Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Gibson Classic 57' VS Burstbucker Pro 1 and 2

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by gearjunkie, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. gearjunkie

    gearjunkie Tele-Meister

    Jul 29, 2011
    SW Ontario
    Demoed both the 339 and 335 dot with the 57' Classics pickups and really fell in lust with everything about them, but the 335 I wanted and Ordered this week with block inlays come standard with Burstbuckers Pro 1 and 2, and from what i'm reading they produce more highs than the 57's... I had hoped I could've got the 57's in this guitar, and I know I can always swap them out of it's not the sound I want, but would like to hear from players that have had both share their feelings..Thank you

  2. Ted M

    Ted M Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 27, 2003
    I'm not a fan of BB's. I find the bridge pickup to be too bright and somewhat harsh. I have an LP that came with BB's and I swapped them out. They might work better in a semi-hollow body.

  3. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 30, 2011
    It's the magnets and the wind that make those pickups different sounding.

    '57's not only have A2's (warmer, looser, middier magnets), but they are also wound a tad more heavily in general. They're warm and "creamy" pickups, without a lot of top-end bite. Real nice for playing clean or a little dirty, but they can lose a lot of "structure" when you start hitting them hard and/or playing dirtier.

    BB Pros OTOH, have A5 magnets (bigger but tighter low end, scooped mids, and sharp highs) and a lighter wind. The unequal coils of the BBs are just a gimmick. They aren't even that unequal (I've measured several 4-lead examples), and even if they were, the only thing they'd do is make the pickups noisier. At any rate, they hold together better when playing dirty, but can sound a bit "cold" when clean.

    IME, amp settings, pickup setup, and tone adjustments on the guitar can probably get BB Pros 80 percent of the way to sounding like '57 Classics, but not 100%. The scooped mids are hard to bring back into the fat and creamy midtone territory of the '57's. But the '57's would be much harder pressed to enter BB territory (clearer, brighter, less powerful). The fact that BBs can get 80 percent there, and then do their own thing as well with a few quick tone adjustments also makes them more versatile pickups. I think that if you learn to control them, you'll actually like them better than the '57's for this reason alone.

  4. Matthias

    Matthias Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 30, 2003
    BB 1, 2 and 3 have Alnico II magnets and uneven, scatter-wound bobbins. The aftermarket ones are also unpotted (stock ones are at least sometimes potted).

    The 57 classics are wound equally and are all potted I think, and have a slightly thicker sound.

    BBs go up in output from 1 to 3, with the 1 a chunk weaker than the 57 and the 3 a bit hotter than the 57 classic plus.

    The BB Pros are about the same output as the BB 1 and 2, but they're potted and use an Alnico 5 magnet for a more 'modern' tone. They're also wax potted for less feedback.

    By all accounts all are decent pickups. Just a case of finding the ones that are best to your ears.

  5. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 30, 2011
    No Gibson pickups have scatterwound bobbins...nor did the PAFs "back in the day."


  6. Matthias

    Matthias Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 30, 2003
    I've read BBs were on a few occasions. Someone's claimed they're scatterwound on Wikipedia... perhaps that's where the belief stems from. Gibson doesn't appear to claim they're scatterwound so who knows where the story started.

    I did some research. With the amount of scatterwound 'PAFs' knocking about, I didn't realise scatterwinding was common on old Fenders but not Gibsons.

    Fooled by the hype...

  7. H. Mac

    H. Mac Friend of Leo's

    May 26, 2012
    Atlanta, Georgia
    I prefer '57s over BBs, but EsquireOK's description of the differences between the two is the best I've ever read.

  8. colchar

    colchar Friend of Leo's

    Burstbucker Pro and Burstbucker 1&2 are not the same thing.

  9. cbh5150

    cbh5150 Tele-Meister

    Oct 23, 2009
    The outer banks of Chicagoland
    Having just recently acquired both a LP Signature T ('57s) and a LP '60s Tribute (BBs) I wholeheartedly agree. Nailed it :cool:

    IMO, BOTH pickups sound good. Salt to taste :)

  10. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA
    I know I'm pushing my luck bumping a 4 year old thread, but my other questions were already answered here, so hopefully this will be useful to someone else as well...

    Are the aftermarket BB Pros potted or not? It was my understanding that the ones Gibson puts in their guitars ARE potted, yet the ones they sell aftermarket are NOT potted...

    Is that correct?

    I love the sound of a Classic 57 in the neck position of a Tele. I recently came upon a brand new BB Pro that was too good a deal to pass up... I like the warm midrange tones of the C57, so maybe I should keep the BB Pro for an Epiphone Wiltshire?

    Any opinions on the BB Pro as a Tele neck pickup?

    If the aftermarket BB Pros are not potted, it might be fun to try it unpotted for a while, then pull it out, soak it in melted bees wax over night, and then reinstall it in the same guitar...

    Edit: The BB Pros that come in Gibson guitars are all potted. If you buy them standalone in a box, they are not potted.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017

  11. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    BB's worked well for Gary Moore. I like both pickups.

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