Humbuckers other than '57s and PAFs...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by [J.K.], Feb 22, 2012.

  1. [J.K.]

    [J.K.] Member

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    Maybe it's because I'm a Hiwatt guy rather that a Marshall/Fender amp rocker, but I'm pretty tired of the rock axioms that a lot of my peers are into, so I'd like to discuss pickups other than PAFs and '57s.

    I'm looking to spice up my relationship with my Les Paul, and have yet to find what I'm looking for. It seems like I hear the words "warm" and "bluesy" so much these days, you'd think the rock lexicon was out of adjectives.

    I've e-mailed around a bit, trying to find that woody-toned pickup that blooms in the upper midrange without that swollen low-mids sound, with an articulation and string separation that has a real "zing" to it without relying on a trebly sharpness. The El Rayos that Lollar's customer support was trying to sell me on sound really vibrant, and my friend up north described them as having a P90-like body with a clearer edge to them and more humbucking characteristics, but I do want a slightly more brooding (but not murky) midrange in my Les Paul than what they immediately seem to offer. Plus the clips on the site for the neck pickup, while surprisingly dynamic, sound like they take the Les Pauliness outta the guitar a bit. I just have no need for the '57s subs, and even the midrange could stand to be woodier (my Strat has an almost woodier, more hollow sound than my Les Paul in the neck). I mean, I have a sound in my head, but trying to match it is tough to do.

    What else is out there that isn't a variation on the old PAF/'57 mold kit? Anything with a higher inductance? I like Filtertons, but I don't think they're what I'm looking for, if only in the opposite ways...
     
  2. gulliver

    gulliver Member

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    You might like the Dimarzio Bluesbucker in the neck ... and you can try it in the bridge as well, they sell one for both applications. I didn't like the Fralin P92 and Twangmaster, but the P92 is certainly different and best for very clean big tones IMHO. The Twangmaster was way too bright.
     
  3. [J.K.]

    [J.K.] Member

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    I'll have to read up on 'em. Aren't the Fralins single coil?
    I know the Bluesbucker is one I heard namedropped but never looked into because I write off ceramic 8 pickups a bit quickly. I'll sniff around on it this time, though.
     
  4. Sean French

    Sean French Supporting Member

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    I would recommend calling Wolfe. www.wolfetone.com
    Let him know what you are after and he will wind it custom for you.
    I've had many sets from Wolfe and he always delivered.:aok
     
  5. Carl_Tone

    Carl_Tone Member

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    You say no PAF but your description fits the Bare Knuckle Stormy Mondays
     
  6. solitaire

    solitaire Senior Member

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    Dimarzio Humbucker From Hell or EJ Signature. These are as defined and bright as they come.

    I could throw in the PAF Pro and the Air Classic here as well, I guess. Not as trebly but more bite to them. The AC is really scooped and hollow sounding but possibly has more bottom than you're in for.
     
  7. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    I'm not very good at deciphering the personification terms so I'm probably not much help.

    In the most simple terms, compared to 57 Classics in a Les Paul, how do you want it to sound different... More smooth or less smooth? More mids or less mids? More aggression?

    I guess I'm a PAF kinda guy, but the 57 Classics are pretty smooth. I have another guitar with an Air Norton the bridge, one with a Breed neck pickup in the bridge and one with a 36th Anniversary in the bridge. The 36th Anniversary is PAF-ish, but definitely more like a hot-rotted PAF with more aggression and more top end.

    I did have a set of Bluesbuckers in a guitar for a while and wasn't really blown away by them. I thought they were ceramic magnets and sort of going for a P90-ish vibe.
     
  8. XmasTree

    XmasTree Member

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    hmmm
    :munch
    you should check out the Gibson 57plus
    ...pretty much the bestestest. ...mostly.
     
  9. K-Line

    K-Line Gold Supporting Member

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    Check out the Lollar El Rayo's. They are not a PAF tone. I say that it is more rawk and less roll!
     
  10. XmasTree

    XmasTree Member

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  11. [J.K.]

    [J.K.] Member

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    Thanks everyone for the considered responses! I really appreciate it!
    Indeed there are a few BKPs I'd like to check out and, even though I'm not too interested in PAFs, a set of really low-wind Peter Green styled pickups has always appealed to my sensibilities.
    I'm definitely going to be doing some research tonight...

    And I am sorry for the perhaps misleading terminology. Describing something non-physical is difficult when most of our adjectives are for physical characteristics and personal traits.

    If only we had a library of every pickup tried on every amp through every kind of guitar body doing every kind of riff etc etc...
     
  12. XmasTree

    XmasTree Member

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    IF you have never tried the Gibson 57 (or 57plus) ...they are seriously amazing sounding pickups


    i've been through a lot of guitars and even more pickups and i'm EXTREMELY glad I decided to try out the 57plus.

    i don't give a damn about the "need a PAF sound" - this pickup just sounds good
    i play a lot of high gain stuff, clean stuff, surf, **** that you wouldn't suggest a PAF style pup for

    so what i'm saying is: IF you haven't tried it, it's a very viable option for awesome sounds!
    ...and it's not super expensive
     
  13. stilesg57

    stilesg57 Member

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  14. [J.K.]

    [J.K.] Member

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    Eeentersting. I like his philosophy. Never heard of 'em, but I'm curious now.
    Who is the other manufacturer he is referring to who does the "mismatched" coil windings?
     
  15. SFW

    SFW Member

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    Rio Grande BBQ.
     
  16. stilesg57

    stilesg57 Member

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    Dunno who exactly he's referring to. I think Gibson is mismatching the winding on some of their factory buckers these days.

    This guy's name is David Plummer and he's definitely worth talking to. I've heard two versions of his winds -- both buckers -- and they were SPECTACULAR. Got to A/B one of them pre/post Zhangbucker, and another against the same guitar model through the same amp.

    I'm no expert but I've heard a lot of guitars in the 15+ years I've been playing and these were about the best humbuckers I've ever heard. Certainly the best sound-price ratio.
     
  17. [J.K.]

    [J.K.] Member

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    Just listened to the Zhang clips. Easily one of the most lush and gorgeous humbuckers I've heard in every way that I'm not looking for. Eventually, when I get a hollowbody, I'd go for 'em in a heartbeat. But they're so bluesy, I don't think they'd vibe well with a punk/powerpop sound through a bone-dry Hiwatt.
    I'll keep 'em in mind and probably e-mail him this weekend, though.
     
  18. Zhangliqun

    Zhangliqun Member

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    I was talking about the Fralin Unbuckers.
     
  19. [J.K.]

    [J.K.] Member

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