1. avatar Mr.Coneman
    Right. So the time has finally come to replace my pickups. I've been wanting to do this for years, but I'm only just coming into the money now. Well next month with my pay check. Should probably mention that I'd like my budget to stay below £400

    Anyway, I have an Epiphone Black Beauty Les Paul, which has 3 humbucker pickups if anyone didnt know. At the minute, obviously it's the standard pickup that comes with the guitar. Oh and the wiring is on the fritz at the moment too, the neck pickup cuts in and out, and sometimes just won't work, so replacing all the inside wiring aswell.

    So, here's where you can help. I don't know my pickup brands half as well as I know my guitar brands, but I'm leaning towards either Dimarzio, or Seymour Duncan, or possibly a mixture of the two, as alot of my favourite artists use these. However I have no idea what any of the pickup models are really like or named or anything. So help..

    For my bridge pickup, I want your everyday rock to metal distortion, favourite tones for this would include, Guns N Roses, Thin Lizzy, Randy Rhoads. Basically your classic overdriven Les Paul sound.

    Bridge: I know this sounds out, but for the bridge, I guess It'd be cool to have my cleans come from here, or strat-esque tones? Hendrixy/David Gilmoury. And I know they both used single coil strats...but somewhere in that tonal ballpark?

    Neck: Warm, warm, warm. Something deep that hugs your ears, just something that brings out the positions natural sound anyway then. Again sort of deep like Gary Moore's lead tones or something.

    Any reccomendations? And then I'll research further along.

    wanna mention that I don't want anything too high output, I'd like for all the pickups to clean up well by rolling the volume back.
  2. avatar Pablo33
    I'm a big fan of Bareknuckles -

    http://www.bareknucklepickups.co.uk

    There are soundclips of the range in the forums section. The boss Tim is very friendly - if you email him your requirements he will recommend the right pups. Bairds in Belfast stock them at a slightly cheaper price than buying online.
  3. avatar fletch_belfast
    I honestly wouldn't bother.

    With all the money I spent over the years, buying average guitars and trying to upgrade the pickups etc., and being disappointed (in one way or another) at the end of each project, I could have bought probably 2 second hand Gibson Les Pauls.

    I would save up another few pay-cheques (and sell the epihone) and get a proper Gibson off e-bay, you will thank yourself in the end. If I could turn the clock back that's what I'd do.
  4. avatar Cugel
    [quote:40f1ab7230="fletch_belfast"]I honestly wouldn't bother.

    ...

    I would save up another few pay-cheques (and sell the epihone) and get a proper Gibson off e-bay, you will thank yourself in the end. If I could turn the clock back that's what I'd do.[/quote:40f1ab7230]

    I would second that - unless the Epiphone is an amazing example of a Les Paul, I would go for a better guitar.

    As for the wiring issue - get yourself some switch cleaner and spray the selector switch - it may be all you need.

    John
  5. avatar Mr.Coneman
    I understand the reccomendation of selling the Epi. But that's not even close to an option. Not only is it a great guitar (and yeah, it's not a high end Gibsons equal, but it is a fantastic example of an Epiphone Les Paul), but I'm way to emotionally attatched to the thing. I'll never sell it, and even if I do upgrade guitars, it will always be played.

    A few people have said about bareknuckle aswell. I get the impression they kind of try to copy the other brands a little though. I mean calling a pickup the Emerald, and saying it sounds like Thin Lizzy? Why not just use what Thin Lizzy actually used...

    Thanks for the replies though, and I'm still open to all options (other than selling the Epi...)
  6. avatar Pablo33
    [quote:a0c4fe484a="Mr.Coneman"]

    A few people have said about bareknuckle aswell. I get the impression they kind of try to copy the other brands a little though. I mean calling a pickup the Emerald, and saying it sounds like Thin Lizzy? Why not just use what Thin Lizzy actually used...

    Thanks for the replies though, and I'm still open to all options (other than selling the Epi...)[/quote:a0c4fe484a]

    Did Thin Lizzy use Epiphones? ;)

    By that reasoning no-one should buy any other electric guitar apart from Fenders, even if the alternative fender copy sounds superior.

    From my own experience the bareknuckles sounded better than the equivalents in Seymour Duncan, but tone is, as they say, subjective, so just listen to as many as you can and let your ears decide!
  7. avatar Sadoldgit
    if you are going to upgrade a cheap guitar like an epi, best not to spend an utter fortune on pickups as you will never get it back.

    There has been discussion here before on the same subject and the conclusion was, when it came to a midrange guitar, rather than going for big name expensive pups, it is wiser to go for a decent budget make as they will blow the originals out of the water.

    I have done exactly what you are planning with both Kent Armstrongs and Toneriders, both of which are incredibly impressive pickups, so long as the tone woods are reasonable in the guitar [a bit like people, all guitars arent equal]

    You can get both makes for around 25 quid a pickup if you shop around.
    The Kent alnicos high outputs are inredibly rich and smooth and work well with solid body LP style guitars, the Toneriders are a more bluesy pickup but also great for rock.

