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335 pickups?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by bigben55, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. bigben55

    bigben55 Friend of Leo's

    May 19, 2010
    Cincinnati, OH
    Gonna gut it and replace all the electronics. What are the consensus best replacement pups? Mine is a copy, but a great one. Was thinking about Toneriders or GFS pups if I go new, otherwise going ebaying. Suggestions? If i want to go a little hotter than standard, whats a good neck/bridge ratio, 8k/12k?
  2. Tele-phone man

    Tele-phone man Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 11, 2006
    Asheville, NC
    There is no "consensus best replacement pickup." Period. What is it you're looking for? What is lacking in the current setup? Why replace the pots and wiring unless there is something specifically wrong or faulty? You sound like you are about to embark on a very expensive, time consuming, and frustrating journey. I suggest you get more clarity about your wants and needs before you change anything. A 335 is a VERY difficult instrument to work on when it comes to electronics. They are a major PITA, and you better know that you NEED to do something before you start.
  3. uriah1

    uriah1 Doctor of Teleocity

    Feb 12, 2011
    Gibson, Seymour Duncan and bare knuckles make good bucker p/u

    335..all depends what you play....edgey, 335 has classic 57..which I tend to like, but, if you dont want a Gibson product...

    probably a JB and seth lover mix nice..
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  5. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

    Jan 17, 2010
    Decatur, GA
    I saw this video a few months back and I'm really tempted to swap some Mean 90s into my semi-hollow.

  6. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    no one can tell you what pup(s) will work best for you. all advice about pickups is a crap shoot at best.

    you have a 335 copy and all that matters first and foremost is playability/action - if that's happening for ya, sound/tone is the next issue. as with most folks, you will need to guess at what pup(s) will work best in your guitar, with you playing, and through yer modulation and amp(s). there are no shortcuts, sorry.

    when it comes to dual side-by-side coil humbuckers, their sound is predominantly in the coil wire gauge, magnets, turn count - there are other factors, but those are first and foremost.

    pickup resistance is meaningless unless the build parameters of the pups in question are similar. with two humbuckers, one wound with 42awg and the other with 43awg coil wire, they can be wound to the exact same resistance values and yet have *very* different tones and volumes. so generally, it's incorrect to use dc resistance as guideline for pup tone (*unless* the builds and materials are the same and difference is in the *turn count*).
  7. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 9, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    I got a classic 57 neck and tonerider rocksong im pretty excited about putting in.. but this doesn't really help you
  8. rsclosson

    rsclosson Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 29, 2010
    Tallahassee FL
    This is less of a recommendation and more of a personal observation. My Cort 335 came with a Fralin P92 in the neck position. I love the sound!
  9. bigben55

    bigben55 Friend of Leo's

    May 19, 2010
    Cincinnati, OH
    Thanks, and I will elaborate. Its a "Springfield," a high end Korean copy made at the Samick factory @1998-1999. Its beautiful, plays great, and is in near mint condition. I have had it 4-5 months. I play blues and rock thru a Dr.Z Z28 210 combo. My only effect is an old Fulltone FD2. I'm fairly certain it has modern wiring because there's considerable treble bleed when backing off the volume. Why do I want to gut it? The pots all have a VERY narrow taper, as in very little change10-7, a ton between 6-3, little between 3-1. The Jack doesn't hold a wireless unit well, at all. And i would pay a tech to do the work.

    I have a strat(G&L Legacy) and a semi hollow dual P90 Tele. This is my only humbucker guitar, so I want it to be able to do as many things "humbucker" as possible. The pickups aren't very hot, with the bridge being on the thin/bright side and the neck getting pretty muddy with any knob manipulation, probably due as much to the wiring as the pickup.

    Bottom line: the guitar is a keeper. Just want it to sound as good as it like and plays. I want to buy all the components, take them to the tech and say have at it. I wont do it myself since the pot holes might need to be reamed; not.comfortable doing that, nor equipped to.
  10. 63dot

    63dot Friend of Leo's

    There have been a lot of players with 335 and full hollowbody guitars who love the Seymour Duncan Phat Cat P90 type.

