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Steve Tr

MHS Humbuckers

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I just received a '59 ES-335TDN and she is beautiful looking, and for the most part, sounding. Working with all control settings, I am perhaps not totally wild about the tonality of the MHS pickups. I would love to hear from owners of said guitar and get some feedback.

 

Thanks,

 

Steve

 

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I have a 1959 ES345 Reissue and contrary to your view I think the MHS are amongst the very best pickups I have ever heard anywhere.

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I played a 58 ES335 recently with MHS's. Very Vintage and mellow sounding. Real smooth sounding. I want something with a little more bite though.

 

Of course, capacitors could have something to do with their sound too? I'm going a couple steps down and ordered a Satin 335 with Burstbuckers. I hear they are brighter and hope are more to my liking.

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I played a 58 ES335 recently with MHS's. Very Vintage and mellow sounding. Real smooth sounding. I want something with a little more bite though.

 

Of course, capacitors could have something to do with their sound too? I'm going a couple steps down and ordered a Satin 335 with Burstbuckers. I hear they are brighter and hope are more to my liking.

 

The MHS is very smooth and vintage sounding - Like you, I do want just a touch more bit too. Not LP but maybe a 335 on a mini dose of go-juice. Gibson says they come with "BumbleBee" caps but I believe they are a inadequate Luxe knock-off. Cap job is in order.

 

I have had Burstbuckers my Les Paul and they did sound very good. Of course being a totally different animal, I'm sure it will sound awesome. I've also heard good things about Classic '57's going into 335s. Think I'll go out on a limb and checkout some Seymour Duncan offerings. Have had really good luck with his gear.

 

Thanks,

 

S

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I have a pair of Duncan Seth Lovers in a Guild Starfire VI and a Les Paul and I really like the clear open tone I get from them. I also have Gibson 57 classics in my ES-345 and L-4CES and they do drive my amps a bit more than the Seth Lovers. I have been wanting to try Duncan Pearly Gates for more drive but I am very happy with what I have so no change is foreseen.

Thanks John

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I have a pair of Duncan Seth Lovers in a Guild Starfire VI and a Les Paul and I really like the clear open tone I get from them. I also have Gibson 57 classics in my ES-345 and L-4CES and they do drive my amps a bit more than the Seth Lovers. I have been wanting to try Duncan Pearly Gates for more drive but I am very happy with what I have so no change is foreseen.

Thanks John

 

Duncan suggested either the Seth Lover set or perhaps before they go out of production, the Bonamassa "Skinners". I have a set of those in my R9 (before they were called Skinners) and to my ears, produce some of the best tone I have ever heard, especially when push a little bit harder through my 50 watt Victoria. Add a little dirt and you're in hog heaven. Not really sure how they would come off in a 335, or if I can afford them.

 

S

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I've now had a bit over a month with my 2016 '63 ES-335 with MHS humbuckers, and I couldn't be more pleased. I've previously had a Les Paul with Burstbucker Pros and 2 different 335s with '57 Classics, and have played friends' Gibsons with Seymour Duncan and Throback humbuckers. All of them are fine pickups that I'd be glad to have, but to my ears the MHS pickups have the best overall range of sounds; I've been able to get everything out of them I can imagine. They have a particular sweetness & richness in the middle (both pickups) position. Again, I think all of these are fine pickups, but I think the Gibson Memphis folks really got it right with the MHS version.

 

It's also worth remembering in a conversation like this that pickups are just one component in a fairly complex set of variables that we call a guitar, and the differences between these pickups may really be fairly subtle (especially between '57 Classics and MHS). Different strings, a tweak or two of the tone controls (guitar and/or amp), a slightly different speaker, etc. can really change what we hear.

 

Also, that's a gorgeous '59 TDN that started this thread!

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I just got a 335 with the MHS pups, the Wildwood spec 1963 ES 335. It is my understanding that the Wildwood spec pick ups are under wound but I haven't checked them yet. However, I really like the sound of the MHS humbuckers. They have a sweet sound, lots of chime, and seem to cover a lot of tonal territory.

