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Thread: Pickup advice for a Les Paul Classic please

  1. #1
    Tone Member Wolfshead's Avatar
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    Default Pickup advice for a Les Paul Classic please

    I bought a 2005 Gibson Les Paul Classic a few days ago, got it cheap because it's had a headstock break (quite nicely repaired though).
    Anyway, it came with black pickups (500T/496R) which sounded okay but, to me, didn't look right with this guitar.
    So I put in some double cream Dimarzios (Super D/PAF). These sound fantastic but, again...it just doesn't look right, so I've ordered some chrome/nickel covered pups from ebay. Two sets actually, cos I made an offer I didn't think would be accepted, bought a different set, then had the first offer accepted!

    So, coming in a couple of days are a set of 57 Classics, and also a 498T/490R both with the chrome/nickel covers I think will look best on this guitar.

    My question is: which ones will work best for a higher gain sound? I generally don't like vintage style pickups in the bridge position - Seths, 59's, PAF's - not a fan. I much prefer the likes of the JB, Duncan Distortion, Super D etc. I'm guessing the 57 Classic won't really work for that? But, would the Super D be so much better than either the 57 Classic or 498T that I should just leave that where it is and get that "Jimmy Page" kinda vibe with the covered neck pickup/open-coil bridge.....???

    Also, I DO like PAF-types in the neck position, so would the 57 classic be a nicer sounding pup than the 490R?

    Here's some pics of the guitar - I've ordered a pickguard because the colour is very bright and I think a pickguard will look great.

    I have to say, I LOVE this guitar - it plays great, sounds great and just feels right. I love the plain top although I'm not overly taken with the bright cherry burst, it's a bit bright for me - any way to tone that down, fade it a bit?

    20190421_190527 by stormwatch1977, on Flickr

    [/url]20190421_180442 by stormwatch1977, on Flickr

    [/url]20190421_190646 by stormwatch1977, on Flickr
    Last edited by Wolfshead; 04-22-2019 at 01:18 AM.
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  2. #2
    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: Pickup advice for a Les Paul Classic please

    With my two Classics, I went with Custom Shop Seths and Antiquitys on the other. Couldn't be happier.

    Bill
    When you've had budget guitars for a number of years, you may find that your old instrument is holding you back. A quality guitar can inspire you to write great songs, improve your understanding of the Gdim chord while in the Lydian Mode, cure the heartbreak of cystic acne--and help you find true love in the process.

  3. #3
    Ultimate Tone Member Synapsys's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup advice for a Les Paul Classic please

    I play Metal on my 2010 Trad with a '57+ on the bridge. It fits my sound perfectly.
    Guitars:Gibson LP Trad ('57 Classics), PRS SE Custom 24 Flametop (TB-5/PGn), Ibanez RG870RWZ (PATB set), Jackson DK2M1H (JB), LTD ST-213A (HRb/STK-S4 m&n) & TE-212 (Hot Stack/A2P), Dean Cadillac 1980 (59 set) & Old Skull V (TB-6/Jazz), Squier VM JM (SJM-1 set);Effects:Korg Pitchblack Poly, Digitech Drop, MXR CAE MC404 & EHX Wailer wahs, L6 HXFX, Fender FVP-1, EHX Volume Pedal; Amp & Cab:H&K GM 40 Dlx, L6 DT25 cab;

  4. #4
    Tone Member Wolfshead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup advice for a Les Paul Classic please

    Quote Originally Posted by Synapsys View Post
    I play Metal on my 2010 Trad with a '57+ on the bridge. It fits my sound perfectly.
    Interesting...maybe I should give it a shot. I have tried 59s and PAFs in the bridge of guitars before but always end up changing them for something hotter like a JB.
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  5. #5
    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: Pickup advice for a Les Paul Classic please

    ...you know you can just buy covers for a few bucks???
    "New stuff always sucks" -Me

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    I poop my pants and wear KISS diapers Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup advice for a Les Paul Classic please

    Ummm - a 500T is essentially/practically a Duncan Distortion. I'd never swap that if a Distortion sound is what I wanted. There was nothing wrong with the SuperD/PAF combo either!

    You know - you can order pickup covers and just put them on with a spot of solder....


