Which humbucker for that ZZ Top growl??

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by jimmyohio75, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. jimmyohio75

    jimmyohio75 Member

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    Besides a Pearly Gates, which humbucker will give me the "Just Got Paid" and "Jesus Just Left Chicago" thick, raw sound?
     
  2. Rhomco

    Rhomco Silver Supporting Member

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    he recorded "Jesus" using a tele ;)
    Rob
     
  3. jimmyohio75

    jimmyohio75 Member

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    You're kidding? He must have been using one hell of an amp to get those single coils to grind!!
     
  4. benjammin420

    benjammin420 Member

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    billy gibbons man, he is tone
     
  5. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    LaGrange was a hardtail strat. I believe back then lots of tunes were recorded using a 100 watt Marshall, not all but many.
     
  6. jimmyohio75

    jimmyohio75 Member

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    Someone told me to check out a Rio Grande BBQ pickup. It supposedly is real thick and rude!! Anyone heard of these?
     
  7. jtm622

    jtm622 Member

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    It's more than just a "pickup"... It's the amp and many other considerations. Remember - Gibbons' sound in the studio with a hardtail thru a Fender Twin may not be the same as what you'd get on that rig in a different "acoustical" situation...
     
  8. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    You gotta try a nocaster sometime. It's Gibson chunk with Fender clarity. A good tele can sound amazing doing even full on metal, so it'll do classic growl without even trying. Tele's are animals. Single coils are meaner/ruder sounding so for a ZZ top or even a lot of old Halen, it just sounds perfect. Fender clarity.

    I hate teles (ugly, uncomfortable), but I can't find a better sounding guitar so I keep it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  9. benjammin420

    benjammin420 Member

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    im pretty sure Jimmy Page used to tele for all the electric parts on the first Zeppelin lp
     
  10. gtrfinder

    gtrfinder Supporting Member

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    Actually I think that the leads in "Jesus Just Left Chicago" are pretty nasally sounding and quite frankly kind of piercing. It works for the song, however. And it sure sounds like an Esquire/Tele of some sort, back pickup with the tone knob on 10, etc...
    Not sure if the rhythm guitars are the same guitar or not, but he could have changed pickup positions.

    To answer your question with regard to pickup choice for a humbucker: I'd stick with something fairly ordinary (Billy has used Seymour Duncans for years in many of his guitars), and get the gain and grind from a distortion box of some sort.
     
  11. 84Bravo

    84Bravo Member

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    Funny how our ears hear different things. I don't hear grind so much as pure sweet maple board sizzle on "Jesus."
     
  12. benjammin420

    benjammin420 Member

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    maybes hes thinking of "waiting for the bus"
     
  13. surfshack

    surfshack Member

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    seymour duncan pearly gates!
     
  14. dazco

    dazco Member

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    Like someone said, it's way more than the pickup. in fact, you could use all the right gear and the wrong pickup and get far closer to BG than you would with the wrong amp and guitar and his exact pickup in your guitar. And thats just the beginning....the studio is a huge factor. Go to youtube and watch some of his live videos. Even billy doesn't sound very close to the records. Pickups mainly do 2 things....give you the amount of signal strength you want, and attenuate or boost ceratin frequencies, the latter which is generally a way to remove or add highs mids or lows but doesn't change the voice of the rig. Thats mainly a product of the guitar's wood and design and the amp. The right guitar and amp will get you close. The right pickup won't do much at all by itself. Like i said, take the very guitar billy used to record a certain song and rip out the pickup and stick it in your guitar and you won't even get close unles the guitar and amp are right for that tone. Then theres his hands...
     
  15. MCG

    MCG Member

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    Try a Duncan Seth Lover set. I have used both the Seth and a Pearly Gates, and while both are good pickups the Seth Lover is much closer to the tone Gibbons has on the early records.

    MCG
     
  16. Jeffj

    Jeffj Supporting Member

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    no he didnt:nono
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Mark Ray

    Mark Ray We're Jammin' Gold Supporting Member

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    I have the Rio Grande BBQ/Texas set in Thorn #29. There are plenty of Billyesque tones to be had. Having said that, you have to summon some Billy mojo to really sound like Billy.

    Mark
     
  18. Kingbeegtrs

    Kingbeegtrs Senior Member

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    If you email Seymour Duncan he'll personally make the EVH bucker for you - it doesn't get any "browner" than that.

    however,

    A big part of billy's tone is that he uses 8's
     
  19. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Everybody needs a tele.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. newking70

    newking70 Member

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