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Gibson R9: Burstbuckers vs Sheptones with clips

kingsxman

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,927
I did a recording of my R9 with the stock burstbuckers (BB 1 neck and BB 2 bridge) and then again with a set of standard Sheptone Tributes. The amp was not touched between the pickup swap. Volume left the same for both channels and everything. The guitar is a 2010 Gibson R9 and the amp is a Two Rock Onyx with EVM12L speaker. I used a Zoom H2 about 10-12 feet away from the amp for the recording.

Don’t judge the playing. I’m not that good to begin with but wanted to play the same thing over and over with each pickup so you can hear the differences of the pickups. I essentially go from bridge to middle to neck on clean….then do the same with the overdrive channel kicked on the amp. With one exception: my favorite tone of all was with the Sheptones in the middle position and just dialing back the neck volume a bit. That was a tone I couldn’t get out of the BB;s.

Overall, I think you can hear why some people like BBs and why some will like Sheptones. BB’s tend to be warmer and fatter with a bit more fullness. I like the cleans of the BB’s. The Sheptones tend to be a bit thinner with more high end but, to my ears, also have more harmonics. They are simply more of a “vintage” tone and probably what I would guess is more of a true PAF tone.

Burstbuckers:
http://members.goldengate.net/jgermann/Gear%20clips/burstbuckers.mp3

Sheptone standard tribute set:
http://members.goldengate.net/jgermann/Gear clips/Sheptones-tributes.mp3

Edit: added below 11/19/12
Sheptone tributes overwound bridge, underwound neck:
http://members.goldengate.net/jgerm...tributes-overwound bridge-underwound neck.mp3
 
Last edited:

Crow

Member
Messages
926
Very nice demo...you can certainly hear a clear difference. The BBs sound good, but more of a modern sound (fatter with less sweetness). Those Sheptones sound great. Really can hear that "vintage" PAF-type sweetness come through when you hang on those bends and let it sustain.

Thanks for the quality demo.
 

kingsxman

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,927
Very nice demo...you can certainly hear a clear difference. The BBs sound good, but more of a modern sound (fatter with less sweetness). Those Sheptones sound great. Really can hear that "vintage" PAF-type sweetness come through when you hang on those bends and let it sustain.

Thanks for the quality demo.
Thanks. Yeah, its not much but I think it gives a good demonstration of what each sounds like. too often demo's are playing along to other music. I think you lose some nuances in the tone there.
 

Skeet skeet!

Senior Member
Messages
3,417
Thanks for the demo

I have some form of burstbuckers in my LP and had of course read that some dont like them and had wondered a little bit about them.

I do hear a difference between the 2 demos, but not enough for me to have any interest in a new set of pups.
 

kingsxman

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,927
Thanks for the demo

I have some form of burstbuckers in my LP and had of course read that some dont like them and had wondered a little bit about them.

I do hear a difference between the 2 demos, but not enough for me to have any interest in a new set of pups.
And thats the million dollar question with all this stuff. Tone is very subjective and what one person likes another may not. I'm a big believer that most of us could get great tone out of a $500 guitar, a hot rod deluxe and a couple of pedals. Yet we spend much $$$ on high end gear. When it comes to pickups, my guess is that the difference in tone is usually about 20% from one pickup to the next after a certain price point.
 

kingsxman

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,927
Played the guitar at practice last night with the Sheps and they definitely, to my ears, sounded better. Just a different tone than before. DIfferent midrange for sure and the lead tone on the neck had more clarity and sustain.

Like the Sheps.
 

Tim Plains

Member
Messages
6,140
Both sounded pretty good. Couldn't tell too much of a difference but I am listening through crappy laptop speakers. I'm sure the difference in person is apparent. I know it was with all the pickup swaps I have done.
 

kingsxman

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,927
Are Nine said:
Both sounded pretty good. Couldn't tell too much of a difference but I am listening through crappy laptop speakers. I'm sure the difference in person is apparent. I know it was with all the pickup swaps I have done.
just get some headphones and plug in. you will hear a difference. dont know which you will prefer....but you will hear a diiference.
 

duckbunny

Member
Messages
3,524
I do hear a difference, and like your Sheps more. There's a complexity to them that the BBs don't have in the first recording. That said, I honestly could make either work for me - especially in a live setting.




-db
 

vmjoe

Member
Messages
834
The Sheptone's are warmer, but still just as open and clear. There is more of the midrange honk with the Sheptone's too. The Sheptone's sound like they may have alnico II magnets to my ear.

The BB's sound good, but not as complex sounding to me. They are definitely more agressive, maybe due to the overall brightness. They just don't sound as refined, but this may appeal to some.

Nothing wrong with the BB's, but I prefer the Sheptone's quite a lot.
 

Echoes

Senior Member
Messages
6,218
the BBs sound mid-hump punchy compared to the Sheps which sound 'scooped' in the mids to my ears...
 

Totally Bored

Member
Messages
9,359
Both sound great.


I could easily make them both work and I'm sure can also. If I had the sheptones laying around I would have plopped them in to see the differance I quess but honestly , I dig them both and would plop the BB's back in after experimenting but that just me. I was fully satisfied with BB's.
 

kingsxman

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,927
FYI, I added a new clip to the initial post. Its another sheptone set I had laying around. This is an overwound bridge and an underwound neck. Same guitar. Same amp. I am selling the amp so I needed to get a quick clip done. I apoligize that my G or B string is out of tune badly. I didnt have time to go back and redo the clip.
 

phoenix 7

Senior Member
Messages
25,730
I much preferred the Burstbuckers. They sounded beautiful and chimey clean and more musical overdriven.
 

whitewave

Member
Messages
296
Curious, I have been thinking about changing PUs in my R8 since I got it a couple months ago. But I like BB very much, so it's been very difficult to decide which inspired by PAFs humbuckers to get.
After reading a lot and trying some, I was looking for a standard set of Tribute. I tried the AB from Sheptone, and even though they bring out a nice woodyness that I was missing in BBs I found them a little bit too hot. So the Tribute should be perfect for my fat R8.

But then you recorded these nice samples, and actually I don't see any reason for spending money in this PUs swap. Sheptones are really, really nice, but I like the Burstbuckers a lot.

Thanks.
 

kingsxman

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,927
Curious, I have been thinking about changing PUs in my R8 since I got it a couple months ago. But I like BB very much, so it's been very difficult to decide which inspired by PAFs humbuckers to get.
After reading a lot and trying some, I was looking for a standard set of Tribute. I tried the AB from Sheptone, and even though they bring out a nice woodyness that I was missing in BBs I found them a little bit too hot. So the Tribute should be perfect for my fat R8.

But then you recorded these nice samples, and actually I don't see any reason for spending money in this PUs swap. Sheptones are really, really nice, but I like the Burstbuckers a lot.

Thanks.
Glad I could help. The thing is...they all are good. Just different flavors of good. I am keeping in the overwounds for now as I like my bridge a bit hotter for the music I'm currently playing. That being said...the standard Sheptone tributes probably are my favorites of the bunch because in person they have something harmonically that I'm not getting out of the BB's.
 






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