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Twang Gang

Burstbucker Pros Vs. Burstbucker 61R & 61T

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I was wondering why the 61R and 61T Burstbuckers in my new LP Classis sound considerably different than the BB Pros in my 2017 LP Standard so I emailed customer service about it.  I was pleasantly surprised to get an answer within a half an hour on a Sunday afternoon.  The pickups on the Classic are uncovered which I would think would make some difference, but both sets have Alnico 5 magnets.  The difference is in the number of turns for the winding.  The Bursbucker Pro Rhythm pickup has 5000 winds on the screw side, and 5200 on the slug side.  The Pro Lead has 5300 on the screw side and 5500 on the slugs.  So in each case 200 more winds on the slug side.

The 61R and 61T are both wound the same (explained as because back in the day they didn't use different pickups for the different positions) but have 5261 winds on the screw side and only 5000 on the slug side.  Gibson did say the bridge pick up is reverse/wind and revers/polarity to maintain hum cancellation when coil tapped, but both use  the same number of winds.  So the Pros use more winds on the SLUG side for each, whereas the 61s are the opposite - more winds on the SCREW side.

I know nothing about how windings effect tones, and tones are subjective to each of us anyway - but to my ear the 61R and 61T are louder (A/B test done with amp and guitars both set exactly the same), and are just a little grittier or have a little more bark.  The BB Pros seem to me a little cleaner and glassier sounding. 

Maybe nobody else cares about all this, but I think it's pretty cool that I was able to get a detailed explanation of the differences through Gibson in one quick email.

Edited by Twang Gang
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On 7/14/2019 at 3:36 PM, Twang Gang said:

I know nothing about how windings effect tones, and tones are subjective to each of us anyway - but to my ear the 61R and 61T are louder (A/B test done with amp and guitars both set exactly the same), and are just a little grittier or have a little more bark.  The BB Pros seem to me a little cleaner and glassier sounding. 

 

This is basically what the difference is in wind count, with the lower count being a little cleaner with lower apparent output... better definition, I'm told. Covers add some warmth, I'm told.

Edited by zigzag

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4 hours ago, zigzag said:

 

This is basically what the difference is in wind count, with the lower count being a little cleaner with lower apparent output... better definition, I'm told. Covers add some warmth, I'm told.

strength of the magnets play a big part in the output.  not sure how closely that is controlled or may differ between pickups?

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22 hours ago, billroy said:

strength of the magnets play a big part in the output.  not sure how closely that is controlled or may differ between pickups?

Since all four of the pickups have Alnico 5 magnets, I concluded that it was the number of windings that made a difference in the tones.  But I am making the assumption that all the Alnico 5s are of the same strength which I guess would depend on Alnico's quality control.

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7 minutes ago, Twang Gang said:

Since all four of the pickups have Alnico 5 magnets, I concluded that it was the number of windings that made a difference in the tones.  But I am making the assumption that all the Alnico 5s are of the same strength which I guess would depend on Alnico's quality control.

 

Just to be factual about it all, because this stuff is Dogma Run Wild.  A very famous boutique pickup winder and I were enjoying a coffee and discussing some pickups he was making for me.

1.  Magnets are magnetized right before the pickup is wound.  Gaussing?  De-Gaussing?  One of them.  They don't weaken, wear out, or fade.  If you are using the same magnetizingationally thingy on all of them, they will all be the same insofar as magnetic properties, excepting of course any quality issues in creating the blend.  Cracks and fissures can deform the field causing minor eccentricities in different pickups.  Which we as guitar players then swear by.

2.  No human being alive can determine the differences between the various Alnico Integers of magnet material.  The "blends" are what the suppliers have on hand, based on the current market prices of the base ingredients.

3.  If you like one pickup over the other, it is most definitely not the blend used for the magnets or their "strength" relative to each other.  It is the wire, number of turns, consistency of turns, and tightness of turns.  Those are relatively hard to be precise about from one to the other, hence this one is great and that same one doesn't do it for you.

4.  The metal surrounding your pickups does nothing.  The pickup has no idea that metal is there and doesn't care.  This was at a time when various base plates and Tele bridge materials were all being touted as Better because they weren't Leo's same old copper or steel.  In other words, investing in stainless stuff because it will improve your pickups was just more snake oil.

I'll probably think of more, but there's some of it.  Internet Materials Scientists and Guitar Physicists will be along any minute to debunk all of it but hey, facts be facts.

rct

 

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18 minutes ago, rct said:

 

Just to be factual about it all, because this stuff is Dogma Run Wild.  A very famous boutique pickup winder and I were enjoying a coffee and discussing some pickups he was making for me.

1.  Magnets are magnetized right before the pickup is wound.  Gaussing?  De-Gaussing?  One of them.  They don't weaken, wear out, or fade.  If you are using the same magnetizingationally thingy on all of them, they will all be the same insofar as magnetic properties, excepting of course any quality issues in creating the blend.  Cracks and fissures can deform the field causing minor eccentricities in different pickups.  Which we as guitar players then swear by.

2.  No human being alive can determine the differences between the various Alnico Integers of magnet material.  The "blends" are what the suppliers have on hand, based on the current market prices of the base ingredients.

3.  If you like one pickup over the other, it is most definitely not the blend used for the magnets or their "strength" relative to each other.  It is the wire, number of turns, consistency of turns, and tightness of turns.  Those are relatively hard to be precise about from one to the other, hence this one is great and that same one doesn't do it for you.

