Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    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.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    Airer sounding PAF style or less output and not as dark sounding? My choice is Manluis Landmark PAF regular wound in the neck and a Hot Rod 59 in the bridge position. I use these in a Benedetto Bambino Std, ES-339, Tele Gib partscaster,etc
    As good as any other boutique offering at a reasonable price and great service!

    Another great choice would be TV Jones Duo Tron and Power Tron combo. Expensive but excellent tone.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    I have to admit I don't get it the 57 classic pickups are the best bar none. If you cannot get the sound I would get another guitar that did and leave the Tal as it is or sell it.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    I have to admit I don't get it the 57 classic pickups are the best bar none. If you cannot get the sound I would get another guitar that did and leave the Tal as it is or sell it.
    Agreed. Get a different guitar and make somebody happy with your Tal. These guitars are not made anymore I think.


  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    I have to admit I don't get it the 57 classic pickups are the best bar none. If you cannot get the sound I would get another guitar that did and leave the Tal as it is or sell it.
    Don't get me wrong. I love the sound of Classic 57 and more generally of TF and I'm not going to get rid of it. Only recently I have been using it in other contexts, for example with different pedals and an amp sim, the Strymon Iridium, and after making several attempts, I was trying to understand if a change of pickup could offer me a more versatile, less dark tone.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Classic 57 pickups tend to be more pronounced mids and a bit higher in output than say PAF type pickups. They sound really good in a ES-339 but not so good in some other Gibsons,at least to my ears.
    The suggestion I made before should cure your problem, but others may find them a bit less dark than they care for.

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    I have been an obsessive guitar parts tweaker over the years, which includes changing a lot of humbuckers.
    I haven't found one that sounds better (IMHO) than the Lindy Fralin Pure PAF Humbucker:

    Lastly, My cheesy amateur video:

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Strings (roundwounds with a plain G can make a striking difference) and picks, pickup height, twiddling knobs are the cheapest approach to new tones. I'd start there.

    Also, try a very low impedance cable like a George L's to reduce loading on your pickups; that will raise the resonant peak of the pickup and sound a bit brighter/airier/more transparent.

    If you do decide you have to switch pickups the Wilde L90 are great, as are the Dimarzio 36th Anniversary or the Lollar Imperials.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Some people love the Classic 57. Maybe in some guitars they are great. I bought several C57's. One was a good improvement in a Guild X170 in the bridge position. Also in a BBKing Lucille in the bridge spot.
    Not in neck positions, NO.
    Notice the many many complaints of players online in forums who agree with me and perhaps the OP.
    There are many other choices out there. So if a player likes the TF and doesn't want to change guitars, he should explore P/U choices as an avenue to better tone. I know I have found many better sounds by transplanting p/ups. My L5 CES could stand an improvement too, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. They are only pickups!
    C57's have Alnico II magnets. A lot of players prefer Alnico V magnets to open up the neck positions' tones and attack. It's up to the individual.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    no point in getting rid of a tal over a neck pup issue!!

    replace neck pup and save classic 57 in the case

    if its too dark, sounds like you want a lower wound a lollar low wind imperial..or a single coil in a humbucker mount..of which there are a multitude..look into a p90 in a humbucker mount...

    many many options..don't be discouraged...humbuckers can be dark..and there are a myriad of options these days


  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    In all honesty, if I were you, I’d keep the Tal.
    They are hard to live without once you had one.
    Think it through, identify the sound you want and call Kent Armstrong and he will whip you up something special.
    What color is your a Tal?

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    I’ve had two personal Tals. The first, a 1993 blonde. Everything about that one in it’s original state worked for me. It was not a dark sounding guitar and had lots of clarity. The other, a 2005 wine red, just never sounded right with the original neck pickup no matter how I adjusted it. I put a Gibson MHS in the neck and was really happy with that pickup. They can be hard to find though.

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    I have had three Tal Farlow guitars , my current one a 2015 Crimson Custom shop
    in Viceroy Brown , the best colour IMO, it is as near perfect as I want , the 57 Classics
    suit it well, it sounds great through my Mambo, Fender or Evans amps, it is not far off
    an L5CES in terms of playability and tone, and stays in tune for months, No its not
    for sale, I would rather sell my Byrdland than the TF, if push came to shove.

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Hmmm... Maybe something less agressive like a simple magnet change will fit your pedals better?

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Yes to magnet swapping. Again, C57's use an Alnico II. Many happy users of Alnico IV and V. Myself included.
    And then there is the very popular Seth Lover p/up from Seymour Duncan. (not that $$$$)

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    I'd keep the Tal stock and get another guitar to play that sounds like what you are after, my favorite Gibson pickups are the current/recent Burstbucker 1 and 2's awesome! Lots of life yet can be rolled off and mellow when 4k UHD to 480i compared to others, imho