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Replacing bridge Burstbucker Pro with Vintage 59 or Pearly Gates

tommersjay

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Jun 11, 2015
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134
I currently have a 57 classic in the neck position and burstbucker pro in the bridge. I love the 57 classic but the burstbucker sounds way too thin for me. I currently have the Jimmy Page wiring w/ 4 push/pull pots. I want to replace the burstbucker possibly with either an SD Vintage 59 or an SD Pearly Gates. I have tried the 59's and like them a lot but I have never tried the Pearly Gates. Anyone have experience with these two or know of another pick up I should be considering? I want something thick and that can handle high gains without sounding like heavy metal.
 

slammintone

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Jul 19, 2001
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1,954
The SD '59s I bought 25 yrs ago sounded great for hard rock! You could get a nice thumping EVH tone out of them I thought. Later versions I tried that came with metal covers didn't have the same sound and even later they didn't really even look the same so now IDK. If you could find some made in the 1980s I could see snapping those up.
 

tommersjay

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Jun 11, 2015
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The SD '59s I bought 25 yrs ago sounded great for hard rock! You could get a nice thumping EVH tone out of them I thought. Later versions I tried that came with metal covers didn't have the same sound and even later they didn't really even look the same so now IDK. If you could find some made in the 1980s I could see snapping those up.

I think I want to stick with something new.
 

duaneflowers

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Aug 13, 2013
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2,522
You might want to take a look at a Bare Knuckle Riff Raff Pickup for the bridge... combined with a Bare Knuckle Mule in the neck (which would compare quite favorably to your 57 Classic) this is the preferred Jimmy Page set in a lot of Les Pauls... if that is what you are after.
 

CoyotesGator

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Jul 9, 2012
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710
I have no experience with the burstbucker.

I have liked my 57 classics, mostly in the bridge.

I bought a set of SD 59's in early '95 that are great in any guitar I put them in.

Used pickups are relatively inexpensive, buy a few of each and try.
 

CoyotesGator

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Jul 9, 2012
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710
Presently using Wagner Fillmores.

Very happy.

Still warm and clean up nicely but do the hard rock thing to the T.
 

tommersjay

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Jun 11, 2015
Messages
134
I have no experience with the burstbucker.

I have liked my 57 classics, mostly in the bridge.

I bought a set of SD 59's in early '95 that are great in any guitar I put them in.

Used pickups are relatively inexpensive, buy a few of each and try.

How hot are the 59's you have compared to the 57 classic? I was also thinking about just going with a 57 classic + in the bridge but I want something with a THICK sound. Right now it almost sounds like I am switching to a single coil pickup when I move the toggle switch to the bridge. I LOVE the tone in my 57 classic in the neck and I want some aggression to match in the bridge as well. Im a bit surprised that my 57 classic is so much more beastly than the burstbucker pro.
 

grimlyflick

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Oct 27, 2005
Messages
1,251
I have one LP with Pearlys and one with 57's and I can't imagine the Pearly being a particularly good match as the LP with 57's sounds fatter, not to say the Pearly's sound weak, just very different tonally.

Years ago I had a 2006 LP Standard with BB's and that was a rather "murky" sounding guitar compared to the LP that now has Pearlys, so I would imagine if you're finding the BB thin compared to the 57' a Pearly isn't going to give you much joy.
:salude
 

spidey

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Nov 21, 2003
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3,252
I didn't like the Burstbucker Pros in my 2003 std when I bought it new. I tried the Pearly Gates but unfortunately they were way too bright for that guitar. More specifically, the bridge was too bright. I swapped these for WCR Crossroads pups and they have been there ever since.

I posted my Pearly Gates findings online and various people replied that this pup really suit a darker sounding guitar.
 

mikey_guit

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Dec 27, 2003
Messages
1,009
I've just swapped the PG pickups in my R9 in favor of a vintage '59 in the bridge and a Custom Bucker in the neck. I was never pleased with the PG, rather bright and harsh - however they were recent models. The '59 screams.

