Pickups - WCR Godwoods vs. Lollar Imperials

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Ken, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. Ken

    Ken Member

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    What are the differences in the tone between these two pickups, with everything else being equal?

    I know they are both high quality pickups and many players use both, but I'm trying to get a feel for which of these two pickups would work best for me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2008
  2. Ken

    Ken Member

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  3. stratman89

    stratman89 Supporting Member

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  4. stubbyJ

    stubbyJ Member

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    Ken

    This may be of help to you maybe not. I just got done tonight tone testing pickups in an LP standard and R9. I was doing this with a friend that has been playing pro for 30 years now, thus he does have a good ear for what works. As for myself, I have about a 2 lick library but I do like to think that I have a pretty good ear for tone. I had WCR crossroads/darkburst combo and Lollar Lo wind/neck and reg/bridge in both mentioned guitars. In addition, I had the mentioned pus, as well as Burst Buckers in an R7 about 2 weeks ago. Unfortunately I did not have the exact WCRs you have mentioned.

    I will say that the importance of the quality of the piece of wood used, has never been made so apparent to myself than in this taste test.

    Well, unfortunately both my friend and my self were so very dissapointed in the Lollars, for they sounded and felt simply dead, no question about it. It is still painful to admit it. However, due to the previously stated, I am going to put them in a KS 336 (hollow) to see what happens. I was so shocked that I actually called the mentioned buddy over te see if it was just me. He thought the same within seconds.

    Tonight, as menitoned we messed with the WCRs, as I have been trying to get them to work for about a year. The R9 they are in now, is a good piece of wood, but the WCRs make it lesser of one. I will say that they do provide a good woody tone if that is what you are after. The bridge can get a sweet lead tone but they are surly not as clear as the 57s when overdriven. They do sound pretty good clean, but have a brittleness to the end of note, if that makes sense.

    I have tried many AM pus now and I have come to the conclusions that if the guitar does not sound good/what you want as is, it's never going to do so. And, that I'm much better off spending the time and $ on getting the tone from my fingers.

    Lastly, about 2 two weeks ago I stumbled on the mentioned used LP standard which also has 57s in it. It's a great hunk of wood and just crushes all the humbucker guitars I have, why, I have no idea. I mention this only back up what I have said.

    I hope this helped, and as mentioned, I realize that the WCRs are not exactly what you had mentioned. But, I guess, I should mention that to all my guitar friends that have heard them, all were not impressed and opted for the BBs or 57s instead. Maybe Gibson does know what they are doing.

    Stubby
     
  5. Marty s Horne

    Marty s Horne Member

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    I have 57 Classics in my Les Paul Elegant and they do sound nice...fat and warm with no mud. The Goodwoods in my McNaught have a similar vintage humbucker tone but more prescence and clarity than the 57s. It's almost like playing through an Aural Exciter with the WCRs. I've never tried the Lollars so I can't comment on them.
     
  6. bforest4

    bforest4 Supporting Member

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    The Goodwoods are fat, have a midrange bump, and are smooth. WCR pickups remind me of Duane Allman's lead sound, and IMHO, are slightly ahead of the lollars for blues, southern rock, or fusion lead playing. The lollars have 3 different flavors, low wind, regular, and hot. I really like the low winds alot after hearing them in a Collings Soco deluxe, very clear, yet have a cool aggressive growl when played through distortion, more hard rock and alternative vibe. Both pickups are great and I highly recommend having at least one of each because they are quite different. I have a WCR crossroads set in my 335(replaced some stock 57 classics, big improvement!), and WCR Fillmores in my Thorn solidbody, and am getting Lollar low wind imperials in a semihollow Thorn singlecut. Next up is some Wolfetone Dr. V's and/or Marshallheads, also great and another cool flavor.
     
  7. rburkard

    rburkard Gold Supporting Member

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    I absolutely agree with your judgment and findings here. The wood seems to be the most important tone factor, but the people at Gibson really know a lot about their pickups and improved them a lot. A friend and I did following many years ago with an all original 1960 Les Paul Standard and a very good sounding R0 reissue from 1995. This guitar had a pair of specially wound pickups made especially for my friend by Tom Holmes to resemble more of a Clapton/Bluesbreaker kind of sound. This guitar was incredibly sounding because of its wood and the pickups. However the original 1960 still sounded and played better. Just for curiosity we put the Holmes pickups in the original 1960 and the original PAF's in the R0. To our big surprise the original 1960 did not change it's tone and still sounded jaw dropping, while the R0 improved its tone just slightly with the original PAFs.
    BTW: Tom Holmes designed the Classic 57 for Gibson and while they do lack some complexity to the Tom Holmes pickups, they are actually very good sounding pickups.

