School me on humbuckers for my first "gibson" style guitar.

For guitars of the straight waisted variety (or reverse offset).
User avatar
mbene085
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 5375
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 5:07 am

Re: School me on humbuckers for my first "gibson" style guitar.

Post by mbene085 » Thu May 14, 2020 5:25 pm

Covers also remove a variable amount of high-end depending on the material they're made from. Nickel-silver does so to a less pronounced degree than plated brass, for example.

If the pickup winder recommends the covers, it might be because he designed the pickup to sound the way he likes with the cover on. Everything that goes into/onto a pickup affects it. For example, the humbucker's baseplate can also be either brass or nickel silver. Brass emphasizes low end and attenuates high end. And the screws used for the poles affect the tone based on their shape, with hex screws generally sounding brighter than rounded philips screws. That's why you see a lot of hex-screw DiMarzios with brass baseplate vs the more common nickel-silver on PAF style pickups, to balance the effects of one against the other.

All of this is to say that, if you've described your gear and the tone you're looking for, I'd follow the winder's advice if he thinks the pickups with the covers would suit you.

The "take the covers off" crowd are often playing mahogany Les Pauls with multiple 300-500k volume pots and wanting to make their guitars sound brighter. It's not a universal path to "better tone", it's one of the few mods that requires no electrical understanding, when they could likely have achieved similar results with a small pot tweak or introducing a resistor in the right spot.

User avatar
andy_tchp
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 6151
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:36 am
Location: Brisbane

Re: School me on humbuckers for my first "gibson" style guitar.

Post by andy_tchp » Thu May 14, 2020 5:42 pm

Aside from anything else, uncovered humbuckers are as ugly as sin, so you should definitely get the covers.
"I don't know why we asked him to join the band 'cause the rest of us don't like country music all that much; we just like Graham Lee."
David McComb, 1987.

User avatar
Jonesie
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3005
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:00 am
Location: Massachusetts
Contact:

Re: School me on humbuckers for my first "gibson" style guitar.

Post by Jonesie » Fri May 15, 2020 5:15 am

I just installed some DiMarzio 36th Anniversary PAF's in my Yamaha Studio Lord, and I have to say that they sound pretty kick ass. They're around 7.5k each and are nice and bright, but the neck still has this awesome thickness to it. For as much as I hate to say it, it can nail the "woman" tone with the tone rolled back a bit, it has lots of honk.
"Cosmo! Call me a cab!"
"Alright, you're a cab!"

User avatar
sessylU
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 227
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:33 am

Re: School me on humbuckers for my first "gibson" style guitar.

Post by sessylU » Sat May 16, 2020 6:51 am

You've mentioned P-90s and PAF humbuckers. Have you thought about P-Rails? I have an Ibanez Artcore with them (along with hipshot switching rings) and they are brilliant. In parallel, they make an excellent PAF sound. In series a very good hot humbucker. The P-90 sound is also excellent. The single rail (supposed to sound like a strat) is so-so, but I think of that like a bonus on the other sounds.

User avatar
BoringPostcards
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 5048
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:50 am
Location: Newfoundland

Re: School me on humbuckers for my first "gibson" style guitar.

Post by BoringPostcards » Sat May 16, 2020 4:27 pm

Anybody mention Gibson 57 classic humbuckers?
They're great pickups for a good price.
They have a really nice clean sound on both SGs and LPs. Should work fine in a Fender style.
"Can you please pass me a jug of winter light?" - Lee Ranaldo 2000
Det er mig der holder træerne sammen.

User avatar
JVG
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 680
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:54 pm
Location: Sydney, Straya

Re: School me on humbuckers for my first "gibson" style guitar.

Post by JVG » Sat May 16, 2020 9:51 pm

Florian might have been right into humbuckers in his spare time...who knows :P

I’ll echo the comment above about going for something low-wind to maintain the brightness/open-ness. If you’re on a budget I thoroughly recommend the SD Jazz; it’s a really versatile pickup that cuts nicely....probably not what you’d expect from a pickup called ‘Jazz’!

On the sad topic of recent musician deaths, the one that affected me most was Dave Greenfield of the Stranglers. One of my favourites musicians and bands. https://youtu.be/1EXMXuJ3ivg

Cheers!
J.

User avatar
HH1978
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 622
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:51 pm
Location: Brussels, Belgium

Re: School me on humbuckers for my first "gibson" style guitar.

Post by HH1978 » Sun May 17, 2020 3:34 pm

For what you describe in the OP, and considering your guitar is routed for HB, I would recommend BG pickups Pure90.

They are humbucker sized P90. They have the warmth of a HB, but the treble response of a single coil. They have the smoky, raunchy grit of a p90 if you push them. And they're not expensive for boutique pickup, at 170$ for a set (and they're apparently on sale now with a 20% discount). You have to deal with Bryan, and understand that he does not talk much, and doesn't send many updates, but I ordered twice, in 2013 and last year, and the pickups where shipped in the stated leading time, around 6-8 weeks. His pickups are standard potted, so you have to specify if you want them unpotted).

I have a couple of guitars with P90 and HB, including a 1960 ES-175 with genuine PAF's, and a 1959 Es-225TD with original P90. The Pure90 is probably my favourite set of pickups ever (not taking Fender style pickups into account, totally different beasts and therefore impossible to compare).
It's also worth noting that I generally prefer P90 over HB, which of course influences my comment.

