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  1. #1

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    I’m loving my Eastman AR 371, but the stock Armstrong PU seems a little too “middle of the road” or a little too acoustic sounding, for lack of a better description.

    After exhaustively reading reviews and watching videos, I’ve narrowed the field down to either a Seymour Duncan Seth Lover or a Gibson Classic 57.

    I’m leaning towards the 57, because I’m worried that the Lover might be a little too revealing and unforgiving of my playing style.

    Here’s my typical setup and playing style:
    Eastman AR 371, Chrome flat wound .012
    Polytone Mini Brute III or Blackface Deluxe Reverb, usually at a very quiet volume
    Play fingerstyle (sloppily) with thumb and fingers

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  3. #2

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    Not trying at all to jump your post, but I think you 'might' find this information helpful.

    I was at NAMM last Saturday and had an opportunity to speak with one of the very knowledgeable Eastman archtop managers (Mark, I believe), about my Eastman AR880CE Pisano and pickup choices. My Eastman has a set-in Kent Armstrong pickup which I understand was made here in the US and not overseas.

    I explained I was wondering if there was another pickup he would recommend for my guitar that would 'tamp down' some of the 'brightness' and potentially create a 'warmer' sound.

    He immediately recommended a Lollar Low Wind Imperial Humbucker pickup. However when I read the writeup on the pickup on the Lollar site I was a bit surprised to read that compared with the regular Imperial Humbucker the Low Wind model has a brighter tone.

    Here is the entire write up:

    Based on lower output PAF's often found in vintage 335's, this pickup set has a brighter overall tone than the Lollar Imperials. Bottom strings hold together without distorting noticeably longer than most humbuckers. Combine this with an overall "toppier" tone (as compared to the Imperials) and the result gives exceptional definition for any chord voicing and great presence for coming through a mix. Alnico 2 magnets in the neck & alnico 5 magnets in the bridge are de-gaussed to specific levels, unique to the neck and bridge positions. Nickel silver pickup cover, single conductor braided shield wire- options available. Sold as singles or as sets.

    Maybe we can both get input about our pickup quests from the knowledgeable folks on this forum.

  4. #3

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    I have also been thinking about a humbucker replacement for my Eastman. In regards to the Lollar low wind, it does say relative to the standard Lollar Imperial. Without comparing the standard KA and the Lollar low wind I see no reason why the low wind would not meet your criteria of taming the brightness. From what I have read about the Lollar I wouldn't be surprised if it was a warmer sound, which may be more the reason for the recommendation than controlling the brightness.

    I would be interested to hear from those with experience with any of these pickups as well. I am still not fully satisfied that a Lollar would avoid sounding too muddy in my archtop. I like a bit of treble bite, which I find helps with string separation when playing chords. Too much and you end up with an acoustic guitar sound. I am still trying to find the right balance.

  5. #4

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    I have a AR 403. I have tried a Jon Moore pu which I had spec'd very close to a Gibson 57 classic and it sounded great in that guitar. I don't have the comparative info you're looking for since I have not tried the Seth Lover or Imperial but I would be surprised if any of the 3 pu's mentioned are not a great upgrade for that guitar regardless of which one you choose.

  6. #5

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    I've got the AR 371, and a similar setup....flatwound, through a SF Princeton Reverb, chord melody style with fingers. I use a pick to for some tunes, and depending on the gig/tune.

    I replaced the stock Kent Armstrong HPAN-1 (not a terrible pickup IMO but yes...sorta meh), with a humbucker sized P90 from Pete Biltoft. It's a good match for my style, and for this guitar. I am a huge P90 fan, and Pete makes some of the very best. Fairly quiet for a large single coil, super articulate and fantastic midrange, which is what I want. Not trebly and mid-scooped like the KA stock pickup, not at all. It's still a fairly bright guitar, but that's pretty easy to dial out a bit.

    I know you didn't ask about it....but I thought I confuse the issue some more

  7. #6

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    As a ( big) generalisation, pickups with alnico 2 magnets like the (neck) lollar tend to sound fatter and 'warmer'. I have found the low wind lollar to be pretty fat-sounding in a slaman carved-top guitar. I have no experience of eastmans, though.