    Rene

     
  8. whitewave

    whitewave Member

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    I've had Lollar Imperial, WCR Goodwoods, and now I've just bought yesterday Lollar Imperial High Winds. I've tried them in PRSi, along with some Duncans and Rio Grande.
    First of all, quality is the same for both, and both are way better than standard Duncan, even if you could live well enough with a SD 59 or Seth Lover or Custom Custom...
    Lollars are much more clear and trasparent, much more PAF like sound, they are heavenly on cleans and have a good growl on distortions. You can't beat the sweetness of their silky and trasparent highs on cleans.
    Goodwoods are fatter and thicker, but that doesn't mean that Lollars are weak in bass response, they're deep, but Goodwoods are more "compact" in all the range. They're hotter, so juicy, not bright at all, smooth, while Lollar are smooth but in an "old Style" way, with a bit more cut.
    Recently I've bought a PRS McCarty to replace the CE-22 I've used all these pickups in. Since it's fatter sounding, the neck goodwood was a bit too thick, and since I was missing the cleans of Lollars, I've talked with Jason.
    We ended up with a set of Lollar Imperials High Wind. I got them yesterday, so it's too early to give you a response. They're supposed to be very, very similar to the regular one, but a bit hotter, so with less cut or highs, and smoother with distortion.

    I can't suggest you one over the other. They're both wonderful sounding pickup.

    Hope that helps.
     
  9. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

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    I have both sets. Different guitars though.

    All the WCR's I have tried seem very smooth and clear to me. The Lollars are maybe a tad more aggressive.

    I'll just say they both are very good.:D
     
  10. Ken

    Ken Member

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    Which of these two pickups do you think would work best in a PRS CU22 for classic rock tones like in the territory of a Journey sound (Neal Schon) and oh say Toto also, to round it out? Guess more Pop/Classic Rock than the heavier tones~LOL

    Thanks for the great feedback!
     
  11. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

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    Ken, don't analyze it too much. Thst's what everyone started telling me after a while. Everyone is different...

    Buy a set and enjoy!;)

    Really, I tried to get a ton of advice on boutique pups before I dove in. Turns out what I got was a bunch of different preferences and faves.

    I tried WCR Darkbursts, Fillmores, Shredders (all killer). I would still be using them if I didn't sell the guitars.

    Now I own Lollar Imperials, WCR Goodwood/Godwoods, Holmes, and plan on using some Bareknuckles on a Custom build in the works as we speak. I would love to try some pups from Wolfetone and Sheptone as well.:jo

    For what you want, you really can't go wrong with the WCR Goodwoods or Lollar Imperials. I will say Jim at WCR has a customer service that is second to none.

    Pick a set and most likely you will be very, very happy. If not, sell them for a small hit and try the next set on the list:D.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2008
  12. whitewave

    whitewave Member

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    +1 on paintguy
    His advice of getting one set without thinking of what could be with another one is the best I've read about pickups.
    We're talking the best sets out there, both sounds wonderful on PRSi.
    Get one and enjoy!
     
  13. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    I have them both, but in different types of guitars.

    Best I can figure is that the Godwood is definitely hotter and actually a little bright in the bridge hole of my PRS CU22. I just bought alnico 2 magnets to try to cool it off a bit.

    I had the Lollars in an R9 Les Paul. They were low output (more vintage correct than the Godwoods or most of the others I've tried) and pretty bright as well. The bridge pickup could almost get a Tele sound in the LP which I thought was cool. The tone control is there for a reason.

    Ultimately, I ended up with a real PAF in the neck and a Patent pickup in the bridge of the LP and couldn't be happier.

    The Lollars are available if you're interested.
     
  14. Figher53

    Figher53 Member

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    I've tried several models of WCR pickups, and just couldn't seem to get any of them to work for me. They are high quality pickups, but I guess they're just a flavor that I don't dig. The stock Gibby pickups are alright, but the moment I heard the Lollars I knew they were exactly what I was looking for. I've now got Lollars in most of my guitars. Great pickups.
     
  15. Blueser

    Blueser Member

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    Do yourself a favor and don't rule out Fralin Humbuckers in your quest for tone. I have an 8K Unbucker in the neck, and a 9K Humbucker in the bridge of my McCarty, and they are some of the best pickups I have ever heard. The unbucker has great clarity, and in split single coil mode, produces a very good Strat like tone with bell like chime and sweetness!
     
  16. whitewave

    whitewave Member

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    I'm playing the Lollar High Winds right now.
    I prefer the dynamic of the Lollar, they are more sensitive on pick technique, you can actually change your sound just with pick. They have a vintage attack, which I really like.
    But, the goodwood bridge is the best to hard rock, it's big and has just the right amount of growl.
     

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