T-tops back in LP custom and swapping pickups in a 03 LP standard LE

What pickup option should I go with?

  • Do nothing, keep Suhr Thornbuckers in 73 LP custom and Suhr Aldrich in 03 LP standard LE

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • Put original T-tops back in 73 LP custom, but keep Suhr Aldrich in 03 LP standard LE

    Votes: 2 25.0%
  • Put original T-tops back in 73 LP custom and put black suhrn thornbuckers in 03 LP standard LE

    Votes: 2 25.0%
  • Put original T-tops back in 73 LP custom and buy new brushed nickle Suhr Thornbuckers for 03 LP

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • Keep Suhr Thornbuckers in 73 LP custom and buy new brushed nickel Suhr TB set for 03LP

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 2 25.0%

  • Total voters
    8

blackba

Well-known member
Inspired by @glpg80 and his killer 76 lp custom, I am considering a pickup change in my Les Pauls. The 73 LP custom I have black top suhr thornbuckers with the option for series/parallel on the push pull tone pots. Love the pickups in this guitar, it always sounds thick and mean. Learned long ago that I don't need hot pickups in it for it to rock. Pickup is when I got it with stock T top in the neck and a Rio Grande BBQ in the bridge. Never heard the stock T top bright. It does have 500k pots. Read good things about the T Tops, so considering putting them in.

The 03 LP standard LE in blue has a pair of suhr Aldrich pickups, again with the option for series/parallel with the push pull tone pots. I am finding these days I am using the pickups in parallel mode and missing the sweetness I typically get from lower output pickups. The neck does handle gain the best I have heard, but just not thinking I need the output. I do like that the guitars are pretty different. I am considering moving the black suhr thornbuckers over to this guitar, but unsure how it will look without having the nickel covers. I could put the nickel covers from the stock BB pros on as well or just buy new suhr thornbuckers in which I would get a TB plus for the bridge.

I generally play 70s and 80s hard rock, with metallica being about as hard as I get these days. Typical amps are mesa mark IVA, soldano HR25, marshall silver jubilee, vox AC50.

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glpg80

Well-known member
Thanks for the drop! The 76 turned into one hell of a guitar - I can’t put it down.

I do have the original T tops in it and the magic with them is their dynamics with volume rolling. They aren’t actually all that hot tbh - my BB3 bridge in my standard is hotter. So if lower output is what you desire, T tops need to go back in to the 73 custom.

I suggest just buying brushed nickel covers from stewmac and putting them over the TBs you already have if you can. If not, then buy brushed ones. With a top as beautiful as your 03, any reason you’re keeping the pickup selector ring? Would look killer without it and those knobs and brushed hardware don’t you think?
 

GOHOINC

Well-known member
I just got a lpc custom silverburst with custom buckers in it. They sound great but a little less output in the bridge than I'd like, so I got an aldrich for the bridge that I'm going to put in this weekend. I find I tend to prefer mid output pickups in a les paul standard, and something a little hotter in a custom. Perhaps it's nonsense, perhaps it's my love of slash and adam jones. None the less I'd say keep put the aldrich in the custom and thornbuckers in the standard.
 

blackba

Well-known member
Thanks for the drop! The 76 turned into one hell of a guitar - I can’t put it down.

I do have the original T tops in it and the magic with them is their dynamics with volume rolling. They aren’t actually all that hot tbh - my BB3 bridge in my standard is hotter. So if lower output is what you desire, T tops need to go back in to the 73 custom.

I suggest just buying brushed nickel covers from stewmac and putting them over the TBs you already have if you can. If not, then buy brushed ones. With a top as beautiful as your 03, any reason you’re keeping the pickup selector ring? Would look killer without it and those knobs and brushed hardware don’t you think?
I thought yours had the Shaw paf pickups, or is that just what is in there now? I am thinking the lower output t tops is the way I want to go. I got a tele earlier this year and after some adjustment really loving it’s lower output and clarity.

On the 03 standard, I do have the covers off the original burst buckers sitting in a box, so I could put those on the thornbuckers. I know that Suhr only sells the thornbuckers with brushed nickel covers, saying other covers changed the tone too much, so that is my only pause. When I compared the 03 standard to an r8 recently, it just became apparent that the Aldrich pickups while cool, just lacked sweetness.

