PDA

View Full Version : WCR Darkburst Pickups - ROCK!!


VDeuce
10-02-2004, 03:15 PM
Just installed Darkbursts into an '03 Gibson Les Paul Historic Goldtop R7 and this thing sounds unbelievable!! Like PAF's only bigger with slightly rolled off upper highs - PERFECT for a Marshall and great for hard rock. With an amp with decent gain, metal should not be out of the question.

They have a certain midrange punch to them, but not so much as to make them syrupy like a Rio BBQ. No muddiness on the neck and it can be used for chording, unlike Duncan 59s that can get too thick. Great middle position. Bridge barks with authority without being ear piercing. Absolutely *Driving* tone. String separation is quite apparent and I found them easy to adjust.

AND, these things bloom like crazy with harmonic content, even though they are potted and don't squeal.

Prior pickups in this guitar: Tim's Ed A, Rolph 59s, Voodoo 59s, BurstBuckers #1/#2, 57 Classics,


Thanks Jim!

Jeff Flowerday
10-03-2004, 08:18 AM
Man, I wish mine would show up. Between the US postal service, Candian postal service and Purolator they've managed to lose mine. :mad: Jim shipped them 10 days ago, and it's normally a 1-2 day thing.

Jim Wagner Pickups
10-03-2004, 03:31 PM
Jeff, that is a HUGE DRAG !! I will get right on it in the morning and find out what the HELL those guys are doing ! You should have gotten them a LONG time ago !
:(
Don't worry TOO much though, they are insured, so either way you WILL get a set, SOON ! :dude

Jeff Flowerday
10-03-2004, 05:48 PM
Hey thanks man! I know it not you, it the shippers and this is just a freak Canadian Customs thing, or it just actually might have got lost. We'll get is straightened out.

Thanks,
Jeff

Jim
10-05-2004, 08:57 AM
How do the darkbursts compare to the fillmores?

Jim

jokerjkny
10-09-2004, 01:49 AM
heard the fillies are much hotter and midrangey. think led zep.

but i love my DK's. fat fat and yes, more fat. yet surprisingly detailed. great pup.

jazzyblues
10-10-2004, 09:53 AM
I'm thinking of either the Darkbursts or the Crossroads for my LP. I want a smoother clean or slightly overdriven tone - like Larry Carlton. But for gain, I want something with bite on the bridge without being muddy on the neck.
Anyone have a suggestion which pickup would work?

jokerjkny
10-12-2004, 02:49 AM
Goodwoods

jazzyblues
10-12-2004, 04:55 PM
I talked to Jim, and he suggested the Darkbursts. I should get them within the week.

FreeBlues
10-14-2004, 12:39 PM
I too just installed Darkbursts in my PRS Singlecut. Unbelievable! I was going for a vintage LP thing and these did that and far more. Big and fat but sweet and articulate at the same time. Best humbucker on the planet IMO.

Jeff Flowerday
10-14-2004, 04:16 PM
I've installed them in my '58 Historic. They are amazingly soft and warm. Really round and full. They have such a nice soft feel it's actually taking some getting used to... :)

Jim Wagner Pickups
10-14-2004, 06:41 PM
Glad they showed up finally Jeff ! That was a DAMN exceptionally long Customs wait. I am just relieved that they did arrive. Next time I should just meet ya at the border !:dude

dave-o
10-17-2004, 09:04 AM
I just put a set of Fillmores into a epi lp. Makes this guitar sound 1mill times better than the stock pups! THink Zep or early ZZ top. I will have to try some DKs for my lp project im building.

the_Chris
10-17-2004, 10:00 PM
Got a Darkburst in my Grosh and love it to death!

I wish Jim made a single coil P90 or humbucker type pickup, because my tone search for my strat would be over. ;)

He makes the best stuff and he loves hearing my praise everytime. I've purchased 5 pickups from him and they all rock! Great guy to deal with and the pickups are cheap for what you get, which is the sweetest tone you've ever heard in your life.

Jim Wagner Pickups
10-21-2004, 07:52 PM
Hey, I thought you guys in this thread would enjoy these coupla clips. They were made with DarkBursts through a Super Marshall with some DarkBursts by Anthony Steele. Oh yeah, it's his B-Day today as well !
:dude

Just right-clik and
http://www.wcrclips.com/clips/DarkBurst_Br.mp3

http://www.wcrclips.com/clips/DarkBurst_AllPos.mp3

Man, does he smoke, or what ? :dude

jazzyblues
10-23-2004, 04:06 PM
I just installed my Darkbursts, and they're excellent pickups. Great fat tone!

papersoul
11-01-2004, 03:16 PM
Hi guys,

I play mostly heavy modern rock but also dabble in classic rockj and the styles of Jerry Cantrel and George Lynch. Mostly it is modern hard rock for me at the moment since I am in a modern rock band. Anyway, I play though a Les Paul Standard and PRS McCarty into a Line 6 Vetta head and cab for gigs. I have used Duncans and Rio Grandes along with the stock pickups and was wondering if you guys could recommend some replacements. Would the Darkbursts be a good bet?

Thanks!

jazzyblues
11-01-2004, 03:38 PM
papersoul -
Email or call Jim and tell him what you're looking for. He'll recommend some pickups for you.
http://www.crcoils.com/

FreeBlues
11-01-2004, 03:56 PM
The Darkbursts are probably the best sounding PAF (vintage) sounding pickups I have ever heard. However, given you current style I wonder if you might be happier with a different pickup. The Darkbursts are warm, fat and smooth (although they can get somewhat nasty).

I've called and emailed Jim several times now (I also have his single coils on my strat) and found him to be very helpful and real easy to talk to.

papersoul
11-02-2004, 07:26 AM
Jim was saying the Fillmores would push my amp harder but I might be best with the Darkbursts since I have an amp with more gain than I need. Tony Rombolla of Godsmack apparently ordered some Darkbursts for his LP or McNaught.

jazzyblues
11-02-2004, 08:47 AM
Well, I'm very pleased with the Darkbursts. They would be great for rock, if that's what you want them for. But I find that they clean up nicely for jazz. :D

Neil
11-12-2004, 02:56 PM
I bought Darkbursts after emailing Jim. I put them in my ES 336 in place of '57s. Although better than the 57's they at first sounded a bit thin compared to the Burstbuckers in my R7.

I did these firsts tests at low volume. Yesterday I turned the amp up a bit and found the DBs to be excellent. The thinness was down to the amp (Bogner Shiva) at low volumes. The BBs are great at the really low volumes but maybe too fat once the volume goes up.

Clean the DBs win as they give a really characterful sound.

I may swap the DBs into the Les Paul (then I would have to buy more pups for the 336! It never ends).

Regards
Neil

KLB
11-12-2004, 09:38 PM
I have seen mention of Darkbursts around here for a few months now, but there is still no link on the WCR site.

How do they compare to Goodwoods?

- Ken

Jim Wagner Pickups
11-12-2004, 10:09 PM
Hi Ken,
I don't have them on my site yet, you're right. I've been selling a BUNCH just by word of mouth. If anyone wants a set, they can just order a Crossroads Set, and in the little message box, tell me to make them DB's instead. I would have done it by now, but am just trying to get situated in my new house AND shop, while still working for all you great guys. Music and musicians, 27/7. How much better can it get?:dude

KLB
11-13-2004, 08:05 AM
Originally posted by WCR
Hi Ken,
I don't have them on my site yet, you're right. I've been selling a BUNCH just by word of mouth. If anyone wants a set, they can just order a Crossroads Set, and in the little message box, tell me to make them DB's instead. I would have done it by now, but am just trying to get situated in my new house AND shop, while still working for all you great guys. Music and musicians, 27/7. How much better can it get?:dude

Pt2 - How do they compare with Goodwoods (and Crossroads)?

Jeff Flowerday
11-13-2004, 11:11 AM
Originally posted by Neil
I bought Darkbursts after emailing Jim. I put them in my ES 336 in place of '57s. Although better than the 57's they at first sounded a bit thin compared to the Burstbuckers in my R7.

I did these firsts tests at low volume. Yesterday I turned the amp up a bit and found the DBs to be excellent. The thinness was down to the amp (Bogner Shiva) at low volumes. The BBs are great at the really low volumes but maybe too fat once the volume goes up.

Clean the DBs win as they give a really characterful sound.

I may swap the DBs into the Les Paul (then I would have to buy more pups for the 336! It never ends).

Regards
Neil

Wow, you must have magical Burstbuckers! :eek: My Darkbursts are 5 times fatter than any burstbucker I've ever heard.

jazzyblues
11-13-2004, 11:19 AM
Yeah, I would have to agree that the Darkbursts are very fat at any volume.

Neil
11-13-2004, 01:16 PM
Thanks for the comments on the BBuckers vs darkbursts. Unless I have magic bbuckers (doubtful) or there is something wrong with the dbursts (possible? likely or unlikely?) then it must be down to the guitars.

Maybe I should swap the pickups around for the best sounds.

Neil

Jim Wagner Pickups
11-13-2004, 07:12 PM
Originally posted by KLB
Pt2 - How do they compare with Goodwoods (and Crossroads)?

Compared to the Goodwoods, the necks are nearly identical. The big diff is the bridge. Goodwoods are fatter throughout the spectrum, have a little more bottom end bite, slightly smoother top end roll-off. Slide players seem to be diggin' 'em the most.

Crossroads are more for early Clapton, Page, Betts, Skynrd type tones. Darkbursts are a slightly over wound version of them.
Here is a comparison numbers-wise:
Crossroads-- 7.8, 8.2
DarkBursts-- 8.3, 8.7
Goodwoods-- 8.5, 9.5
Fillmores-- 11, 13.5
HERCs-- 13.5, 17.5

KLB
11-13-2004, 09:00 PM
Jim,
Thanks for the pickup comparison chart. It is very helpful.

Cheers,
Ken

Jim Wagner Pickups
11-13-2004, 10:02 PM
Anytime Ken,
I don't mean to be doing any spamming here (I hope it's not perceived as such), but a lot of guys from here ask me stuff like that all the time, and I thought it might save a lot of people a lot of time to just stick the info into this thread.:cool:

aaronz28
11-14-2004, 08:34 AM
I've gotta put my 2 cents in here.

I've got the fillmores in a Modern Eagle
the Goodwoods in a 58Historic, and the Darkbursts in my McNaught Singlecut.

I couldn't be happier. They all kick royal ass.

The Modern Eagle is a great sounding guitar with the RPs in it from PRS< but once I put the fillmores in it.... i'd be hard pressed to believe that there is a better sounding guitar out there. PERIOD

I had Holmes in the McNaught, and once I put the darkbursts in, i couldn't believe how much better they sound... and at less than half the price.

i've now got a set of Tom Holmes available LOL if anyone is interested. although for the money... go with the WCRs all day. :)

davidp158
11-17-2004, 12:22 PM
After reading so many good reviews I called Jim today and discussed his pickups. Per my input, Jim recommended the Darkbursts for my 2001 R7. The Classic 57 pickups are quite boring, and I expect the Darkbursts will be a nice change. I will also install a RS kit at the same time, so the change should be dramatic. Thanks for all the posts on this forum...great info.

Dave

papersoul
01-06-2005, 03:09 PM
Originally posted by JeffS
Just installed Darkbursts into an '03 Gibson Les Paul Historic Goldtop R7 and this thing sounds unbelievable!! Like PAF's only bigger with slightly rolled off upper highs - PERFECT for a Marshall and great for hard rock. With an amp with decent gain, metal should not be out of the question.

They have a certain midrange punch to them, but not so much as to make them syrupy like a Rio BBQ. No muddiness on the neck and it can be used for chording, unlike Duncan 59s that can get too thick. Great middle position. Bridge barks with authority without being ear piercing. Absolutely *Driving* tone. String separation is quite apparent and I found them easy to adjust.

AND, these things bloom like crazy with harmonic content, even though they are potted and don't squeal.

Prior pickups in this guitar: Tim's Ed A, Rolph 59s, Voodoo 59s, BurstBuckers #1/#2, 57 Classics,


Thanks Jim!

Hi,

I was wondering if you wouldn't mind making a comparison to the Rio Grande BBQ set and maybe the Gibson Burstbucker Pro set? I have these pickups and I run a Line 6 vetta for live use and mostly play heavy and hard rock old and modern. I need pickups that are good clean as well as heavy. I also like thick like the Rios.

I don't know what I would go with guys. I can't decide between DB's, Fill's, or GW's. I like the BB Pros in my LP Standard but they can be on the thin side and harsh side at times! I thought of a over would Duncan SH-14(C-5) or a Rio BBQ/Texas set. I really like the Rio Grandes but they can at times be one dimensional or too dark. But, I like THICK Modern tone that still does good clean. I know guys who have tried the Fillmores but ended up with either the Duncan Custom or Rio BBQ so I am thinking maybe Darlburst and I think was Jim's recommendation.

My PRS McCarty has the stock pickups which actually sound huge and full which I love but that could be the guitar as well. However, the pickups can be very mellow.

My live amp is a Line 6 Vetta II half stack. I don't use my tubes at gigs much anymore.

Thanks!

davidp158
01-07-2005, 05:44 PM
I installed a set of Darkbursts with the RS kit a while back in my R7. I like them a lot, but still trying to dial them in.

The neck was a bit dark, so I raised it closer, but have to roll back the volume knob to 8 to get it to match the output of the bridge. The bridge sounds pretty good, but I wish it was a bit fatter at times. If I raise the bridge pickup to balance the levels between the two pickups, the bridge is way to bright. I feel there is too much contrast between the neck and bridge tones, but I'll conceed that this is just an issue with humbuckers that has always bugged me. (Why is this so much less of an issue with single coil pickups???)

The biggest problem, for me, is blending the two pickups together. There is a fairly narrow sweet spot when I have both pickups selected. It may be due to the height of the neck pickup, or may be an anolmoly of the RS kit, but the pickups sound a bit dull when both are on at uniform levels unless they are both full up. I usually have to favor one or the other when blending them with the volume knobs. If the ratio between neck and bridge isn't just right, the tone is soft and dull. I always like being able to blend the two pickups on a Les Paul, but I seem to have less options than with other humbuckers I've tried. Again, I suspect I have to dial these in a bit more, so if anyone has any suggestions on specific pickup heights, please fire away.

Dave

papersoul
01-10-2005, 09:12 AM
Dave, I would say to try your stock pots/caps again or 300k volume pots. I find 500k volumes in a Les paul to be too thin and bright. I get a thicker/creamier tone with 300k volume pots in an LP. You could try the Goodwoods because they are apparently thicker as are the Fillmores.

Does anyone know if a Darkburst bridge will balance okay with a Gibson Burstbucker Pro neck? I rarely use the neck pickup but I will at times and especially with the bridge in the middle position.

Does anyone have a preference of the Goodwoods, Darkbursts, or Fillmores in an LP?

Thanks!

PS....I tend to play heavier music through an old modified peavey Ultra Plus with JJ tubues but my live rig is a Line 6 Vetta head and cab. Anyonw have a suggestion for an LP Standard and a PRS McCarty? The McCarty has the stock pickups and the LP has the BB Pros. I even looked at EMGs recently.

aaronz28
01-10-2005, 09:25 AM
The Goodwoods (covered) in Les Paul are my ultimate favorite.

i like them better than anything I've ever heard period.

does the vintage thing spot on but still has the balls to knock you out of the room when you want them too.

the fillmores are great also, but I find them to be a little modern sounding in a Les paul...

the darkbursts are great also, but the Goodwoods just do it for me..

thanks

A

papersoul
01-10-2005, 09:33 AM
Thanks Aaron! I appreciate the help bro! I was thinking the same thing as well because apparently the Goodwoods are thick and I also prefer 300k pots in my LP so maybe this is the way to go but I may have to hold onto the BB Pro neck pickup for a while.

I do like, thick and modern tones but I don't believe that has to come from the pickup. I have gotten huge modern tones with vintage LPs no problem - as long as the pickups are good and tonefull that is the most important issue.

Maybe the Fillmores would be good in my PRS Mccarty since that has a smoother and more modern tone anyway.

aaronz28
01-10-2005, 09:39 AM
I have had the Fillmores (covered) in my PRS Modern Eagle and thought it was heavenly. I recently put uncovered goodwoods in it and it still rocks out like nothing i've ever heard.

I have yet to find a guitar that the goodwoods don't turn into my favorite axe. That being said I still love the old PAF honk so I have a few with unpotted 8k PAFs in them and love them for what they are... but if I only had one guitar to take with me... it would have goodwoods in it. they just do everything I could ever want....

that being said.... If I could take 3 sets of Puckups with that one guitar.... the Fillmores and Darkbursts and a set of Good PAFs would also be in the case. They are amazingly different in a good way.

You just have to try them I guess....

Thanks

Aaron

aaronz28
01-10-2005, 09:43 AM
By the way, the goodwoods are definatley thick as hell.

you'll want to be careful if you guitar has a really strong low end to it. I think the Goodwoods and the Darkbursts are the opposite end of the same spectrum... in terms of tone along the PAF lines.

The GWs are the dark end, and the DBs are the bright end. (mainly becasue of the wire he uses)

that being said. if you have a thick guitar and want to balance it out... go with Darkbursts... if your guitar is wimpy on the low end and you need some low girth... the goodwoods will move earth like nothing you've ever seen.

WCR pickups are the only pickups i've ever had that somehow couples to the natural freqencies of the guitar and you'll hear things that you've never heard before... especially if you are using really good amps.

all my crap is vintage marshall and non master stuff that you can't hide behind. they really tell you what the guitar is doing and the WCR pups respond very well to that.


thanks

Aaron

papersoul
01-10-2005, 10:48 AM
Good stuff Aaron!

My LP Standard is fairly balanced but can be pretty bright at times. Good powerful bass, natural mids, and harsh highs....but this could be a lot of the pickup's characteristics! I was thinking Fillmores or Good woods in this..........also originally thought about the Darkbursts.

My PRS McCarty sounds very good stock....good balance, but the pickups can be a touch dark at times and not tight enough, ua know?

I also have been looking at the Rio Grande BBQ/texas set as well as the Duncan C-5/59 for a cheaper alternative.

My problem is I am short on cash at the moment.:(

cvansickle
01-10-2005, 11:17 AM
Originally posted by WCR
Compared to the Goodwoods, the necks are nearly identical. The big diff is the bridge. Goodwoods are fatter throughout the spectrum, have a little more bottom end bite, slightly smoother top end roll-off. Slide players seem to be diggin' 'em the most.

Crossroads are more for early Clapton, Page, Betts, Skynrd type tones. Darkbursts are a slightly over wound version of them.
Here is a comparison numbers-wise:
Crossroads-- 7.8, 8.2
DarkBursts-- 8.3, 8.7
Goodwoods-- 8.5, 9.5
Fillmores-- 11, 13.5
HERCs-- 13.5, 17.5
Thanks for the chart. You should add this to your site.

Jimmydeez
01-11-2005, 11:27 AM
Anyone try these pickups in a HBI.

I never use the bridge pickup in my HBI because is sounds too thin. I use a a Bad Cat Black Cat amp.

I think overall I would like something a little hotter. Any recomendations?

papersoul
01-12-2005, 12:00 PM
Anyone look into Bare knuckle pickups?

Dote
01-25-2005, 05:08 AM
Hi,

I wanted to chime on this.

I recently bought a set of Fillmores for my Lester and Jim did a fantastic job. The guitar really shines with the PUs from Jim.

The only trouble I have is that while the bridge PU is fantastic and gets me all the sounds I could ever ask for, the Neck PU in this guitar is just too fat. I lowered the PU far down and still it is too muddy for my tastes. Jim suggested using a 1M pot and 0.015 uF cap, which I have not been able to try out, but I wonder if I should get a Crossroads set instead?

Does anybody of mix the WCR sets? I plan on getting another Lester in the future and could use another set of WCRs.

Any ideas and input is welcome!

Thanks,

Dominik

jazzyblues
01-25-2005, 09:16 AM
I have Darkbursts and have found the neck pickup to be very dark as well. The bridge is great, but I never use the neck for playing lead. It's just too dark and muddy.

Jeff Flowerday
01-25-2005, 09:55 AM
Originally posted by jazzyblues
I have Darkbursts and have found the neck pickup to be very dark as well. The bridge is great, but I never use the neck for playing lead. It's just too dark and muddy.


I though that as well, but then I installed the Pigtail stoptail and studs in my R8 and my guitar changed and neck Darkburst sounds stellar now! So I really think it depends on the guitar.

davidp158
01-25-2005, 10:27 AM
My R7 has an aluminum stoptail piece and a set of Darkbursts. Did your R8 have an aluminum stoptail before your replaced it with the Pigtail stuff? I'm just curious if there is a noticeable improvement over the stock aluminum stoptail, as the neck pickup on my R7 is a tad dark/muddy for me. I have the RS Guitarwork kit in there, which opened it up a bit, but its still darker than I'd like.

Dave

Originally posted by Jeff Flowerday
I though that as well, but then I installed the Pigtail stoptail and studs in my R8 and my guitar changed and neck Darkburst sounds stellar now! So I really think it depends on the guitar.

Jeff Flowerday
01-25-2005, 01:18 PM
Originally posted by davidp158
My R7 has an aluminum stoptail piece and a set of Darkbursts. Did your R8 have an aluminum stoptail before your replaced it with the Pigtail stuff? I'm just curious if there is a noticeable improvement over the stock aluminum stoptail, as the neck pickup on my R7 is a tad dark/muddy for me. I have the RS Guitarwork kit in there, which opened it up a bit, but its still darker than I'd like.

Dave

Yah mine had the light weight tail piece. I think the steel studs made the most difference. More efficient than brass. Of course you want to get the as a set since the fit so well togethor. And it looks much cooler as well. :)

Jeff Flowerday
01-25-2005, 01:21 PM
Here's a link to my thread on the Les Paul Forum.

http://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=87974

davidp158
01-26-2005, 05:51 PM
Jeff,

Thanks for the replies and link. If I'm reading the Pigtailmusic.com info correctly, it appears that a nickel plated stop tailpiece is $100 and the studs/bushings are another $36.50. If I didn't already have an aluminum stop tailpiece, I'd be more inclined to spend $136.50 + shipping, but otherwise it seems a bit steep.

Do you think using the Pigtail steel studs with my R7's stock bushings and aluminum tailpiece will be an improvement? Will the parts fits, and will the Pigtail studs screw into my stock bushings without any modifications?

Is the TonePros stuff junk or worth considering? The TonePros locking tailpiece WITH studs is only $52.50 at StewMac, but they don't say what the metal is.

I'll research this further, and thanks for your feedback.

cheers,

Dave

Jeff Flowerday
01-26-2005, 08:33 PM
I didn't try my existing tail piece with the new studs so I don't know.

Some say the pigtail fits better, which can play a part in the better transfer of energy.

I know nothing about the tonepros tail piece and studs. I have the bridge but needed it for tuning and intonation problems I was have with the stock one.

The question is will you always be wondering if you should have went all the way and got the complete assembly....

davidp158
01-27-2005, 12:18 PM
Jeff,

If I tried the Pigtail studs and there is no appreciable difference, it would then seem logical that adding the Pigtail tailpiece would be needed. As I already have a light aluminum tailpiece, its seems that I could potentially save $100 and still get an improvement in tone if the Pigtail studs made a difference. On the LP Forum, you said that you thought it was the studs that made the difference. Coachmoe on the LP Forum, said he just installed the studs and it made a big difference. Posts on the LP Forum suggest the Pigtail to be 3 to 9 grams lighter than the Historic's tailpiece. I have to wonder if it is worth paying $100 to shave off a mere 3 to 9 grams, and if 3 to 9 grams make a sonic difference.

Regarding the stud bushings, how hard is it to remove the ones in my R7 and install the Pigtail ones? I don't want to damage the finish, of course. On the LP Forum, you said that you had to cut the studs down to fit your existing bushings. Will I have to do this with an R7?

I imagine the Tonepros stuff may be generic Gotoh hardware with the locking screws added. The idea of their bridge and tailpiece locking on to their studs would seem to help tone and sustain a lot, but if the tailpiece is not aluminum I probably wouldn't like the tone.

Thanks again for your comments,
Dave

Originally posted by Jeff Flowerday
I didn't try my existing tail piece with the new studs so I don't know.

Some say the pigtail fits better, which can play a part in the better transfer of energy.

I know nothing about the tonepros tail piece and studs. I have the bridge but needed it for tuning and intonation problems I was have with the stock one.

The question is will you always be wondering if you should have went all the way and got the complete assembly....

Jeff Flowerday
01-27-2005, 07:40 PM
Originally posted by davidp158
Jeff,

If I tried the Pigtail studs and there is no appreciable difference, it would then seem logical that adding the Pigtail tailpiece would be needed. As I already have a light aluminum tailpiece, its seems that I could potentially save $100 and still get an improvement in tone if the Pigtail studs made a difference. On the LP Forum, you said that you thought it was the studs that made the difference. Coachmoe on the LP Forum, said he just installed the studs and it made a big difference. Posts on the LP Forum suggest the Pigtail to be 3 to 9 grams lighter than the Historic's tailpiece. I have to wonder if it is worth paying $100 to shave off a mere 3 to 9 grams, and if 3 to 9 grams make a sonic difference.

Regarding the stud bushings, how hard is it to remove the ones in my R7 and install the Pigtail ones? I don't want to damage the finish, of course. On the LP Forum, you said that you had to cut the studs down to fit your existing bushings. Will I have to do this with an R7?

I imagine the Tonepros stuff may be generic Gotoh hardware with the locking screws added. The idea of their bridge and tailpiece locking on to their studs would seem to help tone and sustain a lot, but if the tailpiece is not aluminum I probably wouldn't like the tone.

Thanks again for your comments,
Dave

I ordered my studs shortened for my existing bushings. It's $5 upcharge.

johnc
01-28-2005, 06:53 AM
For what it's worth, I have a set of Crossroads in my Les Paul and there is nothing dark or muddy about these pickups. They pretty much sound like the Crossroads sound clips on WCR's web site, which to my ears are the best sounding clips on the site.

Now I'm being really picky when I say this, but the only thing I would consider changing about these pickups would be to make them a tad more powerful or louder. Other than that, they are perfect for my needs.

aaronz28
01-28-2005, 07:16 AM
Originally posted by johnc
For what it's worth, I have a set of Crossroads in my Les Paul and there is nothing dark or muddy about these pickups. They pretty much sound like the Crossroads sound clips on WCR's web site, which to my ears are the best sounding clips on the site.

Now I'm being really picky when I say this, but the only thing I would consider changing about these pickups would be to make them a tad more powerful or louder. Other than that, they are perfect for my needs.


THen you need Darkbursts... becasue thats all thats different... the DB set is a bit hotter than the Crossroads..

kwaves99
01-29-2005, 11:15 AM
This may be a silly question, but here goes. A year ago I bought an Ibanez artcore as-73 that new cost me 268 bucks. A great bang for the buck but I have come to the conclusion that the pickups are the achilles heel of these otherwise remarkable instruments. They are cheap ceramic pickups and they sound incredibly muddy. After reading MANY posts regarding the stellar pickups that Jim Wagner makes I have come to the conclusion that next week i am ordering them. The problem is which one?????? I understand that darkbursts are tweaked Crossroads. i like to play clean, would like to get some good jazz tones but would like to get some of those Allman/Clapton / and Carlton tones as well. yes I realize that ultimately its (the tone) in the hands, but anyones advice here would be most welcome. It seems that many people have made cheap guitars sound really good with better pickups and better electronics for a minimal cash outlay..


By the way, I'm playing this through a 72 Deluxe reverb with an H1E Tone Tubby (No flames on the TT please...I actually like it)..Thanks for the help!

Jeff

davidp158
01-29-2005, 01:52 PM
Jeff,

Others may have more conclusive info regarding specific pickups with your Ibanez, but I'm confident that you'll find a very noticable improvement with the Dark Burst pickups. I spoke with Jim Wagner, described the music I play and gear I use, and he recommended the Dark Bursts. Give him a call to see what he has to say. Nice guy, easy to chat with.

I replaced the stock Classic 57 pickups in my R7 with Dark Bursts, and the improvement was substantial. I play a mix of blues, jazz, country and power pop. I don't do a lot of hard rock or heavy distortion. I find the Dark Bursts cover a wide range of tones, and work well with my overdrive pedals (Landgraff OD, Klon Centaur) and amps (Dr. Z and TwoRock).

