ES-335 Vintage Pickup Suggestions

Schlumpfmeister

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Hi there everyone, hope you're all having a good day out there. I am just posting to see what pickups you all like in your ES-335 or similar style guitar. So far from my research, I am really liking the sounds of the Mojotone 59' Low wind and the Tone Specific Bloombuckers. The Gibson 57 classics are on the list too but not at the top. Any other recommendations would be great and also if you have any input on the ones I've mentioned. Generally I just want something with great clarity, but also can get nice and dirty with gain.
The 57 Classics are often said to be a good companion for the ES335. I had a Memphis ES335 with 57s and I quilte liked it.
 

Telekarster

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FWIW in the last year I've built 2 1959 spec'd 335's. Based on reviews alone I decided to try the Burstbucker 1-2's. I liked em so much in the 1st build that I put them in the 2nd 335 I built, which was for a friend. Like me, he loves the vintage tones they give. Very clean when warranted, and growly dirty when needed, especially through a tube Marshall. I heavily considered the 57's but chose the BB's in the end, and I'm happy about it ;)
 
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Wooly Fox

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Alnico III low winds work well (custombuckers might be a good shout here) or Lollar low wind Imperials.

I have the Alnico III custombuckers in my Johnny A (339 sized sealed semi hollow) and it really suits that guitar. My CS336 has burstbuckers I think and sound fine as well, far warmer than the Alnico III.
 

tarheelbob

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Really liked the SD Seth Lovers I put in an Epiphone Dot ES355. But, the best ES-355 pickups I ever had were a set of Jimmy Wallace PAF's I installed in my Gibson. Just rich, complex, beautiful pickups that made all the sounds I had in my head as to what a 355 should be.

That said, I have never tried the SD Antiquities, but could be tempted....

- Bob
 
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Budrocket1

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The 57 Classics are often said to be a good companion for the ES335. I had a Memphis ES335 with 57s and I quilte liked it.
Why sound like everyone else, how about something just a little different? I use a pair of DiMarzio EJ Customs in my 335. Eric Johnson designed 'em to fall somewhere between classic PAF and Gretsch Filter'Tron.
 

Chicago Matt

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I haven't tried them all, but my experience has been that I love the SD Seth Lovers in a 335 over 57 classics, but have found the opposite with my Les Paul.
 

darkwaters

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For years now I’ve had a Duncan 59 in the neck and a Seth Lover in the bridge of my Dot. They’re staying put.
 

loopfinding

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i have the stock 57 classics in mine, but the best pickups i've heard in ones were the 60s patent number ones, on a couple of 335s from that era. i had to peg my 57 classics pretty far down to approach the sound of my friend's vintage 65, but mine were still a bit warmer/not quite there.

i don't feel like rewiring, and the 57s this way are good enough for my purposes. they sound fine clean, it's just the clarity doesn't hold up with dirt as well as something leaner. if i weren't lazy i'd go for something slightly lower wind.
 
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Mekhem

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As an interesting counter - I know a lot of people like/love the 57 classics in general and in 335's but I think they are OK in solid bodies and I actively disliked them in a 335.

RE: New T-TOPS - I had a change to play a Jim James 335 with a set of the 'calibrated t-tops' in it and liked those quite a bit.

Also of note: In my experience - Semi hollows in general are pretty sensitive to pickup height and to a lesser extent to Pole Piece alignment. The difference between "Mud" and "Stud" can be just a minor adjustment to height.
 
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jayyj

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I have Seth Lovers in a 1966 ES335. In all honesty, I bought it online because it was really cheap for a late 60s 335 even allowing for some changed parts and my plan was to put it back to stock and still be ahead on the deal, and I changed most of the parts but the Seths I just daren't touch on it - it sounds incredible and I'm not going to risk taking those pickups out. They're really great pickups, from a highly scientific sample size of one.

Thinking about it I have played a couple of Eastman 335 styles with Seths in them s well which sounded pretty great.
 

SoK66

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My ‘09 Memphis ‘59RI came with 57 Classics and they seem a perfect match for that guitar. One of the finest 335s I’ve experienced and I’ve owned several over the years.
 
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DHart

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Lollar low wind Imperials sound great.
I also like plain old Gibson 57 Classics.
Joining the chorus regarding SD Antiquities and Seth Lover pickups.
Bill and I have similar tastes with the Gibson 57 Classics and SD Antiquities.

But I would have to say that my favorites are Cavalier Phoenix Firebird pickups, made to the original specs/design, which I have in an ES-339. (Yes, it took some extra work to get trim rings to work, but well worth it in the end!) I have a more guitars than I deserve, and this is among my most loved guitars.

51922497009_aedd0dc9c9_h.jpg
 
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DHart

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And, speaking of the SD Antiquity II and the Cavalier Phoenix Firebird pickups - I love them! Both bring a broader dynamic range and sparkly clarity that regular full-size humbuckers struggle to match, at best.

Here, in two of my American Standard Teles, Mystic Red and Jade Pearl Metallic.

50521933677_f6f360c437_h.jpg


Either would sound awesome in an ES-339/335, and well worth the extra effort for the install.
 
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