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Patent # T-Tops

Sol

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Oct 26, 2001
Messages
498
If I had to guess it's a more affordable choice than Vintage PAF's and Patent Sticker pickups ?

I also think there's a renewed appreciation of '70s guitar rock tones and the significance that t tops played in the whole thing.

Alex Lifeson' s ES345, and double neck 6/12 SG. Angus Young's SG'S. Mick Ronsons Les Paul Custom. Steve Jones (sex pistols) L P Custom. Judas Priest Flying V. Gibson double neck 6/12 SG used by Eagles guitarist, and by Jimmy Page in addition to t top in the bridge of #1Les Paul. Ram Jam (Black Betty). Golden earing (radar love) Robbie Krieger SG (The Doors) Eric Clapton 'Fool' SG, and.. Jimi Hendrix Flying V..

I'm sure there are many more examples of Gibson guitars making history in rock n roll equipped with T Top humbuckers, but just coming up with this list has freaked me out a little at just how many examples there are..
So who've I missed here??
 

Wilko

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I also think there's a renewed appreciation of '70s guitar rock tones and the significance that t tops played in the whole thing.

Alex Lifeson' s ES345, and double neck 6/12 SG. Angus Young's SG'S. Mick Ronsons Les Paul Custom. Steve Jones (sex pistols) L P Custom. Judas Priest Flying V. Gibson double neck 6/12 SG used by Eagles guitarist, and by Jimmy Page in addition to t top in the bridge of #1Les Paul. Ram Jam (Black Betty). Golden earing (radar love) Robbie Krieger SG (The Doors) Eric Clapton 'Fool' SG, and.. Jimi Hendrix Flying V..

I'm sure there are many more examples of Gibson guitars making history in rock n roll equipped with T Top humbuckers, but just coming up with this list has freaked me out a little at just how many examples there are..
So who've I missed here??

Many of those are possibly pre-T or pat sticker T-Tops. some might be stamped base. Maybe no real difference...
 

Sol

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Oct 26, 2001
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Wilko, I wouldn't argue with your observation. I was basing the post on a wide time frame of approx mid 60s to mid 70s, nothing too specific, with the aim of conveying my enthusiasm for T Tops.
 

Wilko

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Wilko, I wouldn't argue with your observation. I was basing the post on a wide time frame of approx mid 60s to mid 70s, nothing too specific, with the aim of conveying my enthusiasm for T Tops.


Me too! love 'em!
 

Classicplayer

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Feb 6, 2002
Messages
213
I have played around with the notion that perhaps a T-Top or a repro from today might replace my Burstbucker II in my Les Paarl Trad. So for anyone who may have actually done just that, what were your observations as to your result? For anyone familiar with both of those pickups, how to they differ and how alike might they be. I'd like to keep the Trad's BB I
as I have no issues with its tone.

Classicplayer
 

metropolis

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Sep 14, 2018
Messages
227
I have played around with the notion that perhaps a T-Top or a repro from today might replace my Burstbucker II in my Les Paarl Trad. So for anyone who may have actually done just that, what were your observations as to your result? For anyone familiar with both of those pickups, how to they differ and how alike might they be. I'd like to keep the Trad's BB I
as I have no issues with its tone.

Classicplayer

I have a Brandonwound T-Top replica on the way for my LP Custom. Once it's here I'll let you know how it compares to the BBs I have in another guitar (and both Lollar and Monty's PAF replicas in others).
 

Classicplayer

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Feb 6, 2002
Messages
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I have a Brandonwound T-Top replica on the way for my LP Custom. Once it's here I'll let you know how it compares to the BBs I have in another guitar (and both Lollar and Monty's PAF replicas in others).


By all means, please do! Thanks.

Classicplayer
 

Sol

Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2001
Messages
498
I have played around with the notion that perhaps a T-Top or a repro from today might replace my Burstbucker II in my Les Paarl Trad. So for anyone who may have actually done just that, what were your observations as to your result? For anyone familiar with both of those pickups, how to they differ and how alike might they be. I'd like to keep the Trad's BB I
as I have no issues with its tone.

Classicplayer

I very nearly sold the original pups in my '92 LP Standard. So glad I didn't as I've helped preserve both the integrity and value of my Lester..keep your pups forum bro!

