Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Northern California
I want to replace pickups in Bigsby equipped guitar
I had an LTD/ESP Viper 301 with hot, passive EMG-HZ H1s with tune-o-matic and stop tailpiece and it sounded great with Marshalls and also small 15 watt transistor practice amp. The sound is in between a tame PAF and that of a hotter Duncan JB model.
However, when I removed the tailpiece and added a Bigsby B5/B50, it lost a lot of its sustain and depth of tone. I love the Bigsby to death and wanted to get that full humbucker tone with Bigsby and was wondering what one would suggest? When I split the pickup with coil tap, the single coil tone is great, but when back to humbucker mode, the Bigsby is too noticeable.
I previously had the same Bigsby bridge on a tele and it didn't sound any different than the standard setup teles I had. The Fender single coil tone was still the same on all fronts and maybe there was a tad bit less sustain. But for the EMG passive humbuckers, it took the life out of them. My guess is that the high frequency tones cut through whatever bridge is there but somehow the midrange punch and growl of a humbucker is negatively affected by the Bigsby. The only humbucker I know that sounds the same Bigsby or not is the Gretsch humbucker. The same tone sucking effect happened in the past with me with ANY pickup and the addition of a Kahler locking tremolo system, save EMG active pickups.
What to do?