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Gibson 335 bridge pickup. Is it supposed to sound like that?

shocki

Member
Messages
25
I just bought a 2007 ES335, made in Nahsville with Gibsons 57 (measured about 8K)
Unamplified it sounds hollow, midrangy and resonates a lot.

The Neck PU sounds just perfect for jazzy sounds. Warm but no muddy.

I do not like the sound of the bridge PU at all though. It has a lot of treble and not enough bass. When I dial the Tone pot back to about 6 I am getting a nice Robben Ford kind of tone.
The pickup height of the bridge PU is much higher than the neck PU to compensate for this already.

But I never get this nice 335 crunch sounds (almost like a Les Paul) I have heard from other people. It just sounds harsh. My Tele or Epiphone sounds way fatter. This seems really strange to me.

Could it be the electronics? Or is this normal for a 335?
 

mcdes

Member of no importance
Messages
7,545
I never liked the pickups when I had mine. I'd recommend doing some research and changing things out. Ha
 

Average Joe

Member
Messages
12,017
A lot of 335s can be a little bass shy in the bridge position. The upside is that this is part of what gives them the twangier sound than say LPS imho. They can also be a bit hard to dial in to get perfect sounds out of both positions. Once you get one just so, the other will be a touch off.

It is my experience that 335 bridge pickups need a bit of help, a bit of beefing up. Say you go into a blackface Fender and the neck is perfect, then the bridge position will benifit from a TS style od or the like.

That said, you say you can get a Robben Ford kinda sound from it - I dunno that I would call that bad :)
 

mcdes

Member of no importance
Messages
7,545
^^ I can agree with that as well

When you get a new guitar, it will sound different from usual rigs you've played. And can take a while to EQ everything to work.
 

shocki

Member
Messages
25
They can also be a bit hard to dial in to get perfect sounds out of both positions. Once you get one just so, the other will be a touch off.
This is exactly what I am getting here. But not only a touch off ;)

It is my experience that 335 bridge pickups need a bit of help, a bit of beefing up. Say you go into a blackface Fender and the neck is perfect, then the bridge position will benifit from a TS style od or the like.
This what I am doing now with my Bandmaster. With the neck PU i dont use any pedals. With the bridge PU I am using a Okko Diabolo with just a little bit of gain (similar to a zendrive). This combination works quite well.

That said, you say you can get a Robben Ford kinda sound from it - I dunno that I would call that bad :)
I know ;) But I am also looking for this kind of sound.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6sEDWQG17o

Check about minute 3:50. I have exactly this amp. But my 335 sounds way better with the Fender than with the Suhr.

Pete is getting some really great sounding crunch sounds out of his 335 which I don't get at all.
 

Bluesdaddy

Member
Messages
981
I've had a few and they all sounded different in the bridge pickup department. Funny because they all had 57 classics. I found most overly bright . I found it helps backing the volume off a bit. The one I have now ( Memphis fat neck) actually sounds really good in the bridge position....... Has some fatness to it.
 

shocki

Member
Messages
25
I have a SD Seth Lover lying around which I might try. This is what a friend with similar problems recommended to me.
 

Rockerduck

Member
Messages
3,254
The majority of semi hollow guitars are this way. I've changed pickups and the result was the same, unless I put a more powerful pickup in the bridge, then I lost the bell like quality of the middle, both pickup, position.
 

HoboMan

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
17,945
I know ;) But I am also looking for this kind of sound.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6sEDWQG17o

Check about minute 3:50. I have exactly this amp. But my 335 sounds way better with the Fender than with the Suhr.

Pete is getting some really great sounding crunch sounds out of his 335 which I don't get at all.
According to the video he has original PAFs in his guitar.
I would try a PU swap.
I have two Gibson SGs, one with 57s & one with Dimarzio 36th Anniversary PUs.

The SG with the Dimarzios gets a much fatter, warmer tone.
 

RockStarNick

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,638
Shocki, a big part of the problem is that the 57's aren't calibrated. Same exact output for bridge and neck.

So when you get one dialed in, the other sounds way off.

If the neck sounds perfect, then you need a bridge pickup with more push. Maybe try the 57 Classic + to start?
 

Alister

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,605
Not to dispute any of the other points here, but...
Have you ever strummed or picked an acoustic guitar closer to the bridge? The sonic difference, on ANY guitar, is quite remarkable.

