02:53 PM
I find the BBQ fairly transparent and works with the natural tone of the guitar. It was very very bright in my brighter guitars, so it depends on the instrument. I don't think it is 'too anything'.......it works with the axe. Nice pickup!

Austinrocks
07-16-2008, 03:08 PM
Have the Rio Grande Texas BBQs in both my LPs, my 85 custom has the covers on and it is a bit darker, and I keep the electronics, really love the tone from that guitar now, as people have said its a bit dark with covers.

I have them in my 2002 LP special as well, split coils, replaced the electronics and have tone pots that are push pull, no covers, the pups are much brighter without the covers, and the split coils give a great range of fantastic tones, hard to find a better sounding guitar IMO.

I find that the Rio Grande pups are a safe bet, I have them in my Fat Strat as well, and get a really good range of tones in that guitar, probably the most versital guitar I have seen short of a JEM and my strat sounds better than a JEM

jads57
07-16-2008, 09:45 PM
Recently tried one in the bridge position of my Hamer Talladega, and didn`t care for it. But I had one in a Hamer Newport and loved it.

UMT
07-17-2008, 05:36 AM
I have a mahogony Tele HH that came with Seymour Duncan '59 and Pearly Gates. Nice setup. As I am a former 'Strat Guy', I built a Strat HH that had the same features I liked about the Tele ie: hardtail, strings thru body, etc... I also purchased a Genuine Texas/BBQ set of Rio's for said Strat. Didn't care for them at all. Nice pickups but nothing over the SD's. Was going to put them on Ebay and decided to pop them into the Tele for a test. WOW! Those pickups will NEVER leave that guitar. Absolute beautiful sound. Using 250K vol pot/500K push-pull and .033 Hovland Musicap. Don't forget about the vol/tone pots and capacitors when messing around with pickups. Many times, you can change the tone of pickups with different pots and caps. I put a set of 49.00 cheapo humbuckers in the Strat I built and it sounds great! Ha. Sold the Duncans for the cash although it's hard to go wrong with SD's. I also proved to myself that almost every guitar is different and you have to experiment, tune and then fine tune to get exactly what you want.

papersoul
08-17-2008, 03:31 PM
Duncans all seem to sound the same to me but these Rios sound fantastic. However, I have bee comparing my Rio BBQ to the Gibson Angus bucker, Motor City Torque and Gibson Burstbucker Pro. All good pickups!

vintage66
08-17-2008, 03:54 PM
I have a Hamer Studio with the typical '59/JB setup. How different is the BBQ than the JB? It's not that much lower output. Sometimes the JB seems too bright and spikey-the cleans aren't very good. It's good for hard rock, but I'd like something that gets a better classic rock sound-ZZ Top, Zeppelin-think Ten Years Gone-something that cleans up well. Is the BBQ a big improvement? Does it play well with a '59? I'm also considering the 36th Anniversary Dimarzio.

SgtThump
08-17-2008, 03:58 PM
I have a Hamer Studio with the typical '59/JB setup. How different is the BBQ than the JB? It's not that much lower output. Sometimes the JB seems too bright and spikey-the cleans aren't very good. It's good for hard rock, but I'd like something that gets a better classic rock sound-ZZ Top, Zeppelin-think Ten Years Gone-something that cleans up well. Is the BBQ a big improvement? Does it play well with a '59? I'm also considering the 36th Anniversary Dimarzio.

The BBQ is a HUGE improvement over the JB in my opinion. The BBQ is thicker in the lows/mids and smoother in the highs. I just got a hardtail strat style guitar with a JB and spent a few days with it. It got on my nerves right away. I pulled it and put a BBQ in and bingo, there we go.

vintage66
08-17-2008, 04:20 PM
The BBQ is a HUGE improvement over the JB in my opinion. The BBQ is thicker in the lows/mids and smoother in the highs. I just got a hardtail strat style guitar with a JB and spent a few days with it. It got on my nerves right away. I pulled it and put a BBQ in and bingo, there we go.

Sounds like it would be an improvement over the JB-it needs some thickening. The '59 in the neck is thicker than the JB.

vintage66
08-17-2008, 04:21 PM
Is the BBQ similar to the Pearly Gates? They both seem to go for the Gibbons tone.

Stormin
08-18-2008, 05:39 AM
I have a Hamer Studio with the typical '59/JB setup. How different is the BBQ than the JB? It's not that much lower output. Sometimes the JB seems too bright and spikey-the cleans aren't very good. It's good for hard rock, but I'd like something that gets a better classic rock sound-ZZ Top, Zeppelin-think Ten Years Gone-something that cleans up well. Is the BBQ a big improvement? Does it play well with a '59? I'm also considering the 36th Anniversary Dimarzio.

I have a BBQ and a Buffalo Bucker in my '93 Studio Custom. I like them a lot, but the BBQ is a tad dark and smokey in the guitar. I'm still trying a few different tone caps to find the value I like best. That said, the Rio's are staying in this guitar.

