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Thread: Gibson SG Standard - Pickup advice for classic rock (59/59 or 59/C5)

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    Default Gibson SG Standard - Pickup advice for classic rock (59/59 or 59/C5)

    Hello. I'm a new member here, and I'm wanting to break away from using Gibson pickups all together (been using them for the past 12yrs).

    What do you guys think would be the best SD combination for classic rock in a GIBSON SG STANDARD?

    From what I can gather, from searching prior SD FORUM POST, most folks say to go with.....

    NECK..........SD 59 (Sh-1N)
    BRIDGE.......SD C5 (sh-14)

    {or}
    NECK.........SD 59 (SH-1n)
    BRIDGE......SD 59 (SH-1b)


    What are you're opinions on them, for those members/users that have thin mahogany guitars w/ rosewood necks (BASICALLY SG or SG type guitars)?

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    Mojo's Minions JeffB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson SG Standard - Pickup advice for classic rock (59/59 or 59/C5)

    If you keep the stock 300K volumes, I'd day the choices you have are fine, as would be Seths & PGs. With 500K pots, I find the 59s and C5 too bright and toppy-you lose some muscle on the high strings-there is little "fullness". My last Gibbo V I kept the 300K volumes and stuck a C5 & PGn neck in there at it was glorious. With 500K pots, I'd definitely recommend a fuller sounding set of pups, like Pearlys, Seths, or a Custom Custom bridge with a PGn

    SGs would be similar, as they are a bit more toppy by nature compared to other Gibsons.

    Of course alot depends on the amp/speakers you are using too.
    I'm an internet person. All we do is waste time evaluating things that have next-to-zero real world significance.

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    Shaftologist Kam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson SG Standard - Pickup advice for classic rock (59/59 or 59/C5)

    I've used both those sets in an SG and for classic rock either will work. The C5 will have more lows and low mids, will be a little tighter, will have a bigger chunk on the low string and have a little bit more beef over all. I also found it to be a little bit more responsive to finger technique. The '59 rocks pretty hard in the bridge too, though, and it does have a bit more sparkle on the cleans.

    If you're into pickup modding at all, you can put an alnico 8 magnet in that C5 and you'll have my personal favourite pickup for an SG, the Custom8. The combo of that pickup and the thin mahogany body is just glorious in my opinion....though, I guess more suited to my more contemporary tastes than for purely classic rock uses. Still, it's worth the experimentation. Search the forum for 'magnet swapping' and 'Custom 8' and you'll find plenty of information on both.

    Either way, you can't go wrong with those choices for an SG. Best of luck.
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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson SG Standard - Pickup advice for classic rock (59/59 or 59/C5)

    pearly gates neck with a c5 in the bridge is what i had in my last sg and it kicked ass.

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    Default Re: Gibson SG Standard - Pickup advice for classic rock (59/59 or 59/C5)

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffB View Post
    If you keep the stock 300K volumes, I'd day the choices you have are fine, as would be Seths & PGs. With 500K pots, I find the 59s and C5 too bright and toppy-you lose some muscle on the high strings-there is little "fullness". My last Gibbo V I kept the 300K volumes and stuck a C5 & PGn neck in there at it was glorious. With 500K pots, I'd definitely recommend a fuller sounding set of pups, like Pearlys, Seths, or a Custom Custom bridge with a PGn

    SGs would be similar, as they are a bit more toppy by nature compared to other Gibsons.

    Of course alot depends on the amp/speakers you are using too.
    My set up is as follows:

    Guitar.......Gibson SG (500K Log matched pots, PIO caps, 50's style wiring.....I usually use a .033uf cap to darken up the bridge humbucker)
    Amps.........Marshall JCM800 2204 & JCM800 1987
    Cabs.........Marshall JCM800 1960a 4x12 w/ WGS Green Beret Speakers (G12M greenback copies)

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    Default Re: Gibson SG Standard - Pickup advice for classic rock (59/59 or 59/C5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kam View Post
    I've used both those sets in an SG and for classic rock either will work. The C5 will have more lows and low mids, will be a little tighter, will have a bigger chunk on the low string and have a little bit more beef over all. I also found it to be a little bit more responsive to finger technique. The '59 rocks pretty hard in the bridge too, though, and it does have a bit more sparkle on the cleans.

    If you're into pickup modding at all, you can put an alnico 8 magnet in that C5 and you'll have my personal favourite pickup for an SG, the Custom8. The combo of that pickup and the thin mahogany body is just glorious in my opinion....though, I guess more suited to my more contemporary tastes than for purely classic rock uses. Still, it's worth the experimentation. Search the forum for 'magnet swapping' and 'Custom 8' and you'll find plenty of information on both.

