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Pls help guys ..I ve a beautiful tokai love rock quilted top ..its worn in now 5 years but i want the upgrade my pickups to get the nearest to the Pagey srts sound..pls help with suggestions..ive heard either the burstbucker pro or nos 2 and 3..thks

rene495's picture
Sep 2007
2 years ago

Hey bro, i see you are looking for the jimmy page tone from tsrts. I have bb 1 an 2 on my 59 running through pod pro xp. I tried to get the tone and can not get it. what amp are you using? in the tsrts Jimmy had used Orange amp " You can see it during the theremin solo" lot of people dont realize that. And I finally found out he used a very rare Marshall Major amp. Lot of people dont know that. MAjor's were gone after 74 or 73, started in 68. the amp is the key to the tone. as well as the guitar/ pickups. remember for his tone it requires 4 wire conductor pickups for coil taps. he had both 59/58 coil tapped. You can try 57 classic and 490/496 they are made also in 4 wire. people dont know that. your better off asking gibson tech for help on this than any guitar center because the don't know. It is said the pickups he used are one of the most high output pickups that gibson has. Also used Vox ac series amp.

lester's picture
Aug 2007
9 years ago

I think I know exactly the tone you're looking for. If I am right, you're looking for that kinda slight 'out of phase, sproingy(?!)' type sound like he gets when playing the rockabilly stuff in whole lotta love and like in the stairway solo, for example. Thats my favorite JP/Gibson tone.

Although his LP has split coils, thats not necessary. I've also gotten this exact tone (its done with both pups on)
on a friends old '68 LP deluxe, a '70s LP standard I had and I get it on my Gibby doubleneck. I haven't played a real Gibson LP since the one I used to have way back then and sold. So, I have no idea whether any of them nowadays get that sound which would be a combo of the wood and pups....especially with these 490/96/98's (which I hate) and those 500T ceramics. Maybe the burstbuckers do but I've never played them.

I also have a beautiful '84 Tokai love rock which is awesome...even the stock pups sound great....but it just doesn't have THAT sound, unfortunately. I can't tell you whether new pups will do it either....I'm not very confident it would. You'd have to try it and see. Although, the electronics for this guitar all sit on a circuit board and maybe if you redo your electronics in the simple gibson 2 humbucker wiring and use the right caps maybe that'll do it. But I'm no electronics expert.

My 59 LP reissue gets THAT sound, but its probably not 100% necessary. Im guessing any Les Paul with burstbuckers, preferably the 1 and 2 will get you the type of guitar sound you need (for live page tone)... for studio I'd say a good tele and or the LP. However, Im gonna swear by this and say that the sound (live) is coming mostly from a single channel Marshall Plexi into celestion G30H12 speakers - I have a Marshall 1987x 50 watt plexi reissue, that has had the original bright cap removed and replaced with one about 1/2 as bright. Page plays nice and bright and loud in his concerts, with some dirt, not a ton... Get an amp like this and turn all knobs to ten except the volume to about 4 for tube saturation - then get a THD Hotplate attenuator to control the overall volume. That chimey middle pickup position sound is important, but HE DOES NOT USE THIS ALL THE TIME. You can hear when he does but listen closely. Best bet is to get the concert dvds and watch + listen, you can actually see the toggle switch. Whole Lotta Love was done using the Middle PUP on the main riff, where Moby Dick is the Treble PUP. Most guitarists tendency is to use one position for everything - especially the treble setting, but Page was a VERY active guitarist. He will change often during songs. Even the chorus of What is and what should never Be only sounds right if you are using the middle selection. Listen to how the Studio version of Immigrant song is a tele in the treble position but the live is a Les Paul in the middle position. Since I've Been Lovin you is also one where he switches it up a ton.

I also do not agree with the super high output pickups. Not necessary. Page's sound is very toney and you dont get that with those 80's metal ear bleed pickups. I also thought about getting the page wiring on my guitar done, but feel it is unnecessary. I never see Page pulling up on the tone knobs to split the coils or put them in series/parallel - but just because I've never seen it doesnt mean it didnt happen.

Last but not least use a fairly stiff pick and strum hard! Hope that helps some.

thks to all for the input...cheers

Whiskey101's picture
Nov 2007
9 years ago

ur best bet would be the burstbuckers

ac15's picture
Dec 2007
9 years ago

I have done his tone several ways with a few different pickups and amps. These days I'm playing through either a 66' JTM 45 2x12 or a 63' Vox AC15, with a LP Historic loaded with VooDoo pickups. I have tried seth lover, loller, burstbuckers, skatterbrane, and all will get you there, but I connected with the VooDoo's. Part of my recipe is also a analogman DS-1 on the minimum distortion setting, and either a BSM Trebble Boost, or a teese wha on max treble( for No Quarter Live ) Page alludes to using some sort of overdrive in his recent guitar world interview and thats what i have been doing. Also the neck and middle positions along with vol, and tone adjustments go a long way. I dont want to lug around half stacks these days, but he used Marshall 1959SLP ( Plexi ) modified to take KT-88 tubes. Also a tele through a vox ac15 or 30( 15's are better IMO ) really gets you a lot of early live and album sounds. I also have a early 80's Burny with the VooDoos and it is as good as the Gibson!
Good Luck