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1970's "Tarbacks" VS 57 Classics


jaygl
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After a couple of weeks of jamming on my new to me 1977 SG standard, I am really loving the tone of it. The mids are smooth and creamy and the highs sparkle and cut through without sounding shrill. Now, by comparison, the 57 classics in my 2011 standard 24 sound treble heavy and almost a little too "open" and crisp. Am I crazy for liking the tarbacks better? I know people switch out the 100 K treble pots in the older SG's for the 500k's but has anyone ever switched the 500's for 100's with the 57's? Would it smooth out the highs and tighten up compression wise in the 57 classics if i did? Or am i barking up the wrong tree and the 57's aren't tonally capable of what I am after?

I've seen the tarbacks on ebay, and they are pricey. Are there any current production pu's that share simillar specs to the tarbacks....gibson or otherwise?

I have tried rolling back the treble on the guitar, but it just doesn't have the same tonal effect....it does cut the highs, but compression wise, it does nothing.....This damn '77 has ruined all other guitars for me! LOL.....

I am playing both through my Marshall jcm 800 4212.

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Don't think I've ever heard "tarbacks"...at least, that I know of? :-k

I've heard OF them, but never done a comparison. '57's aren't for everyone,

but...I sure love them in the guitars I have, that either they came "Stock"

in, or I've changed them out, from whatever was stock.

 

Still, if you now prefer the "tarbacks," Great! That's really all that

counts, anyway. [thumbup]

 

CB

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After a couple of weeks of jamming on my new to me 1977 SG standard, I am really loving the tone of it. The mids are smooth and creamy and the highs sparkle and cut through without sounding shrill. Now, by comparison, the 57 classics in my 2011 standard 24 sound treble heavy and almost a little too "open" and crisp. Am I crazy for liking the tarbacks better? I know people switch out the 100 K treble pots in the older SG's for the 500k's but has anyone ever switched the 500's for 100's with the 57's? Would it smooth out the highs and tighten up compression wise in the 57 classics if i did? Or am i barking up the wrong tree and the 57's aren't tonally capable of what I am after?

I've seen the tarbacks on ebay, and they are pricey. Are there any current production pu's that share simillar specs to the tarbacks....gibson or otherwise?

I have tried rolling back the treble on the guitar, but it just doesn't have the same tonal effect....it does cut the highs, but compression wise, it does nothing.....This damn '77 has ruined all other guitars for me! LOL.....

I am playing both through my Marshall jcm 800 4212.

 

I have a 79 Explorer with tarbacks, a 79 V with T tops and an 82 Les Paul with Shaw pickups. You are correct, the '57's sound different, more trebly than all of them. I really like the darker sound when playing at home but my SG Original with '57's really cut through a band mix at a gig the other night. So, it all depends on the setting to me. I played the Les Paul at a gig a month earlier and preferred that tone but got complaints that the tone was muddy and hard to hear. Currently playing through an '80's 100 watt JCM 800.

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So....has anyone tried to change the tone pot's to 100K with 57 classics? Could i expect a subtle or dramatic change in the overall tone and how, if at all, would it affect the "compression" aspect of the 57's?

Turning your 500 kOhms audio taper tone pots down to about 4...6, depending on the tolerances which always are higher with audio tapered pots, will give you the same tone like 100 kOhms pots cranked up. 100 kOhms tone pots will just load the pickups down, regardless if tarbacks or '57s.

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Hello!

 

The tar-backs are called "Super Humbuckers". They are made with AlNiCo 3 magnets. Quite hot ones. Just listen to a Randy Rhoads record.

 

"'57 Classics" are made with AlNiCo 2 magnets. They are among the lowest output Gibson pickups.

 

Hope it helps.

 

Cheers... Bence

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Turning your 500 kOhms audio taper tone pots down to about 4...6, depending on the tolerances which always are higher with audio tapered pots, will give you the same tone like 100 kOhms pots cranked up. 100 kOhms tone pots will just load the pickups down, regardless if tarbacks or '57s.

Rolling back the tone mellows out the highs, but doesn't do anything for the compression.....will loading the pu's down help with that u think cap? I may just spring for some original "Super Humbuckers". These would do I think... http://www.ebay.com/itm/1974-Gibson-Tarback-Pickups-SG-Explorer-ES-335-1972-1973-1974-1975-1976-/331049179788?pt=Guitar_Accessories&hash=item4d14119a8c

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  • 6 years later...

Tarbak's utilize an Indox 7 ceramic magnet which is very unique and poly wire.  A Tarbak is essentially a T-TOP with an Indox 7 magnet, so basically a powered up TTOP.    It is a shame that these were swapped out for super distortions back in the day, because they are far superior to the Dimarzios.  I have used every brand imaginable and nothing compares to the sound of the Tarbak's.  I was fortunate to have obtained some clones from a pick up guru here in the states.  The Tarbak is what the EMG 57 wants to be.  To truly understand the sound, one should listen to old Edge, Matthias Jabs on Love at first sting, probably Randy Blizzard era, the band Wolfmother, and probably 74 Jailbreak Angus.  The low DC rating fools people as these will hit the amp hard due to the powerful Indox 7 magnet.  The sound is mesmerizing through any good tube old Marshall.  The top end on the Tarbaks is excellent and very pleasing to the ear.  They sustain well, and most importantly can get you both that Def Leppard On Through The Night tone and metal = Early Randy and Jabs.  The Tarbaks are more open sounding and not as compressed as lets say a 500T.  The mid cut and presence these provide are a metal players dream...….TTOP Tone on Steroids...………….. The year 1974 keeps coming up.  Great times... 

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  • 1 year later...

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