Best Gibson Humbuckers for vintage cleans and high gain? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-22-2013, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Fremont, CA
Posts: 43
Best Gibson Humbuckers for vintage cleans and high gain?

My Rig

-ibanez rg duncan design with a blocked trem in a tuning
-Epiphone 1984 Explorer EX Ebony $500 on its way in the mail.

Pedal board
-Digitech Stereo Chorus
-Boss MT-2
-Boss NS-2
-Boss CS-2 Compressor/Sustain
-Digitech Bad Monkey (TS9 Clone)
-Boss GE-7 EQ
-Boss BF-2 Flanger
-Boss PS-3 Digital Pitch Shift/Delay

AB Box

Amp A Jet City 50 Tube w/ Straight Randall Cab SLM Electronic Speakers
AMP B Randall rh120hr Solid State w/ slant Carvin Cab British speakers

Sometimes I slave them together by plugging the Jet City Send into the Randalls input. VERY LOUD!!!

I'm over all happy with the tones I can get with the ibanez but expect way better with the epiphone explorer.

I have a setting for 80's Doom Heavy Metal, Black Metal and just Punk/Metal that sound really great but the tone is still not perfect

I really want pickups to make my effects sound really nice on the cleans but not too bright because things sound bright enough already and need to be tamed down a bit even.

I'm not happy with the stock EMG's in my Epiphone and since it's got the same design as a gibson with mahogany body and mahogany neck, with rose wood fretboard I was wondering what Gibson pickup would sound most natural if not close to a gibson explorer considering my rig and style of music. I want it to be versatile and vintage sounding so the chorus and other effects sound sweet.

Pickups I'm looking at
gib 500t
gib 498t
gib 57

Bands that I like: early stuff from the 80's and early 90's from Trouble, Saint Vitus, Pentagram, candlemass, BLACK SABBATH, BLACK SABBATH, BLACK SABBATH, Abscess, Burial, Brutal Truth, Cancer, Brutality, Death, Morbid Angel, Incantation, Doom, Doomed, Morgion, His Hero Is gone, paradise lost, sleep, electric wizard, melvins, eyehategod and dystopia,

I play in A standard with 52-12 gauge strings Ernie balls or D Addario. I use livewire and monster cables. never use the e string when playing old school heavy metal.


Anybody out there familiar with versatile humbucker that are not too much treble and more sweet mids that are full spectrum but not so overkill and brite and irritating? hi's can hurt ears at high volumes with my set up. I need a pickup that will mellow things out. Nice fat tone but not harsh. I'm imagining that the body of the 84 explorer i'm getting will smoothen things out and darken things up a bit i hope.

Really need somebodies advice.

Thanks

Last edited by Tone Geek #1; 03-22-2013 at 09:07 AM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-22-2013, 03:54 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Canberra, Australia
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Re: Best Gibson Humbuckers for vintage cleans and high gain?

Do they have to be Gibson pickups? 57 Classics would be good if it must be Gibson ones.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-22-2013, 04:57 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 36
Re: Best Gibson Humbuckers for vintage cleans and high gain?

since you said you want "not harsh" and "not brite", I would scratch 500T off your list. That pup is way high output and has a lot of treble bite, especially going into a basswood git like an rg. I tried one myself in the bridge of my RG and it was too much.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-22-2013, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Fremont, CA
Posts: 43
Re: Best Gibson Humbuckers for vintage cleans and high gain?

What pickups are good for hi gain tone like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7Mhay2-I5I
What pickups are good for clean vintage tone like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBttywfQIG4

LonePhantom
Quote:
Do they have to be Gibson pickups? 57 Classics would be good if it must be Gibson ones.
I suppose I don't need to get Gibson pickups. Only reason I want gibson is because they get 5 star ratings & they sound great in a gibson explorer but i don't make enough to save up or shell out $1500-$2000 right now. So I went with the closest guitar I could find and that was the (1984 ebony epiphone explorer ex) that comes with stock emg's.