    Nice guitar, love to see a pic of the neck repair.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad City
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  7. #7
    Tone Ninja Xeromus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup advice for a Les Paul Classic please

    I just picked up an Edwards John Sykes model. I have a pair of double creme air classics kicking around, or I may put a '59 and Custom in. I know that doesn't help you out right now, but I'll report back my findings. I usually stick with the JB/Jazz combo, but I've heard the '59/Custom is nice in a Les Paul.

  8. #8
    Toneologist playas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup advice for a Les Paul Classic please

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfshead View Post
    I bought a 2005 Gibson Les Paul Classic a few days ago, got it cheap because it's had a headstock break (quite nicely repaired though).
    Anyway, it came with black pickups (500T/496R) which sounded okay but, to me, didn't look right with this guitar.
    So I put in some double cream Dimarzios (Super D/PAF). These sound fantastic but, again...it just doesn't look right, so I've ordered some chrome/nickel covered pups from ebay. Two sets actually, cos I made an offer I didn't think would be accepted, bought a different set, then had the first offer accepted!

    So, coming in a couple of days are a set of 57 Classics, and also a 498T/490R both with the chrome/nickel covers I think will look best on this guitar.

    My question is: which ones will work best for a higher gain sound? I generally don't like vintage style pickups in the bridge position - Seths, 59's, PAF's - not a fan. I much prefer the likes of the JB, Duncan Distortion, Super D etc. I'm guessing the 57 Classic won't really work for that? But, would the Super D be so much better than either the 57 Classic or 498T that I should just leave that where it is and get that "Jimmy Page" kinda vibe with the covered neck pickup/open-coil bridge.....???

    Also, I DO like PAF-types in the neck position, so would the 57 classic be a nicer sounding pup than the 490R?

    Here's some pics of the guitar - I've ordered a pickguard because the colour is very bright and I think a pickguard will look great.

    I have to say, I LOVE this guitar - it plays great, sounds great and just feels right. I love the plain top although I'm not overly taken with the bright cherry burst, it's a bit bright for me - any way to tone that down, fade it a bit?

    20190421_190527 by stormwatch1977, on Flickr

    [/url]20190421_180442 by stormwatch1977, on Flickr

    [/url]20190421_190646 by stormwatch1977, on Flickr



    So you need a set of crome covers for your cream coloured pickups

  9. #9
    Mojo's Minions hamerfan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup advice for a Les Paul Classic please

    Another thought: i was on a long travel to get the right pickups for my 1999 Classic. It came used with some asian generic pickups. Since i am the third owner, the second owner was double-dealed by the first owner selling the stock pickups to someone else to make extra money out of the guitar. I said what the heck, i make a blues machine out of it. That didn't work. The classic with a heavy body and a thin neck doesn't work that way. I got a 500T and tried that. Not bad, but the Duncan Distortion was still better. Less compression and more beef. Then i read about a mod, yanking out one side magnet and making a wood shim. Together with a 490R with an A5 its the right combo for that guitar.
    Last edited by hamerfan; 04-22-2019 at 10:12 AM.
    I get the feeling the A8 will blow your skirt up more so - Edgecrusher

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  10. #10
    Senior Member David Garner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup advice for a Les Paul Classic please

    490r/498t set is more suited for metal, though both sets will do it just fine. To my ears, the 57 Classic neck and 490r are basically a wash. There are subtle differences, but they are fundamentally in the same tone camp. I find swapping the magnet on the 490r helps open it up a bit, so if I had to give an edge stock, it would be the 57 Classic. Having said that, neither is my preference for a nice, open PAF style neck. For metal, the 490r with an A5 would be very, very nice.

  11. #11
    I poop my pants and wear KISS diapers Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup advice for a Les Paul Classic please

    OMG - who are you people?

    Get nickel or chrome or whatever covers for the current set - done!

    Or...go with the 500T and maybe a Duncan 59 - add covers and done!
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad City
    He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

  12. #12
    Mojo's Minions beaubrummels's Avatar
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    Default Pickup advice for a Les Paul Classic please

    I put a 500T/496R in my LP Studio once and then I realized why they were in old LP 1960s/Classic (cant recall which) and the earliest Jimmy Page reissue. That set covers a lot of ground. Nice and even tone at all volume settings, plays well with all kinds of amps, covers all kinds of music with the twist of the volume and a flick of the pickup switch.

    I haven’t played a DiMarzio SuperDist + PAF neck before, but if you like the sound just run with it.

