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Favorite medium output bridge humbucker

communarchy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
752
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.
Yes I noticed that some folks are suggesting pickups that are barely into the 9k range. And that’s fine, but I’m really looking for something in the hot rodded PAF not slightly over wound camp. I get that the MCP 2nd Degree Blackbelt is basically an overwound PAF, so I appreciate the suggestions but I’m starting to lean towards what would be considered hotter than that.

I’m intrigued by the Custom Custom in that it’s an A2 but I always am afraid that A2s wind up being too warm for cleans especially if we are talking high windings. I’m intrigued by a hot A2 though because I have been finding I have become Interested in a softer more blooming attack but still something that retains clarity. Which is why the ‘59/custom hybrid is interesting. It’s not an A2 but it seems to be hot enough that you’ll get some roll off of the highs, but retain clarity.

something I appreciate about the ‘59 has always been it’s immediacy and it’s attack. But it lacks a lot of harmonic complexity and airy swirl (to their credit the Burstbucker Pros seem to have this despite not having the punch I would like). It would seem that the hybrid could potentially do this. But tell me I’m wrong if I’m off base. Or sell me on a custom or custom custom based on what I’m asking for. Basically retaining the harmonic swirl and openness of the BB Pros but giving them some girth and perhaps tempering a bit or the strident highs and thinness.
 
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1,126
…I always am afraid that A2s wind up being too warm for cleans especially if we are talking high windings…
…It would seem that the hybrid could potentially do this. But tell me I’m wrong if I’m off base. Or sell me on a custom or custom custom based on what I’m asking for…
Hmmm, Custom Custom probably unsuitable, likely too warm, its raison d'etre (which is why I like it, so I probably shouldn't recommend anything else). Custom or Custom 5 maybe? The hybrid may well be worth investigating, a foot (bobbin) in both camps.
 

Jim85IROC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,935
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.




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.)
The number of winds is largely irrelevant to low frequency signals, like 60 cycle hum, so having the coils wound differently won't make much difference. I'm generalizing here, but the coil inductance and wire capacitance will determine the frequency and bandwidth (Q) of the coil's resonant peak and the wire resistance will determine the amplitude of the peak. Below that resonant peak, things don't change much, aside from overall amplitude.
 

Weathered

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,658
I'll add another vote for the Duncan 59/Custom. I had one in an SG Standard that was a perfect match. Definitely more than hot-rodded PAF output, and very fair top end compared to some of the more midrange heavy pickups out there.

On the Wolfetone MH front, I have both the standard A5 and an A2 version in 2 different LPs, and they're both fantastic but certainly in the PAF realm. The A2 is a really cool pickup for heavy rock, and it doesn't feel quite as immediate or tight as the A5 version.
 

communarchy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
752
I'll add another vote for the Duncan 59/Custom. I had one in an SG Standard that was a perfect match. Definitely more than hot-rodded PAF output, and very fair top end compared to some of the more midrange heavy pickups out there.

On the Wolfetone MH front, I have both the standard A5 and an A2 version in 2 different LPs, and they're both fantastic but certainly in the PAF realm. The A2 is a really cool pickup for heavy rock, and it doesn't feel quite as immediate or tight as the A5 version.
So I got the ‘59/Custom and a Screamin Demon in and tonight the former went in first.

initial impressions are good, not great. I looped some playing with the BB pro in and clean wise, they aren’t very different. A little less honk and MAYBE a touch less top end. The top end difference is more apparent when distorted, as people have noted the top end is clear and bright but not harsh at all. Very nice. Less harsh than the BB Pro, and also the bass is tighter. It has less bass than the BB Pro and when I said I wanted more than what the BB Pro had I mean I wanted it to be punchier and less loose. I know it’s a fine line with bass being too loose or too tight. This almost gets there.

it’s a very clear pickup but it’s less complex in the harmonic area than the BB pro and my other guitar with the MCP 2ndDegree Black Belt in it. It is very reminiscent of the clear and direct tones of the ‘59 loaded Goldtop LP we have at work. It’s less scooped than the ‘59 loaded LP but not super mid forward. Balanced in the mids.

