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I’m considering switching out the pickups in my Les Paul. The previous owner installed a DiMarzio SD and a 57 classic. While I love the SD, I’m not sure I like it paired with the classic. Wondering if there is a better pairing for what I play. (Mostly hard or classic rock or hard rockin blues) I’d like the pairing to be very versatile from bright-ish cleans to downright heavy (not death metal or thrash heavy)
I play (or try to play) classic stuff from the 70’s to early Hip, JB, Gary Moore, Santana, Monster Truck etc. So a real range.
 

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I have a 78 Custom w Wolfetone Dr Vintages and a 92 Standard w Sheptone Tributes. Both are their versions of a PAF and both are excellent. If I had to choose one over the other it would be the Wolfetones but you can't go wrong with either.
 

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Neck pickup? or both?

I have used a bunch, my favourites are the Throbaks (MXV in my Les Paul right now, pretty much perfect) and the bareknuckle mules (almost as good in the bridge as the throbaks, and super clear, fat, bluesy neck pickup). I like the PAF thing, and these really nail that sound. Both are too expensive for what they are, but you know...

ThroBak SLE-101 P.A.F. - Vintage Repro PAF Humbucker Pickups
The Mule humbucker
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Neck pickup? or both?

I have used a bunch, my favourites are the Throbaks (MXV in my Les Paul right now, pretty much perfect) and the bareknuckle mules (almost as good in the bridge as the throbaks, and super clear, fat, bluesy neck pickup). I like the PAF thing, and these really nail that sound. Both are too expensive for what they are, but you know...

ThroBak SLE-101 P.A.F. - Vintage Repro PAF Humbucker Pickups
The Mule humbucker
Thanks. Looking to replace both. I’m putting this set into an MIJ double cut
 

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I've had a couple of sets of Sigil pickups, Chicago Bluesman and Lips Kudlow signature. They were both great pickups but I found the Lips were more versatile. The Bluesman were the best best blues voiced pickups I've ever used. I had them in an Explorer. Great pickups but mostly a one trick pony. The Lips pickups I've had in several guitars and still have them on my shelf. Don't have a guitar for them right now but I don't think I'll ever sell them. They really respond to how you set the guitar volume and tone. I normally set the amp on the edge of breakup with the guitar volume around three for a very clean sound. As you crank up the guitar volume it just gets better and better all the way up to an almost metal sound. If you crank the gain on the amp up they go well into metal territory, depending on the amp. They have sounded great with every guitar and amp I've used them with.
 

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Fillmore Set

I head about Jim Wagner on this forum several years ago and bought two sets of his hum buckers - i was rebuilding an Epiphone SG as well as an Epi Flying V at the time. The pickups are awesome in my opinion! I was blown away the first time i heard a playback of one of our live jams - the Wagner pickups really shone in the mix. All totally subjective i know....
 
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I’m considering switching out the pickups in my Les Paul. The previous owner installed a DiMarzio SD and a 57 classic. While I love the SD, I’m not sure I like it paired with the classic. Wondering if there is a better pairing for what I play. (Mostly hard or classic rock or hard rockin blues) I’d like the pairing to be very versatile from bright-ish cleans to downright heavy (not death metal or thrash heavy)
I play (or try to play) classic stuff from the 70’s to early Hip, JB, Gary Moore, Santana, Monster Truck etc. So a real range.
Have you messed with pickup height at all?
 

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Personally, I like Gibson Burstbucker 1 & 2 along with '50s style wiring. My friend the tech is about to do the wiring on my Gold Top (just waiting for some pots to come in so that we can find one which will match well with the other pot values) and I am having '50s wiring done again, I thought about getting another set of Burstbucker 1 & 2 but decided to stick with the '57 Classics that are already in there as I like them too.
 

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I was (and still am) a fan of the Gibson Custom Buckers that they're using in their Custom Shop stuff as well as SD Pearly Gates.

But in 2016 I put a set of Robert's Luthiery pickups in Nugent's Great White Buffalo Byrdland (it had 57 Classics) and was immediately impressed by their classic tone, warmth and growl. That Byrd just didn't have the same sound as his others but these pickups brought the guitar to life.

It didn't take me long to have him send some for my guitars. Every one of my humbucker guitars now have either his Nuge model pickup or his Honey/BBQ pickup (his version of a Pearly Gates) in them. I even swapped out a set of 1966 Gibson humbuckers for them in one guitar.

Fwiw, no, I'm not affiliated with his business in any financial way. Iirc, he worked in the hunting industry, retired and now makes pickups and guitars as a hobby.
 

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The fact that you got a different answer from every reply should tell you something.
There are only 2 kinds of Humbuckers. High gain and low gain.
You need another Dimarzio.
All the low gain PAF type humbuckers sound pretty much the same.
 

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All the low gain PAF type humbuckers sound pretty much the same.
Definitely take the word of the guy who said he was done with expensive guitars and then bought another expensive, vintage guitar ;)
 

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I have Duncan Distortions on my Les Paul--I like them--basically a souped up JB plus a neck variation on it.

Although a P-Rail wired for P-90/Rail (Single coil)/humbucker can get you some cool sounds.
(Have one in my LP copy)
 
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