Anyone ever use a Duncan Little 59 (Tele)?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by atomheartmother, Sep 18, 2005.


  1. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother Senior Member

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    I'm thinking about putting one of these in my mahogany Tele copy (I don't want to route it and get a new bridge for a humbucker). There will be a Duncan '59 humbucker in the neck later this week.

    Would the Little 59 sound good with the regular 59 in the neck? Would they blend well in the middle?

    Seymour Duncan lists them as being 17K! That seems REALLY hot. Is this true?
     
  2. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    They're not that hot, just "overwound-sounding" - stuffy, compressed, dull, nasal, flat... bad, IMO. One of my least favorite Duncan pickups (either the Tele or Strat version). To me they sound nothing at all like the full-size '59, which is one of my favorites.

    If you want to keep the Tele character but with more punch and power, try a Quarter-Pounder.

    If you do want a humbucker, try the Hot Rails... really. I heard one of these in a mahogany Tele Thinline (MIJ reissue) recently and was amazed how nice it sounded. Not even that overpowering for the stock neck pickup.
     
  3. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    I have. I didn't like it. It didn't have the warmth and definition of the full-size '59 or the sparkle of a good Tele pickup. In trying to be too many things it winds up being neither, IMHO.
     
  4. Johnnytone

    Johnnytone Supporting Member

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    I had one for a short time and liked it at first. Then I got tired of the sound (for the reasons John said) and went with a Duncan Broadcaster. Much better.
     
  5. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    Hands down. the worst pickup I've ever installed or played. Just awful.
     
  6. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother Senior Member

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    No one likes it? I'm not looking for a Tele sound. I want a humbucker in the bridge, but don't want to have to buy a new bridge and route underneath to accomodate for a humbucker. Plus, once I slap a Bigsby on there, a full-sized humbucker won't be an option due to the way the Bigsby bridge plates are made.
     
  7. reachjkh

    reachjkh Member

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    I have a lil 59 in a strat, and I like it as well as any other Duncan I have(my others are Jazz necks and Custom bridges, this is my only 59). However, I'm not terribly picky about every little thing with my rig, and I may not have the ears that some others have. Also, mine is in an ash body so I can't comment on the sound with a mahogany body. It sounds like a Duncan humbucker to me.

    Just wanted to give some kind of good feedback for the lil feller.
     
  8. Phil M

    Phil M Supporting Member

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    I have one in a washburn tele copy. I liked it a lot at first, but eventually it did seem a little darker than I would like. Obviously, it didn't match up well with the stock neck lipstick either. The volumes are way off, even if I bury the Duncan into the bridge.
     
  9. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    Well, that was kinda my point: it doesn't really sound like an even marginally passable humbucker should, to me...most people probably want that bridge hummer for balls, crunch and good definiton but this really has none of that to my ears.

    There's gotta be another option, with all the custom makers out there, I would think...?

    The Harmonic Design Super 90 is a great ballsy P90-ish sounding Tele bridge pickup, but it's not hum-cancelling
     
  10. Bonedance

    Bonedance Member

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    I too had one in my tele for a while. At that time, I did not want traditional snap and twang from the bridge position. I thought it worked pretty well for my needs and matched nicely with the neck Seth Lover. While I agree the Lil 59 sounds nothing like a full size PAF style bucker, it still did an adequate job for what I needed it to do at that time.

    It's just not one of those pickups you go "YEAHHHH!!!" when you hear it.

    IMO, the Dimarzio Tone Zone T is a much better sounding pickup than the lil 59'r for a bridge humbucker......as a matter of fact, a Fast Track or Chopper sound much better that the Lil 59. As always, ymmmv.
     
  11. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    It's a shame they don't do the Lil' Screamin' Demon in a Tele model... now that is a decent pickup. The JB Jr. isn't bad either.

    I'd still go for the Tele Hot Rails personally, if you want a humbucker sound in a single-coil size. It's got the midrange aggressiveness, but it's also far more dynamic and punchy than the Lil'59.
     
  12. AMATOLMAN

    AMATOLMAN Member

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    A Little 59 in a Tele is fantastic! Now if you are playing Iron Maiden then why would you even want a tele? Go buy an Ibanez. I like a les Paul sound but I don’t have $3000 shekels so I modded my tele. You can drop a tele and not worry about the headstock cracking and they don’t weigh a ton. I’m debating about putting some hotrails in a newer tele just for more bite. It all depends what you are looking for. A little 59 isn’t a terrible pickup. I love the thickness and midrange it offers and cleans up nicely when you back off the volume. It cuts thru live like a champ! The Screamin Demon was the worst pickup I ever put in my strat! Didnt work well live. I play vintage amps like Hiwatts and Marshall Superleads. I hated the Screamin Demon pickup. Maybe it sounds good thru a Peavey 5150, but it wasn’t friendly to my rig. Well, you will have to experiment!
     
  13. Ron Kirn

    Ron Kirn Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes..a and I love 'em . . so much so, I gave one to my GrandSon... damn fine sounding guitar..

    rk
     
  14. ducatisteve

    ducatisteve Member

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    I have a Lil 59 in a Strat and it’s okay. Splits pretty great, though!
     
  15. jamester

    jamester Silver Supporting Member

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    I tried the Little 59T twice, and both times my feelings were the same...awful pickup. Harsh mids, with neither the warmth of a humbucker or the spank of a tele bridge pup.

    After the last round I took a chance on the Dimarzio Super Distortion T, love it. Not as hot as its name implies, nice and warm and punchy, balances perfectly with the PAF in the neck. I would take any of the Dimarzio rail buckers over the Little 59T, personally.
     
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  16. paulbearer

    paulbearer Supporting Member

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    I found (through another post) that the key to the little 59 is to work the polepieces.
    I raised the top 3 on one coil, brought down the other 3 on that same coil a bit...
    and raised the bottom 3 on the other coil, raising the top 3 on that one....
    think 'WRHB', sort of.
    What a difference. It really worked to provide a good working clean and dirty platform.
     
  17. macula56

    macula56 Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a set in a Tele that I use in an ABB tribute band and it sounds great for rock/blues tones.
     
  18. PosterBoy

    PosterBoy Member

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    I had one in my tele for a short while it has gathered dust in a drawer for years now. I swapped my pickups for the Bare Knuckle Piledrivers
     
  19. The Birdman

    The Birdman Member

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    I have a 2000 American Deluxe Tele I bought used that someone replaced the Vintage Noiseless in the bridge with a Little 59. It's a good pickup....doesn't quite sound like a classic humbucker, though. It's a decent match with the VN bridge pickup.......a little more raw than a regular Tele bridge pickup.
     
  20. Pat6969

    Pat6969 Supporting Member

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    Take all reviews with a grain of salt. Throwing an SC sized HB into a Tele isn't politically correct to the purist. I like the little bugger, I think it sounds great but I'm a bridge HB guy. Pickups are so personal, ones mans crap is another's gold and vice versa.
     

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