Years ago, I had a Les Paul Classic with ceramic pickups, and they were very harsh. I think the ceramic pickups were designed for hard rockers. I replaced them with Classic 57's, and it was a big improvement. Consequently, I think going from ceramic pickups to Dark Bursts will please you.

I don't recommend paying extra for solid Nickle covers, by the way. Purist may insist that its sonically better, but I can't vouch for that. I suspect its more of a vintage accuracy thing, which is a moot point with your Ibanez.

You should also consider replacing the electronics on your Ibanez with the RS Guitarworks kit. Better quality caps, and the pots are supposed to be better matched to 500k than most pots on production guitars. Its only $50 and easily installed, so I'd consider doing it when you replace the pickups.

Dave Patterson

Originally posted by kwaves99
This may be a silly question, but here goes. A year ago I bought an Ibanez artcore as-73 that new cost me 268 bucks. A great bang for the buck but I have come to the conclusion that the pickups are the achilles heel of these otherwise remarkable instruments. They are cheap ceramic pickups and they sound incredibly muddy. After reading MANY posts regarding the stellar pickups that Jim Wagner makes I have come to the conclusion that next week i am ordering them. The problem is which one?????? I understand that darkbursts are tweaked Crossroads. i like to play clean, would like to get some good jazz tones but would like to get some of those Allman/Clapton / and Carlton tones as welll. yes I realize that ultimately its (the tone) in the hands, but anyones advice here would be most welcome. It seems that many people have made cheap guitars sound really good with better pickups aand better electronics for a minimal cash outlay..


By the way, I'm playing this through a 72 Deluxe reverb with an H1E Tone Tubby (No flames on the TT please...I actually like it)..Thanks for the help!

Jeff

kwaves99
01-29-2005, 02:24 PM
Thanks Dave..i appreciate your advice!

Jeff

papersoul
02-11-2005, 09:42 AM
Originally posted by davidp158
Jeff,

If I tried the Pigtail studs and there is no appreciable difference, it would then seem logical that adding the Pigtail tailpiece would be needed. As I already have a light aluminum tailpiece, its seems that I could potentially save $100 and still get an improvement in tone if the Pigtail studs made a difference. On the LP Forum, you said that you thought it was the studs that made the difference. Coachmoe on the LP Forum, said he just installed the studs and it made a big difference. Posts on the LP Forum suggest the Pigtail to be 3 to 9 grams lighter than the Historic's tailpiece. I have to wonder if it is worth paying $100 to shave off a mere 3 to 9 grams, and if 3 to 9 grams make a sonic difference.

Regarding the stud bushings, how hard is it to remove the ones in my R7 and install the Pigtail ones? I don't want to damage the finish, of course. On the LP Forum, you said that you had to cut the studs down to fit your existing bushings. Will I have to do this with an R7?

I imagine the Tonepros stuff may be generic Gotoh hardware with the locking screws added. The idea of their bridge and tailpiece locking on to their studs would seem to help tone and sustain a lot, but if the tailpiece is not aluminum I probably wouldn't like the tone.

Thanks again for your comments,
Dave

I think the Tone Pros is generic Gotog bridges and tails but they seem well made for sure! Are they better than a stock LP standard set?? Hard to say, but I do find the Tone Pros bridge more comfortable with the smoother, fatter, and flatter saddles compared to the sharper Gibson saddles.

I had an aftermarket aluminum tail on my LP Standard but preferred the stock zinc. I found the aluminum more open, brighter, and more vintage in nature. I look for thicker, and modern. I would use the aluminum tail if I bought a Historic LP.

I also chose the stock Tone Pros zinc set for the balance in tone in my opinion. Kept it closer to stock tone, which is thick. The Tone Pros does add some tighter bass and some clarity. not sure of the total worth though.

Blueswede
02-22-2005, 07:15 PM
I also have an R7 and replaced the existing pups with a set of Fillmores. I found the bridge pup to be a bit too hot, so I replaced it with a Darkburst. I really like the combination and I use all three positions for lead. YMMV, of course.

cr8z4life
02-23-2005, 10:48 PM
This thread just reinforced my decision! I have a Thorn I just purchased and wanted bigger fatter tone! Its black limba and is only 71/2 pds! It sounds so acoustically clear unplugged. Just felt the pickups in it werent suited for it and after speaking to Jim and Ron I decided on the Goodwoods.....I think this is the correct choice to make this guitar out of this world! The black limba is a very bright sounding wood and the goodwoods chould thicken up the tone big time!

papersoul
02-27-2005, 11:59 AM
Has anyone compared these to Rio Grande pickups such as the BBQ?

cr8z4life
02-27-2005, 01:27 PM
I have had McNaughts with Rios in them and hated them.....just my opinion but I liked nothing about them

Scott Peterson
03-04-2005, 11:58 AM
Originally posted by papersoul
Has anyone compared these to Rio Grande pickups such as the BBQ?

Yes I have. The BBQ is a bit grittier and hotter. I dig it, really, but the Darkburst is a lower ouput pickup with a lot more definition to the tone. The BBQ just has this huge "kerrang" thing; lots of power and grease, but a bit hazy.

WCR pickups all have this utter *clarity* even when you really push the gain up on the amp; and it is true across the whole line of Jim's pickups.

The Darkbursts just KILL in my Hamer Custom Studio. They fit the guitar to a "T" tonewise; lots of tight lows, nice medium to medium hot output and a nicely detailed top. The mids are where the "clarity" is; you cannot hide your techniques and skills with these pickups in your guitars.

I love the Darkbursts!!!!

Braciola
03-04-2005, 09:31 PM
Originally posted by Scott Peterson
Yes I have. The BBQ is a bit grittier and hotter. I dig it, really, but the Darkburst is a lower ouput pickup with a lot more definition to the tone. The BBQ just has this huge "kerrang" thing; lots of power and grease, but a bit hazy.

WCR pickups all have this utter *clarity* even when you really push the gain up on the amp; and it is true across the whole line of Jim's pickups.

The Darkbursts just KILL in my Hamer Custom Studio. They fit the guitar to a "T" tonewise; lots of tight lows, nice medium to medium hot output and a nicely detailed top. The mids are where the "clarity" is; you cannot hide your techniques and skills with these pickups in your guitars.

I love the Darkbursts!!!!
Hey Scott,
I think I read somewhere that you have all of the WCR pickups in various guitars.
Just wondering if you could do a quick comparison of the Goodwoods to the others for me.
Heck, if you have the time and want to start a new thread, I'm sure many of us would benifit from a review of each.
BTW, whats your favorite so far?

Sorry if I put you on the spot:eek: :D :dude

Scott Peterson
03-05-2005, 05:24 AM
Originally posted by Braciola
Hey Scott,
I think I read somewhere that you have all of the WCR pickups in various guitars.
Just wondering if you could do a quick comparison of the Goodwoods to the others for me.
Heck, if you have the time and want to start a new thread, I'm sure many of us would benifit from a review of each.
BTW, whats your favorite so far?

Sorry if I put you on the spot:eek: :D :dude

I don't have them all, but I'll do that.

My "problem" is that they are all in different guitars and not all are gig tested yet. I have been on a gigging hiatus since December so I don't have the "real world" test on any save the Darkburst, SR's and the Fillmore pickups yet.

I have the neck/middle SR's; Darkburst set; Fillmore bridge; Goodwood Bridge and the Shredder bridge. So it isn't the entire line. But it is a good sampling and a whole lot of my $$$ invested. :D

Suffice to say, I need more time on each to really understand the nuances of each and can comment with any authority.

Although I'll tell you the Goodwood is the fattest yet most focused bridge humbucker I have ever used. That one is killer. But I couldn't even tell you my favorite bridge WCR pickup right now. I just got the Thorn back with the Shredder last week. Not enough time to understand what I have in it really. Time, a bit more time....

Braciola
03-05-2005, 12:12 PM
Thanks Scott

RAN
03-06-2005, 03:15 PM
looking to replace BB's in an R8
between Goodwood Bridge and DB any preference when playing through a High Gain amp..blues on up to metal..Thanx

papersoul
03-06-2005, 07:32 PM
Originally posted by Scott Peterson
Yes I have. The BBQ is a bit grittier and hotter. I dig it, really, but the Darkburst is a lower ouput pickup with a lot more definition to the tone. The BBQ just has this huge "kerrang" thing; lots of power and grease, but a bit hazy.

WCR pickups all have this utter *clarity* even when you really push the gain up on the amp; and it is true across the whole line of Jim's pickups.

The Darkbursts just KILL in my Hamer Custom Studio. They fit the guitar to a "T" tonewise; lots of tight lows, nice medium to medium hot output and a nicely detailed top. The mids are where the "clarity" is; you cannot hide your techniques and skills with these pickups in your guitars.

I love the Darkbursts!!!!

Thanks Scott! what would be a good replacement for the Rios in one of my guitars? The Shredder? I was looking for something for my LP standard which has Burstbucker Pros and my stock PRS McCarty. I have been told the Shredder in my LP and Goodwoods in my McCarty. Also been told Darkbursts in the LP and Fillmores in the McCarty.:confused:

Scott Peterson
03-06-2005, 10:05 PM
Originally posted by papersoul
Thanks Scott! what would be a good replacement for the Rios in one of my guitars? The Shredder? I was looking for something for my LP standard which has Burstbucker Pros and my stock PRS McCarty. I have been told the Shredder in my LP and Goodwoods in my McCarty. Also been told Darkbursts in the LP and Fillmores in the McCarty.:confused:

Geez guys, I am no expert on these things... yet.

But I'll say this; you can't go wrong with them. I strongly believe that.

All the WCR pickups, including the IMHO misnamed "Shredder" (it does so MUCH more than just gain) clean up better than any other humbuckers I have ever heard. I don't say that lightly, I mean it.

The Darkbursts just kill for AC/DC to STP tones. Put it in a mahogany body/maple top (ala LP or Hamer Studio) and BOOM.

The Goodwood bridge has this massive phatness that still cuts and has focus. And does all this with no mudd, no flubb on the bottom. Put this in any guitar that is brighter sounding unplugged. BOOM.

The Fillmore is similar in sonics/feel/tone to the Darkbursts, but has a little more output and high end to it. They seem hotter to me; these pickups would be the do-it-all for most any guitar. I dig playing these slightly rolled off even for heavy stuff like Helmet/Pantera type of stuff; but they also shine for classic Stones/Beatles stuff if you roll it off more.

The Shredder is wild. If you roll it off to about 6-7; it sounds/feels like a classic PAF type of pickup with a little more sauce on it. Roll it up to 8-9 and you are in 70's to modern rock type of stuff. Alternative rock ala Soundgarden, Pearl Jam? BOOM. Want to metal it up? Crank it. Got some hot output, has some ripping highs; but no shrill and no peaky upper mid ala the JB it supposedly is a take on.

Those are my opinions. Right or wrong; that is how I use them.

Here is the thing though really; I'd gladly take any one of them. No real favorite. I dig them all. I am happy with all of them in all my guitars.

There is this thing they all seem to do; a certain sort of controlled focus that retains clarity no matter how much gain. I can't explain it very well; But man, I *really* just dig that *thing* they all have. Add those factors into how they *all* just seem to clean up so, well, "cleanly" and there you have it. Nothing is lost no matter how gained your tone nor how clean.

It is sort of like loving steak and choosing a favorite cut. And these are all utterly premium steak pickups. :D

I'll also add they just all work so perfectly with the metals that Dean Farley uses in the Snake Oil Brand strings. Just a match made in guitar electronics heaven IMHO.

There you go.

papersoul
03-07-2005, 08:24 AM
Thanks Scott! You a a big help!:dude

I also use Dean's strings. Currently I use the Vintage but ordered some Rock Formula to check out! Do you use the RF series?

I wanted to let you know that I currently run the LP with burstbucker Pros with 300k volume pots and the best I've tried other than the BB Pros was the C-5/59 which sounded like a bigger BB Pro - maybe? Can't fully remember.

I am considering saving a bit for the Darkbursts in the LP maybe this spring. With the right amp do you think these will cover classic rock to modern hard rock? My band plays mostly very heavy modern rock, but I rely on the amp to do most of the work.

I am thining the Fillmores in my PRS Mccarty as well. This was highly recommended to me.

are the WCR a HUGE jump up from the Duncans?

Rich

dirtydeeds22
03-10-2005, 11:04 AM
Darkbursts Rock!!!!:dude

Newbie here. Really dig the forum. This site was definitely helpfull in picking WCR Darkbursts for my '01 Les Paul Std Plus.
I told Jim I'd post my review over here. Here it is:

Just wanted to say that the these Darkbursts KICK ASS!! I wanted to wait a little while before I wrote back so I could play them and get used to the changes. The verdict is that these pickups make my guitar sound the way I want it to. Awesome string definition, punch, VERY reactive to tone controls, and plain and simple they sound better than any pickup I have played before. When I emailed you earlier to ask about the muddiness in the neck, I found the answer. The caps were the problem. I put in Hovlands and WOW. The combination of the Darkbursts and Hovlands is a magic combination. Sustain for days. You should recommend them to your buyers. I'm getting Angus, Peter Green, Clapton(bluesbreaker), Kosoff, Gibbons, Page, and all the other Les Paul-SG masters tone that I've wanted for years. I've now been playing with the neck pickup a lot more now. Distorted round tone. Cool. I've never been able to use the neck pickup with a distorted amp before. Finding new tones has been really fun the last month. I can't say how much I'm loving these pickups.
THANK YOU JIM FOR MAKING A KICK ASS PRODUCT AND SAVING ME MONEY IN THE FUTURE. I'LL NEVER PLAY ANYTHING BUT WCR.


Jeff


:RoCkIn

papersoul
03-12-2005, 11:13 AM
Those Hovlands should only effect the tone during roll off of the volume or tone, right? The Hovlands I put in my LP made the tone too bright and present, even on ten.

dirtydeeds22
03-14-2005, 11:38 AM
That's strange. I'm experiencing the total opposite. They warmed up my tone big time. They made things a "little" bright at first, but now they must be formed, because the tone is nice and warm-- no ice pick tones anymore.

Jeff

papersoul
03-18-2005, 02:23 PM
I think part of the problem is my kit was wired so the tone was dissconnected while on ten - to me this was harsh but you could roll off the tone to warm it up. Still I found Hovlands in a few cases made my tone too present and bright. In al cases I found the stock ceramics to give the cremiest tone.

