What's the general opinion on Gibson Custombuckers?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Gemini2, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. Gemini2

    Gemini2 Member

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    Curious to hear what people like and don't like about them. I know tone is subjective and varies from guitar to guitar. However I've personally owned two Historic LP's with them. Both guitars were very similar in their tones so I believe the CB's are a big part of their sound.

    I still have an R8 with them and my take is: I love the neck position, probably the best I've heard in a LP. But the bridge is a little weak and uninspiring at times. To my ears it sounds like a Burstbucker 2 with less highs and bite. For the record I've always preferred a Classic '57+ in the bridge of a LP over a BB 2 or 3.

    Anyways, I've decided to leave the guitar stock. Like I said, sometimes the bridge pu works for me and I don't want to go down the road of boutique PAF clones. Plus I find myself using the neck position more and more and playing Blues with that guitar which is something I can honestly say I've never done in the past with any LP.

    What do you all say?
     
  2. Shnook

    Shnook Member

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    Depends on which Custom Bucker. Seems as if there are several different offerings. The CB's in my Greg Martin CC#15 are fantastic. I've compared them to several highly regarded boutiques and they've held their own. I have no intention of changing them out.
     
  3. Faded

    Faded Supporting Member

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    Some are great, some are average.
     
  4. aroman

    aroman Member

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    I love the ones on my 2013 R9. They compare well with WCR Godwood and Darkburst sets that I have in other Guitars. No need to change them.
    In my opinion they sound full/thick with good clarity and definition. The WCRs are more scooped.
     
  5. rburkard

    rburkard Gold Supporting Member

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    Gibson Custom Buckers, Tom Holmes and Scatterbranes
    are the best PAF replicas I have found. The Gibsons with their Alnico 3 magnets are indeed very nice and totally convincing in feel and sound. Much better than the Burstbuckers 1,2,3 and the Classic. They finally got it right at Gibson.
     
  6. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory Member

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    I thought the stock CB's I'm my 2014 R9 were ok. Great sustain and the neck pup really sang. The bridge was solid BUT it was fizzy on anything with moderate gain and the volume above 7.

    A quick trip to Electric City saw them having their stainless screws/poles swapped out with more vintage offerings and more winds on the bridge pup. MUCH better.

    He's now designed a set of Custom Bucker-ish pups at my behest. A3 mags, they sing for days and are improvements over even his modded CB's in my opinion. I called them Doppelgängers, not sure if they're regular production yet or not. Cheaper than tracking down a used set.
     
  7. Tim Plains

    Tim Plains Supporting Member

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    I have two 2013 Rs. They were so different tonally (stock) that I would not make any generalizations on Custombuckers.
     
    sixstringfuel and Shnook like this.
  8. texstrat

    texstrat Member

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    Overall I think CB's are a step in the right direction for Gibson... They are more vintage sounding to me than the older BB's; lower output, more clear, more open and not muddy. But, I think there is some left to be desired. I just ordered a set of Wizz PAF replicas, so I'm about to find out how good the CB's really are...
     
  9. Gemini2

    Gemini2 Member

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    Please let us know your findings on this thread! Very interested!! Thanks.
     
  10. texstrat

    texstrat Member

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    Will do. Probably be a few weeks
     
  11. Sampler

    Sampler Silver Supporting Member

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    I had custombuckers in my 2013 R9 and after a while decided to try something different. I wasn't happy with the balance of output between the neck and bridge, and the neck pickup always sounded a bit dark and muddy to me despite adjustment. They are both of the same resistance - a little over 8k if I'm not mistaken. I went down the rabbit hole with pickups on my 2010 R9 and tried the Wizz pickups among others in that guitar and didn't like them much. Funny thing is I absolutely love them in this 2013 - very well balanced and both pickups give me the clear, articulate, slightly compressed tone I was after. FWIW there was almost 3/4 of a pound difference in weight between the 2010 and 2013 R9 guitars. I am a firm believer that there isn't one pickup that sounds great in all guitars, and I'm sure there are a lot of stock that sound great with custombuckers.
     
  12. Shnook

    Shnook Member

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    Another option before changing out the pickups is to replace the cheap pots/caps Gibson uses. It won't make a crap pickup sound good, but it'll help a good pickup sound a little better.
     
  13. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory Member

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    Pots and caps will change the taper and where the treble begins to roll on/off but they don't affect the pickup's voicing at all. I will agree there is room for improvement. I did not care for the stock pot taper and switched mine out.

    I too tried the Wizz A4's and didn't care for them. Just didn't work in the guitar, too harsh.
     

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