If you're going for HB, I would recommend a low output set (under 8k). There already have been a lot of nice suggestions above. The Wizz from Alex Vrhovec in Croatia are fantastic for their clarity, especially with alnico 3, but they are expensive. I would suggest a Duncan Seth Lover set.

As for the covers, I prefer them on, both for look and sound, but only nickel-silver covers, as the brass ones kill the treble.

User avatar
Larry Mal
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 14886
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: Saint Louis, MO

Re: School me on humbuckers for my first "gibson" style guitar.

Post by Larry Mal » Sun May 17, 2020 4:05 pm

HH1978 wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 3:34 pm

If you're going for HB, I would recommend a low output set (under 8k). There already have been a lot of nice suggestions above. The Wizz from Alex Vrhovec in Croatia are fantastic for their clarity, especially with alnico 3, but they are expensive. I would suggest a Duncan Seth Lover set.
Some good pickup makers in Croatia, I guess. I ordered a great set of Telecaster pickups from Q pickups there, could not be happier with that purchase. They were not very expensive then although I think prices have gone up, he'll wind you whatever you want so a low wind PAF might be worth looking into there.

You can find him on Reverb.
Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

User avatar
HH1978
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 622
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:51 pm
Location: Brussels, Belgium

Re: School me on humbuckers for my first "gibson" style guitar.

Post by HH1978 » Sun May 17, 2020 4:17 pm

I have a Mustang set from Q-pickup, sounds great indeed, and not expensive at the time I purchased, 3 years ago. Never tried his HB, though.

User avatar
Larry Mal
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 14886
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: Saint Louis, MO

Re: School me on humbuckers for my first "gibson" style guitar.

Post by Larry Mal » Sun May 17, 2020 4:28 pm

Me either, but if I was having some pickups wound I would definitely look into Q pickups again.
Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

User avatar
burpgun
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 541
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:15 am
Location: Brooklyn, NYC

Re: School me on humbuckers for my first "gibson" style guitar.

Post by burpgun » Tue May 19, 2020 5:44 am

This is a great thread for me, as I increasingly like Gibson guitars but am wary of humbuckers because I don't like muddy, dark pickups. I've got an SG with Lollar P90s that I love, but now it looks like I could get into more conventional SGs too. Wonder if anyone can speak to Lace Alumintone offerings?

User avatar
surfin_bird
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1144
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:06 am
Location: Amsterdam

Re: School me on humbuckers for my first "gibson" style guitar.

Post by surfin_bird » Sun May 24, 2020 1:04 am

Yes thanks for all the information, I hope that more people can see this info and some of the experiences seen of custom and not so custom PAF's that are posted here. In the end I ordered some Monty's PAF's with aged gold covers. Jimi Hendrix's SG being my main inspiration that I should try out good pickups I just ordered something similar, looks and sounds wise. Listening to all the reviews it sounds like the monty ones are the closest to fat telecaster pickups, so I doubt i'll have regrets. If I like these pickups i'll maybe try and experiment with some other PAF's posted here too. I'm extremely curious to try out vintage dimarzio's for example.

I'll post a little review here when I've got the monty's installed.

User avatar
budda12ax7
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 6244
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:04 pm
Location: Mean Streets of OC

Re: School me on humbuckers for my first "gibson" style guitar.

Post by budda12ax7 » Mon May 25, 2020 9:28 am

I don't know why all the Humbucker hate in this thread...."dark, muddy, ".....what!!! Only get rock tones like Bad Company??? There dozens and dozens of humbucker variations from super high output to low output. I put humbuckers into 2 of my 3 jazzmasters and get all sorts of clean tonz for days. Depends what kind of humbucker.

Now, I am going to get some eye rolling here, but I put two Seymour Duncan "78" humbuckers in my 1992 American Jazzmaster. These are the Van Halen pickups Seymour Duncan made for EVH back in the day (according to their website)...these are not high output, but sound full, sparkly and clean when I use clean. I also put some Novak PAF's in my other Jazzmaster and it sounds great and versatile. My 3rd jazzmaster has the Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound Jazzmaster pickups that I used for years.

"78"
http://customshop.seymourduncan.com/78-model/

Quarter Pounders
https://www.seymourduncan.com/single-pr ... jazzmaster

When I go clean they sound clean.

User avatar
Larry Mal
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 14886
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: Saint Louis, MO

Re: School me on humbuckers for my first "gibson" style guitar.

Post by Larry Mal » Mon May 25, 2020 11:11 am

Not just Bad Company, but Brian Howe era Bad Company. Jesus.
Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

User avatar
somanytoys
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3325
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:59 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: School me on humbuckers for my first "gibson" style guitar.

Post by somanytoys » Mon May 25, 2020 12:53 pm

budda12ax7 wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 9:28 am
Now, I am going to get some eye rolling here, but I put two Seymour Duncan "78" humbuckers in my 1992 American Jazzmaster. These are the Van Halen pickups Seymour Duncan made for EVH back in the day (according to their website)...these are not high output, but sound full, sparkly and clean when I use clean.
Thats not surprising to me. Eddie’s sound had more to do with the sheer volume he got from pushing the shit out of the amp than anything else (a Plexi, I think). Attenuators, load boxes, boiled strings - the rumors were endless, maybe true and maybe not, but he was innovative.

Everything matters along the way, but his pickup in the Frankenstein was low wound, if I remember correctly, which I think is what that 78 is based on.

I always thought he got a lot of various nice sounds, even clean when he turned the volume knob down on his guitar. I may need to try one of those in my “shredder” guitar, it already has some kind of replacement pickup in it anyway.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

Post Reply