    That said, the effect of pickup swaps tends to be limited in my experience, though I know others hear significant changes with different pickups.

  8. #7

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    It may be relevant to know that Foulds Music in the UK offer the AR371 with a Bare Knuckle Mule as an option on new Eastmans they supply. Bare Knuckles have a great reputation, but you will need to ask the good people at Foulds why they specifically offer the Mule (or the Manhattan p90) as options.

  9. #8

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    Of course, Engine Swap, we're all assuming that you've tried lowering the pups aways from the strings before you make any changes???

  10. #9
    Yep - tried many permutations of PU and polepiece height. Also tried it was 4-5 different amps (tube and SS)

    Not looking a big change, just a little more bottom and mids to balance out the highs.

  11. #10

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    Most Boutique PAF's are exc. choices. Some include Manilus, Sheptone, Wolfetone ,Fralin, Vintage Vibe, even DiMarzio 36th Anniversary PAF's are exc. If you want a more single coil response tone opt for a low wind Alnico 2 magnet say 7.2k or so. Fatter tone go for an Alnico 5 magnet 8.2k or there abouts. Just find a used one on TGP Emporium, and see which one is the best deal!

  12. #11

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    Steve Holst talked me into the Seth Lover when he built my laminate archtop and I really like it. It's somewhat bright, and very clear and articulate, but the brightness dials down nicely if that's what you want. I have no problem getting the classic 175 tone.

    I haven't owned the 57, but lots of people like them. From what I've heard it's a little darker pickup. Frankly, I don't think you'd be disappointed either way.

    Hope you get the sound you want.

    Jonathan

  13. #12

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    I have an AR403 in which I replaced the kent Armstrong hpag-1 with a Gibson classic 57 and am happy with it.

    The classic 57 isn't worlds apart tonally but it has a tad more color and warmth than the stock one. I like that. The stock one was fairly clear in an acoustic manner and a tad brighter I thought.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by StevieB

    He immediately recommended a Lollar Low Wind Imperial Humbucker pickup. However when I read the writeup on the pickup on the Lollar site I was a bit surprised to read that compared with the regular Imperial Humbucker the Low Wind model has a brighter tone.

    Here is the entire write up:

    Based on lower output PAF's often found in vintage 335's, this pickup set has a brighter overall tone than the Lollar Imperials. Bottom strings hold together without distorting noticeably longer than most humbuckers. Combine this with an overall "toppier" tone (as compared to the Imperials) and the result gives exceptional definition for any chord voicing and great presence for coming through a mix. Alnico 2 magnets in the neck & alnico 5 magnets in the bridge are de-gaussed to specific levels, unique to the neck and bridge positions. Nickel silver pickup cover, single conductor braided shield wire- options available. Sold as singles or as sets.

    As explained in Lindy Fralin's website low wind in general means less power, less mids, more highs.
    Have a look at Fralin's website, "Choosing a pickup" section

  15. #14

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    I have a 335 type guitar with two seth lovers and an SG with two gibson 57s.

    I really like both of them, and they both have a good tone for jazz.
    Maybe the 57's sound is more versatile.
    (I not good at describing and talking about tone using words)

  16. #15
    Thanks for all the well-reasoned responses.

    Really tough to decide. The tone with the KA is pretty close. I've only been playing Jazz/Archtops for a year and suspect that my technique is part of the puzzle. Recently switching to a Polytone got me closer. Still leaning towards the 57 - I'll see if I can get a decent used one.

  17. #16

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    The recommendation for a lollar, low-wind is an odd one because the low wind pickups are brighter than a standard PAF.

    The cheap pickup I like is the dimarzio 36th anniversary pickup. The classic 57 is a little too bottom heavy I think. If you can get a non-potted pickup with a slight coil mismatch you will get a better sounding pickup IMO.

  18. #17

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    If I may take an attempt on myth-matched coils and maybe potting too:

    Around 1978-80 Jeff Baxter, a VERY smart person, wrote a staggeringly un-smart (in his revised opinion) article advocating the careful matching of HB coils for a sweeter sound.

