NGD (Kinda): Need your help (mini humbuckers)

les_paul

Member
Messages
1,052
Today I was making my usual Friday pawn shop rounds. At the last planned stop I found an early 1970s Les Paul Deluxe with a stupid low price on it. Immediately I noticed it had a neck repair that looked pretty low in quality. After consulting my local luthier and getting a very rough estimate on what it would cost to 'make it pretty' I made an offer that was accepted and put it on layaway until I can come up with the rest of the funds.

It appears to be all original. I don't know how those old mini humbuckers will sound in my rig. I'm certainly not going to route it out for full size humbuckers either. I'm looking for a good mini humbucker set for hard rock that still sound good clean. I have zero experience with these pickups so any help is appreciated.

EDITED! I picked it up today...laugh at the quality of the repair all you want, but for what I've got into it I'm willing to throw money at the repairs.





...and after the repair


 
Last edited:

doublescale1

Suhr S-Classic, V60LP's, Soft V neck
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,148
I played a Collins w/2XMini-HB, Lollars, in LA just last week - those were amazing sounding pickups - the guitar was a slab mahogany LP Special type clone and it was stunning sounding. The Lollar Mini-Humbucker pickups were the most impressive sounding example of that style HB I have ever heard - way better than any Gibson in any Gibson guitar I have ever played - LP or Firebird. I simply was not expecting the Lollars to be that good since I had written off Mini-Hums altogether because of what the Gibsons had always sounded like - different breed the Lollar Mini-Hums. Worth a look and listen - you won't know till you install them but even if you don't like them you will not loose much money re-selling them - be sure to install them without clipping any wire leads, and if you like them then trim the leads to fit your guitar - if your not doing the pu install yourself, tell your tech you want to "audition" these pickups before a permanent install, hopefully they will work with you. Good Hunting.
 

SPROING!

Member
Messages
8,796
It does. As I said, I'm not entirely sure how some older pickups are going to sound in my high gain amp.
The old Gibson minis sound pretty good to me. I would leave em for sure.
I have no idea how they handle lots of gain, though. I don't play all that hot.
 

Boogie92801

Member
Messages
2,247
Here is a secret: p-90s fit with no mods. But I love my mini hums. I have a set of Tom Short minis that I put in a p-90 loaded Ted. I think you may find you like the stock pups a lot.
 

thegoochie

Member
Messages
171
These days folks will have mini humbuckers wound to sound like the old gibsons. The new ones are less then ideal for many. I personally use JS Moore pickups wound alnico in my firebird and love the sound. He is also extremely reasonable and will custom tweak the winding to try and achieve a specific tone.

That said, I would try whatever is in there first since I suspect they will have a nice tone already
 

mad dog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,997
The mini humbuckers in my Epiphone Elitist Rivera are very tasty, I think they're Gibsons, American made, but not sure. Whatever they are, the range and quality of sound is impressive. This is not a guitar on which I'll be swapping pickups.
MD
 

yardbird mac

Member
Messages
1,383
I had a "71" Deluxe that had the mini humbuckers in it. It sounded pretty good right out of the box, so I thought, but... The (exposed) bridge pickup pole piece (high E) didn't line up at all with the string. Even with the other pole pieces lowered and the high E raised, the high E was noticeably weaker than the rest. I took it to a tech and he turned the pup 180˚ so that the exposed pole pieces lined up better with the strings. This actually did make a big difference.

As a side note... I traded an early (possibly first run - 1968) P-90 loaded Les Paul Standard for the Deluxe. The Deluxe was cherry sunburst as opposed to the Standard gold top, and I thought I wanted the mini humbuckers instead of P-90s. Not to scare you off, but the Deluxe ended up being a real piece of crap compared to the "68" Standard. I know there were a bunch of really good NORLIN era GIBSONs, I just never owned one. I had a run of bad luck with "70s" era GIBSONs.

To this day I wish I had kept the "68" Standard. It had a crown inlay on the headstock and I had a good tech nearby that did a perfect setup on it. A few years ago the value on these early "68s" with the crown inlay went through the ceiling!