PRS uses the ceramics. I talked to a tech at PRS and he said they did extensive cap testing and said they notice such a small difference between brands that the ceramics made the most senzse rather than spending the extra money for something more. I agree, that at high volumes and playing with the band there is little audible difference. Most of the differences I heard were by myself playing through my amp listening for differences.

I thnk the bigger differences in electronics is how you have it wired, cap and pot value, and the type of pot such as audio compared to linear.

RSRelic
03-18-2005, 04:35 PM
Originally posted by papersoul
I think part of the problem is my kit was wired so the tone was dissconnected while on ten - to me this was harsh but you could roll off the tone to warm it up. Still I found Hovlands in a few cases made my tone too present and bright. In al cases I found the stock ceramics to give the cremiest tone.

PRS uses the ceramics. I talked to a tech at PRS and he said they did extensive cap testing and said they notice such a small difference between brands that the ceramics made the most senzse rather than spending the extra money for something more. I agree, that at high volumes and playing with the band there is little audible difference. Most of the differences I heard were by myself playing through my amp listening for differences.

I thnk the bigger differences in electronics is how you have it wired, cap and pot value, and the type of pot such as audio compared to linear.
Rich the tone control was not out of the circuit just the tone cap with the wiring you were useing. Hovlands are not bright caps. Caps are passive they don't add anything to a circuit whey only filter signal. Your whole problem was in getting the wrong kit for an overly bright guitar. I really think you have had the solution to all your problems all along with the second set up I sent you, but you never gave it a change IMHO. I'm not picken on ya I just want to make sure to clear up some details.

Roy

papersoul
03-19-2005, 05:29 AM
As always Roy is right...after all you are the expert.:) Seriously, I tried the Hovlands tonight in my Dean, and I couldn't detect a difference when on 10, but the roll off was better. This guitar has good CTS pots so they already function well. Roy is dead on about the caps.

Right on the kit Roy - I should have originally gotten the Hybrid or Treble Tamer but my LP has been sounding good and I haven't settled on pickups. LOL, as usual. ;)

Thanks for the info, Roy.

-Rich

Wallace
04-11-2005, 11:22 PM
Hello everyone! I've enjoyed this website so much. Thanks to everyone who has contributed! This is my first posting and The Darkburst pickups are what moved me to chime in.

First I want to agree whole heartedly with privious reveiw, so eloquently stated. :D The Darkbusts are that tone I have in my head whenever I'm thinkin kick-butt guitar tone. They truly excel with a Marshall type amp. My amps are Demeter tga-3s and they do a damn fine vintage Marshall tone.

I discovered Jim's pickups accidently. I bought a Baker Crucible which had Fillmores installed. I was floored buy the awesome tone and how well they cleaned up when backed off. I had to talk to him about his stuff. Jim is a really cool guy and easy to work with. I bought two sets of DB the same day and had em afew days later. They were installed in the Crucible and a Ransom custom guitar with mohagany and a maple neck. Both guitars roar! Once that tone starts flowing, I just cant put em down. I didn't get that feeling with all the other pups that I went through.

I spent alot of $ trial and error, custom shops etc. looking for this tone. Jim's Darkburts are a masterpiece. Worth every penny.

The Fillmores are very cool too. IMO they're great to liven up a guitar that lacks brightness. They would also set your sound apart in a two guitar band. I'm saving them for another guitar.

Your the MAN Jim!

Thanks everyone for letting me join and chime in!
Cheers!
Wallace

Wallace
04-11-2005, 11:37 PM
My reply was in reference to that of jeffS dated 10-02-2004. The post at the the top of the page. I know, I know I'm a .......ROOKIE!:rolleyes:

Wallace

alderbody
04-20-2005, 05:32 AM
Originally posted by Scott Peterson
I'll also add they just all work so perfectly with the metals that Dean Farley uses in the Snake Oil Brand strings. Just a match made in guitar electronics heaven IMHO.

and IMHO, too... :AOK

alderbody
04-20-2005, 05:40 AM
WCR + RS guitarworks + Snake oil = tone heaven!


:AOK :AOK :AOK

papersoul
04-20-2005, 12:41 PM
Guys, I am confused. I have a 2003 LP Standard that I would consider medium to bright. I installed Fillmores with the stock caps/pots. I would actually prefer something a touch darker in this guitar even though the Fillmores sound very good. I was told the Darkbursts have more of an edge so I would think they are brighter than the Fillmores? I have PRS Dragon IIs in my PRS Mccarty and they sound good but I wouldn't be opposed to trying something like Goodwoods in that guitar!

My LP does not lack brightness.

I play mostly heavy rock but prefer versatility in a pickup.

Scott Peterson
04-20-2005, 01:09 PM
Originally posted by papersoul
Guys, I am confused. I have a 2003 LP Standard that I would consider medium to bright. I installed Fillmores with the stock caps/pots. I would actually prefer something a touch darker in this guitar even though the Fillmores sound very good. I was told the Darkbursts have more of an edge so I would think they are brighter than the Fillmores? I have PRS Dragon IIs in my PRS Mccarty and they sound good but I wouldn't be opposed to trying something like Goodwoods in that guitar!

My LP does not lack brightness.

I play mostly heavy rock but prefer versatility in a pickup.

Who told you the Darkbursts are brighter than Fillmores? Jim?

I feel the Darkbursts are not as hot, and not as bright as the Fillmores. I add that you can DRAMATICALLY change the character of WCR pickups by raising/lowering them. Also with the pole pieces; it is no subtle thing.

papersoul
04-20-2005, 01:41 PM
Thanks Scott! I received an email from a guy who is a big WCR fan and who has the DB and Fills - he said the Darkbursts have more of an edge where the Fillmores are creamier and warmer. I kind of took this as brighter. Then again, I was told the Fillmores are the brightest. I haven't gotten any comfirmation from Jim. Maybe I'll call Jim.

I have the Fillmores in my 2003 LP Standard and am trying to decide if they are the best fit of all of Jim's p'ups. Thus far...I like the poles flush for a fatter tone! I also have the bridge pickup at about 2 1/2/32" on both sides with the string depressed at the last fret.

Currently I have a Les Paul and PRS McCarty. I was thinking of the Darkbursts for the LP and Fillmores for the McCarty and that was recommended by a friend who loves Jim's pickups. I would Goodwoods but they are expensive.

A weird thing is a buddy of mine installed Darkbursts into his Mccary and preferred the McCarty pickups. Strange.

Currently I have Dragon IIs in my Mc.

Scott Peterson
04-20-2005, 08:42 PM
I feel 100% the other way about darkbursts vs. fillmores. Maybe your WCR expert had the descriptions reversed? I'll stand by my opinion very firmly on this; and I do own both sets.

Anyone choosing PRS pickups over WCR has very very very very very very very different ears and tastes than I do. That much I'll tell you too. :D

And to complete the trifecta here (three negative statements in one post for me!), the Dragon II"s are my most hated pickups that PRS ever made. I never got them to sound good, to my ear, in any guitar I ever tried them in. I find them midrangy, thin and shrill overall.

Just my opinion.

papersoul
04-20-2005, 09:07 PM
Scott, you like the Rio BBQ? How doyou think that compares to WCRs? I appreciate your help!

I like that you said the opposite about the DB vs Fillmore issue because that means the Fills would work well in my McCarty and the DB set in my LP! Assuming the DBs can do heavy, heavy rock!

My Burstbucker Pros did it fine, si I assume the DBs will as well.

I am starting to think the McCarty pickups sounded better in my McCarty and I bet the Rios would sound good. Luckily I know lots of guys who are looking to buy a mint set of D IIs. I think they work well in PRS Trem guitars.

I'd like to hear the Fillmores in my Mccarty.

KHK.....thanks for the info! I wonder if the Fillmores split well also?
I thought all WCRs came four conductor? I may end up trying the Dark Bursts and Fillmores in both my LP and PRS so I'll get em both four conductor....but I won't be splitting anything in my LP. With the splittable pickups in my McCarty, that may hold me off from getting a Fender for a bit and maybe hold me off from getting another PRS too soon.

KHK
04-21-2005, 08:08 AM
Just a different slant....I coil tapped my set of DB's in a '71 LP Custom replacing DiMarzio Dual-Sounds that were in it since '75 and they sound outrageous in humbucker mode. Amazing harmonics and clarity. I agree with most of what everyone has already said. The real sweatness is having the versatility of switching to single coil for no additional charge and getting a whole other spectrum of tones that are very, very Fendery with the right amp settings on my BFDR. You will be shocked...(get the 4 conductor version).

papersoul
04-22-2005, 01:37 PM
I am thinknig the Fillmores may really liven up my Mccarty and make it one heck of a versatile guitar with good split tones....plus some say it does the vintage to modern rock thing very well!

I think I would like a touch less highs in the LP and maybe a touch less heat so I am thinking Darkbursts or Goodwoods. I always feel as if I like a thick pickup in this LP so maybe the Good woods will be it! I am afraid with the fillmores in the PRS, the LP may be too weak with DBs? Maybe Goodwoods?

Arzz28 was saying the Fillmores are awesome in and the Good woods kill in his Historic. So, maybe the GWs in my LP.

SteveK
04-22-2005, 02:16 PM
Got my set of 4 conductor DB's today. My tech said he'll probably have the Les Paul ready on Monday. I'm having it wired so one push pull will coil tap both pups. COME ON MONDAY!!!!!

tybone
04-28-2005, 11:27 AM
Just ordered a set of DB's for my R7Custom. Anybody tried these in a 335 style guitar?

Larry

Neil
04-28-2005, 11:57 AM
Well not a 335 but I have a set in my es 336 which is similar and it has the sweetest tone. Its hard to describe. At first I wasnt sure but I believe the 336 with the dbs has the best natural tone. For cleans it is better than the DBs in my R8. More articulate, better string seperation and an element in the mids that is captivating.

It's hard to describe but I have considered selling the 336 (it has a very slim neck and I prefer bigger necks) on a number of occasions but everytime I play it I think I need to keep it. It certainly didnt have that effect when it had the 57 classics in.

Maybe I should take the dbs and put them in a 335.

Neil

tybone
04-30-2005, 06:58 PM
Very cool post. I love intangibles. :dude

A440
05-01-2005, 03:56 PM
I find myself going back to these 2 posts from Jim. gives you his overall view of the line and some specs

http://thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?s=&threadid=44206&perpage=15&pagenumber=1

I want to get something for my mccarty

darkbluemurder
05-06-2005, 05:43 AM
Originally posted by FreeBlues
I too just installed Darkbursts in my PRS Singlecut. Unbelievable! I was going for a vintage LP thing and these did that and far more. Big and fat but sweet and articulate at the same time. Best humbucker on the planet IMO.

I have a PRS Singlecut, too. Did you replace the original PUs w/ Darkbursts? How would you describe the change compared to the stock PRS #7s (bridge and neck)? Í am quite happy with the bridge #7 but the neck #7 could be brighter IMO.

darkbluemurder
05-06-2005, 06:09 AM
Jeff, how would you compare the Darkbursts to the Voodoo 59s?
Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks a lot.

tybone
05-06-2005, 10:46 AM
I got my darkburst, I put them in, uncovered, in my '57 Les Paul Custom RI. The guitar has 3 pickups. I replaced the neck and bridge with the DB's. They replaced the stock gold '57 Classics

The bridge is brighter and much more reponsive than the '57's. Very nice clear clean sound for a Humbucker. The output is about the same as the old pickups but the difference really comes in with you beging to turn up the gain. There was way less noize and intereference when playing, for instance, a major 3rd. With other pickups you can hear the interference as the interval produces not so musical overtones as they beat together. It is kinda like what happens when you play a major 7th chord with distortion on it. Anyway, with the WCR's, there seemd to be more of the fundamental note and less of the funny harmonic noize. Very cool.

The neck pickup has a sweet sweet sound that has more top end than I am used to from most neck humbuckers but delivers it in sweet way with a kind of bottom end that does not get it the way or fart out at all.

Is short these things are keepers as you might expect. :cool: I am going to try them with covers on tonight. Good Job Mr. Wagner.

P.S. Part II
:AOK. I played the guitar for a couple of hours today. As scott said these pickups are super sensitive to height adjustments. And the differnces in tone are very noticable. It took about 15 minutes to get the bridge pickup height adjusted such that I had enough output and absolutly perfect string balance for my particular right hand touch.

The tone of the bridge pickup is truly special. Stock gibson pickups are just not in the same universe. Same with the other humbuckers a have tried; no comparison. Mind you I am more of an amp and guitar (and speaker) junkie than a pickup junkie but GOL DANGIT these things make my stuff sound special.

As for the neck pickup, this was a little harder to dial in than the bridge. I did get it there but the pickup height was much lower than your typical setup guide would recommend. Once I got close to the right spot (for me) the neck was smooth as a baby's bottom. On a hunch I plugged into the Opal and lit up the clean channel. I dare say that the DB neck pickup would be spectacular in the neck of a jazz box....which brings me to another point.

These pickups have this kinda "POP" that happens at the beginning of the note as you pick it. You have to learn to use this to your advantage. You can have no wasted or incidental pickage as you pick a note. This percussive sort of pop really plays well with rhythm work. I have never heard this sort of stuff from humbuckers before. Except on my favourite jazz guitar solo sounds.

Anyway, I am clearly on the honeymoon but DANG I am digging it so far. The harminics just jump out of these things. :RoCkIn

tybone
05-07-2005, 06:51 AM
P.P.S

Gol Dang it these things are good. It suddenly occured to me that the darkbursts are giving me access to some serious Gary Moore tones. I spanked of a couple of riffs from "Blues for Narada" this morning and nearly cried. The first time I heard that tune I knew I had heard what a lester was supposed to sound like (when cranked through a marshall that is.).

Thanks Jim. BTW there will be some uncovered '57 classics up for sale some time soon.

LB

papersoul
05-10-2005, 01:24 PM
They are great. I like how true his pickups are....very accurate and responsive.....no harmonic noize or weird sounding notes.

I still think Gibson pickups are good. The Burstbuckers rock.

Lex Luthier
05-12-2005, 08:21 AM
I dropped a Crossroads neck and Darkburst bridge into one of my guitars last week. Very, very nice sounding pickups.

The CR neck pickup has a nice articulate sound, sweet harmonics, you can chord or solo most anywhere on the neck with the neck pickup without muddiness - think Dickie Betts.