There is something about the low mids of the wound strings that is bothering me though. Somewhat congested on the A and D string. while it has more tightness than the BB Pro I’m not sure if it’s punching how I want it. I also miss some of the harmonic swirl and complexity of the BB Pro which I get a lot of with that pickup and even a little more with the MCP. Wasn’t impressed with the coil split, but I never am, so no worries. I’ll also say it doesn’t sound much “hotter” than the BB Pro but I also use compression most of the time. I find that pickup “hotness”, unless we are talking about an EMG, really has less to do with how hard the amp is hit and more with how much compression the pickup has. Just from my limited experience.

middle position sounded great! Very acoustic like with the neck BB Pro.

Is it an improvement? In some ways, in some ways not. Would I keep it if it was free? Sure. I could live with it. Is it totally what I’m searching for? No, but it’s nothing to be bummed about. Onto the Demon.
 

burner

Member
Messages
3,414
The Duncan Alnico Pro II is a medium output 'bucker.
I've really been liking THAT a lot lately, tbh, AND I feel like I've shortchanged myself for not having jumped on them sooner.

Also, I really do love all the Van Zandt TruBuckers I've tried thus far.
In fact, I'm pretty much *convinced* the whole range of Van Zandt products could easily cover ALL of my pickup needs.*

*I have no affiliation with the company at all, just a HUGE fanboy of their products.....you know, but I would definitely have no problem with pimping the hell outta their stuff if they'd sponsor me.
I mean, psssh....I already rave about 'em anyway.
;)
 
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RCM78

Member
Messages
6,103
Suhr Thornbucker + for the open articulate feel.
Suhr SSV+ for a brighter but more focused rock feel.
 

Origins

Member
Messages
38
Wolfetone marshall head with the alnico 5 magnet. I tried the alnico 2 but it lost some of it's magic for me. Reminds me a of a PAF I played in a es335. That guitar wailed like crazy and I haven't heard a guitar that wild in ages and I've played mostly vintage stuff at all the local shops in NYC.
 

modavis99

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,615
I’ve recommended WCR godwood before. I just installed a Wolfetone Marshallhead bridge Alnico 5 into a Les Paul and it sounds killer! Wolfetone’s 25% off deal is a huge plus too
 

communarchy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
752
The Duncan Alnico Pro II is a medium output 'bucker.
I've really been liking THAT a lot lately, tbh, AND I feel like I've shortchanged myself for not having jumped on them sooner.

Also, I really do love all the Van Zandt TruBuckers I've tried thus far.
In fact, I'm pretty much *convinced* the whole range of Van Zandt products could easily cover ALL of my pickup needs.*

*I have no affiliation with the company at all, just a HUGE fanboy of their products.....you know, but I would definitely have no problem with pimping the hell outta their stuff if they'd sponsor me.
I mean, psssh....I already rave about 'em anyway.
;)
I did want to get this Duncan, but it appears it's only made in 1 conductor. I might just try it anyway.

Suhr Thornbucker + for the open articulate feel.
Suhr SSV+ for a brighter but more focused rock feel.
Have wanted to try the Thornbucker + for awhile! I don't know much else about Suhr pickups, but I also love Doug Aldrich and know he has a signature set!

Wolfetone marshall head with the alnico 5 magnet. I tried the alnico 2 but it lost some of it's magic for me. Reminds me a of a PAF I played in a es335. That guitar wailed like crazy and I haven't heard a guitar that wild in ages and I've played mostly vintage stuff at all the local shops in NYC.
I’ve recommended WCR godwood before. I just installed a Wolfetone Marshallhead bridge Alnico 5 into a Les Paul and it sounds killer! Wolfetone’s 25% off deal is a huge plus too
I guess I'm going to have to try the Marshallhead since it's been mentioned 5-6 times now. I had an MK II version that I recall liking, but those are lower output and I recall it being a little "stringy" if not a bit thin. Maybe the full power version would be best.
 

RCM78

Member
Messages
6,103
Have wanted to try the Thornbucker + for awhile! I don't know much else about Suhr pickups said:
If you like open and airy the Thornbucker + won’t disappoint.
 

