The Fender Forum
NEW! LPF Facebook Page
LilyPix
Merchandise & Donations
NEW! Burst Serial Log Home Page
LPF Homesite
Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member mob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Concord Ca
    Posts
    40

    Pick up placement on single pup ES330 and tone

    There may be many threads on the topic and I should take the time to check. My 1st search didn't come up with much.

    I may looking at another es330 soon (major P90 head) A '62 / single p90. My first choice before I found the recently purchased ES 330 '59 RI which I got a screamin' deal on. To those in the know what are the character differences in tone? Do to pup placement, would it be similar to the neck or bridge pup on a dual? Or it's own animal? Don't know the actual dimensions but with the naked eye it looks to be somewhere closer to the middle. Thanks for any insight.

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member marshall1987's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Feuding With "Devil Anse" Hatfield on the Tug Fork
    Posts
    2,544

    Re: Pick up placement on single pup ES330 and tone

    Quote Originally Posted by mob View Post
    There may be many threads on the topic and I should take the time to check. My 1st search didn't come up with much.

    I may looking at another es330 soon (major P90 head) A '62 / single p90. My first choice before I found the recently purchased ES 330 '59 RI which I got a screamin' deal on. To those in the know what are the character differences in tone? Do to pup placement, would it be similar to the neck or bridge pup on a dual? Or it's own animal? Don't know the actual dimensions but with the naked eye it looks to be somewhere closer to the middle. Thanks for any insight.
    I'm not so sure that the position of the P-90 in those guitars is located at the proper position to "hear" the desirable harmonics. I can't think of any valid argument for that pickup placement. I would rather have a single P-90 at the bridge or neck. Your mileage may vary.
    "Scan not a friend under a microscopic glass; you know his faults so let his foibles pass".

    Sir Frank Crisp
    Friar Park
    London, England

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member j45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    9,082

    Re: Pick up placement on single pup ES330 and tone

    I've played quite a few center position 330's and other Gibson's and they sound kinda cool. Definitely not like a neck or bridge pickup and not like the center position switch either because lack of the sparkly harmonics from the interaction of the two. We had a Les Paul Forum member named Troels and I believe his only or main guitar was a one PU 330 and to listen to him it was the single best guitar God or Gibson ever designed and you didn't dare question or disagree with him....you may want to search for some of his old posts. To his credit he was into it big time and did have a wealth of knowledge on the fine construction nuances of the 330 and some of his posts would be worth reading. It seems like I haven't seen him post in at least 5 years or so, though. If the price is REALLY good they could be a nice second guitar for your sound palette... otherwise, unless a steal and you have other guitars, I believe money is better spent on more traditional placements.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member mob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Concord Ca
    Posts
    40

    Re: Pick up placement on single pup ES330 and tone

    Points well taken guys and I tend to agree with both of you. There is a certain magic that lives in the center position/both pups and imo nothing beats a neck p90 in a hollow. Thanks for sharing.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member Ad_02Std's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Over the green hills
    Posts
    5,056

    Re: Pick up placement on single pup ES330 and tone

    I asked the same question a couple of years ago.

    Here you go.


    Edit: 5000th post!

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member mob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Concord Ca
    Posts
    40

    Re: Pick up placement on single pup ES330 and tone

    Quote Originally Posted by Ad_02Std View Post
    I asked the same question a couple of years ago.

    Here you go.


    Edit: 5000th post!
    Cool. Thanks! I finger pick and even thought it might get in the way..

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,610

    Re: Pick up placement on single pup ES330 and tone

    Quote Originally Posted by mob View Post
    There may be many threads on the topic and I should take the time to check. My 1st search didn't come up with much.