The DB bridge pickup has a big sound, good lows, mids and bright highs without harshness, sounds like a hotter PAF-ish style pickup and has incredible response and harmonics, yet doesn't sound nasal. Depending on your right hand attack, a lighter touch you can get fatter, smoother tones, or dig in and get biting, screaming harmonic laden tones.

The split coil sounds are nice as well.

I'm very impressed!

Thanks Jim. :)

tybone
05-12-2005, 03:59 PM
Originally posted by Lex Luthier
....Depending on your right hand attack, a lighter touch you can get fatter, smoother tones, or dig in and get biting, screaming harmonic laden tones....

Exactly. A guy on the les paul forum asked me if they are bright or smooth and the answer was YES!

Hand of Doom
05-18-2005, 11:31 AM
I have a McCarty and use a Germino Classic 45. The amp is bass heavy and the neck pup is a little muddy, the bridge pup is fine but I think I want a little hotter pup.

What would you suggest? I was told SD Pearly Gates would be a good choice and will try those but I also want to try a set of these WCR pups.

Thanks

KHK
05-18-2005, 11:35 AM
Originally posted by sangre azul
I have a McCarty and use a Germino Classic 45. The amp is bass heavy and the neck pup is a little muddy, the bridge pup is fine but I think I want a little hotter pup.

What would you suggest? I was told SD Pearly Gates would be a good choice and will try those but I also want to try a set of these WCR pups.

Thanks

Check out the website
Jim's website (http://www.crcoils.com/)

Give Jim a call and he will give you a suggestion based upon your taste and needs. You won't be disappointed.

Neil
05-18-2005, 11:54 AM
I have a PRS McCarty, a Les Paul R8 with 4 wire darkbursts and a Rheinhardt JTM45 clone which I guess is similar to the Germino C45.

Both guitars sound great through this amp. (Swanson BB cab closed back with 2 weber blue dogs). You do need to back off the bass some. I set the bass control to 9 oclock.

Mixing the channels helps too. I set the normal channel volume to about 2/3rds of the treble channel volume.

The r8 with Darkbursts is my favourite set up but I have to say that the McCarty is very close in tone (and has a more useful split coil sound than the Darkbursts). String seperation and clarity is good on both.

I do have the pickups set fairly low and I find this makes a big difference in avoiding that boomy and muddled sound. It costs some signal but that hasnt been a problem.


My 2cents
Neil

papersoul
05-26-2005, 09:27 PM
I have the Shredders in my LP and the Fillmores in my PRS Mccarty but am thinking I may need the complete RS upgrade kit in each to reach their full potential. They don't seem as aggressive as they could be and not matching up electronics can do just that I have found!

I need to get these higher than bedroom level to fully report on these though. I have only used them at bedroom levels.

Still working with the Shredders. Lowering them from the strings fattens and warms them up but they get mellow and lose aggressiveness. Raising them closer increases this but makes em too hot and a bit harsh/hard. Wondering if they may be too hot for my needs. I play some stuff as heavy as you could get but a hot pickup with a punchy/biting guitar can be a bad mix!

These are all tests at bedroom levels.

No band practice for a bit....:mad:

PS - I am starting to think I prefer lower output PAF style pickups even for heavy rock since I like to get most of the push from the amp so I won't rule out Goodwoods and Darkbursts.

motorhead
05-28-2005, 06:47 AM
Originally posted by WCR
Here is a comparison numbers-wise:
Crossroads-- 7.8, 8.2
DarkBursts-- 8.3, 8.7
Goodwoods-- 8.5, 9.5
Fillmores-- 11, 13.5
HERCs-- 13.5, 17.5

What size and type of wire insulation do you use for each?

diminishedlogic
06-23-2005, 02:17 PM
Yo, I have a question about these pickups. How would the darkburst bridge fare for an allan holdsworth kind of fat tone. Also, how would it fare for a shawn lane kind of tone. thanks!!! also do you sell only the bridge pickups?

darkbluemurder
06-24-2005, 01:38 AM
Originally posted by diminishedlogic
Yo, I have a question about these pickups. How would the darkburst bridge fare for an allan holdsworth kind of fat tone. Also, how would it fare for a shawn lane kind of tone. thanks!!! also do you sell only the bridge pickups?


I am not familiar with the tone of Allan Holdsworth. I know for sure that Jim sells single pickups. Just give him a call or an email, and he will tell you how to order.

diminishedlogic
06-24-2005, 02:32 PM
aight. thanks!

memphisrain
07-01-2005, 10:08 AM
How is the string to string definition on WCR pickups? I've got a Duncan Design pickup wich is supposed to be modeled after the JB. I really like the string to string articulation (or definition) I would like a set that is warm and smooth, but still retains that definition.

darkbluemurder
07-01-2005, 12:37 PM
Originally posted by memphisrain
How is the string to string definition on WCR pickups? I've got a Duncan Design pickup wich is supposed to be modeled after the JB. I really like the string to string articulation (or definition) I would like a set that is warm and smooth, but still retains that definition.

I have a few WCR models and so far all of them have good string separation. I am not familiar with your pickup but I have played the JB which I think is terribly muddy. My favorite WCRs are the Goodwoods.

motorhead
07-01-2005, 01:05 PM
Originally posted by darkbluemurder
I have a few WCR models and so far all of them have good string separation. I am not familiar with your pickup but I have played the JB which I think is terribly muddy. My favorite WCRs are the Goodwoods.

That's a 1st I hear that a JB is muddy. Usually you hear that it's way too bright. Some players even put 250K pot on a JB.

papersoul
07-07-2005, 03:41 PM
The Shredder neck at 9.2 and very hot PAF sounding works great in the bridge!

tybone
07-07-2005, 05:30 PM
Originally posted by darkbluemurder
I am not familiar with the tone of Allan Holdsworth. I know for sure that Jim sells single pickups. Just give him a call or an email, and he will tell you how to order.

Depending on the guitar etc... I can see/hear the Holdsworth type of tone from the Darkbursts. You would have to roll back the tone on the guitar and tweak the amp a bit as his sound is heavy on the midrange.

I still get goose bumps just thinking about his solo from "In the dead of night."

darkbluemurder
07-18-2005, 01:56 AM
Originally posted by motorhead
That's a 1st I hear that a JB is muddy. Usually you hear that it's way too bright. Some players even put 250K pot on a JB.

Thanks for the reply. In fact I read somewhere else that there are people who find the JB to be too bright. However, this is not my experience. I must say that this was about 15 years ago, and I am not sure whether Seymour Duncan changed the way he makes the JB since then. I replaced a Gibson T-Top humbucker with a JB in the bridge position of a Les Paul and the highs were just gone! In a different Les Paul I changed the JB in the bridge to a SD 59B which gave many more highs and much more touch response than the JB. With the JB rolling down the volume pot did not make much of a difference, it worked more like an on-off-switch. To sum it up: a JB and a PAF-type PU are very different from each other to my ears.

darkbluemurder
07-18-2005, 02:00 AM
Originally posted by Scott Peterson
I feel 100% the other way about darkbursts vs. fillmores. Maybe your WCR expert had the descriptions reversed? I'll stand by my opinion very firmly on this; and I do own both sets.

Anyone choosing PRS pickups over WCR has very very very very very very very different ears and tastes than I do. That much I'll tell you too. :D

And to complete the trifecta here (three negative statements in one post for me!), the Dragon II"s are my most hated pickups that PRS ever made. I never got them to sound good, to my ear, in any guitar I ever tried them in. I find them midrangy, thin and shrill overall.

Just my opinion.

Scott,

I agree to most of the response but I feel equally about PRS's #7 pickups. No wonder there are so many good comments from people who installed WCRs in a Single Cut.

motorhead
07-18-2005, 05:31 AM
Originally posted by darkbluemurder
With the JB rolling down the volume pot did not make much of a difference, it worked more like an on-off-switch. To sum it up: a JB and a PAF-type PU are very different from each other to my ears.

I definitely agree with you there. Any high output PU doesn't react very well to rolling down the volume unless you put a linear tapered pot. The clipping on an audio pot is too hard.

I went from a Gibson T-Top to a Duncan Screaming Demon to a JB over the course of 20 years. I mostly love the JB for it's harmonic power and lead tone.

As for the PRS issue, the Dragon II is a 'stock' PU. It's designed to agree with most tastes. So yes, it's bright and thin but never muddy.

Before dismissing PRS' capabilitily to make PUs try a Dragon 1 in the neck. Hot and punchy which is great for a power blues or to compliment a hot bridge PU. It's my favorite alnico 5 PU.

As for my favorite neck PU and no offence to WCR but it's a Peter Florence (Voodoo) Alnico 3 '59 or '60. The Voodoos are even better to my ears then the Tom Holmes set that I have or Bear Knuckle 'Stormy Monday' or any Alnico 4 Fralin.

darkbluemurder
07-18-2005, 06:54 AM
Originally posted by motorhead


Before dismissing PRS' capabilitily to make PUs try a Dragon 1 in the neck. Hot and punchy which is great for a power blues or to compliment a hot bridge PU. It's my favorite alnico 5 PU.

As for my favorite neck PU and no offence to WCR but it's a Peter Florence (Voodoo) Alnico 3 '59 or '60. The Voodoos are even better to my ears then the Tom Holmes set that I have or Bear Knuckle 'Stormy Monday' or any Alnico 4 Fralin.

I actually wanted a Dragon 1 but got the Dragon II instead - maybe I just picked the wrong pickup. I am not knocking PRS pickups in general. I think the HFS is good for what it is intended to.

I also have a Voodoo Alnico 3 (I don't know whether it's a 59 or 60 since the label does not say anything) in the neck position of a Les Paul and I really like it a lot. I have not had the opportunity to check Tom Holmes or Bareknuckles pickups.

Peachslide
07-20-2005, 12:54 AM
hello all, this is my first post here
I'm looking into getting some of these pups, and I've heard nothing bad about them. I'm a huge fan of Duane Allman and play alot of slide guitar. I'm thinking of getting Fillmore Set pick-ups, but I'm not sure. Jim on his website said the Dark Bursts are similar to the sound on Eat A Peach, which Duane used a dark burst (or maybe a tobacco burst) on One Way Out and maybe Standback, but I know for sure that Trouble No More and Mountain Jam were played with the same Les Paul as on Fillmore East because they were outakes (TNM was played after Stateboro Blues and Mountain Jam after Whipping Post in concert) but One Way Out is from the closing of the Fillmore on 6/27/71 rather than 3/12 and 3/13 which was when the Fillmore East album was recorded, and so what I'm rambling about is, what was the tone the pick-ups were modeled after, was any song in mind? I know this is probably a question for Jim but someone may know.
Also, a really important question is, will humbuckers fit in a p-90 slot? I have a epi '56 reissue with p-90s.

SPDave
07-20-2005, 04:24 AM
I recently installed a Darkburst in my Hamer Phantom GT. For many years I had a '57 Classic+ in it & felt I had no reason to change it. I'm glad I did however. The DB has a better low end for starters. I don't really know what to say other than I'm basically hearing the sound I've been wanting to hear from this guitar all along. It's sweet. It rocks. However you want to say it. For reference, I play blues rock that's too bluesy for rock fans & too rockin' for blues fans, if that makes sense.

I've had it a relatively short time & haven't had much time to come up with a very intelligent review, so I guess I'll have to go with a stupid one for now. :) When I have something more to say, I'll post it.

SPDave
07-20-2005, 04:35 AM
In regards to the post directly above mine, my understanding is that the Darkburst is not quite as "hot" as the Fillmore, which is supposed to nail the 70's hard rock tone. The DB is more specifically for a bit sweeter tone, like Duane, Eddie VH, Paul Kossoff etc. without getting into the extremely hard stuff like Zeppelin, ZZ Top etc. Bear in mind that I haven't tried a Fillmore & have only had my DB a short time. I bet the Fillmores sound great. I'm totally diggin' my DB. Hmmm, I have a set of Pearly Gates in my Love Rock. Thinking out loud here. The Love Rock is my Billy Gibbons fantasy machine. Fillmores someday? Hmmm.

KHK
07-20-2005, 05:19 AM
Originally posted by Peachslide
....which Duane used a dark burst (or maybe a tobacco burst) on One Way Out and maybe Standback, but I know for sure that Trouble No More and Mountain Jam were played with the same Les Paul as on Fillmore East because they were outakes (TNM was played after Stateboro Blues and Mountain Jam after Whipping Post in concert) but One Way Out is from the closing of the Fillmore on 6/27/71 rather than 3/12 and 3/13 which was when the Fillmore East album was recorded, and so what I'm rambling about is, what was the tone the pick-ups were modeled after, was any song in mind? I know this is probably a question for Jim but someone may know.
Also, a really important question is, will humbuckers fit in a p-90 slot? I have a epi '56 reissue with p-90s.

Thanks for posting and welcome...I'm pretty sure that by the Fillmore East album, D. Allman was using the Darkburst LP as his primary and for standard tuning slide and the SG w/humbuckers for open tuning slide. These two were also used at the later Fillmore shows and probably on the Eat A Peach studio work. Same LP was used on Layla too.

The DarkBurst set of Jim Wagner's are designed around the specs in that LP which Jim got hold of somehow. He said that the Fillmores were developed by trial, error and ear to capture the tones of the Fillmore East album plugged into Marshalls I guess. Fillmores came before darkbursts. He is the true source and will fill you in when you call him.

The epi top may have to be routed to accept the larger footprint of the humbucker. I'm sure Jim would know this as well.

There is a tremendous amount of info in this thread contributed by folks who have both sets of pickups and is a worthwhile read if you are considering a purchase.

papersoul
07-20-2005, 06:04 AM
With the right amp, all of Jim's pickups will cover any style of music. The guitarists of Godsmack uses the Darkburst for example....and can use the Shredder bridge pickup for any style. The Fillmore will literally do it all, clean to metal.

free_jazz
07-26-2005, 11:27 AM
a little more on Duane's guitars during the "Layla" sessions and later:

from: http://www.100megsfree4.com/deltabluesmn/artists/duane_allman.htm

From photo evidence though it can be seen that Duane switched between several Gibson guitars, although his favourite was a 1957 Les Paul Goldtop (serial number 7 3312) with PAF pickups. He part-exchanged this guitar in Daytona Beach, FL on the 16th September 1970, having played a concert with a local group there, (having also recorded the large part of Layla with it) for a plain-top 1958/59 cherry sunburst Les Paul that was then in the posession of the guitarist in the opening group; they were called "The Stone Balloon". The plain-top is the guitar he can be seen to play in the Fillmore Video; it is also the guitar that he used to complete the recording of the Layla album.

