Replacing Duncans with Lollars???

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by DWB1960, Jul 12, 2006.


  1. DWB1960

    DWB1960 Senior Member

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    In a couple of days I'll be replacing a Duncan '59' / 'custom' set of pups with a matched set of Lollar Imperial humbuckers.

    Is this a good thing?...........
     
  2. Bonedance

    Bonedance Member

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    I do like Duncan pickups, but imho, the Lollars are a huge cut above. So, yes...it's a good thing!
     
  3. JingleJungle

    JingleJungle Member

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    I'm sorry for the Duncanfans, but as soon as you switch to a good handbuilt there is a definite improvement in tone.
    I put Lollar P90 in my '93 Hamer Special; the tone difference was painful to bear. The SDs sounded just like mud. Ouch...

    JJ
    p.s:
    the Duncan 'bucker that Tyler mounts in the Landau sounds very good.
    I do like the Seth Lover pups in some other guitars.
     
  4. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    Why did you decide to make the change?
     
  5. DWB1960

    DWB1960 Senior Member

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    I've been meaning to try the Lollars and this presents the opportunity. Will give a tone report ASAP.
     
  6. seafoamer

    seafoamer Member

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    In my recent experience: Lollars > Duncans
     
  7. rmconner80

    rmconner80 Cantankerous Luddite Silver Supporting Member

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    Duncan humbuckers are handbuilt and wound on the original Gibson winding machinery. The production line just isn't scatterwound, as their focus is consistency.

    Duncans aren't for everybody, but I certainly wouldn't call them a non-handbuilt pickup. And Seymour knows as much about pickup making as anybody.

    As for P90s, Lollar P90s aren't meant to sound like an original P90. They are "improvements". For some people that is a good thing, for some that is a bad thing. It just depends what you want out of your P90. :AOK
     
  8. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    Just curious. I love the Lollars on my Heritage H-137.

    http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h159/brian329/137.jpg][​IMG][/URL]ums/h159/brian329/137.jpg][​IMG][/URL]
     
  9. Mrgearguy

    Mrgearguy Member

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    This is correct, Seymour bought the old Leesona winder that Gibson used back in the PAF days. Not to mention that his mentor was Seth Lover, the guy who invented the humbucker. He also uses butyrate bobbins just like the original PAFs. Most everybody else uses ABS or polycarbonate plastic. Just because Duncan has a high profile doesn't mean his products are churned out like popcorn. He's still there every day winding pickups by hand.

    That said, I have guitars with Lollars and Van Zandts and Holmes pickups that totally rock. But my Duncan axes are right up there with any of them for sure.

    Gearguy
     
  10. DWB1960

    DWB1960 Senior Member

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    So Duncan builds in the USA then? How about imported guitars that have Duncans. Are those pups built overseas?
     
  11. gkelm

    gkelm Supporting Member

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    There are USA Duncans and "Duncan Designed" (made overseas). You referring to the Edwards you recently picked up? (I know, been clicking around here too much lately) :) ...if so, those are USA SDs.
    Greg
     
  12. sw686blue

    sw686blue Member

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    I've always loved SD humbuckers. The JB and '59 are a great combo that can be had for dirt cheap. If you have a semi-hollow guitar throw in 2 '59s and enjoy. Very cool sounding.
     
  13. mybusinessmy

    mybusinessmy Member

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    Big 1+ on the SD pickups are not "churned out like popcorn". As a dealer, I cannot tell you how many times I have had to wait for only a few of the JB Trembuckers to be made, even though they are built in-house.

    Those who don't believe the regular SD pickups aren't up there with the Lollars, usually agree that the Antiquities are. The key seems to be precision in accuracy in building the same model the same way.
     
  14. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Member

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    I used to use Duncans as standard on my guitars. Let me just say that I HAD to find another supplier as I was sending new pickups back to SD as dead. So much for consistency.

    Let's see - I first found Seymour Duncan in 1978 when he was offering a rewinding service. Did great work when I had him rewind a pair of Gibson SG200 single-coils (Melody Maker type). The aftermarket for pickups started in the late '70's after Larry DiMarzio and Seymour Duncan started selling their products. Jason Lollar was learning luthierie at Roberto-Venn School Of Lutherie at the same time. I think he graduated from R-V in 1977, IIRC. One of the things he did was wind his own pickups for his handmade guitars. He subsequently wrote a book entitled "Basic Pickup Winding & Complete Guide to Building Your Own Pickup Winding Machine", which was, and still is considered by many to be the pickup winder's bible, and certainly the guide by which many a boutique pickup builder has based his procedures upon. So yes, one could say that Jason Lollar wrote the book.



    Yeah, improvement is always a bad thing! Facts are just that, and I've stated some here just to clear some misconceptions, but personal taste is something unquantifiable. I have used many of the aftermarket pickups on available and find Lollars to my tastes. The big difference is in articulation and complexity. Duncan sure makes a high output pickup with good tone, but a tonal comparison between an off-the-shelf production pickup and a handcrafted pickup such as a Lollar is like comparing a Ford to a Ferrari. Sure Ford made cars earlier, but does that make them better??? :JAM
     
  15. gkelm

    gkelm Supporting Member

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    How many pickups are you talking about...and what percentage bad? I've not had a whole lot of experience with Duncans, but have never heard about QC issues like that.
    Greg
     
  16. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Member

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    3 or 4 out of about 40. That's a bad percentage. Also I had to wait 6-8 weeks for build time. I get Lollar's much quicker.
     
  17. mybusinessmy

    mybusinessmy Member

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    I totally disagree! Do you know of how many high-end/hand-built companies use Duncans in their guitars? Kevin Eubanks has an ultra expensive guitar he uses on the Tonight Show, the thing sounds incredible, and he uses Duncans! If they wanted them to sound like "Fords", do you really think they would use Duncan? Tyler and Suhr (Tyler probably much more even) use them in a lot of their guitars. Here's a list of the companies that use them, I'm sure there's more: http://www.seymourduncan.com/dealers/oem.shtml
     
  18. rmconner80

    rmconner80 Cantankerous Luddite Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm not saying Lollar didn't write the book. But that doesn't mean that Duncan can't also know his **** about pickups. Peace, bro... :nono


    I follow you. But you lose me right here:

    We're talking opinions about P90s. "Better" or "improvement" is conditional. To continue your automobile analogy - if I lived in Costa Rica, drove on winiding, mountain dirt roads, and it rained 5 months out of the year, then I'd opt for a Ford truck - not a Ferrari. Make sense? My choice, based on my needs, in my environment as to what is "better" may be different than another's choice. That doesn't make it invalid, nor make something "better" in one application "better" in all applications.
     
  19. SFW

    SFW Member

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    There is no one perfect pickup manufacturer. Some people Like Duncans, some like DiMarzios, some like Fender or Gibson or Loller or WCR. It’s all a matter of taste. I like Duncans in my Les Paul, Rio Grandes in my Tele and Fender Vintage hots in my Strat. It’s all in what you think sounds best for that application.
     
  20. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Member

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    So, in what situation would you want a pickup with less detail, articulation and musicality????
     

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