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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Pups Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    I got my brand new `63 ES-335TDC guitar on Wed. Lovely guitar and after a little tweaking and some good strings, plays and sustains like an old one. Not wild about the Nylon saddles. I swapped those out with some Brass ones=big improvement!
    I find the MHS pickups to be very mushy, dark and mid-heavy. I like clarity and these don't have that. Of course I'm fairly spoilt in that all my other humbucking guitars have either vintage Gibson pickups or Thobak's. I will be swapping these out with a set of vintage Sixties T-Tops that have Throbak A-4 magnets.
    The Custombucker's I've tried sound better than these. I'm fairly disappointed in these when the guitar is played clean. when I have an overdrive pedal on then they sound pretty nice, but not a good trade off in my opinion.
    Anyone else experience this with these new "Memphis" pickups?
    BTW, I have done all the adjusting one can do with these...
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member Elhorch's Avatar
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    Well, I got a gibson memphis Rich Robinson ES-335, I'm pretty sure it has burstbuckers but I also find them to be very dark, might change them to Throbacks (have them on my R0) or OX4 pickups, see if it opens up a bit.

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    Yeah, it has the BB's, not my fave pickups either. I was looking at the Rich Robinson guitar too. I ended up spending the extra bread for the '63 ES-335TDC. It is more of what I wanted.
    Not that the Rich Robinson's a lesser guitar.. Not even! I was looking at those at NAMM last January. That model and my friend Warren Haynes' 335! nice stuff and it seems as though Gibson's finally building the Custom Shop semi's correct(finally..).
    Last edited by TM1; 11-14-14 at 10:49 PM.

  4. #4
    All Access/Backstage Pass Progrocker111's Avatar
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    They are nor mushy to me, really they arent bright or very clear, but i still like their clean tone very much. But especially with overdrive they have nice singing tone, still articulate, but warm and rich too. No complaints from my side.
    My diagnosis is: Hiwatt and Norlinphilia


    2014 Gibson Les Paul Junior 1957 Custom Shop
    1972 Hiwatt DR103, 1972 Hiwatt SE4122

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    Overdriven they sound good, but I need clarity as well.

  6. #6
    All Access/Backstage Pass Progrocker111's Avatar
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    Quote Originally Posted by TM1 View Post
    Overdriven they sound good, but I need clarity as well.
    I am playing with old 72 Hiwatt DR103, so clarity isnt my problem.
    My diagnosis is: Hiwatt and Norlinphilia


    2014 Gibson Les Paul Junior 1957 Custom Shop
    1972 Hiwatt DR103, 1972 Hiwatt SE4122

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member sgtJoe's Avatar
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    Don, I'm wanting a 63 335 also, what does the "MHS" stand for. Thx
    There are only two kinds of people in this world, ignorant and intelligent, which one are you.

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member goldtop0's Avatar
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    Quote Originally Posted by TM1 View Post
    I got my brand new `63 ES-335TDC guitar on Wed. Lovely guitar and after a little tweaking and some good strings, plays and sustains like an old one. Not wild about the Nylon saddles. I swapped those out with some Brass ones=big improvement!
    I find the MHS pickups to be very mushy, dark and mid-heavy. I like clarity and these don't have that. Of course I'm fairly spoilt in that all my other humbucking guitars have either vintage Gibson pickups or Thobak's. I will be swapping these out with a set of vintage Sixties T-Tops that have Throbak A-4 magnets.
    The Custombucker's I've tried sound better than these. I'm fairly disappointed in these when the guitar is played clean. when I have an overdrive pedal on then they sound pretty nice, but not a good trade off in my opinion.
    Anyone else experience this with these new "Memphis" pickups?
    BTW, I have done all the adjusting one can do with these...
    Thanks!

    Don, what is the neck like on yours?

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    The MHS stands for "Memphis Historic Series".
    Neck: feels like an old one as it's wide and slightly flat on the back. It is only like 1/16" wider at the nut. But the feel is perfect. It feels a lot like some of the originals I've played over the last 48 years.

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member sgtJoe's Avatar
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    Thanks don
    There are only two kinds of people in this world, ignorant and intelligent, which one are you.

