Most Versatile Pickup Set for a Les Paul?

BGrizzMayne

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1,219
Hey guys! I have a Suhr S-4 HSS strat and a Les Paul R8. I find myself really not getting as much use as I'd like from the R8- primarily because of the neck pickup. The bridge is more usable but I'm not completely sold. Honestly not sure what kind of pickups they are- just stock from gibson. I think a burstbucker of sorts.

Anyways, I had all sorts of problems setting these guys up. I have the neck pickup sunk WAY down, where you can see a lot of the edges of the covers, but the bridge WAY up as close to the strings as possible. While I realize that height adjustments are necessary from pickup to pickup, I've never had this level of disparity between the two.

Couple that weirdness with a generally lifeless and uninspiring neck and middle tone, and I just don't dig the LP for anything other than thick rock. I'd love to do some more blues & mid gain stuff with it, but I don't like to ride my bridge pickup for songs that aren't rocking pretty hard.

Does anyone have any pickup recommendations? I don't want to compromise the nature of a les paul- thick mahogany and a big tone. But I'd love to get some more versatility out of mine. Perhaps a humbucker that can coil tap? No idea, just throwing ideas out.

BGM
 

GCDEF

Supporting Member
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27,647
Good grief. There's a Les Paul pickups thread almost every day. Did you try a search?
 

choucas09

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3,244
A combination I really like is p90(HB size) neck and split coil HB bridge. Gives you five distinct sounds.
 
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I have a 2003 R8, which came stock with unpotted BB1 neck and BB2 bridge. I like the original Burstbucker pickups in most applications, but I have never liked the BB-Pro versions used later. Anyway, the key to getting great and versatile tone from an R8 with BB1&BB2 is to keep the pickup height fairly low, raise the pole-pieces a couple of turns, and most importantly, keep both volume knobs backed off to about 7. When you have the volume knobs maxed, the Burstbuckers start to sound harsh and brittle. Lower the volume knobs and you get a sweet, round, clear and articulate vintage tone.
 

1973Marshall

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6,727
I'd argue that a versatile LP is one with low output, vintage style HBs. Those work for everything up to hard core metal in which case the Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro II (think Slash) work quite well as do the 59s, though I find the latter a little vanilla. The AP2's are 4-wire and split quite well. I use the Jimmy Page wiring and I am shocked every guitarist doesn't take advantage of this brilliant and well-documented system that benefited a legend.

Of course, SD's JB/59 set is a monster in the history of music with tons of players going that route successfully. My tastes aren't heavily boutique so I will ad I love the Dimarzio 36th's as well but they are all damn similar. They all play quite well. If you waste that much time on pickup nuances you may not be spending enough time making music.

If you like boutique, I can say I've really enjoyed the Lollar's and Voodoo's with the Voodoo's being my fave of the boutiques.
 

BGrizzMayne

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1,219
Thanks for the feedback. Playing through a suhr pt-100, a plexi style amp. I'll check out SD, any other recommendations? Maybe the older burst buckets? I believe my r8 is s 2009
 

archey

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6,352
I know they aren't fancy, but dimarzio 36th anniversary paf's are really good. The split coil tone is super usable. Actually more so than any other humbucker that I've tried. The split sound does have a noticeable drop in volume though.
 

mrrs

Member
Messages
108
I'd recommend you try a brighter humbucker in the neck.
The Duncan Screamin' Demon is my favorite so far, but also consider the Jazz and Full Shred neck versions. A coil tapping switch is a must for me from now on. It's a no-brainer for more tones available to you.
 

BGrizzMayne

Member
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1,219
I know they aren't fancy, but dimarzio 36th anniversary paf's are really good. The split coil tone is super usable. Actually more so than any other humbucker that I've tried. The split sound does have a noticeable drop in volume though.
sorry to bump an old thread- been MIA for a bit. but a volume drop would be an absolute deal breaker for me.

Anyone used Suhr's pickups in a Les Paul?
 

bigtone23

Member
Messages
5,820
I had a Pearly Gates + in the neck and a JB in the bridge of my LP. They mixed really well and split nicely.
Perhaps do a series/parallel switch instead of splits on the pickups to keep the volumes more even.
 

muddy

Member
Messages
5,717
a harmonic design z90 in the bridge, & a tvj magnatron in the neck (i've only had the bridge maggie in the neck pos, though, & you have to deepen the rout for it). i've REALLY wanted to try tvj's t-armond in the neck, & now that he's making it in an english mount again...


ml
 




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