    I would junk the pots and input as well , this all presuming you are keeping the guitar.
    You will never get your money back, so best to spend wisely and then save the rest towards upgrading the guitar in the future.
  8. avatar Mr.Coneman
    [quote:11a294ba77="Pablo33"]

    Did Thin Lizzy use Epiphones? ;)

    By that reasoning no-one should buy any other electric guitar apart from Fenders, even if the alternative fender copy sounds superior.

    From my own experience the bareknuckles sounded better than the equivalents in Seymour Duncan, but tone is, as they say, subjective, so just listen to as many as you can and let your ears decide![/quote:11a294ba77]
    I get what you're saying, I wasn't calling bareknuckle a rip off brand or anything, just that it seemed like a smarter idea to go with what these people actually have, rather than something emulating them. Good call on the Epiphone thing though.

    But I'll mention again, I'm upgrading this guitar, and that's that, no way am I selling it on. I will eventually buy a new guitar, for sure, but for now I'm upgrading this one. This obviously will sound like guitar bias, because it's my guitar, but it really is better than any other Epiphone I've played. In saying that I've played every other Epiphone Les Paul, but I've never had my hands on another Black Beauty, so maybe they're just better in general.

    With that post, and sadoldgit's post, I'm actually quite likely to consider bareknuckle a lot closer now though. I'm gunna check a bunch of soundclips and stuff...
  9. avatar Cugel
    [quote:b934b0d6f0="Mr.Coneman"]But I'll mention again, I'm upgrading this guitar, and that's that, no way am I selling it on. I will eventually buy a new guitar, for sure, but for now I'm upgrading this one. This obviously will sound like guitar bias, because it's my guitar, but it really is better than any other Epiphone I've played. In saying that I've played every other Epiphone Les Paul, but I've never had my hands on another Black Beauty, so maybe they're just better in general.[/quote:b934b0d6f0]

    This more or less answers my point. Most people upgrade a cheaper guitar because it isn't quite what they want or they aren't completely happy with it. If you want to change the sound, try new pickups - but remember pickups work with the basic original sound of the guitar so the change could be subtle.

    Going by your original post, take a look at the "Humbucker From Hell" from DiMarzio for the bridge and maybe something like the Air Classic or a Seymour Duncan Jazz for the neck.
  10. avatar Mr.Coneman
    Cool, man. Cheers for the reccomendations, that's what I was really looking for, actual models of the brands so I can do a bit of research on them, I'm not too great with that stuff.

    But yeah, I'm happy with the sound of my guitar - I really am, but I just know it'd put it that little extra over the top with some new pups.

    Maybe I'll get a seymour duncan, bareknuckle and a dimarzio :p
  11. avatar DontPetABurningDog
    [quote:fe26d6fd38="Sadoldgit"]if you are going to upgrade a cheap guitar like an epi, best not to spend an utter fortune on pickups as you will never get it back.[/quote:fe26d6fd38]

    Eh? Unless he keeps the original pickups and swaps them over before selling, and sells the upgrade pickups as well, which, to be honest, anyone with even a flicker of common sense would do.

    Anyway...

    I can and do recommend Bare Knuckle unreservedly. For that guitar, I'd consider a Cold Sweat set for neck and bridge, which would give an absolutely thundering rock tone, kinda like an old Gibson Dirty Fingers at the bridge, and a more flutey, balanced tone at the neck.

    For the middle, and for single-coily goodness, maybe a BK Mississippi Queen Humbucker sized P-90? It'd be nice for the output, should mix well with the other pups, too. BKP-90s sound fantastic to my ears.
  12. avatar Mr.Coneman
    Thanks man. Yeah, after checking out bareknuckles forums, and a few videos. I was heavily leaning towards the Cold Sweat at least for the bridge.

    Again thanks for the reccomendations, keep em comin
  13. avatar unplugged
    Go onto the tonerider site and listen to the generator and rocksong sets.
    the rocksong is a little less full on than the generators prob better for the lizzy sound but both are excellent.
    i own both sets and i tend to use the generators more as even though they are hot they clean up really warm when volume is backed off due to the well balanced alnico used for the magnets.
    the generators made my guitar sound to my ears like slashs guitar from appetite. the change for me wasnt subtle. the tokai pickups i had were like the epiphone you have. shite and microphonic cheap nonsense.

    From what you say id buy the generators. def.
    they offer a refund if not happy with sound. i would try these before going and spending a small fortune on bare knuckles. but thats jsut my call. i spent years paying £80-£130 for a seymour duncan humbucker and much older and wiser (and poorer) i def know these toneriders are best pickups i have ever played.

    i recommended these pickups to a guy on here last year and he thanked me reservedly after he bought them.
    they are better than any seymour or dimarzio pickup i have used myself anyway.