When he did that exchange, he also switched over the PAF pickups from the 57 Goldtop to the 58/9 Cherryburst - apparently he preferred the sound of the Goldtop's bridge pickup to that of the newer guitar, and consequently swapped them over in a Hotel Room after the concert where he found the Cherryburst.

Early in 1971 he bought, in addition to the other Les Paul, a 1958 vintage tobacco sunburst Les Paul, with an exaggerated tigerstripe sunburst pattern. This had been owned by singer Christopher Cross, and was found for Duane by Billy Gibbons of Z Z Top. This was the guitar on the "at Fillmore East" and "Eat A Peach" albums. Late in 1971 he began to use a 68 Cherry Gibson SG that had been used previously by Dickey Betts (who had replaced it in mid-1971 with a vintage '58 Gold-Top Les Paul, the guitar which Dickey gave Dan Toler in 1978, who had it refinished in a cherry sunburstcolour) exclusively for slide work.

Jim Wagner Pickups
07-26-2005, 05:00 PM
I know that axe well. I have a friend in Germany who had it for 4-6 weeks. Gigged with it, took a zillion pix. I believe he is writing an article on it.
He said that guitar sounds just like the recordings UN-plugged !:p
And said it STILL sounds like that, no matter what amp he used. I do have some pix, and will post them on my site in the near future.

I made the Fillmores first, just going by what I heard, trial and error for a LONG time. It was driving me nuts. Just couldn't get it. Then one day a friend on the East Coast wanted a custom set for his 3-pickup Black Beauty, and said to me inventive. So I just went off the deep end, tried something completely different. Wire, # of winds, magnets, all of it. The 1st thing he told me was that they sounded so OLD...... so I knew I was on the right track finally. In fact, it was the hotter sounding slide tone I was after initially, and that appears to be what the Fillmores were able to replicate. There was a nice bonus as well. They also turned out to be a good 70's style hard rock pickup. They bang the front of the amp pretty good all by themselves. The only effect I like to use with them personally is a cord..........lol

After I had them, I had a some guy wanting to partner up,telling me that those original pups had been re-wound, and that he knew the guy who designed them, and the guy who wound them (that's 2 guys), who is now supposed to be over 90, and in a rest home in Maryland or something. Doesn't matter really.
Kinda moot, since I already figured out how to do it.
So that story is either true, or not. The only person who COULD verify it is dead.
The guy who told me that story was finally thrown in jail for ripping off COUNTLESS musicians, even little kids, and was arrested on racketeering charges. He burned a couple of other people I know, and tried to burn me. No cigar. I got alerted to him completely by accident. He would get people to send him stuff, and never see it again. Gibson included.Sad. The guy really was VERY intelligent, and a good salesman. Even VERY knowledgable about guitars, electronics, amps, researching the past, etc.

The DarkBursts I wound to the specs from THAT axe. Several people had them. Same as what Page likes I believe. So I wound to them, my style, and voila! And they turned out to have a wide range as well.
Bottom line is I just don't, and never really did care how someone else USED to make pickups to get those sounds. I just use and do whatever it takes to get what *I* consider great sound. VERY lucky for me that a lot of you hear the same things I do.
I just like the raw sound best, and that's all I go for when designing. Guitar, cord, amp. If that ain't right, you will NEVER be happy trying to get it right with effects and such. By the time you get the sound even close, you now also have all the extra noise in the sound envelope from the effects.
Get you axe right 1st.
:dude :D

EXCELLENT hisorical work from you free_jazz :dude :dude

peachead1071
07-29-2005, 01:06 AM
Originally posted by free_jazz
a little more on Duane's guitars during the "Layla" sessions and later:

from: http://www.100megsfree4.com/deltabluesmn/artists/duane_allman.htm



Early in 1971 he bought, in addition to the other Les Paul, a 1958 vintage tobacco sunburst Les Paul, with an exaggerated tigerstripe sunburst pattern. This had been owned by singer Christopher Cross, and was found for Duane by Billy Gibbons of Z Z Top. This was the guitar on the "at Fillmore East" and "Eat A Peach" albums. Late in 1971 he began to use a 68 Cherry Gibson SG that had been used previously by Dickey Betts (who had replaced it in mid-1971 with a vintage '58 Gold-Top Les Paul, the guitar which Dickey gave Dan Toler in 1978, who had it refinished in a cherry sunburstcolour) exclusively for slide work.


You are right up to when you get to the part about 'Hotlanta, the Tobacco burst.

I'll itemize the errors

1. Noone knows the year of the Dark/Tobaccoburst, since it's had a headstock repair and no longer has a serial #. Since every other Dark/tobaccoburst from the 50's was a '59, and Gibson Custom manager Edwin Wilson is the only one to have cracked it open to see the pot date codes and HE said it it was a '59, it was most likely a '59, not a '58.

2. The guitar was actually found by Vintage guitar seeker/freelance dealer Kurt Linhof. Duane was introduced to Linhof by Gibbons (with the words "If anyone can find you a guitar, this guy can"), but Gibbons himself was not part of the deal at all.

3. The Dark/tobacco burst was not on "Fillmore East" at all. The Fillmore East album was recorded in March 1971, and Duane didn't aquire the Darkburst until late June 1971. THe Fillmore album is entirely Cherryburst.

4. Duane's old SG is a 1964, not a 1968. IF you don't believe me look at the facts, it has a large headstock but small pickguard, it had a sideways vibrato and had it removed.

5. Duane very rarely switched guitars during a show. He wouldn't have one guitar tuned open and another tuned standard, he would retune. You can hear it on most recordings He used the SG when he felt like it, he used the LP when he felt like it.

Now to clear up what's on the EAP album.....

On the electric studio recordings Duane is on "Blue Sky", "Stand Back", it is the Darkburst.

On the live cuts of "Trouble no More" and "Mtn. Jam", it is the cherryburst, those were recorded in March '71 and were edited from the Fillmore album

On "One Way Out", it is the darkburst, as this was recorded at the Fillmore East closing in June '71 (the very first night he owned the darkburst, it was delivered to him by Linhof that afternoon as Duane hung out with J. Geils, who was also on the bill that night along with The Beach Boys, Country Joe, Edgar Winter, Mountain, Albert King, The incredible String Band, and C-Train)

free_jazz
07-29-2005, 10:45 AM
Peachead1071: you're beautiful. many thanks.

Jim Wagner Pickups
07-29-2005, 11:00 AM
That is even more amazing. :dude Info like this from you guys is just priceless.I've always been pretty much just entirely focused on the sound, and not so much the history, and just love it when someone comes up with stuff like that.
I've had a lot of customers who delve deep into that stuff, and more than 1 that actually knew Duane from way back, even school days.One of my friends even still works on some of their stuff (amps and such). I get some great stories here and there.
Some like the facts history, some just looking for that 'Mojo."
In fact, I had one customer (who I wish I could remember just who he was, now *I* have some research to do)
that was having an LP built by some really good but discrete luthier. He took the wood for the top (I'm pretty sure) maybe some other wood, the electronics and the pickups, and layed it all out on Duane's grave at Midnight, to try to soak some of that good stuff up. I can't even remember the night, but think it was important, like Halloween, or Duane's birthday, or deathday....I just can't remember.
How dedicated can you get?
:cool:

GuitarsFromMars
07-29-2005, 11:50 AM
Originally posted by WCR
That is even more amazing. :dude Info like this from you guys is just priceless.I've always been pretty much just entirely focused on the sound, and not so much the history, and just love it when someone comes up with stuff like that.
I've had a lot of customers who delve deep into that stuff, and more than 1 that actually knew Duane from way back, even school days.One of my friends even still works on some of their stuff (amps and such). I get some great stories here and there.
Some like the facts history, some just looking for that 'Mojo."
In fact, I had one customer (who I wish I could remember just who he was, now *I* have some research to do)
that was having an LP built by some really good but discrete luthier. He took the wood for the top (I'm pretty sure) maybe some other wood, the electronics and the pickups, and layed it all out on Duane's grave at Midnight, to try to soak some of that good stuff up. I can't even remember the night, but think it was important, like Halloween, or Duane's birthday, or deathday....I just can't remember.
How dedicated can you get?
:cool:

I could probably do it,but then,Roy Buchanan used to go to graveyards at night to practice on his Tele without the amp...Nah,I'm scared of the dark(LOL)

free_jazz
07-29-2005, 12:16 PM
A Tone Pilgrimage for Duane's blessings and Vibe!
It's exactly that level of detail, dedication, and respect that enables one to touch the source.
I'm humbled.

Hey Jim, whenever you get together your first (annual, of course) WCR Tone Pilgrimage to Macon, count me in!

Jim Wagner Pickups
07-29-2005, 03:57 PM
Originally posted by free_jazz
A Tone Pilgrimage for Duane's blessings and Vibe!
It's exactly that level of detail, dedication, and respect that enables one to touch the source.
I'm humbled.

Hey Jim, whenever you get together your first (annual, of course) WCR Tone Pilgrimage to Macon, count me in!

Bet on it.:dude I WILL be KINDA close in Oct. The 15th in Greensboro is Jimmy Murray's Les Paul jam, and I already have my air tickets. :D :dude

peachead1071
07-30-2005, 06:14 PM
Originally posted by free_jazz
Peachead1071: you're beautiful. many thanks.

Sure thing. I have spent lots of time delving into the history of all things Duane, and like to pass on what I know at every opportunity.

By the way Jim, I think I've talked to your friend in Germany. . I gave him some info as far as what that guitar was and wasn't used on (Dickey used it on the Fillmore album and part of EAP). Sounded like a cool guy, gave me a ton of pics as well.

And on the subject of Jim's pickups, they are great. I am a goodwood man myself, but might try Darkbursts in my next guitar.

Jim Wagner Pickups
07-30-2005, 09:07 PM
Originally posted by peachead1071
Sure thing. I have spent lots of time delving into the history of all things Duane, and like to pass on what I know at every opportunity.

By the way Jim, I think I've talked to your friend in Germany. . I gave him some info as far as what that guitar was and wasn't used on (Dickey used it on the Fillmore album and part of EAP). Sounded like a cool guy, gave me a ton of pics as well.

And on the subject of Jim's pickups, they are great. I am a goodwood man myself, but might try Darkbursts in my next guitar.


Yeah, he is a really cool guy, very knowledgable himself. I got some of those pix, and am waiting on a CD full of them.
Guys like you need to write books. Thought about it?
Yep, BEAUTIFUL Bro!:dude

peachead1071
07-31-2005, 03:33 PM
Originally posted by WCR
Y
Guys like you need to write books. Thought about it?



I've given it some thought, but the problem is I got most of my info second hand, and didn't keep track of all the names. So in reality, even though I know I have the right story, there's no way to prove it.

KHK
08-06-2005, 04:00 PM
Originally posted by peachead1071
You are right up to when you get to the part about 'Hotlanta, the Tobacco burst.

I'll itemize the errors

5. Duane very rarely switched guitars during a show. He wouldn't have one guitar tuned open and another tuned standard, he would retune. You can hear it on most recordings He used the SG when he felt like it, he used the LP when he felt like it.


On "One Way Out", it is the darkburst, as this was recorded at the Fillmore East closing in June '71 (the very first night he owned the darkburst, it was delivered to him by Linhof that afternoon as Duane hung out with J. Geils, who was also on the bill that night along with The Beach Boys, Country Joe, Edgar Winter, Mountain, Albert King, The incredible String Band, and C-Train)

My memory is going but I think that my recollection on a couple of your points is pretty clear. I was at the Saturday June 26 Fillmore show and he definately tuned the SG open and used it when he exclusively played slide (Statesboro, Done Somebody wrong, etc.). He didn't use the SG at all if he wasn't playing slide. You could easily see what he was doing...I think we were in row 15 or so. Consequently, the guitar player in my band went out and bought an SG and tuned it open for those "open tuning" Allman numbers. I always felt that the open tuning could be heard on the recordings by listening to the chords that he was able to play.

The LP that he played at that show was a figured top, not a plain top. I can't attest to the finish (Darkburst or Cherry) because of the stage lighting but the figure was evident. My recollection is that it was darker than the typical cherry. I always assumed it was the darkburst. I think it is highly probable that he received the new guitar prior to the start of the closing weekend... Thursday June 24 being the first night.

peachead1071
08-12-2005, 10:39 PM
Originally posted by KHK
My memory is going but I think that my recollection on a couple of your points is pretty clear. I was at the Saturday June 26 Fillmore show and he definately tuned the SG open and used it when he exclusively played slide (Statesboro, Done Somebody wrong, etc.). He didn't use the SG at all if he wasn't playing slide. You could easily see what he was doing...I think we were in row 15 or so. Consequently, the guitar player in my band went out and bought an SG and tuned it open for those "open tuning" Allman numbers. I always felt that the open tuning could be heard on the recordings by listening to the chords that he was able to play.

The LP that he played at that show was a figured top, not a plain top. I can't attest to the finish (Darkburst or Cherry) because of the stage lighting but the figure was evident. My recollection is that it was darker than the typical cherry. I always assumed it was the darkburst. I think it is highly probable that he received the new guitar prior to the start of the closing weekend... Thursday June 24 being the first night.

In most cases, Duane played one guitar all night. He did use open E, but he retuned. There may have been exceptions, but on 95% of the audience tapes, bootlegs, etc I have, and I have a lot of them, you can hear Duane retune from open E to standard after the slide songs are done. He very rarely if ever switched guitars for slide, he retuned.

Now sometimes he would switch guitars at the setbreak for the hell of it. Case in point is the well photographically documented Central Park '71 show. He uses the SG and the Darkburst on the same day in 2 seperate sets. However, he is seen playing both slide and straight on both guitars.

Further examination of my archives reveals pictures dated to the closing Fillmore weekend, with Duane wearing the same shirt (indicating same night) and both the SG and the darkburst. I may be wrong, but I would still say it was a setbreak swap, not a slide swap. Was there a set break that night?

He did use the darkburst the evening you refer to, and he had just gotten it the Wednesday prior to that Saturday.

The cherryburst wasn't a plaintop, but it doesn't have the kind of figure you can see from 15 rows back. The darkburst however, has one of the most fatastic tops in 'burst history.

