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Thread: What are your favorite pickups in a semi-hollow?

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    Toneologist Nacho8807's Avatar
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    Default What are your favorite pickups in a semi-hollow?

    I recently acquired a new Epiphone Dot (thread). While I don't hate the stock pickups by any means, we all know they won't stick around forever. I mean, look what forum you're on right now.

    I am thinking about getting a set that's a little more vintage inspired, with a sweet sounding, low output neck pickup, and a raunchy, maybe even "honky" bridge pickup. I have also considered a Phat Cat set.

    But what I really want to know is: What are your favorite pickups in a hollow or semi-hollow body guitar? What kind of guitars do you have and what pickups have you tried? I'm looking forward to hearing them all!
    Quote Originally Posted by Rockstar216 View Post
    Musician thinking - nice strat, looks like a 62, that Marshall JCM 800 sounds great, the lead guitarist could use a bit less treble

    Bar patron thinking - Wonder if these guys know "Free bird"?

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    Mojo's Minions treyhaislip's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your favorite pickups in a semi-hollow?

    Only semi-hollow I've had was a custom Strat (African Mahogany+Sitka Spruce top body with a Rock Maple+Indian Rosewood neck) that first came with Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro Strat set which I replaced with Fender Fat 50s. The A2s sounded very sweet with the cleans but with drive they got a tad muddy. The Fat 50s, A5s, sounded incredible with cleans or gain–really nailed the Straty overdriven tones.

    I personally would suggest something with an A2 in the neck and something with an A5 in the bridge just from my experience BUT...completely different guitars there.

    The Pearly Gates might be a set you wanna check out...they sound killer.

    Attachment 72047

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    Default Re: What are your favorite pickups in a semi-hollow?

    The only semi-hollow I own is the PRS SE model of the same name. Pickups are SD P-Rails (neck/Rhythm) and P-Rails Hot (bridge/Treble), Triple Shot mounting surrounds, push-pull tone pot activates phase reversal.

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    Mojo's Minions Rand-O-Monium's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your favorite pickups in a semi-hollow?

    So it begins...
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    my banana hammock hosts a leetle peppercini and has hit the skids Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your favorite pickups in a semi-hollow?

    SOOOO many ways to go right here…..hard to choose.

    I am always a fan of a straight up pair of 59's. Can't miss.
    Seth's not a bad choice either.
    A2P's or PG's all good.

    However….I currently have a Jazz/JB loaded Epi Dot Studio. The JB is indeed raunchy! I'll suggest this combo:

    An A2P neck and your choice:
    59 Bridge
    Whole Lotta Bridge
    Or….JB2 bridge!
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    Default Re: What are your favorite pickups in a semi-hollow?

    The nicest sound I've heard coming from a semi hollow came from a set of Seth Lovers. Vintage inspired, very sweet neck and honkey with a bit of raunch in the bridge. That describes the SL set almost to a T.

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    Mojo's Minions blueman335's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your favorite pickups in a semi-hollow?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leon Of Late View Post
    The nicest sound I've heard coming from a semi hollow came from a set of Seth Lovers. Vintage inspired, very sweet neck and honkey with a bit of raunch in the bridge. That describes the SL set almost to a T.

    Another vote for Seth's. They have a open 3D sound (from being unpotted) that's hard to beat. I have a set in a Dot and they're excellent.
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    Default Re: What are your favorite pickups in a semi-hollow?

    SD 59s in my ES-335.

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    Mojo's Minions blueman335's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your favorite pickups in a semi-hollow?

    Quote Originally Posted by leevc5 View Post
    SD 59s in my ES-335.

    How's the low end in the neck slot? I had a '59N in a Sheraton that was pretty bassy/boomy. I know they don't always do that, but it does happen occasionally. A common solution being an A4 or A3; I made mine into a hybrid with a '59B coil, and that thinned out the tone.
    "Completely Conceded Glowing Expert."
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    "Wait, I know! Blueman and Lew can arm wrestle, and the winner gets to decide if 250K pots sound good or not."

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    Alnico 6/8 Chickenwings's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your favorite pickups in a semi-hollow?

    There is a a big difference between hollow and semi hollow guitars.
    You dont want anything too bassy in a full hollowbody.
    Pretty much anything but high output is good in a semi, although obviously some folks like it.
    If you want your semi to sound more like a hollow body, go for something with plenty of bass.

    Having said all that, and having tried many many pickups in both my 335 and 175, it sounds to me like you are describing pearly gates.
    However, i reckon taking a punt on a set of seths will do the job too.
    Last edited by Chickenwings; 04-27-2016 at 07:37 PM.
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    Default Re: What are your favorite pickups in a semi-hollow?

    Hard to go wrong with Seths, but I like the BB pros in my 335. They sound just about perfect to me for what I play.

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    Ultimate Tone Member tman's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your favorite pickups in a semi-hollow?

    I use A2P slash models in my semi hollow great sound and tone

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    Toneologist YeRedHouseOverYonder's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your favorite pickups in a semi-hollow?

    My .02 cents say a Seth or Antiquity for the neck based on your description. When I think "raunchy" and even "honky" bridge, I think the PG. You can also never go wrong with a p90/humbucker setup. Maybe a phat cat and PGb?

