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Les Paul advise

Remmag

Member
Messages
49
Hey all
I have a 90 model les Paul standard I bought new back in the day
I haven't played for many years and have recently got back into it
I have found I love the guitar but hate the tone of the pick ups
They seem way too hot for me especially the bridge pick up
I am looking at changing them out
I really want creamy,
warm tones
Not terribly bright
I play a germino lead 55 lv
I should note I love the sound of my ec strat through the amp
But just ain't feeling the les Paul tone

Open to pup suggestions

Also would a 50s style wiring / pot upgrade be in order

Thanks in advance
 

Rod

Tone is Paramount
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
21,307
PAFs... Wagner Crossroads are real creamy.that would be my pick.... and yes, 50’s wiring will help as well. I also do treble bleed cap/resistor in parallel across volume pot, per Seymour Duncan’s website.....
 
Last edited:

JackStraw12

Member
Messages
4,729
Definitely PAFs, IIRC the stocks from LPs from the 90's were high output model things I didn't care for either. Wagners are amazing, I have Fillmores in my LP Studio (which is still pretty high output now that I think of it..)
 

FennRx

Member
Messages
1,429
I also love WCR (Jim Wagner) pickups but I recommend either a Crossroads neck/dark burst bridge or just a set of Darkbursts.

I also highly recommend Electric City pickups by Bill Megala
 

eoengineer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,049
Definitely PAFs, IIRC the stocks from LPs from the 90's were high output model things I didn't care for either. Wagners are amazing, I have Fillmores in my LP Studio (which is still pretty high output now that I think of it..)
Yeah I want to say Gibson was still doing the 500/498T pair or something like that.

I recently picked up a LP with burstbucker 2 & 3 and was quite pleased to discover that they were actually lower output with quite a nice warm, round thing going on.

For some reason I always thought they’d be high output and bright.
 

Bullseye092

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,145
Hey all
I have a 90 model les Paul standard I bought new back in the day
I haven't played for many years and have recently got back into it
I have found I love the guitar but hate the tone of the pick ups
They seem way too hot for me especially the bridge pick up
I am looking at changing them out
I really want creamy,
warm tones
Not terribly bright
I play a germino lead 55 lv
I should note I love the sound of my ec strat through the amp
But just ain't feeling the les Paul tone

Open to pup suggestions

Also would a 50s style wiring / pot upgrade be in order

Thanks in advance
I’ve recently tried Seth Lovers after years of really hot pickups and really like them.
 

Texsunburst59

Member
Messages
4,894
If those are still the original Humbucker pickups that were original to the guitar, then they are the Bill Lawrence circuit board pickups.

Do a little research on the pickups before you decide to swap them out.
 

DonP

Member
Messages
2,253
Nope, they might be the first year of the 490R/498T.

If so, the bridge may be trem spaced. So if you get a PAF style pickup the strings won't line up under the poles. Measure the pole spacing on the current bridge. It will be either 49mm or 52mm distance between the outer poles.

If you want to stick with Gibson pickups, I'd suggest a BB1&2 (not the Pros). Nice and creamy, but any PAF with A2 magnets should work.
 

PsykoPat

Member
Messages
288
I have a 92 Les Paul. So probably similar to yours. I hated the pickups (apparently 498T/490R) and replaced them with pickups from Bareknuckle called The Mule. Very nice vintage PAF style. It was an incredible improvement.
 

98G2PRU

Member
Messages
393
In the 90s Gibson was running 300k pots in their USA brand guitars. Check your pots before you change out your pups. You might find that 500k pots will solve your problem and won't cost you much - if you know how to solder.

Also +1 on the WCR Crossroads and Dark Bursts. I have sets of both of these and love them.


+
 

AL30

Member
Messages
3,000
I have a 1990 Custom. I hated the stock pickups. I considered getting rid of the guitar. Instead, I swapped them out for a set of PAF style pickups. It was a night and day difference. I went with Manlius Fat Diane's (which I love - and I now have a few more sets) but I really think any decent PAF wind would have been an improvement over stock.
 

Remmag

Member
Messages
49
I appreciate all the input
I did pull the pick ups and they don't have a circuit board
Just has a stamped patent number on them

I will check the pots tonight

Thanks again
 

Sean French

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
14,185
Hey all
I have a 90 model les Paul standard I bought new back in the day
I haven't played for many years and have recently got back into it
I have found I love the guitar but hate the tone of the pick ups
They seem way too hot for me especially the bridge pick up
I am looking at changing them out
I really want creamy,
warm tones
Not terribly bright
I play a germino lead 55 lv
I should note I love the sound of my ec strat through the amp
But just ain't feeling the les Paul tone

Open to pup suggestions

Also would a 50s style wiring / pot upgrade be in order

Thanks in advance
The stock pickups should be the hot 498T/490R combo.
Sounds like you want a low/med. output PAF with A2 magnets.
Since you want a warm/creamy tone , I'd keep the stock 300K pots.
500K will greatly brighten the tone regardless of pickups.
50's wiring , with all knobs on 10 , will have zero effect on tone compared to modern.
However , a little more high end is retained when rolling down the volume knob(s).
Also the vol. and tone knobs interact a bit differently than modern wired.
All you need to do to make it 50's wiring is move the tone cap to the middle lug of each volume knob.
No need to change a thing for the tone pot wiring.
 

Bodeanicus

Member
Messages
1,094
Mini PAF's ( the ones with the 6 screws, not the solid cover Firebird minis) might be your thing. They have the chimey, single coil treble thing, and a lot of the mids and bass of a full humbucker.

But, don't dismiss the Firebird style minis. I absolutely love them in a Strat. With 330 pots, they might sing in a Paul.
 




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