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Stock Dot pickups finally have to go...


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I have had Vintage 59s in my Dot Deluxe for a couple of years. They are certainly better than the stock pickups but I am now considering replacing them. I have been looking through websites for used 57s. The problem I have is that all the hardwear is gold (I have a gold Bigsby mounted to a vibramate) and it is hard to come by used 57s in gold. I recently bought a casino and really love the P-90s in it and am also thinking of throwing in a pair of mean 90s to see if I like it better. I'm concerned it will sound like my casino w/o the feedback but that might be a good thing. Oh, I also play through a hot rod deluxe. I also strongly recommend replaing the wiring, pots, switch, and caps. I had the mean 90s in my Les Paul and did not like them. I was using the stock wiring and after I replaced the mean 90s I also replaced the wiring in both the Dot and Les Paul. It does really make a difference and is the reason I am considering another run with the mean 90s.

 

 

I'm thinking now that maybe I should just look for used used 57's, as you are doing now. Might as well upgrade to great pickups rather than just a slight upgrade with the GFS...

 

Also, guess I'm learning that upgraded wiring makes a big difference as well...

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GFS are very popular pickups..........I'd put in Gibby 57s in that Dot.....( Around $100.00 each at AmplifiedParts )........

From past posts, you want to put 57 classic style pups in a 335 geetar. The closest gfs has would be the 59 humbuckers. I got a pair and put in an epi les paul and they sounded great. If you do no

It depends on how much you like your DOT. 57 Classics will transform it to a guitar that you will not soon relinquish. They are very much worth the investment.

+1. Used PU's online is the way to go; that's how I get most of mine. I have an assortment of PAF sets:

 

Duncan: Seth, Antiquity, PG, '59, A2P

Gibson: BB, '57, 490

DiMarzio: Virtual PAF

Fralin: PAF

 

To me, Duncan's are as good or better than anyone else's, and Seth's are their pinnacle. '59's are great too. I think the best Gibsons by far are BB's, especially the older unpotted ones. Gibson '57's in the neck slot can be dark and muffled in some guitars (not an uncommon complaint), I put a brighter magnet (A5) in mine.

 

 

Hmmm.. Man, my choices are getting harder and harder... Looks like it's gonna be a tough decision..

 

Thanks for all the candidates you listed here, Blueman!

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I'm thinking now that maybe I should just look for used used 57's, as you are doing now. Might as well upgrade to great pickups rather than just a slight upgrade with the GFS...

 

Also, guess I'm learning that upgraded wiring makes a big difference as well...

 

You can upgrade the wiring, pots, etc but don't expect to hear a big difference. All they do is let a signal pass thru them. The biggest impact by far, more than everything else put together, is to upgrade PU's. That's where to put your money.

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490r/490t and 490r/498t are just as good as 57 classics imho...

 

They are considerably cheaper also...

 

They're all high quality PU's, but I've changed the magents in all of those to get the tones I want. The 490R is wound a little hot for an A2 neck HB, which can make it dark and muffled in some guitars, a fact that is emphasized when it's paired with a 498T, which is a pretty bright bridge PU. I put A5's in my 490R's, and that shot of treble brings them to life. Much more clarity and definition.

 

In the bridge models, 490T and 498T, I put in UOA5 (unoriented A5) and A8 magnets, which dial down the treble and add mids, so they balance much better with a neck PU. The pairing of 498T/490R is a strange one; polar opposites EQ-wise, and it can be tough getting an amp EQ setting that'll work for both. But they're both well-made and readily available used (which tells you a number of players have issues with them). Swap magnets and you'll probably get better tones from them.

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Having tried the GFS 59's I honestly didn't find them to be any real improvement over the stock Epi pickups. The Mean 90's are a different kettle of fish though and partnered with a Classic 57 at the bridge really make the Dot sing.

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Duncan: Seth, Antiquity, PG, '59, A2P

Gibson: BB, '57, 490

DiMarzio: Virtual PAF

Fralin: PAF

 

 

Very Well said... I would like to add Lollar as well...

 

Just find whatever pickup among these choices for the best price... Because really they are all going to do the job well....

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I only paid $250 for this Dot brand new (Sam Ash Black Friday sale a couple years ago, and they let me use a coupon to boot), but it looks like I'm probably going to be putting more money in improvements in the guitar than I paid for it! ha

 

Nothing wrong with that, as long as you plan on keeping the guitar and playing it yourself rather than selling it. Say you spend $350 on upgrades to a $250 guitar. You might well then have a guitar which plays and sounds better than any other new or used guitar you could get for $600. Do be aware though, that should you ever decide to sell it, you'll be unlikely to get back the full cost of what you put into it. In that event, you might do better to put the old pickups and wiring back in and keep the new ones to put into another guitar later.

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You can upgrade the wiring, pots, etc but don't expect to hear a big difference. All they do is let a signal pass thru them. The biggest impact by far, more than everything else put together, is to upgrade PU's. That's where to put your money.

