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Gibson Custom Buckers??

Tmoney1214

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
68
Do you think Gibson will be releasing the custom Buckers for sale individually like they do for burstbuckers or other pickups they make? Been wanting a set for my older reissues.
 

Tim Plains

Senior Member
Messages
6,142
They come up for sale on the My Les Paul forum occasionally.
Personally, I would rather spend my money on a good aftermarket set.
 

Ape Factory

Member
Messages
2,506
I think the big problem with the Custom Buckers is that they have numerous pickups with that moniker and they vary greatly depending on what guitar they came out of. With that said, I have the set out of my R9 which have been modified with vintage spec coils/slugs and more windings on the bridge. They're downright fantastic now. I actually use them in my PRS :)
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,389
Great pickups... Can be difficult to identify if they do not have the white sticker on the. They look exactly like other Gibson pickups and the resistance can read the same. Alnico 3 mags are also not marked.
 

Binaural

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,879
If you put A3 magnets in a set of Burstbuckers 1&2 you'll be surprised how close these are to the Custombuckers. I've tried it in one of my LPs and they sound like the just like Custombuckers. I actually got this ideal from someone that works at Gibson.
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,389
If you put A3 magnets in a set of Burstbuckers 1&2 you'll be surprised how close these are to the Custombuckers. I've tried it in one of my LPs and they sound like the just like Custombuckers. I actually got this ideal from someone that works at Gibson.
Agreed. That's exactly what my research has implied.

And I'd guess the same is true in taking out the alnico 5 mags from a burstbucker pro and putting in alnico 3.

It seems most all BB (and maybe even '57 classics) are wound to a tolerance range. I suspect they are sorted and labeled bb 1/2/3, etc., based upon the resistance readings.
 

Ron

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,905
If you put A3 magnets in a set of Burstbuckers 1&2 you'll be surprised how close these are to the Custombuckers. I've tried it in one of my LPs and they sound like the just like Custombuckers. I actually got this ideal from someone that works at Gibson.
Where did you find A3 magnets of the right shape and size to replace the originals in your burstbuckers? Seems like a good way to go.

Also, are custombuckers potted or not? The pair in my CC #12A seem to be potted, at least slightly, based on how they sound. BBs (A2 magnets) are not potted, while BB-Pros (A5 magnets) are potted. '57 Classics (A2 magnets) are potted - a BB2 is like an unpotted '57 Classic.

I have an uncovered BB2/BB3 set in a Les Paul Custom, seems like I could simply swap the A2 magnets for A3s pretty easily. Maybe I should leave the BB3 alone and swap out only the BB2?
 
Last edited:

duaneflowers

Member
Messages
650
Like original PAFs, Custom Buckers spec out all over the place. Even in the higher end guitars, you can take two of the same CC run and the pickups (which are supposed to be meticulous copies of the originals) will have vastly different readings. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason in the variations either. I have some that are great and others that are dogs. So I would second the idea of getting a good aftermarket set if for nothing more than the sake of consistency which is sorely lacking in CBs.
 

hackenfort

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,670
I've tried them in a couple of 13 & 14 R9, IMO best PAF Gibson has ever come out with.

I do agree Gibson has too many flavors of PAF's
 

Gallery

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,860
Like original PAFs, Custom Buckers spec out all over the place. Even in the higher end guitars, you can take two of the same CC run and the pickups (which are supposed to be meticulous copies of the originals) will have vastly different readings. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason in the variations either. I have some that are great and others that are dogs. So I would second the idea of getting a good aftermarket set if for nothing more than the sake of consistency which is sorely lacking in CBs.
Although I do like the Custom Buckers in my R8, based on the guitars I've tried I'd agree with the above and I'd go with Duncan Antiquities all day long over searching for used Custom Buckers. I have Antiquities in my other LP and they are fatter, sweeter and more articulate than my Custom Buckers which are thinner but slightly hotter/crunchier. I like the Custom Bucker for classic rock and the Antiquity for blues, but if forced to choose one I'd go with the Antiquities. That said, if you gotta have Custom Buckers, hang out on the LP forums and eventually you'll snag a set.
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,389
Where did you find A3 magnets of the right shape and size to replace the originals in your burstbuckers? Seems like a good way to go.

