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New Gibson ES- 335 Satin Vintage Burst, Need Pickup Reccomendations


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Just bought this 335 and am in love, formally a Fender and Strat player. 

I've heard people aren't crazy with the T-Type pickups.  Just curious what are some of the replacements people recommend. I love the look and feel of the guitar, now just want to make sure I'm getting the best sounds out of it. Appreciative for any suggestions from more informed owners, thanks.

 

 

 

IMG_3621 (1).jpg

Edited by Mike Manhost
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Pickups arguably are subjective.... What one person thinks is the best another person will disagree...

Excatly what Pickups are in yours? Are they adjusted correctly? 

That said, I believe most would agree the best sounding HB's were the original '59 Gibson PAF's.. Where do you get them? You can't.. Unless you find a magic Set on Reverb or somewhere like that. Then you'll pay crazy money for them..

Everybody & their brother claims to have magically recreated them.. All claim theirs are the best.. 

I've yet to hear any of them sound as good as my original 1959 ES345 with PAF's...

My Gibson MHS HB's  sound really good. I also like my 490R & 498T.. I also have 57's in my current ES335 & they would be my 3rd choice... Thro Baks, Fralin, Duncan & Lollar make great alternatives as well. 

It's a Rabbit Hole..... Proceed with Caution...

If it's a new Guitar you bought & don't like maybe you should return it for one you do like...

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Totally subjective thing - what you like someone else might not.  That being said I've heard good things about the Gibson Memphis Historic Spec pickups (which may be what is in yours already) and personally I like the '57 Classics which are in my ES 356:

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Edited by Twang Gang
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It looks like it's a less aggressive (or hot) pick up as what they have used in the past.

This guy here sure seems pleased with his purchase.  If it was me I'd just leave things alone and enjoy what I have.  It really looks like a winner and the internet, everybody always groans and moans about their pick ups.

 

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Lack of a control cavity plate will also make changing things around a bit of a challenge, I would think.

It looks like they went for a warmer tone on the current ones which isn't a bad thing at all.  You're not going to go wrong with any of them.

Now a 335 with P90s, hmmm...

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On 10/11/2020 at 3:12 PM, Mike Manhost said:

Thanks Twang Gang ,  mine are supposed to Calibrated T-Type pickups, So new to Humbuckers (been a Fender Guy for 40 years)  that I'm not sure what that means.

Well, I think we are all new to these pick-ups as it doesn't seem they've been offered before (except in a special run).  They sound good in the demo that Steve put up - but remember that guy is playing through a Fender '65 Deluxe reverb so that has a classic tube tone right there.  They are not as hot or bright as many other Gibson humbuckers, and I really like the creamy mellow sound they put out.  I'd stick with them for awhile if I were you and see how you like them before spending a bunch of money on swapping pickups that might not sound as good.  

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On 10/11/2020 at 9:15 PM, SteveFord said:

It looks like it's a less aggressive (or hot) pick up as what they have used in the past.

This guy here sure seems pleased with his purchase.  If it was me I'd just leave things alone and enjoy what I have.  It really looks like a winner and the internet, everybody always groans and moans about their pick ups.

 

I'd go with what Steve said.

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As others have said these pickups are really new so not many of us here have much experience with them. That said, I see no reason to swap them preemptively. The stock pickups seem interesting 
 

As for a PAF style recommendation, for me at this point it is definitely the Gibson “custombucker” that I have in my new Les Paul. Best sounding pickups I’ve personally used. They are just a little “sweeter” sounding than other humbuckers I’ve used. Don’t know how to define that better.. Less muddy but not shrill?

 

Make sure to take the guitar to a respectable tech if you do any electronics work. It will have to be fished through the F hole and the guy at GC is not going to be trustworthy for that job

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  • 3 weeks later...

 I have not done many pick up changes in my guitars, I usually play them the way I bought them.  One of my only exception to this rule is a pair of Seymour Duncan Seth Lovers in my 1991 Les Paul and I really liked the change.  Seymour designed these with Seth Lover who was the original inventor of the Gibson PAF humbucker. These are supposedly made exactly the same and wound on the same machines. But pick up makers all say the same thing!

 Thanks John

Edited by powerwagonjohn
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Congrats on your new axe! I suggest to keep your stock pickups, experiment and adjust the pickup heights and screw poles.  Play it at gigging volume and adjust to your liking. Learn how the adjustments affect the tone/volume.  I have a number of differing ES's and I've endlessly tweaked each one to my liking.  Each had its own tone characteristic.

After a few months of experimental adjustments, hope you find the best tone that you like with the stock pickups.  If not, you might also try different magnets. This is easy to do with a soldering tool. .. again, learn how the different type of magnets affect the tone.

Only then should you try another pickup!  And yes, it's a cumbersome job replacing pickups in an ES.  It wasn't too bad...just took too much time. Or you can take the easier way by just splicing  new pickups to the existing wiring in the pickup cavity.

Have fun with with it... mostly practice, practice, and more practice.

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  • 2 months later...

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