    I would either get over the aesthetics or just put covers on (though you might lose a little top end/chime off the neck and a touch of bite off the bridge that way)
    Last edited by beaubrummels; 04-23-2019 at 08:22 PM.
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  13. #13
    Super Toneologist
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    Default Re: Pickup advice for a Les Paul Classic please

    I have a zebra 496R/500T set in my 1996 Classic Premium Plus. Mine are 4 wire, and I wired the tones push/pull to split the pickups into single coil mode. Covers a lot of ground.

  14. #14
    Tone Member Wolfshead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup advice for a Les Paul Classic please

    Quote Originally Posted by Adieu View Post
    ...you know you can just buy covers for a few bucks???
    I've gone down that route before and it was more hassle than it was worth. First, the covers are pretty expensive over here in the UK (looking at about £15 each), THEN you have to get ones that properly fit your particular pickup which I found harder than expected on previous occassions. And then you have to fit them properly so they don't cause feedback.

    I thought it better to just buy ones that come with covers fitted stock. I got a really good deal on the 57's in particular, and the ones I don't use will just be sold again (hopefully at a small profit!) so it's not much trouble.
    Last edited by Wolfshead; 04-24-2019 at 07:22 AM.
    My website - https://stevenamckay.com/

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  15. #15
    Tone Member Wolfshead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup advice for a Les Paul Classic please

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
    Ummm - a 500T is essentially/practically a Duncan Distortion. I'd never swap that if a Distortion sound is what I wanted. There was nothing wrong with the SuperD/PAF combo either!

    You know - you can order pickup covers and just put them on with a spot of solder....


    Nice guitar, love to see a pic of the neck repair.
    Here you go!

    [/url]20190421_180532 by stormwatch1977, on Flickr
    My website - https://stevenamckay.com/

    My gear - Various guitars, mostly Jacksons, Gibson SG Standard, Gibson Les Paul Classic, Marshall DSL20HR, MC212 Cabinet, Blackstar HT-Dist pedal.

  16. #16
    Ultimate Tone Member audiocheck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup advice for a Les Paul Classic please

    I'm with Aceman!! Get Covers.

    I'm not a Gibson pickup guy. I take them out of every LP I own. To me, you are going backwards in your pickup choices. If you think the Super D and PAF sound awesome, leave them be. Covers will only cost you a slight bit over brightness.

  17. #17
    Tone Member Wolfshead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup advice for a Les Paul Classic please

    I put in the 498T/490R set and...
    love 'em!

    The neck pickup might not be quite as smooth as the PAF, a bit boomier, but it's nice enough.
    The 498T sounds awesome! Hot as hell but still with enough definition for heavy chords like on, say, The Darkness's debut album, AND it does screaming leads!

    Very happy with these, and they do look much nicer in this guitar so I think that's me done. Will probably keep the DiMarzios as spares because they're always handy to have, and sell on the 57 Classics.
    My website - https://stevenamckay.com/

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  18. #18
    Mojo's Minions hamerfan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup advice for a Les Paul Classic please

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfshead View Post
    I put in the 498T/490R set and...
    love 'em!

    The neck pickup might not be quite as smooth as the PAF, a bit boomier, but it's nice enough.
    Here is the moment magnet swapping comes in. Sounds like you need an A3 in the neck pup.
    I get the feeling the A8 will blow your skirt up more so - Edgecrusher

    Smooth trades with Jerryjg, ArtieToo, Theodie, Micah, trevorus, Pierre, pzaxtl, damian1122, Thames, Diocletian, Kevinabb, Fakiekid, oilpit, checo, BachToRock, majewsky, joyouswolf, Koreth, Pontiac Jack, Jeff_H

  19. #19
    Tone Member Wolfshead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup advice for a Les Paul Classic please

    Quote Originally Posted by hamerfan View Post
    Here is the moment magnet swapping comes in. Sounds like you need an A3 in the neck pup.
    I do have magnets, Blueman sent me some years ago, but I'm not really interested in chasing tone to that extent these days. I hardly use neck pickups anyway. I am quite content with these pups the way they are (for now)! I'll hopefully get a chance to crank the guitar properly in a few weeks and see how they perform then. I could always try the 57 Classic in the neck...
    My website - https://stevenamckay.com/

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  20. #20
    I poop my pants and wear KISS diapers Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup advice for a Les Paul Classic please

    Neck repair looks excellent.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad City
    He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

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