Pickups for Gibson R9 Les Paul...opinions

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by lonetone483, Aug 24, 2019.

  1. lonetone483

    lonetone483 Member

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    Hey guys. Title pretty much sums it up. I'm looking to replace the pickups in my 2014 VOS R9. I'm looking for something that a more balanced across the frequencies and pickup positions but will be brighter. Almost like Pete Thorns Gil Yaron 59 replica. Still would like to retain the lowend punch you get with overdrive though. Right now in my sights are on maybe some Suhr Thornbuckers, Throbak PAFs although the options are a little overwhelming, Wolfetones and Motor City Pickups.

    Would like to hear your alls recommendations and why you like that choice. I play all.kinds of music. Classic rock, blues, 80's, 90's...etc.
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Supporting Member

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    I would recommend Zhangbuckers... Pagey Neck. Brownbucker Bridge..or if you want more treble, Pagey Bridge....... amazing hand wound pickups.. at reasonable prices
    (I use their Duane and Duane Plus models, but am into more mids and more balanced highs). They are in all my LP’s and TelePaul
     
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  3. MilwMark

    MilwMark Member

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    What pickups are in there?

    They choose carefully and well to complement the instrument.

    Have you had a good shop balance, tilt and adjust pole pieces?

    There is no way it came with pickups that won’t balance with each other and across frequencies.
     
  4. Magnets And Melodies

    Magnets And Melodies Member

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    Play with pickup height and things first. First determine if it's the guitar or the pickups.

    Then after that if you really want to swap them, Throbak's are always a great choice if you want to fork out that kind of money. If not, BKP's are great too... Personally I like Custombuckers though.
     
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  5. dwk302

    dwk302 Member

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    There are an overwhelming number of excellent choices. I’ve tried many and the ones that stayed in are:

    Throbak DT, MT and Pre-T (335)
    Wizz with A4 mags

    But lots of other good choices like Wolftone, OX4, and even SD. Head over Mylespaul forum. There are tons of detailed discussions covering this topic.
     
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  6. DiPa

    DiPa Constant GAS Silver Supporting Member

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    I own a couple R9s, never needed to swap the stock pups. Above post recommendations with height adjustment should be done first.
    However if you decide to swap, look at the Duncan Antiquity, they are a bit on the brighter side when I compare them to others, you may like them. Save the stock pups in the case, one day when you decide to sell and you will be glad you have them.
     
  7. 71strat

    71strat Member

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    Tom Holmes H450/H455. Have to get in line though.

    Throbak SEL101 A2 Magnets
    KZ115 A2. Or A4 mags.
     
  8. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    I have been a WCR/JWP guy since 2003. Jim Wagner is an epic, creative winder, and has got several PAF flavors. I have a 'biter' Les Paul. Loaded with DB neck/Goodwood+ bridge, since around 2005. Give him a call if you have specific tones in your head. Not a cheap date, but very close to the real deal.

    Someone already mentioned that you really need to check they are height adjusted correctly.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  9. Jarick

    Jarick Supporting Member

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    Most balanced PAF types I've tried are Lollar Imperials, low wind neck, regular bridge. Very even up and down the spectrum. But that kind of means they are missing some of the snarl or honk or sting or some other things that might give some character.

    Thornbuckers are a little brighter in the attack/fuller lows in the neck and a little pushed in the mids and output in the bridge. Seth Lovers are warm and clear and can have a little honk but aren't overly aggressive. Bare Knuckle Mules are clear as well but can have a little bit of that snarl and a bit of attack/thump.

    For me the PAF flavors are subtle. Get a set from a respected brand in a good guitar and it will sound great.
     
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  10. Carlo

    Carlo Member

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    J. M. Rolph 59 Pretenders

    Brighter can have a lot to do with pickup height.

    Experiment with yours. The stock pickups in a 2014 R9 should be fine and a change may only be a small incremental change that the purchase price of a boutique pickup may not justify.
     
  11. lonetone483

    lonetone483 Member

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    A lot of great info guys. Thank you. On the subject of adjusting the pickups do you guys have any specific measurements. The closest place I trust with I guitar like this is a 4 to 5 hour drive minimum. I am experienced in guitar repairs and adjustments but just wondering what generally worked for you guys that have a R9
     
  12. MilwMark

    MilwMark Member

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    Lower the neck pickup to almost even with the pickup ring. Then lower the bass side until it is even with the pickup ring.

    Get all pole pieces flush with the pickup face. Then try a subtle Strat stagger with the polepieces. Then adjust them up or down fornstring balance. Small turns (1/4 at most).

    If it sounds dead or dull, raise it a bit (not much).

    Then follow basically the same procedure with the bridge pickup. Focusing first on a height that roughly balances volume with the neck pickup. Maybe a little less tilt of the bass side than the neck pickup.

    Too close to the strings is harsh, kills sustain and hurts intonation.
     
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  13. MilwMark

    MilwMark Member

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    Take top and side pics of your current setup so you can get back to it if you get frustrated.
     
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  14. BrokenRomeo

    BrokenRomeo Supporting Member

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    A good starting point would be to measure fretting at the last fret to the bottom of the string from the pole piece...Bass side 6/64, treble side 4-5/64th, same for both pickups, then slightly adjust the neck pickup for volume match if necessary.
     
  15. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

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    I have very recent experience (as in yesterday) with swapping out the stock pickups in my LP (Burstbucker Pros) to a set of OX4 low wind standard HBs with A4 magnets.

    Very even across the spectrum and a lot more clarity than the Burstbucker Pros that were in there. Got rid of that boomy low end that was buggin' me too.

    If you search this forum I have a thread about it from yesterday with a couple of clips as examples.
     
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  16. Blackstone

    Blackstone Member

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    Van Zandt Trubucker?

    I also hear High Order pickups are very good but never tried.
     
  17. Mbr0006

    Mbr0006 Member

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    ReWind

    James' pickups will here and now always be in any Gibson I own they're that good. I'm generally always left unhappy in the neck position with LPs. The PAFs James produces have a level of clarity to them which I haven't found elsewhere.

    Best part is that he is a great guy to work with too. Send him an email with what you have and what you're looking for and he'll point you in the right direction/offer to tweak one of his standard sets to what you're looking for.
     
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  18. Shnook

    Shnook Member

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    I spent over $700 for 2 different sets of boutique aftermarket pickups for my former R9. After recently listening to some band tapes that were done with the stock pickups I realized I’d wasted $700.
     
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  19. GaryMcT

    GaryMcT Gold Supporting Member

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    Thornbucker was designed to do this and it works really well at it. Love them in my R9. Is an extra bonus that they are potted yet still sound fantastic.
     
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  20. chumbucket

    chumbucket Supporting Member

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    You're going to get a million different opinions on here about this. The Custombuckers are great pickups. You probably just need to tweak the height.
     
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