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Author Topic: Replacement Pickups for Gibson Sg Standard (Opinions and Suggestions Please!)  (Read 28568 times)

ztikmaen

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So you'd have the same problem with a topless Les Paul?

Exactly!  But on a typical  Les Paul the maple top adds some brightness and balances out the warmth and bassiness of the mahogany.   So Les Pauls seem to work great with just about any humbucker.

I've often wondered if Gibson worked that out right from the start, or whether the top was just there to look good!  If it was intentional, whoever came up with that idea was very clever.



Well that's interesting. No mention about the Black Dogs?

I think Black Dogs would generally come under the "avoid" category in SGs, because although there's not much output the pickup has quite a lot of bass/low mids.

I did have a Black Dog in the bridge position of a V, and it sounded fine actually, but (I've said this many times) a bit dark next to the Stormy Monday in the neck position.
Cool thanks Philly.
I'm just wondering as the SG is relatively cheaper and less used than a Les Paul and it's always been one of those guitars on my list. Never really seemed like a logical choice but now that I'm after a dual bucked axe...
Off Topic: I played a Blacktop Jaguar t the shop today, the finish and everything felt budget and yuck :/
« Last Edit: May 21, 2011, 09:51:05 PM by ztikmaen »
Guitars:
Warmoth Jazzmaster
Telecaster Standard
Ibanez RG370
Ibanez GSZ

Amp: Fender Hot Rod

Jonasan5150

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That's interesting...so even though I use a lower output humbucker it can still give an SG a full sound? I've always been drawn to high output pickups for some odd reason but I guess its because I'm a little scared that low output pickups won't give me a big sound as oppossed to high gain pickups but I am open to new things. Also, as i was going through the different pickups and their specs, I noticed that alot of the pickups that had huge amounts of bass which appealed to me because I'm looking for pickups to beef up my SG. With the vintage pickups, can it get a big crunchy sound and also go to metal?

You can definitely get a big sound from lower output pickups in an SG!  It's all about letting the amp do its share of the work!  I'll leave that for someone else to comment on since I don't gig or play at volume.....

When you talk about pickups with "huge amounts of bass", I'd bear those comments from Tim in mind.  The bottom end tends to get mushy/boomy (or "bloom" as Tim says), and once that's happening you can't do much to tighten it back up again.

First time I learned this was putting a DiMarzio Tone Zone in a Gordon-Smith GS2.  It sounded horrible, much worse than the stock pickups, and I couldn't understand why.  Then years later I put the same pickup in an SG and got exactly the same result.   But put a Tone Zone in a brighter/more neutral sounding guitar with a bolt-on neck and it's fine.

Thanks man, so which pickup would you prefer with the low output your talking about? I'm not sure which one would suit me or where to start haha...

Philly Q

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Thanks man, so which pickup would you prefer with the low output your talking about? I'm not sure which one would suit me or where to start haha...

I was really just talking in general terms about the "low/medium/high output pickups in an SG" concept, but....

For what it's worth, I think Riff Raff is a very good (if obvious) place to start.  Think AC/DC, naturally!  Both the neck and bridge models are pretty bright, get a calibrated set if that appeals to you (personally I like a warmer/softer sounding neck pickup so next time I get SG pickups I'll probably go with a Riff Raff bridge and Mule neck).

I'd also be interested to try calibrated Mules, but in that case I might go for an alnico V bridge and alnico IV neck.  gwEm on the forum has that set in a V:

http://bareknucklepickups.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=10437.msg132756#msg132756

Or for a really sweet, low-output vintage tone, Stormy Mondays.
BKPs I've Got:  RR, BKP-91, ITs, VHII, CS set, Emeralds
BKPs I Had:  RY+Abraxas, Crawlers, BD+SM

BigB

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The RiffRaff bridge is a great pup indeed, with a very nice crunch, but it might not be the best choice IMHO if you want to "beef up" your SG. At least it didn't work for me... Not that it sounded bad in any way, but I couldn't get the low-end growl I was looking for. This being said, it really nailed the "classic" SG crunch tones, so I bet I just have an acquired taste for hotter / warmer bridge pups. 
Have: Crawlers, BGF 50/52s, Mules, ABomb, RiffRaff
Had : Slowhands (n&m), Trilogy (b)

ztikmaen

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Oh ok, I think I get it. So in the video "Radiohead - House of Cards (live from the basement)" on YouTube, that tone would be achievable with that warmer setup? Because Ive always preferred natural warmth to toned down muffed-ness
Guitars:
Warmoth Jazzmaster
Telecaster Standard
Ibanez RG370
Ibanez GSZ

