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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Does Anybody Have Any experience With Firebird Mini Humbucker replacement Pickups
    The Historic Firebird 1 Pickups Are 15K Plus on there readings
    Was wondering if theres a good replacement Firebird Pickup
    with lower output like an original 1963-1964 i Heard the Name Klein Mentioned Somewhere
    any advice would be helpful
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member latestarter's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    There are a number of threads on the topic. Many like the Seymour Duncan Antiquities. Personally, I've yet to find anything manufacturer that has nailed the tone 100%...but, yes Klein gets good feedback.

    Just a watch-out - the Seymours are the only pickup manufacturer I know of using the vintage dimensions for the covers. Klein, Gibson and everyone else uses the larger modern size cover. So if you're looking at SD's, be aware there will be a small gap between the pickup cover and the ring.

    My '64 FB V has these Gibson made minis (ex Silvertone guitar)....I love them!

    Otherwise known as Grant.

  3. #3
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    I have tried Lollars and Seymour Duncans in my old Gibson USA Firebirds - both sounded good to me.

    I recently bought a CS Firebird I and, even thought the stock pickup sounds perfectly fine to me (especially after upgrading the flimsy stock ceramic cap for a Luxe Sprague 1960-1970 repro cap, which has smoothed out the high end), I decided to try something new and bought a Klein FB pickup - it arrives tomorrow, so I can't give you a tone report yet, but lots of folk recommend them.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member latestarter's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Truth be told, modern day FB pickups are good, if not great, for most tones! Forget about the resistance readings, just listen to your ears.
    Otherwise known as Grant.

  5. #5
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by latestarter View Post
    Truth be told, modern day FB pickups are good, if not great, for most tones! Forget about the resistance readings, just listen to your ears.
    Good advice.

    FB pickups, like good PAF style humbuckers, also benefit from working the volume and tone knobs, so it's worthwhile to make sure you have high quality pots, caps and wiring installed.

  6. #6
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    All Great Advice Thanks
    I don't Like The Factory Historic Pickup At All
    I have 1964 CTS Pots And Cap Installed
    And Still Don't Like It
    I would like to hear about the Klein Pickup
    Once you have put it through its Paces
    Can A Mini Humbucker Be Used Of An Eraly 60'S Epiphone
    With Adjustable Pole Pieces Instead Of A Firebird Pickup?

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    I have a Klein coming this week! I bought one a couple years back. Best sounding FB pickup around except for the originals.

  8. #8
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    I got my Klein today and just wired into my FB I - here are my thoughts after about an hour of play time.

    The quality is excellent - very sweet tone with lots of clarity.

    I asked Klein to wind this a little on the hot side - have no idea what the resistance is (no tool to measure it), but it is definitely not as hot as the stock pickup.

    The stock pickup sounded good to me and I didn't need to replace it - I am just a serial modder. Honestly, there is not a massive difference between it and the Klein, other than the fact that the Klein is not as hot.

    I would say the stock one is a maybe bit closer to a PAF humbucker, while the Klein is reminiscent of a hot Tele bridge pickup. The Klein is slightly brighter, not quite as powerful - but by no means whimpy.

    I like the Klein and think I will keep it in this guitar.

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member becks bolero's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    I have a set of JS Moore Firebird pups in a '63 FB build, they sound great to me

    I told him I wanted '63 firebird pups, sent him a whole bunch of links to info on the original pups

    I'll see if I can record a clip or two
    "First off, nobody cares if you know how to play scales. Nobody gives a shit if you have good technique or not. It's whether you have feelings that you want to express with music, that's what counts, really." -Neil Young

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member becks bolero's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    allright I plugged into a princeton reverb, here is a clean clip. some bridge/neck/middle


    hopefully this link works


    http://el34.coolpage.biz/clips/JS_MO...ebird_pups.mp3
    "First off, nobody cares if you know how to play scales. Nobody gives a shit if you have good technique or not. It's whether you have feelings that you want to express with music, that's what counts, really." -Neil Young

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member latestarter's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by becks bolero View Post
    allright I plugged into a princeton reverb, here is a clean clip. some bridge/neck/middle


    hopefully this link works


    http://el34.coolpage.biz/clips/JS_MO...ebird_pups.mp3
    Good accurate representation of a vintage Firebird pickup(s)!
    Last edited by latestarter; 01-23-17 at 06:38 PM.
    Otherwise known as Grant.