KHK
08-13-2005, 03:26 AM
Originally posted by peachead1071

Further examination of my archives reveals pictures dated to the closing Fillmore weekend, with Duane wearing the same shirt (indicating same night) and both the SG and the darkburst. I may be wrong, but I would still say it was a setbreak swap, not a slide swap. Was there a set break that night?

He did use the darkburst the evening you refer to, and he had just gotten it the Wednesday prior to that Saturday.



I didn't understand the reference to the shirt. What shirt, what same night?

There may have been 1 set break in the four or five hours that they played but it was definately not a swap at the break . When he played slide in open tuning, he put on the SG...every time. Every other tune and he was wearing the LP. I have talked to the other 3 folks who were with me and we are all 100% certain of this. His slide playing was unique and innovative and a very big deal at the time. Although it is a faded memory now, it was the topic of much discussion by the players who were doing the NY/NJ club circuit. I talked to a few of them who attended the closing shows and they saw the same thing and some incorporated a dedicated slide into their act.


He may have tuned and re-tuned early on but I think it is likely that at some point, he preferred to switch guitars out of convenience and in consideration of the audience. Duane was a pro and a perfectionist... changing guitars takes little time and goes relatively unnoticed by the audience. Tuning to open E before and retuning to standard after a tune takes more time, interferes with the vibe that has been created and is hard to miss.

That being said, the June show was the only time that I saw him so I could be wrong about this being an evolutionary step. It just makes sense to me.

Sound like you have a wealth of info in your archives. Do you have the ability to share it? I for one would be interested.

peachead1071
08-16-2005, 11:18 PM
Send me any question you have, via email, and I will answer it and do my best to back it up. For the rest you'll just have to trust me.

Many of my picture collections (amassed at guitar shows and other places over the years) are now all over the ABB picture section.

The shirt I refer to is the purple peacock thing he wore one Fillmore night, and is present in both SG and Darkburst pictures from the same night.

The latest Duane recording I have where he for sure retunes is from August 71, but it is a radio show and he may have just brought one guitar for that. I'll admit that my post June '71 recordings are sparse, but there aren't too many available anyway.

SPDave
09-03-2005, 06:08 PM
Maybe the answer to this question has already been discussed but here goes anyway. The new BetSet pickups, I assume they go for a Dickey Betts tone, correct? What's the scoop on that particular guitar, & what specific songs did it appear on? Was it also used by either Duane or Dickey on the Eat A Peach CD? I understand that the Darkburst guitar was used on both electric studio cuts as well as one live cut. Was the "BetSet" guitar used by Duane on the other two live cuts, or where does this one fit into the mix? I'd like to get an idea of the tone of the pickups, as well as satisfy the basic curiosity. Thanks fellas.

Jim Wagner Pickups
09-05-2005, 10:43 AM
A friend of mine had that axe for a short time doing reasearch for an article. He is still working on it, so I don't want to say everything he's told me and ace his article, but it was used completely at the "'Live At" , and most of EAP,mainly Blue Sky."
he sent me a TON of pix as well already.
Look familiar?

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a214/WCRPUPS/DickeyBetts106.jpg

(Can't seem to get the image to show....but here's the link)


:D

SPDave
09-06-2005, 03:32 AM
Okay, what magazine should we be looking for, & when?

Jim Wagner Pickups
09-14-2005, 02:49 PM
Sorry about that triple-post. Everytime I try to delete on, another appears ! :p Maybe a mod can fix that?
Anyhow, I use A5's as the standard by which I designed these. I also have available as optional extras some A2s, A3s, A4s, and C8s. I don't use wax, I have a proprietary mixture I use that works a lot better. Kills the squeals (the bad kind), but still allows the coils to resonate with the guitar like they should. Better tone and harmonics that way.
The magazine will be, I believe, Guitar and Bass Magazine.

Jim Wagner Pickups
09-14-2005, 02:49 PM
Please delete

Jim Wagner Pickups
09-14-2005, 02:49 PM
Please delete

papersoul
09-29-2005, 06:38 AM
Originally posted by WCR
Sorry about that triple-post. Everytime I try to delete on, another appears ! :p Maybe a mod can fix that?
Anyhow, I use A5's as the standard by which I designed these. I also have available as optional extras some A2s, A3s, A4s, and C8s. I don't use wax, I have a proprietary mixture I use that works a lot better. Kills the squeals (the bad kind), but still allows the coils to resonate with the guitar like they should. Better tone and harmonics that way.
The magazine will be, I believe, Guitar and Bass Magazine.

I guess you secret recipe is what adds that special something. You can definitely hear it.....

darkbluemurder
09-29-2005, 06:51 AM
Originally posted by WCR
Sorry about that triple-post. Everytime I try to delete on, another appears ! :p Maybe a mod can fix that?
Anyhow, I use A5's as the standard by which I designed these. I also have available as optional extras some A2s, A3s, A4s, and C8s. I don't use wax, I have a proprietary mixture I use that works a lot better. Kills the squeals (the bad kind), but still allows the coils to resonate with the guitar like they should. Better tone and harmonics that way.
The magazine will be, I believe, Guitar and Bass Magazine.

Actually, there was a PAF shoot-out in the German Guitar & Bass Magazine where they tested 19 different PAF type pickups in a Gibson Les Paul Historic Collection through a Marshall handwired 18 Watt combo. Of the WCR product line they tested the Crossroads, Goodwoods, Darkbursts and Fillmores, all with good to very good results. Unfortunately the test is in German language only. The contenders came from Gibson, Seymour Duncan, DiMarzio, Häussel, Fralin and two perhaps internationally lesser known German winders, Dommenget and Kloppmann. They also put soundfiles on their website. However, when I checked them they all sounded the same to me. I have not, however, seen a report or interview which only dealt with WCR.
Personally I would have liked if they had also tested Voodoo, Tom Holmes, Wolfetone, Rolph and Timbuckers as well.

kealiikai
10-01-2005, 11:27 AM
Great thread. Lot`s of info here. I was at first thinking about getting the Herc set but when I heard a few other clips I found that I like the Goodwood set. I pretty much play anything from jazz, blues, clean-chords, but really like the heavy riffs and leads. Is there any WCR set that is a perfect match for the Mesa Rectifier amps and a McNaught SC?
BTW here are the clips if interested:
http://wcrclips.com/clips/

crossroader
10-03-2005, 12:26 PM
Thought I'd chime in as well....
I have a pair of WCR Darkburst PAFs in a R9 Les Paul that I've had for about a year now and the tone is purely to die for! Fat, smooth and warm is how I believe one guy put it and that's a pretty fair description. But you really have to hear these pickups to really understand how great they are. Of course these are my personal opinions and observations.

In a side by side comparison with a friend's original 1959 Les Paul with original PAFs, played through a 50 watt Marshall w/ 4x12" cab, my R9 Les Paul with Darkbursts sounded every bit as good...if not better than the original 1959. They sound incredibly natural and woody like the old original late '50s PAFs. Needless to say, I was floored to hear this comparison!

I swapped out the stock Gibson Burstbuckers for the Darkbursts and it was like night and day! I also swapped out the useless stock caps and pots with the premium RS kit. For lack of a better term, in comparison to the WCR Darkburst pickups, the Burstbuckers sounded like "mush". My rule of thumb for great Les Paul tone is early ZZ Top and these pickups absolutely nail that tone! Total vintage PAF tone, with superb articulation and string/note definition....along with thick and syrupy leads! I just friggin LOVE these pickups! Not to mention that Jim is about the coolest cat you could ever hope to do business with! The Darks are the second set of pickups that Jim made for me and I feel blessed to have the great fortune of owning and experiencing his outstanding work!

With Jim's pickups, my Les Pauls sound every bit as awesome as all the great Les Paul tones that we all love to listen to. In all honesty, I truly couldn't ask for a better tone.

I recently purchased a new Page Les Paul and will be calling on Mr. Wagner for his assistance in the near future. What a comfort to know that he's there making such awesome pickups!

The guy is a true artist in every sense of the term! :dude

(Mark N. from Mass.)

darkbluemurder
10-04-2005, 02:02 AM
Originally posted by darkbluemurder
Scott,

I agree to most of the response but I feel equally about PRS's #7 pickups. No wonder there are so many good comments from people who installed WCRs in a Single Cut.

This is an update to my comment above. I tried the #7s in a bright sounding Les Paul just to see what they sound like. The first impression was that they are incredibly fat but the longer I played the more nasal the sound appeared to me. In short: these sound not remotely like PAF-type pickups. I have a Darkburst bridge in the bridge position of my Single Cut and the more I play it the more I like it. Sounds a lot more open and reacts much better to picking dynamics.

I am not about to put PRS down. I think their guitars are great workhorses, beautifully built and they stay in tune better than any Les Paul I've played. It's just that I do not like some of their pickup models (this would include the Dragon II and the #7). I think the HFS and the McCartys are OK. Unless I go WCR in the Les Paul I could very well live with the McCarty Treble that was in there before.

Souled Out
10-04-2005, 04:21 AM
I just put Goodwoods on my Historic LP. I used the RS 500 pots also. I can't believe what I am hearing. I don't have the correct words to describe. I recently had Bob Burt build me a vertical cab and installed some very old Altec 417B's I bought off a gear page member. I just keep staring a cabinet because I am stunned by some of the tones coming out of it. I am screwed now because it is very aparent that I need to swap out most of my PRS guitars with some sort of Jims pick up until I have them all. I also use Snake Oil Strings, what a match! I love The Gear Page, would have never found about this stuff otherwise. :dude

SPDave
12-05-2005, 02:00 AM
Here's a question, I read somewhere that Slash gave Joe Perry a Les Paul that used to belong to Perry, as a birthday present. It was mentioned that the guitar had once belonged to Duane. Any insights on this? Could this be the Darkburst? Am I totally misinformed?

ccoker
12-19-2005, 10:31 AM
hmm
interesting reading, peaked my interest

ok.. I have a PRS CE22, wide fat neck, bolt on, solid body
have an Anderson H2 in the bridge, I tried all the pickups I could years ago.. most of the duncans

I like a slightly hotter than PAF but not as much as a JB which sounds garbled to me.. I want it FAT with great bottom end, smooth mids and clear open highs with no spikey treble response
I want it ballsy and punchy yet smooth and singing and want it to clean up to get a lightly overdriven tone, I ride the volume on the guitar a LOT


the H2 had a lot more lowend than any of the duncans I tried, 57, pearly gates, custom custom, JB, etc.. etc..

here's the info on Tom Anderson pickups
http://www.andersonguitars.com/tonelibpickup.cfm

it doesn't list the output

recommendations?
the goodwood sounds like the ticket for the bridge

for the neck it's a deep dishII
I like it, but better is well, always better :)

papersoul
12-19-2005, 01:44 PM
The Goodwood is the $&%@!! Love that pickups and all of Jim's p'ups.

Craig Walker
12-22-2005, 04:49 PM
I currently have Darkbursts in my McCarty BLE, but I'm thinking about swapping them over to my R8 Lester.

Which WCR would any of you recommend for the BLE, to compliment the LP? [it has the coiltap/split]

That would give me a LP w/ the Darkbursts, the BLE with ?, and an EJ strat [my tonal pallette]

papersoul
12-22-2005, 07:10 PM
I find the Fillmores perfect for the McCarty!

aaronz28
12-22-2005, 07:51 PM
Either the Fillmores or the GOodwoods... the darkbursts or the crossroads are a bit bright and the McCarty is alreaddy a "Light-thin" er sounding than the les paul.... so i'd go with either Fillmores (uncovered) or Goodwoods (covered)

good luck

ysidron
06-23-2006, 01:20 AM
Ok, so its 12am and I just go finished Installing my Darkburst into my Tokai PRS copy.. It took me 3 weeks to get my premium prs electronics kit from RS guitar works so I have had this humbucker staring at me for 2 weeks...ok.. ok.. I just plugged in and all I can say is ***** ***** ********* ok I didnt sa that but, I have never hear a sound so sweet compared to the burstbuckers on my LP standard its crystal clear.. way to go Jim.. when can I get another set..

Festus
06-27-2006, 02:04 PM
I've had a two of the Darkburst/Crossroads combos in a couple of guitars for a while now. I even swapped a set out for comparison with some other high end pickups, and put the WCRs back in. The DB/CR flat out rock, funk, jazz, whatever it is that you need to do.

I also tried the Goodwood/Darkburst combo in a Hamer Artist, but they seemed to have too much output (for my taste), and were a bit dark. Was going to sell them, but decided to try the GW/DB combo in an Ibanez s470. Perfect fit! That guitar now sounds quite good. Guess I'll keep the s470 a while as well.

You can bet there will be more WCR pickups in my future! :AOK

that_brianm_guy
07-01-2006, 03:37 PM
I just put a Darkburst neck into my McCarty.

WOW


just.. WOW


I just ordered a Goodwood for the bridge.

Jim, these pickups are amazing. Thank you!


/brian

crossroader
07-11-2006, 06:25 PM
I have a set of WCR Darkbursts in my 04-R9 Les Paul and they sound awesome! I played it through a vintage late '60s Marshall side by side with an original late '50s Les Paul Burst and my LP with the Wagners sounded pretty darn close, if not exactly as great as the original late '50s Les Paul. The owner of the original burst was pretty surprised that my R9 with the Wagners sounded so darn good....he had made a face and I could tell that he was hating to admit what he was actually hearing. Needless to say, I was pretty awestruck by what I was hearing....my R9 sounding every bit as great as an original burst! When it comes to PAF copies....Wagner's are tops in my book. Jim's pickups really are that good and Jim is a super guy to deal with too!

JDW3
07-11-2006, 09:48 PM
Good playing, but I can't see how anyone can tell what the actual pickup sounds like, as there's so much gain. What can you compare it to?

The more gain, the more every guitar sounds the same, and even worse for pickups.

Roach
07-18-2006, 07:57 PM
I pile on this thread...I got a Crossroads Neck/Darkburst Bridge from Jim a couple of months ago. Put them in my LP R7 and they're just what I was looking for. I've tried Duncan Antiquities, Voodoo PAFs, Burstbucker Pros and Burstbucker 1/2 set. I like my Wagner's best!

