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what was Gibson thinking when they designed the Burstbuckers ?

stumphead

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Dec 12, 2018
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169
after having a Historics with both Lollars and Custombuckers I wonder how Gibosn let the Burst Buckers pass thru to production - to my ears they sound really bad .... with both the un waxed low wind Lollar Imerials and the stock Custom buckers blowing them out of the water

what were they thinking ?
 

Amp360

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Feb 16, 2012
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226
I have an old Custom with Thro-Baks and a reissue with Burstbuckers. I put Thro-Baks in it and put the Burst Buckers back in. The Custom I bought for $1800 IIRC and it had the TBs in it.

Whatever works for you. I don't play with any distortion usually. Not sure if that matters.
 

CK6

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Feb 5, 2020
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146
i love the Burstbuckers! I had ThroBak, Custombucker & Wolfetone pickups in my 2001 Standard but the BB3 & BB2 sounded best. I actually bought a set on Reverb last week for my Les Paul Custom.

Burstbuckers have A2 magnets and Custombuckers A3 from what I understand. Different voicing and sound..
 

goldtop0

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Aug 19, 2003
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Burstbuckers didn't do it for me in my '03 R0...... so I tried '61 PAFs, T-Tops and Timbuckers...........the T-Tops and Tims were the best fit, the BBs were just too thin and raspy...............Custombuckers I've had in several Historics since '13 and I love'em..........best production pups since the '60s T-Tops imo.
I think the '57 Classics are a better sounding pup as were the Shaws in the '80s.
Maybe it was an evolutionary thing with the BBs(2 steps forward one step back, after the '60s) and then came the CBs.........thank goodness for that (y)
However, pups have got to suit the guitar, but you don't see or hear people talking about BBs being a great pickup..........that just hasn't happened........not on this forum or anywhere else. I think they helped the boutique pickup market for sure.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
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227
What did your Burstbuckers come out of?
The ones made in the Custom Shop are not the same as the ones made by Gibson USA. Same goes for the other pickups that went from CS to production.
Also depends what you expect a Les Paul to sound like.
 
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CK6

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Feb 5, 2020
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146
so you think they got it right from the "get-go" ?
I think so, it just depends on the guitar that they’re in. Installing pots with the correct values goes a long way in making them sound good too.

Mine were in a 2002 standard but I have some from a 2006 R9 (that got stolen, but I still have the pickups) and they sounded completely different. Sometimes I used to find them shrill or ice-pick sounding, so I switched from D’addario to GHS strings and problem solved.
 

stumphead

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Dec 12, 2018
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169
Both the OP and myself have Historic LPs.
I swapped them out of both 2003 and 2007 historic goldtops
the two main things I noticed when the Lollar non wax potted low wind imperials went in :

1) the treble was no longer strident , brittle and ice picky
2) you could hear the woody undertone harmonics

now a 2013 with custom buckers I had for a while displayed the same type sound and on that guitar I would have never done a pup swap

"what was Gibson thinking"​

 

gibsonjunkie

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Sep 2, 2003
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Could explain why my Gary Moore LP (the original with Burstbuckers) never sounded quite right. I thought it was me...
 

stumphead

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Dec 12, 2018
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no it was the burstbuckers ...

" I dont need no burstbuckers ,,,,,, no no ........ give me them custombuckers ...... ohhhh yea "
 

CK6

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Feb 5, 2020
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146
Could explain why my Gary Moore LP (the original with Burstbuckers) never sounded quite right. I thought it was me...
The one without binding? I tried one that sounded great..! I think it comes down to the signal chain, pots and strings.
 

Amp360

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Feb 16, 2012
Messages
226
Also make sure you try raising/lowering your pickups and adjusting the poles and your amp's knobs before you change them. I'm shocked by how many people buy a guitar and have new pickups ready for it before it arrives.
 

gibsonjunkie

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Sep 2, 2003
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Also make sure you try raising/lowering your pickups and adjusting the poles and your amp's knobs before you change them. I'm shocked by how many people buy a guitar and have new pickups ready for it before it arrives.
I only did that once. I got a deal on a set of Fender '69 Custom Shop pickups and didn't even own a strat. Shopped around until I found a really nice MIM strat and a buddy built me built a whole new pickguard with all new electronics to swap out. I is amazing!
 

stumphead

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Dec 12, 2018
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169
its not like back in the mid 2000s anyone who swapped Lollars for the Burstbuckers was disappointed and switched back - on the other hand - they were saying "thank the God" that such a upgrade was available

here is some tasty Sax ..... just for Big Al ..... do you love it ???

 
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goldtop0

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Aug 19, 2003
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8,033
Back then it was de rigueur to change lots of things on your historic(early to mid 2000s). There were pups such as Wolfetone, Rolphs, Goodwoods, the aforementioned Timbuckers and SD Antiquites that were regularly talked about. Gibson even had PAF decals on their '57 Classics(the pre BB pups)to confuse things...........me anyway :LOL:
 
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