Comparison between '57 Classics and SD 59's?

Phishy4

Member
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455
I've got some '59s in one of my guitars and they're overly bright for my taste (mostly the bridge). I've done a .047 cap in the bridge and it didn't really help much. How do Gibson 57 Classics compare with the 59's? I would assume they're smoother on the high end as (I think) they're Alnico II mags.
 

bluesjuke

Disrespected Elder
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24,137
Can't tell you about the '59's but yes the '57's are smooth on the top end.

My favorite Gibson Humbuckers and that is one of the reasons why.
 

Loni Specter

Member
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2,462
I'm not a fan of the '57s, as I have a Gibson SG '61 reissue that had them. The bridge was just too thin and cheap sounding. I replaced it with a Lollar low-wind Imperial and noe that SG sounds fine.
The older Duncan '59 was a favorite of mine before there were newer pups being custom wound, but I have abandoned them lately.
 

Phishy4

Member
Messages
455
I've heard this is a possibility as well. How hard is it to actually swap magnets around? I've seen alot of those guys over on the Duncan forums talking about it, but I'm not exactly good with a soldering iron.

I put an A2 magnet in a 59 and it sounded MUCH better.
The other question is that would it be an odd combo to keep my '59 in the neck and maybe go to an SD Alnico Pro II or 57 in the bridge? I honestly have never really gotten into the the whole magnet side of pickups, I guess I dont know if I'd notice a huge difference in output or what.
 
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TattooedCarrot

Silver Supporting Member
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4,103
I love 57's. One of my favorites.

Compared to 59's you will find the 59 has a bigger rounder bottom and more pronounced highs while the 57 has more of a low-mid aggressiveness going on.
 

shark_bite

Member
Messages
5,189
Assuming the guitar in question is a Heritage 535? I'd yank 'em. Too bright and they compress weird. That's what I did in mine; replaced them with a set of Antiquities. You'll be hard-pressed to find a better sounding guitar than that guitar. If I played it more I would have kept it, but it wasn't a Tele so now my friend (and guitar tech) has it and I'm thrilled I still get to hear the guitar played by a capable musician without me ever having to be in the driver's seat.
 

radiohead

Member
Messages
559
I'm not a fan of the '57s, as I have a Gibson SG '61 reissue that had them. The bridge was just too thin and cheap sounding.
an example of how one pickup could sound bad in one guitar, but real well in another.. i have the 57s in my ES-339, and they just fit that guitar perfectly. i had a habit of swapping pickups in my PRS, as i couldn't find a good match with the korina McCarty, but finally found the WCRs worked nicely with it.. but with the Gibson 339, right out of the case, i found that the 57 Classics were made for this guitar.
 

Johnnytone

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,943
I've heard this is a possibility as well. How hard is it to actually swap magnets around? I've seen alot of those guys over on the Duncan forums talking about it, but I'm not exactly good with a soldering iron.



The other question is that would it be an odd combo to keep my '59 in the neck and maybe go to an SD Alnico Pro II or 57 in the bridge? I honestly have never really gotten into the the whole magnet side of pickups, I guess I dont know if I'd notice a huge difference in output or what.


Swapping is easy. Remove the cover, remove the single piece of black tape that covers the wires/magnet, loosen the 4 screws on the back that hold the bobbins and slide the magnet out. You may have to push it with a screwdriver tip, just be careful you don't get the wires. IIRC the 59 was wax potted so I had to use a little more pressure to get it to slide out. NOTE WHICH WAY THE MAGNET CAME OUT. The new magnet must go in the same way or the pickup will be out of phase. I lay the new magnet on the old one and if it attracts, it is the right way.

That's all there is to it.





 

Phishy4

Member
Messages
455
Excellent pics Johnnytone, I'll keep that in mind.

Assuming the guitar in question is a Heritage 535? I'd yank 'em. Too bright and they compress weird. That's what I did in mine; replaced them with a set of Antiquities. You'll be hard-pressed to find a better sounding guitar than that guitar. If I played it more I would have kept it, but it wasn't a Tele so now my friend (and guitar tech) has it and I'm thrilled I still get to hear the guitar played by a capable musician without me ever having to be in the driver's seat.
Actually they're for my ES-325 which has been routed for Humbuckers, so it's totally hollow underneath the pickups, not sure if that influences the selection or not. I've heard excellent things about Antiquities also.


an example of how one pickup could sound bad in one guitar, but real well in another.. i have the 57s in my ES-339, and they just fit that guitar perfectly. i had a habit of swapping pickups in my PRS, as i couldn't find a good match with the korina McCarty, but finally found the WCRs worked nicely with it.. but with the Gibson 339, right out of the case, i found that the 57 Classics were made for this guitar.
This is good to know because I've got an ES-339 showing up on my doorstep tomorrow!
 

SgtThump

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,888
I'm not a fan of the '57s, as I have a Gibson SG '61 reissue that had them. The bridge was just too thin and cheap sounding. I replaced it with a Lollar low-wind Imperial and noe that SG sounds fine.
The older Duncan '59 was a favorite of mine before there were newer pups being custom wound, but I have abandoned them lately.
The '57 Classics sound SUPERB in my '61 Reissue SG! They were pretty good with the guitar in it's stock form, but they're REALLY killer now that I have an RS kit in there. Awesome pickups!
 

Phishy4

Member
Messages
455
Which RS kit are you using with the 57's? I've been looking at some and from what I can tell (at least the 335 kit) the only difference is the caps between the vintage and reissue.

The '57 Classics sound SUPERB in my '61 Reissue SG! They were pretty good with the guitar in it's stock form, but they're REALLY killer now that I have an RS kit in there. Awesome pickups!
 

SgtThump

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,888
Which RS kit are you using with the 57's? I've been looking at some and from what I can tell (at least the 335 kit) the only difference is the caps between the vintage and reissue.
I'm using the only one they had that was pre-wired for an SG.

http://www.rsguitarworks.net/rsstore/product_info.php?cPath=47_61&products_id=528

I didn't plan on replacing the toggle and jack, but since this was already wired together and I got in on the big sale after Thanksgiving, I went for it. I think I got that kit for under $100.

It was kinda tight getting it all in there prewired like that, but it worked and I'm glad I did it. REAL GLAD.

I always kinda figured the whole "upgrading the pots and caps" thing was a little bit of hype, but not anymore. I put the Dr. Vintage kit in my '58 Reissue Les Paul a while back and the RS kit in this SG and man, I love the upgrade.

I really only wanted these kits for the smoother taper of the volume, but they do improve the overall tone too.
 




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