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Favorite medium output bridge humbucker

bettset

Member
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4,247
My favorite medium output HB in a Les Paul is a Gibson 498T. They sound 'just right'.
i have a 498 i think from around 1991-92 that's still in a les paul i use for slide. it is just right.......the mids are in the right place :munch
 
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Jim85IROC

Silver Supporting Member
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2,935
I have Duncan Whole Lotta Humbuckers in my Hamer and I'm loving it. I'm usually on my neck 99% of the time, bit this pickup is changing my mind. It's not as mid heavy as most higher output buckers, but it's got a solid, full low end, and the highs are clear but not thin or harsh.

 

BADHAK

Member
Messages
9,562
My main guitar is a Gibson LP Modern, so I know where you are coming from. My backup is a PRS S2 Custom 24. I actually love the way my LP sounds stock but I did have to upgrade the pickups in my PRS S2.

First I upgraded the wiring harness in the PRS. Then I put in DiMarzio Dark Matter 2 pickups. Once i cranked the volume with a drummer they were too hot and all through rehearsal with the blues band I was turning my volume down trying to get a blues tone but it couldn't happen in that studio. The ceramic DiMarzio pickups were too hot for blues, wrestled with my EQ constantly while rehearsing.

I've been through a few attempts to find a pickup that is soft like Alnico for blues but still hot enough to give me some grit. I am finally happy.... with Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates.

They sound every much like my Gibson Burstbucker Pros but just a little more grit and bluesy/rock grunt.

I'm very precise about what I want to hear from my gear, so I usually find myself "settling" on gear that sounds "good enough". But I can say that these Pearly Gates go beyond "good enough" and well into "AMAZING".

I will wring these out for a few months before I make a final judgement, but I think .... Maybe....(it's hard for me to even admit this)...my PRS with Pearly Gates now sounds as good and sometimes better than my Gibson LP. Give me a few months to finalize that answer. :)
I have BB Pro's in my 02 LP Standard and Pearly Gates in my 06 Faded LP Special. I love the sound of my Standard but there's no doubt the Pearly's are better pickups.
 

ferrinbonn

Member
Messages
1,366
Here are some that I've tried that I'd consider in the medium output ballpark. A lot of the ones mentioned so far in this thread are more in the slightly overwound PAF territory in my opinion.

  • Duncan 59/Custom Hybrid: Really good all around pickup. The mismatched coils give some great harmonics and it splits really well with the hotter Custom coil. I find it to be pretty bright for its output.
  • Duncan Custom: Some might consider this high output but it's not too over the top. It's a really great pickup in my opinion. I used to think ceramic mag pickups sucked but this one changed my mind. Voiced similar to a PAF but it screams. Doesn't have the huge mids and no highs that some really hot pickups have.
  • DiMarzio Air Zone: I didn't think this one was very well rounded. It sounded great with gain but it's really dark. Like when playing clean I thought I had accidentally rolled the tone knob way off. Could be a good choice in a really bright guitar though, especially if you just want to play liquidy lead stuff all the time.
  • Duncan Pegasus: This one is interesting. It's branded as a prog metal pickup but I think it can be a really great all around pickup if you don't mind a more modern tone. I'm not sure how they build it to give it that voice, but it definitely has it. The bass is very tight, and it's very balanced overall. The mids are there and so is the treble, but it doesn't get ice picky at all. It does great with high gain but also sounds good clean.
 

communarchy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
752
Here are some that I've tried that I'd consider in the medium output ballpark. A lot of the ones mentioned so far in this thread are more in the slightly overwound PAF territory in my opinion.

  • Duncan 59/Custom Hybrid: Really good all around pickup. The mismatched coils give some great harmonics and it splits really well with the hotter Custom coil. I find it to be pretty bright for its output.
  • Duncan Custom: Some might consider this high output but it's not too over the top. It's a really great pickup in my opinion. I used to think ceramic mag pickups sucked but this one changed my mind. Voiced similar to a PAF but it screams. Doesn't have the huge mids and no highs that some really hot pickups have.
  • DiMarzio Air Zone: I didn't think this one was very well rounded. It sounded great with gain but it's really dark. Like when playing clean I thought I had accidentally rolled the tone knob way off. Could be a good choice in a really bright guitar though, especially if you just want to play liquidy lead stuff all the time.
  • Duncan Pegasus: This one is interesting. It's branded as a prog metal pickup but I think it can be a really great all around pickup if you don't mind a more modern tone. I'm not sure how they build it to give it that voice, but it definitely has it. The bass is very tight, and it's very balanced overall. The mids are there and so is the treble, but it doesn't get ice picky at all. It does great with high gain but also sounds good clean.
You’ve basically confirmed that I need to go with the Custom/59 hybrid. All that sounds right up my alley and the output is in the right spot too.

I dislike when a pickup sounds great when overdriven but then is too dark when played clean. The JB comes to mind in this case.
 

Gary Ladd

What a wonderful world
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,803
SD 59/Custom Hybrid
11.5dc output with just the right amount of mids .
What's that, a 4.2K + 7.3K mismatch ~ That's only like 59% humbucking :roll

May as well be a single coil.

