good archtop pickups? (spruce/maple/ebony)

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by feet, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. feet

    feet Supporting Member

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    just wondering what you guys like. 57 classics are in there now, the neck is fine, but i don't like the bridge. if i'm going to do one, i may do both/everything to keep labor costs down. would like to keep costs reasonable, but i know its hard to find gold pickups on the used market.

    thanks.
     
  2. jads57

    jads57 Supporting Member

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    I found when I put a pair of (Vintage Vibe Pickups)Peter Biltoft PAF's style p/ups in a Eastman El Rey 2 I preferred a ceramic magnet in the bridge and an alnico magnet in the neck position.
    Nice thing about his p/ups are you can swap different magnets Alnico 2,3,4,5 and Ceramic as well to see which one one works best!
     
  3. feet

    feet Supporting Member

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    i like the concept, but i didn't get the site, or the different models and such. they all have the same description, but look different. i always thought i'd be a a3 or a4 guy, though i like the only a2 pickups i've tried.

    my bridge pickup is too hot. i don't know what i want the bridge pickup to sound like, so i'm soliciting reasoning and explanations behind them. i'm pretty ok with the neck, but i'm listening.
     
  4. TDJMB

    TDJMB Gold Supporting Member

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    There was a nice Vintage Vibe pickup in a Thorell that I used to own - but that was a floating style. I also really liked the pickups in a Sadowsky SS-15 that I used to have. I especially liked the neck humbucker - very warm and smooth.
     
  5. feet

    feet Supporting Member

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    speaking of floaters, i have a usa kent armstrong that is just lovely, though it is more "acoustic" sounding than "electric". wonder what his other stuff is like.

    the sadowsky pup doesn't appear to be available on its own, so moot point.
     
  6. jads57

    jads57 Supporting Member

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    I've had Peter Biltoft make custom p'ups for my G&L Asat as well as buying several of his offerings CC Rider (Charlie Christian for a Tele) Humbuckers traditional and Soapbar type. Always had great luck w/ him and at a very fair price. Call him he's very freindly as well.
     
  7. feet

    feet Supporting Member

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    slightly curious about a charlie christian, but i don't want to give up the humbucker sound i love. saw a good clip of the full sized lollar version in an archtop.

    any ideas about lollar low wind imperials? maybe tom short, as he isn't far. or any other suggestions- maybe a skatterbrane jazzbrane?
     
  8. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Member

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    What do you not like about the 57 Classic bridge pickup you have now?
     
  9. feet

    feet Supporting Member

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    it is too hot and too bright for my tastes. i get that there is a lot of maple (neck, too) and ebony on the guitar, but damn. i lowered it some and there is still a bump in volume (and gain and brightness, of course) when i switch to it. the pickup wants to rock and i would prefer that it didn't.

    but it sounds good in the middle position, though. :)

    i'm looking for depth, clarity and complexity without getting all super bright and single coily. something that works with odd and dissonant chords and enhances the harmonics, overtones and sustain i love so much.
     
  10. jzgtrguy

    jzgtrguy Member

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    Benedetto A6. I one in the neck position of a Heritage H 575.
     
  11. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Member

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    Well, I think I have a set I could wind for you. Generally a humbucker with less winds is brighter, and with more winds is hotter and tends to overdrive sooner. In short, a hotter pickup is LESS bright than a weaker pickup.

    If you have any interest you can PM me or contact me through my site.
     
  12. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Member

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    But a simpler solution may be to dial down your volume knob and/or your tone knob on the bridge pickup on your guitar. There is no rule that the optimum tone has to be with all knobs set at 10, even though the majority of guitarists seem to think so.
     
  13. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    The Duncan '59 pickups may do the trick.
     
  14. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    I have Seth Lovers in my Hamer 335 type so I'd be unlikely to go the exact same route with a full hollow. Having said that, I have zero beef with how the neck pickup sounds. The bridge... I'll probably go with something thicker and hotter if I ever replace it to try to do a better job on the low gain, singing sustainy kinda tones.

    Among Gibson pickups, sounds like a Burstbucker 1 (not a Pro) in the neck would be about your only choice. It sounds more complex to my ears than the 57 Classics though I've never heard them both in the same guitar. Don't know that I'd say the BB1 is any less bright than the 57. I'd say it's more responsive and less compressed so probably darker with both are played softly and a teeny brighter when you really lay into it with your picking hand.

    Overall, I'd go for an Alnico II of some sort, wound light.
     
  15. feet

    feet Supporting Member

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    well, i've been sitting and playing, learning the guitar and the pickups. i'm liking them more than i did before. fiddling with the knobs and the amp settings until i find something that works. even overdriven, they have a certain charm. still want to wait until my amp comes back so i can pass final judgement and know which way to go.

    unfamilar with the 59, but i had a jazz in the neck once. it was merely fine, but so was the guitar and my gear back then. so i didn't learn much. but they both are a5 magnets, which is all i got to go on here. :/ i'll investigate and look for clips.

    not really familar with duncans or gibsons (outside of the 57 classics), but as you suggest, i think i like alnico ii magnets. had some a2pros in my starter guitar way back when i was pleased, though there isn't much comparison between the guitars. ironically, i tend to be really hard on bridge pickups, though i only use them maybe a quarter of the time. i've tried a4 pickups there before and was quite pleased, but it was a les paul, so... but i'm open to the idea of less popular magnets like the a3 and a4 if it'll get me something i want. i don't want compression, so your point is interesting. these pickups are pretty responsive to dynamics and such, but i'm sure the spruce top helps, too. it is forcing me to be more dynamic with my picking and knob adjustments, which is new for me.


    well this is interesting, as i generally think i'm after something a little darker and less hot, yet clear. this should be good. :) goes to show what i know. i'm curious and would like to hear more, but i'm still in the info/cash gathering portion of my search, while i learn the guitar and wait for my amp to come back from the shop. i've only played though my old jc-77, which has been surprisingly great. so while i'm fascinated, i don't want to kick the crap out of your tires.

    for what its worth, i ask about the jazzbrane because that was the pickup i had picked out for my les paul if i ever tire of the 57 classic.

    and given my nature, i'd probably upgrade the wiring and caps with an rs kit before or at the same time as the pickups. and since i oursource that to a tech, and the hassles of dealing with a hollow body, i'm not looking to experiment here. i have to get it right the first time. so if i have to pay a little more some something custom/handmade to my tastes, it would still be cheaper than trial and error with off the shelf stuff. with spruce and hollow body guitars, it's kind of a crapshoot, as there isn't tons of clips, like with strats and teles.
     
  16. MartinPiana

    MartinPiana Supporting Member

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    big fan of the Benedettos. very transparent, acoustic sound.
     

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