The often asked humbucker question :)

Spiritbro77

Member
Messages
28
I just purchased my very first Les Paul Standard. I got the '60s model for a couple of reasons. Small hands so the '60s neck felt better and I wanted the lemon burst that only came in the '60s. Anyway, I know right away that I want to swap out the pickups. I'm looking for that authentic PAF tone. I like playing blues and blues-based rock. No real heavy distortion. So I am torn between three sets. Seymore Duncan Pearly Gates, Seth Lovers, and Antiquities. I am leaning toward Antiquities but am willing to be convinced otherwise lol What says the forum? Are the Antiquities the closest to PAFs like Bonamassa etc. play. Are the Skinner Burst pickups worth considering?
 

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ccc

Member
Messages
424
One thing that I have found to be the case in my 60's Les Paul and that is keep the pickups it comes with because I can't tell you how many pickups I thought would make a difference and I ended up very very disappointed when they'll sounded so close to what the guitar came with.

What a complete waste of time that was . Gibson pickups are the real deal .
 

ozraves

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,539
I love the '61 Burstbuckers in an SG. Gibson does make several quality pickups. I would tend to give them a try for a bit. That said, the LP I play the most has a pair of Seth Lovers. In an LP, Seth Lovers are the sound of Rock 'n' Roll.
 

otaypanky

Play it like you mean it ~
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,112
I've found that the pots and caps can have a huge effect on how your pickups sound. Years ago I put a pair of well known brand pickups and a wiring kit in a LP Custom that played great but sounded dull. It made a huge improvement. A couple of years later I was reading a thread here on TGP about the same stock Gibson pickups I had pulled and decided I'd listen to mine again. So I reinstalled the old stock pups but left the upgraded wiring kit in. To my surprise they sounded great! Turns out the upgraded pots and caps were what made the difference. Ever since then I've replaced stocks pots and caps with RS Vintage style kits in just about every guitar I have and it's made a huge improvement in each one. I'd definitely try this first before swapping out pick-ups.
 

theon

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,103
Les Paul 60's Standard have A V magnets.
Duncan Skinner Burst have A III's, Seth Lover, Pearly Gates and Antiquities are all A II's.

You could try a magnet swap. Alnico V's can be a bit aggressive with some winds.

Definitely upgrade the wiring harness, as others have posted, before giving up on the stock pickups. What artists tone are you shooting for @Spiritbro77 ?

Great Luck with your tone quest!
 

FenderLester

Member
Messages
654
I just purchased my very first Les Paul Standard. I got the '60s model for a couple of reasons. Small hands so the '60s neck felt better and I wanted the lemon burst that only came in the '60s. Anyway, I know right away that I want to swap out the pickups. I'm looking for that authentic PAF tone. I like playing blues and blues-based rock. No real heavy distortion. So I am torn between three sets. Seymore Duncan Pearly Gates, Seth Lovers, and Antiquities. I am leaning toward Antiquities but am willing to be convinced otherwise lol What says the forum? Are the Antiquities the closest to PAFs like Bonamassa etc. play. Are the Skinner Burst pickups worth considering?

Seymour Duncan Custom Shop Queenbucker set

I have the Skinnerburst, and they would be most satisfying, but have a darker tone and lower output to my ear. Queenbuckers are the closest to the Bonamassa Magellan set.
 

Spiritbro77

Member
Messages
28
I really like a lot of guys' tone. That is a really difficult question. I am an old guy so I've had a lot of time to develop favorites lol Just turned 60. Always wanted a Les Paul. Finally decided to pull the trigger. Joe Bonamassa has great tone with those Fender amps. I like the Allman Brothers, I like Led Zeppelin which is probably the limit to distortion levels. My favorite is just on the edge of breaking up, and then maybe a bit beyond that. Not a ton but a good sparkle :) I guess I should say I will be playing through a Blues Jr. So yeah, the pickups are probably not going to change a lot. I just really dig the thought of the PAF pickups. How much killer music was made with those things... I will definitely wait for a while before making a decision. I had planned on asking about the best or most authentic harness to get. It supposedly comes with orange drop capacitors. I don't recall anything about the pots. I would have preferred getting the 50s with the burstbuckers 1 & 2 but I was cursed with small hands and a decent case of arthritis. Also, I've learned to love locking tuners, and replacing them is easy on the 60s. I'm spoiled now. So much easier to change strings with locking tuners. Oh, and I really loved Randy Rhode's tone but I wouldn't try to imitate it. He was really something. I was lucky enough to see him live. Richfield Coliseum outside of Cleveland Ohio. Diary of a Madman tour during a Blizzard which seemed fitting. :) Best concert I ever attended, and I went to a lot of concerts. That was kind of the thing to do back in the stone age. God, I miss those days. Peace Thanks for the replies guys. Good advice and I will take it. My mission this summer is to work on playing. P.S The first thing I am going to do is take it to my luthier and have it set up. Or at least checked and given a once over. I always do that. It's worth every penny.
 

Spiritbro77

Member
Messages
28
I just saw a video from Gibson that says this guitar(60s model) has 500k audio taper CTS pots and orange drop capacitors.
 

jwguitar

Member
Messages
6,614
I just purchased my very first Les Paul Standard. I got the '60s model for a couple of reasons. Small hands so the '60s neck felt better and I wanted the lemon burst that only came in the '60s. Anyway, I know right away that I want to swap out the pickups. I'm looking for that authentic PAF tone. I like playing blues and blues-based rock. No real heavy distortion. So I am torn between three sets. Seymore Duncan Pearly Gates, Seth Lovers, and Antiquities. I am leaning toward Antiquities but am willing to be convinced otherwise lol What says the forum? Are the Antiquities the closest to PAFs like Bonamassa etc. play. Are the Skinner Burst pickups worth considering?
How can you know right away if you want to swap out pickups? There is no reason to change everything if it all sounds good. Focus on playing and getting better
 

David Garner

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,451
Custom Shop Pearly Gates set is my grail tone in my particular guitar (see avatar). You really just have to try them though. Every guitar is different.
 

fitz

Member
Messages
2,855
I just saw a video from Gibson that says this guitar(60s model) has 500k audio taper CTS pots and orange drop capacitors.
In all likelihood you have Burstbucker 61R & 61T pickups with A5 magnets which are, and should be very good sounding PAF style pickups. I have BB's in two guitars and they are more than fine. Also, there is no need to upgrade the wiring harness. You have quality CTS pots & Orange Drop caps, so that wouldn't do much unless it's the taper of the pots you want to even out a bit. If anything, the Antiquities or Pearly Gates will give you a a slightly softer/sweeter tone due to the A2 magnets in both of those. But my advice would be to play with what you have before you go down the pickup rabbit hole. You have a quality PAF set up as is.
 
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