    For his stated reasons (It does not work.), and possibly some other reasons (It is easy to wreck a coil trying this even if you know what you are doing.), he retracted the article a month or two later.

    No shame in a "swing and a miss", and major respect for stepping up and fixing it.

    *************

    And hoping we can not devolve into TGP hysteria,...

    The idea of matched or mismatched coils requires you to decide what to match. If you match the DC resistance, then in the 1800's someone could point out that this ill-conceived.

    If you wanted to make a measurement of the resonant peak of each coil - while built into the PU - then at least we would be out of TGP myth-dom. But this would raise other issues such as the design of some HB pickups with differing magnetic structure on one coil vs. the other. You could have identically wound coils producing notably different sounds.

    Also if one suggests some finesse within this, such a certain degree of "mis-match", how do you measure this? One could easily propose that the coils would have to be significantly different in the amount of wire used (and so differing DC resistance) to be matched in their resonant peak in some PU designs.

    Then there is the matter of scatter winding with its random or pseudo-random effects.

    And how are you reversing the phase of the coils? Are they wound in the same direction with the leads reversed? Do you wind one in the opposite direction? This has an effect. Yes, a minor one - but once we talk about "mis-matched" coils and perceived (or possibly "interpreted") effects on sound I think anything goes.

    Whatever floats ones boat is of course just fine. And certainly taking some turns off of a PU coil makes it sound different. But it takes some significant changes to the coil.

    Fine-tuning the DC resistance of one coil vs. another is getting into subtleties that become conceptually odd if the PU design means the each coil is already different in its actual structure in the PU.

    In my opinion. (An under-used phrase, in my opinion.)

    *******************

    Potting can have different effects.

    The main attraction is when it somewhat dampens the PU cover from vibrating relative to the rest of the PU.

    A "nickel-silver" (not actually NiAg) PU cover will generate a signal if it vibrates relative to the rest of the PU.

    Those squealing P-90s that get better with a plastic (vs. metal) cover are an easy way to demo this.

    The wax potting you often see used does a pretty good job of damping squeal from the PU cover.

    Wax potting also does OK at keeping some of the PU structure from vibrating relative to the rest of the PU.

    But as Jazz players, major squeal is often not a major concern.

    And most wax-potting does nothing for vibration within the coil.

    What can happen, at any volume, is that the PU can act somewhat micro-phonically. Tap your PU with a piece of wood and listen. Some PUs will transmit this very loudly, other will transmit almost nothing - and some of that can be the PU moving relative to the strings as you whack away with your hickory stick.

    A wax potted PU often has a still notable micro-phonic response.

    So yeah, un-potted PU will often be noticeably micro-phonic, and you can hear it.

    Wax potted will often be somewhat less microphonic.

    And typically, a resin potted PU will be very un-micro-phonic.

    Unlike relatively small mis-matches in coil DC resistance, micro-phoncs can be measured in a way that is consistent with what you (and even the audience) can hear when playing.

    In my opinion. Well I have made a decent pile of PU's and even actually measured the response, which arguably has no bearing on the usefulness of my opinion.

    Chris
    Last edited by PTChristopher2; 01-30-2014 at 05:27 PM. Reason: spelling

  19. #18

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    Chris,

    I'll give you my take on it from a pragmatic point of view. (Not that yours was not pragmatic)

    The original gibson pickups were not potted and were hand wound so they almost never matched in terms of DC resistance. Additionally they were not potted.

    The variation of dc resistance and other factors made for a pickup which was not perfectly hum canceling. Additionally, as you point out, the lack of potting makes the pickup slightly microphonic. The microphonics pickup more of the physical vibration of the acoustic sound of the guitar as opposed to strictly the magnetic field of the string. This results in a pickup which lets more of the guitar's actual tone come through.

    The slightly worse hum canceling of the mismatched coils give a slightly richer harmonic response (along with a teeny bit of noise).

