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Gibson Tal Farlow pickups replacement

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Gibson Tal Farlow pickups replacement

Postby Francesco Chieffo » Sun Jan 19, 2020 5:43 pm

Hi everybody, I own a 2015 Gibson Tal Farlow, which mounts two Classic '57. Since I don't just play jazz anymore, I need something more versatile and I'm thinking of changing the pickups, more specifically the neck pickup. I am looking for something that has slightly more open sounds and more high end clarity, but that leaves the warm sound of the instrument intact. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Gibson Tal Farlow pickups replacement

Postby John Egan » Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:53 pm

You could maybe try a Seymour Duncan Seth Lover. This has a PAF tonality, which would suit the character of the instrument.
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Re: Gibson Tal Farlow pickups replacement

Postby John Egan » Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:53 pm

You could maybe try a Seymour Duncan Seth Lover. This has a PAF tonality, which would suit the character of the instrument.
Regards, John
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Re: Gibson Tal Farlow pickups replacement

Postby Francesco Chieffo » Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:50 am

Do they have a brighter tone?
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Re: Gibson Tal Farlow pickups replacement

Postby John Egan » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:15 am

Francesco Chieffo wrote:Do they have a brighter tone?

That will depend on the guitar to some extent. I don't think they will be quite as full sounding as the 57 classics (which I like very much, by the way) but they are essentially a PAF sounding pickup. I have one in the neck of a G&L Tele, which is certainly bright enough and a friend of mine has a set in a Les Paul, which sounds really nice and very comparable to a classic PAF set. I also have a set of Seymour's 59s in a Guild Bluesbird which sound good.
I do like the Gibson Burstbuckers too, which sound great in a Les Paul and I hear very good reports of the newer Probuckers, though I don't have ay experience of them.
I suggest you look in your local guitar shops at guitars similar to your Tal Farlow ( a lovely guitar) and see if anything grabs you.
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Re: Gibson Tal Farlow pickups replacement

Postby zenguitar » Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:14 pm

Before swapping pickups it’s worth checking that you are getting the best from the existing pickups. The classic 57 is a PAF type but it is not a “jazz” pickup. Gibson used the original on a whole range of guitars so you shouldn’t assume that it can’t get the sounds you are looking for.

The sound of the guitar comes from the woods, construction, and hardware. That won’t change. Like microphones, guitar pickups have a transfer character which has peaks and troughs and bass & treble roll off. This shapes the sound that is already there from your guitar.

By making small adjustments to pickup height you can tweak how your current pickups sound. Plug in to a clean amp and listen to each pickup on its own. Lowering the pickup will keep the same tonal balance but slightly reduces output which will open up the sound a little. If it seems to have too much treble, lower the treble side of the pickup a couple of turns; if it has too much bass, lower the bass side a couple of turns. Alternatively, if there is too little treble or bass, raise that side a turn or two.

By adjusting pickup heights individually and relative to each other you can get quite a range of tones. And don’t forget to experiment with the volume and tone controls, many of the classic twin humbucker sounds are achieved this way. And if your regular tone uses amp or pedal distortion, don’t forget to test your adjustments with your amp tone to hear how your changes are working out.

Hopefully that will save you a decent wedge of cash.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Gibson Tal Farlow pickups replacement

Postby Wonks » Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:54 pm

Some people raise all the pole pieces on their humbuckers by a couple of mm, whilst lowering the body of the pickup by the same amount. This us supposed to help replicate mismatched coils and open up the sound. I must say it didn't do that much for me, but like Zen's suggestions, it's a matter if moments to try and costs nothing.

The 'cleanest' brightest sounding neck humbucker I've used was an SD Jazz. So much so that I wondered if I'd miss-wired the selector switch. For me, it was almost too bright, as it lost some of the darkness that you expect from a neck pickup.

I've had 57 Classics in a 335, so I know what they sound like. The SD 59 would probably fit nicely between the two.

There are of course loads of PAF style pickups available, but you'd probably want to look at the hand-wound, non-potted lower output types.

However, if you want it all a lot cleaner (though the SD Jazz I had was clean), then maybe a Gretsch style humbucker though you may need an adapter plate because of their smaller size) or maybe a humbucker size P-90. If the latter, select a low-powered version, as some P-90s have a lot more mids and bass and overall grunt than a Classic 57 does.

Have you tried your guitar through a different amp? You may find that your guitar may sound as you like it with an amp that emphasises different tonal areas?
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