Gibson 355 aftermarket Pickup replacements. Whats your favorite 355 vintage type of pickup replacement

mike6m

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
761
After a lot of thought, research, and reading etc. I saw where they described it as a period correct pickup among others that were delivered around that time. These were wound a bit hotter reflecting some of the period. PAFs were all over the place. So rather than pull the ML aged pickups out I wont mess with it, at least for now. I will play the guitar hard, and maybe it will open more and smoothe out some in the electronics. A buddy of mine told me u have the other guitars for the open thing you like, why mess with it. So here I set. I appreciate all the help and if I do decide to go back, I can read back for ideas etc. Yes I can get wishy washy. :) No time was wasted and something was still learned.

I have a ML ES-335 and I also own a set of SLE-101’s in my LP. I’ve also owned a 63 es-345 with original patent pickups. I think you’d be spitting hairs with the SLE-101’s. They will sound great, but the custom buckers sound really good and do the 335 thing really well.
 

drpoyer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
889
I have installed several different pickups in my 335’s, but always PAF style. All things being close to equal: magnet type, resistance, etc…

I find that the harness, tuners, nut and bridge/posts are more important then who wound the pickups.

Bone nut
Kluson tuners
Classic ABR-1 bridge and posts
Harness: 525-550k matched pots with an even sweep, .015 and .022 caps with 50s style wiring.

With the above set up I have had very similar results in the same guitar with: Lolar, Burstbucker pro and Tom Holmes.
 

Bach88s

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
727
I have a ML ES-335 and I also own a set of SLE-101’s in my LP. I’ve also owned a 63 es-345 with original patent pickups. I think you’d be spitting hairs with the SLE-101’s. They will sound great, but the custom buckers sound really good and do the 335 thing really well.
I appreciate that information. I have a Collings I35 Vintage with their ESG 102B Throbaks they put in it and it totally does that open vintage vibe I was seeking. To me it sounds like a good open 335. Instead of going for that, I will leave the 355 as is and have a dirtier guitar. It will do its own thing better and I will have another end of the color spectrum. It will rock hard and I was surprised to how dirty it can get. I really really like this guitar. I am not brand biased with anything, but this is a great guitar. How do you like yours?
 

Bach88s

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
727
I have installed several different pickups in my 335’s, but always PAF style. All things being close to equal: magnet type, resistance, etc…

I find that the harness, tuners, nut and bridge/posts are more important then who wound the pickups.

Bone nut
Kluson tuners
Classic ABR-1 bridge and posts
Harness: 525-550k matched pots with an even sweep, .015 and .022 caps with 50s style wiring.

With the above set up I have had very similar results in the same guitar with: Lolar, Burstbucker pro and Tom Holmes.
I can believe that. The mass of the anchor points and materials they are made of, the caps and pots are huge, as well as the wiring. I put a lightweight tailpiece on my I35Vintage and it totally made that guitar. I always thought one of the biggest tone changers for a guitar over many others is a pick. What its made of and the gauge.
 
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Bach88s

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
727
I want to thank everyone for your knowledge and input. I learned some things and am happy with all the great ideas and reponses.
 

jasyr

Member
Messages
70
+ 1 on Wolfetone Marshallheads... but to me they are perfect vintage sound. Sweet sweet cleans. There's a youtube vid that will blow your mind, a german player/guitar dealer.

It's those and Timbuckers for me as main PAF pickups. And i have Throbak as well. ( btw, those to me are fairly priced but over-rated.)
 

Golem

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,505
Believe it or not I like the Duncan Jazz in the neck. I like the clarity it has without being harsh. I've never tried the Jazz bridge, so maybe an A2 Pro, Duncan 59, or similar in the bridge.
 

killer blues

Member
Messages
4,244
Just got my Murphy Lab 355 and it is really a great guitar, but I want to swap out the pickups for something else. I was looking at Throbak SLE101s with the aged covers. These pickups in it now are almost too dirty and overdriven for me. They are custombucker Alnico 3s. For the new pickups, I think the trebles could be a bit softer since the 355 has a bit brighter attack. And just a bit more mids and nice rounded vintage lows without the flub. Oh, and less dirty :)

beautiful guitar. so elegant. id check into jm rolph or maybe duncan antiquities. but first play with the pickup heights see if that helps.
 

pulse.

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,431
The Wizz premium clones that I have on my SG is by far the best set of humbuckers that I have ever used. Mine is an A3 magnet on the neck and A4 on the bridge position. Clean and clear bell like tone in the neck with zero muddyness and rocking and punching tones on the bridge.
 

eigentone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,078
Just got my Murphy Lab 355 and it is really a great guitar, but I want to swap out the pickups for something else. I was looking at Throbak SLE101s with the aged covers. These pickups in it now are almost too dirty and overdriven for me. They are custombucker Alnico 3s. For the new pickups, I think the trebles could be a bit softer since the 355 has a bit brighter attack. And just a bit more mids and nice rounded vintage lows without the flub. Oh, and less dirty :)


That 355 is such a timeless design.

