1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Please help identify this/these pickup(s) by ear

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Metaltwanger, Nov 15, 2020.

  1. Metaltwanger

    Metaltwanger TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    71
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    Salutations!

    Could someone help me identify the guitar pickup(s) on these tracks?

    Background information:

    The lead guitar on these tracks were played by a Chicago based session guitarist named Lee Cooper in the early 1950’s, apparently mostly in 1953.

    Lee Cooper recorded with Howlin’ Wolf for Chess before Hubert Sumlin but mostly of his recorded stuff was done accompanying pianist Eddie Boyd.

    His guitar playing is mostly significantly heard on the album “Big Bill Broonzy & Washboard Sam” from Chess Records, recorded in 1953 – that’s where I heard his playing for the first time.

    The best sounding recording examples that I could find from the guitarist’s are these:












    Reference albums:
    • Big Bill Broonzy & Washboard Sam - Big Bill Broonzy & Washboard Sam;
    • Long Man Blues – (various artists) – all tracks by L.C. McKinley appear to be with Lee Cooper on guitar;
    • The Singles Collection – Eddie Boyd – from the track “24 Hours” almost to the end of the album;
    • Windy City Boogie – J.T. Brown – a few tracks feature Lee Cooper more prominently.

    Thanks in advance!
     
    The Angry Possum likes this.
  2. The Angry Possum

    The Angry Possum Tele-Holic

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    528
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2017
    Location:
    Staten Island NY
    It's not necessarily the pickups, mostly it's his hands and energy field. I'll try and do some research anyways. Perhaps there are comments on some of his youtube videos. And I suppose you can reach out to Seymour Duncan and or Larry Dimarzio with that question.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
    KirbyBarba and Metaltwanger like this.
  3. Metaltwanger

    Metaltwanger TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    71
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    Thank you so much!

    I read that Lee Cooper was actually a jazz player, so I thought, being a jazz musician, he might have played a Gibson jazz box. But it occurred to me that Gibsons were expensive (still are) and probably he recorded with some budget guitar.

    I recently bought an Epiphone with P90s expecting it to sound like those recordings but it doesn't.
     
  4. The Angry Possum

    The Angry Possum Tele-Holic

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    528
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2017
    Location:
    Staten Island NY
    I just contacted Larry Dimarzio via his email, see if he responds to the question on Lee Cooper's guitar and or pickups.
     
    Metaltwanger likes this.
  5. Metaltwanger

    Metaltwanger TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    71
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    Wow! Thank you very much! I was afraid of contacting him and Seymour Duncan out of thinking that they would be understandably expecting me to place a custom order with them.

    I'm looking forward to yours and his reply!

    Cheers!
     
  6. cnlbb

    cnlbb Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,365
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2014
    Location:
    United States
    A lot of it is playing and a good bit is in the older amp & recording technology. A classic PAF through a tweed should get you close enough.

    For a more exact sound from early 50s chess... you might be looking at CC pickup into some sort of octal and a chamber reverb. Might be best to stick with the PAF/tweed and just toss this pedal in-front that mimics octal amp & the chess reverb.



    edit: also don't forget to use your tone knob! often times people can get damn close to the sound they want by adjust their tone, volume & amp settings.
     
  7. Metaltwanger

    Metaltwanger TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    71
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    That pedal does sound good!

    Those recordings by Lee Cooper are from 1953 and 1954, so before humbuckings were around. It makes me think that the guitarist played a Gibson witih P-90s because it is possible to make them sound close to humbuckers by tweaking the guitars and amplifiers knobs. This is getting interesting.
     
    Wulf likes this.
  8. adjason

    adjason Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    5,348
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Location:
    virginia
    Yeah that nocturne pescadoro does sound good! I'll guess but its just a guess p90's hollowbody
     
    sugarinthegourd and Metaltwanger like this.
  9. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,705
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Location:
    Nueces Strip
    Custom pickups weren't even a thing back then. Dimarzio and Duncan didn't even exist.
    Changing out pickups wasn't even a thing yet, by about 30 years.
    Probably the pickups were whatever came in the guitar at the time, or a year or two before when the guitar was new.
     
    Metaltwanger likes this.
  10. cnlbb

    cnlbb Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,365
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2014
    Location:
    United States
    Metaltwanger likes this.
  11. Metaltwanger

    Metaltwanger TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    71
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
  12. cnlbb

    cnlbb Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,365
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2014
    Location:
    United States
    I think it's widely held (and I agree) that his best recordings are the Tiffany Transcriptions with Bob Wills. Enjoy!
     
    Metaltwanger likes this.
  13. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,790
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2007
    Location:
    Manassas Park, VA
    Sounds like a fat Gibson Hollowbody with P-90's Neck PU or both ( in phase)
    With enough of an amp ( larger) - you could be this clear and crisp
    Just my guess, beautiful sound!
     
    sugarinthegourd and Metaltwanger like this.
  14. Metaltwanger

    Metaltwanger TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    71
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    Thanks for the tip! I found A LOT of his albums on Spotiy! God bless music streaming!
     
    voodoostation likes this.
  15. Metaltwanger

    Metaltwanger TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    71
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    Thank you for chiming in! Too bad I had to sell all my big tube amps due to financial constraints! They were too loud for home use too, unfortunately. I do miss them sometimes though.
     
    Chiogtr4x likes this.
  16. sugarinthegourd

    sugarinthegourd Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    193
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    My first thought was that it sounds like something like an ES-150 or maybe ES-125. Charlie Christian pickup in the former, P-90 in the latter, both at the neck position.
     
  17. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,782
    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Location:
    netherlands
    don't forget the things like curly guitar cable that eat brightness, the strings they used and maybe even the best than, you would not use at all now.

    i think of BB King, he wound the complete length of the string on his tuning peg because when the string would break he maybe could use it again.
    (from the book of Dan Erlewin)
    think about the amps who would not be so sophisticated then as they are now.

    the best of those times i think is that they used what was available and made the best of it, because there wasn't something else.
    now we have millions of choices and still hunt the tone of hendrix, clapton and other great guitarists :rolleyes::D:lol::D:lol:
     
  18. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,617
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    Location:
    Dallas
    I am only able to see the first and last video posted above. I don't think the pickup is the key but the amp is. I don't hear a high wattage tube amp, but the opposite. If this is from the 1950s, amps were not that sophisticated yet. If these first two vieos are getting the sound you like, you can look for an old amp, or maybe look into the Vintage 47 in the third video (or something like it). I also think the gold foil pickup Andy is playing in the last video is in the right ballpark.







     
  19. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,617
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    Location:
    Dallas
  20. Metaltwanger

    Metaltwanger TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    71
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.