Advice on thickening up the bridge pickup of a 335

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by William Braddell, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. William Braddell

    William Braddell Member

    Messages:
    2,834
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2012
    Location:
    New Zealand
    I have a 2007 335 with 57 classics that is my favourite electric I have ever owned. Last year, I got a 68' reissue Les Paul Custom which also has 57s (having Marshallheads wound for it right now) which I also really like.

    The 335 definitely has the better neck pickup clean tone of the two guitars and the only thing preventing me from making it my number one in a gigging band (working on getting one together right now) is that the bridge pickup is sounding a little wimpy on overdrive whereas the Les Paul excels in that area sounding much thicker and more aggressive.

    I'm going to try raising the bridge pup of the 335 but if that doesn't work, I'm wondering what you guys would recommend as a potential replacement pup? Hell, I may end up going for a Marshallhead if they work out well in the Les Paul but I'd like to hear your thoughts anyway.
     
  2. Tim Plains

    Tim Plains Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,011
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Location:
    ON
    Curious as you why you didn't raise the bridge before typing all that out?

    Wolfe is a great winder. I've owned three of his sets. You can also just Google "best PAF" because there are countless threads on this subject and the answers don't really change. Good luck with it.
     
  3. ballynally

    ballynally Member

    Messages:
    1,485
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Gibson 57+. Slightly higher output ( but not that hot) more mids so less thin sounding. More in balance with the neck pup too.
    There are many alternatives, cheaper ones too. Look for 9k and higher for a fuller sound
     
  4. CharlyG

    CharlyG Play It Forward

    Messages:
    7,734
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location:
    West Hills, Ca.
    I'm a Seymour Duncan guy, and I would put any of Seth Lover, Pearly Gates, or Antiquities in the bridge. I put the SD jazz in the neck position, whether it be a Gibson or Epiphone.
     
  5. jamester

    jamester Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,486
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    I agree, and have just done this myself with one of my 335's. On all my others, there's no problem with the bridge 57 Classic, but on this particular one, the bridge was kinda wimpy. So I put in a 57 Classic+, figuring it should give me basically the same sound but more of it. Indeed, it did exactly that. I now have more power and 'balls' in the bridge, but the overall sound is still Gibson. If that's what you're going for, I think it's the right move.
     
  6. illinimax

    illinimax Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,592
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    Try the Xotic EP Drive. Does exactly what you desire.
     
  7. Gearaddict

    Gearaddict Member

    Messages:
    1,431
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Location:
    Lansing, MI
    Clarify "thickening". As in darker or warmer or higher output (volume). If it's volume, easy fix by raising up the pickup. Nothing wrong with your stock 57' pickups imo.
     
  8. William Braddell

    William Braddell Member

    Messages:
    2,834
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2012
    Location:
    New Zealand
    It just doesn't sound very chunky in my opinion. If you play the main riff to Layla on the bridge pickup of the 335 and the Les Paul then they are just worlds apart. I need to get the 335 bridge closer to the sound of the LP.
     
  9. scott520

    scott520 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,812
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2012
    Location:
    Mount Airy NC
    + 1 on the SD Antiquity....I recently discovered this pickup myself and have been kicking myself for not trying it sooner.
     
  10. still.ill

    still.ill Member

    Messages:
    2,932
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    Extremely interesting thread seeing as I have also been comparing my Gibson ES-335 to my Les Paul Studio---- the LP has the more ballsy 498/490r pickups and the 335 has the 57 classics.

    The LP:

    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=1046030&songID=12670736

    The 335:

    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=1046030&songID=12672254

    I expected the guitars to sound different but not this diferrent, but I'm not sure how much i can account due to the construction differences or the pickup difference.
    The LP has that low end thump going for it (mahog model) and the 335 has that honky mid snarl to it, i sorta like both.

    I'm actually trying to get both guitars to sound a little bit more similar without resorting to any pickup changes as well.
     
  11. Sean G

    Sean G Member

    Messages:
    102
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Is A bridge pickup meant to sound chunked?
     
  12. still.ill

    still.ill Member

    Messages:
    2,932
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    a bridge humbucker with distortion and palm muting === chunk
     
  13. merriweather69

    merriweather69 Member

    Messages:
    92
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008

    Agree with the 57 Classic+Bridge and 57 Classic in the neck for a ES-335... My ES-333 has this combo and sounds great...
     
  14. tjmicsak

    tjmicsak Member

    Messages:
    5,576
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Location:
    Webster, NY
    Sounds like you want something a bit more overwound. The neck needs a good vintage wind of about 8 but the bridge will do best with a bit more aggressive wind. I found this out when I swapped out my stock epiphones in a 335 Deluxe with a set of '57 classics. The neck became nice and open with alot more clarity, but the bridge lost the bark it had. When I measured the old bridge pickup I found it was 13.72 ohms. The old neck was 8.4. I'm not sure what the '57 plus measure out to but it would get you close to what you want. I often think about putting that stock bridge back in. While I changed out the set it was the neck I really wanted to take the blanket off of. It likely is not even a bad pickup and from what I know now i would venture to say if I melted a bit of the potting out it would give it back some airiness. I think they are good pickups but are just over-potted. For many years I played a super Strat HSH with a SD '59 in the neck and a JB in the bridge so I may be a bit accustomed to having a vintage wind in the neck and a hotter bridge, but as was said, they do balance very well since the bridge sees so much less string energy.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice