WCR Pickups - Moore/Green set

Price Paid: 
$200
Condition: 
Used
Humbucker/Single Coil/Stacked Single: 
Humbucker
Passive/Active/Not sure: 
Passive
AlNico/Ceramic/Not sure: 
AlNico
Output: 
Low
Instrument Installed in: 
Gibson Les Paul Classic
Sound Quality: 
5 (excellent)
Reliability: 

Extremely well made. I wouldn't anticipate any problems.

Customer Support: 

N/A

Summary: 

WCR (http://wcrguitar.com/) hand winds pickups that primarily focus on the vintage tones of such players as Eric Clapton and the Allman Brothers, as well as some models targeted for more metal players. This set, the Moore/Green set, consists of a bridge and neck model. The bridge model is a normal PAF style pickup, while the neck is reversed ala Peter Green's revered Les Paul from Fleetwood Mac, which Gary Moore also used on many of his classic albums. The neck pickup is actually installed backwards, with the polepiece screws toward the bridge.

I installed this set in a 1991 Les Paul Classic, a guitar that I've owned for 18 years. This guitar has always been problematic tonally. Although it has always been a great player, and a very nice looking guitar, it's never sounded all that good.  I've gone through several sets of pickups trying to find a good match for her. I even contemplated selling her at one point but decided to hang on to her, mostly because cosmetically, she looked quite a bit like Greeny. Tonally, this particular Les Paul has always been very bright, almost painfully so. The stock ceramic pickups were awful and got yanked almost immediately, and replaced with a set of Alnico II's from Seymour Duncan. The neck pickup was great, but the bridge pickup never sounded good at all. I tried several combinations before ending up with a JB, which was pretty good, but still not quite right. So when a friend pulled the WCR set out of his PRS and offered them to me, it was a no-brainer. 

What a difference! These pickups deliver EXACTLY as advertised. The tone of the LP became much sweeter and smoother, yet still ridiculously aggressive when played through a high gain amp. The bridge pickup delivers Still Got the Blues era Gary Moore tones effortlessly. The neck pickup by itself is not as woofy as most LP neck pickups. It has a nice even response that actually makes it useful as a different flavor lead pickup, as well. With both pickups selected, the tone is not so much "out-of-phase" as "cocked wah" - and it's a more subtle change than I expected. It gives a sort of Schenker-esche voice to the guitar - the sound gets honkier and more nasal, but not really thin like you would associate with a true "out-of-phase" pickup. It's more audible in the guitar's lower range. As you go higher, it becomes less pronounced. There's also a slight drop in volume, which makes this setting useful for comping behind a singer or soloist. The pickups are potted as well, and there's no squeal.

In short, putting these pickups in turned this guitar from a dog into a super model. I have never experienced such a drastic change in the character of a guitar from swapping pickups. It's worth the money just for the bridge pickup alone, which sounds incredible. Absolutely my highest recommendation. These pickups are pricey new at $350 for a set, but they pop up used on EBay or The Gear Page pretty often. If you're looking for a set of pickups that will give you exactly what it says on the box, you really can't go wrong with the WCR Moore/Green set.

(If your Les Paul is dead, like this one was, also investigate screwing the tailpiece down to the body and reverse wrapping the strings, and try playing with string gauges until you find the one that makes the guitar sing. This particular guitar likes 10's, where I normally use 9's on all my other guitars. I also use nickel strings to sweeten up the top end.)

Overall Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)