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    What I've read says these are a lower-wind version of the Custom Buckers, supposedly to work better in the semi-hollow guitars, but basically the same other than that.
    Al


    Quote Originally Posted by TM1 View Post
    The MHS stands for "Memphis Historic Series".
    Neck: feels like an old one as it's wide and slightly flat on the back. It is only like 1/16" wider at the nut. But the feel is perfect. It feels a lot like some of the originals I've played over the last 48 years.

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member Gold Tone's Avatar
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    I've got Throbak SLE LTD with short A2 magnet in my block '63 335. After a few different pickups trials these were the ones that had everything that guitar needed to sing.

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    The MHS pickups are about 7.8k bridge & 7.4k neck. Even the readings I took with my LCR meter says they should sound clear, but I have a feeling the magnets need to be different. They're A-2 bridge and A-3 neck.
    I love the late Sixties T-Tops in it now. I do have a couple of sets of Throbak's I might swap out and see how those sound.

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member Elhorch's Avatar
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    I'm curious if you changed pots and caps on your ES... did you?

    Thanks

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member sgtJoe's Avatar
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    Again, lay off the sherms and find another board to post on.
    There are only two kinds of people in this world, ignorant and intelligent, which one are you.

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    Quote Originally Posted by Progrocker111 View Post
    I am playing with old 72 Hiwatt DR103, so clarity isnt my problem.
    I hear ya on the ol' HiWatt!, But.. The difference between the MHS pickups vs. the old T-Top's is like removing a blanket from the sound.
    Pots/Caps, way ahead of ya.. already done. However, Gibson does say that the new pots they use are 550K CTS with the old Centralab taper. I put in a set of Centralabs that came out of a destroyed `62 SG/LP.

  17. #17
    All Access/Backstage Pass Progrocker111's Avatar
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    Quote Originally Posted by TM1 View Post
    I hear ya on the ol' HiWatt!, But.. The difference between the MHS pickups vs. the old T-Top's is like removing a blanket from the sound.
    Will perhaps try it too. I like early T-Tops very much, especially cause of their articulate, clear and aggressive tone. But i would consider some Throbaks too.
    My diagnosis is: Hiwatt and Norlinphilia


    2014 Gibson Les Paul Junior 1957 Custom Shop
    1972 Hiwatt DR103, 1972 Hiwatt SE4122

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    bumping this

    anybody have any new thoughts on the MHS Pups?

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    Quote Originally Posted by Pellman73 View Post
    bumping this

    anybody have any new thoughts on the MHS Pups?
    Love my MHS pickup's in my 64 ES 345 would not swap these out . That old blues growl IMO , could be a little dark for some . Im playing a 18 watt head with a 2x12 slant cab & my 57 GA9 & a AC4 at the present time .
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

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  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member Standard 82's Avatar
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    I have not tried or heard MHS pups in an LP but I have a new CS 355 and a 63 Historic 335 with them and they sound fantastic. Absolutely killer! Clear and sweet at lower volume and creamy when cranked , through a tube amp. I tried the 355 in the music store through a new Princeton Reverb and I was so impressed I bought the guitar on the spot.

    I have owned a number of LP's and found them to be generally muddy anyway, regardless of the price point , including a Skinnerburst. The exception being my Kalamazoo 82 Standard.

    I have also owned at least 7 335's and the only ones that held up to the MHS pickups were the '66 and '67 that had Pat# pickups.

    Maybe they are not the best choice then for LP's but in the ES semi-acoustic models they are great.

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member latestarter's Avatar
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    I have had many ES variants over the decades. 335, 345 and 355's. The two that I've kept are a long guard 1960 335 and a 2016 345 which has the MHS pickups. Although not as clear as the PAF's in the '60, they are fine approximation and I wouldn't change them unless I had a known good pair of PAF's to replace them with.
    Otherwise known as Grant.

  22. #22
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    I swapped the magnets in my MHS/‘63 ES335RI to Throbak A5. Can’t remember which A5s. Also swapped to Throbak covers. Much, much better now. More clarity, a bit more push and tighter sounding.

