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Humbucker Recommendations


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Could anyone recommend a set of humbuckers for a bright sounding guitar [Northern Ash Body]? I am looking for something with good punch and clarity. Somthing not too hot also, [no distortion ones].

I am currently looking at :

Gibson 57 classic and 57 classic plus

a set of Fralins

Rio Grande texas BBQ set

Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

Edited by jay66
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  • 1 month later...

Seymour Duncan 59/JB set is pretty much universally loved, especially for class rock and modern rock. However, the set will set you back about $200, but I would recommend it (I have a set of 59/JB 7's on my 7 String Ibanez, sounds great). You can get them covered in gold or nickel finishes, or uncovered (probably in black or zebra).

The modern Gibson pickups have gotten mixed reviews, and are REALLY expensive. I don't recommend the Gibson stuff (either the BurstBucker Pros or 490/500 or whatever), just because if you have the cash, buy the Seymour Duncan stuff.

For a cheaper alternative, check out the StewMac Golden Age Humbuckers, they are quite cheap ($40 uncovered, $50 covered, per PU) and have gotten decent reviews (better than the Gibson stuff). You can get them either normal or hot, with 8.5k or 12.1k impedance. The 8.5k is about standard for the Gibson and SD stuff, 12K is higher output. I'm buying myself a pair for my Les Paul this Christmas.

If you are more into metal, check out the EMG stuff. Stay away from the EMG Select pickups, utterly unremarkable and cheap. The EMG HZ pickups are passive, so no modifications are necessary to the electronics of your guitar. The EMG 81/85 are active, so you will have to change out most of the electronics of your guitar.

Also, a pickup I have personal metal experience with is the Seymour Duncan Dimebucker. This thing is amazing! I changed out a friend's cheap bridge pickup for a Dimebucker in his Les Paul, and plugged it in to my amp just to make sure it was wired up correctly. I put it down 3 hours later, reluctantly, and I'm not a metal guitarist, but this pickup SCREAMS. Its crazy expensive though.

Other pickup brands:

Dimarzio - I have never heard rave reviews about them, but Steve Vai likes them. My friend with Demarzio pickups in his Ibanez changed them out CRAZY fast for SDs, he couldn't stand em.

Mighty Mouse - Super cheap, and the reviews I have read haven't been great.

Pickups that come with cheap guitars (i.e. Epiphone, Warwick, etc) - Not usually very good.

eBay Pickups - I wish I knew. I've been tempted many a time by those $15 no-names that claim to be exact copies of EMG 85s, but you will probably get what you pay for.

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