So you're dealing with the inherent structure or nature of the guitar as an instrument. The bridge pup -- any bridge pup -- is going to magnify that effect. So, you'll notice more "lack of mids," treble response and bass response changes, and on and on.

I don't think you'll 'solve' this necessarily by an endless pickup hunt. At least, until you have a very, very good idea of what bridge sound you're chasing.
 

RockStarNick

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,638
Not to dispute any of the other points here, but...
Have you ever strummed or picked an acoustic guitar closer to the bridge? The sonic difference, on ANY guitar, is quite remarkable.

So you're dealing with the inherent structure or nature of the guitar as an instrument. The bridge pup -- any bridge pup -- is going to magnify that effect. So, you'll notice more "lack of mids," treble response and bass response changes, and on and on.

I don't think you'll 'solve' this necessarily by an endless pickup hunt. At least, until you have a very, very good idea of what bridge sound you're chasing.
I do agree with this, BUT... this acoustic property of the ES335 is the exact reason that you need calibrated pickups - to compensate for the acoustic differences of the bridge and neck positions.

Strumming over the neck pickups sounds is louder, bassier, and rounder. Strumming over the bridge pickup sounds brighter and quieter. That's why you need a compensated pickup set - a weaker, brighter neck pickup, and a fatter, louder bridge pickup.
 

magilla

michaelggguitar (IG)
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,021
I'll always roll back the tone knob on the treble pickup to get a slightly fuller sound. I'm typically a "Tone Knobs on 10" always kind of guy with Gibson's, but it's a little too bright on the bridge for my taste. To get the classic 335 tones, ala Clapton in his Cream Days or even a more standard classic rock-tone, I roll the treble pickup tone knob back to about 6.

You could, of course, go on the pickup goose chase that will take time and money and effort. Don't let us stop you. Never felt the need myself for modern production GIbson stuff unless you're going for a very specific tone.
 

shocki

Member
Messages
25
So you're dealing with the inherent structure or nature of the guitar as an instrument. The bridge pup -- any bridge pup -- is going to magnify that effect. So, you'll notice more "lack of mids," treble response and bass response changes, and on and on.
Of course a bridge PU will always have more treble and less bass. But with my other guitars I do not have this kind of problem. Alle positions are usable. I know the neck PU of a strat as way more bass and less treble than the bridge PU. But at least with my CS strat all those positions are pretty balanced. Same is true for my Tele. It has a great sound at the bridge.

The first time I tried the 335 I even thought the bridge PU was broken. The volume drop is pretty extreme. I have never expierenced something like this in a guitar. I measured the PU just to be sure and both have the same resistance.

Trying a hotter pickup might help.
 

TNJ

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
28,855
Just another variation that is part of the 335 profile.
They run all over the place in just about every category.
If you get a good one...most (or sometimes all) of the tonal bases
will be covered. I had a VOS 50th anniversary that had it all going on!
The overdriven bridge pup ('57 Classic) just face melted left and right!
The LC sig I have now is pretty dang close too.
From jazz cleans to rockin' leads...in abundance.
The trick is finding the right one that fits YOU.

S.
j
 
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Cussion

Member
Messages
1,465
Strange. Maybe it's the pickup height?
My 335 (w 57s) sounds big and at the same time nasally squanky in the bridge position. Almost hard to tell from my (Burstbucker-loaded) Les Paul.
 

bluesjuke

Disrespected Elder
Messages
24,145
I thought it strange too.
Might just be the description. I've had quite a few 335s, two currently, and never ran into that
 

shocki

Member
Messages
25
OK. I did what my friend recommend me. I installed a Seth Lover in the bridge.

Exchanging a pickup in a 335 is really PITA and was no fun at all. But ok. I did it.

What did change ?

1) Bridge und Neck PU are now the same volume. Before I had to adjust the neck PU WAY higher
2) I don't have to dial back any treble on the bridge PU anymore
3) The sound is more open but it sounds way smoother at the same time. All that harsh treble is gone. Still it is more open which is really cool.
4) When switching from neck to bridge PU I do not feel this is a different world as I did before
5) The crunch sound I am getting now is as good (but of course different) as the best crunch guitar I own so far which is a tele. It is very open and woody at the same time.

Now in comparison the 57 neck PU which I still have in that guitar sounds a bit woofy. I think I will also replace this with a Seth Lover which has less output in the neck position and I believe will have the same kind of openess I really like in the bridge position now.

I checked the pot values also. Currently 300K vol pots are used. I might change the neck pot for a 500k if still need more treble.
 






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