Results thread: Lollar Imperials VS $35 China PAFs

Occam

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,177
In terms of which I liked best, the Lollar sounded better on the clean but thing and nasally on the first couple of distortions. The blue was flat and dead on the clean and first distortion but towards the end with higher gain I liked it better. I'm actually surprised how bright the Imperials were in the 335. I have the Imperial low-wound in my 137 (essentially a single cut 335) because everything else I tried from PAF's to P90's were dark and muddy and my low wounds work out great.
 

JoeB63

Supporting Member
Messages
13,568
Anyone else note that the OP only hit his high E string on one chord, in one segment, of the entire video clip?

Would like to hear more of the difference on that string.
 

8nthatK

Supporting Member
Messages
2,949
I hope no-one dismisses Lollars because of the comparison.
You may like them much better in your own guitar, with your own amp (and settings) played with your own hands.
 

rhinocaster

Supporting Member
Messages
23,105
It's good to know...I don't much care for the Lollar single coils I've used but I did prefer the Lollar humbuckers in this taste test.
 

rhinocaster

Supporting Member
Messages
23,105
The most surprising thing to me (as others have stated) was the number of people stating they really couldn't hear a difference. The difference was not huge, but to my ear was not miniscule either.
Yep....quite different.
 

eurotrashed

Member
Messages
1,224
I'm glad I got it right. I did my own blind test with these pickups years ago. I have not been a fan of humbucker guitars since my high output high school days. Then I played a humbucker guitar and was floored, I found out it had Lollar Imperials. Since then I bought an SG and dropped Imoerials in it, and it is my #2 guitar behind my Jazzmaster. The blue shirt clip sounded dull, flat and somewhat muddy.
 

RolandKorg

Supporting Member
Messages
3,890
I have mixed feelings.
I chose Green, which sorta confirms my decision last week to get Lollar Blondes for my next Strat.
Would have been great to be able to spend significantly less money, though.
 

Robert Libutti

Supporting Member
Messages
1,201
I thought they both sounded good. At least on my headphones, definitely not the $300 difference. I chose green shirt as 'sounding better,' but thought both sounded good. My thought was the green shirt was the more expensive because they were a bit clearer and more defined. But the blue ones sounded good too. With the drive, the difference was even less noticeable.
 

shredtrash

Silver Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Messages
9,738
I picked the greens as the Lollars (so I was correct) but there wasn't a massive difference, especially when things dirtied up.
 

rhinocaster

Supporting Member
Messages
23,105
A slight difference but nothing that couldn't be taken care of with an eq tweak, IMHO. Certainly not $300 worth of difference. The Lollars were a little shrill to my ears.
Man, I’ve been down that road too many times. For me it’s worth getting what sounds right to me. Fortunately that’s often the stock pickups.
 

Daniel Travis

Supporting Member
Messages
1,826
I got it right, and it was not that difficult. I didn't even wait for the dirt clips.

I would be willing to bet that with pups closer in price, the differences would be VERY, very slim, though.
 

iam_krash

Supporting Member
Messages
650
I got it right, but I was *NOT* super confident in that choice.

Regardless, it does illustrate that for the vast number of players and sounds, the difference between boutique and factory really is negligible. Oh and IME the differences are minimized even further at gigging volumes.

I love to cork-sniff pickups in the bedroom/studio as much as the next guy...but when I'm honest about it nobody can tell or care when it's cranked.
This goes to show what I've been saying for EONS! The whole "boutique" thing is garbage/b.s./smoke and mirrors. The best example of this? Sullivan single-coil pickups, hand-wound by a small staff, CHEAP @ $129(made in TX) per set AND he'll even wind to your specs. I've installed more than a dozen sets in my client's guitars and compared them with everything from lollars to fralins at almost triple the scratch. We've done head to head tests, far more than half the time, people prefer the sullivans over other far more expensive single coils. The other half may prefer the more expensive set, but once you tell them the price, many feel like they grossly overpaid. Food for thought.
 
Messages
784
...I picked the greens because they sounded better now I am pissed they aren't the cheap copies...
Me too. I had no idea which pickup was which (how the F would anyone "know"?), but I preferred the Green through distortion, and so so so wanted that to be the cheap one. All taste, innit? But wish I had the beer taste, not the champagne taste.

I still say Green bridge, Blue neck.
 
Messages
2,007
Man, I’ve been down that road too many times. For me it’s worth getting what sounds right to me. Fortunately that’s often the stock pickups.
Most of mine are stock at this point with a couple of exceptions. When the drums and bass kick in, a lot of little differences fly out the window, along with your money.
 

iam_krash

Supporting Member
Messages
650
I got it right, and it was not that difficult. I didn't even wait for the dirt clips.

I would be willing to bet that with pups closer in price, the differences would be VERY, very slim, though.
NOPE! See below. What makes a lollar set of strat pickups $300? Wire, magnets and material they use aren't "magical" or special. Other manufacturers hand-wind with the same/similar materials and the pickups are 1/2 the money. Some cheaper pickups are ****, some are fantastic as expensive pickups can be **** as well. People generally don't buy with their ears, they buy the "buzz/hype" generated. Its the whole, "I bought something expensive so it MUST be better"
 

rawkguitarist

Member
Messages
10,852
Its wild to me that people make fairly emphatic statements from listening to a video on your computer. No matter the price of the gear real judgement comparing anything needs to be done with your own ears in the same room with the gear. Mic pre, microphone, microphone placement, digital compression etc. are going to affect what you hear through your computer speakers or headphones.

Video's and sound samples are fun and sometimes informative. But nothing can be "proven" with them.
 

8nthatK

Supporting Member
Messages
2,949
That’ll be tougher imo. Not as much difference with single coils imo.

I’ve got some I can volunteer to the cause if you’re doing the soldering...


I'm very curious if anyone would like to see a similar test using Strat or Tele pickups.
 




Top