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member Kris Ford's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by latestarter View Post
    Truth be told, modern day FB pickups are good, if not great, for most tones! Forget about the resistance readings, just listen to your ears.
    Hell I wanna ROCK myself, I LOVE THEM!
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  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by indravayu View Post
    I got my Klein today and just wired into my FB I - here are my thoughts after about an hour of play time.

    The quality is excellent - very sweet tone with lots of clarity.

    I asked Klein to wind this a little on the hot side - have no idea what the resistance is (no tool to measure it), but it is definitely not as hot as the stock pickup.

    The stock pickup sounded good to me and I didn't need to replace it - I am just a serial modder. Honestly, there is not a massive difference between it and the Klein, other than the fact that the Klein is not as hot.

    I would say the stock one is a maybe bit closer to a PAF humbucker, while the Klein is reminiscent of a hot Tele bridge pickup. The Klein is slightly brighter, not quite as powerful - but by no means whimpy.

    I like the Klein and think I will keep it in this guitar.
    What did you put it in? I have one that will be here today. I'm putting it in my Joe B. FB I. the stock pickup doesn't sound bad really, but in comparison to my FB VII, the Klein is a bit fatter. The other two pickups in my VII are the Gibson/Silvertone's like pictured above. I have had some of those for a few years and love them. I even put one in the neck of my Mahogany Tele that Mike Lipe made me in 1994.
    Thanks!

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member becks bolero's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by latestarter View Post
    Good accurate representation of a vintage Firebird pickup(s)!
    thanks!!


    fwiw I was messing with my 50w marshall today, here is a clip with some more grind

    http://el34.coolpage.biz/clips/fbird_50w.mp3


    anyway, enough from me, I don't want to appear a spammer. figured it may be interesting for anyone looking for m ore vintage pups

    I was not impressed with the custom shop firebird I tried out, so I had this thing built


    good luck to the OP
    "First off, nobody cares if you know how to play scales. Nobody gives a shit if you have good technique or not. It's whether you have feelings that you want to express with music, that's what counts, really." -Neil Young

  15. #15
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by TM1 View Post
    What did you put it in? I have one that will be here today. I'm putting it in my Joe B. FB I. the stock pickup doesn't sound bad really, but in comparison to my FB VII, the Klein is a bit fatter. The other two pickups in my VII are the Gibson/Silvertone's like pictured above. I have had some of those for a few years and love them. I even put one in the neck of my Mahogany Tele that Mike Lipe made me in 1994.
    Thanks!
    I have a 2016 Custom Shop Firebird I.


  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member Kris Ford's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by indravayu View Post
    I have a 2016 Custom Shop Firebird I.

    If you'd interested in a set of real reflectors, I can help. SO spammy of me LOL...but to be dead honest, I saw this pic and imagined real reflectors of a similar age..(would totally look vintage...)and realized I have some.
     photo norlin_logo.jpg

  17. #17

    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by becks bolero View Post
    thanks!!


    fwiw I was messing with my 50w marshall today, here is a clip with some more grind

    http://el34.coolpage.biz/clips/fbird_50w.mp3


    anyway, enough from me, I don't want to appear a spammer. figured it may be interesting for anyone looking for m ore vintage pups

    I was not impressed with the custom shop firebird I tried out, so I had this thing built


    good luck to the OP
    I love the tone in the first part of that clip (before you cranked volume), very Stones like!

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member marshall1987's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Agree that owners of recent Firebirds should not put too much stock in the high DCR readings of their mini-humbucking pickups.


    Couldn't the higher value of the DCR readings (~ 15K ohms) on recent Gibson Firebird pickups with the ceramic magnets be related to the use of 43 gauge magnet wire vs. the 42 gauge used with regular humbucking pickups? The thinner 43 gauge magnet wire has a greater value of ohms/ft as I recall vs. the 42 gauge.
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  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member Kris Ford's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by marshall1987 View Post
    Agree that owners of recent Firebirds should not put too much stock in the high DCR readings of their mini-humbucking pickups.


    Couldn't the higher value of the DCR readings (~ 15K ohms) on recent Gibson Firebird pickups with the ceramic magnets be related to the use of 43 gauge magnet wire vs. the 42 gauge used with regular humbucking pickups? The thinner 43 gauge magnet wire has a greater value of ohms/ft as I recall vs. the 42 gauge.
    I believe I have heard that as well.
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  20. #20

    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by marshall1987 View Post
    Agree that owners of recent Firebirds should not put too much stock in the high DCR readings of their mini-humbucking pickups.