    In reality, the microphonics and noise are not an issue. I have been using the fralin unbuckers for a while now. They feature unpotted and mismatched coils. In their case, the screw coil is significantly hotter than the other cable for a different purpose - they want you to be able to switch to single coil mode and have the coil that's still on be more comparable to a standard strat single coil.

    So in my case, the mismatch is severe but it still effectively cancels hum and the squeal is a non-issue, even with dumble style overdrive at loud volumes.

  20. #19

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    100% agreed that you can have a major difference in coil size yet still have very effective hum reduction.

    After seeing an Alembic guitar on Don Kirshner (or maybe it was Burt Sugarman) I went and made a guitar with a single dummy coil in the middle position. It worked very well to greatly reduce hum even though its value (as DC resistance) was a split between the two active single coil PUs.

    The middle "dummy" PU had no magnet at all. In effect it was a hum generator set 180 degrees out of phase wit the PUs. So I buffered the PU and the dummy coil , then mixed them onboard. Worked as advertised.

    Unbuffered, I think the dummy coil would have had some RLC resonance issues, but I have no idea really.

    Chris

  21. #20

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    Sounds like that might be similar in concept to what suhr is doing with the SSC system. I've known other guys to have success with dummy coils. Isn't that what Eric Johnson does with his strat bridge pickup?

    I wonder why the dummy coil concept never got more press?

  22. #21

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    ,... as the OP understands that topics drift "off-topic" in the course of discourse,...


    >>> I wonder why the dummy coil concept never got more press?

    In my opinion a dummy coil really wants a buffer, which means at least two on-board buffers.

    Otherwise you get the hum canceling from the dummy coil, but also get some unwanted (presumably) shifts in the resonance of the passive RLC (resistor, inductor, capacitor) high-impedance circuit in the guitar.

    So a dummy coil system is more complex than the mainstream guitar market seemingly wants.

    Also, there are quite a few humbucking designs that also keep things nice and bright.

    It may only seem like a single lifetime ago, but the late 70's and Alembic were in an era of pretty early attempts at stacked HB pickups and other solutions. I think the complexity of the dummy coil and the lack of a real "need" today, resigned it to the backroom of guitardom.

    They are still used in custom Strat setups. I have no idea if Eric johnson uses them. Notably, I am sure many are used without on-board buffers, so there is a different view than mine on the (electronic) resonance issue.

    I only worked with bare coils. But a non magnetized ferrous core might also be useful.

    Chris

  23. #22
    Here is my experience with my 371 and a Seth Lover. As has been stated, the Seth Lover is unpotted. It is a very clear and articulate pickup. The 371 is a very light, resonant guitar with a big acoustic sound. In combination with the Seth Lover, a lot of the subtle nuances of your playing will come through. I'm in a jazz ensemble class with another 175 and a 335. My guitar has a unique voice. This is not good or bad, and the other guitars sound great as well.
    But I think a lot of people want the more classic 175 sound and I think this would come with a potted pickup, at least on a 371. I have a couple other guitars with '59s on them and I love this pickup. Thought about it in the 371 but went with the Seth. The '59 is darker, bassier, again not bad qualities just different. I think that would work well on a 371 also.
    Just my take from personal experience.

  24. #23

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    Gibson didn't start potting pickups until fairly recently. The classic 175 sounds were never with potted pickups.

    Never liked the seth lover pickup for jazz.

  25. #24

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    A few thoughts...

    I think pickups are like anything else: examine your needs/wants and then work towards them. So there are no hard and fast rules about pickup A being "better" or "worse" than pickup B. Rather pickup A is different than pickup B and now the question is which better suites the application. That being said my own personal favorite is the DiMarzio 36th Anniversary. I have found that it works well in a lot of different guitars. It's hot enough to be set quite far from the strings (that's important to me because I play over the pickup a lot and I don't want to touch the screws with my nails) but not so hot that it loses too much detail. It's potted so it doesn't make a lot of noise when I do make contact with it (and that does happen no matter how hard I try to avoid it). And tonally I find that it's smooth in the lows and mids but has a lot of detail in the high end which I like. It's also very noise resistant. That does come into play a lot more often than I think a lot of people consider, especially if I'm playing around my Macbook. It's amazing how many pickups make a horrible noise whenever my finger touches the mouse pad.