If I were you I'd probably just go for a 57(+), lovely pickup. If you do venture into boutique territory, be prepared for a long and expensive journey. FWIW, I also own a Bareknuckle Rebel Yell equipped guitar, and while it's an excellent pickup, I wouldn't necessarily rate it any better than e.g. the '59.
 

tommersjay

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Jun 11, 2015
Messages
134
Thanks for all the responses, they helped out a lot. I actually think the 57 classic + will be the best option. :dude:
 

slammintone

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Jul 19, 2001
Messages
1,954
Hey I got a new data point for you regarding the SD Pearly Gates. THEY SOUND FREAKIN' GREAT!! I just picked up a used R9 that had the original 57s in a box and had WB pickups installed. Wasn't wild about them and was going to reinstall the original 57 classics (the R9 is from 2001 so no burstbuckers yet) but the factory covers on the Gibson pickups look like they were dinged in multiple places by who know's what, maybe a dental probe?? Anyhow the guitar is too nice looking for that so until I get some better covers I was given a new set of Pearly Gates with nickle covers as a swap for the WBs. Just got done being blown away by them, these are without a doubt the best PAF type set from Seymour Ive ever used. The neck pickup is very woody and clear with no mud, just a strong muscular vintage sound. The bridge pickup does indeed sound like ZZ Tops Tres Hombres or their First Album. Nice thick crunch with a touch of brightness on the very top that gives it a nice edgy glassy character. I may never take these bad boys out cause they sound like they were made for this axe! The guitar does have the factory wiring harness with 300K Linear Taper volume pots and 500K audio taper tone pot's that say Gibson on the back. It also has what I believe are factory for 2001 Sprague Orange Drop .022 caps. YMMV but I'm extremely happy with this set. Kind of sounds like my Custom Buckers in my 2014 R8 but with a bit more attitude. Just as clear and oh yeah, the middle position tone is great here too. Very sweet and chirpy. Good luck either way.
 

Texas Blues

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Joined
Apr 13, 2008
Messages
4,641
Hey I got a new data point for you regarding the SD Pearly Gates. THEY SOUND FREAKIN' GREAT!! I just picked up a used R9 that had the original 57s in a box and had WB pickups installed. Wasn't wild about them and was going to reinstall the original 57 classics (the R9 is from 2001 so no burstbuckers yet) but the factory covers on the Gibson pickups look like they were dinged in multiple places by who know's what, maybe a dental probe?? Anyhow the guitar is too nice looking for that so until I get some better covers I was given a new set of Pearly Gates with nickle covers as a swap for the WBs. Just got done being blown away by them, these are without a doubt the best PAF type set from Seymour Ive ever used. The neck pickup is very woody and clear with no mud, just a strong muscular vintage sound. The bridge pickup does indeed sound like ZZ Tops Tres Hombres or their First Album. Nice thick crunch with a touch of brightness on the very top that gives it a nice edgy glassy character. I may never take these bad boys out cause they sound like they were made for this axe! The guitar does have the factory wiring harness with 300K Linear Taper volume pots and 500K audio taper tone pot's that say Gibson on the back. It also has what I believe are factory for 2001 Sprague Orange Drop .022 caps. YMMV but I'm extremely happy with this set. Kind of sounds like my Custom Buckers in my 2014 R8 but with a bit more attitude. Just as clear and oh yeah, the middle position tone is great here too. Very sweet and chirpy. Good luck either way.

Sometimes the primordial ooze comes together to poop out a goodern'.

Your experience is applause worthy.

Myself, I've found that pup's and pots matter less than the amplificador and speakers.
 

slammintone

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Jul 19, 2001
Messages
1,954
Sometimes the primordial ooze comes together to poop out a goodern'.

Your experience is applause worthy.

Myself, I've found that pup's and pots matter less than the amplificador and speakers.

Well, when you're comparing brakes and wheels etc., those have a minimal impact compared to trucks and sportcars. Staying on track with just the brakes and wheels, it's all about degrees of performance.:hmm:2cool

Seriously, I think the better PAF types or at least the ones I have had the best luck with are the ones that impose a "tone" the least and let the instrument speak in it's true voice. Among SDs I've found the worst offender to be the Joe Bonamassa Signature set. Prior to a magnet swap the Slash Alnico Pro II Sig set was ho hum and kind of glazed over. I liked Gibsons BBs and 490 series pickups much better. The Pearly Gate's seem very accomodating and fun to play to my old ears.
 
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