    And you can get a set of 2 for £60 on ebay for dangleberry music.
    When i had the generators in my tokai les paul it was a rock machine. it made a total tonal difference. and yes the pickups actually DO sound as good as the audio clips.

    the cutting out is most likely your switch either clean it or replace it. easy done.

    Dont get me wrong - bare knuckles are an excellent pickup indeed but quite expensive....
    I have a set of bareknuckle irish tour single coils in a strat i had bought with them in it. love them. but i had another 90s jap strat i decided to upgrade with tonerider classic blues pickups and dare i say it i think the tone is every bit as sweet.
    a real rory/SRV sound.

    good luck in whatever you decide everyone has big opinions on this and differing ones. but hope that helps.
  14. avatar citizen
    If you're intent on keeping the guitar I would also seriously consider WCR pickups. These are fantastic sounding pups - I have a Darkburst bridge pickup in my Edwards Les Paul guitar and it has great tone - it does not have 'ultra high output' so cleans up lovely from the volume pot too, like a vintage PAF should. They are slighly more expensive but imo well worth it. Jim Wagner actually personally replies to e-mail enquiries so drop him a line about your guitar & what tones you're after and he will recommend what would suit best.

    A cheaper option that I would also recommend is Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro as used by Slash - these have a sweet tone when cranked and also clean up nicely due to their moderate output. You'd have a better chance finding some of these on ebay or some of the other forums.
  15. avatar Mr.Coneman
    Thanks for sticking it out with me folks, I know I'm being a bit awkward.

    I have checked out every reccomendation (except that most recent post, I'll get on that...)

    I'm almost certain that I'm going to get the Bareknuckle Cold Sweat for the bridge now, so that's one down and two to go. So, do you guys think I should go for the set, and stick another Cold Sweat in the neck? I'm leaning away from that personally at the minute, because it just seems like more of a cutting bridge pickup to me, but I'm open to the idea.

    I was thinking of the SD alnico II for the neck so far personally, it does seem to be just what I'm looking for in that position.

    Jury's out on the middle still though, it's a hard one to choose for a Les Paul I think...
  16. avatar thecomeons_2
    if you have the money, get seymour duncans. if you don't, than get artec/gfs. most humbuckers, especially those from sd moreso, will let you wire coil-taps for single-coils.
  17. avatar Mr.Coneman
    Just bumping this to say thanks again to everyone. Went down to Bairds there today, and ordered in 3 Bareknuckles after extensive research.

    Cold Sweat in the bridge.
    Mississipi Queen P90 in the middle.
    Stormy Monday in the neck.

    Getting rewired and new tone pots too, really looking forward to the final product :)
  18. avatar dommccann
    just curious mate, but how much did they sting you?
  19. avatar Mr.Coneman
    They showed me £312 on the calculator for the pickups and installation. They said Tim at Bareknuckle might do me a better deal once they rang him because it's three seperate pickups going in the one guitar.

    Also, Bairds rang me today and they've changed the Stormy Monday to the Riff Raff on Tim's advice, because it's hot enough to keep up with the Cold Sweat and the Missisippi Queen, I was happy enough to agree.
  20. avatar DontPetABurningDog
    That sounds absolutely first rate, and if advice has come straight from Tim, it'll likely be pretty sound. So far as I know, BKP give a 30 day exchange on all pickups in any case.
  21. avatar Mr.Coneman
    Yeah, mate. I'm really pleased with the whole situation.

    Just to add as a footnote also: Bairds easily have the most knowledgeable and friendly staff of any music store I've visited - Belfast or otherwise.
  22. avatar Sadoldgit
    scary money.

    I gutted three guitars and replaced the electronics with decent gear for much less than that, but, its your money and if you are happy, go for it.

    http://www.allparts.uk.com/allparts-guitar-parts/electronics-c-277_1_81.html?p=shop
  23. avatar Mr.Coneman
    So everythings done, and I've had my new pickups for 3 days now.

    I have this to say of Bareknuckle: WOW. My guitar sounds absolutely first rate awesome now :D . All of the pickups sound fantastic, they're just so clear, I was expecting a big difference, and got a HUGE difference, I'm so pleased with the sounds I can achieve.

    mini reviews....

    Cold Sweat: Absolutely screams...beautifully. My more metal stuff has never sounded so clear, and the leads absolutely sing.
    Missisipi Queen: Sharp in the nicest way possible, I can get stratty tones out of this thing ! Real balls to the wall rock.
    Riff Raff: Total classic rock leads, this is absolutely the tone I've been after in the neck of my guitar since I started playing, it's just pure Slash/Page creamyness !

    My guitar is a demon !
    edit: Clips! but beware I have the worst recording methods ever ! http://www.soundclick.com/tehme . These do not do the pickups justice at all, bad recordings, but a general idea. All clips are either me playing bits of songs, or ideas I have for my own songs, and or just noodling.