Ive found that t top magnets tend to be highly charged. It won't hurt your investigation to have a verity of alnico magnets to compare the original with, as you may find something that works just for you.
 

metropolis

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Sep 14, 2018
Messages
227
By all means, please do! Thanks.

Classicplayer

Hey, I've got it installed but I think initial impressions are a little skewed by the guitar's natural tone as most of what I'm going to describe are true to the guitar acoustically vs. my others.

The most notable thing is the output is way lower if you have them at the same height. Now I effectively have two T-Tops I'm going to have to crank the bridge up higher to compensate and I think that would be accentuated if your neck pickup is higher output.

Tonally as I said some of this must be the guitar but it's more mid focused with less pronounced highs and to some degree lows too. The neck one sounds fatter with less highs but the bridge is lacking a little in bass too.

I'm not sure I prefer it to the Monty's PAFs which are my favourites because they're a bit sweeter sounding and brighter but we'll see when I've adjusted the heights a bit more.
 

Classicplayer

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Thanks for the initial critique. I’d like to hear your follow up comments when done adjusting them.

Classicplayer
 

Aceman

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Feb 2, 2008
Messages
49
I have never understood the T-Top love. I have two honest to goodness 70's LP's. Only remaining T-Top is in the neck of my #1. I never play the neck pickup.

Now don't get me wrong, that thing can out Slash Slash himself....but honestly, no love for them.
 

Classicplayer

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Feb 6, 2002
Messages
213
I have never understood the T-Top love. I have two honest to goodness 70's LP's. Only remaining T-Top is in the neck of my #1. I never play the neck pickup.

Now don't get me wrong, that thing can out Slash Slash himself....but honestly, no love for them.


You're not the only one. Then, I've never understood any love/hate relationship with any pickups. To me, the pickup only transmits what the rest of the instrument produces and despite different pickup variations in their construction, it's up to the player and their imagination to produce music and even better, something memorable. Many guitar heroes past and present played astonishing tones; producing astonishing music with equipment that was both affordable and accessible to the body of guitar players, as a whole.

Classicplayer
 

Aceman

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Feb 2, 2008
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There is a reason replacement pickups boomed in the 70's. T-Tops is one of them.
 

Wilko

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Amps were different in the 70s. These days with amps being built to give up the goods earlier, the T-Top sounds great, glassy, and clear.
 

Triplet

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Mar 13, 2006
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1,575
There is a reason replacement pickups boomed in the 70's. T-Tops is one of them.

That's only because the herd wanted that compressed-high-mid-rangy-twaddle like the guy in your avatar played. IMO :spabout
 

Sol

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Oct 26, 2001
Messages
498
There is a reason replacement pickups boomed in the 70's. T-Tops is one of them.

And the DiMarzio Super Distortion answered the call. In a world before master volume and the cascading gain stage courtesy of Mesa Boogie this pickup was the answer to many a guitar players prayers, but as I said many yrs ago on Harmony Central, that the amps of today with their master volume cascading gain stages can make the humble Telecaster sound like a monster. John 5, of Marilyn Manson is testament to that..

It should come as no surprise that the humble Gibson T Top has been embraced by a new generation of guitar players, not to mention the fossils like myself that never lost the faith in the first place.. And BTW I'm not alone in my abiding appreciation of this magnificent humbucker..
 

jrgtr42

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Mar 24, 2005
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1,888
My 1980 SG came with T-tops. Honestly, |I wasn't really a fan once I really started to hear other pickups.
|I swapped them out for a Duncan Alnico 2 and a Pearly Gates neck. Much better for what |I do and like to hear.
Pretty sure I still have the old ones sitting in my bucket o' parts.

I just looked T-tops up on Fleabay - wow, what they're going for these days.
Maybe I need to dig them out and see what they'll bring.


How do you check the resistance on them? I know a multimeter, but what should it be set on, and I presume hot lead to one side and ground to the other?
 

TM1

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Jun 27, 2003
Messages
7,988
I have around 6 or 7 T-Tops from ‘65-’71! I’ve found the key to them is to replace the magnets with Throbak A-4’s. That, to my ears really sweetens them up. I was told by a reknown pickup maker that the stock magnets in T-Tops were A-2’ & A-5’s and that they were either too strong or too weak, so I just put my fave A-4’s in them and love the way they sound now.. my only problem is that I don’t have enough humbuckered guitars to use them all in...😱🎶
 
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