Pssss....Humcancelling ratio noise increases noticeably from 82% down; Never have understood the attraction to that combo, I remember when it was a fad on SD forum...

My vote is for SD Demon or WCR Goodwood :hiP
 
Last edited:

communarchy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
752
What's that, a 4.2K + 7.3K mismatch ~ That's only like 59% humbucking :roll

May as well be a single coil.

Pssss....Humcancelling ratio noise increases noticeably from 82% down; Never have understood the attraction to that combo, I remember when it was a fad on SD forum...

My vote is for SD Demon or WCR Goodwood :hiP
Screamin Demon has been on my radar as it’s in that range I’m just worried it won’t be fat enough. I do like Lynch’s tone though.
 

Jim85IROC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,935
I have Duncan Whole Lotta Humbuckers in my Hamer and I'm loving it. I'm usually on my neck 99% of the time, bit this pickup is changing my mind. It's not as mid heavy as most higher output buckers, but it's got a solid, full low end, and the highs are clear but not thin or harsh.

I forgot to mention in my original post that the Whole Lotta Humbucker pickups are hotter than their dc resistance would suggest. They're wound with 42awg wire instead of the usual 43awg, so for a given number of winds, the thicker wire will offer lower resistance, so the WLH pickups have about the same number of winds as a typical pickup with about a 10k resistance.
 

Custom50

Member
Messages
8,682
I LOVE the Wolfetone Marshallhead. Thats right around 9K. If you ask Wolfe to overwind it a bit I'm positive he'll oblige.
 

Gary Ladd

What a wonderful world
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,803
Screamin Demon has been on my radar as it’s in that range I’m just worried it won’t be fat enough. I do like Lynch’s tone though.
I like the Demon for fatter toned guitars, but some have replaced the shorter Allen head screws for standard adjustable screws to thicken it up/reduce attack ~ I did this myself with a maple necked/basswood Katana & it definitively made a diff...

I like the Demon best of all SD's bridge pups, it also pairs purrfectly with the Jazz :hiP
 

communarchy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
752
Dimarzio Fortitude
This has quickly become my favorite pup.
I installed it for a friend in his 70s LP silverburst and my jaw dropped. It’s at the top of the list. I also have dibs on that guitar…


I like the Demon for fatter toned guitars, but some have replaced the shorter Allen head screws for standard adjustable screws to thicken it up/reduce attack ~ I did this myself with a maple necked/basswood Katana & it definitively made a diff...

I like the Demon best of all SD's bridge pups, it also pairs purrfectly with the Jazz :hiP
I don’t mind a lot of attack if it maintains clarity. That said I listened to some demos that had a bit too much pick “chirp” for my taste. That’s a good tip though. I’m considering the demon because it was literally the first aftermarket pickup I ever had installed in a guitar. This was over 20 years ago so I have no idea what it sounded like, I just knew my stock epiphone pickups=bad, so I took the store clerks recommendation. It would be interesting to come full circle now being a total tone snob and see what my impression is.

guess I need to consider a Godwood (goodwood?). It keeps coming uphad another WCR that escapes me but I also don’t remember my impression of it. It wasn’t bad that’s for sure. Just no memory of its characteristic.
 

communarchy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
752
I forgot to mention in my original post that the Whole Lotta Humbucker pickups are hotter than their dc resistance would suggest. They're wound with 42awg wire instead of the usual 43awg, so for a given number of winds, the thicker wire will offer lower resistance, so the WLH pickups have about the same number of winds as a typical pickup with about a 10k resistance.
There’s a lot of SD pickups on Amazon right now that I’m tempted to take advantage of their free return policy and just get 4-5 pickups and run through them. I can just wrap the connections and heat shrink without soldering to my quick connect plug and get impressions of each before settling on a set.
 
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…A lot of the ones mentioned so far in this thread are more in the slightly overwound PAF territory in my opinion…
Yes I'd agree. For medium, I like Custom or Custom Custom. Anything in that region of 43AWG 6500 turns per bobbin or whatever it is is probably fine for me.



What's that, a 4.2K + 7.3K mismatch ~ That's only like 59% humbucking :roll

May as well be a single coil.

Pssss....Humcancelling ratio noise increases noticeably from 82% down;…
Well it's not the same wire gauge on each bobbin, so percentage of turns (the important bit in terms of conductors passing through the magnetic field) is not that disparate.

But I haven't had this experience, while acknowledging that obviously you have. I have bigger mismatches than this, and was truly shocked at how good the hum cancellation is. I came into it expecting a big increase in hum, and it simple wasn't so, still much quieter than a single coil. (I mainly use '80s hard rock gain, The-Gain-Formerly-Known-As-High-Gain.)
 

Gclef

Member
Messages
3,515
SD Full Shred set.

Modded for all filister poles and installed in a mahogany rg.

It's not really the pickups though, but the guitar/pickup combo. I didn't like them nearly as much anywhere else. Any pickup sounds better it this guitar than in any other.

It's the one I reach for the most since I completed the swap. I'm so pleased.

The neck parallel and inner coils parallel are very stratty. I like the inner coils more than a strat fwiw.
 






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