I own a few sets of A3 Custombuckers and ThroBaks. As far as humbuckers go, Custombuckers have a lot of mids and high end clarity. The lows are not terribly strong and the output is quite low. They do wonderful cleans with good dynamics and they retain a lot of the guitar's acoustic qualities. I don't think they are at all "dirty" -- but perhaps more mids and highs than you are used to? High end can be tamed with the guitar's tone and volume controls. And your amp may need adjustment of the tone/TMB controls. Although Custombuckers are great for cleans through 80s high gain tones, they can kinda fall apart, lack low end and/or become shrill under very high gain. Since it is a semi-hollow and the pickups are not potted, you probably were not going there anyway.

I recommend dialing the amp with the guitar's volume and tone backed off to 8 or 7. This gives a more balanced sound with range to go louder/quieter and brighter/darker. Maybe you have done this for years already? But it does help mellow the highs.

The SLE101s are also great pickups but I am happy to read that you are giving the Custombuckers more time.
 

Bach88s

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
727
That 355 is such a timeless design.

I own a few sets of A3 Custombuckers and ThroBaks. As far as humbuckers go, Custombuckers have a lot of mids and high end clarity. The lows are not terribly strong and the output is quite low. They do wonderful cleans with good dynamics and they retain a lot of the guitar's acoustic qualities. I don't think they are at all "dirty" -- but perhaps more mids and highs than you are used to? High end can be tamed with the guitar's tone and volume controls. And your amp may need adjustment of the tone/TMB controls. Although Custombuckers are great for cleans through 80s high gain tones, they can kinda fall apart, lack low end and/or become shrill under very high gain. Since it is a semi-hollow and the pickups are not potted, you probably were not going there anyway.

I recommend dialing the amp with the guitar's volume and tone backed off to 8 or 7. This gives a more balanced sound with range to go louder/quieter and brighter/darker. Maybe you have done this for years already? But it does help mellow the highs.

The SLE101s are also great pickups but I am happy to read that you are giving the Custombuckers more time.
Thanks for the info! Thats what I ended up doing is to back the volume off just a tad. I played with the heights and that helped too. But to be honest, these pickups have more scooped mids, big highs, and just enough lows. They break up dirtiest of all my PAF type guitars I have. It is much dirtier than my R7 Les Paul, my Orca 59, SG with Lollar Imperials low winds, Suhr Aura, or the Collings Vintage I35 with factory Throbaks. I also have a PRS Santana artist model and an Hollbody 2 McCarty. The 355 is the dirtiest of the bunch.

You know what it is like. Imagine all the other guitars being on a tube screamer or some other overdrive at about 1/3 and when I plug this monster in, it goes to a bit over 1/2 for drive. I do not discount anything you said but the set in this guitar is hot with more scooped mids. It does harder rock well actually. Maybe they are slightly overwound. I would love to get an ohm reading on them but don't want to take pots loose on the hollowbody.

But now to be honest I like the pickups because its a different color in the box. The others don't drive like this guitar and it kind of makes it a sleeper. Look at it and think this looks like an ole Burl Ives type guitar, and then melt the wires with some Nugent or Rush. :) Thanks for your insight!
 

doublescale1

Suhr S-Classic, V60LP's, Soft V neck
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,116
I have a set of Peter Florence Voodoo 59's in my ES335 - I've had them in that guitar since the mid-late 90's, got them on the advice of a NYC Studio Session Guitarist. Low-output PAF design with remarkable articulation and a great balance between Neck & Bridge. Since Mr. Florence passed away in 2019, the best you could do is look for a used set. They still have a FaceBook page.
 

Aardvark

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,077
I can believe that. The mass of the anchor points and materials they are made off, the caps and pots are huge, as well as the wiring. I put a lightweight tailpiece on my I35Vintage and it totally made that guitar. I always thought one of the biggest tone changers for a guitar over many others is a pick. What its made of and the gauge.
I totally agree on your pick observation. I've been using a medium weight pick from V-Picks for a while. I think they're made of acrylic. They sound so big and full compared to a standard celluloid pick, I have no desire to go back. Sorry about the diversion.
 

ssdeluxe

Member
Messages
1,558
All in all I think they are great too. But just not quite the tone shape I want. Yes I did mess with height adjustment both ways etc.

Fralin unbucker (unpotted)
Lollar lo wind Imperial (unpotted)

Also, try swapping diff. magnets if you are inclined, easy to do, and cheapest mod to try. (I think Stew Mac and others sources them.... you can also ask your favorite winder to include some diff magnets to try.)

good luck, enjoy your new axe !

Glad to hear your working with what you have, it's likely the gtr pushing that freq spectrum making it dirtier as you say.... good on you for adjusting things to compensate.
 
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Average Joe

Member
Messages
12,332
The best sounding 335 style I've ever owned had a pair of regular SD 59s in it. Bity and clear. I've had another semi with Seths and while they sounded great as well, the bridge eventually became very microphonic. For that reason alone, I'd be a bit reluctant to recommend them though the sound was all that
 




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