Also, are custombuckers potted or not? The pair in my CC #12A seem to be potted, at least slightly, based on how they sound. BBs (A2 magnets) are not potted, while BB-Pros (A5 magnets) are potted. '57 Classics (A2 magnets) are potted - a BB2 is like an unpotted '57 Classic.

I have an uncovered BB2/BB3 set in a Les Paul Custom, seems like I could simply swap the A2 magnets for A3s pretty easily. Maybe I should leave the BB3 alone and swap out only the BB2?

There are several sources... Mojotone, I think Stew-Mac, and a couple of vendors on eBay. Throwbak also sells a premium selection of magnets made with original recipes and makers in the US. I have not found short form in A3, but you will find both smooth cut and rough cast, which I'm told sound slightly different.
 
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Ron

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,905
There are several sources... Mojotone, I think Stew-Mac, and a couple of vendors on eBay. Throwbak also sells a premium selection of magnets made with original recipes and makers in the US. I have not found short form in A3, but you will find both smooth cut and rough cast, which I'm told sound slightly different.
Thanks smolder, very useful information to have.

It seems to me that making CBs from BBs might be the ticket, since BBs are graded into BB1, BB2, and BB3 while the CBs are not. In addition to the variable number of turns, Gibson may not use consistent magnetic components. Paying for Throbak magnets, which are likely consistent in composition, size, shape, finish and magnetization, would make a converted BB more consistent from PU to PU. I'd call them CBBs for "Converted Burstbuckers".

I have a bunch of LPs and only one (2014 CC#12A) has CBs in it. This sound of this LP is noticeably different from the others, and that's not a bad thing. I wouldn't want to pay for guitars that all sound the same, so tonal variety is a goal.
 

Binaural

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,879
Where did you find A3 magnets of the right shape and size to replace the originals in your burstbuckers? Seems like a good way to go.

Also, are custombuckers potted or not? The pair in my CC #12A seem to be potted, at least slightly, based on how they sound. BBs (A2 magnets) are not potted, while BB-Pros (A5 magnets) are potted. '57 Classics (A2 magnets) are potted - a BB2 is like an unpotted '57 Classic.

I have an uncovered BB2/BB3 set in a Les Paul Custom, seems like I could simply swap the A2 magnets for A3s pretty easily. Maybe I should leave the BB3 alone and swap out only the BB2?
I got the A3 magnets from Addiction FX, they have an online store and a store on Ebay, I have no affiliation with them, but they are always great to do business with.

As for the Custombuckers being potted, I've seen both potted and unpotted versions in pickups people say they pulled from Historic LPs, not sure if they come potted and some owners unpotted them, I've seen people unpotting '57 Classics before though.

I tried A3 magnets in a set of Burstbucker Pros and the A3 is awesome in the neck, but an UOA5 magnet seemed to work better in the bridge. I've also tried a UOA5 in a Burstbucker 3 with excellent results, haven't tried an A3 in one yet. Hope that helps.
 

Ron

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,905
I played my LP with CBs again a few minutes ago, comparing it with some other LPs with '57 Classics, BB2/BB3, and Throbaks. As some others have claimed, my CBs seem brighter and less robust sounding than other PAF types. The '57 Classics were the most authoritative and clear sounding of the bunch, but they're in a 10-lb '68 Reissue Les Paul Custom.

Consequently, I would agree that an A3 is probably not the best choice for the bridge PU (I mainly play on the neck). The Throbak website describes A3 magnets as:

"A3 long / Very weak, nice clarity for use in P-90's but very low output for P.A.F.'s."

While Gibson used a variety of AlNiCo magnets in their PAFs in the '50s and early '60s, most had A4s according to a Wikipedia article. Here's what Throbak says about A2s:

"A2 long / Scooped mids, chimey highs, warm sweet tones, loose feel."

"A2 short / Scooped mids, spankier tone than long A2."

On paper, the A2 seems like the right choice, based on Throbak's descriptions, but there's no evidence like actually swapping magnets and listening to the results.
 

aroman

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,692
I think the Custom Buckers are the BEST PAF PUPs I have heard from Gibson. Lots of clarity and Harmonic character. They make an LP sound good clean !!.
 

Summa

Member
Messages
1,420
I've owned quite a few custom shop LP's through the years and I haven't liked but a single HB set. That set is the Wildwood Spec'd custom buckers in my 2011 R8. Perfect? Hardly, but it's good enough that I've left the pickups alone and just did a pots and caps swap to get rid of the mud.
 




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