    I may looking at another es330 soon (major P90 head) A '62 / single p90. My first choice before I found the recently purchased ES 330 '59 RI which I got a screamin' deal on. To those in the know what are the character differences in tone? Do to pup placement, would it be similar to the neck or bridge pup on a dual? Or it's own animal? Don't know the actual dimensions but with the naked eye it looks to be somewhere closer to the middle. Thanks for any insight.
    If you are buying it just as a player only and you are hell bent on the tone of a 1 pick up 330 than what I going to tell you don't even matter. The single pickup 330's are not a desirable guitar at all and very difficult to sell. Bottom line is nobody wants them and that's the truth. From a cost stand point you are with in hundreds of dollars between a single pick 330 and a reissue 330 with 2 pickups. From a tonal stand point I have always thought the single pick up 330 to be kind of flat, just in the middle with not many options. Most if not all the tone type of changes has to be with your amp settings which is not a big deal I guess. In addition when comparing the cost of a reissue 2 pickup 330 and an original mid 60's 330 now that's a no brainer. Depending on the year and condition of course there may only be a $500-1500 difference between a reissue 2 pup 330 and a mid 60's 330 but the original in most all cases will sound better and certainly will always be more desirable than an original 1 pup 330 or a reissue.
    "You know that music died, hurt my pride, but somehow I pulled through, Back in 72" Bob Seger

    "If this monkey on my back gets too heavy I will get an organ grinder and put him to work" Ray Charles

    "Your not a war time consoletti Tom" Michael Corleone

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member mob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Concord Ca
    Posts
    40

    Re: Pick up placement on single pup ES330 and tone

    Quote Originally Posted by class5lp View Post
    If you are buying it just as a player only and you are hell bent on the tone of a 1 pick up 330 than what I going to tell you don't even matter. The single pickup 330's are not a desirable guitar at all and very difficult to sell. Bottom line is nobody wants them and that's the truth. From a cost stand point you are with in hundreds of dollars between a single pick 330 and a reissue 330 with 2 pickups. From a tonal stand point I have always thought the single pick up 330 to be kind of flat, just in the middle with not many options. Most if not all the tone type of changes has to be with your amp settings which is not a big deal I guess. In addition when comparing the cost of a reissue 2 pickup 330 and an original mid 60's 330 now that's a no brainer. Depending on the year and condition of course there may only be a $500-1500 difference between a reissue 2 pup 330 and a mid 60's 330 but the original in most all cases will sound better and certainly will always be more desirable than an original 1 pup 330 or a reissue.
    Appreciate you comments. Yes I just bought a 2012 (2 pup) ES330 VOS and love it. No real desire now to get the 62 single pup I originally saw locally. Never went to play/hear it but the condition, price and unique-ness caught my eye. After the opinions shared here and from players I know who have experience it's a no go on the single pup. Now if it were an early 60's lp jr (SG shape)....

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Lost in the Ozarks [again]
    Posts
    40,718

    Re: Pick up placement on single pup ES330 and tone

    Quote Originally Posted by class5lp View Post
    The single pickup 330's are not a desirable guitar at all and very difficult to sell. Bottom line is nobody wants them and that's the truth.
    Well, that's definitely not true.

    I love mine, and I bet there are others who like them.

    Pauls to the walls!

    Hüter der Flammen!

    PLEASE SUPPORT www.burstserial.com !!
    Click here: www.burstserial.com

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    8,200

    Re: Pick up placement on single pup ES330 and tone

    Just to play devil advocate, if nobody will buy them then the prices would not all be so damn close to the 2 pickup version. The statement just makes no sense in the business setting.

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,610

    Re: Pick up placement on single pup ES330 and tone

    Quote Originally Posted by TW59 View Post
    Well, that's definitely not true.

    I love mine, and I bet there are others who like them.

    Yes but you are the rare extreme not the norm. As a general rule one cant give them away.
    "You know that music died, hurt my pride, but somehow I pulled through, Back in 72" Bob Seger

    "If this monkey on my back gets too heavy I will get an organ grinder and put him to work" Ray Charles

    "Your not a war time consoletti Tom" Michael Corleone

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Lost in the Ozarks [again]
    Posts
    40,718

    Re: Pick up placement on single pup ES330 and tone

    Quote Originally Posted by class5lp View Post
    Yes but you are the rare extreme not the norm. As a general rule one cant give them away.
    I often respond that way to absolute type statements like: " ... nobody wants them ...".
    Pauls to the walls!

    Hüter der Flammen!

    PLEASE SUPPORT www.burstserial.com !!
    Click here: www.burstserial.com

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member j45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    9,082

    Re: Pick up placement on single pup ES330 and tone

    Quote Originally Posted by TW59 View Post
    I often respond that way to absolute type statements like: " ... nobody wants them ...".
    Those statements usually don't come from players. I see well seasoned guitarists using one-P-90 Gibson's all the time. They do sell among real guitar players who are looking for a unique sound in their tone palette. As someone said, if "no one" bought them the prices would be much lower. In my experience it's the ones who make statements like that thinking they know what to "invest in" that usually get stuck with limited edition or collector's pieces they can't give away. Sit down, play one, and you'll be surprised how a different sound will bring out different nuances of your style, expand your playing horizons and bring out things you would have never discovered in your own playing. They can be great instruments.

