Quantcast Ryan's Guitars: Les Paul Boutique Pickup Shootout!!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Les Paul Boutique Pickup Shootout!!

I was privileged to get to try out some fantastic boutique humbucker pickups that a great guy from the Gear Page was kind enough to lend me to try in my Les Pauls (thanks, 70sRocker!). Two of the specimens I received were WCR humbuckers designed specifically for Les Pauls (though they'd probably sound good in other guitars, as well), and the other was a Voodoo Florence. Each one had its own flavor and tone, and they all sounded good. I installed all these for testing in my '06 R7 Goldtop.

The three I had were the Peter Florence Voodoo (bridge pu), the Crossroads (neck pu) and the high-output Ironman (bridge pu). I really liked the Ironman due to the massive sound and output. This thing is a monster! :) Overall, though, it was a bit dark for my taste.

Test recordings done with the Ironman bridge humbucker in my 2006 Les Paul R7 Goldtop:

Dirty Lead (mp3, 1.2 MB) - Lead over a backing track I laid down - both tones recorded with Line 6 TonePort

Clean Tone (mp3, 434 KB) - Clean tone using Mesa Boogie Mark III, Bogner 2x12 cab mic'ed with SM57 straight into the computer, no EQ.

Next up was the Crossroads neck pickup. This thing was warm and creamy... just the perfect thing to fatten up the neck position in a Les Paul. Sometimes Les Paul neck pickups can be a bit on the bright side, and I like that sound, too... but this pickup was just gorgeous and fat.

Test recordings done with the Crossroads neck humbucker in my 2006 Les Paul R7 Goldtop:

Dirty Lead (mp3, 1.2 MB) - Lead over a backing track I laid down - both tones recorded with Line 6 TonePort

Clean Tone (mp3, 434 KB) - Clean tone using Mesa Boogie Mark III, Bogner 2x12 cab mic'ed with SM57 straight into the computer, no EQ.

Test recordings done with the Voodoo bridge humbucker in my friend's 2003 Les Paul R9 Dark Burst:

Dirty Lead (mp3, 1.2 MB) - Lead over a backing track I laid down - both tones recorded with Line 6 TonePort

I did a control test using my beautiful 2007 R9 Cherry Burst Les Paul with stock Burstbucker pickups. I think the Burstbuckers in this guitar sound every bit as good tonally as the boutiques. Let your ears be the judge. ;)

Test recordings done with the BurstBucker bridge humbucker in my 2007 Les Paul R9 Cherry Burst:

Dirty Lead (mp3, 1.2 MB) - Lead over a backing track I laid down - both tones recorded with Line 6 TonePort

Clean Tone (mp3, 434 KB) - Clean tone using Mesa Boogie Mark III, Bogner 2x12 cab mic'ed with SM57 straight into the computer, no EQ.

Test recordings done with the BurstBucker neck humbucker in my 2007 Les Paul R9 Cherry Burst:

Dirty Lead (mp3, 1.2 MB) - Lead over a backing track I laid down - both tones recorded with Line 6 TonePort

Clean Tone (mp3, 434 KB) - Clean tone using Mesa Boogie Mark III, Bogner 2x12 cab mic'ed with SM57 straight into the computer, no EQ.

Well, that is it for the boutique pickup shootout. ;) It was a lot of fun and very eye opening in terms of tone and pickup types. I really enjoyed this a lot, and if it weren't for 70sRocker from the Gear Page, I'd never have gotten the chance to play with these.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for all the work you put into this post and that's some great technique! I do a lot of the maintenance and setup on my guitars but have yet to venture into changing pickups. This inspires me to get some practice with the soldering iron and give it a try. I have an old Squier Strat that would make a good project guitar to try some of this out on.

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  2. Thanks for visiting again, vintagep! And I greatly appreciate the kind words.

    I think you'll be surprised at how easy soldering is, once you've practiced it a bit. Working on my own stuff has been a great experience and it saves money, too! ;)

    Ryan

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  4. Great Playing - Great Tone - Great Blog!

    Dave
    The Gear Mall

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