ES-335 Vintage Pickup Suggestions

Sand Dancer

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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.
There is a pickup maker called Monty’s in the UK who makes his take on PAF’s. Tim Pierce, the LA session guitarist has a pair of Monty’s in his 335. I had Montys put the PAFs in a PRS 594 thinline - transformed the guitar. I also swapped out some Lollars from a Hahn series C Tele and replaced them with Fully Monty pickups - I think the guy is a genius.
 

kookaburra

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I’ve used the BKP Mules, very clear clean, sound really nice with overdrive, a balanced sound all around. I had a great experience with classic 57s in my SG, but I’d take the Mules any day, clean or overdriven.

Plus, the exchange rate is really good for those of us Stateside. I was on the fence about one of their other models, but the current exchange rate has motivated me to buy it!
 

Wildeman

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I put a Gibson classic+ in back of a Duncan Seth Lover in my Sheraton, pretty magical sounds.
 

Wallaby

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+ 1

I was going to suggest T-Tops or Pre-T style but with even less output in the neck pickup.

I think they work better to avoid being overpowering, and keep a strong mid-range from getting buried.

the best pickups i've heard in ones were the 60s patent number ones
 

Addnine

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SD '59's. I have them on my Sheraton II. The sound is rich and dense, yet somehow clear as well. Beautiful harmonic content. They ARE only a 2-conductor, however, so no split pickup shenanigans, unless you feel an urge for a little very delicate surgery.
 

76standard

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keizer oregon
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.
Highly recommend you check out Zhangbucker pickups, specifically Dave’s pure handwound pickups. Dave is a one man boutique winder that makes great pickups. Check out his website. Feel free to call him and he will ask you several questions about your guitar, amps, music style you favor, and make recommendations.
 

superbadj

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I’ve used the BKP Mules, very clear clean, sound really nice with overdrive, a balanced sound all around. I had a great experience with classic 57s in my SG, but I’d take the Mules any day, clean or overdriven.

Plus, the exchange rate is really good for those of us Stateside. I was on the fence about one of their other models, but the current exchange rate has motivated me to buy it!
Yeah the price right now is better than usual so that’s what made me go for it as well. Still pricey, no doubt. But slightly less painful.
 
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Bob Womack

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HERE is a clip that was a proof of concept made to test recording at home and taking it into the studio where I work. Everything except the slide was played on my 2005 ES-335 with '57 Classics. It's all the bridge pickup with the tone down around 5. I do that on most Gibsons to make the bridge and neck match when you switch back and forth. In the middle position I will sometimes open up the bridge tone for a brighter sound. The rhythm and leads were played on the same modeler preset. The rhythm had the guitar volume down around 4. The leads had the volume down around 7.

This guitar with those pickups has become the center of my studio kit. I suppose that's testimony enough to how much I like the pickups.

Bob
 
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BB

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Highly recommend you check out Zhangbucker pickups, specifically Dave’s pure handwound pickups. Dave is a one man boutique winder that makes great pickups. Check out his website. Feel free to call him and he will ask you several questions about your guitar, amps, music style you favor, and make recommendations.
Yes indeed. !,000 times agree. Dave has wound (and rewound) some terrific, amazing pickups for me.

One of the best (other that the incredible Paul Bunyan tele bridge pickup) was a neck model Pure Handwound Bucker I was lucky enough to win (many, many moons ago!) in a contest he put on.

Dave fly's a bit under the radar, but he can sure NAIL the tones in your head.

In addition to being a very talented winder, he is also a 'salt of the earth' type of fellow. Hope i can someday repay him for the kindness he showed me during a very hard time in my life.
 

dreamingtele

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Melbourne, Australia
My 2021 nashville cs 61 335 has custombuckers in it. It sounds great and I can tell its lower output than MHS P90’s I used to have in my previously owned 330.

When I got my 335, i thought the pickups have outstanding clarity but its too boomy. Ive thought about replacing it with the following

1. Wolfetone Dr. Vintage
2. Lollars
3. SD Antiquities
4. SD Seth Lovers
5. Gibson MHS Humbuckers
6. Throbak - although this one is a stretch, its freaking 500-600 a set!

Anyway, ive dialed mine in and have been accustomed to the stock pickups so i dont really look into replacing them. But if i do, my list above is what I’ll try.

Untitled by D Y, on Flickr
 

Freeman Keller

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I built a 335 clone for a jazz playing friend and he requested SD Benedettos. I liked them so much that I put a set in my hollow body

IMG_3395.JPG


A couple of things to think about when working on a semi hollow - tie strings on everything so you can fish them in and out and consider putting terminals in the p/u cavities so you don't have to pull the whole harness out to change pups. I make the coil connection at the terminal also so if I ever want to do a coil split I have it available. Don't forget the ground to the bridge stud.
 
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