Duncan Little 59 - Not digging it... Remedy?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by infiniteposse, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. infiniteposse

    infiniteposse Member

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    Hi all-

    I've been working on a partscaster tele with a HB in the neck and I've been looking for a suitable partner for the bridge pickup. After reading tons of horror stories about mating HB's and Single-coils, I decided I'd check out some kind of stacked single-coil sized pup. I did some reading and this pickup got pretty decent marks.

    I grabbed one from GC to check it out and got it installed late last night. I'm underwhelmed. It sounds sort of lifeless to my ears and a little sterile - sort of 2 dimensional, like it was imitating what a good pickup should sound like. The neck HB is a 70's Gibson HB, probably a Tim-bucker. It sounds big and round, warm and articulate and also killer through an amp clean. The Little 59 had to have some grit to sound decent at all.

    I used 500k pots in the guitar and a .047 ceramic disc cap and the guitar's using a 3-way switch. The Gibson HB has 2 wires total, so I can't split it. Listening to the Duncan, I don't think it'll be worth the effort to setup coil splitting...

    FYI, I tried the Parts-tele through my Maz 18 2x10, Hayseed 30, Gibson Falcon and my Carr Mercury, just to make sure it wasn't completely amp dependent.

    Is anyone loving this pickup? Is there anything config-wise I could try to get a better sound out of it or am I SOL?

    Any thoughts appreciated.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. erksin

    erksin Member

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  3. rickenbackerkid

    rickenbackerkid Member

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    I just installed one, and found the same. Without distortion, its very lifeless and dull, but with some drive it actually sounds quite good.
    I brought it to try out using a HB guitar, as I'm a single coil guy, but I'm not really covinced.
     
  4. PosterBoy

    PosterBoy Member

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    I hated it in my Tele, I got Bareknuckle piledrivers put in and am very happy now.
     
  5. JUSTJOB

    JUSTJOB Member

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    Perhaps a Kinman, or Tele SCN bridge pickup would be great in the bridge. Both have decent clean tones and handle OD very well.
    Best Regards!
     
  6. infiniteposse

    infiniteposse Member

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    Mike, you read my mind. I actually decided to order a Super 90 this morning after reading a few threads on the TDPRI. It seems like a great pickup from all reports and I kind of want this guitar to be nice and aggressive.

    Thanks for all of the feedback folks!
     
  7. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Do you know MartynCrew from there? He's an old e-buddy of mine and I remember him raving about the Super 90 in an Esquire of his.

    The HD pickups I've tried are all slightly aggressive, but clean up really nicely when you roll 'em back - I love that about them.
     
  8. jpagey

    jpagey Supporting Member

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    I tried the 'lil 59 in the bridge of my strat and didn't like it...to weak. I put in the jb jr., which sounds more like a full size '59 and less like the full size jb-and that was a good thing to my ears. Does SD make a jb jr. for teles?
     
  9. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    You are SOL. Duncan should be embarassed to have his name on that. The HD Super 90 is in fact bad ass---but it is not humbucking. If you want that tone and output (easily keep up with a humbucker) but without any noise, get a Dimarzio Virtual Vintage Hot T. Highly recommended.
     
  10. infiniteposse

    infiniteposse Member

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    Yeah... I've kind of been underwhelmed by Duncan's for most of my guitar playing life, but a few folks thought these sounded good... I'm sort of a boutique pickup snob these days though and this thing just doesn't cut it. Great pickups are a great investment. And ironically, the HD is the same price as the Duncan, so no love lost.

    The fun part of all of this will be trying to return the Duncan to GC with their 30 day guarantee. Before buying I asked if pickups were included. The sales dude was perplexed and then asked and said, "yes, but it can't look like you soldered or anything." I replied there wasn't anyway around soldering, but I could clean things up after I was done and it'd look like new. We'll see how that works out:)
     
  11. ptdesign

    ptdesign Handmade sonic art

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    I have LOVED the Duncan Hot Tele Stack for 15 years and have found nothing to replace it. The F**k Face setting demo on my site was recorded with it in a 50's tele and you can hear the power twang through the fuzz. The lack of noise is only a bonus.
     
  12. fendergeek

    fendergeek Member

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    +1 on the Duncan Hot Tele Stack.
     
  13. Bucksears

    Bucksears Silver Supporting Member

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    +1 on the DiMarzio Virtual Hot T bridge.

    I've had the stock MIM pickups, Duncan Quarter Pound bridge, DiMarzio Twang Kings (favorite true single coil for Tele), Fender Delta Tones, Fender SCN's, then finally DiMarzio Area T (neck) and Virtual Hot T (bridge). The Hot T doesn't have the 'snap' of other single coils, but it can twang a little if played right. It DOES have the volume and muscle of a humbucker, yet retains that single-coil character; I've described it as a cross between a P90 and a Tele single coil, but with the treble rolled off a bit.
    I miss the brightness of a traditional Tele bridge a little, but not enough to give up the push that the Hot T has with distortion pedals and amps.
     
  14. 1973Marshall

    1973Marshall Member

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    +1 as well BUT I thought you wanted an HB? If not, Virtual HOT T is gorgeous!

    The Chopper, and Cruiser might fit the bill?
     
  15. Bucksears

    Bucksears Silver Supporting Member

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    The Virtual Hot T is hum-cancelling, though.
     

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