    Either way, you can't go wrong with those choices for an SG. Best of luck.
    I've thought about doing that (magnet swapping) on some pickups (Gibson 496R & 500T pickups) before.

    A very basic procedure would be this (not sure if totally correct)......
    desolder the pickup cover,
    unscrew the back plate's 4 screws,
    wiggle the back plate off,
    change magnets out (check polarity),
    put back plate on,
    lightly screw down the 4 back plate screws,
    put pickup cover back on & solder it),
    and use a hair drier to hear up & reform the internal wax,
    then done (is this right.....or is there more to this procedure)?

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    Default Re: Gibson SG Standard - Pickup advice for classic rock (59/59 or 59/C5)

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
    pearly gates neck with a c5 in the bridge is what i had in my last sg and it kicked ass.
    Do you remember if you were using (4) 500K pots, or the stock gibson setup pots (two 300K LIN vol & two 500 log tone)?

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    Mojo's Minions JeffB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson SG Standard - Pickup advice for classic rock (59/59 or 59/C5)

    Quote Originally Posted by redscott131 View Post
    My set up is as follows:

    Guitar.......Gibson SG (500K Log matched pots, PIO caps, 50's style wiring.....I usually use a .033uf cap to darken up the bridge humbucker)
    Amps.........Marshall JCM800 2204 & JCM800 1987
    Cabs.........Marshall JCM800 1960a 4x12 w/ WGS Green Beret Speakers (G12M greenback copies)

    Nice rig! Very similar to what I have had over the years until I was longer to utilize such a beast.

    I'm partial to PGs and Seths, but a 59 set is always a good "starter" in the Duncan lineup to figure out where to go if it doesn't quite float your boat, and ripe for mag swaps. You could also replace the 59B with a Custom of any sort if you plan on mag swapping and you'd like more output at the bridge.
    I'm an internet person. All we do is waste time evaluating things that have next-to-zero real world significance.

    Remember, it's just a plank of wood. YOU have to find the music in it - The Telecaster Handbook

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    Default Re: Gibson SG Standard - Pickup advice for classic rock (59/59 or 59/C5)

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffB View Post
    Nice rig! Very similar to what I have had over the years until I was longer to utilize such a beast.

    I'm partial to PGs and Seths, but a 59 set is always a good "starter" in the Duncan lineup to figure out where to go if it doesn't quite float your boat, and ripe for mag swaps. You could also replace the 59B with a Custom of any sort if you plan on mag swapping and you'd like more output at the bridge.
    Do you think a this would be a good combo (like SD member "JEREMY") suggest w/ my current setup?
    NECK..........Pearly gates (SH-PG)
    BRIDGE.......Custom 5 (SH-14)
    Last edited by redscott131; 07-21-2011 at 03:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Gibson SG Standard - Pickup advice for classic rock (59/59 or 59/C5)

    Another vote for Custom 5/Pearly Gates N.

    The Custom 5 gets along great with Gibsons and Marshalls. The PGn is the neck pickup I wish I would have discovered before buying so many 59n's.
    Last edited by Gearjoneser; 07-21-2011 at 03:55 PM.
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    Default Re: Gibson SG Standard - Pickup advice for classic rock (59/59 or 59/C5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gearjoneser View Post
    Another vote for Custom 5/Pearly Gates N.

    The Custom 5 gets along great with Gibsons and Marshalls. The PGn is the neck pickup I wish I would have discovered before buying so many 59n's.
    Sounds good. Looks like I'll be placing an order (PG & C5) pretty soon then. I'll post an update when I get them in.

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    Default Re: Gibson SG Standard - Pickup advice for classic rock (59/59 or 59/C5)

    Well I went ahead and took the plunge; I placed an order for the PG & C5 pickups. I hope it turns out well.

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    Default Re: Gibson SG Standard - Pickup advice for classic rock (59/59 or 59/C5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kam View Post
    you can put an alnico 8 magnet in that C5 and you'll have my personal favourite pickup for an SG, the Custom8. The combo of that pickup and the thin mahogany body is just glorious in my opinion

    Either way, you can't go wrong with those choices for an SG. Best of luck.
    +1. C5's used to be the top hot bridge HB recommended here for SG's, and it's still a good choice. But it's been replaced by C8's, which are even better. If your C5 turns out to be a little thin or bright, pop in an A8, which only takes a few minutes.

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