    Couldn't the higher value of the DCR readings (~ 15K ohms) on recent Gibson Firebird pickups with the ceramic magnets be related to the use of 43 gauge magnet wire vs. the 42 gauge used with regular humbucking pickups? The thinner 43 gauge magnet wire has a greater value of ohms/ft as I recall vs. the 42 gauge.
    15K ohms, that's the neck pickup, my bridge pickups were 23K ohms
    Last edited by rockabilly69; 02-03-17 at 03:18 PM.

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member latestarter's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    I had a TV White Firebird from 2009 - the original pickups were in the 18-20K range from memory, but sounded like a more like a vintage humbucker...which was great. I think Gibson may have recognised at some point that the mainstream might like a bit more meat to the tone from their Firebirds. I have two Centennial Firebirds and those pickups are different again. All good, all slightly different.
    Otherwise known as Grant.

  22. #22
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by Kris Ford View Post
    If you'd interested in a set of real reflectors, I can help. SO spammy of me LOL...but to be dead honest, I saw this pic and imagined real reflectors of a similar age..(would totally look vintage...)and realized I have some.

    Sounds interesting - PM me!

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member Roe's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Were the originals A5 or A2? Btw: EC's FB1 had a bridge pickup which reads around 6k2
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  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member Kris Ford's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Whether it's "vintage correct" or not, (a term that means less and less to me anymore), I like the extra power myself...and this pickup sounds KILLER through a Marshall! Bright and edgy through my JMP2203, (BUT NOT ABRASIVE OR HARSH), growly, mean and tuff through my JMP Super Bass...(both loaded with NOS pre-amp tubes, a Tungsram [nasty and aggressive!!] and Mullard I63 and F91 in the 1992, Mullard F92, a Brimar and a Mullard CV4004 in the 2203..)

    I sound like a broken record here, but to me, it's just a great all around hard rock pickup. Still has a unique tone, even if not like the original run of them...
    I absolutely LOVE my Firebird as is! (well, after I installed steel studs, replaced Pinnacle style Nashville, with a standard style, and used solid studs instead of the hollow hex type that came with it, PIO caps, (just because I had them) and installed a set of minty 60's reflectors...and added a upper bout strap button in tribute to the old ones.

    (looks like my fretboard needs cleaned LOL..)
    I'm not a fan of low output pickups..I'm trying to pound my pre-amp as hard as I can!:
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  25. #25

    Pups Firebird Pickup and P-90 output.

    This kind of off the wall, but what is the best way to match volume between a firebird bridge and a P-90 neck. Will lower gauss magnets lower the volume significantly on the P-90? Also should the 2x magnets match polarity to the screws of the P-90? I've read north-north which makes sense to me, but also read north-south. How does Gibson orient the magnets on a P-90?

  26. #26
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Does anybody make a real Firebird pickup copy?
    One that is a replica of the original 1963-1964 or are all of them versions of early Epiphone mini humbuckers?

  27. #27
    Les Paul Forum Member fakejake's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    The Lollar's have a pretty good reputation. I just ordered one, can't wait to try it out!

  28. #28
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    I have SD's bridge in my 98 historic V & Historic 111

    My 2016 USA Firebird V has SD's neck & Bridge

    After all the Time & money not so sure I would go the pickup Kool-Aid again !
    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

  29. #29
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    As I understand it the Seymour Duncans are not even of the same species as the original 63-64 pickups.
    I don't know about the Lollars but my suspicion is they are also a different animal.
    Please correct me if I'm wrong.


    But I want the same pickups as the Originals had not some that fits the hole.

    I do understand they sound awesome but I have Paf pickups for that.

    Also, I must confess the original pickups in the 2017 HP Firebird do sound very very good.

  30. #30
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    The SD's are not wax potted SD CLAIMS the pickups are built with the same materials as Gibson 63-65 Firebird claims SD .

    The SD are also the same length as original .

    AS far as tone I think I made my point with my other post .
    Last edited by AA00475Bassman; 01-20-18 at 07:49 AM.
    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

  31. #31
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by AA00475Bassman View Post
    The SD's are not wax potted SD CLAIMS the pickups are MFG with the same materials as Gibson 63-65 Firebird .

    The SD are also the same length as original .

    AS far as tone I think I made my point with my other post .


    What is a MFG ?

  32. #32
    Les Paul Forum Member The Shifter's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by latestarter View Post
    My '64 FB V has these Gibson made minis (ex Silvertone guitar)....I love them!

    A year later, can you tell me more about your experience with these? Thinking about dropping a set in my FBV.

