If I like Duncan '59's, what pickups might I like more?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by ericb, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    HI all, I spend 99% of my time on the amp /effect/digital forums here, but I'm finally starting to work on some of my guitar 'projects', and although I used to know a lot about pickups, I'm not really up on the new models. I have a few guitar with H-S-H configs that I'm going to be putting together, and I'm thinking of trying some new pickups. If I like semi-lo-output HB's that sound good for clean on up to HI-Gain, what is similar but possibly better than Duncan 59's? My past experience has showed for what I do I probably should have potted pickups also. I also would like the HB's to not be dramatically different in sound/output from the middle s/c pickup. . Are Thornbuckers , Mules,etc good choices? What say you?

    p.s. feel free to tell me to use the 'Search' feature if this has been asked a million times before lol .. Thanks, Eric
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016
  2. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    uh, duncan '59s? ;)

    those are underrated but terrific pickups; if you like them then as long as you stay in the classic PAF-type ballpark (alnico magnets, bridge less than 9k and neck less than 8k) you should find other ones you like too.

    consider sticking with alnico 5 for at least the bridge pickup (like the 59 has), that makes for a sturdier, punchier bridge with a bit more low end than the common alnico 2, which tends towards smooth and sweet when played gently but soft and spongy when hit harder.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016
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  3. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    They're definitely not under-rated to me as I have them in 2 of my workhorse H-S-S Floyd Fenders that I've used at 80% of my gigs for years! :) BUT , I'm thinking since I'm going to be piecing together a few nice guitars I think I want to use something similar but different! Thanks for the info. . Eric
     
  4. tone4days

    tone4days Member

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    I put a Duncan Custom 5 in the bridge of my HSH guitar when I wanted a " 59 but a little 'more' " to match the 59 in the neck

    It balances very well with just a little adjusting to pole piece/pickup height.
     
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  5. Brian N

    Brian N Member

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    The 59s are based off of the PAF pickups. You should be looking for other pickups based off of PAFs. Gibson Burstbucker, Bare Knuckle Mule, Bare Knuckle Riff Raff, to name a few.
     
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  6. 67blackcherry

    67blackcherry Supporting Member

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    I've got DiMarzio 36th Anniversary p/ups in both my R8's and I love them.
     
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  7. donnievaz

    donnievaz Member

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    Check out the Whole Lotta Humbucker set, they should be right up your alley.
     
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  8. Mincer

    Mincer Member

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    The Antiquities will do it, but not super-high gain. The Custom 5 and the Jazz are like a 'hi-fi' version of the 59s.
     
  9. jetydosa

    jetydosa Supporting Member

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    I went from a set of Duncan 59s to the Duncan Bonamassa PAFs and the Bonamassas were a huge improvement in clarity and overall tone. Not that the 59s were "bad", but the Bonamassas were very significantly better sounding.
     
  10. Gallery

    Gallery Supporting Member

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    This was my thought. Although you said you wanted potted pickups, the Ants will be everything you love about the '59 with more articulation and clarity.
     
  11. Silver Hand

    Silver Hand Member

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    You'll probably like a lot of other pickups in the PAF spectrum since you like 59's. What you will like better/worse depends on what you would want different out of your 59's. A bit more smoothness, or a bit more aggression, a bit more clarity, or a bit more thickness, ect.
     
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  12. sleewell

    sleewell Member

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    SD pearly gates or Dimarzio 36ths
     
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  13. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    I've used 2 kinds of Antiquities in the past and although I loved their tone, they were microphonic as they weren't potted! I need to have potted pu's for high volume/high gain stuff. Thanks for the info on the others too
     
  14. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    Awesome, way too expensive for me though. . If these are the ones at 600.00 per pair!
     
  15. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    I love my '59's , as I've matched them to my guitar and the single coils in the guitars perfectly.. But being that I have 20+ guitars , I definitely don't want the same pickups in every guitar, and I have 2 really cool Ibanez bodies/necks (1's a Paul Gilbert basswood that looks/plays great but don't like the stock pu's , and the other is a custom Herc Fede swirl Ibanez body that is the sweetest looking ever! I'm getting decent at wiring up guitars and setting up Floyds etc (after MANYYYY years) , and just want something similar but different :) I'm awful with descriptions but output on the '59's is just fine.. I like them with clean and hi-gain , BUT if I had to change 1 thing, I'd say I'd like a bit more airiness potential. I just can't use un-potted pu's though Eric
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  16. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    The '59 pickups may be the best PAF types made today. But that's just a guess on my part. If you want more overdrive you could try a full shred or a JB. Less output maybe a Duncan jazz.
     
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  17. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks guys, Pearly Gates and Dimarzio 36th are great suggestions for me. I had never heard of the "whole lotta hb' and just looked that up and that's another... hmmm. SO , has anyone used Thornbuckers and compared them? I can't go by 'clips' for pickups, but just curious if any real-life experiences out there? Thanks! Eric
     
  18. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks I have a JB in another guitar, and it's good, but looking for the output level of '59's pretty much. DOn't want less than 59's though. I have a pair of Bare Knuckle Rebel Yells that I've had for 5 years and never installed, but they have the wrong covers for these guitars.. lol. . Eric
     
  19. strawberries

    strawberries Member

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    I like the Ants and Pearly Gates. The 59s were nice but very scooped in the mids.
     
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  20. jetydosa

    jetydosa Supporting Member

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    Yeah they were not exactly cheap at 375 when they came out....seems like sellers are propping up the price a bit now they are discontinued. Absolutely killer pups though (and Im no JB fanboi).
     
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