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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member dj335's Avatar
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    What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    All you Tone Meisters out there,

    I recently bought a 2005 Gibson Les Paul Classic Goldtop. Had a '79 Goldtop Deluxe that I sold years ago, and regretted it the day it left my house, so now I'm back with this Gibson Les Paul Classic Goldtop. It is not the chambered type that the 2007's are, but instead a weight relieved one. Light weight, has a lively acoustic non-amplified sound to it.

    Bought this guitar because it has the same neck profile as my '79. However, it came with the 496R ceramic neck pickup as stock, but a Seymour Duncan JB Trembucker in the bridge position in place of the 500T. I don't like how either pickup sounds, so I'm asking the forum what would be the best pickup combo for this guitar. I have a Gibson SG '61 Reissue that has '57 Classic pickups that I like alot on that guitar. How would this pickup combo sound on this Les Paul?

    Can you guys out there give me some recommendations on a pickup combo that you think sounds best on a late model Les Paul? I play mostly blues and classic rock. No metal. You must have experimented with pickup combo's, so please advise.

    Regards,
    Dave
    Last edited by dj335; 12-03-08 at 12:50 AM. Reason: fixed typo

  2. #2

    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    Quite frankly, I'm pretty happy with the Burstbuckers in my 04 Standard. To be fair I've not tried any boutique pups in it or even a "common" replacement like a Seymour Duncan. But I suppose thats because I'm so far satisfied with what I have.

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member ricgroove's Avatar
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    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    I've just purchased some Wolfetone Marshallheads for my Standard but these might be a little 'hot' for yourself. I've heard the Wolfetone Dr.V in a mates guitar and they sound fantastic for that blues/classic rock sound you might be after. Can't speak highly enough about Wolfe his customer service is second to none, he even threw in a couple of AlnicoII magnets with my pups just incase I wanted to experiment with my sound. Check out his website & drop him a line! Good luck
    I think the G string is out???

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    57 Classic pickups were used on Historic LPs untill 2001 and many people liked them.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member PHILBERT's Avatar
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    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    I have the 57 Classic Plus (bridge) and 57 Classic (neck) combo in my LP Classic. They are good. A little creamy compared to the BB1 or BB2, which chirp a bit too much for me. No microphonics on the 57's either. The BBs had that problem. BB Pros are way harsh (I did not like those). So I like the 57's better but the next thing I wanted to try were the Dr. Vintage pups. From what I have heard around here, they are very good and close to real PAF's. Damn it! Now I really want to get a set! Thanks a lot!
    Last edited by PHILBERT; 11-30-08 at 07:26 AM.
    Phil http://philbert.lh.net/cool.gif

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  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member Totally bored's Avatar
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    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    I have the stock BB Pro's in my 2008 60's neck Standard. Sounds Killer.

    I have a 57 Classic pup sitting all alone on a shelf downstairs that I may swap the bridge out for someday just to see what all the fus is all about but. I'm in no rush because the Guitar sounds perfect and I'm not sure if I should mess with perfection.

  7. #7

    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    I have a 57 classic and 57 classic plus along with an RS wiring harness and an aluminum tailpiece on my 00 LP Std. I love these pickups and think they give a great blues/classic rock sound. I have Schaller Golden 50s on my Heritage H150 and they also provide a great blues/classic rock sound. I think the Schallers are quite a bit less expensive and come up a lot on ebay for resale.

  8. #8

    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    after reading much and playing many LP's in all variations...i chose the antique classic.(2007) the 57 & 57+ sound great out of the box...through a tube amp they sound better...with some tweaking...good setup and height setting...and of course playing with the tone setting...for blues & rock...it does!!

    I play alot of fusion and standard jazz...without alot of tone adjustments from the amp or guitar...a tad bit of reverb..yesss!

    play well

    wolf

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member sinner's Avatar
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    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    I like the RS True Sixties pickups, my friends put them in his 70's old Black and they sound great. Perfect for blues and classic rock, warm and expressive but articulate.