    I have thought about getting another semi and doing this mod. I love the full sized humbucker, of course, in a 335 (mine is an Ibanez Artcore copy), and it gets a sound similar to a solidbody Ibanez Artist or Les Paul, but with a better defined and delicate high end than the solidbody. I can't do without a humbucker, but a semi with a P90 is also a sound that can't be done without. You can consider one humbucker and one Phat Cat and that may be a great sound as long as outputs are similar.

    Another non-PAF type that is worth considering is the TV Jones Filtertron types: 335 with tv jones/tinman631/P7070314.jpg
  11. MojoMonster

    MojoMonster Tele-Meister

    Jul 16, 2010
    Raleigh, NC
    Just my two cents.

    My first "mod" was to an Ibanez AS83.
    I added 4 push/pulls for the Jimmy Page mod and replaced the pups with an SD Jazz neck and Pearly Gates bridge.(yes, I was insane)

    It was a major PITA and it sounded absolutely awesome doing classic rock/blues rock.

    A classic SD User Group Forum suggestion is a PG neck with a Custom(salt to taste) or Brobucker bridge, but that puts you into classic rock/hard rock territory. Think AC/DC.

    The PG set all by itself is an excellent choice.

    Antiquities are amazing and I'd go so far as to say I prefer them to cover the most ground for blues rock.

    The Phat Cats is an excellent option, tho some find them dark and a magnet swap will do wonders for them.
    Some suggestions:
    Neck - A5/A3(brighter, less low end), A5/A4(bright, clear, well-defined), A5/A5(Gibson classic).
    Bridge - A8/A4(more aggressive than stock) or A8/A5(bright and aggressive).

    And just to add more to the mix, the new SD Hybrid 59/Custom bridge is supposed to be all that and ice cream.

    If you end up with 4 conductor pickup/pickups, let me suggest getting the SD Triple Shots. They allow for just about the easiest series/parallel and coil-splitting wiring possible. Plus you get the ability to select which coil is active when split.
    Add 2 push/pull pots for series/parallel and phase for when both pups are selected and you've got the Jimmy Page mod.

    I personally wouldn't bother with GFS pups, mostly because you can find used SD's for roughly the same price.
  12. 63dot

    63dot Friend of Leo's

  13. eggman

    eggman Friend of Leo's

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bossier City,La.

    If you want a vintage-voiced bridge HBer with a little extra power, consider DiMarzio's 36th anniversary PAF. I've got one in the bridge of my 335 and it sounds good. The neck P/U is a DiMarzio Air Classic, which is fantastic. Good luck!

    PS: I found it necessary to lower the 36th a bit to balance it's output with the lower powered Air Classic.
  14. Vladimir

    Vladimir Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 17, 2003
    Zagreb, Croatia
    If it was me, I would always pair a 335 with some vintage style PAF pickups like a Gibson 57 or a SD 59.
    But they are indeed difficult to modify. Most folks use a coat hanger to keep the bits hanging outside the f-hole.
  15. JKjr

    JKjr Tele-Holic

    Aug 24, 2007
    raleigh nc
    I find I prefer lower output HBs in hollow bodies. The extra clarity in the mids lets the "woodiness" out more than the typically more compressed midrange of a high output HB. If I turn up the gain at the amp I can control it with my guitar volume and have the best of both worlds. I'll bet Fralin P92's are heavenly in a 335.
  16. 63dot

    63dot Friend of Leo's

    I also thought the same thing.

    Also while people complain about the lower output stock Epiphone pickups in their standard, non-metal/shredder guitars, they are actually really good for a semi-hollowbody and hollowbody. People do put much hotter Gibson and Duncan pickups in them and while better for high gain stuff, their sheer power snuffs out all woodiness. What some people like me like in that so-called woodiness, other people consider an anemic pickup. For the most part we are Telecaster players who, here more than on the outside, like the vintage spec stuff and the wide dynamic range. Most players in general go for the "hot" American Standard Fenders and most humbucker equipped guitars from most companies (Gibson included) going for that hotter than PAF humbucker. What you have is a pickup pretty compressed and designed to be used with gain.