Stormin!

SgtThump
08-18-2008, 06:31 AM
Is the BBQ similar to the Pearly Gates? They both seem to go for the Gibbons tone.

I dunno? I'd like to know, though. I've heard the Pearly Gates in a Strat before and it didn't do much for me. But I'd love to hear what they sound like in a Les Paul. I guess it was designed for an LP, right?

vintage66
08-18-2008, 05:20 PM
I dunno? I'd like to know, though. I've heard the Pearly Gates in a Strat before and it didn't do much for me. But I'd love to hear what they sound like in a Les Paul. I guess it was designed for an LP, right?

The Pearly Gates was I think-but was the one in your strat stock? If it was it was probably a Pearly Gates Plus, which is different.

papersoul
08-25-2008, 06:36 PM
The Motor City Torque is another great FAT and thick pickup, better clarity than the BBQ.

papersoul
09-10-2008, 09:52 AM
This has been my experience.

I too have splittable Rio BBQs in a mahogany CE22 and an alder Strat. I like 'em in both. I haven't experienced any excessive darkness at all. Plenty of bite available. Definitely a hot, distortion-type pickup though.

Played the PRS for the first time with the Rios last night. Got lots of compliments from both listeners and others who played it thru my rig:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v156/ono_rocks/prsce22.jpg

HI Chris!

I have a stock 194 CE-22 and have a BBQ sitting here I want totry in the bridge. I like the Dragon neck however. Did you find the Texas an improvement over the stock neck? Did you retain the 5 way rotary? Looks like you converted. Do you get much noise now without the 5 way? Thanks!!!!!

papersoul
01-29-2012, 08:59 AM
Any more love for the BBQ.
I wanted to mention a similar pup, the Dimarzio AirZone.

Deathmonkey
01-29-2012, 09:57 AM
Threeeeeaaaaad back from the deeeeeeaaaad!
:aok

I had a BBQ in an early 60's SG and it sounded killer. I have their "Big Bottom" set in a Carvin CT (mahogany w/maple top) and I like em a lot, though the low end is a bit too "round" for anything approaching modern metal. But for grindy 70's tones, they're bitchin.

upfrontguitars
01-29-2012, 08:38 PM
The BBQ is a good rock pickup, but can be a little much or too dark in an all mahogany body. If it's too heavy, Rio makes a nice Buffalo/Genuine Texas set which has more clarity and less midrange. More of a traditional PAF sound, but still enough punch to rock out. Works very well in ES type guitars too.
http://www.upfrontguitars.com/image.php?type=P&id=17697&ts=1327894631

shanesiegle
04-20-2012, 03:07 PM
The BBQ is a good rock pickup, but can be a little much or too dark in an all mahogany body. If it's too heavy, Rio makes a nice Buffalo/Genuine Texas set which has more clarity and less midrange. More of a traditional PAF sound, but still enough punch to rock out. Works very well in ES type guitars too.
http://www.upfrontguitars.com/image.php?type=P&id=17697&ts=1327894631


I just wanted to say I put a genuine texas in the bridge on my PRS singlecut rosewood and it sounds amazing! I am thinking about getting another Rio Grande for the neck as well. Sounds great for heavier stuff and has some surprisingly nice clean tones too. Definitely a winner!

Kardula
04-20-2012, 04:21 PM
was recently told that that pickup is the best pickup you can have in a les paul. I'm saving up to get one currently, I've heard nothing but great things about them

deadbeat son
04-20-2012, 04:27 PM
I have a BBQ in my '02 Faded SG. It really brought this cheap guitar to life! It sounds amazing through any of the British amps I care to play it through, Marshall, Vox, Orange, it doesn't matter. It's definitely the right pickup for this guitar.

Lumpy Trousers
04-20-2012, 05:09 PM
I recently snagged a Robin Avalon (Ash body, Mahogany neck) on eBay with a BBQ in the bridge. It seemed dark/midrangey, so I tried the old trick of lowering the pickup and raising the pole pieces until I got the right balance of beef and clarity - sounds great to me!

David-R
04-20-2012, 05:50 PM
I have a BBQ bridge Texas neck set in my LP. I absolutely love the BBQ classic rock tones.

Probos
08-02-2012, 08:54 AM
Glad I found this thread -- I've been wanting to try something new in my R7. Got the standard Burstbucker 1/2 combo -- they sound good for the most part of overall I find them too bright, especially the bridge. I just happen to have a BBQ/Texas set that I'm gonna slap in her that I'm hoping I'll like. I had them in an Explorer I had. I liked the fundamental tone but found them too dark. However that guitar has 300k ohm pots. The R7's got 500K pots, that matched with the maple top should open the BBQ up a bit more,....I'm hoping.

I was researching pickup the past week and my head was F'ing swimming with options. So many to choose from.

mojoslide
08-02-2012, 09:31 AM
The BBQ in the bridge of my McCarty is the only way I'll roll at this point...Anyway, I'll bet it'll sound great in your R7.