    Good tone.....cost good money

    Great tone.....years of practice

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member skydog6653's Avatar
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    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    +1 for Wolfetones

  11. #11
    Les Paul Froum Member
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    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    Quote Originally Posted by dj335 View Post
    All you Tone Meisters out there,

    I recently bought a 2005 Gibson Les Paul Classic Goldtop. Had a '79 Goldtop Deluxe that I sold years ago, and regretted it the day it left my house, so now I'm back with this Gibson Les Paul Classic Goldtop.It is not the chambered type that the 2007's are, but instead a weight releaved one. Light weight, has a lively acoustic non-amplified sound to it.

    Bought this guitar because it has the same neck profile as my '79. However, it came with the 496R ceramic neck pickup as stock, but a Seymour Duncan JB Trembucker in the bridge position in place of the 500T. I don't like how either pickup sounds, so I'm asking the forum what would be the best pickup combo for this guitar. I have a Gibson SG '61 Reissue that has '57 Classic pickups that I like alot on that guitar. How would this pickup combo sound on this Les Paul?

    Can you guys out there give me some recommendations on a pickup combo that you think sounds best on a late model Les Paul? I play mostly blues and classic rock. No metal. You must have experimented with pickup combo's, so please advise.

    Regards,
    Dave
    I have a 2000 classic in which I installed Burstbucker Pros (neck and bridge) , and Luxe Bumblebee caps, it has awesome tone now, that Robben Ford sound ..

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member LiveOak's Avatar
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    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wire and wood View Post
    Quite frankly, I'm pretty happy with the Burstbuckers in my 04 Standard. To be fair I've not tried any boutique pups in it or even a "common" replacement like a Seymour Duncan. But I suppose thats because I'm so far satisfied with what I have.
    +1

    Love the Burstbucker Pro's in my 06 Standard, no changes needed for me.
    So lay down a back beat, crank up your trusty Gibson, son. Let's give it everything we got just one more time....

    Atlanta Rhythm Section

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    IMHO Thats an easy question to ask and a hard question to answer. You like green or purple?? I like green and I bet there's about 100 people here that like purple and will tell you in 100 different ways why green sucks. Same thing for purple... I've also got a Line 6 Spider 212.. There's 100 people that'll tell me that the amp sucks and at least that many that like it... It's all about what sounds good to YOU. If you're looking for a specific tone.. That would be easier.

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member avereste's Avatar
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    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    That's it, I'm not at all at those classic blues tones.
    I'm more indie and rock so Jb and 59 series-parallel switched for me
    Forgive my english

  15. #15

    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    Since you like the 57s in your other guitar, thats the best plece to start. If you like the 57s you will HATE Burstbucker Pros, unless you want something totally opposite from that tone.
    BB123 will sound more clicky and grainy. The closest Gibson pickups with a similar character would be 490's or 490/498 combo, but you will find them much hotter and a rounder midrange.

    I'd stick with the 57 classic/classic+ series. At least you know you already like that tone, and you might get a hint more sparkle with the maple cap.
    1987 preHistoric Goldtop
    1996 Custom Shop Florentine Standard (not custom style) Retired, played frets off.
    2008 R0 VOS named "Kevin"
    2012 LP GC custom Pro Standard, Green!
    2014 ES-Les Paul Light Burst.

    and some others......

    http://www.myspace.com/limeshack


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  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    I have Burstbucker Pros in my Std. Faded. They've got edge and warmth. I have Classic 57s in my Sheraton. They're a tad warmer, but so is the guitar. I like both sets of pickups.
    ___________
    CH Willie

  17. #17
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    Quote Originally Posted by YUCK View Post
    IMHO Thats an easy question to ask and a hard question to answer. You like green or purple?? I like green and I bet there's about 100 people here that like purple and will tell you in 100 different ways why green sucks. Same thing for purple... I've also got a Line 6 Spider 212.. There's 100 people that'll tell me that the amp sucks and at least that many that like it... It's all about what sounds good to YOU. If you're looking for a specific tone.. That would be easier.
    I think he's already said what color he wants. It's not that difficult.

    Knowing that color was made with a smaller set of tools available, it's pretty easy to make some general assumptions that can help get him there.

    Classic 57s are a fine place to start.

  18. #18

    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    Whose ears will you be using?