 

Edited to add: I just checked my MHS pups and they read at 7.9 to 8.0 at the jack.

 

IMG_0528_zpsdgjo7y2z.jpg

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That's a beaut; congratulations are in order! msp_thumbup.gif

 

Is that a trans amber nitro?

 

I also noticed it has nylon saddles like my early '60 ES's.

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That's a beaut; congratulations are in order! msp_thumbup.gif

 

Is that a trans amber nitro?

 

I also noticed it has nylon saddles like my early '60 ES's.

Oh, you're talking to me! No, Wildwood calls that 'dark vintage natural '. It's a very thin nitro finish. BTW, it has a nylon nut too. Stays in tune very well.

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To OP, I don't think you will hear too much difference between the MHS and the '57 Classics in a semi-hollow like the 335. The 57 Classics were supposed to be as close as Gibson could come to the original PAF humbuckers. Now the MHS is supposed to be even more like the original PAF, but I don't think there is a great difference. The Burstbuckers however will give you quite a different tone. I have Burstbuckers in a LP Standard that I got recently and they are much brighter and crunchier than my older LP with 57 Classics.

 

There are many other options as you mention like Seymour Duncan and others, but for the $400 or so that you would pay for 57 Classics, I don't think the difference would be worth the cost. But if you're looking for "more bite" as you say the Burstbuckers will certainly deliver (hopefully not more than you want).

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I have a 1959 ES345 Reissue and contrary to your view I think the MHS are amongst the very best pickups I have ever heard anywhere.

 

+1 I have the same guitar and I'm extremely happy with the tone. Might be the guitar but surely the pickups do their part.

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There was a lot of variation in the original PAF humbuckers so saying any one pick up is closer to a PAF comes down to which individual PAF pick up your talking about. As long as you like them is what counts.

Thanks John

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I have a LP-ES with MHS, as well as a 335 and Midtown custom with BB's and find both of them much brighter than I prefer my 57 Classic equipped models. I'm not one to ever change pups but the 335 and LP-ES may get 57's in the neck at some point.

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I just received a '59 ES-335TDN and she is beautiful looking, and for the most part, sounding. Working with all control settings, I am perhaps not totally wild about the tonality of the MHS pickups. I would love to hear from owners of said guitar and get some feedback.

 

Thanks,

 

Steve

 

IMG_1999.JPG

 

I have a VOS 1958 Historic Reissue 335 with MHS Humbuckers. They are outstanding, in my opinion. Compared to most Humbuckers they retain a level of clarity and detailing (presence) that you might normally associate with P90s. It really makes for a rich over-driven sound. They're my favorite Humbucker just as the MHS P90s are my favorite P90 type.

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I've had several Gibsons including a 1959 ES345 with original PAF's. It was one of those Guitars that sat under a Bed unplayed in the Case for 30 years & when I got it back in '89 it was like new. Mint.

 

It sounded great but eventually I Gassed for something else & traded it. Big mistake.

 

I've had many Gibsons with various HB's including a new ES335 & a new ES Les Paul with MHS's. All claiming to sound like the real Deal. None of them do. Some sound better than others but I haven't heard any HB sound as good as what were in my '59 ES345. Never should've sold it.

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I have a set in a ES-LP which sounds and plays well. They are a bit clearer and less modern voiced than the 57 or 490/498 set. I like them if I found another set for the right price Id try them in a solid body.

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I have the Memphis ES335 '63 fitted with MHS pickups. I find they are suited unbelievably well to the guitar. They are articulate, clear and voiced wonderfully. I have '57's in my LP, but I wouldn't want those in the ES to be honest.

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I've had several Gibsons including a 1959 ES345 with original PAF's. It was one of those Guitars that sat under a Bed unplayed in the Case for 30 years & when I got it back in '89 it was like new. Mint.

 

It sounded great but eventually I Gassed for something else & traded it. Big mistake.

