Guys, we've spent considerable money converting the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and we have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!
I believe you can go to the duncan website and look at the tone chart and see specs, DC resistance, tonality, etc. You'll probably find 59's to be in the same range as other PAF-type pickups. The true test is to use your ears to judge for yourself.
FWIW, my Hamer Korina Vector (flying V) came with a set of them. I'd never used them before but have had several sets of Seth Lovers, Antiquities, and even some custom Jimmy Page winds from Mariel (sp?). The 59's seemed fairly lifeless to me in the V so I stuck in some of my standard fill ins, Holmes 450/455's. Totally woke this axe up and will never come out (until and if I ever sell it). Just my experience but I know lots like the 59's. They did seem to be a fairly low output pickup but I just couldn't form a decent judgement about them in this guitar. So what I'm asking/saying, is what do you plan to put them in? Something with heft like a LP or something light like a SG or V? Might make a significant difference in your final result.
I used to think, as with many, that 59s were lifeless also. Someone turned me on to a place that sells unpotted and covered 59s at pretty much the same price as standard potted pickups and I gave them a try in my SG: WOW! I know many debate the value of potting, whether or not it affects tone etc. and all I can say is that there is a world of difference. Completely different pickup. I am firmly of the belief that a lot of tone, harmonics and sound that are considered desirable in a paf or patent type pickup are dependent upon an unpotted cover. I think this why most comparisons of 59s to other "better" Duncan pickups - Seths or Antiquities - usually come down pretty harshly on the 59s.