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  #1  
Old 12.07.09, 10:57 PM
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How to tell if Burstbuckers are real?

This came off the end of my last thread about the "Good Les Paul Copy" but I realized it was getting no attention and this may be helpful to some other users as well to have its own dedicated thread. I'm looking at a set of used Burstbucker pro pickups to replace my Epi pickups with. Question is: How do I know they are real burstbuckers and I'm not getting just another cheap Epi set before I buy them? Thanks!
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Old 12.08.09, 2:17 AM
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I took a burstbucker pro out of my guitar on the weekend - on the back of the pickup it has 2 stickers. first one is the "patent applied for" (looks like this http://www.gibson.com/Files/aaFeatur.../gibsonpaf.jpg) - infact that's pretty much exactly what mine looks like except it also has a small white sticker that has:

#1 AL 5
Wound By
PS

Burstbucker pros are also wax potted so check for that too.

Edit - just read your original post "muddy and undefined sound" that actually how i'd describe the Burstbucker pro, they do have a bit of bite to them but they are a very dark sounding pickup - if you haven't played them i suggest you find a current model Les Paul standard and see if you like them, you may spend a whole bunch of cash and wind up in the same situation you are in now. If your trying to un-mud your sound i'd try out the Gibson '57 classics.

Last edited by Maestr0; 12.08.09 at 2:28 AM.
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Old 12.08.09, 8:38 AM
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Hmm.. the reviews of the '57's are all good. The price is just about double what I was planning on spending for the Burstbuckers. (found a set for $110). I'll have to keep a close watch on ebay. Any other PU suggestions?
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Old 12.08.09, 12:22 PM
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Check out the "My favorite Power Humbucker thread." be sure to bring some popcorn and take notes, there's alot of info in that thread.

I have burstbuckers on my Gibson and think they're wonderful. Muddy, perhaps. I set my EQ to have a bit of a mid scoop in it though and have no problems with the sound, and I think the 'muddiness' in the rythm pickup is a real plus for clean playing, I still roll the tone down always because otherwise it feels like having my head punched.

When I was playing through bunches of guitars in Guitar Center I played a goodly number of Epiphones though, and my guitar blew them out of the water in clarity and overall sound quality.
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Old 12.09.09, 8:13 PM
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i might just be used to single coils, but i often find humbuckers to be pretty fat, in a muddy sense. well, i suppose most people will confirm that. its just that they put out more output (i think that was a slightly redundant statement but i'll leave it worded as is ).

a rule of thumb i've been following is output = mids = less clarity. the stronger your magnetic pull, the more the notes will kinda blurr together. sometimes lowering pickup height helps, but if your pickups are snot kickers, that's not gonna do much.

so im thinking you might like a low output HB, since you stress clarity. look for Alnico 2 magnets. i currently use GFS Alnico II on my LP. they have about 7.8k resistance, give or take, which is pretty low for a humbucker. i have to admit though that even those can be a bit midsy, and its hard to use the neck or middle pos. in a band setting. i often have to resort to the bridge so i can stand out in a mix. the middle and neck positions are great if i have to/can afford to lose the presence, such as when playing lighter jazz or something. in other words, these are the "coffeehouse positions"

scooping the mids is a good idea, with any HB, as someone mentioned. it will clear it up a bit, because you're essentially "trimming the fat" from those buckers. you'll get a leaner, clearer tone. its because mids are the voice of the guitar, and HB's have this in excess. cut the mids, and you'll cut the output down. i sometimes do this so i dont overwhelm my amp input stage, not to mention cutting some fat.
sometimes the EQ mid cut idea sucks, to say the least, because you can lose that creamy sustain that these pickups are known for, if that's something you like. plus, if you overdo the cutting, you will be lost in the band mix, even when you're on the bridge, and the amp is cranked.

this is why i like having a strat to turn to, lol. easier to use oftentimes.
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Old 12.10.09, 12:22 AM
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I hear ya on the strat. Its my main guitar and I absolutely love it, but every now and then I just need the thickness and growl that a good humbucker can offer- I just hate the sound of the ones I have now. Also, I'm wanting to learn more about fixing up my own gear so this Epiphone seems a good place to start. I've been looking at the pearly gates and also the seymore duncan distortions. The SD's seem like they may be a little harsher than what I'm looking for. The pearly gates seem like they're close to what I'm wanting but just a little out of my price range. The search continues....
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Old 12.10.09, 11:45 AM
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i hear ya, im the same way. i almost always use the strat, but i love having an LP in my belt. HB's definitely have their time and place. i often find myself using them to get that low end growl when i'm playing lead as you say. it sounds really cool when you dig into the bottom 2 wound strings.
i also like the sound and character of HB's, equally as much as what single coils offer. sometimes i need to hear that clean cut compression of an overdriven HB tone.

anywho, i meant to give mention to different magnet types. in fact sometimes i get confused by this... but i know that stronger magnets will give you better articulation and focus. you get more power and punch from Alnico V and ceramic. i think the problem arises when you play chords, and suddenly everything turns to mud. this is where Alnico II shines.

those GFS pickups are dirt cheap. they have several nice humbucker models, and they go for about $30-40 a-piece. doesn't get better than that. despite the price, everyone will tell you that GFS pickups sound great. can't go wrong with those guys. their Alnico II and Vintage '59 alnico V models are pretty popular. you can find some youtube videos of people using them.

go for whatever you desire. thats just my feedback.
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