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Gibson Pickups for Epi Les Paul?


rjames1973

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I just recently received a new Epi Les Paul Standard Plus Top. I love the way the guitar sounds, but am thinking about upgrading the pickups down the road. My local guitar tech suggested I upgrade to Gibson pickups. I was at my local GC yesterday and was checking out the Gibson pickups selections. I'm really not sure which ones to get. What I'm after is the classic Jimmy Page sound from his 1959 Les Paul. Are there specific Gibson pickups that would get me close to that sound? Thanks for the help!

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I upgraded both my EPIs with GIBSON 498T/490R sets

scarfed up from ebay (see signature), very noticeable diff

in sound, especially regarding sustain and pinch harmonics.

Pluck a note anywhere on the fret board ( a lead bend is good)

turn and face the amp, and it's off the the races with harmonic

feedback/sustain.

However, I believe Jimmy P. had a bit of WIRING MODS to assist

him in his sound.

 

jimmypagewiring2.jpg

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Guest icantbuyafender

I don't think jimmy page uses that wiring that bears his name. the Burstbucker Pros are deffinately what you want. those OR a bb1 for the neck and a bb3 for bridge. the bb2 is for either bridge or neck, but typically is used as a bridge (when bb1 is in the neck) pickup or as a neck pickup (when bb3 is used in the bridge) BB1 is mild output. BB2 is medium output. BB3 is hottest pickup and is GREAT at overdriving an amp. I use the BB2/BB3 combo in my LP classic. however, I find the 490R/490T combo to be a great and more affordable combo. they go on ebay for like $80-$100 a pair. the difference between the 490's and Burstbuckers is that the BB's are made with marginally mismatching coils for character and maple spacers and Alnico II magnets . 490's use alnico II also but are they have more consistently wound coils . BB's are recreations of the 3 most prominent winding patterns found in pickups from 1959 era. BB pros are a more balanced set.

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One thing I would point out is that the wiring diagram posted by Animalfarm shows 4 wire pups (i.e coil tapped). You need to bear in mind that BB Pros are two wire (untapped), also they are fully wax potted so it would be a real difficult job to rewire them for a coil tap.

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I just replaced the pickups on my Ultra II LP with a Dimarzio Super 2 in the neck and a Rockfield SWC in the bridge. The sound is freaking awesome. I play lead in the neck position, so I like a hot neck pickup and the combination of these 2 gives amazing sounds that just can't be described. For the first time ever, the middle position is actually usable for me and the sound that comes out of it has a dual tone, like 2 guitars at the same time, one of them sounds coil tapped and one sounds bright and clear, but I dont have coil tapping on this guitar. I cannot recommend Rockfield pickups enough, they sound incredible, although the only one I really like personally is the SWC. I can get virtually any sound I want out of ths guitar now. JMO.

Cheers

Byron

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I have always found the BB Pros to be a little too bright/thin sounding. I have a LP Traditional now which has classic 57s and I prefer them much more.

 

I suppose its all down to personal taste but I can get pretty close to Mr Page's sound (first 2 albums at least) with my Traditional plugged into my Orange combo.

 

I think the classic 57s are a little cheaper too.

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Which period Page sound are you after? ALL the electric on Led Zep 1 was standard Telecaster....I happen to think it's Pages' best work! A lot of the 4th album onwards was using Les paul with coil tap (selecting 1 coil only on one humbucker - I think it was usually the neck. That requires different wiring, an extra switch, and a neck pup with 4 conductors.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi, I'm new to the Epi. forums. I recently had some Seymour Duncan Dave Mustaine Livewires put in my Ultra II and I love the tone I'm getting from my guitar. I play through a Valveking 212 by the way. They don't sound too harsh like the EMGs. I get really nice clean tones from it. I'm a bit iffy about the Nanomag. It sounds alright but I have to really come up on the volume when I'm using it by itself. I had the guitar setup professionally and I have no complaints. This guitar rocks. I love my Epi.! I've always wanted a Gibson Les Paul, but I'm now considering a Epi. 1959 reissue with BurstBuckers. Can't beat it for the money vs. a Gibson. [sad]

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I thought jimmy used a 500t/490r set up... listen man If you want a nice sound and dont want to spend another 2-300 bucks , then go on ebay and check out GIOVANNI ghc-2 pickups. they cost like 40 or 50 bucks and I guarantee they sound fantastic, they come in black and white zebra or just black and they are amazing for the price... I play through a full stack with them , no feedback cranked up ..no humming and will give you the burstbucker sound... And that price is for the pair plus the wiring directions .great deal!!!!!!!

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IMO If you're shooting for JP type tones any good quality vintage PAF-type output pickup will do. Look at offerings from Gibson and Seymour Duncan in the 7.5-8.5 KO range. The rest is up to you and a good amp.

Besides the original pickups he made use of Gibson T-tops and a custommade Seymour Duncan which is rumoured to be a Alnico 3 loaded SH1 '59 model.

Regarding the pickup switcheroo I'm inclined to agree JP hardly used any. The JP wiring confusion stems from the fact Gibson cloned his number 2 LP which had multiple switching options. His number 1 LP never had any switching going on during it's LZ days. Alltho I believe at a later date a Push/Pull pot was installed at the bridge-tone position for Peter Green "phaseswitch" type tones.

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