 

I've had many Gibsons with various HB's including a new ES335 & a new ES Les Paul with MHS's. All claiming to sound like the real Deal. None of them do. Some sound better than others but I haven't heard any HB sound as good as what were in my '59 ES345. Never should've sold it.

 

Its difficult to compare a guitar you dont have but today there are pick-ups very close and when A/B'd in the exact same guitar its pratically impossible to hear a difference. The Tim White pick-ups from around 2008 were quite similar but expensive and rare these days but he copied directly from a 59 PAF set. That said they were all slightly different, the guitars sounded darker some brighter. Not an easy task unless you A/B the two sets. The MHS set uses both a Alnico II and III N/B, the Custom Buckers are both III and sound slightly less output less and overwhelming but clear and full, that said they used various magnets in 59 and Vs also and so each set was unique to itself. So a good deal really is personal choice. I also found back in the 90s that the Seths work very well but it took three sets for me to come acoss a neck and bridge out of the three I liked together so after that I stopped messing with them. Imo the slight variance is somewhat similar to the older pafs. Imo your tone is still out here, be it you have to put it together yourself.

 

http://www.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Gear-Tech/en-us/legendary-PAF-humbuckers.aspx

 

 

https://reverb.com/item/4389137-tim-white-timbuckers-pickups

 

 

Nevertheless good luck in the tone search.

Edited by Golden

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I just received a '59 ES-335TDN and she is beautiful looking, and for the most part, sounding. Working with all control settings, I am perhaps not totally wild about the tonality of the MHS pickups. I would love to hear from owners of said guitar and get some feedback.

 

Thanks,

 

Steve

MHS, like BB's are a bit bright for me, and depending on the git may sound better in one than another.

 

The BB's in my Midtown Custom are shrill and difficult to get a usable tone out of, while the BB's in my 335 figured are better and easier to EQ the high component out of.

 

My current LP-ES has MHS and they are brighter than a LP-ES I returned to the retail store but are manageable.

OTOH, I've yet to find / own a git that has 57's that I have this variability feeling about.

 

What likely influences my opinion is I do not use ANY pedals, or overdrive / crunch /distortion on my amps, just straight git sounds with a very small tad of reverb.

 

 

 

 

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MHS, like BB's are a bit bright for me, and depending on the git may sound better in one than another.

 

The BB's in my Midtown Custom are shrill and difficult to get a usable tone out of, while the BB's in my 335 figured are better and easier to EQ the high component out of.

 

My current LP-ES has MHS and they are brighter than a LP-ES I returned to the retail store but are manageable.

OTOH, I've yet to find / own a git that has 57's that I have this variability feeling about.

 

What likely influences my opinion is I do not use ANY pedals, or overdrive / crunch /distortion on my amps, just straight git sounds with a very small tad of reverb.

 

Have you heard these yet...might be the best of both worlds for you ....

 

https://reverb.com/item/4679218-gibson-classic-57-alnico-iii-a3t-a3r-paf-pickups

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Curious how MHS compare to Burstbuckers. I'm getting a 2015 335 with BB.. I like BB's a lot more than 57 Classics and will very likely be parting with my 2017 ES-355 for that reason. I'm a little flabbergasted that Gibson uses 57 Classics in 355 and more desirable tone PU's in the 335?

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Curious how MHS compare to Burstbuckers. I'm getting a 2015 335 with BB.. I like BB's a lot more than 57 Classics and will very likely be parting with my 2017 ES-355 for that reason. I'm a little flabbergasted that Gibson uses 57 Classics in 355 and more desirable tone PU's in the 335?

 

But therein lies the answer. It is your opinion that the BB are "more desirable". Gibson feels they are appropriate, and I happen to agree. The MHS are not as bright as BBs. Which a lot of guys don't like. But the MHS are used in the reissues because they are more like the original. Brighter may be liked more, but doesn't make them more accurate to the originals. I think Gibson is actually doing a good job matching pups to guitars over the last few years, especially the Memphis models. Do you really believe Gibson is just cheaping out by using 490s in the BB King Lucille? I have one, and don't think so!

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