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member PixelBurst's Avatar
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    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    I've kept my Wolfetone Dr.Vintage pickups for a while now. I love 'em! I also liked:

    Voodoo 60's

    Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pros

    DiMarzio Virtual PAF's
    Guitars: Two '59 Gibson Les Paul Reissues, 1960's Gibson Acoustic
    Pedals: RMC4 Picture Wah, Korg Pitchblack Tuner
    Amps: Reinhardt Storm 50, Stagecraft Slant 2x12 with Scumback BM75's, Blackstar HT-5R

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    Quote Originally Posted by Totally bored View Post
    I have the stock BB Pro's in my 2008 60's neck Standard. Sounds Killer.

    I have a 57 Classic pup sitting all alone on a shelf downstairs that I may swap the bridge out for someday just to see what all the fus is all about but. I'm in no rush because the Guitar sounds perfect and I'm not sure if I should mess with perfection.
    +1

    Only it's a 2002. Why mess with a good thing? I have plenty of pickups (20?) but just no urge to swap out the BB Pro's. Yes they are harsh. Yes they are aggressive. And yes I love playing Metal.

    To the original poster dj335, get the 57 Classics. It's what is best for you.

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member dj335's Avatar
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    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    Thank you to all that answered my question about pickups in my 2005 LP Classic Goldtop. From what many of you said, it sounds like the '57 Classics are going to give me the tone I seek.

    One last question: It appears that the regular '57 Classic pickup is a one model universal type, in that it can be used in either neck or bridge position, whereas the Classic Plus was made for those who want a hotter pickup at the bridge. Does the Plus sound like the regular Classic, just with more output? I'm pretty sure my SG '61 Reissue has two regular '57 Classics, and not a Plus at the bridge, so I don't know how the Plus sounds in comparison.

    I see '57 Classic pickups for sale on eBay in pairs as either two Classics, or a Classic with a Classic Plus. I'm guessing the Classic/Classic Plus choice would be best for a Paul? Your advice is very helpful.

  22. #22

    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    The New aussie tonebuckers 21R (neck) and 22T (bridge)

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    It's pretty much impossible for us to tell you which Classics to get. What might be nice and "hot" to me might be "muddy" for you. What might be thin and sterile to me might be perfect for you.

    Go by what know. Is your SG perfect? Would you like a little more power in the bridge?

    One thing I will say is that 57 Classics are all over the place in hotness even without the plus. A 57 Classic can range from 7.75K up to 8.5K. A "plus" is generally anything hotter than 8.5K.

  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    i know there are all sorts of flavor of the week boutique p-ups available, but i've become quite partial to Duncan's Seth Lovers....
    Sing the Song Bro'
    Play on Drummer

    www.godonthe.net

  25. #25

    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    Fralin PAFs.

    Schweeeeet.


    lou

  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    My 08 std has bb pros stock and my 07 std has classic/ classic+ and they sound great all stock. They are also chambered and sound like Chuck Berry unplugged so maybe the only reason they sound so good amplified is because they are some of the best sounding LP's un-plugged. I've had several "weight relieved" LP's and the only one I've kept is my 05 custom. If you wan't a "sure thing" put a classic + in the bridge. Gibson pups sound alot better than alot of the rewinders here will let you believe.

  27. #27
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: What pickups sound best in a modern Les Paul?

    Quote Originally Posted by 96 lppp View Post
    If you wan't a "sure thing" put a classic + in the bridge. Gibson pups sound alot better than alot of the rewinders here will let you believe.
    The only sure thing with pickups is there is no such thing as 'sure thing'. What one plays, the technique used, other equipment in signal chain - as Paul Reed Smith put it IIRC - "Everything affects everything."

    Gibson pickups will make Gibson guitars sound like most of Gibson buyers would expect them to sound. And not a slightest bit more than that. Which is good enough for most of Gibson buyers.

    Just like with cars - most of the people use their cars stock. And some people hot rod them. Both are pleased with their own and wouldn't be as pleased with cars of the other group.

    So, you can 'drive' Gibson stock or hot rod, neither is better, but one will suite you better. Just avoid believing things - try as many different options as possible and then make your own conclusion/decision.

    my .02$

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