Need advice about a CME Exclusive SG Standard w/ T-Type pickups

bertone

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Hello,
I just discovered the forum yesterday & this is my first post. I've been playing for decades but was slow to pick up an SG. Last year I bought one of the Chicago Music Exchange SG Standards (in heritage cherry; not one of those funky pastels) and I absolutely love it. It's my go-to guitar now. I love the neck & the easy fret access and the lightness of it. The guitar, unplugged by itself has a great resonance to it. It chimes! The only thing about this SG that does NOT get 5 stars is the "T-Type" pickups, the under-wound humbuckers that were supposed to mimic the Gibson T-Top pickups of the 70s. To me they just don't have a lot of life in them & I'd like something a little more traditional PAF sounding. Something with some guts to it.

The question is: Should I modify the existing pickups w/ a magnet swap or additional winds or replace them with '57 Classics or Seth Lovers or something similar. (I would especially like to hear from the Colonel on this as he has given great advise to other players.)
 

skelt101

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@bertone
The pickups in your guitar are unique to that model. For this reason, I would be a little hesitant to change them out right away. Have you tried making any adjustments to them? Can you be any more specific about what you don't like? It has been my experience that Gibson-made pickups sound "better" (IMHO) a little lower in the guitar and with the pole pieces raised a bit. YMMV, of course. Welcome to the forum! :cheers:
 

Biddlin

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The question is: Should I modify the existing pickups w/ a magnet swap or additional winds or replace them with '57 Classics or Seth Lovers or something similar.

57s are not "high output" but are perhaps a tad brighter than T-tops. Seth Lovers are a little hotter, though to my ears lack warmth.
 

bertone

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I will try that. I left the pole pieces alone and raised the pickups themselves to about 3/32" from the string. Closer to 1/16" on the treble side. This method has worked well on my LP Custom & both of my Fenders. Hard to describe exactly what turned me off on these pups. I understand the SG will NOT sound like a Les Paul but guess I wanted output that was closer to my 490/498 pair. I was hoping there would be some tweaks that would fix the "problem" so thank you! Not really a problem just a little dissatisfaction. I will make adjustments and report back.
 

tolm

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Given the “rarity” of the pickups in that guitar, I would personally swap them out for alternatives and then keep hold of them: (1) in case you ever want to sell the guitar in future and (2) you never know if the pickups themselves might become valuable if Gibson don’t put them in anything else?
 

bertone

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Given the “rarity” of the pickups in that guitar, I would personally swap them out for alternatives and then keep hold of them: (1) in case you ever want to sell the guitar in future and (2) you never know if the pickups themselves might become valuable if Gibson don’t put them in anything else?
 

bertone

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Yeah, you never know what might be collectible some day. I'm going to try the adjustments first and if still unsatisfied a swap. It's pretty easy in those guitars.
 

Biddlin

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This method has worked well on my LP Custom & both of my Fenders.
With the SG, I start very low with the pickups and raise them until I get a pleasant sound. I prefer the beefier sound of 490s but the 57s I have are very good for classic rock.
 

Rbt1

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In addition to the recommendations about adjusting pickups, I'd say--if you haven't already-- try eq-ing your amp. Sometimes, I find certain guitars don't do well with some amps or some amp settings. It may be worth a look. Plus, it's free! :D
 

bertone

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@bertone
The pickups in your guitar are unique to that model. For this reason, I would be a little hesitant to change them out right away. Have you tried making any adjustments to them? Can you be any more specific about what you don't like? It has been my experience that Gibson-made pickups sound "better" (IMHO) a little lower in the guitar and with the pole pieces raised a bit. YMMV, of course. Welcome to the forum! :cheers:

Good advice! Setting the pole pieces up & at their proper radius made a noticeable difference. Not dramatically so but an improvement. I will continue to fine tune it but wanted to say thanks.
 

bertone

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In addition to the recommendations about adjusting pickups, I'd say--if you haven't already-- try eq-ing your amp. Sometimes, I find certain guitars don't do well with some amps or some amp settings. It may be worth a look. Plus, it's free! :D

I agree with you and that would especially be the case on my Boogie! Mostly I am using a Fender 68 Deluxe which of course just has bass and treble (set at 6 & 7 respectively). I will note that my humbucker equipped guitars do sound better on the "Vintage" side while my single coil guitars benefit from the Bassman-like tone stack in the "Custom" channel.
 

PermissionToLand

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I wanted output that was closer to my 490/498 pair. I was hoping there would be some tweaks that would fix the "problem" so thank you!

The 498 is a very high output pickup. Anywhere from 9-13k ohms. T-Tops are medium output, around 7.5k and basically the direct descendant of the PAF. They are about as "traditional PAF sounding" as anything else. 498s are not remotely traditional spec. If you want them to sound hotter, add more gain. It's that easy.
 
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Gibson has started putting these T Type pickups in their 335 models,calling them Calibrated T Type pickups.
 

JackStraw

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Hello,
I just discovered the forum yesterday & this is my first post. I've been playing for decades but was slow to pick up an SG. Last year I bought one of the Chicago Music Exchange SG Standards (in heritage cherry; not one of those funky pastels) and I absolutely love it. It's my go-to guitar now. I love the neck & the easy fret access and the lightness of it. The guitar, unplugged by itself has a great resonance to it. It chimes! The only thing about this SG that does NOT get 5 stars is the "T-Type" pickups, the under-wound humbuckers that were supposed to mimic the Gibson T-Top pickups of the 70s. To me they just don't have a lot of life in them & I'd like something a little more traditional PAF sounding. Something with some guts to it.

The question is: Should I modify the existing pickups w/ a magnet swap or additional winds or replace them with '57 Classics or Seth Lovers or something similar. (I would especially like to hear from the Colonel on this as he has given great advise to other players.)
I have 57's in my SG & they're awesome!! But I would try & move the poles or the pups themselves or both before buying something new. With the right adjustments those pups may come to life in the way you like. If not get the 57's.
 

madhermit

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I have 61 Burstbuckers in my 2018 Standard and it took me quite a while to dial them in, but now I LOVE THEM!

Keep playing with the heights. If that doesn’t work, pull them out, keep them, and get something else. I’d probably pull it all out and redo all the pots, caps, and wiring too.
 

Wild Bill212

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Hello,
I just discovered the forum yesterday & this is my first post. I've been playing for decades but was slow to pick up an SG. Last year I bought one of the Chicago Music Exchange SG Standards (in heritage cherry; not one of those funky pastels) and I absolutely love it. It's my go-to guitar now. I love the neck & the easy fret access and the lightness of it. The guitar, unplugged by itself has a great resonance to it. It chimes! The only thing about this SG that does NOT get 5 stars is the "T-Type" pickups, the under-wound humbuckers that were supposed to mimic the Gibson T-Top pickups of the 70s. To me they just don't have a lot of life in them & I'd like something a little more traditional PAF sounding. Something with some guts to it.

The question is: Should I modify the existing pickups w/ a magnet swap or additional winds or replace them with '57 Classics or Seth Lovers or something similar. (I would especially like to hear from the Colonel on this as he has given great advise to other players.)

U cant go wrong with the '57's...I hav two SG Standards with them and they rule ! Burst Bucker PRO's are awesome too.....they are every bit as good as the Custom-Buckers I got w/LP Custom.
 


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