Gary Ladd

What a wonderful world
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,803
From what I understand the godwood is very warm and round though, is it not? Not sure I’m looking for that.
I don't have a Godwood, but the three Goodwoods I have are not very warm and round, definitely more in thick & ballsy mids category, with tight lows and a slightly extended (yet not harsh) high end.

Have you tried the Demon yet?
 

communarchy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
752
I don't have a Godwood, but the three Goodwoods I have are not very warm and round, definitely more in thick & ballsy mids category, with tight lows and a slightly extended (yet not harsh) high end.

Have you tried the Demon yet?
Perhaps maybe I'm confused about the difference between the GODwood and the GOODwood, so if anyone cares to elaborate, I'd appreciate it.

I have not tried the Demon yet, I'm really busy this week but I hope to get it in this weekend. I'm definitely looking forward to it. I jammed with my drummer yesterday and was pleased with the '59/Hybrid. Didn't have the context of the whole band (bass), but I liked how it sat. Definitely felt great under the fingers. Nice bounce and recovery to the response. I lowered the A & D poles and found it more balanced than before. If I don't find anything better than this, I still would be satisfied with this upgrade, however slight it was. It didn't change the core tone drastically (I never wholly disliked the BB Pro), but did enhance the playing experience. There's something to be said in the confidence that the feel can bring to your playing... or I've just been playing a lot lately...;)

That said, I'm pulling the trigger the Dimarzio Fortitude as soon as I can get a 50mm in stock in black. Have to scratch that itch. May end up trying the Marshallhead too. If I see a Godwood for a non-exorbitant price I'll grab it.

A buddy is also letting me borrow a BKP Emerald, which I notice doesn't get a lot of attention in these circles, probably due to it's popularity in the metal circles, but it seems to check a few boxes on my requirements.
 

communarchy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
752
Have you tried the Demon yet?
I got the demon in and gave it about an hour play. It’s a good pickup. Obviously it has all the hallmarks of an 80s metal pickup. Chirpy,
bright attack and lots of swirling hair around the chords. Tight low mids but still pretty round on the low end. The cleans are great, very chimey. The split is quacky like a strat, if you are into that. I was not a fan of the middle position, it sort of lost that brightness and was a bit weak with the neck BB Pro. It sort of made my LP sound like a superstrat, which isn’t surprising.

Here are the things I don’t like, at least for this guitar, which aren’t “bad” so much as not for the goal for this guitar. The middle strings, D and G, have a “yaw” type vowel sound, not unlike a PAF honk, but closer to a cocked wah. I usually wire my tone knob with a specific cap value to get this sort of tone with it rolled back. Something I didn’t like about the BB Pro bridge was too much of this honky scooped mid range when playing leads. This has the same sort of scoop, but in a different frequency range. The pickups are just a “tad” too bright for what I’m going for. They are a less bright than the BB Pro, but still a little bit too piercing for this guitar. If I had a light body rosewood necked LP, this pickup would probably work well. This LP modern is heavy, relatively acoustically bright, and has an ebony neck so it has plenty of note attack and snap already.

Finally the low mids (maybe the mids in general) are just not thick enough. After balancing out the A/D pole pieces on the 59/Custom if found it to be really beefy and punchy in this range. Single notes were fat, and I found myself turning up the overdrive I typically was using to fatten things up for the BB Pro, and it was still plenty hot to get a good compression feel. The Screamin Demon was surprisingly not that hot (compressed) feeling, about the same as the BB Pro, and maybe less than the MCP 2nd Degree black belt I have in the other guitar, which both are in the middle 8k region and I believe the Demon is in the 10k? Anyway, I know from experience that resistance isn’t the big factor everyone things it is, as I’ve always felt the MCP seemed hotter than it’s DC reading.

I’m scoping a Godwood. If I can get the same midrange thickness end punch as the 59/C in the Godwood but with a bit more harmonic complexity, I’ll be elated. Meanwhile, I consider the 59/C a fair improvement, enough to make me excited to play the guitar a lot.
 

J Factor

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,644
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.
Yes the 59/Custom is an excellent pickup!

These are also all the same reasons why I like the DiMarzio Norton. It's a similar concept with mismatched coils.

I really enjoy both of these pickups, but I found I liked the Norton better in my strat and the 59/Custom better in my CE24 for whatever reason.
 






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