Hmmm I don't love my Duncan Antiquities

1973Marshall

Member
Messages
6,776
Before anyone loses their mind... these are great pickups. Read on.

After searching high and low for a set of double cream Antiquities I found a pair and installed them over a year ago. We are well past any possibly honeymoon and I just don't love them. Having regularly used the Alnico 2 Pro in multiple guitars from Charvels to PRS and Les Pauls I was surprised that this change didn't wow me more. They are fine and I prefer them over the Burstbucker 2 & 3 they replaced but they are a little too soft and they don't growl (not in terms of output but punchy harmonic overtone and ability to control the bite) whereas my other pickups will do as such. I've even loved the Pearly Gates which I had in a guitar up til recently.

I get that they are heavily degaussed etc etc. They are solid and rich but I just don't love them and they are almost too polite though the midrange is good.

The guitar is an early 90s Les Paul Classic and it sounds pretty darn good so I doubt it's the guitar. Also, I am pretty familiar with Duncans and their models tend to have a signature sound where you don't end up too surprised. In fact their ironic detriment might be that they are such signature tones that they kinda add a lot of their color when you use them.

Anyone have similar experiences with Antiquities? I'm almost ready to move on to something else like Dimarzios, maybe 36ths or a different direction like a Super Distortion.
 
Messages
2,617
I had a 2003 Les Paul standard that I swapped the stock burstbucker pros for Seth Lovers and regretted it.
I did it because teh internet said so.
I did NOT dislike the Seth Lovers,
I just preferred the burstbucker pros.

Currently I have a 2000 classic which I pulled the stock 490/498 set from and installed throbaks.
I’m not a boutique snob but I gotta say the throbaks have the burst tone.

Honestly,
I think as consumers we are spoiled.
It’s more difficult to find a bad sounding pickup that ever.
 

Rod

Tone is Paramount
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
21,812
Just change the magnet. I use full-strength A2s or A5s, depending on the guitar.
OP, I couldn’t agree with you more.. I’d try some A5 mags if you want to mess with them as @Johnnytone suggested....that will tighten it up some and it will have more articulation... or.. just sell them and buy a Duncan 59 for the bridge and a Duncan Jazz for the neck.. (imho, the 59 neck can be a bit muddy)...both are A5 magnets.. and pocket some $$$..
I had a number of A2 boutique buckers and I’m done with all of them with my neutral sounding amps and overdrive pedals. The 59 Bridge is killer with all pedals as is the Jazz....(and I never used to be a fan of Duncan Humbuckers in general till I bought a guitar that had them in it)
 

Bluesful

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
38,871
I had a 2003 Les Paul standard that I swapped the stock burstbucker pros for Seth Lovers and regretted it.
I did it because teh internet said so.
I did NOT dislike the Seth Lovers,
I just preferred the burstbucker pros.

Currently I have a 2000 classic which I pulled the stock 490/498 set from and installed throbaks.
I’m not a boutique snob but I gotta say the throbaks have the burst tone.

Honestly,
I think as consumers we are spoiled.
It’s more difficult to find a bad sounding pickup that ever.
I'm sort of the opposite.

I pulled the stock Burstbucker Pros out of my '06 Standard for a set of OX4 low winds and I couldn't be happier.
 

phoghat

Member
Messages
1,148
I just pulled an Antiquity out of the bridge of my Les Paul and replaced it with a good ol' Dimarzio Super Distortion. Left the Antiquity in the neck. For me, it's better.

I know it's a very different style pickup, but I need ornery in the bridge. I'm kinda bored of PAF tone. YMMV, etc.
 

slipbeer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,345
Different strokes. There's no shame in not loving Antiquities.

I've loved them in a Les Paul Classic for a very long time but I have loved them less in other guitars.

Get pickups that get your juices flowing and don't worry about what you're supposed to have in a guitar.
 

Mincer

Member
Messages
4,541
Swap the magnets first. People have good results with A4. I love them the way they are, but I am really on board with what they do.
 

Rod

Tone is Paramount
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
21,812
Where is a good source to buy pickup magnets? Stew Mac?
 

derekd

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
42,726
Sometimes pickups are like shoes, you have to find the ones that fit.

I've used some pickups, like Classic 57s, in many guitars to good effect. I've put them in a guitar once where they didn't produce what I normally got from them.
 

Drew816

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,244
If you're swapping magnets you've defeated the "purpose" of this offering. Then again, it's a quick and easy way to get another sound and the cheapest way to get there. More grind, A5 bridge, A2 neck. A4s, might be worth a try...

This all coming from a guy that just ordered another set of Fralin Pure PAF low winds, these and Wolfetone's are my go too pickups after years and years and decades of searching.
 

DRS

Member
Messages
11,636
I have always found that weaker humbuckers sound better in Les Pauls. I have a Seth Lover and a Biltoft with A3 magnets in my Les Paul Trad.
An Antiquity with a stronger magnet is a Seth Lover. So there is that.
 
Last edited:

Rocco Crocco

Member
Messages
1,520
I just put a set in a Les Paul and I am loving them, but if I only owned one guitar it would have something else in the bridge position, most likely a Super Distortion.
 




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