Which WCR pickups for an ES335?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by davidkiddmusic, Jan 13, 2006.


  1. davidkiddmusic

    davidkiddmusic Member

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    Im looking to put in a set of WCR pickups for my ES335. Which ones do you guys recommend and why?

    Also, can you get these pickups with the nickel or chrome pickup covers or do they just come in the black/white style look?

    thanks!
     
  2. HEY!YOU!

    HEY!YOU! Senior Member

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    You can get any covers you want from Jim.
    I'd go with the Goodwood's or Crossroad's.....lower output, more classic PAF tone.
    BTW...goodluck gettin those in.
    Once in you won't be sorry, Jim's got the best pups goin on, IMO
     
  3. cnardone

    cnardone Supporting Member

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    What are you trying to get out of them?
     
  4. 1radicalron

    1radicalron Member

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    Crossroads would be my Pick. They are the Least Hot Pickups that Jim Makes.
    But all WCR's Sound Great!
     
  5. fretnot

    fretnot Gold Supporting Member

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    I put Crossroads in my Heatley Semi-Hollow...awesome!
     
  6. esoteric pete

    esoteric pete Supporting Member

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    why? are these usually a tight fit? they dont fit in regular humbucker routes or just 335's?
     
  7. MK.II

    MK.II Member

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    They wll fit, no problem. I think what he means is that changing pickups in a 335 is not an easy job! It takes a little bit more work than most guitars.
     
  8. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm an old ES-335 player, and I'm here to tell ya, good luck is right!

    What they don't tell you is ..... (obviously) you gotta do all the wiring through the f-holes - no easy access plastic cover to remove like on a Les Paul. The tight fit part is trying to gently work the vol and tone pots through the f-holes. Yup, that's how they get 'em in there - through the f-holes!

    A suggestion: If you're gonna make a WHOLE NEW HARNESS w/ new pots, etc : BEFORE taking out the old pickups, remove the 4 knobs from the pot shafts. Buy surgical tubing that fits snugly over the pot shafts, cut into 3', that's 3 foot lengths, and push the tubing on to the pot shafts. Then remove the harness from the guitar, slipping the nuts and washers from the pot stem up and off the tubing.

    This 'spaghetti' will give you a way to gently pull the individual pots back into the correct holes in the top of the guitar. Then, put the washer and nut on over the tubing and slide them down to start threading them on to the pot shaft threads when you re-assemble it.

    It sounds hokey, but it works really well. Unless you are gifted with extraordinarily long fingers, you won't be able to reach the bridge p/u's vol or tone pot through the f-hole without cutting your finger. That makes it really hard to hold the pot up into the receptacle hole while you're trying to thread the nut that holds it in.

    If you're just replacing the p/u;s, you can loosen the neck p/u vol and tone pots, and the p/u selector switch, and you may have room to unsloder the old ones and solder in the new ones w/o removing the harness.

    This is a big job. It'll take you 1 1/2 - 2 hours, and it'll be frustrating. Don't take out your frustration on the guitar - take a deep breath and keep trying - you'll get it eventually.

    If you haven't done this kind of job before, or are not particularly gifted at things mechanical, don't try it yourself. Bring it to a pro. Theyll charge you $65-$100, and guess what - it'll be well worth it!

    Good Luck, Dana
     
  9. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Oh, almost forgot.

    The output jack - that's the real problem. Try using a George L thin 1/4" straight plug - you might have to use a grinder on it to slim it down (I can't remember) but:

    BEFORE removing the output jack, push the 1/4" plug into the output jack. Fix some of the surgical tubing on it too. Then loosen the nut and slip the output jack in to the hollow inside of the guitar.

    It's way easier to pull the output jack in to place w/ the tubing. I was wrong in my last post - the hard part is the output jack, not so much the vol and tone pots.

    Also, I think I under-estimated the time in my previous post - maybe 3 hours.

    Big job!

    Dana
     
  10. haslar

    haslar Member

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    I agree with Dana.
    I swapped the pickups on my Heritage H535 (I now have WCR Darkbursts, they're AWESOME).
    It took me a whole morning to do that job - and my father helped me all along! At one point, I got so frustrated with the process that I thought I'd never manage to fit the pups in.

