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Thread: Randy Rhoads "Super '74" Pickups

  1. #1


    Join Date: May 2010
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    Randy Rhoads "Super '74" Pickups

    A caveat up front: I'm not daft enough to believe that Randy's tone came out of his pickups. I'm also not really in search of his tone (mid-blasted boosted-to-fuck pissed-off Marshall), though it has certain pleasing aspects.

    I was just intrigued by the new pups Gibson is putting into their Randy Rhoads Custom Les Paul (which is so pretty).



    Gibson.com: Gibson Custom - Randy Rhoads Les Paul Custom Pickups and Electronics

    Quote Originally Posted by Gibson website
    The Randy Rhoads 1974 Les Paul Custom is equipped with a pair of Gibson Custom's new Super '74 Humbucker pickups, units designed to accurately replicate the sound of the Gibson humbuckers of the early to mid 1970s, beloved of countless rock legends. Both pickups are wound with 42 AWG wire and measure approximately 7.4k to 7.6k ohms, and both are wax potted to prevent microphonic squeal at high volume levels.

    Gibson's Super '74 Humbuckers are made with genuine Alnico 3 magnets, just like many Gibson humbuckers of the early to mid '70s.

    In the neck position, the Super '74 Humbucker provides a warm, creamy, vocal tone that excels at blues-rock and rock-ballad solos. In the bridge position, the Super '74 offers a cutting, edgy, aggressive sound, resulting in a screaming rock lead tone through a high-gain amplifier. Both positions offer outstanding sustain.
    I know a few things about pickups, but the AlNiCo III choice intrigued me. I know that the higher flux your magnets are, all other things being equal, the crisper and punchier your attack is, along with I believe more bass response.

    Is a III really just between II and IV? Or are there other differences? The BKP Rebel Yell uses IV's and sounds pretty damn sweet while still being a bit compressed and punchy.

    Guess I just want to hear people's thoughts on these pickups, historical or performance oriented. AlNiCo III magnets are pretty rare in modern pickup designs, you see a lot of II, V and ceramic, and a few IVs. I don't know if you can outright buy them, but they might be a cool pickup.

    EDIT: Some guy at GuitarGeek posted this: A3 < A2 < A4 < A5 < A8, and says that III's are the lowest output.
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  2. #2


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    I can't comment to much for alnico iii, but I can say I'm yet to play a 70s Gibson with pickups I thought were >decent enough
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  3. #3


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    Looks awesome man! It is soooo classy! However, I am dreading the price tag too much to even look it up.

  4. #4


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    If it were reasonably priced, I'd save up and get one. I've always wanted a Les Paul like Randy's.

  5. #5


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    Quote Originally Posted by Seanbabs View Post
    Looks awesome man! It is soooo classy! However, I am dreading the price tag too much to even look it up.
    I'm not.

    Buy Gibson Custom Randy Rhoads 1974 Les Paul Custom VOS Electric Guitar | Solid Body Electric Guitars | Musician's Friend

    $5k.

    EDIT -

    http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/p...tar?sku=H66075

    $7k if you want it aged, so you don't have to actually play it.
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  6. #6


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    I wouldn't really describe Randy Rhoads tone as good, epic player, but tonewise pretty blah. Now whitesnake, there is the quintessential pissed off marshall sound

  7. #7


    Join Date: May 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogueleader View Post
    I wouldn't really describe Randy Rhoads tone as good, epic player, but tonewise pretty blah. Now whitesnake, there is the quintessential pissed off marshall sound
    Yeah, honestly I'd love to save up $5k for one, but I'd want to play it which seems a sin. It really is the kind of thing that should be put in a display case or lovingly hung on the wall and played twice a year.

    I think Randy's tone was great for what he did. That screaming definition worked well, it's just so damn abrasive. Fucking MXR EQ pedal . Just not the kind of thing I'd want to use. I think this guitar is probably very bright sounding, which can be used for the forces of good.

    EDIT: I'm also curioud what a "Small D Rhoads Profile" equates to. I suppose it's just how they were shaping necks at the time, or perhaps he got a slightly flatter one than usual, since it was a stock guitar.

    PS: Gibson owns Baldwin pianos???

  8. #8


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    On eBay, at any given time, there are approximately a zillion '70s Les Pauls that sell for just over $2,000. Most have the actual '70s Gibson pickups (which I can attest to having liked back in the day). Ignore the idiot dealers on eBay trying to get $3,000+ for their stock of Norlin LPs. Prices have come crashing back down on those guitars in the last year or so--back to about where they have been for 20 years, adjusting for inflation.

    Stupid to pay $5,000 for basically the same thing. Unless you're some rich douchebag who puts guitars in glass cases, I guess.

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