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Les Paul pickups

ashley willis

Free Bird Player
  • Nov 11, 2019
    42
    263
    35
    Georgia, USA
    I have a 2018 Gibson Les Paul Standard that I changed the pickups to Fishman Fluence Modern after buying it. I’ve had them a while and it seems something is still missing from my tone and debating about going back to passives. I play mostly heavier rock/metal. Thoughts/experiences on certain pickups and brands would be appreciated.
     

    Ed Seith

    Supreme Galactic Overlord
    Staff member
    Legend
  • Nov 11, 2019
    2,282
    2,556
    50
    Marana, AZ USA
    35
    What's missing? What you seek may need to come from the amp if modern fluence aren't delivering.
     

    Jesse Salmons

    Garage band Groupie
    Nov 11, 2019
    426
    1,056
    22
    Indiana
    8
    I agree with ed^ Make sure what you’re looking for isnt in found in a pedal or amp or other piece of equipment! personally my main two guitars i record with (explorer and V) have Gibson burstbucker 1 and 2’s and burstbucker 2 and 3’s respectively and they are amazing for a thick, heavy heart pounding sound. My SG however has the zebra ‘61 humbuckers, which are modeled after the holy grail PAF pickups and are honestly the hottest pups i have in a guitar. Doesnt take much to make it scream! Gibson makes some good pickups sets for any sound, dont quite know how they’re priced though.
     

    ashley willis

    Free Bird Player
  • Nov 11, 2019
    42
    263
    35
    Georgia, USA
    What's missing? What you seek may need to come from the amp if modern fluence aren't delivering.
    I haven’t decided yet for sure if it’s a pickup difference or amp/effect difference. I would like to have a good higher end amp but don’t have good higher end amp money. Play through a Blackstar HT20 and a first generation Boss Katana 100 watt 1x12. It may be pedal/setting I need.
     

    Ed Seith

    Supreme Galactic Overlord
    Staff member
    Legend
  • Nov 11, 2019
    2,282
    2,556
    50
    Marana, AZ USA
    35
    Literally the Burstbuckers in my Les Paul and the Modern Fluence in my Kiesel are the only pickups I've never replaced in my entire playing existence.
     
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    Ethan Keeling

    Free Bird Player
    Nov 11, 2019
    272
    415
    18
    Aylesbury, England
    4
    I haven’t decided yet for sure if it’s a pickup difference or amp/effect difference. I would like to have a good higher end amp but don’t have good higher end amp money. Play through a Blackstar HT20 and a first generation Boss Katana 100 watt 1x12. It may be pedal/setting I need.
    you can buy some really good multi fx units for a good price (around 200-300 USD). Iv'e heard good things of boss and line 6. And you get a whole roster of pedals at the end of your fingertips! just depends on if you want digital or analogue.
     
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    ashley willis

    Free Bird Player
  • Nov 11, 2019
    42
    263
    35
    Georgia, USA
    Changed to Seymour Duncan Custom 5 bridge and 59 neck and it’s the tone I was missing! Sounds sooo much better! Also used Mojotone solderless vintage style wiring harness. This particular guitar sounds better with passives. I think some guitars are just better with certain electronics.
     

    Conor Mason

    Garage band Groupie
    Nov 11, 2019
    46
    109
    42
    Hermitage, Pennsylvania- USA
    30
    Hey! I played actives for years, especially live while I was touring back in the late 90's to early 00's. The Fishman series, to my ears sound much clearer and brighter to me, even compared to Duncan Blackouts and EMG's. I love actives and personally feel they have a place, but I have really gotten back to passives, for a warmer, more dynamic, organic, open tone. Seymour Duncan and DiMarzio have great offerings, and the service from Duncan is great. I use The Invader, JB and JB-7 string, Jazz and Jazz 7 string from Duncan. I have used the Dimarzio Crunch Lab and Blaze, and PAF 7 in the past, but they sounded slightly sterile to my ears at times. I used EMG's a lot. My favorites now are the 85x series pickups from them, but the classic 81, 60 and 85 are great all-around pickups and sound less sterile to my ears than the 57/66 set with the different preamp.

    If you want a more dynamic sound, passive is the way to go, in my experience. My favorite pickups are the Bare Knuckle Nailbomb Alnico 5 set and Holy Divers. The Nailbomb just rocks and if you need a tighter bass response, the ceramic magnet option for the bridge pickup is great. The Aftermath set is the closest to an active set beside the Black Hawk. Tim Mills is great and they have gone above and beyond for me here in the states, especially when my Bridge nailbomb had a crack in the coils. Hope that helps! I can get so many sounds from my BKPs, but Duncans are great as well. Les Pauls can be picky...some are darker sounding than others and can even be painfully bright. Feel free to reach out. Good luck!
     
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    ashley willis

    Free Bird Player
  • Nov 11, 2019
    42
    263
    35
    Georgia, USA
    Hey! I played actives for years, especially live while I was touring back in the late 90's to early 00's. The Fishman series, to my ears sound much clearer and brighter to me, even compared to Duncan Blackouts and EMG's. I love actives and personally feel they have a place, but I have really gotten back to passives, for a warmer, more dynamic, organic, open tone. Seymour Duncan and DiMarzio have great offerings, and the service from Duncan is great. I use The Invader, JB and JB-7 string, Jazz and Jazz 7 string from Duncan. I have used the Dimarzio Crunch Lab and Blaze, and PAF 7 in the past, but they sounded slightly sterile to my ears at times. I used EMG's a lot. My favorites now are the 85x series pickups from them, but the classic 81, 60 and 85 are great all-around pickups and sound less sterile to my ears than the 57/66 set with the different preamp.

    If you want a more dynamic sound, passive is the way to go, in my experience. My favorite pickups are the Bare Knuckle Nailbomb Alnico 5 set and Holy Divers. The Nailbomb just rocks and if you need a tighter bass response, the ceramic magnet option for the bridge pickup is great. The Aftermath set is the closest to an active set beside the Black Hawk. Tim Mills is great and they have gone above and beyond for me here in the states, especially when my Bridge nailbomb had a crack in the coils. Hope that helps! I can get so many sounds from my BKPs, but Duncans are great as well. Les Pauls can be picky...some are darker sounding than others and can even be painfully bright. Feel free to reach out. Good luck!

    My Les Paul sounds much better with passives than with actives. I went with Duncan Custom 5 bridge and 59 neck and its the sound that fits the guitar! I have EMGs in my schecter and love them too, but to me, each guitar has a “personality” and certain pickups sound better in them.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Conor Mason
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    Conor Mason

    Garage band Groupie
    Nov 11, 2019
    46
    109
    42
    Hermitage, Pennsylvania- USA
    30
    My Les Paul sounds much better with passives than with actives. I went with Duncan Custom 5 bridge and 59 neck and its the sound that fits the guitar! I have EMGs in my schecter and love them too, but to me, each guitar has a “personality” and certain pickups sound better in them.

    Awesome! I totally agree with you. Each of my guitars has it's own tone and personality. Glad you are happy with the pickups!
     
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