    It's a shame that few play clean anymore but the lost art is that of the old Fender amps used in conjunction with vintage Fenders and Gibsons with original PAFs. Those weaker, less compressed pickups may not have the balls in the mids, but they still dirty up nicely enough to work with if a modern player gives them a chance. But rock and roll, the main driving force in electric guitar sales, still likes the increasingly hotter wound pickups to the point the starting point pickup of many a guitar is already hot to start with.

    Since post-Norlin, and with the continuation of the current Gibson focus, and Fender with Yamaha's Schultz and beyond, has trained a whole three decades of guitarists that "hot" is the new "normal". Unless one gets to gets their hands on the really old stuff, few will know what the classic Gibson and Fender sounds are. Too many will have a pickup they may want to replace to bring back to vintage, but then only get further away from by pushing more gain and pushing more midrange. If there was anything I could do if I had a magic wand, would be to let people hear my old guitar (since sold) with the original PAF. It's not like the regular hot humbuckers of today, and certainly not like the reissues which are just hot humbuckers disguised as the real, vintage, thing.
  17. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 20, 2007
    Newbury, England
    I replaced Epi/Gibson Classic57 with Tonerider Rocksong, which are 8k/12k vintage type (PAF) with a bit extra on the bridge pickup to better balance them.

    Imo better made than the Classic57, clearer, better dynamics, slightly more powerful, suit almost any style.

    Ignore their cheap price.
  18. elelpe

    elelpe Tele-Afflicted

    May 1, 2008
    Usually I'd go with low/vintage output HB or P-90 in HB sized (medium output in the bridge is ok, too). A2 magnet in the bridge pickup and A5 magnet in the neck pickup (A4 magnet if A5 magnet is too boomy). Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro bridge and Jazz neck is great combo in 335 style guitar. I had them in my Epi Dot. I see you want a little hotter set. I'd recommend Tonerider Rocksong bridge and Alnico IV Classic neck.
  19. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 20, 2007
    Newbury, England
    Tonerider do a range of humbuckers, they monkey around with the wind and magnet types. The alnico II and alnico IV are supposed to sound like aged alnico V.
    Generally strength is alnico V > alnico II > alnico IV
    Rocksong are alnico II 8k/12k
    Classic AC2 are alnico II 7.6k/8.5k
    Classic AC4 are alnico IV 7.9k/8.6k
    Generator are alnico V 8k/16k

    But here's the thing - the original Gibson PAF was made with any alnico magnet and alnico takes something like 300 years to age.

    In practice alnico is gaussed up to saturation and then degaussed down to the desired level, and you do not want the most powerful (field strength) magnet in a pickup, what is desirable is the magnetic flux density (lines of force close together). Whilst alnico can have a high field strength, it has a very high flux density.
    That gives sensitive picking dynamics, the soft to loud sensitivity that you do not get from cheap ceramic pickups. It is not that it cannot be done well with ceramic magnets, Barden and similar are ceramic (cannot get alnico blades in), but you will notice they are not cheap ;)

    The 8k alnico II Rocksong neck is quite bright in my jazzbox, but then this guitar is quite bright whatever pickup is in it. The 12k neck pickup matches it output and balances nicely, with that bit of extra grind or heat you usually want from a bridge pickup.
    I bought them as a set. I went to Tonerider because I had been disappointed with Seymour-Duncan, Wilkinson, Epi/Gibson and Kent-Armstrong (sound-response or build quality - one KA had a dead pole, the Classic57 neck had defective pole screws, the W were bleh, The SD didn't do the loud/soft pick response I want) - not because they were cheap. I believe most of the trick in pickups is getting the magnets just right, they have to be consistent and uniform, many makes seem to just zap them to saturation and have done.

    But if you do want a metal shred pickup then you do not want a sensitive vintage type humbucker, you want big saturated magnets and a demented over-wound coil that goes to saturated output at the slightest touch of the string. I can't think why anyone would want this ;) you can do the same thing by winding the amp gain up, or stamp on a pedal.
  20. musicalmartin

    musicalmartin Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 8, 2007
    Norfolk UK
    I put in Tonerider Rocksongs and can vouch that they sound good .
  21. octatonic

    octatonic Poster Extraordinaire

    Lollar Imperial Highwinds do not get enough of a mention these days.
    Brilliant pickup.
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