    I have a set of antiquities in my Gibson CS 336 (doesn't sound like a 335 per se). Dig the antiquities, especially the neck pickup. Mine reads 7.4k and it's just a delight to play. They do sound warm, but my guitar has enough top end to fill in the gap and just produce a lush singing quality to notes. Clear and articulate. Like noted before, the unpotted nature of the pickups creates a 3D quality that makes them stand out. The bridge pickup needs help. I found the bridge pickup to be very timid unlike the neck pickup. I had to put an A4 in my antiquity bridge to make it more usable. Next string change will see an UOA5.

    Previous pickups in the 336 included a Custom Shop WLH neck and a CS Hybrid as well. The guitar didn't care for them. The hybrid is much happier in a Jazzmaster and the WLH is waiting for a new home.

    The '57s that originally came in the guitar weren't overly bad, but they lacked clarity for me.

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    Super Toneologist Gibson 1964's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your favorite pickups in a semi-hollow?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
    SOOOO many ways to go right here…..hard to choose.

    I am always a fan of a straight up pair of 59's. Can't miss.
    Seth's not a bad choice either.
    A2P's or PG's all good.

    However….I currently have a Jazz/JB loaded Epi Dot Studio. The JB is indeed raunchy! I'll suggest this combo:

    An A2P neck and your choice:
    59 Bridge
    Whole Lotta Bridge
    Or….JB2 bridge!
    I have a PATB-1 Bridge and PATB Neck in a thinline tele. It is surprisingly awesome. They have a really cool clean sound. Gotta say, I put em in as a joke. They are no joke.

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    Mojo's Minions treyhaislip's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your favorite pickups in a semi-hollow?

    Quote Originally Posted by YeRedHouseOverYonder View Post
    My .02 cents say a Seth or Antiquity for the neck based on your description. When I think "raunchy" and even "honky" bridge, I think the PG. You can also never go wrong with a p90/humbucker setup. Maybe a phat cat and PGb?
    Pearly Gates bridge+Phat Cat neck is an awesome combo! Love it in my Warmoth! I think it would sound killer in a Semi-Hollow.

    Attachment 72057

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    Toneologist YeRedHouseOverYonder's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your favorite pickups in a semi-hollow?

    ^^ p90/humbucker setups are often ignored or underrated. I fell in love with the middle position looonngg ago. You can dial in a great "chirp" with a vol./tone for each p'up. Still sound good with a master vol/tone. I'm using a p90/humbucker on my jazzcaster. Love it.

    Yo, that rig tho! Nice build too. I'm over here drooling haha.

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    Toneologist Nacho8807's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your favorite pickups in a semi-hollow?

    Great suggestions and sweet guitars guys!

    I don't know how I didn't think of Seth's, but those seem like they'd fit perfectly! I'll look into those. I also saw a lot of mentions of set I had already been considering, such as the PG, A2/Slash, and the BB Pro. I even already have a BB Pro set and some extra magnets so I will definitely be experimenting with those, although I think the neck pickup might not work as well as the bridge, based on how I liked them in other guitars.

    What instances do you guys reach for your semi-hollows over other guitars? Playing through my songs, I can only find a couple tunes that the tone really suits it. The cool thing is I find myself writing and playing new stuff that does fit it well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rockstar216 View Post
    Musician thinking - nice strat, looks like a 62, that Marshall JCM 800 sounds great, the lead guitarist could use a bit less treble

    Bar patron thinking - Wonder if these guys know "Free bird"?

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    Mojo's Minions Lewguitar's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your favorite pickups in a semi-hollow?

    I'd go with Alnico 2 Seth Lovers or Antiquitys.

    335's just look "right" with pickups with covers.

    Larry Carlton's famous 335 would have Alnico 5 pickups though.

    Sure sounds amazing.

    So covered Duncan 59's are worth considering. Would be nice if they were offered with Unoriented Alnico 5.

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    Toneologist
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    Default Re: What are your favorite pickups in a semi-hollow?

    Quote Originally Posted by blueman335 View Post
    How's the low end in the neck slot? I had a '59N in a Sheraton that was pretty bassy/boomy. I know they don't always do that, but it does happen occasionally. A common solution being an A4 or A3; I made mine into a hybrid with a '59B coil, and that thinned out the tone.
    I love that bassy boomy sound. I have Gibson BB King signature strings (10-54s) on it to help get that bassy sound. For me it is exactly what I'm looking for out of the ES-335.

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    Toneologist Nacho8807's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your favorite pickups in a semi-hollow?

    Quote Originally Posted by leevc5 View Post
    I love that bassy boomy sound. I have Gibson BB King signature strings (10-54s) on it to help get that bassy sound. For me it is exactly what I'm looking for out of the ES-335.
    Wow those are even bigger than what I use for drop C#. Did BB tune down? Or did he just like big meaty strings that fought back?
    Quote Originally Posted by Rockstar216 View Post
    Musician thinking - nice strat, looks like a 62, that Marshall JCM 800 sounds great, the lead guitarist could use a bit less treble

    Bar patron thinking - Wonder if these guys know "Free bird"?

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