Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Pickups for my explorer


Recommended Posts

Hey all, new here. Just picked up a 2006 natural explorer in dead mint condition. Thinking about changing out the pickups. What does everyone like here? Don't have an issue changing pots to 500k or changing caps either. Looking at a pair of 57 classics, or 57 c in the neck, classic plus in bridge. Not opposed to burstbucker setup either, maybe BB1 in neck BB2 in bridge. But keep seeing that BB's are microphonic. Just want some suggestions. Also changing out pickups in a sg faded special. Not opposed to having same pickups in two guitars if they sound different, what are your suggestions for both?

Link to post
Share on other sites

back in the day, I swapped out my explorer pickups (and sadly have lost the originals over the years) for EMG's and didn't like it at all.

 

I then swapped to a Jackson "Vintage Jazz" we had laying around the shop I worked at in the neck and a Dimarzio Super Distortion in the bridge and love it.

 

I'd not feel bad putting a Super D in anything.

 

Check around your area and see if anyone has a similar model guitar with pups you are thinking of and check them out. See if you like it or not if possible.

 

NHTom

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey all, new here. Just picked up a 2006 natural explorer in dead mint condition. Thinking about changing out the pickups. What does everyone like here? Don't have an issue changing pots to 500k or changing caps either. Looking at a pair of 57 classics, or 57 c in the neck, classic plus in bridge. Not opposed to burstbucker setup either, maybe BB1 in neck BB2 in bridge. But keep seeing that BB's are microphonic. Just want some suggestions. Also changing out pickups in a sg faded special. Not opposed to having same pickups in two guitars if they sound different, what are your suggestions for both?

 

 

 

Pssssst. What kind of music do you play??? Heavy metallers might suggest something different from blues players.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pssssst. What kind of music do you play??? Heavy metallers might suggest something different from blues players.

 

 

^^^^^^Very true. I love EMG's and the EMG-X's seem to have a well rounded tone to them. (Not quite as harsh as the original EMG 81's that are so popular) I'm not knocking the 81's though. I use those in 6 of my guitars. 85 in neck, 81 at bridge. I think the EMG-X's are great for more types of playing styles. I'm very biased however, because I love to shred and just strumming cords endlessly just does not give me the satisfaction I need. I can't sing at all, so I want my guitar to do all the talkin'. They do clean up very well when needed, and the sustain goes on and on. I also have to admit, I really like the PRS Dragon 2 pups, but I met Mr. PRS and he is not a kind or decent person. I can't say how I really feel about him, but after I met him at the Dallas Guitar Festival, I came home and sold my 5 PRS guitar's that I owned, because just seeing his name on my guitar made me feel sick. I did keep a set of pups for an Explorer I own, and they have great tone. His name is not on them, so I don't feel sick when I play. lol I'm wondering how the new GEM pups sound. Just ordered a new Gibson with those and I hope they live up to my expectations. It's all about style and tastes. Pups sound very different on different instruments too. GL finding your tone.

Link to post
Share on other sites

^^^^^^Very true. I love EMG's and the EMG-X's seem to have a well rounded tone to them. (Not quite as harsh as the original EMG 81's that are so popular) I'm not knocking the 81's though. I use those in 6 of my guitars. 85 in neck, 81 at bridge. I think the EMG-X's are great for more types of playing styles. I'm very biased however, because I love to shred and just strumming cords endlessly just does not give me the satisfaction I need. I can't sing at all, so I want my guitar to do all the talkin'. They do clean up very well when needed, and the sustain goes on and on. I also have to admit, I really like the PRS Dragon 2 pups, but I met Mr. PRS and he is not a kind or decent person. I can't say how I really feel about him, but after I met him at the Dallas Guitar Festival, I came home and sold my 5 PRS guitar's that I owned, because just seeing his name on my guitar made me feel sick. I did keep a set of pups for an Explorer I own, and they have great tone. His name is not on them, so I don't feel sick when I play. lol I'm wondering how the new GEM pups sound. Just ordered a new Gibson with those and I hope they live up to my expectations. It's all about style and tastes. Pups sound very different on different instruments too. GL finding your tone.

 

 

 

LOL....WUT?! What did "Mr. PRS" say to you that would make you sell your guitars?!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pssssst. What kind of music do you play??? Heavy metallers might suggest something different from blues players.