The volume from the neck and bridge are very balanced...seems the Darkburst bridge is a bit hotter and keeps up with the neck. The sound is very open and full with great note seperation (was already there in the guitar, but the pickups really brought that quality out). My LP is a bit for "trebly" that most I've played (LPs usually are too dark for me, but this one's perfect) and the pickups translate that charcteristic well. Really translates the guitars natural sound well...not sure I could put it any better. They make a good guitar sound really good. Far better than the stock burstbuckers.

What amazing me is the bridge pickup. I've never liked the bridge pickup in any guitar all that much and stuck with the neck. But with this bridge Pup, the sound is just what I always wanted but never heard. The neck is as nice as I expected it to be.

I should add that Jim was great to work with and his advice was invaluable in finding the right pickups for this guitar.

Wagner's are my humbucker of choice...thanks Jim!

GuitarGuy510
07-19-2006, 07:23 AM
I too like Wagner pickups a lot, I would love to check out the Goodwoods or Darkburst pickups but I lack the funds for them right now. I had a set of the Hercs in an Ibanez for a while until a friend of mine in Jersey decided he HAD to have it and I really wanted money towards a PRS so I sold it. The Hercs were very nice indeed! :) I wanted to put Fillmores in my PRS CE-24 but was on a budget for pickups so I had my buddy Mick @ Manlius pickups wind me a custom set with similar specs to the Fillmore Set and they sound AWESOME. Not sure what else extra he did (or if Jim is sharing his magic mojo dust with Mick? :p) but they came out sounding great in there! I love them! I bought a different set of Manlius customs for my Thorn, but if they don't agree with me as well as the first set did, I might be going with Darkbursts or Goodwoods in there! ;)

daneswede1
07-29-2006, 06:18 AM
I have been playing Marshall and Les Paul for the past 20 years. I now have a couple PRS Singlecuts in the mix AND A prs ROSEWOOD 513. I like the #6 and #7 P/UPS that PRS use for they sound clear and have a nice balanced sound for me in the singlecuts

For my Marshalls I A/BY a 1977 Marshall NMV 100 Superlead and a 1981 Marshall JCM800 2203 Master Volume. I use a Hot British 12ax7 for the 77' for gain and a couple of diff. Analogman pedals for various gain situations on the 81' JCM800.

OK, So here I am with a setup of OLD Dimarzio p/ups in my 71 Paul. I am having a complete REFRET done this week by Jim Hamiltone (For those not in the know, he built Stevie Ray Vaughn and BIlly GIbbons of ZZ Top's many customized guitars and did various tech work for them both) . Good guy as well. I wanted to go with the DARKBURST SET for my 71 Les paul and am wondering if anyone has advice on this. Maybe I should ?Perhaps mix and match and go with a goodwood for the neck. I really like the way the Darkburst bridge p/up takes to a high gain situation i.e Mark abramhensen clip with "eruption" VERY CLEAR and a beautiful picking attack. Nice playing to. GReat stuff Jim

Jim Henderson
Lead Guitar Instruction-Tone Consultant-Gear Sales
ARCMUSIC OF BOCA
561 470 6875

Fuzzdawg
07-29-2006, 11:31 AM
i just put a darkburst in the bridge position of my strat. sound great.

RockNote
09-02-2006, 01:35 PM
I am told that the Yamaha SA2200 semi hollow has shallower pickup cavities than those in a Gibson. Would it be possible to acquire a set of WCR pickups customized for the SA2200, I wonder?

I am also looking to buy a new Yamaha SG2000; in fact, I have already placed an order for it a couple of months ago. I don't know if the cavities in the SG2000 differ from the size of Gibson's too, but I suspect they might. I believe DarkBursts will suit the SG2000 to cover my rock-to-metal needs: Gary Moore, ZZ Top, Van Halen, Judas Priest, etc.

But I am much more in doubt about which WCR pickups to put in my SA2200. What has really sold me on the WCR pickups is Anthony's Steele's bridge demo for the Goodwoods, http://www.wcrclips.com/clips/GW%20Bridge2.mp3 Checking Anthony Steele's web site, I notice that he has Crossroads in his ES-335. I do like the clips on the WCR web site for the Crossroads, but the trouble is the guitar used is an LP/SG, which means I don't know what they sound like in an ES-335 style guitar such as my SA2200.

Thanks for your advice
Anders

X-Man
10-11-2006, 11:12 AM
I just picked up a special edition Fender Deluxe Strat with a mahagony body. It has the SC-1 singles in the neck and middle position with a Lawrence/Fender designed bridge humbucker. This pickup sounds good but I think I can do better. I've heard Jim's advice on what he would recommend but would like some feedback from you guys on what would be a WCR humbucker in this position. I mostly play rock and blues. Thanks!

X-Man
10-12-2006, 09:52 AM
bump

Festus
10-12-2006, 12:19 PM
What did Jim say? His advice is right on 99.999999% of the time.

Not sure how much output the SC-1 pickups have, but a Crossroads bridge would probably be a good match for most single coils - maybe even a Crossroads neck is they're pretty low output.

Phineas
10-12-2006, 01:21 PM
I got a crossroads/darkburst combo for my sg and it's killer sounding. the tone knobs actually are responsive now at any setting. great string to string clarity too. i can get classic on the neck to killer gain tones on the bridge that cut and are super articulate at any gain setting. Then again i have a high gain orange rockerverb. dunno how it would sound w. a lesser gain amp for heavier styles.

For my LP i'm thinking fillmores.

Still wondering about those wolfetones. My friend is really bent around the Bartolinis. Who here can compare these?

X-Man
10-12-2006, 02:53 PM
What did Jim say? His advice is right on 99.999999% of the time.

Not sure how much output the SC-1 pickups have, but a Crossroads bridge would probably be a good match for most single coils - maybe even a Crossroads neck is they're pretty low output.

Garbanzoman: Jim recommended the Fillmore's but I think the Darkbursts might be a good match for my situation. The clips of the Darkburst in a strat sound pretty good on his website. Then again, that's a pretty good player making it happen. Any thoughts?

Phineas
10-16-2006, 08:10 AM
the DB's are pretty bright IMO.

More_Cowbell!!
01-17-2007, 07:26 AM
Hi;
Heard the sound clips,Very Cool,I was wondering if anyone has tried these in an Epi or Gibson Flying V? I'm DEF considering them for my Epi '58,:RoCkIn THANKS!
Bob

RGB
01-17-2007, 11:03 AM
Just put a set of Fillmores in my Hamer Special FM. I chose them because they were a little hotter and many times at shows I have to run my Reinhardt Titan a little quieter than I would like. I was hoping that hitting the front end a little harder would help in these situations. I have to admit that the stock pups, (59/JB) didn't really sound that bad to me, but the Fillmores are really amazing and have turned this sweet axe into my ideal bucker machine!....and this is with the stock Hamer electronics which sound great as well.

I decided to go with an RS kit because I'm not crazy about the taper on the Hamer pots and will do this install this weekend, but the Fillmores clean up so well, even with the stock pots and cap that it's hard to imagine that I will hear a huge difference. I can really get the power section cranking on the Titan and control it totally with the Special. No loss of highs even at the lowest volume settings! I actually hate to stick anything between the Special and the Titan, but pedals are a necessary evil in a power trio, cover band type situation, I guess.

Thank you Jim, you've made my millenium!!:D


....any P90's in the works?

Craig Walker
06-25-2007, 07:27 AM
Just put a set in my R8. They kill.

Very happy with the tones I'm getting. [the bridge is a tad bright, but a small roll off on the tone control and I'm there]

Cary Chilton
06-25-2007, 08:10 AM
I have WCR's single coil set and they are the best single coils I have played to date!

jcshirke
06-30-2007, 09:53 PM
Which WCRs would be the best choice for getting these tones, both clean and lead:

http://download.yousendit.com/452425910073BD7E

I've talked to Jim and got his opinion, but I wanted to hear from other users also. I'll be putting the pickups in a Heritage 535. Pics of that guitar here, for the curious:

http://www.gbase.com/Stores/Gear/GearDetails.aspx?Item=1623550


Thanks for the help.

ahermida
07-01-2007, 07:50 AM
I have the Crossroads on a 90's Les Paul Standard and the single coils on a Fender Stratocaster made in Japan (in the 80's). I do get many visitors that use both guitars to test my pedals and many of them have wanted to buy my guitars. I've told this to Jim every time it happens. The Les Paul and the Strat haves gone through many sets of pickups of other brands and now I'm done with my search...needless to say I'm NOT parting with them. The pickups made all the difference in the world.

Alf

P.S. Jim...is that what you told me to write? just kidding !!!!!

brianf
07-01-2007, 01:50 PM
Wags makes great product!!!! I have Fillmores in my R7 and they were just so much livelier than the stock pups.

The great thing dealing with WCR is you can e mail or call Jim and he will help you nail down the tone you are looking for.


brianf

Gary Ladd
05-03-2008, 08:34 PM
*BUMP* to show how great TGP used to be! ;)

RGB
05-03-2008, 09:18 PM
TGP still rocks! .....and it's kinda cool to see my post from a year ago and that I still have the love affair going on with my Fillmores!

...and the RS kit was also a huge success!:D

centsmin
05-03-2008, 09:19 PM
I've got Crossroads in one of my R8'. Totally awsome! Warm and fat, but will killer harmonics and no feedback. I'm going to put Darkbursts in my other R8 get some of Jim's new pots and caps too!

brianf
05-04-2008, 09:30 AM
I'll add again that this guy does not make a single PUP. I use Fillmores in my LP R7 but have tried Godwoods and Crossroads and they each have their own special flavour to them!!!!!

Jim you are the best man!!!!!!!!


brianf

papersoul
05-04-2008, 10:27 AM
If you like the Fillmores, try the Motor City Torques. I find them similar only fatter and better balanced.

Lucidology
10-25-2008, 03:08 AM
Certainly sounds like a great pickup this Darkburst ...

GuitarsFromMars
10-25-2008, 03:41 AM
Certainly sounds like a great pickup this Darkburst ...

I have it in the neck position of my Les Paul,Joseph...very flutey.

devbro
10-26-2008, 01:46 PM
I've got a pair in my 94 Classic LP and they scream. Anyone have an opinion on the Godwood vs. Darkburst? I'm thinking of trying some.

srp1951
11-20-2008, 11:39 PM
I recently bought a set of Darkbursts and couldn't be more impressed. The pickups are musical and have a lot of character. Great for blues and rock.

Jim Wagner also is a great guy to work with. He answers emails right away and is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to tone. After trading four emails with him to narrow down my choice, I placed an order and had the pickups sitting in my mailbox two days later -- two days later! He must not sleep.

Everyone who does their research typically considers Fralin's, Lollar's and Wagner's among their finalists. They all have their own mojo but Jim puts a ton of passion into his work and it shows. The workmanship is magnificient.

You can't go wrong with the Darkbursts if you want a slightly hotter PAF tone. Jim's website has some very good sound clips of his various offerings, so it's pretty easy to find the tone you're looking for (recognizing that crappy computer speakers won't do the pickups justice).

Do yourself a favor and put Wagner pickups in the hunt.

Iceman8.6
02-21-2009, 03:10 PM
Lots of people seem to like the DarkBurst in Lester's but has anyone tried them in a Hamer Studio Custom?? Its got the stock 59/JB set up which sounds OK but reading thru this long but interesting thread has me wondering if a CrossRoads/DakBurst setup would be the ticket. Great thread!

roknfnrol
06-14-2009, 04:18 PM
I have some Crossroads on the way for my R8; I can't wait. This is a great thread, very informative:

"Crossroads are more for early Clapton, Page, Betts, Skynrd type tones. Darkbursts are a slightly over wound version of them.
Here is a comparison numbers-wise:
Crossroads-- 7.8, 8.2
DarkBursts-- 8.3, 8.7
Goodwoods-- 8.5, 9.5
Fillmores-- 11, 13.5
HERCs-- 13.5, 17.5
Jim"

bmenary
01-02-2010, 05:19 PM
I am blown away with the old EVH sound I am getting from my Darkburst- I just ordered another one to drop in my Musicman EVH- Man- they just ROCK

chillytc
06-10-2011, 09:03 PM
Apologies for reviving an old, old thread but I just installed a pair of "modded" Darkbursts into my Collings 290 with humbuckers and wanted to share my reaction. I sent Jim an email describing what I was looking for and he recommended these. Apparently, relative to the regular Darkbursts, the neck p/u is slightly underwound and the bridge p/u is overwound - he said this is what Joe Bonamassa uses.

So this guitar had Lollar Imperials in it and those pickups are awesome but I found them a bit too polite for what I wanted from this particular guitar. I wanted something more ballsy. I still have a pair of Lollars in a Collings I-35 and those aren't going anywhere - they sound perfect in that instrument but in the all mahogany solid-body 290 I wanted something a little meaner.

And . . . the Darkbursts are great and pretty much exactly what I was looking for. Honestly, I can't say they are better than the Lollars, just more what I wanted for this instrument.

Relative to the Lollars, the Darkbursts are thicker and more compressed but still have clarity up top. It's a fatter, smoother tone and it works great with gain while still giving a good clean tone. I highly recommend these pickups for anyone looking for PAF-style tone that still has dynamics and clarity but who wants to RAWK!

Zero G
06-10-2011, 09:07 PM
Apologies for reviving an old, old thread but I just installed a pair of "modded" Darkbursts into my Collings 290 with humbuckers and wanted to share my reaction. I sent Jim an email describing what I was looking for and he recommended these. Apparently, relative to the regular Darkbursts, the neck p/u is slightly underwound and the bridge p/u is overwound - he said this is what Joe Bonamassa uses.

So this guitar had Lollar Imperials in it and those pickups are awesome but I found them a bit too polite for what I wanted from this particular guitar. I wanted something more ballsy. I still have a pair of Lollars in a Collings I-35 and those aren't going anywhere - they sound perfect in that instrument but in the all mahogany solid-body 290 I wanted something a little meaner.

And . . . the Darkbursts are great and pretty much exactly what I was looking for. Honestly, I can't say they are better than the Lollars, just more what I wanted for this instrument.

Relative to the Lollars, the Darkbursts are thicker and more compressed but still have clarity up top. It's a fatter, smoother tone and it works great with gain while still giving a good clean tone. I highly recommend these pickups for anyone looking for PAF-style tone that still has dynamics and clarity but who wants to RAWK!

Cool, thanks for the review. I've always been curious about these pups and I love Bonamassa's tones.