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member lonesomesheik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Little Brittany
    Posts
    1,186

    Re: Pick up placement on single pup ES330 and tone

    I remember fondly my 1950 ES 175 with one pickup, it was light as a feather and a tone to die for!!!

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member boburst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Pacific
    Posts
    116

    Re: Pick up placement on single pup ES330 and tone

    Over DECADES dealing with guitars, I've NEVER had anyone with experience that asked for one. It's the "center" placement problem, not the fact that it's a single pickup (same with ES 225 single pu).

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Lost in the Ozarks [again]
    Posts
    40,718

    Re: Pick up placement on single pup ES330 and tone

    I like them.

    Pauls to the walls!

    Hüter der Flammen!

    PLEASE SUPPORT www.burstserial.com !!
    Click here: www.burstserial.com

  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    8,200

    Re: Pick up placement on single pup ES330 and tone

    I want one pretty bad.
    Last edited by renderit; 01-11-18 at 08:12 AM.


  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member jazzmaster90150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    55

    Re: Pick up placement on single pup ES330 and tone

    Truth is, these are unique guitars.

    I recently acquired a near mint 62'. The middle position never bothered me in terms of playability. I guess it all depends on the way you play.

    Tone wise, it is a great guitar with a very distinctive sound. It will never be my "desert island guitar" but it has a great spot in my collection. I play it everytime I want something that sounds different.


  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lubbock, TX
    Posts
    3,103

    Re: Pick up placement on single pup ES330 and tone

    I have an early '60's ES-125T with that single pickup arrangement. I find that the guitar can be a great sounding guitar unless it is plugged into certain amps. Those amps don't let the guitar do anything but create mud. Through other amps, it can yield great warm bodied cleans and screaming overdrive. This guitar is a mess cosmetically. Someone painted it black...everything...even the binding is covered. There is some sort of MIJ nylon roller 'tuneomatic' bridge on it and it needs a good bone nut. I have turned down numerous offers over the years even with the drawbacks...because it has a fantastic neck, and I plug it into the amps that let it do what it can do.
    "As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins." Albert Schweitzer

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Lake Ontario shore
    Posts
    12,701

    Re: Pick up placement on single pup ES330 and tone

    I have a few guitars. I indulged my G.A.S. once I started making $$$ giging starting mid 70's. Not building a collection so much as a tool chest. I never just kept a piece of gear as an investment, or because it was cool. If I didn't like it, it was gone, no matter how cool, rare, valuable or desired. Bleh, .... GONE!

    I hang on to the good stuff, IMO. I say this because in 1976 I bought a 1957 ES225T which is very similar with a centered p90. It is different. I used the knobs a lot. I still have it. I still enjoy it, you know why.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Lost in the Ozarks [again]
    Posts
    40,718

    Re: Pick up placement on single pup ES330 and tone

    Quote Originally Posted by Wally View Post
    I have an early '60's ES-125T with that single pickup arrangement.
    I don't remember an ES-125T with the pickup in the middle position. Got a photo?
    Pauls to the walls!

    Hüter der Flammen!

    PLEASE SUPPORT www.burstserial.com !!
    Click here: www.burstserial.com

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lubbock, TX
    Posts
    3,103

    Re: Pick up placement on single pup ES330 and tone

    MY bad, Tom....it is a single pickup but it is closer to the neck than these center placement pickups. Even darker, I am sure.
    The pickup in this ES-125T sits about 1" from the neck.
    "As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins." Albert Schweitzer

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Lost in the Ozarks [again]
    Posts
    40,718

    Re: Pick up placement on single pup ES330 and tone

    Quote Originally Posted by Wally View Post
    The pickup in this ES-125T sits about 1" from the neck.
    I think that's the normal position for that model.
    Thanks.
    Pauls to the walls!

    Hüter der Flammen!

    PLEASE SUPPORT www.burstserial.com !!
    Click here: www.burstserial.com

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


Scroll Down And Click On All Of Our Sponsors' Logos For Their Websites!