The one guitar that I really regret not buying in 1969 was a 1959 "Burst" that a guy in my dorm was selling for $600.00. I was a poor college student at the time and couldn't come up with the cash.
 

les_paul

Member
Messages
1,052
I had a "71" Deluxe that had the mini humbuckers in it. It sounded pretty good right out of the box, so I thought, but... The (exposed) bridge pickup pole piece (high E) didn't line up at all with the string. Even with the other pole pieces lowered and the high E raised, the high E was noticeably weaker than the rest. I took it to a tech and he turned the pup 180˚ so that the exposed pole pieces lined up better with the strings. This actually did make a big difference.

As a side note... I traded an early (possibly first run - 1968) P-90 loaded Les Paul Standard for the Deluxe. The Deluxe was cherry sunburst as opposed to the Standard gold top, and I thought I wanted the mini humbuckers instead of P-90s. Not to scare you off, but the Deluxe ended up being a real piece of crap compared to the "68" Standard. I know there were a bunch of really good NORLIN era GIBSONs, I just never owned one. I had a run of bad luck with "70s" era GIBSONs.

To this day I wish I had kept the "68" Standard. It had a crown inlay on the headstock and I had a good tech nearby that did a perfect setup on it. A few years ago the value on these early "68s" with the crown inlay went through the ceiling!

The one guitar that I really regret not buying in 1969 was a 1959 "Burst" that a guy in my dorm was selling for $600.00. I was a poor college student at the time and couldn't come up with the cash.
I'm not paying a whole lot more than that for this one. My main issue I think will be cleaning up the neck repair. I guess I don't know what to expect out of the minis overall, especially in a high gain rig. I'm almost certain it will sound best with the lower gain modes on my amp.
 

Polynitro

Member
Messages
23,616
the pickups in it now are the ones you want, just ask Pete Townshend

IMO minis sound like brighter, more focused PAF style humbuckers.

edit: didnt see the high gain part. I think all pickups sound better without high gain, in other words i dont think it matters. You wont get noise because its a bucker so you should be good to go.
if your rig sounds good with trad humbuckers it will with these minis.

I LOVE minihumbuckers. I never liked regular buckers, and always loved p90s and Tele singles.
 

lpdeluxe

Member
Messages
1,529
Here's a pic of my '70 gold top with Seymour Duncan SM-1 pickups. I replaced the stock ones because the bridge pickup had gone dead. The SDs sounded very close to the standard ones.

I think the Deluxe with minis is the best sounding Les Paul there is. In fact, I never cared for the full-size humbucker sound. A friend bought this one and I was blown away...13 years later he sold it to me and it got heavy use for the next 10 years or so. I eventually sold it due to its weight and the fact that I don't care for solid bodies so it was replaced with a 335. If there were a way to put minis in the 335, I'd do it!

 

Sweetfinger

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,888
Your original minis might be too microphonic for a high gain rig. You'll have to see. There are more good choices for drop in replacements right now than at any time before.

Don't forget, Lawrence USA still makes the L-550s which are drop-ins for the Deluxe:

 

les_paul

Member
Messages
1,052
Your original minis might be too microphonic for a high gain rig. You'll have to see. There are more good choices for drop in replacements right now than at any time before.

Don't forget, Lawrence USA still makes the L-550s which are drop-ins for the Deluxe:

This is what I was worried about. Too bad, too...they're the Gibson stamped pickups. I hope to bring it home in the next week or two to find out for sure.
 

les_paul

Member
Messages
1,052
Just as suspected...the pickups are really microphonic. The neck repair looks pretty poopy but seems sound. I've never posted pics here...do I need to do it off an image hosting site or can I upload them?
 

erksin

Senior Member
Messages
23,127
This is what I was worried about. Too bad, too...they're the Gibson stamped pickups. I hope to bring it home in the next week or two to find out for sure.
Easy enough to have them wax potted under vacuum. Lots of pickup winders offer this as a service.

I think you'll have a hard time beating the originals - they're pretty damn great sounding pickups.
 




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