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What's your favorite Les Paul bridge pickup?

haslar

Member
Messages
1,839
WCR Goodwood.
That pickup still impresses me after all those years in my R8.
If you're into that modern jam band tone, this is the ticket.
Also, I've yet to try anything I like better for slide playing. Nothing short of amazing.
 

hchoe741

Member
Messages
614
In my young, teenage days I ripped out the neck pickup and all the controls and just wired a duncan distortion in the bridge straight to a single volume pot. Nowadays a duncan custom in the bridge and 59 in the neck lets me cover all grounds.
 

seward

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,115
I've played a 498, a 490, and a 57 Classic pickup in the bridge position of a Les Paul, and for the sort of thing that I want - high gain, hard rock into metal - the 498 is my favorite. Best growl.
 

GuitarGuy65

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
42
Onamac Blues... I put them in my aged R9 and they woke it up immensely! I wasn't a fan of the Burstbuckers in it and these sound like a blanket has been taken off the guitar, so much more open, punchy, and alive! First set of Onamacs I've ever tried and they are incredible! Highly recommended and aren't expensive for a hand-wound custom pickup...
 

Andy1325

Active Member
Messages
30
I've just put a set of Cream T Scanner Series Clone 1 pickups into an R8 and it's a massive difference compared to the Burstbuckers that were in it.
The Cream T ones just sound better in every way.
Really sweet tone out of them, they just sound clearer.
I've got Mules in my R9 and they'll be getting sold and another set of the Cream T being put in. 20201127_194317.jpg
 

rolandk

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
573
Duncan ‘59 for a nice vintage PAF sound. I have a JB in a Strat for a more tight, modern crunch.
 

Coldcobra

Member
Messages
108
WCR crossroads is friggin amazing, both clean and with gain. My favorite bridge pickup I’ve ever played. I now understand when people describe a “3D sound”.

For a hotter pickup - Dimarzio super distortion. Lots of fun.

After reading this thread I want to try a WCR Godwood!
 
Messages
37
My favorite is the Gibson 498T. I know a lot of people hate them though, that has helped me buy a few for fairly cheap. I also like the DiMarzio Tone Zone and the Suhr Doug Aldrich. I have a Duncan Custom 5 coming that I'm gonna try. So I'll let you know about that one.
 

Monkeygym

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
50
Along with a lot of the crew here, the Duncan JB is really good. I had one in my '69 Goldtop for 30 years, and it was always terrific. I did swap it (and the Gibson '59) out for a set of Sheptone Heartbreakers, and they're every bit as good. Even till install the USA made Tom Holmes set that I picked up a year or so ago, but life is full...

Stay safe!
 

FractalGarden

Member
Messages
1,775
4 pages later, OP is thinking to himself, "Welp, I guess I saw that coming. And I'm no less clear on what I should get."

(I have no idea what style of music you like, so any suggestion is moot as I see it. FWIW my LP Std has Nailbombs, and the 490/498 set that came stock with the guitar ended up in my LP Classic. I play mostly heavy rock stuff, so they work really well for me.)
 

jvin248

Member
Messages
5,720
.

I found I can have many more favorite pickups once I started paying attention to the Pots 'n Caps, and swapping those plus adjusting pickup heights and screw poles.

I had found the biggest similarities of the pickup brands I liked or didn't like was how muddy/bright the pickup was. Which correlated with how much internal capacitance a pickup had. Boutique hand-wound have more scatter winding and lower capacitance, machine wound tighter coils have higher capacitance and more muddiness. But ... the Pots 'n Caps can push all that around. A series cap on a too muddy pickup can convert it to boutique. So that's what I do.

Otherwise .. my favorites are Ebay import humbucker sets that run under $20/pair. I have and will pull Seymour Duncan 'upgraded pickups!' in a used guitar I buy to put these pickups in. Unfortunately they are unbranded and sellers switch around selling a batch from the factory so you've got to look at the pickup photographs to find them.


.
 

sunburst79

Member
Messages
1,324
I actually like the BB1-2-3 in various combinations, pretty useful pickups. If you're looking for something hotter and tighter, my go-to is a Duncan Custom.
I’ve got a couple guitars that came with regular BB pickups. By that I mean non BB Pros. Once’s a 02 R8 Custom Authentic with the factory BB pickups. I believe they are a 3-2 Combo. I never felt the need to swap pickup or mod the electronics in this one. Definitely more aggressive than 57’s. One was a 3-1 combo in a Epi Standard that I upgraded and that stayed in our rehearsal space. And these where the earlier aftermarket retail zebras. Not Pros. And again sounded great. And I latched onto another set of the production Custom Authentic pickups that went into another Epi and made a huge difference.

I did have the A5 BB Pros in another guitar when they first came out and while they were OK they got pulled and replaced by the original T-Tops.
My experiance with the regular BB’s has been good. And you can usually find a deal used.
I’ve got other Les Paul’s with upgraded or better pickups. But the BB’s sounded great to me.
I’ve bought several newer Epis with the ProBucker 2-3 Combo. While I’m not in love with the regular Alnico Classics I’ve not changed out any of the ProBucker 2-3 guitars. For Epiphone factory pickups they are light years better than the old ones. Unless you really hate what’s in the guitar after adjusting the height and pole pieces I’d say play’em for a week or two before tearing them out.
 

Gansy

Member
Messages
15
If you are looking for a budget option, Check out the Iron Gear Dirty Torque and Blues Engine combo incredible for the money and make my Fujigen LP a real killer..
 

MAD 69

Member
Messages
189
My fave is a Seymour Duncan Whole lotta Humbucka, I tried a bunch of different ones and liked the Tone of the SD WLH best.
 

caspa

Member
Messages
673
4 pages later, OP is thinking to himself, "Welp, I guess I saw that coming. And I'm no less clear on what I should get."

(I have no idea what style of music you like, so any suggestion is moot as I see it. FWIW my LP Std has Nailbombs, and the 490/498 set that came stock with the guitar ended up in my LP Classic. I play mostly heavy rock stuff, so they work really well for me.)
That's definitely what I expected! I'm actually pretty set on a JB, but in a separate guitar now. My other guitars cover vintage low output tones, and IMO all alnico II paf-styles sound almost identical to me.

But unfortunately the point is moot now, I've received the guitar and was actually kind of blown away by the epi pickups - I was immediately reminded of my 2013 traditional with burstbuckers.

However, Epiphone's fretwork on their solid body guitars continues to be absolutely unforgivable. I even paid a ridiculous premium for Sweetwater's PLEK service, and unless the machine completely malfunctioned, I have to assume that they just threw new strings on the guitar, a plek sticker, and shipped it to me. Unless les pauls are naturally supposed to have wild fret buzz on the low strings set to higher than factory specs on action.



Looking forward to a nice awkward return call with my "sales engineer" on Monday!
 

caspa

Member
Messages
673
My favorite is the Gibson 498T. I know a lot of people hate them though, that has helped me buy a few for fairly cheap. I also like the DiMarzio Tone Zone and the Suhr Doug Aldrich. I have a Duncan Custom 5 coming that I'm gonna try. So I'll let you know about that one.
I played an SG faded with a 498T for years about 10 years ago and actually loved it, and the most gain I ever used was a RAT at 8 o'clock into a clean JCM900.

I could be weird though, I loved it's compressed attacky clean tone.
 




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