I figured I could get the same tone if not close to it on the cheap since both "were originally introduced in 1958 with glued-in set necks, fixed bridges, solid mahogany bodies w/ same shape and weight, mahogany necks, rose wood fretboards, locktone tune o matic bridges, lock tone tailpieces and the only thing missing really is the gibson humbucker but everything else is practically the same.

I'm fully aware that mahogany bodies especially the bigger they are the better sounding the guitar will be but only if the pickup allows the sound of the guitar/TONE WOOD to sing. Emg's from what I've heard cut the sound of everything from the equation and only give you the sound of the pickups which seems to defeat the purpose of having a mahogany body with a large shape in the first place. Plus the thing is made for sustain being a fixed bridge. So why the EMG's? Bad decision on their part I think. They could have put those pickups in a crap guitar and got the same sound. It makes no sense. Now I have to remove them.

The floating Trem on my RG Series sucks so much tone in comparison with every other guitar that has a fixed bridge. I even pulled a different floating trem guitar off the wall at a music shop to see if the floating trem was the culprit and sure enough THE SAME STERILE SOUND!

I don't want to just get half way sounding like a gibson. I want to get (very close on command)

But I want it to be versatile so I can play punk & other forms of metal just by dialing in a different tone with eq sometimes scooping and boosting the mids but without sounding harsh or dead. I want harmonics to jump off the fretboard with WARM articulation NOT scratchy definition that sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard. I want organic tone that is pleasing to the ears even with high gain.

Clean tones need to be like Pink Floyd. High gain needs to be like Black Sabbath.

ArticFrost
Quote:
since you said you want "not harsh" and "not brite", I would scratch 500T off your list. That pup is way high output and has a lot of treble bite, especially going into a basswood git like an rg. I tried one myself in the bridge of my RG and it was too much
.

I won't be ordering the 500t then because everyone says the same thing "annoying scratchy hi's" I absolutely hate treble bite. I have to use a TS9 with a Compressor/Sustainer just to tame down the hi end of my rig or else the metal zone sounds like an ice pick stabbing me in both ears at once. I suppose a medium to low output humbucker is what I'm looking for. I might even have to change my Vol Pot to 250K if the Epiphone explorer with better pickups won't do the job on its own.

If Dimarzio or Seymour Duncan can pull off what I'm looking for on the cheap, I'll stop obsessing over Gibson. Please help.

Last edited by Tone Geek #1; 03-22-2013 at 08:19 PM.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-23-2013, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Fremont, CA
Posts: 43
Re: Best Gibson Humbuckers for vintage cleans and high gain?

Well looks like my search is too complex to advance any further.
I want to give an EXTRA BIG THANKS to ArticFrost & LonePhantom for giving their 2 cents today. Sorry if my questions were too in depth and with everything in my rig and all the variables I can imagine why it would be so hard for most people to give me advice.

So far with talking with other people in person and on youtube, the 498t sounds to be the best bet as far as gibson. Other people have said go with dimarzio or Seymour duncans. I think i might just go with 498t and if that's too bright i'll go with a gibson 57 and if i'm still having problems i'll try out other brands till i find the perfect fit.

Thanks a bunch.

Cheers!
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-23-2013, 04:51 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: mn.
Posts: 808
Re: Best Gibson Humbuckers for vintage cleans and high gain?

I put dimarzio paf 36th anniversaries in my j custom.Liking them alot.Not too bright,not too dark and they split well.A pleasant change from my evo equipped guitars.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-23-2013, 01:41 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 36
Re: Best Gibson Humbuckers for vintage cleans and high gain?

I would recommend that you call the Tech Support of Dimarzio and get their recommendation on the right pickup for you. I just had a great experience doing that this week with Mark at Dimarzio. Dimarzio also has a Return/Exchange policy in case your 1st choice doesn't nail what you're looking for.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-23-2013, 01:44 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Connecticut
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Re: Best Gibson Humbuckers for vintage cleans and high gain?

