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NSLALP
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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

Gibson website said:
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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Slow Money
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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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Hates Richie Kotzen
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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 :yesway:
 

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NSLALP
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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 :yesway:
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 :rant:. 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. :cool:

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???
 

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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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The Singlecut King of Northern VA
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His album tone sucked ass, however his live tone was awesome.


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 :yesway:
 

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The Singlecut King of Northern VA
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Funny back in the 70's everyone was ripping the t-tops out and putting super distortions in, now the T-tops are selling between $200 and $400 on ebay for a set.

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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
Well the 70's and norlins in general have kinda gone up in price depending on the years. Of course any white norlin is fetching well over $2500 to $3500 due to randy, the 74's are selling for the most.

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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Randy's lead tone was ok, but his rhythm tone wasn't very good IMO. Great player though, "Blizzard of Ozz" is a great album (maybe my favorite Ozzy album after "The Ultimate Sin"). So, I don't know if I'd like his signature pickups very much. Though I've yet to play a Les Paul that I really like (my brother's Esp Eclipse might be the closest thing to a Les Paul I've liked).
 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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I must be the only person who really doesn't get the whole Randy Rhoads phenomenon. I never liked his tone, and his playing always seemed too calculated to me. :shrug:
 

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Well the 70's and norlins in general have kinda gone up in price depending on the years. Of course any white norlin is fetching well over $2500 to $3500 due to randy, the 74's are selling for the most.
That's true. Sort of like how white CBS Strats sell for more because of the Yngwie/Ritchie factor. Norlins in general briefly went high a couple years ago but have been crashing lately. Check the completed auction prices, and you'll notice that the dealers aren't moving anything at $3,000+, but $2,000 to $2,300 seems to be the sweet spot for a late '70s LPC. I paid $1,200 for one in 1994, so $2,000 is about right after accounting for inflation. Of course, I remember back in the '80s they were cheap. I got my 3-PU '76 LPC in 1986 for $300 plus a trade-in of a beater '72 SG that was the worst POS ever made.

Early '70s ones seem to go for a little more, and I have no idea why. That was Gibson's absolutely worst period as a company. The quality control got better in the late '70s. No more pancake bodies, better fretwork, etc.

I've got my Heritage LPC, so I have no need for another boat anchor, but I enjoy watching them. Wouldn't mind one of the early '80s LPCs with the factory Kahler, actually.
 

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I remember that randy said due to his rig and his guitars, feedback was almost impossible to control in his setup, and he usually had the neck pickup turned off and used the up position as kill switch. So i'm not sure why i'd want those pickups to begin wtih :lol:
 

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I remember that randy said due to his rig and his guitars, feedback was almost impossible to control in his setup, and he usually had the neck pickup turned off and used the up position as kill switch. So i'm not sure why i'd want those pickups to begin wtih :lol:
I suspect the feedback was more because of the amount of drive he used on his gain pedal. My Norlin LPCs never had any more feedback than any other guitar I've owned. The pickups were potted and weren't noticeably prone to squealing.
 

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I suspect the feedback was more because of the amount of drive he used on his gain pedal. My Norlin LPCs never had any more feedback than any other guitar I've owned. The pickups were potted and weren't noticeably prone to squealing.
I remember hearing (in a guitar magazine, so grain of salt I guess :lol: ) that he used 2 MXR distortion pedals chained together into his Marshalls, which would explain a lot :lol:
 
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