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"Would you swap pickups..." opinion

JBG

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
599
Here's a scenario: So, let's say you're a hardcore Duncan player and happened to find a boutique guitar that SOUNDS amazing, but has stock pickups (ie: anything but Duncan). Would you swap the pickup? What if the guitar was a cheap import with stock pickups, but sounded great.. swap or not to swap?
 

bluesjuke

Disrespected Elder
Messages
24,128
"SOUNDS amazing, ........but sounded great.."


There's your answer.
WHy mess with a good thing?
 

Real_Shy

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
57
If you have other PUP's, why not try 'em, may sound greater? You can always swap back..
 

ShredHeadJHJ

Member
Messages
199
I would get a Rio Grande BBQ & Texas humbucker. Much better than anything Duncan has put out. I would suggest to anyone hung up on Duncans to try these out, or experiment with other brands. The Rio Grande's are VERY responsive.
 

Kingbeegtrs

Senior Member
Messages
1,926
Here's a scenario: So, let's say you're a hardcore Duncan player and happened to find a boutique guitar that SOUNDS amazing, but has stock pickups (ie: anything but Duncan). Would you swap the pickup? What if the guitar was a cheap import with stock pickups, but sounded great.. swap or not to swap?
here's my two cents - some pickups sound really good in one guitar and terrible in another. Why? I don't know. If your guitar sounds great now leave it alone. If you want to experiment go for it, but don't be surprised if you find yourself putting the old ones back.

Another phenomenon is that you can be in a really good mood or be having a really off day when you try something out which can change your opinion about gear. It is best to try things over a period of time or more importantly use the gear in several gig situations.
 

Polynitro

Member
Messages
23,616
Here's a scenario: So, let's say you're a hardcore Duncan player and happened to find a boutique guitar that SOUNDS amazing, but has stock pickups (ie: anything but Duncan).
Would you swap the pickup?
No. You really think Duncans are that much better than every other pickup maker?

What if the guitar was a cheap import with stock pickups, but sounded great.. swap or not to swap?
Maybe but it depends.
 

Kingbeegtrs

Senior Member
Messages
1,926
Duncan makes good pickups. They're not all great, but some of them are pretty unique and innovative. I really like his Broadcaster bridge pickup and the Alnico2 for Strat are cool too. Above all, I like the Jazz Model humbucker for the neck position.
 

brockburst

Member
Messages
586
Here's a scenario: So, let's say you're a hardcore Duncan player and happened to find a boutique guitar that SOUNDS amazing, but has stock pickups (ie: anything but Duncan). Would you swap the pickup? What if the guitar was a cheap import with stock pickups, but sounded great.. swap or not to swap?

sounds like you are being overly influenced by externalities like marketing and hype

good sound is something people forever search for, the latest and greatest is really new colors in ads they run
 

atquinn

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,747
1) What you should do: Just leave the pickups in there if everything sounds great as-is.
2) What you'll end up doing: Put some Duncans in there to try them out. I mean, if it sounds great with generic cheapies, think of how awesome it could sound with Duncans! :D
3)What I'd end up doing: Sadly, probably step #2, but I probably wouldn't use Duncans :D. As long as you save the original pickups so you can put them back in if you end up not liking them, why not?

-Austin
 

JBG

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
599
I was just using Duncans as an example (Sorry, I probably should have indicated that this was completely hypothetical). In fact, I don't own any Duncan pickups. I could have said DiMarzio, GFS, Lollar, or anything. I was just curious as to what other players do.

I know some people who refuse to have any other pickup other than their brand and/or model in their guitars, regardless if ithe guitar & original pickups sounded stupendous or not.
 

mike80

Member
Messages
2,664
If it sounds great, I would leave it alone.

If it sounds mediocre, but plays nice, then I'll consider a pup swap.
 
Messages
23,950
I was just using Duncans as an example (Sorry, I probably should have indicated that this was completely hypothetical). In fact, I don't own any Duncan pickups. I could have said DiMarzio, GFS, Lollar, or anything. I was just curious as to what other players do.

I know some people who refuse to have any other pickup other than their brand and/or model in their guitars, regardless if ithe guitar & original pickups sounded stupendous or not.
Some folks use different brand pickups for different reasons; some reasons being better than others:

A) Just because their hero endorsed them, or the very first guitar they were given had them. Not good reasons, IMO.

B) Because that particular source (for example Bill and Becky) had a fresh and unique approach to designing & building each pickup design as compared to all others. Producing a transparent ultraversatile "flavor and fragrance free" result. Great illustration of a good reason.

So, you see, it does matter which brand you're talking about. You can't really expect a useful answer to a hypothet in this instance.
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,441
I have not changed out pickups in a guitar in years. Waste of time and effort much of the time imho. Try the tone controls on the amp first.
 

clay49

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,630
I agree with most other posters on this one...if the "sound" is good to your ears (which it has to be for you to be satisfied), don't touch it...regardless of the "name brand" of either the guitar or the pickups.

Many poor tone-pilgrims (me included) spend years, and thousands of dollars chasing down all the big brand name guitars and endless pickup combinations (from endless manufacturers and boutique winders), rather than sticking with a really good sound that they find in one particular guitar. Many of us can probably attest to guitars that we have let go (and are now kicking ourselves for doing so) simply because it didn't have a particular name on the headstock, or the pickups were not made by Duncan or DiMarzio or WCR or Bareknuckle or (you add any from your list of what you think is the best pickup).

I've recently played a $450 Agile AL-3100 that sounded every bit as good as my 1960 Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul Reissue, and my USA Baker B1...both of which cost over $3,000 (and I make that observation after 30 years of playing, recording, performing, etc.). And that sound came from a guitar that has pickups made in Korea, that you can purchase from Rondo Music for about $40 for the pair. (And, no, this is not a commercial for Agile). I am simply saying, if it generates the sound you shooting for, and you like the vibe and feel of the guitar....be happy and rock on!:dude
 




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