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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:36 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:29 am
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Not sure if this is the right spot, if not I apologize.

Anyway, I'm looking to replace the pickups in my Gibson LP custom. Currently it's running the 490r/498t set and I truly hate them. Running it into my T-verb it is anemic, bright, no power, no balls, nothing. In contrast my Ibanez RG1570 sounds big fat and mean with the Dimarzio crunch lab/liquifire set installed. Really a night a day difference.

I am torn between about a million options at this point and I have no idea which way to go. I'm looking at all of the usual suspects, Duncan, Dimarzio, EMG, Bare knuckle, etc.

When it comes to what I currently have, the RG sounds fantastic but it's dark, twice as dark as the LP and while it sounds amazing with the recto running it into the Friedman BE-OD it looses definition and sounds a little mushy. I think the darkness would be too much for the LP, so I am not even really looking at the same pups there. I will also be getting a Schecter with the Nazgul/Sentient set here soon. With that I have 2 guitars basically set up for metal and I don't really play metal!

My thoughts on the LP have bounced around a lot. I am about 90% convinced that I want a set of bare knuckle pickups. Now, which ones is another deal. In my opinion for what I am looking for there are about 3 "tiers" of BKP I could go with. First being vintage, I could run a black dog in the bridge and a mule in the neck. This would produce a very nice PAF tone but I worry that it won't be "enough" as I'm not necessarily looking for the classic rock sound and I felt that the Gibson burst buckers I had previously just needed "more" as they wouldn't push the amp and were very quiet. Second option would be to fall into the middle, not super high output but with a modern voice, something such as the nail bomb, holy diver, miracle man, etc. Third tier would be to just go all out and get something super mean and aggressive, this would mean the war pig.

I was just about convinced to go with the holy diver as I figure it should land right about where I want to be but I am afraid that the pickup may have a JB quality to it where it's just aggressive and bright. I HATE the JB.

At this point I have started looking at the usual suspects and see some interesting things, with Dimarzio I was thinking something like a super 3 or maybe even an EVO sounds cool from the description. On the Duncan side I'm liking the idea of the pearly gates but I read that they can sort of fizz out under gain. Also the 36th anniversary looks pretty good. I may even possibly be open to the idea of a JB but from my previous experience with them (in a Jackson) I despised the tone of that pickup.

So anyway, to recap. LP custom Magogany with maple top, ebony board. Looking for more clarity and power. The 498 is a fizz bomb and sounds absolutely puny compared to the crunch lab. I need something that sounds thick and mean but isn't too hot so that it pushes the front of the amp (or Friedman pedal) into mush. Also, I would like it if it could also clean up if needed with the volume.

I was looking at BKP simply because I like the idea of having them, it doesn't have to be BKP. I would be very glad to hear suggestions of something that may work better for me with the recto, thanks in advance!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:43 pm 
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Mark IV
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try a Gibson 500T in the bridge and a Dimarzio DP 156 (Humbucker From Hell) in the neck.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:06 pm 
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I am running BKP Cold Sweats and they are awesome. I play classic rock to hard rock and they are not too hard, not too soft, with big lows, solid bite and excellent pinch harmonics. They were recommended to me by BKP specifically for my PRS SC245, which is very close to a Les Paul. They are one output-level down from the Nailbomb. They clean up great, and they are the best sounding of all my pickups. Meaty and dynamic. I also put them in a second PRS SC because they are so awesome.

But before you do that, experiment with your pickup height adjustment. Hate to see you burn the cash and then find it was as simple as that.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:39 am 
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elvis wrote:

But before you do that, experiment with your pickup height adjustment. Hate to see you burn the cash and then find it was as simple as that.


A while back I Expressed my disappointment with A set of emg's that were in A guitar I bought . Had heard good things about these pups but I wasn't happy with the way they wouldn't clean up with guitar volume reduction, I constantly volume up,volume down and use tone knobs when playing but found the pups to be less responsive than expected. Just before I gave up on them I posted my displeasure on B/B . One response I got was height adjustment along with suggested height recommendations using a feeler gauge. Man what a difference, volume reduction clean up more response tone controls, completely different sounding pups for the most part. AFTER adjusting I felt I should have discovered that myself without asking on a forum ( yeah felt kinda stupid) Just assumed they we're set properly when I bought guitar. I've so much to learn.There still not my favorite p/u but didn't realize the profound effect p/u height had on tone and responsiveness. So like Elvis said, adjust those puppies before writing them off


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:56 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:29 am
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elvis wrote:
I am running BKP Cold Sweats and they are awesome. I play classic rock to hard rock and they are not too hard, not too soft, with big lows, solid bite and excellent pinch harmonics. They were recommended to me by BKP specifically for my PRS SC245, which is very close to a Les Paul. They are one output-level down from the Nailbomb. They clean up great, and they are the best sounding of all my pickups. Meaty and dynamic. I also put them in a second PRS SC because they are so awesome.