4.  The metal surrounding your pickups does nothing.  The pickup has no idea that metal is there and doesn't care.  This was at a time when various base plates and Tele bridge materials were all being touted as Better because they weren't Leo's same old copper or steel.  In other words, investing in stainless stuff because it will improve your pickups was just more snake oil.

I'll probably think of more, but there's some of it.  Internet Materials Scientists and Guitar Physicists will be along any minute to debunk all of it but hey, facts be facts.

rct

 

=D>=D>=D>=D>=D>

about as clear an answer and explanation as any one needs.

 

edited to add..

 

I was once reading an interview with Seth Lover, the asked him why he chose to put slotted screws in the poles that were exposed.

 

his answer was:  "why not!  We felt they looked better"

the next question was, "does adjusting them do anything at all to the performance of the pickup?"

answer was: "No, it has nothing at all to do with the way the pickup sounds, it was purely cosmetic."

I had read previously where some of the "setup notes from the PROs suggested to have the screws match the radious of the bridge, and to adjust the screws so that the are alternate set at angles, like this, under the strings..   /  \ / \ / \ /

Seth must have got a good laugh out of that,, in fact, so did I cuz I did exactly what that other article suggested.  I probably convinced myself it sounded better..  Cuz that's the kind of stuff we do..

 

Edited by kidblast

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2 minutes ago, kidblast said:

=D>=D>=D>=D>=D>

about as clear an answer and explanation as any one needs.

 

You know he copied and pasted that from Wikipedia right?

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I think the main new thingy with the 61 R & T is that they have more windings on the screw side than on the slug side, which is different than most of the previous models, which usually have the extra winds on the slugs.  That does something special that I don't remember.

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1 minute ago, Big Bill said:

 

You know he copied and pasted that from Wikipedia right?

lol!!!!!!!  Too funny..  Wait,, did he??  Ron,, ????

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2 hours ago, kidblast said:

lol!!!!!!!  Too funny..  Wait,, did he??  Ron,, ????

 

lolz.  No man.  I'm one of the last of the Guitar History guys, I would never steer a new guitar player wrong by quoting the very internet wisdom I despise. 

Further, while I was cavorting around the Fedner Fakktory like a kid in a candy store while Saintly patient Mrs waited, we got to the magnetrometer thingy, one of the ones Abigail used too back then.  I got to chuck a couple slugs at it and watch them stick.  Good times.

"So, Gomez, how long will these magnets last?"

"Forever.  Abigail's pickups are just as magnetic today as they were the day she wound them.  It's the windings that crack and part that causes what people think is weakened magnets".

So there's two in  my experience.   Anyone that ever starts talking this stuff to me NEVER has any experience with anyone outside of magazine copy and YouToob video blathering to support their thesis.  Thesises.  Thesisii.

rct

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2 hours ago, kidblast said:

=D>=D>=D>=D>=D>

I was once reading an interview with Seth Lover, the asked him why he chose to put slotted screws in the poles that were exposed.

his answer was:  "why not!  We felt they looked better"

the next question was, "does adjusting them do anything at all to the performance of the pickup?"

answer was: "No, it has nothing at all to do with the way the pickup sounds, it was purely cosmetic."

I had read previously where some of the "setup notes from the PROs suggested to have the screws match the radious of the bridge, and to adjust the screws so that the are alternate set at angles, like this, under the strings..   /  \ / \ / \ /

Seth must have got a good laugh out of that,, in fact, so did I cuz I did exactly what that other article suggested.  I probably convinced myself it sounded better..  Cuz that's the kind of stuff we do..

 

 

I remember Seth and those facts.  I remember several other very unflattering facts about the development of the Les Paul, facts that have been obliterated by the correctness of history.  Them facts are only for good booze and cigar meet ups.  

I remember the screws to radius and the / \ / \ / \ times as well.  The source of many a guffaw in the old usenet days.

rct

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just so ya know...  my question about Wikipedia was with tongue planted in cheek.  As to the point of the post, I still say that explanation was spot on and the same information I've heard a few times by people who know lots more about the physics involved than I ever will.

I left my pickups set to the Radi and the hash pattern, only cuz it took me a while to do that to all of the humbiuker'd ones when people notice and ask me why - "It was done at a time when I thought I knew more than I do now"

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I figured as much.  I wanted to reinforce the ideas as being from the people that do this so new people reading this don't instinctively believe the Wiki quote thing.  Because they do.

I remember long ago on TDPRI there was talk of getting the bridge poles just right on 7.25 old school Teles, precise measurements and everything, all to get the mAkks1muM T0n3 from our axe.

"Ridiculous", said I.

BAM!!!  The Ban Stick came down hard on me.  One of several over the years, all for just citing facts, leading up to outright ip ban for life I suppose, haven't been back in decade or so.  lolz

rct

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6 hours ago, rct said:

Just to be factual about it all, because this stuff is Dogma Run Wild.  A very famous boutique pickup winder and I were enjoying a coffee and discussing some pickups he was making for me...

 

I won't take up any more bandwidth to re-post rct's answer in  full yet again but, by golly, he hits the nail squarely and surely.

[thumbup]

Pip.

Edited by pippy

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15 hours ago, rct said:

The Ban Stick came down hard on me.  One of several over the years, all for just citing facts, leading up to outright ip ban for life I suppose, haven't been back in decade or so.  lolz

 

Must have lost a lot of sleep over that one...  Some scars never heal...

 

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