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member Mars Hall's Avatar
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    Still getting acquainted with my 58 ES335 VOS but find no fault with the MHS pickups. I do recognize, as some say, that they sound dark. My Blackface Fender amps don’t seem to mind with plenty of high end chime to offset the darkness.
    "What's that man movin' cross the stage?
    It looks a lot like the one used by Jimmy Page..." Paul McCartney

  24. #24
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    I, as others in this thread, picked up a new ES 335 '63 RI with the MHS pickups, in vintage sunburst.

    The guitar sustains incredibly well with the nylon saddles and nylon nut. The pickups are clear, articulate and sound fantastic in the guitar.

    It did need to be re-plekked, which I had my luthier take care of. The guitar is now effortless to play, and responds just incredibly well.
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  25. #25

    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    I have MHS buckers in a 2018 '59 ES 335 RI and in a 2015 ES LP Goldtop.

    In the '59 RI, the MHS are not too bright in the bridge, not too dark in the neck. They have a very dry character, which I like. They are very Goldilocks "just right" to me. They have just enough treble to cut through while being fairly warm without mud. Throaty might be a good description.

    By comparison, the MHS in the 2015 ES LP scream; they are loud and brash and push the treble envelope pretty hard. This is not a bad thing, but certainly a contrast to the '59 RI. I tend to play this one with the volumes and tones rolled back more than the 335. Curiously, when I am going for a tone, this ES LP gets selected more often than not. Neck pickup, volume rolled down, tone rolled down a little, even. Edge of breakup 18 watt Marshall with a little bit of reverb and a little bit of tremolo produces pulsing, fat, rich, semi-clean, semi-dirty rhythm tones to die for. Think of a Deluxe Reverb voiced like a classic Marshall.

    The ES LP is my singular LP style guitar, so it gets grabbed for Kossoff, Page, early JB, and PG. Mostly for its rhythm tones. It has great lead tones, too, but the rhythm tones are why I turn to it, primarily.

  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    After reading all of the posts in this thread all I have to say is www.Throbak.com The makers IMHO the best pickups, magnets, pickup covers, etc. I know because I have them in 2 of my Les Paul's (SLE-101 Plus) and had my Patent sticker # T-Tops covered by Gold ThroBak covers and also will have my other 2 Les Paul's getting Throbak SLE-101 Plus as well as a long shaft harness with Bumble Bees and 500k pots as well as any future Gibson's will get ThroBak .

  27. #27
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    I don't know if they changed the formula but I have NO complaints about those in my '58. I think they sound spectacular! 2016 model.



  28. #28
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    Quote Originally Posted by renderit View Post
    I don't know if they changed the formula but I have NO complaints about those in my '58. I think they sound spectacular! 2016 model.

    I love this guitar , so jealous , would have bought one if available when I bought my 345 . I think mine is a 2015 love the MHS pickups , the pickups really sold the guitar !
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

    He thinks the mirror is a photo of a clown ?

    The Myth: Neat wiring layouts always equate to great-sounding amps.

    The Myth: If I would have lived with MOM & mooched till I was 48 I would play like Clapton !
    Think about it
    won't you ...... Please !

  29. #29

    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    I am glad I am not the only one.

    I had to pull the ES LP out to confirm its good tones last night and I haven't been able to put it down since.
    Last edited by mdubya; 11-21-18 at 08:45 PM.

  30. #30
    Les Paul Forum Member latestarter's Avatar
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    I ended up selling my “keeper” 345 with the MHS (I should know better than to call it a keeper). It was to fund a mid 60’s 335.

    I did do an A/B between the ‘60, ‘66 and the newer 345. The MHS were hotter than the PAFs in terms of driving my amps, yet the pafs had more resistance. The T Tops have their own thing going on so not really a comparison. Regardless, i remain impressed with the MHS
    Otherwise known as Grant.

  31. #31
    Les Paul Forum Member Trans-Am's Avatar
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    Re: Memphis "MHS" pickups Ugh..

    Not too over the top with the MHS pups. However the Classic 57 & 57 Plus is a great match for a set as an OEM on some of the ES 335 lines.

    I would say the MHS would be in between the two mentioned above
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