... And prior to making that call, use their "Pickup Chooser" tool on their website, so you can some early ideas of the directiin they might point you in.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-23-2013, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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Posts: 43
Re: Best Gibson Humbuckers for vintage cleans and high gain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by musicdr View Post
I put dimarzio paf 36th anniversaries in my j custom.Liking them alot.Not too bright,not too dark and they split well.A pleasant change from my evo equipped guitars.
Really? Are they versatile for cleans and hi gain metal and what kind of music do you play?
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-23-2013, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Fremont, CA
Posts: 43
Re: Best Gibson Humbuckers for vintage cleans and high gain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArticFrost View Post
I would recommend that you call the Tech Support of Dimarzio and get their recommendation on the right pickup for you. I just had a great experience doing that this week with Mark at Dimarzio. Dimarzio also has a Return/Exchange policy in case your 1st choice doesn't nail what you're looking for.
That's a good thing because guitar center doesn't have that policy and that's what i don't like about those guys plus, they just recently ****ed up an order by sending it to the wrong person on the other side of the united states. I'm getting fed up with guitar center as you can see.

I'm looking into dimarzio right now. Thanks
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 11:12 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 36
Re: Best Gibson Humbuckers for vintage cleans and high gain?

Wow, they sent to the wrong address... That is pretty terrible!

If you do buy a Dimarzio and want to utilize their Return policy, you have to make sure the seller is an authorized Dimarzio dealer.

I wish I could be of more help in recommending a specific pickup, but I don't play in the extremely low tuning of A like you do. Sevenstring.com (or is it .org?) would be another site to ask for recommendations, where many forumites are doing the low tuning thing.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 01:28 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Re: Best Gibson Humbuckers for vintage cleans and high gain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArticFrost View Post
since you said you want "not harsh" and "not brite", I would scratch 500T off your list. That pup is way high output and has a lot of treble bite, especially going into a basswood git like an rg. I tried one myself in the bridge of my RG and it was too much.
I had two Gibson Flying Vs and both were harsh with the 500Ts and didn't quite fit the powerful 90s rock and roll thing. Those two ended up with EMG 81s and went for the stuff from second wave of British metal, Metallica, punk, and anything later. They didn't do the really old classic rock very well but they were Flying Vs meant for the heavier stuff, imho.

A pickup that could cross between the too retro '57s and the ultra modern EMGs are the Gibson Dirty Fingers. They won't fall apart with heavy strings like the standard moderate output Gibson humbucker will. I take it you don't always want to sound like Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield to the hilt so the Dirty Fingers could do your vintage Sabbath stuff, too. The list you have of pickups is too tame for the list of bands you mentioned. If all you do is rhythm, then you can do OK with older school pickups. But with lead, and higher volumes, go at least Gibson Dirty Fingers.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 03:33 AM
 
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Re: Best Gibson Humbuckers for vintage cleans and high gain?

Not sure. how the paf 36th would do with downtuned metal.It handles high gain fine and great cleans.The thing with lower output pickups is they make your amp do the heavy lifting.I have an axfx2, so it is easy for me to get what I want with them.If you need to drive your amp input they may not work for you.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-01-2013, 09:58 AM
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Canada
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Re: Best Gibson Humbuckers for vintage cleans and high gain?

The 498T is a very nice pickup. Of the three the OP listed, that's the one I'd use for his application. The 498T has a tight low end, strong, even mids and the high end isn't too peaky/overbearing. The output is medium and will allow you to get nice overdriven tones while cleaning up nicely.

Avoid the 500T. Its an awful pickup IMO. The high end is an issue with those. Its annoying and piercing and the rest of the frequency spectrum is nothing to rave about either.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 05:41 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Re: Best Gibson Humbuckers for vintage cleans and high gain?

For what you describe, I'd recommend the Duncan Custom in the bridge position and the '59 in the neck. And as an added bonus, they're wound using the very same machine (the actual one, not just the same model) that Gibson used to make the original PAFs from the 50s.
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