    Good luck!
    :eek:
     
  11. rpavich

    rpavich Member

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    I've swapped PUPs in my 335 once and completely rewired it once and replaced the stock pots with larger values, changed caps and tone pots once also...that makes 3 complete "pull the guts out and get the iron hot" sessions...yes...it sucks...but it can be done...don't get frustrated..I'd say 3 hrs for PUPS start to finish is accurate...also....if you take the complete harness out...it can come out thru the hole from the bridge PUP to the cavity

    bob
     
  12. MK.II

    MK.II Member

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    If you have an ES-335 Historic, the problem is that there is only a small hole for the pickup wire in the bridge pickup hole. So everything has to go through the f-holes on a Historic model. Not sure about the Gibson USA reissue models.
     
  13. AshlandBump

    AshlandBump Member

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    bump for any more insight into WCR pickups in an ES-335.

    Has anyone tried a WCR Crossroads neck and a Goodwood Bridge in a 335?
     
  14. jcground

    jcground Member

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    My recommendation would be the Crossroads set for a 335, and if you are looking for more oomph out of the bridge, ask Jim for a Darkburst (they're essentially a slightly hotter version of the Crossroads). It boils down to what you are trying to get out of the guitar, really, but I think the Crossroads is the best match for a 335 in my mind.

    I have Goodwoods in a Thorn semi-hollow, and they're great in that guitar. However, the Thorn is a smaller and denser body with a slightly thicker top carve. The fatness of the Goodwood pickups make it a very versatile guitar - it can cover jazz to pop to high gain, particularly because I got the Goodwoods with 4-leads to split them and give me series and parallel tones, and the guitar also has a piezo.

    Getting back to the Gibson, I think of them for a more mellow vibe, though they can certainly rock out. As I say, it really depends what you want to do with the guitar. If it's a newer 335, WCRs can improve its tone by leaps and bounds, but it's important to get the ones that are the right match for the music you plan to play. You might also send Jim Wagner an e-mail. He gave me good advice.

    +1 to what Dana and others have said about the wiring job itself. Getting in and out of the f-holes is no picnic. I'd rather do a car stereo install, and it'd take a lot to get me to volunteer for that at this stage in my life. :)
     
  15. fretnot

    fretnot Gold Supporting Member

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    Crossroads are terrific in a semi hollow like a 335. I have a whole gaggle of them. :AOK
     
  16. voodoochile

    voodoochile Supporting Member

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    I am not in need, as I do not have a 335 (yet), not is this my thread...
    but the responses to this are great! Solid, practical advise on the re-wiring, thanks all.
     
  17. eyesonly

    eyesonly Member

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    I don't think the guys on here are very techinically minded because it's an easy job. Seriously I changed my pickups tried out the guitar and changed em back again in in an hour.

    1. You loosen the strings till slack, then unscrew the stop tail studs alternating each one a turn at a time. (That's the strings out of the way. )

    2. Unscrew the 8 pickup mount screws which is another minute.

    3. remove volume knobs and unscrew the nuts and remove them and the washers.

    4. Start with the neck and push the pot into the body and pull it up through the f hole. You can work on it to remove the wires and pull the neck pickup out. Then do the bridge.

    5. Unscrew the pickup surounds and attach to the new pickups, strip the wires if needed.

    6. Put the neck pick up in passing the wire into the cavity and pull it through the f-hole. Solder it up, Do the same with the bridge.

    7. Put both pots into the body and with your finger guide them into the holes and put the washer and nut on.

    8. Put the stop tail back on and do up the studs. Retune and you are done.
     
  18. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    I have a BetSet in my 345-it was a bear for my tech to put it together-and he would be experienced...
     
  19. oscar100

    oscar100 Supporting Member

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    goodwoods

    ive got a set for sale - zebras if you want them
     
  20. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    geez you guys are good...my first 335 pup replacement took 7 hours...I was thinking how cool it would have been if I had soldered some pup hookwire to the pots and just attached any new pups to the wire instead of having to remove the pots to solder the new pups directly onto the pot...

    unfortuately I came up with this idea after I had already replaced the pups and soldered them directly to the new pots...now that I want to put the stock pups back in I have to do the whole pot and pup removeall thing again...hopefully this time I will have learned something and can get it done in half the time...

    Chow,
    Seegs
     

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