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How do YOU choose pickups /humbuckers

dascher

Member
Messages
583
I've been looking at upgrading the Les Paul with some new pickups. However I'm having trouble distinguishing the features of one compared to another. Every builder uses stock words like "smooth" or "creamy":rotflmao
I also feel like sound clips arent very helpful because the overall rig changes too much from clip to clip.

So how do you choose your pickups?
 

Vintage-tone

Member
Messages
634
What are YOU looking for ?
If you could put your finger on a couple of classic LP players Gibbons ? Page ? Modern guys Slash ? heavier stuff and EMG users ?
 

dascher

Member
Messages
583
What are YOU looking for ?
If you could put your finger on a couple of classic LP players Gibbons ? Page ? Modern guys Slash ? heavier stuff and EMG users ?
I guess something like a cross between JPage and Trey Anastasio. Trey uses SD59s that are modified and that awesome hollowbody so that might not be the best place to start
 

G Man

Member
Messages
1,020
I'm with Jed. I keep an eye out for used small-builder pickups at good prices and give them a try. If I really like them, then I may contact the winder and order up another set, if I need another set. I recently discovered Electric City Pickups this way and could not be happier.
 

tapeworm

Member
Messages
8,590
I tell my luthier what I have in mind and he winds it for me. I'm lucky to have access to such a talented pup winder. He takes the time to listen to what I am wanting in a set and winds them per my vision. Dave gets it right the first time and at this point I haven't even though about going anywhere else. 100% satisfied.
 

whaiyun

Member
Messages
3,596
I'd stick with the boutique standards like Lollar, Fralins, Wolfetones. But yeah I can see where it starts to get confusing with so many pickup winders.
 

MadFrank

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,227
I feel your confusion OP! I'm looking for a new set for my LP, and would really prefer to get it right the first time, rather that the PITA of going thru many sets, having them installed, taken out, sending them back etc...

I have a list of about 4 to 5 TGP Boutique faves that are in the running, with one or two in the top spot, but that changes as often as the Republican nominee frontrunner does! It's actually at the point that I dont want to look at any more makers, as I am just getting confused by too many choices! If i cannot find a good set from the 5-6 guy's I've bookmarked.. then I just dont know what I want. My only recourse are YT demos and good word of mouth recomendations, but I suppose eventually you just have to pick one and hope/trust that you have brought a set that really work for you.
 

MadFrank

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,227
^ Good point. I have identified that a vintage PAF-sound and low-wind are what I'm after.
 

Deathmonkey

Member
Messages
2,429
I listen to a LOT of clips. I find that if you approach it with a certain diligence, you can hear the commonalities between clips of the same pickup (or guitar, or amp, etc)regardless of the other pieces of the rig. You start to learn how to filter out a lot of stuff. It's not perfect, but you can still get the basic jist of what the builder was going for, I find.

In the end, tho, there's no substitute for taking the plunge and trying stuff for yourself. I've been on a pickup hunt for years, and recently found that I really like some boutique ceramics (Wolfetone's BlisterBucker, Smits Pickups Dirty Boy) even tho I'd have sworn I was an alnico guy.

So that's my advice - listen the SH*T out of clips, try stuff, and keep an open mind. :D
 

FLStratcat

Member
Messages
514
I listen to clips side-by-side with a good set of headphones, buy used and try different things that aren't what I may be looking for 'cos you never know ;) Lots of trial and error and swapping of little things like magnets, pots, caps, etc.
 

rumblebox

Member
Messages
425
I've been looking at upgrading the Les Paul with some new pickups. However I'm having trouble distinguishing the features of one compared to another. Every builder uses stock words like "smooth" or "creamy":rotflmao
I also feel like sound clips arent very helpful because the overall rig changes too much from clip to clip.

So how do you choose your pickups?
What pickups do u have now? Its highly likely you could tune your stock pickups to your liking with magnets and pots.
 

EADGBE

Senior Member
Messages
12,338
I usually go by what my favorite players use. And then I let my ears make the final decision.
 

Jed B

Member
Messages
1,166
I just keep experimenting until I find the right ones, with magnet swaps also.
This is solid advice here. I recently bought some antiquities, and in my guitar they didn't have it. So rather than try something else, I swapped some magnets.

$15 total, best money I've ever spent related to pickups. I really got a good idea how different magnets can affect sound.
 






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