Amp: Fender Hot Rod

Jonasan5150

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I appreciate the Riff Raff suggestion but I'm not at all into the AC/DC tone for my SG :) what do you guys think of the Stormy Monday or Mule? For the Contemporary pickups I have my eyes set on the Nailbomb but I want to keep my options open as usual then narrow it down to which one i should choose. I really dig the tone of All Time Low (they used a gibson sg standard along with the SG-X which had 500t but i don't like ceramics) and Four Year Strong so a pickup that can help me achieve the huge crunch tone they achieved will be appreciated! :)

BigB

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I appreciate the Riff Raff suggestion but I'm not at all into the AC/DC tone for my SG :) what do you guys think of the Stormy Monday or Mule? For the Contemporary pickups I have my eyes set on the Nailbomb but I want to keep my options open as usual then narrow it down to which one i should choose. I really dig the tone of All Time Low (they used a gibson sg standard along with the SG-X which had 500t but i don't like ceramics) and Four Year Strong so a pickup that can help me achieve the huge crunch tone they achieved will be appreciated! :)

The Mule neck sounds pretty good in my own SG - possibly the best neck bucker I've ever played - but I can't tell about the Mule bridge, except it might possibly be sweeter than the RR. I've heard a couple clips of SM into a SG and they did sound good but in an even sweeter way. YMMV but I don't think they'd give you the "huge crunchy tone" you're after.

Now I don't have any experience with your amp nor any other modern hi-gain amp so I can't tell what would work fine with your rig.
Have: Crawlers, BGF 50/52s, Mules, ABomb, RiffRaff
Had : Slowhands (n&m), Trilogy (b)

Jonasan5150

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Thanks man. Do you think you can elaborate by what you mean by "sweeter"? I'm not quite sure what you mean by that lol.

ztikmaen

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Less raw, more refined, high end sparkling, juicy etc
Oh, can somebody please tell me what SG Thom Yorke is using in the YouTube Vid "House of Cards - Radiohead (Live at the Basement)"
How can I get that sound?
Guitars:
Warmoth Jazzmaster
Telecaster Standard
Ibanez RG370
Ibanez GSZ

Amp: Fender Hot Rod

Philly Q

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Oh, can somebody please tell me what SG Thom Yorke is using in the YouTube Vid "House of Cards - Radiohead (Live at the Basement)"

I didn't watch the whole clip, and I don't know much about Radiohead, but I'd guess that's a '63 to '65 SG Standard (presumably an original, not a reissue!). 

I doubt he's the sort of guy to swap pickups, so you'd probably be looking at Stormy Mondays or Mules as the BKP equivalent.
BKPs I've Got:  RR, BKP-91, ITs, VHII, CS set, Emeralds
BKPs I Had:  RY+Abraxas, Crawlers, BD+SM

ztikmaen

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Hmm okay. So what's the big difference between the Mule and Stormy Mondays? Mules can drive harder and have more note definition? More mids I'm guessing, more versatile?
Guitars:
Warmoth Jazzmaster
Telecaster Standard
Ibanez RG370
Ibanez GSZ

Amp: Fender Hot Rod

Philly Q

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I'm just gonna refer you to the product pages.  :P   They're better than any description I can concoct:

http://www.bareknucklepickups.co.uk/main/pickups.php?cat=humbuckers&sub=vintage&pickup=stormy_monday

http://www.bareknucklepickups.co.uk/main/pickups.php?cat=humbuckers&sub=vintage&pickup=the_mule

They're both PAFs.  Stormy Mondays are the "polite" version, Mules a bit hotter and probably more versatile.
BKPs I've Got:  RR, BKP-91, ITs, VHII, CS set, Emeralds
BKPs I Had:  RY+Abraxas, Crawlers, BD+SM

Jonasan5150

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Thanks for the references man. I think the Mule will suit the best for me. Now all I got to do is choose between the Mules and the Alnico Nailbomb :P

ztikmaen

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Wow, that's a huge difference haha
But how can you tell if you have a dark sounding guitar? I mean I can tell my Tele is bright because of the way the notes krang out unplugged, but I find that identifying dark guitars is harder... I heard somebody say that the Ibbie RGs are bright but I don't completely agree... I think...
Guitars:
Warmoth Jazzmaster
Telecaster Standard
Ibanez RG370
Ibanez GSZ

Amp: Fender Hot Rod

BigB

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Thanks for the references man. I think the Mule will suit the best for me. Now all I got to do is choose between the Mules and the Alnico Nailbomb :P

Why choose ? ABomb bridge + Mule neck FTW :twisted:

FWIW, the more I play my SG the more I like the ABomb bridge on it. More bite and less compressed than the Crawler (ok, it's on a somewhat different guitar, but I know how both sound unplugged so I think I'm relatively safe here), rich, clear highs, roaring mids and tight yet powerful - "chunky" might be the word ? - lows. And it manages to stay well defined even under massive gain while still cleaning up beautifully without loosing it's bite. Not an ounce of muddiness, quite on the contrary.

Have: Crawlers, BGF 50/52s, Mules, ABomb, RiffRaff
Had : Slowhands (n&m), Trilogy (b)