But before you do that, experiment with your pickup height adjustment. Hate to see you burn the cash and then find it was as simple as that.


The height is set at it's "best" position. Lots of trial and error went into that.

What I'm actually going to try before buying something is a magnet swap. I did a swap from neck to bridge on the magnets, so now the 490r is running an A5 and the 498t is running an A2. The A2 took care of ALL of the problems with this pickup, now it's jus too low output. The plan is that I'm going to buy an A4, an UOA5, and an A8 and try them all. I'm sure with those options I can get it where I want it.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:22 am 
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Bottle Rocket
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I bit the bullet and shelled out for a set of Seymour Duncan Antiquity humbuckers and installed them into my 1991 Gibson Les Paul Studio (ebony board) and they sound very nice indeed. Very organic, creamy tone with a very three dimensional sound. Can't put the guitar down since installing them. Through my Triple Rectifier on the Orange channel in particular they sound amazing, a very addictive crunchy sound with a liquid lead tone, dunclicious.. Although you say you are not looking for the classic rock tone these pickups do sound lush.

Previously, I had a set of EMG 81 / 60 installed in the same guitar and it sounded killer, very aggressive and in your face but I already have that sound in my Jackson USA KE2 with EMG 81 / 85 installed. So, I decided to try something different and after reading the very good review on the Legendary Tones website, I decided to get a set of Antiquity's. Very happy.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the Antiquity's cost a LOT a lolly, ouch, but worth the price in my opinion. Note: they do pick up a bit of squeal when running the amp loud as they are true historic spec'd so, not wax potted. It makes playing them a bit more fun I guess.

However, experimenting with pickup height and amp settings could be very cost effective as the pickups you have are top quality. Maybe the fussiness is coming from somewhere else in your signal chain and not from the pickups?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:15 pm 
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Bottle Rocket

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I've been hearing a lot of good things about the Suhr Aldrich pickups, particularly in LP
style instruments


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:47 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 5:32 pm
Posts: 147
To the OP:

First, don't agonize too much about pickups. I've seen people online who change dozens of times, which is silly AFAIK. At that point, they are like dogs walking around in circles on rugs before they lay down. They are simply compelled to keep doing it. They tend to be distracted from any real musical/recording accomplishments because they think "if I could just get the PERFECT pickups, I could record a new equivalent of Led Zepplin IV, etc".

With a good set of pickups in the general range you want, the rest can be done with amp EQ. I've never changed pickups more than once, and that has always been from the stockers. I do think the Duncan Distortion is much more tasty than the bright, thinnish JB, but it sounds like you'd like something a little different anyway.

I can relate my experience with Bare Knuckle pickups:

I have a rather pricey Charvel Model I USA superstrat that I wanted to equip with cost-no-object pickups as part of a full restoration project. It has a bolt-on birdseye maple neck, pau ferro fretboard, and a solid koa body. It has Schaller Floyd and Nail Bomb (ceramic) at the bridge/Cold Sweat at the neck. This is one KILLER metal combo! :twisted: It is also extremely clean when tapped in the middle position. I can see why BKP are rather expensive, as they are hi-fi compared to most passives. Wicked tone, low noise and truly exceptional clarity. I learned of this combo through net research, and when I described what I wanted to the BKP rep, he independently also recommended this proven combo. Perhaps the just slightly milder alnico Nail Bomb would suit your tastes better.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:35 am 
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Mark III
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4koa wrote:
I've been hearing a lot of good things about the Suhr Aldrich pickups, particularly in LP
style instruments


Can confirm this. They sound wicked in a Les Paul. They also sound great in Flying Vs as well.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:27 am 
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Mark III
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If I were going to replace pickups in either of my Les Pauls, I'd seriously consider Gibson Dirty Fingers pups.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:45 am 
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Mark II

Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:32 am
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Location: New Jersey, USA
Reading your post, I was first going to suggest the '59/JB combo that hamer has used for years, but you said you hate the JB. I also actually quite like the 490R 498T combo in an SG.

Seeing as you like the sound of the RG, the Dimarzio sound concept sounds more up your alley. Tone Zone and Air Norton are a pretty well known combo, and also what Ibanez uses in a lot of their Prestige level RGs. The one thing to look out for is that the LP is naturally a more mid-heavy guitar, so you might want to look for pickups with less mids in the response. Maybe the D-Activator pickups.

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