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Old 10-05-2009, 04:00 PM   #1
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New Gibson Explorer

Hello All,

I have lurked for sometime while I learn at least a few chords, but now I have jumped in and bought a new Gibson Explorer. I love it to death, BUT, I have to admit the pickups might be a little too hot (496R and 500T). I was wondering a couple of things. First, what would be a worthy replacement? Perhaps a PAF type, or how about the 57 Classics that are standard in the Gibson Custom Explorer? Second, will replacing the PU's lower the "value" of the guitar? I would appreciate any help. I am of course after an Edge type sound not Metallica.

Oh, and here's another question, I have a black 2002 epi les paul standard, would the pickups from the Explorer be any sort of upgrade to the stock Epi pickups? I could kill two birds with one stone then.

James.
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:30 PM   #2
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Edge's has T-Tops in them. They were the standard issue pickup for his 1976 Limited Edition Explorer.

They were also the standard issue Gibson humbucker in the 1970's to early 1980's.

Swapping out pickups might 'lower' the value as it is no longer a stock guitar. But you would have to weigh the options between resale value and a better/desired tone?




Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholjm View Post
Hello All,

I have lurked for sometime while I learn at least a few chords, but now I have jumped in and bought a new Gibson Explorer. I love it to death, BUT, I have to admit the pickups might be a little too hot (496R and 500T). I was wondering a couple of things. First, what would be a worthy replacement? Perhaps a PAF type, or how about the 57 Classics that are standard in the Gibson Custom Explorer? Second, will replacing the PU's lower the "value" of the guitar? I would appreciate any help. I am of course after an Edge type sound not Metallica.

Oh, and here's another question, I have a black 2002 epi les paul standard, would the pickups from the Explorer be any sort of upgrade to the stock Epi pickups? I could kill two birds with one stone then.

James.
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:34 PM   #3
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As for your Epi Les Paul... similar. T-Tops would be a great replacement.

Friend of mine got a Gibson 1960's reissue Les Paul Custom. She changed the pickups out to T-Tops and is very happy with the tone.

Seth Lover humbuckers are good too. 57 Classics are not bad. But if you want to get closest to Edge's tone, T-Tops are a good way to go.

You can find them on E-Bay from time to time; that is where my friend got hers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholjm View Post
Hello All,

I have lurked for sometime while I learn at least a few chords, but now I have jumped in and bought a new Gibson Explorer. I love it to death, BUT, I have to admit the pickups might be a little too hot (496R and 500T). I was wondering a couple of things. First, what would be a worthy replacement? Perhaps a PAF type, or how about the 57 Classics that are standard in the Gibson Custom Explorer? Second, will replacing the PU's lower the "value" of the guitar? I would appreciate any help. I am of course after an Edge type sound not Metallica.

Oh, and here's another question, I have a black 2002 epi les paul standard, would the pickups from the Explorer be any sort of upgrade to the stock Epi pickups? I could kill two birds with one stone then.

James.
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:58 AM   #4
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P-Rails are amazing. Seymour Duncan makes them and I recommend them to everyone as they're a p-90 wound with a single coil, so you can either get a single coil tone, a p-90 tone, use them together in synch and get a humbucker tone, or use them together out of synch and get a PAF tone.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:00 AM   #5
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P-Rails are amazing. Seymour Duncan makes them and I recommend them to everyone as they're a p-90 wound with a single coil, so you can either get a single coil tone, a p-90 tone, use them together in synch and get a humbucker tone, or use them together out of synch and get a PAF tone.

No disrespect to 'The Tourist' but I'm not so sure his recommendation will fit the bill.

Seems a better choice to choose a humbucker that is the same or very close to what Edge uses, if you are looking for Edge-like tone for your Explorer and/or Les Paul.

In the end, let your own ears be the judge.
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:40 PM   #6
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Yep. TTops are a great way to get Edge's sound. He has them in his 75 Cream Custom. They were standard issue in the 70's and 80's since Edge owns a lot of guitars from this time period he has them in there. Good choice!
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Old 10-06-2009, 04:42 PM   #7
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They are a little hard to come by though aren't they, I did see one on ebay yesterday. Whay would be the best alternate? Can you put new covers on them, my Explorer has the Nickel hardware.

On a slightly different topic, When I bought the EXPL at Sam Ash I also poped over to Guitar center and noticed they have a 2008 model for same price with gold hardware. Any difference than y'all know of? I would guess the PUPS are different if anything.
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Oh, and here's another question, I have a black 2002 epi les paul standard, would the pickups from the Explorer be any sort of upgrade to the stock Epi pickups? I could kill two birds with one stone then.
If you're planning on selling the guitar on ebay or something, having the gibson pickups in it, you could probably get away with selling it for a bit more.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholjm View Post
They are a little hard to come by though aren't they, I did see one on ebay yesterday. Whay would be the best alternate? Can you put new covers on them, my Explorer has the Nickel hardware.