  33. #33
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by latestarter View Post
    I had a TV White Firebird from 2009 - the original pickups were in the 18-20K range from memory, but sounded like a more like a vintage humbucker...which was great. I think Gibson may have recognised at some point that the mainstream might like a bit more meat to the tone from their Firebirds. I have two Centennial Firebirds and those pickups are different again. All good, all slightly different.
    Mine’s also a white bird 2009, love them pups, have never once considered swapping them out. Very reactive to vol knob tweaking. Cream, Stones, Johnny W tones and them some. Wouldn’t change a thang.
    Texas Supro junkie

  34. #34
    Les Paul Forum Member Triplet's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    I put a pair of early '70s mini hums in my FVII. Pretty sweet. Much woodier than one would expect.
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  35. #35
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Being Firebirds are my go to guitar I own several , some have alnico & Ceramic , some are all ceramic , some are all alnico . IMO the sound of these guitars really is magical .

    Disclaimer , Although my love for Gibson Firebirds is subjective you haven't had great NECK profile till you play a Historic Firebird & although the USA line has a very slim profile the neck is very stiff with the laminations , the USA models are a whole lot of value !
    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

  36. #36

    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by AA00475Bassman View Post
    Being Firebirds are my go to guitar I own several , some have alnico & Ceramic , some are all ceramic , some are all alnico . IMO the sound of these guitars really is magical .

    Disclaimer , Although my love for Gibson Firebirds is subjective you haven't had great NECK profile till you play a Historic Firebird & although the USA line has a very slim profile the neck is very stiff with the laminations , the USA models are a whole lot of value !
    One can pursue the tone of a '60s Firebird, but if you really want "that" sound, you'll have to buy a vintage guitar. I have an original '60s Thunderbird and a '76 pickup installed in a bass. Completely different design and sound, but the combination of the two gives me a lot more tonal options. As well I have a guitar with a DIY "Firebird" pickup made from a mini humbucker out of an SG II. Alnico magnets in the coils with a ceramic across the bottom. approx. 6k but 50 gauss. It doesn't sound exactly like a '60s original, but it does sound great. There are so many variables, amp, strings etc. Go for your own sound.

  37. #37
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by C.O._Jones View Post
    One can pursue the tone of a '60s Firebird, but if you really want "that" sound, you'll have to buy a vintage guitar. I have an original '60s Thunderbird and a '76 pickup installed in a bass. Completely different design and sound, but the combination of the two gives me a lot more tonal options. As well I have a guitar with a DIY "Firebird" pickup made from a mini humbucker out of an SG II. Alnico magnets in the coils with a ceramic across the bottom. approx. 6k but 50 gauss. It doesn't sound exactly like a '60s original, but it does sound great. There are so many variables, amp, strings etc. Go for your own sound.
    My Firebird sound is exclusive to each guitar vintage tone is never a consideration when choosing pickups ,( Go for your own sound ) Really is a good place to land ! My first rack Historic Firebird V 1998 is a stone groove killer very heavy in weight sometimes I have to nap while its sustaining !
    Last edited by AA00475Bassman; 06-23-18 at 06:42 AM.
    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

  38. #38
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by c_wester View Post
    As I understand it the Seymour Duncans are not even of the same species as the original 63-64 pickups.
    I don't know about the Lollars but my suspicion is they are also a different animal.
    Please correct me if I'm wrong.


    But I want the same pickups as the Originals had not some that fits the hole.
    As you understand, what? How did you come to understand such a completely false thing? I've compared my original 64 V & III to Duncan VINTAGE and ANTIQUITY FB pickups and they were the closest match of all the pickups I've tried. They use same magnets, wire and build. The biggest problem is the same as you find with pafs, where those with no real experience or time on vintage originals invent an expectation of performance.

    Original FB Mini's are weak, bright and thin. Very singlecoil fender like. I love 'em. Not everyone is aware of the true tonal signature of a vintage FB pickup, 'cause not everyone has experience with originals. None of the various reissues have this pickup which further confuses the issue.

    The hotter/fatter types are great for those who love FB but not vintage tone. And you would be correct about Duncans non vintage FB pickups. Everybody wins.
    Last edited by Big Al; 07-01-18 at 04:56 AM.
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  39. #39
    Les Paul Forum Member latestarter's Avatar
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    Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Yep, the Duncans are the same breed totally compared with originals. Even have the same dimensions, something no one else seems to care much about.

    If I had an old Firebird needing new pickups I would get Duncans, then have them rewound hotter by a fair bit. Might even try that with my 76....
    Otherwise known as Grant.

  40. #40

    Pups Re: Mini Humbucker Firebird Pickup

    Can someone tell me which colors (black and white) are the start and finish lead wires coming off a mini humbucker bobbin/coil?

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