Recommend me some PU's

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by -DC/AC-, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. -DC/AC-

    -DC/AC- Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    I know very little about PU's but I do know that I've found the stock PU's in my LP Studio (498T, and 490R) to be muddy and bassy. To get the sound I want I have to crank the treble on my amp all the way up, and the bass down to zero and it still seems to be on the dark side (get it?).

    So basically what would you guys recommend for me? I'm looking for a hot, bridge humbucker to get some good rock and heavy rock tones, and a neck pickup that has a good bluesy sound, and I don't want either to be really dark or bassy.

    For anyone wondering my LP has mahogany body and an ebony fingerboard, I am also playing through a Peavey Classic 30.
  2. socalscott

    socalscott Member

    May 27, 2007
    Consider these mods if you like.
    - screw in the pups adj. poles under the wound strings as far as they'll go.
    Test and adjust to taste. Fralin pups calls this the Un-bucker
    - add cap and resistor to current vols(search). When you roll the volume off, gradually the tone gets thinner.
    - 1meg vol pots
    - convert rhythm pup to a P90-ish SC tone by removing 3 adj. poles from the front coil(plain strings) and 3 slugs from rear coil(wound strings).
    Fralin pups calls this the P92, a hum-free P90. Still pushes the pre-amp.

    Tom Anderson H2 lead and H1- rhythm. These are open and stay defined
    in hi-gain. They also split(single coil) to true Fender tone, unlike typical
  3. JohnSS

    JohnSS Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    I like the old DiMarzio Super HB or Dual Sound at the bridge for Les Pauls (I have one in mine). Great range, fat lows and mids, and crisp highs. If you like the sound of Ace Frehley, Tom Scholtz (Boston), Al DiMeola and other Les Paul players from the 70's & 80's, it's worth it.
  4. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

    Jun 7, 2004
    playing in traffic...
    Um,start with a pots/caps kit either from WCR,or one of the other manufacturers(it's a lot less expensive),them start thinking about a set of WCR pickups...
  5. bynt

    bynt Member

    May 18, 2006
    Flagstaff, Arizona
    I have the same guitar and had the same problems with the 498T and 490Rs. Just horrible pickups to my ear (MUDDY!!!) I put in a Duncan JB/59 set up and that sealed the deal. Now instead of the 59 I've got a Dimarzio Humbucker from Hell in the neck and it's cool because it's almost single coil sounding. Kind of. In a good way. Anyway, I still haven't changed the pots and caps because I'm digging the sound so much (going on a year now, so I'm out of the honeymoon phase).

    Anyway, I was going to try to put some high dollar cork sniffy pickups in it but it sounds REALLY good to my ear with what I have. I'd try those. You could probably post a WTB and get them even cheaper here on TGP. I don't want to sound like a salesman for Duncan, but for the money, it was the best thing I could've done.
  6. skylabfilmpop

    skylabfilmpop Silver Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    Actually bro the Unbucker is a pickup where the coil with the screws is wound hotter than the other coil by about 1000 turns. Its intended for a mose single coil type sound and to sound better as a tapped humbucker. What I recommend for this LP studio is first RAISING the polepieces of the pickups, slightly favoring by about 1/16th inch the D, G and High E strings. Pushing the polepieces of the pickup closer to the strings brightens the pickup, as does raising the entire pickup. Fret your low e and high e at the last fret and raise the lead/bridge pickup to where it has about 1/16th inch clearance from the string, then putting the pickup selector switch in the middle raise or lower (usually lower) the rhythm/neck pickup until the blend of the two sounds good to you. IF you had to lower the neck pickup, mine usually sits just below the pickup ring, raise the polepieces on the neck PU just a bit more to try to get some more attack, but not too high (eg the entire screw head should not be above the cover. Now on each pickup lower the bass side of the pickups by about 1/2 turn of the adjustment screw. If your pickups are too dark still you may be in need of higher value pots. 500k is the ideal for les pauls unless you have a very very hot pickup, like twice the winds of your 496T/490R's. RS guitarworks is a good source of CTS Volume/tone pots as is Allparts, WD music. Have someone who solders well do the install for you, and research 50's VS Modern wiring schematics here on the board to explore 2 useful wiring schematics for les pauls. Good luck
  7. rooster

    rooster Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Bill Lawrence L-500C in the neck and L-500L in the bridge. Great stuff.

  8. in a little row

    in a little row Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Memphis, crime capital of the South
    In my sg, duncan jazz in neck, gibson classic 57 ri in the bridge,....couldnt be happier


    EADGBE Member

    Sep 23, 2005
    I'd go with a DiMarzio super distortion and a DiMarzio PAF. I'd also use four CTS 500K audio pots. And two mylar .022 caps for the tone controls. These upgrades should put your LP over the top!

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