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Tips for making 57 classic pickups less muddy?


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I have an 88 Custom that I bought used, it has what I was told are 57 classics in it. I love the guitar looks and feel wise but the pickups are driving me nuts.


Short of just replacing the pickups what can I do to make these things a little less muddy? And are 57s generally muddy or is it the way the guitar is setup, pots, etc? I realize sound is subjective but from what I've read the 57s seem to be generally considered good pickups but I am not satisfied at all with mine.

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Mine aren't muddy, I have them in 3 guitars. Two sets are late 90's, third set is 2011. While it is true I am trading out two of those guitars, it isn't at all the pickups.



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Hmmm, :-k I have '57's in 6 guitars (4 SG's, & 2 Les Paul's), and none of them are what I would call "muddy," at all!

Now, IF you're more used to, or inclined toward "single coil" Fender type pickups, or even P-90's, the Humbuckers have

(generally) a less treble or "bell" like tone, than those. So, maybe(?) that's the reason the Humbuckers seem "Muddy?"


I do own a 1980 Les Paul Custom, that came stock with T-tops! It has a slightly less pronounced

tone, than my Custom Classic, with 57's. Are you sure your's ARE '57's, or were you just told that?


As was suggested, you might try adjusting the height, of the pickups, and/or using different capacitors?

Even different string brands, with a brighter tone, may help. But I would certainly exhaust

all available options (adjustments, pots, capacitors, strings, etc.) BEFORE you decide to

change out the pickups.


IMHO, as always. [biggrin]




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  • 4 weeks later...

If it's really bugging you, a quick (but radical) solution is to bypass the tone pots.


If you like what you hear but still want tone controls, try no-load pots.


They cut out the pot when on "ten" (removing load on the signal possibly causing mud), but work as a regular tone pot when you turn them down.

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All good advice as usual.....


Listening to the many great 335 players like Eric Clapton, Larry Carlton, BB King will indicate what can be expected with various settings and amps....


A Classic '57 loaded 335 will never have the 'sparkle' of a single coil/ P90 guitar.....


Some multi fx pedals have an acoustic simulator which can boost the high frequencies....


Or the Boss AC-2 as a single pedal.....





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  • 4 months later...


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