    As for the Lollar Low Wind, I agree with what has been said in this thread about under wound pickups but the Lollar Low Wind is not really under wound. It's a low wind relative to the standard Lollar Imperial and the Imperial s one of the hottest PAF style pickups that I've tried. I've played the Low Wind Imperial in about five or six guitars and for a neck pickup, I thought it worked vey well.

  26. #25

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    jim's right about the lollar low wind. It's 7k vs 7.5k for the standard humbuckers that most people make so I'll retract my original statement about it potentially being bright though it will be brighter than the 57 classic or the dimarzio 36th.

  27. #26
    More good info - thanks!

    Didn't really think about output vs. pickup height. I too play right over the pickup and it gets in the way if it's too high.

    Jim, I'm coming from the same place - smooth low and mids with clear highs. The stock KA does the highs fine, but the mids and lows don't seem to be there.

    Going the add the SD 59 to the pile of PUs to consider.

  28. #27
    EngineSwap,
    Forums are a funny place. You get some people with some pretty strong opinions. But if you are in pursuit of your own personal sound, it is YOUR ears that matter. No one has any more or less credibility than you.
    Wouldn't it be great if there were some easy way to preview all these pickups in the same guitar?



    • Seymour Duncan SH-55 Seth Lover Model. A modern pickup that reproduces Seth Lover's '55 prototype design in great detail: a nickel silver cover (not brass one), long bottom plate, plain #42 enamel wire, Alnico 2 magnets, wooden spacer, and black paper tape. Seth and Seymour were great friends, and Seth gave Seymour all of the original specs. In addition, Seymour owns Gibson's pickup winding machine from the '50s, and all SH-55's are wound on it.
    • Seymour Duncan SH-1 '59 Model. A replica of late '50s PAFs, gives a slightly fatter sound, more known as a signature tone of famous blues/rock guitarists of the 1960s.
    • Gibson "'57 Classic" Gibson's most regular take on the PAF. Not scatter wound, wax potted. Since the mid-'80s this is the standard pickup on most higher level guitars.
    • Gibson Burstbucker. Gibson's newest take on the P.A.F. Scatter wound, not wax potted, these are the closest replicas Gibson makes. These pickups come stock on the Historic line of Reissue Les Pauls.
    • DiMarzio PAF (DP103). One of the earliest PAF replicas, wax potted with Alnico 5 magnets, 4-conductor cable for split and series/parallel wiring.
    • DiMarzio PAF Classic Bridge (DP195) and Neck (DP194). PAF pickups with pre-installed covers, wax-dipped twice (before cover installation and after).
    • DiMarzio Virtual Hot PAF (DP214), Virtual PAF Bridge (DP197), Virtual PAF Neck (DP196). Pickups built with patented Virtual Vintage technology that gives a more balanced pickup characteristic.
    • Bare Knuckle Pickups The Mule. An accurate scatter wound PAF replica: The Mule uses a solid nickel baseplate and cover, #42 AWG plain enamel wire, unpolished Alnico 4 magnets, maple spacer and butyrate bobbins.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluemusic4us

    • DiMarzio PAF (DP103). One of the earliest PAF replicas, wax potted with Alnico 5 magnets, 4-conductor cable for split and series/parallel wiring.
    The DP103 is the 36th Anniversary. It's actually just a few years old.

  30. #29

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    Since you mention that one of the PUs above specify #42 AWG, note that any talk of DC resistance (often in the 5 to 15K ohm range for HB PUs) is meaningless unless you also specify the bobbin and the wire gauge.

    42 is probably the most common gauge used throughout PU history, but there are 43 and 44 gauges used, and they have more ohms per foot.

    Also, the gauge and the thickness of the wire coating will affect the density of the coil.

    And there are more factors that make DC resistance (while easy to measure) shaky at best as a comparison tool. If one needed a single number, then resonant frequency would be beter. But even that would miss some things that contribute to sound (like a P-90 morphology vs. a tele rhythm PU).

    I understand why DC resistance it popular to use, but it only really makes sense as a comparative tool when all else is equal between two PUs.

    In my opinion.

    Chris

  31. #30

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    A good example of how DC resistance can be misleading in isolation is Lollar's CC pickup. It measures around 3.2 kohms , far less resistance than a gretsch filtertron or tele pickup, but sounds thick, fat and loud - comparable to a HB.
    It uses 38 gauge wire, which is a long way from 42 or 42, so again another reason to perhaps avoid looking at these things in isolation.

  32. #31

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    FWIW, a couple of years ago, I wanted to warm up my L5, because the stock 57 Classic sounded a bit thin to me. After reading a bit and getting the idea that a higher wind would warm things up, I spoke with Jason Lollar, who confirmed the idea, sold me a high wind Imperial and it worked beautifully. They have a good return policy as well, so not a huge hassle to try it out.

  33. #32
    Those Lollars look nice, but a little too much to experiment with.

    As mentioned, just about any of the PAF clones mentioned in this thread would probably do the trick. I decided against the Lover, since I do hit PU with my fingers.

    i found a nice, clean used Duncan 59 neck, for $50. I'll report back. Should arrive mid-week. I'll upgrade the pots as long as I'm in there. I'll try to record some before/after clips FWIW.

    Thanks again for all the great responses!

  34. #33

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    i have the lovers in my Heritage eagle and I just lower them a few 16ths of an inch and never hit them with a pick or fingers.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Engine Swap
    I’m loving my Eastman AR 371, but the stock Armstrong PU seems a little too “middle of the road” or a little too acoustic sounding, for lack of a better description.

    I’m leaning towards the 57, because I’m worried that the Lover might be a little too revealing and unforgiving of my playing style.

    Here’s my typical setup and playing style:
    Eastman AR 371, Chrome flat wound .012
    Polytone Mini Brute III or Blackface Deluxe Reverb, usually at a very quiet volume
    Play fingerstyle (sloppily) with thumb and fingers
    I own a 371 and went through 10+ pickups (after 5 it became a quest). I had the opposite experience but the same reaction: I thought the Korean Kent Armstrong PU was too muddy, definitely middle of the road, very little detail, and just flat. I wouldn't call it acoustic at all.

    Keep in mind as you are looking that you are basically stacking all of the things possible that make a guitar sound fat / muddy / thick / etc: laminate, thick hollowbody, full-size humbucker, 24 3/4" scale, heavy-ish flatwounds, and plucking with your fingers.

    If you want less mud—and that is what I struggled with mightily—you need to go with a pickup that is less hot, i.e. has a "vintage" output wind. As you go towards less output, you will get less compression and therefore less low end, but that less compression is more revealing or "less forgiving" as you say. So it's a balance. You can move the pickup away from the strings which will cut the bass, but I've found you also lose detail and overtones, and things can get anemic. I personally like a low output pickup close to the strings.

    I recorded all of the pickups I tried, but not until the last half did I do it in a controlled way so I only have 7 to share. I also have a Blackface Deluxe Reverb clone—an Allen Sweet Spot—so my thoughts and recordings are based on the 371 going through that, with just a cable and the spring reverb. I am using 12-56 coated Ernie Ball roundwounds which are not as bright as other roundwounds but not as dark as Chromes. My desired tone may be slightly different than yours too as I want some fuzziness to the attack and acoustic body, but still a pretty thick sound, almost like a Gretsch, but less compressed, like a single coil DeArmond goldfoil or Telecaster neck. That being said, given your "warmth stacking" with fingers and flatwounds, you could maybe imagine how these pickups could work for you.

    My ultimate fave:
    EMG H1N (passive)
    This is billed as a vintage PAF by EMG. I gave it a go since it was $35 on eBay. I love this pickup. It has guts, and clarity, and never gets overwhelmed in the low end. I can't get anyone else on board with how awesome it is because I think EMG has a high-gain shredder reputation, but I love it. Sounds really open without the compression that many of the hotter PAFs had.

