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Good CHEAP humbuckers-ideas?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by backalleyblues, Oct 1, 2020.

  1. backalleyblues

    backalleyblues Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Alrighty, those with golden (or fool's gold) ears-what's the best cheap humbucker going out there right now? It will be used in my FB marketplace score from yesterday- https://www.tdpri.com/threads/interesting-little-project-i-picked-up-this-afternoon.1050426/

    Looking for something very PAF-ish, not high output, guessing around 8K impedance... the GFS Alnico II set is very much on my radar (as is most of the other parts I need) but wouldn't mind other options/opinions in that price range, as I'm not 100% sure I'm going to hang on this piece after I put it together (and working on a semi-hollow is a royal pain!). Ya never know, though, it could wind up pulling slide duty once this is all said and done... :-D

    So what say ye, mystics of the magic coil?

    Thanks in advance,
    Franc Robert
     
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  2. SamIV

    SamIV Tele-Holic

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  3. john_cribbin

    john_cribbin Tele-Afflicted

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    You can do a lot worse than Wilkinson's.
     
  4. marc2211

    marc2211 Tele-Holic

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    I bought a Tonerider Alnico II Classic for about 35€ to go in a SSH Strat. For the price it sounds excellent, very PAF and classic... I’d have paid double and still been very happy.
     
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  5. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just from reading right here on TDPRI,

    folks seem to LOVE Bootstrap Pickups
     
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  6. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    tonerider... alnico classic II or IV
     
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  7. mikestearns

    mikestearns Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Bootstrap Sweet Serrano's.
     
  8. Strebs

    Strebs Tele-Meister

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    I really like my Guitar Madness pickups. I have a set of 57 humbuckers and a set of 62z single coils. Both punched way above their price point.
     
  9. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    This 1986 Heritage H-140 has a cheap $35 set of Guitar Madness pickups. Having owned three Gibson Les Pauls, I can tell you that they don't sound any worse than the Gibson PAFs.

    I have a bunch of Guitar Fetish pickups which are great also, but around twice the price.
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. JRapp

    JRapp Tele-Meister

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    Bootstraps, hands down.
     
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  11. TX_Slinger

    TX_Slinger Tele-Meister

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    I agree with posts 2,3,4,5,8,9. GM, GFS, and other are made by Artec, as well as Premium Wlkinson (Korean made) as far as I can tell. I have used Artec, Wilkinson premium, GM, and Tonerider with good result. No need to spend more unless you want active pickups or you just wanna go on internet forums and affluence signal.
     
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  12. backalleyblues

    backalleyblues Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Thanks for the ideas everybody! I saved that seller on Fleabay, and will look over everything next week (family stuff I need to do this weekend). Good to hear multiple reports on the GM pickups, and the price is a stone cold winner!

    Franc Robert
     
  13. JRapp

    JRapp Tele-Meister

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    49 bucks is hardly affluence signaling.
     
  14. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    I usually go with the sets that are around $15/pair. You'll find them in all black, zebras, and covered. Look at the back construction pictures and across sellers. No brand and the sellers change (they buy a batch and peddle the pickups). Pairs from 8k to 16k, sometimes mixed or the same k neck and bridge, read the descriptions.

    I'll pull muddy Seymour Duncans to put these in as they have half the internal capacitance -- similar trend to hand-wound boutique pickups.

    .
     
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  15. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Tele-Afflicted

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    If it's a project guitar that is going to be your pride, I wouldn't go cheap on pickups. But if you insist, I agree with SamIV and Strebs, Guitar Madness is the way to go. Very knowledgable seller selling quality pickups. I had his GM Dirty Digits, P-94, and his Rail buckers. I am extremely happy with them.

    GM Dirty Digits and P94


    GM Railbucker
     
  16. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    I actually prefer the tone of the Guitar Madness PAFs here. The Green are the Lollars and the Blue are the GMs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
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  17. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    A lot of the pickup makers/sellers listed are fine pickups, but it's a good thing to keep in mind that a particular pickup may sound great in this guitar and then sound like crap in that guitar(been there and done that).
    All guitars sound different and the pickups depend a lot on how they are set up and the electronics they are connected to make a difference as well. I've pulled a lot of pickups that were assumed to be cheap and lackluster and then find them to be very good in another guitar. Swapping pickups may get you the right sound or it may not. Start off cheap, but don't discount the higher priced pickups and good luck.
     
  18. Ron C

    Ron C Tele-Meister

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    I like Artec products, or used Duncan and DiMarzio from this forum or thegearpage.net members.

    And if there's something I don't like about the humbucker I bought, it usually can be tuned to my preference with height adjustment, a magnet swap (a few dollars), a very partial coil split (<$1 for resistors) or some other tweak.
     
  19. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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  20. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    All of these recommendations will serve you well. MY choice would be the Bootstrap Pickups. Incredible pricing, hand made in the USA, GREAT customer service, and a pleasure to work with.
     
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