As to the knob selector, never thought of taking that white ring off, but I will for sure consider that. It’s not like I need it to know what it does, lol.
 

blackba

Well-known member
I just got a lpc custom silverburst with custom buckers in it. They sound great but a little less output in the bridge than I'd like, so I got an aldrich for the bridge that I'm going to put in this weekend. I find I tend to prefer mid output pickups in a les paul standard, and something a little hotter in a custom. Perhaps it's nonsense, perhaps it's my love of slash and adam jones. None the less I'd say keep put the aldrich in the custom and thornbuckers in the standard.
I had aldrich pickups in the 73 custom in the past and they were just too hot in that guitar. They sound much sweeter in the 03 standard, but as my tastes are changing, not as sweet as what I heard in this R8. I didn’t have the $4k plus to drop on that guitar, so as I am doing recently making tweaks with what I have, versus getting new gear.
 

GOHOINC

Well-known member
I had aldrich pickups in the 73 custom in the past and they were just too hot in that guitar. They sound much sweeter in the 03 standard, but as my tastes are changing, not as sweet as what I heard in this R8. I didn’t have the $4k plus to drop on that guitar, so as I am doing recently making tweaks with what I have, versus getting new gear.
It's all down to taste. I've had thornbuckers in a suhr Thorn and thought they were great. I've got 57 classics in another lpc and although they aren't high output, they are perfect in that guitar. I keep a standard with alnico ii pros because they fit it well too. I've also got a standard with lace dissonant aggressors and they are a bit much for my taste but I'm going to drop tune it and see of they fit better with a lower tuning. The great thing about pickups is they aren't permanent if you don't like it try something else... good luck with the search.
 

glpg80

Well-known member
I thought yours had the Shaw paf pickups, or is that just what is in there now? I am thinking the lower output t tops is the way I want to go. I got a tele earlier this year and after some adjustment really loving it’s lower output and clarity.

On the 03 standard, I do have the covers off the original burst buckers sitting in a box, so I could put those on the thornbuckers. I know that Suhr only sells the thornbuckers with brushed nickel covers, saying other covers changed the tone too much, so that is my only pause. When I compared the 03 standard to an r8 recently, it just became apparent that the Aldrich pickups while cool, just lacked sweetness.

As to the knob selector, never thought of taking that white ring off, but I will for sure consider that. It’s not like I need it to know what it does, lol.
I thought so too, but Shaw pickups are only mid 80s on making a Norlin with original Shaw pickups fairly rare, and a Norlin non-chambered original with Shaws even moreso. Most during that era were T tops. Currently it’s loaded with the stock T tops which in fact are a little hotter than a BB2 but much less than a BB3.

I think I’m going to put a 500T/498R combination in it and see how it does.
 

blackba

Well-known member
I thought so too, but Shaw pickups are only mid 80s on making a Norlin with original Shaw pickups fairly rare, and a Norlin non-chambered original with Shaws even moreso. Most during that era were T tops. Currently it’s loaded with the stock T tops which in fact are a little hotter than a BB2 but much less than a BB3.

I think I’m going to put a 500T/498R combination in it and see how it does.
Got it, so are the t tops not hot enough for you in the custom, is that why you are thinking of swapping them?
 

glpg80

Well-known member
Got it, so are the t tops not hot enough for you in the custom, is that why you are thinking of swapping them?
They have a lot of bite and depth to them but for example I can’t do the miracle man solo part where he slides up to 21st fret and bends the shit out of it to simulate a floyd. They stock pickups even with an SD-1 arent hot enough for the job. I like the look of the covers and don’t want to remove them but I might. I’ve also considered that small EMG booster circuit but not many use them so I don’t have a lot to go by.

I personally hate Aldrich pickups, I find them scooped and too compressed. My original plan was to go with EMG 81X/85X since I built it for NRFTW purposes. Undecided at the moment.
 

blackba

Well-known member
So quick update on my plans. Thanks everyone who responded and voted. Ordered a set of raw nick Suhr thornbucker+ set for the 03 standard. Will put those in first, then compare to the 73 lp custom, then swap in the t tops and go from there. My buddy wants the black Suhr thornbuckers. Excited to try some stuff out.
 
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