    Runner-ups that I would have been happy with:
    Dimarzio 36th Anniversary
    Got this based on the strength of Jim Soloway's clips on his solidbody. Still a little too much low end for me on a hollowbody but overall had great clarity without sounding shrill. Very similar sounding and equally nice: DiMarzio Air Classic, Duncan Jazz SH2.

    Benedetto
    This sounded very different that all the others. It's almost like the pickup is EQ'd with the low and highs cut so you get a very mid-focused sound, but still really clear. I quite liked it.

    Lollar Lollartron
    A repro of a 50's Filtertron. It's really more PAF than modern Filtertron, but this was easily my #2 pick. I loved the clarity but still was a little too compressed for my taste.

    Also tried but didn't like:
    Lollar El Rayo
    Bartolini PBF49
    EMG H3
    GFS Surf 90 (normally love this one but not on this guitar)
    Arcane Gold Coil (sounded like the Surf 90)
    BG Pure 90

    Here are the clips, please note I switched the mic and position and redid a bunch of them. The ML-19 clips are the most accurate. The AT4081 clips are a little soft/dull ... mic was too far off axis. Make sure to click the link, the embedded SoundCloud player only shows 1 clip. There are 8 tracks total, all labelled.



    Let me know if that helps or if you have questions.
    Last edited by spiral; 02-01-2014 at 09:24 PM.

  36. #35

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    Hey Jim, I actually have what I think is an older model of the dp103 by Dimarzio, doesn't look like the current 36th anniv. and someone put a pickup cover on it very poorly aftermarket but didn't wax it. I took that off and have it in the parts bin. Dimarzio couldn't identify it for sure until they saw it without the cover and in higher resolution I had a poor camera phone back then and haven't emailed them back!

  37. #36

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    I have an Eastman Jazz Elite 17. It came with a Jason Lollar Imperial HB (standard wind measuring 7.37 K-ohms). One day, I decided to swap it with a Lindy Fralin Pure PAF (measuring 7.73K-ohms). I had the Fralin in my laminate (an Ibanez AF151). I swapped the entire harnesses, so it was quite easy.

    I prefer the Lindy Fralin HB in my carved Eastman, and the Lollar in my laminate. The brighter Lollar counters the darker nature of the laminate, and the higher output Fralin balances the acoustic nature of the Eastman (It has a full humbucker sound, without being muddy, or overly bright).
    I had an American Kent Armstrong (in the past) in another guitar, and found it to be too bright altogether. I also had a low wind Lollar Imperial in yet another guitar, but prefer the beefier regular wind to the low wind Lollar. The Lollar Imperials are unblalnced coils, and as such the regular wind is not muddy anyway. The low wind was a bit thin sounding to me. The Armstrong & Lollar low winds are indeed fine pickups-just not for me. My favorite do-it-all humbucker is the Fralin Pure PAF, however if I were to split coils, the Fralin Unbucker is the clear choice. I hope my post didn't "muddy" things up for you. Best wishes, Jeff

  38. #37

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    Jeez.. all the depth around here. Good reading.

    I have not seen the Armstrong Handwound 12 pole expounded upon.. or I missed it. I like the adjustable poles and it seems to get me closer to an acoustic sound than most. Bright is not hard to deal with using EQ.. muddy is.

  39. #38

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    i just installed fralin unbuckers in my 339. Very bright sounding. Not at all like a PAF IMO. They sort of split the difference between a PAF and a single coil, like you'd expect. Not sure I'd want them in an eastman since the eastmans are already pretty bright.

    Frankly, I like the stock pickups.

  40. #39

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    Check out the Duncan Antiquity pu's if your going for that old woody 175, 335 sound. They have a mid honk unlike anything ive tried. Also, they are not to bas heavy. Ive tried just about everything as far as modern PAF goes. Antiquities rule !

  41. #40

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    Thanks! I see they have four 'Antiquity' humbuckers. Any rec on the pup to choose for my Eastman AR880CE John Pisano?

    Antiquity Jazz Model, Antiquity JB Model, Antiquity Gold Humbucker or Antiquity Humbucker-neck 11014-01?
    Last edited by StevieB; 02-16-2014 at 11:37 PM.