On a slightly different topic, When I bought the EXPL at Sam Ash I also poped over to Guitar center and noticed they have a 2008 model for same price with gold hardware. Any difference than y'all know of? I would guess the PUPS are different if anything.
PATIENCE is a virtue. You won't find them each day, every day on e-bay. But if you keep your eyes peeled... and check craigs list too... you patience will be rewarded with T-Tops and fantastic tone.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholjm View Post
They are a little hard to come by though aren't they, I did see one on ebay yesterday. Whay would be the best alternate? Can you put new covers on them, my Explorer has the Nickel hardware.

On a slightly different topic, When I bought the EXPL at Sam Ash I also poped over to Guitar center and noticed they have a 2008 model for same price with gold hardware. Any difference than y'all know of? I would guess the PUPS are different if anything.
Don't think that there is any difference in the pickups in a 2009 and 2008 Explorer.

Gold hardware is nice but if you already have the previously mentioned Explorer, you can change that out later.

What finish is your Explorer?
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Old 10-07-2009, 12:32 AM   #11
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It's the cherry finish of course, a la Edge.....I am a little in awe of it right now, very beautiful, even my wife gasped when i opened the case. I really appreciate all your responses here, looks like TTops it is, is 1979 a good year? Any gotcha's that you know of with regard to years/condition?
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholjm View Post
It's the cherry finish of course, a la Edge.....I am a little in awe of it right now, very beautiful, even my wife gasped when i opened the case. I really appreciate all your responses here, looks like TTops it is, is 1979 a good year? Any gotcha's that you know of with regard to years/condition?
I don't know if T-Tops from any particular year are better than another. They were the 'stock' pickup of that era. But they sound amazing.

I know of many that have put them into their Explorers (even Epiphone Explorers) and Les Pauls and had great results.
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:33 PM   #13
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ok, looks like a pretty solid recommendation, I can find some, ebay has some 1979's in a matched pair for $240 right now actually.
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:27 AM   #14
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ok, looks like a pretty solid recommendation, I can find some, ebay has some 1979's in a matched pair for $240 right now actually.
Go for it. You won't be disappointed.
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:31 AM   #15
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OK,

I did pick up a pair of 1979 T Tops (no cover) with the intent of replacing the stock ceramic humbuckers in the Explorer. Currently these are also uncovered (i.e. no chrome cover plate). The t-tops are pretty ugly looking so I was wondering if there is a downside to getting these pups put into chrome covers. I understand they do not need to be potted but would need a couple of dabs of solder. Do it myself? I have replaced pups in strat and Epi Les Paul so aI am not a complete doofus.

So, any no no's? Risks? I don't want to devalue or otherwise ruin a fantastic guitar, nor do I want to ruin a perfectly good set of pickups. Any advice from knowledgable folks would be much appreciated.
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:23 AM   #16
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The Edge's Explorer pickups have gold covers that the finish has worn over the years. Tuners are/were gold color too.


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OK,

I did pick up a pair of 1979 T Tops (no cover) with the intent of replacing the stock ceramic humbuckers in the Explorer. Currently these are also uncovered (i.e. no chrome cover plate). The t-tops are pretty ugly looking so I was wondering if there is a downside to getting these pups put into chrome covers. I understand they do not need to be potted but would need a couple of dabs of solder. Do it myself? I have replaced pups in strat and Epi Les Paul so aI am not a complete doofus.

So, any no no's? Risks? I don't want to devalue or otherwise ruin a fantastic guitar, nor do I want to ruin a perfectly good set of pickups. Any advice from knowledgable folks would be much appreciated.
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Old 10-17-2009, 06:17 PM   #17
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Ok, update on what i have done. I did get hold of some 1979 Gibson PAF's they were uncovered. After much debate I bought some chrome Gibson covers and inserted the T-tops, no wax just a piece of tape. Fitted PERFECTLY. Lead on the neck was too short so I had to extend it but that worked fine. Pickups are easy to change in the explorer.. I LOVE them
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Old 10-18-2009, 09:18 PM   #18
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I do have one question. The bneck humbucker sounds a little thin/missing bass type tones. I could be mistaken having just had a veryt heavy ceramic pickup there. Could I have messed up the installation/wire extension? Would a poor solder job do that? Or maybe it just the way vintage neck pups sound?
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