These are cool! BL 550 mini hums

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Stevo57, Jun 30, 2005.


  1. Stevo57

    Stevo57 Supporting Member

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    I was looking for something quieter and more balanced (less mids) and I came across these on Ebay. I replaced a pair of Lollar P90's which are a great sounding pickup, but not a great match with my other gear.
    I like Bill Lawrence singles in my Strat and now I like these mini hums too. They are Bill Lawrence Rhythm and Lead 550's. I snagged them off of ebay as NOS from the 70's. They were brand new never installed. They feel and sound good!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. carltonh

    carltonh Member

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    Ok, so they sound great and have less mids than P90s, but how exactly do they sound? More like a L500 or mini-bucker? Neither?
     
  3. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Those are so cool - I had a XL-500 in the '70s and it was a killer pickup. Bill should make those minis again - I bet he'd find a niche...
     
  4. big mike

    big mike Fixed Bias Moderator Staff Member

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    And they look great too! Can't wait to hear them.
     
  5. Stevo57

    Stevo57 Supporting Member

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    CarltonH, I've never owned an L500 or a mini bucker for that matter. They are a notch or two higher in overall frequency range. Much clearer in the upper mid and high frequencies. Still plenty of lows too though. They increased the overall sustain of the guitar.
    I mainly played the Lollars together and I'm mainly liking these with just one or the other on. I really, really love the bridge sounds. Oh Yeah! I have to check with Saul to make sure the pots, and such are just right for these pus.
     
  6. cvansickle

    cvansickle Member

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    I had an L500 in my Les Paul for a couple years back in the 80s. It was LOUD and had a lot of headroom, maybe too clean. I ended up replacing it with a Duncan Distortion.
     
  7. CitizenCain

    CitizenCain Member

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    Hahah! I grabbed a set of L-560s from that same guy on eBay I'll bet. Sounds like the same setup, NOS from late '70s. Thought they'd work perfect in my late '70s ('78) LP. I agree, very cool pickups. The neck pickup sounds clean and clear, but in no way syerile. Very full-bodied sound, not muddy by a long shot. The bridge is really cool. It's thick, but wiry sounding at the same time. Hard to describe, but it's what I wanted this LP to sound like for a long time. I've been through a lot of P90s, and these L-560s are not coming out anytime soon, I can tell you that!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Oh man - does he have any more? Those would look killer in my '78 Deluxe...
     
  9. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Found 'em - thanks!

    Quick question - how would you compare them to the stock Gibson minis? I love mine, but of course would like more from the bridge pup. The neck is near perfect except for the microphonics - I'm guessing that isn't an issue with the BLs...
     
  10. CitizenCain

    CitizenCain Member

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    Yeah, he has several sets left, in either cream or black. Search eBay guitar pickup section for Lawrence. He sells them for about $94 a set.
     
  11. CitizenCain

    CitizenCain Member

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    Haven't had any microphonics issues with mine yet and I've played them through a cranked 100w Sundown head into that 2x10 cab in the pics. Sound great!

    I can't compare to the minihums, this is a LP Pro Deluxe and came stock with P90s. Never had a set of minis in it.

    The best way I can describe this bridge sound is like a huge Tele. I'm likn' it bigtime :D
     
  12. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Funny, that's how I'd describe my stock minis on certain things...

    From the looks of your Deluxe, the neck pup sits pretty low in the cavity - does yours not have much neck angle or do you have it set up with really low action? Mine stick out a lot further, but I play with med/high action...
     
  13. Stevo57

    Stevo57 Supporting Member

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  14. big mike

    big mike Fixed Bias Moderator Staff Member

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    Nick Greer Rocks!!!
     
  15. Mike Dresch

    Mike Dresch Silver Supporting Member

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    How would you say they compare to actual P90's? I love the tone of P90's but would like to get rid of the buzz. Any chance these would do that? I've only had one Bill Lawrence pickup, a L500XL and it seemed like it lacked a bit of low end. Otherwise it was cool. I definitely want the low end so if these sound like P90's without the noise and a decent amount of low end, I might have to try a set!
     
  16. carltonh

    carltonh Member

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    The fake Bill Lawrence L500XL pickups from www.billlawrenceusa.com were notoriously lacking in low end. Bill Lawrence tested these and confirmed everyone's ears that the fakes had a 26% shift up in frequency, and didn't even have the right output either. Real ones are famous for having a great and powerful bass response.
     
  17. Mike Dresch

    Mike Dresch Silver Supporting Member

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    The thing is, I got mine straight from Bill and Becky. So that wasn't it. Maybe I'm used to more low end out of pickups.
     
  18. carltonh

    carltonh Member

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    I guess so, I guess you probably like the Dimarzio Tone Zone then. That's about as bass heavy as I know short of active EMGs
     
  19. Mike Dresch

    Mike Dresch Silver Supporting Member

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    Prior to the Lawrence, I was using JB's and Tone Zones. Now I use WCR Shredders and Fillmores. The Lawrence had a good tone but didn't have the depth I wanted. Ironically, I just got a PRS SE Soapbar singlecut that has tons of low end but buzzes due to the P90's I love the tone, I just want to reduce or eliminate the buzz.
     
  20. CitizenCain

    CitizenCain Member

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    erskin, I have the action on my Pro set right about 4/64" on both sides, maybe just a touch higher. I screwed the neck p'up down as far as it would go when I installed them just to get the guitar up and running. I was used to having to do this with the P90s, the neck was always bigger and louder than the bridge.

    When I got it together and fiddled about a bit, I ended up raising the neck pickup only very slighty from where I had it. The sound turned out to be wonderful, very full and clear sounding and balanced perfectly with the volume from the bridge.

    Mike, compared to P90s, these are much clearer, but I'd say they still have a good snarl, snap and dynamics to them. They sound absolutely great under OD, they have the P90-style kick but are still clearer sounding, if that makes any sense. The neck is most like a P90 of the pair, very full and rich sound, but much clearer. The bridge is miles ahead of any P90 I've put in there, it's much fuller sounding, has a great wiry sound (hence my giant Tele comparison), doesn't lack in any frequency range. It's thinner than the neck, but not as thin as a P90 in that spot.

    I've run the Gibson p'up, A Duncan Custom and a Duncan Antiquity in the bridge spot. None of these compare to the Lawrence L-560.
     

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