 

 

I play in the worship band at my church. Lots of modern stuff like Hillsong, Jesus Culture, etc. U2/coldplay tones are very popular too. For fun - 70's-90's rock. Just want something versatile - if the tone is good, doesn't matter what I play it on. Not a heavy metal guy at all, not interested in active pickups. I just love the look and feel of an explorer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey all, new here. Just picked up a 2006 natural explorer in dead mint condition. Thinking about changing out the pickups. What does everyone like here? Don't have an issue changing pots to 500k or changing caps either. Looking at a pair of 57 classics, or 57 c in the neck, classic plus in bridge. Not opposed to burstbucker setup either, maybe BB1 in neck BB2 in bridge. But keep seeing that BB's are microphonic. Just want some suggestions. Also changing out pickups in a sg faded special. Not opposed to having same pickups in two guitars if they sound different, what are your suggestions for both?

Did the guitar come with the stock pickups? These should be 496R and 500T I think. Great pickups in my opinion with a fairly smooth tone and distinctive response. What's the reason you don't like them, what do you think they lack and what's too obtrusive? What amp and settings do you use?

 

I play in the worship band at my church. Lots of modern stuff like Hillsong, Jesus Culture, etc. U2/coldplay tones are very popular too. For fun - 70's-90's rock. Just want something versatile - if the tone is good, doesn't matter what I play it on. Not a heavy metal guy at all, not interested in active pickups. I just love the look and feel of an explorer.

The look might be rather in the eye of the beholder than that of the player, but I think the feel of an Explorer is beyond everything. In my opinion there's no guitar supporting the forearm of the picking hand better. Even my elbow is resting on the top, within the silhouette of the body. [thumbup]

Link to post
Share on other sites

For actives...the James Hetfield set of EMG's are the route to go.

 

I know I know...you said "worship band" but trust me on this one. James is an obsessed musician when it comes to tone on all kinds of music and his pickups are the best I've run across for covering the largest spectrum of tones.

 

I've got a jazz and blues friend that had me install a set for him and he's still weirded out by the fact that he's got Hetfield pickups but he also said that wouldn't be his last set.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

So after a couple weeks, not very happy with the 500/496. Don't get me wrong, the guitar sounds great, feels amazing. Just not what I need. Gonna go with 57C+/57C. Also gonna go with 500k pots, orange drop and 50s wiring. Just not a shredder. I'll report back when it's done. Thanks everyone.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's another question about the selector switch. I haven't taken off the pickguard to look, but can I turn the switch so that it is either completely up/down or side/side? Or am I stuck with it being somewhere in between the two? Would the short switchcraft selector fit in the body if I want to change it?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's another question about the selector switch. I haven't taken off the pickguard to look, but can I turn the switch so that it is either completely up/down or side/side? Or am I stuck with it being somewhere in between the two? Would the short switchcraft selector fit in the body if I want to change it?

 

The switch is like the one in an SG, take off the pick guard and look. The channel it sits in is at an angle and it cannot be rotated due to its shape/design. You'll get used to it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's another question about the selector switch. I haven't taken off the pickguard to look, but can I turn the switch so that it is either completely up/down or side/side? Or am I stuck with it being somewhere in between the two? Would the short switchcraft selector fit in the body if I want to change it?

 

 

The channel it sits in is at an angle and it cannot be rotated due to its shape/design. You'll get used to it.

 

cjsinla is correct.

When I got mine brand new I tried to straighten. I took the guard off and saw that it is what it is.

You will get used to it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

back in the day, I swapped out my explorer pickups (and sadly have lost the originals over the years) for EMG's and didn't like it at all.

 

I then swapped to a Jackson "Vintage Jazz" we had laying around the shop I worked at in the neck and a Dimarzio Super Distortion in the bridge and love it.

 

I'd not feel bad putting a Super D in anything.

 

Check around your area and see if anyone has a similar model guitar with pups you are thinking of and check them out. See if you like it or not if possible.

 

NHTom

 

I don't want to bash anyone's taste here, but if you prefer EMG's, there's a lot less reason to buy a gibson other than the brand name. I agree with another post here, the 500T and 496R are the best of the best for explorers.

 

Nobody hate me for this, but I also like the dirty fingers pickups that Gibson make. They're perfect for playing metal without calling it metal (if that makes at least a little sense)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

I wasn't a fan of the 500T that came in my classic LP, but I love the Dirty Fingers.

I've got som Vanson hex pole high output pickups in my explorer and they're perfect for a thick hard rock crunch

Link to post
Share on other sites

I always wanted to change the pickups on my Explorer to Classic 57s but then I bought a Marshall amp (JCM800 voiced) and understood where the 500T fits in. Classic Hard Rock/Classic Metal.

 

But yea, if I was looking for an all around pickup I'd go with the Classic+/Classic combo.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...