I like Gibson '57 Classics, but....

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by clay49, May 5, 2009.

  1. clay49

    clay49 Silver Supporting Member

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    I seem to keep coming back to Gibson '57 Classic pickups, but each time, I end up moving on to something else. I want something that retains the smooth and creamy overdrive sound, but I'm always looking for a little more articulation and bite in the attack (in overdrive mode)...these always tend to sound a little too "mushy" for my ears.

    I've just tried a Wolfetone Dr. Vintage in my LP Standard Raw Power, and it is a bit too brite, and doesn't quite have the sustain of the '57...any other suggestions for a PAF range with those qualities?

    (I've also tried Motor City Blackbelts, SD 59s, Seth Lovers, AlNiCo II Pro, Wolfetone Marshallhead and WCR Darkbursts...all great pups, but still not hitting my target)....thanks for any recommendations....
     
  2. pirateflynn

    pirateflynn Member

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    You've already tried some really good pickups which makes me wonder if something else in the equation isn't measuring up. Which guitar/amp set up are you using?

    If you like the '57 Classics but want a little 'more', I'd recommend a Tom Holmes H450/H455 set. A different price point but awesome and no problem with resale if you decide to move them on.
     
  3. never-enough

    never-enough Member

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    since you are trying them all, you should check out lollar imperials.
    ended my search for paf type pickups.
     
  4. clay49

    clay49 Silver Supporting Member

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    I think the sound chain is pretty good...in this set up (I have several) I'm using a Gibson Les Paul Standard Raw Power guitar (2000), Lava cables, no effects, into a Peters Dual Channel Polaris (2008 model) with matched JJ tubes (preamp and power section [E34Ls]), then into a Avatar G212 Vintage cab with Scumback speakers...

    And, for the record, I did get a hold of a set of Holmes PAFs...but once again, they didn't move me (ok, don't throw stones or abuse my way after this admittance, but I was rather underwhelmed by them, especially at $500 for the set...which I did get back in resale).

    On the Lollars...which ones to choose...underwound Imperials, standard Imperials, or over-wound Imperials? Anyone want to weigh in on the WCR Godwoods for this application? Any good words for Sheptone Tributes? I think the Fillmore's will be a little over-the-top at 13+K...too much wind for me.
     
  5. pirateflynn

    pirateflynn Member

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    I suggested Tom Holmes because they are kind of like a boutique version of the '57 Classics that you are drawn back to. I have them in a semi-hollow and love them. I really like the Darkbursts myself for a LP type application but you weren't thrilled by them either. Good luck with it.
     
  6. Tommy Tourbus

    Tommy Tourbus Senior Member

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  7. Buddy Boy

    Buddy Boy Member

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    The weak point in this chain is/are the tubes. Try some NOS preamp tubes(a least in V1 and Phase Inverter) and you should get more clarity when the amp is smokin'.Same with the power tubes. I like the 57's pretty well and don't see why you couldn't get what you want from them.
     
  8. frankiestarr

    frankiestarr Member

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    I bet you would like the WB Vintage Hot, or even cleaner Vintage Tuned PAF with the old stock wire of course....Un-beatable.
     
  9. billstets

    billstets Member

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    That's a really good suggestion. Some people hate the JJ preamp tubes. I like them, but they can be dark in some amps. I'd try NOS or even the Tung Sol reissues in V1 and the PI. I have an old GE in my JTM45 clone and it is a big improvement over the JJ. It still has the creamy round sound, but more clarity and bite.
     
  10. LowWatt

    LowWatt Member

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    Before you go into more pickups, are all your pots 500k? So many Gibsons, even high end ones, have shipped with 300k pots. No humbucker sounds right to me with 300k pots. That might be the case.
     
  11. Stringz

    Stringz Member

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    If you keep coming back to the 57's, there must be a reason. Maybe you should give in and don't fight their allure any longer.
     
  12. bsuite

    bsuite Supporting Member

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    Stop spending big bucks & just swap the a2 mags for some a3 or a4's
    Not that hard.
    cost about $10-$20 bucks at most.
    Most of the ones youv'e tried are a5's so you want something in between.
     
  13. TomStrat

    TomStrat Member

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    have you tried the Classic 57 Plus? It sounds great in my Les Paul Traditional, has a little more bite, a bit hotter.
     
  14. slider313

    slider313 Silver Supporting Member

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    I had the Classic '57's in my '01 R8 and tried about five different sets of pickups, all of which "didn't have it". I got a set of Manlius "Fat Dianes" and found exactly what I was looking for.
     
  15. Bo Faulkner

    Bo Faulkner Member

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    Dimarzio 36th anv PAFS are much punchier in the lows and highs as smoother but still articulate compared to the BBs that were stock in my R7. fat and juicy but not too hot at all.. really nice cleans and od
     
  16. justonwo

    justonwo Member

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    Have you considered that PAFs may not be what you're looking for? Maybe you need something slightly more modern. Go with a different magnet, as suggested, or a hotter pickup. The 57 Classic Plus may fit the bill for you.
     
  17. Aardvark

    Aardvark Silver Supporting Member

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    Consider a Fralin P92 neck combined with a WCR Godwood bridge. It may seem like a strange combo at first but sounds great to my ears. I think it would address the issues you are having.
     
  18. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    WCR Darkburst neck, Godwood bridge. Very PAF-ish, articulate, and smooth as whipped cream. A hair hotter than the 57s as well.
     
  19. clay49

    clay49 Silver Supporting Member

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    Well, I have tried a few higher output pups, like SD JB, DiMarzio Super Distortion...but the higher the wind, the more covered (woofy) they sounded to me...lost a good bit of high end. Even the Wolfetone Marshallheads (9K) were a bit covered, or dark as opposed to the 8K range pickups. But maybe it was the JJ tubes????

    I'm intrigued about the possibility of trying different tubes. If am not mistaken, the Peters Polaris came originally with Tung-Sol. I've just been using JJs for years ever since I dropped them in a Marshall head that I had years ago and it so dramatically changed the sound, that I've never considered using any others.
     
  20. never-enough

    never-enough Member

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    i put standard imperials into my paul, and i also did an rs wiring kit.
    even though i rarely associate humbuckers and "sparkle," it mage me rethink what humbucker guitars are really capable of.
    still enough grit when i play with dirt, but both clean and dirty sounds have alot more air to them.
    maybe you should just do a wiring kit first before trying more pickups.
    the tube suggestion is a good one as well.
     

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