 

 

Kind of glad you guys don't think the wiring, pots, etc. is that big a deal because to be honest, I really didn't want to have to do that anyway. So the search for pickups only is on then. I am still thinking used 57's on the Bay might be my best bet..

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Having tried the GFS 59's I honestly didn't find them to be any real improvement over the stock Epi pickups. The Mean 90's are a different kettle of fish though and partnered with a Classic 57 at the bridge really make the Dot sing.

 

 

OK, good to know.

 

I am thinking eBay for used 57's or similar might be my best bet..

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Duncan: Seth, Antiquity, PG, '59, A2P

Gibson: BB, '57, 490

DiMarzio: Virtual PAF

Fralin: PAF

 

 

Very Well said... I would like to add Lollar as well...

 

Just find whatever pickup among these choices for the best price... Because really they are all going to do the job well....

 

 

Yeah, I think any of these mentioned will probably do the job.

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Nothing wrong with that, as long as you plan on keeping the guitar and playing it yourself rather than selling it. Say you spend $350 on upgrades to a $250 guitar. You might well then have a guitar which plays and sounds better than any other new or used guitar you could get for $600. Do be aware though, that should you ever decide to sell it, you'll be unlikely to get back the full cost of what you put into it. In that event, you might do better to put the old pickups and wiring back in and keep the new ones to put into another guitar later.

 

 

Good advice.

 

I plan on keeping this Dot, though, as I love pretty much everything about it. I usually don't like fat necks, and this one definitely has one. But for some reason the chunky neck on this Dot works for me, other than being a little sticky - I might take a Scotch-Brite pad to it soon..

 

I had the guitar set up with the action I like (low), plus I love the medium jumbo frets. (Although they feel more like vintage frets to me on this one..)

 

It's just those muddy pups that are starting to bug me... [cursing]

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Nothing wrong with that, as long as you plan on keeping the guitar and playing it yourself rather than selling it. Say you spend $350 on upgrades to a $250 guitar. You might well then have a guitar which plays and sounds better than any other new or used guitar you could get for $600. Do be aware though, that should you ever decide to sell it, you'll be unlikely to get back the full cost of what you put into it. In that event, you might do better to put the old pickups and wiring back in and keep the new ones to put into another guitar later.

 

+1. Definitely hang on to the old PU's so if it gets sold down the road (you never know) you can put them back in. I've gotten used guitars with hundreds of dollars of upgrades and paid no more than if the guitar was stock. Example: I bought a nice used limited edition Epi LP Std+ with a pair of Duncan '59's and a HCS...for $250. The previous owner had at least $750 in that guitar in parts alone, more if he paid someone to do the rewiring. You don't want to take a beating when you sell a guitar.

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+1. Definitely hang on to the old PU's so if it gets sold down the road (you never know) you can put them back in. I've gotten used guitars with hundreds of dollars of upgrades and paid no more than if the guitar was stock. Example: I bought a nice used limited edition Epi LP Std+ with a pair of Duncan '59's and a HCS...for $250. The previous owner had at least $750 in that guitar in parts alone, more if he paid someone to do the rewiring. You don't want to take a beating when you sell a guitar.

 

 

Yep, good advice, Blueman.

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...other than being a little sticky - I might take a Scotch-Brite pad to it soon....

Short change of subject but, since you mentioned it.

Have you ever done that to a guitar before?

If not, what kind of Scotch-Brite are you planning on using? I presume they come in different grades.

 

If you have, how did it turn out? Same question about pads.

 

The reason I'm asking is because I have a project going on and would like to try it.

Any tips?

 

Willy

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I recently used a Scotchbrite pad to fix a rather unpleasantly sticky neck on a bass guitar I bought.

 

I just grabbed a pack of 3 green ones from my local supermarket (they had 2 options - standard or non abrasive and I figured that non abrasive would defeat the object).

 

I simply worked it up and down the length of the neck until it felt nice and satiny smooth, wiped it down with a clean cloth, played it for a bit, then repeated the process until it felt just right.

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Short change of subject but, since you mentioned it.

Have you ever done that to a guitar before?

If not, what kind of Scotch-Brite are you planning on using? I presume they come in different grades.

 

If you have, how did it turn out? Same question about pads.

 

The reason I'm asking is because I have a project going on and would like to try it.

Any tips?

 

Willy

 

 

No, I haven't tried using the Scotch-Brite pad yet. I thought I might try it on my Dot neck soon, though.

 

 

When I do (which will probably be pretty soon), I'll let you know how it turned out, but lots of players seem to have good results on sticky poly necks with the Scotch-Brite pads, I'm hearing.. Not sure about the grade to use, though - Anybody know?

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I recently used a Scotchbrite pad to fix a rather unpleasantly sticky neck on a bass guitar I bought.

 

I just grabbed a pack of 3 green ones from my local supermarket (they had 2 options - standard or non abrasive and I figured that non abrasive would defeat the object).

 

I simply worked it up and down the length of the neck until it felt nice and satiny smooth, wiped it down with a clean cloth, played it for a bit, then repeated the process until it felt just right.

 

 

OK, I will try this - sounds simple enough..

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