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L5 Pickups

#1 User is offline   Cincy2 

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Posted 24 February 2019 - 08:28 PM

I am looking at what upgrades are possible for a 2002 L5 CES I just purchased. The stock pickup is the Gibson 57 Humbucker. Has the sound available from Gibson HB's improved any over the past 17 years? Is it worth replacing them with the current Gibson version? I have Kent Armstrong hand wounds on my Comins. They really improved the treble thickness and clarity. Does KA make a HB that will be a drop in replacement for he Giibson L5 units?

Thx
Eric
2017 Comins Orchestra 16"
2002 Gibson L5
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#2 User is offline   Twang Gang 

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 06:26 PM

You can never be sure exactly what Gibson will do with various pick ups, but the 57 Classic is the standard ones for the L5 - I got a 2013 model L5 and that is still what they were putting in then. Their latest version of what is supposed to sound like a PAF humbucker is the MHS (Memphis Historic Spec), but I don't think it would sound much different than the 57 Classics.

Am not familiar with Kent Armstrong's line so not sure what he might have that would drop in.
2017 Custom Shop 356 Mahogany/Maple Antique Natural
2017 Les Paul Standard T Honeyburst
2013 L5-CES Natural (Maple/Spruce)
2013 Les Paul Custom Lite (Mahogany/Maple) Ebony
2007 Taylor Solid Body Custom (Sapele/Walnut)
2018 Taylor 814 CE DLX (Rosewood/Spruce)
1981 Ovation Balladeer
1963 Walthari Mittenwald Classical
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Blackstar HT-5R (1 X 10) Combo
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#3 User is offline   Cincy2 

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 05:57 AM

View PostTwang Gang, on 25 February 2019 - 06:26 PM, said:

Am not familiar with Kent Armstrong's line so not sure what he might have that would drop in.


I called the man himself yesterday. He sells drop in replacements for L-5 hum buckers in either 6 or 12 pole versions. Black or Gold in color. I've used Kent's hand wound pickups on three different arch tops with amazing results. I've got a set of two on the way for my L5.

Thx
Eric
2017 Comins Orchestra 16"
2002 Gibson L5
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#4 User is offline   gnappi 

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 09:07 AM

The only Gibson pup I found to be stable (and universally likeable) in every Gibson I own across many years of production is the 57 (not the plus) classic. I have them in several gits, and none of them disappoint me.

The MHS OTOH I have and have had are very variable in sound and very few in a good way, certainly not "vintagy" and I don't like them. IMO BB's are worse, VERY repeatable but repeatably too bright / shrill, much like a SD "Jazz" (a misleading name) which is also way too bright. All three need tweaking of the amp EQ and tone pots to be usable.

I think Gibson's best "try" at a vintage sound are the 57's... but hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day :-) At any rate, I can't imagine anyone "improving" an L5 by putting anything else in them even a later generation 57. To do so in some circles would be an action tantamount to a sin :-)







Regards,

Gary
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#5 User is offline   gnappi 

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 05:08 PM

View Postgnappi, on 27 February 2019 - 09:07 AM, said:

The only Gibson pup I found to be stable (and universally likeable) in every Gibson I own across many years of production is the 57 (not the plus) classic. I have them in several gits, and none of them disappoint me.

The MHS OTOH I have and have had are very variable in sound and very few in a good way, certainly not "vintagy" and I don't like them. IMO BB's are worse, VERY repeatable but repeatably too bright / shrill, much like a SD "Jazz" (a misleading name) which is also way too bright. All three need tweaking of the amp EQ and tone pots to be usable.

I think Gibson's best "try" at a vintage sound are the 57's... but hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day :-) At any rate, I can't imagine anyone "improving" an L5 by putting anything else in them even a later generation 57. To do so in some circles would be an action tantamount to a sin :-)


PS, OP, I can't wait to hear how your pup change "improved" the sound of the L5... just about THE most perfect as is git in the Jazz world as Gibson delivers it. If nothing else so I can say... I don't believe it.

Regards,

Gary
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