Bright Humbucker Pickups

Discussion in 'The Pickup Place' started by chicago slim, Apr 14, 2021.

  1. chicago slim

    chicago slim Synchromatic

    Age:
    67
    527
    Dec 27, 2008
    Bowling Green, KY
    Does anyone have experience with chimey sounding, full size humbuckers, that they would like to share?

    I've had good luck with the more expensive TV Jones Classic and PRS Starla pickups. For cheaper pickups, I really liked some of the GFS Retrotrons. I found their Memphis pickups, that are supposed to be a Ric toaster type of sound, gave me more of Gretsch Filtertron type of sound, than their Nashville pickups.

    I also liked their Dream 180's. It's marketed as a cross between a P90 and a Filtertron. Although it's a pretty hot pickup (8k -9k), I found that they were pretty bright and versatile.

    What other pickups have the rest of you tried?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. juks

    juks Gretschie

    345
    Nov 26, 2020
    Fremont, California
    Danelectro double lipstick humbucker I'd bright.
     
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  3. AZBrahma

    AZBrahma Gretschie

    160
    Dec 18, 2020
    Arizona
    Humbucker from Hell and EJ customs are bright HBs.
     
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  4. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    As Noted above DiMarzio EJ custom.
     
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  5. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    I'll third the EJ DiMarzios. I have a set in my Warmoth Starcaster build and they're very nice, Gretsch-like.

    IMG_5056.jpeg
     
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  6. HypotenusLuvTriangle

    HypotenusLuvTriangle Country Gent

    Oct 27, 2010
    Whittier, Ca
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  7. mr coffee

    mr coffee Country Gent

    Oct 7, 2009
    Houston
    It's funny, I used to get a lot of flack around the Gretsch circles for mentioning the EJs as a viable alternative to Gretschbuckers.

    -m
     
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  8. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    The Bare Knuckle Black Dogs I put in my Burny LP are likely the brightest I've had.

    The stock Burstbucker 3 in my Joan Jett Melody Maker was also pretty close in a more piercing/strident way.
     
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  9. chicago slim

    chicago slim Synchromatic

    Age:
    67
    527
    Dec 27, 2008
    Bowling Green, KY
    I've got Seymour Duncan Saturday Night Specials (Alnico IV's) in my Singlecut Semi. They sound great, even when split, but they sound like a vintage Gibson. I'm hoping for something more Gretsch like.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    If we're including non-PAF style but still HB sized, I'd put the GFS Surf 90s, Lollar Novel-T, Supro Gold Foil HBs, or Danelectro Lipstick HBs from my Hodad on top of the brightness pile of what I've had. Some of the HB sized TVJs might be good options too if you're looking to stay "in the family" so to speak, but I've only tried the Powertron/Powertron + in that category.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
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  11. chicago slim

    chicago slim Synchromatic

    Age:
    67
    527
    Dec 27, 2008
    Bowling Green, KY
    I've considered the GFS Surf 90's. I've played them in my old G3161 and liked them. Then I saw that they now make a Surf 180.

    Also, I see that Bootstrap makes Vintage Cleans and allows you to select Alnico 2, 3, 4 or 5, magnets.

    Sufr 180s
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Country Gent

    May 20, 2016
    QLD Australia
    Keep watching the classifieds here. someone will change out un-used Blacktop Broadtrons.

    You'll get them cheap and they would fit the bill IME.
     
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  13. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    I used to own an Epi Explorer that had surprisingly good sounding stock pickups.
    Brighter than you would expect from run of the mill Epiphone stock ceramic humbuckers. Sometimes you just get lucky.

    Lollar Antiquities get a lot of love.
    Thats about all I got.

    Do you have a particular guitar in mind?
     
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  14. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    Good call. Also look out for the 5420 series Blacktops.
    I put a pair of those in my 5120 replacing the Gretschbuckers.
    Defiantly brightened it up.
    I think they were around $90 a pair on eBay, 3-4 years ago.
     
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  15. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    The Seymour Duncan Hot Rodded Set are bright humbuckers.

    https://www.seymourduncan.com/single-product/hot-rodded
     
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  16. chicago slim

    chicago slim Synchromatic

    Age:
    67
    527
    Dec 27, 2008
    Bowling Green, KY
    I'm a die hard PRS guy, but I'm not crazy about their pickups. It's for a S2 Custom 22, that comes with split able pickups, alnico 2 in the neck and alnico 4 in the bridge. Other alnico 2 pickups that I have had, sounded bright. Mine sounds dark, but the bridge pickup sounds good, both split and in the humbucker mode.

    Another piece of the puzzle is, a single volume and tone control. I would like to have a bridge pickup, that can overpower the neck, in the middle position. I've adjusted the neck pickup lower, and the middle position sounds much better. I might go for more of a mismatch.

    I'm used to Filtertron type pickups, in the middle position. I'm happy with the bridge, but both pickups together aren't doing it for me.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
  17. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    In that nice PRS I wouldn't settle for just any old bargain pickup if I was gonna change it.
    I would just contact Lollar, TVJ, or somebody of that caliber and discuss it.
    I'm a big fan of Wilde. Bill Lawrence's family business, NOT, repeat, NOT Bill Lawrence USA. Awesome pickups, reasonable prices, and they wind to a wide variety of outputs.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
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  18. sgarnett

    sgarnett Synchromatic

    581
    Apr 14, 2020
    Kentucky
    Both my PRS SE Singlecut Trem and Alvarez AS73 had pickups that were a bit overwound and thick. Lowering them and raising the poles helped noticeably.
     
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  19. gretschbigsby

    gretschbigsby Electromatic

    58
    Nov 21, 2009
    chicago
  20. Viking Power

    Viking Power Gretschie

    339
    Jun 11, 2018
    Mountlake Terrace, WA
    Wait...TVJones Classics are humbuckers and not some sort of Filtertrons? Pardon my ignorance. I barely understand the difference between the single coils on my Stratocaster and the humbuckers on my buddy’s Les Paul. Just had TVJones classic and classic+ put in my Gretsch and didn’t know they were humbuckers.
     
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