  42. #41

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    I think he meant Antiquity neck 11014-01 or the equivalent Antiquity Gold Humbucker (neck if that is the only one you need).
    They should be something like an aged Seth Lover Humbucker.

  43. #42

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    Hey
    Antiquity Humbucker-neck 11014-01 is the one.

    Voiced humbuckers for jazz has never worked for me(except floating ) The duncan Benedetto for instance is the most strange pickup i ever tried.

    Hope u find something that works for u /H

  44. #43

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    I bought an Eastman 185 MX and love the guitar. The pups from Armstrong is a different issue. When using an overdrive pedal it sounds like if i've wrecked the speakers in my cabinet. I'm a blues/jazz player and need a pickup that will work with both styles. I have had different 335 and 330 guitars and never had this problem. Is there anyone out there that can give me some nice tips of replacement pups?

  45. #44

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    mine sounds great with overdrive. Very robben-ford-like. Maybe I'll post a clip tonight.

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by newsense
    It may be relevant to know that Foulds Music in the UK offer the AR371 with a Bare Knuckle Mule as an option on new Eastmans they supply. Bare Knuckles have a great reputation, but you will need to ask the good people at Foulds why they specifically offer the Mule (or the Manhattan p90) as options.
    Hi, I recommend the swap if someone wants to get closer to the PAF sound, I don't think the KA pickups are bad at all but my experience is that they definitely have a little more middle to them when matched with a solid wood hand carved archtop. I choose the Bare Knuckle Mule as it is the closest thing (in reality probably better as they are consistently made with care) to a PAF. Tim at Bare Knuckle really knows his stuff. He is even referenced in the Wiki page on PAF's that some people might find interesting

    Personally I wanted to swap mine out and really change the tone and after reading up about them I decided to go for the Alumitones made by Lace. Totally different concept and design and I am loving the results, for me this really has been a 'night and day' change. I don't think they are for everyone though as they are a lot more detailed and have a bigger broader sound that depending on your guitar, strings and playing style might not sound traditional enough for you.
    Attached Images Attached Images Pickup replacement for Eastman AR371-photo-2-jpg 

  47. #46

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    Do you have experience with the BareKnuckle Stormy Monday? That also seems to be a faithful reproduction of PAF pickups according to the description.

  48. #47

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    I don't have much experience with floating Eastman pickups (even though I did have an 805 for a short time), but the kent armstrong hpan-1/hpag-1 are paf type and while not high end, they are solid to me and better than some other stock pickups in the same price range. I think some of the other electronics in the eastmans (switch, wiring, tone cap, jack) could be more suspect than the pickup in my opinion from when I had a tech replace it all on my ar403. But still not a problem. I don't like the pickup switch in my t386 for example, it feels cheap to me...but I love everything else.

  49. #48

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    I've had three 371s, and tried many different pups in them as I found the stock HB to be a bit flat and limp-wristed.
    For me, the best one I tried by far was the Duncan Phat Cat P-90 (a single coil, I know). It just had the perfect balance. Added fullness, bark and bite, but without losing any mellow darkness. It didn't feed back at all, and was actually much quieter (hum free) than the stock HB.
    Just a suggestion.

  50. #49

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    Could you list all the pickups you tried, just for comparison.

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Retroman1969
    I've had three 371s, and tried many different pups in them as I found the stock HB to be a bit flat and limp-wristed.
    For me, the best one I tried by far was the Duncan Phat Cat P-90 (a single coil, I know). It just had the perfect balance. Added fullness, bark and bite, but without losing any mellow darkness. It didn't feed back at all, and was actually much quieter (hum free) than the stock HB.
    Just a suggestion.
    Going from a humbucker to a p90 would definitely be a big difference and one I wouldn't mind trying at some point. But going from the stock paf type hunbucker to another paf type humbucker is likely going to be a more subtle difference. At least in what I experienced switching from the stock hpag-1 to a classic 57. But I didn't try any others. Some day maybe I'll try a p90 on NY ar403 or replacing the electronics in my t386.