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Epiphone EJ-160E Owners Inexpensive - but how do they sound?

#21 User is offline   PC54 

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 10:26 PM

Iíve owned the John Lennon Signature model for 6+ years. The stacked P90 pickup sounds great. Especially when playing it through a Vox AC30. Someone mentioned guitar strings. If you want to play it strictly acoustic without Amplifier then use a nice brass/bronze wound string. However, the pickup is magnetic. Youíll have to use a steel or nickle type string that is magnetic too. Pyramid makes a great set of Nickle guitar strings in either Flat wound or Round wound (smooth). Strings by mail dot com has the best selection (MHO).
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#22 User is offline   Chuckster 

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Posted 08 April 2018 - 11:12 AM

View PostRevDavidLee, on 03 November 2017 - 04:27 PM, said:

It's strung with the strings that came with it - acoustic. No plans to change them. Just enjoying the new git :)



I was told to try an 'electric set of strings' for my Lennon EJ-160E.....bought a set Pyramid Gold 10's...flatwounds.....haven't changed them yet but I've heard it gives the guitar a more 'jangly' sound......
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#23 User is offline   DavyR 

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 10:43 PM

View PostDodger11, on 02 November 2017 - 09:33 AM, said:

Hey Rev what are you plugging into?
I have one of the older John Lennon signature models and the pickup doesn't sound very good - weak and not very loud - considering either installing a new pickup or a Behringer AD121 pedal between the guitar and mixer.

I have one of the Lennon signature models and would like to replace the pickup. Did you replace yours? Thanks...
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#24 User is offline   Dodger11 

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 08:32 AM

View PostDavyR, on 16 April 2018 - 10:43 PM, said:

I have one of the Lennon signature models and would like to replace the pickup. Did you replace yours? Thanks...


I bought the Behringer pedal and it improves the volume a lot but it still sounds a bit like a semi acoustic electric guitar - like a Casino maybe.
I have a fishman sonitone pickup that a fine Epi forum member very kindly sent me; still considering having that installed. It has the 2 dials in the soundhole and goes through the end strap pin hole so pretty non-evasive and I can keep the old pickup installed too.

This post has been edited by Dodger11: 18 April 2018 - 08:35 AM

EJ160E, AJ100, LP100
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#25 User is offline   DavyR 

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Posted 20 April 2018 - 03:31 PM

View PostDodger11, on 18 April 2018 - 08:32 AM, said:

I bought the Behringer pedal and it improves the volume a lot but it still sounds a bit like a semi acoustic electric guitar - like a Casino maybe.
I have a fishman sonitone pickup that a fine Epi forum member very kindly sent me; still considering having that installed. It has the 2 dials in the soundhole and goes through the end strap pin hole so pretty non-evasive and I can keep the old pickup installed too.

Thanks! I'd like to replace the pickup because I'd like to stay with electric guitar strings and with running it through an amp, like an electric guitar. A real P-90 will not fit. I guess the only option would be to have a pickup built?
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#26 User is offline   2ndCareer 

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Posted 30 April 2018 - 06:22 PM

View PostDavyR, on 20 April 2018 - 03:31 PM, said:

Thanks! I'd like to replace the pickup because I'd like to stay with electric guitar strings and with running it through an amp, like an electric guitar. A real P-90 will not fit. I guess the only option would be to have a pickup built?


The original pickup in my 2005 Korean-built EJ160e was terrible. Even with different strings that were supposed to do better, still sucked. I had a Fishman Matrix Infinity pickup installed - the only permanent "damage" it does to the guitar is enlarging the strap button hole on the bottom of the guitar (for the guitar cable), but otherwise no permanent alteration. I left the original jack and controls in place, so the external appearance is unchanged. Inside the soundhole, barely visible but easily accessible, are the tone and volume controls. This pickup made a huge difference. In March 2017 I played with a Beatles cover band at the famous NYC venue, The Bitter End. I handled JL's rhythm guitar part on my EJ160e. Sound guy ran my sound through a DI to the PA. It sounded great on stage and my friend's video's of some of the songs proved how nice my guitar came through. The Fishman has a pre-amp inside the body located back where the cable jack is and elsewhere in the body, attached with Velcro, is the 9 volt battery to power the pre-amp. As long as you don't leave the guitar cable plugged into the guitar, the battery will last a long time. For about $250 installed, it has transformed the plugged-in use of the guitar. It would probably be pretty easy to save part of that cost by installing yourself (it seems pretty easy to do), the cost would be more like $150 plus tax. I am very happy that I did it. I highly recommend the Fishman as an effective fix that minimizes any permanent alteration to the guitar.
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#27 User is offline   DavyR 

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 07:37 PM

View Post2ndCareer, on 30 April 2018 - 06:22 PM, said:

The original pickup in my 2005 Korean-built EJ160e was terrible. Even with different strings that were supposed to do better, still sucked. I had a Fishman Matrix Infinity pickup installed - the only permanent "damage" it does to the guitar is enlarging the strap button hole on the bottom of the guitar (for the guitar cable), but otherwise no permanent alteration. I left the original jack and controls in place, so the external appearance is unchanged. Inside the soundhole, barely visible but easily accessible, are the tone and volume controls. This pickup made a huge difference. In March 2017 I played with a Beatles cover band at the famous NYC venue, The Bitter End. I handled JL's rhythm guitar part on my EJ160e. Sound guy ran my sound through a DI to the PA. It sounded great on stage and my friend's video's of some of the songs proved how nice my guitar came through. The Fishman has a pre-amp inside the body located back where the cable jack is and elsewhere in the body, attached with Velcro, is the 9 volt battery to power the pre-amp. As long as you don't leave the guitar cable plugged into the guitar, the battery will last a long time. For about $250 installed, it has transformed the plugged-in use of the guitar. It would probably be pretty easy to save part of that cost by installing yourself (it seems pretty easy to do), the cost would be more like $150 plus tax. I am very happy that I did it. I highly recommend the Fishman as an effective fix that minimizes any permanent alteration to the guitar.


Thank you for the info! Mine is Indonesian. I was hoping to replace the pickup but it's a oddball and a regular P-90 won't fit in its place. Maybe have a pickup made? I also wanted to stay with electric guitar strings. In other words, keep it as it was intended (an electric guitar) and not turn it into another acoustic guitar with a pickup under the saddle, bronze strings, etc. But, thanks again...

This post has been edited by DavyR: 03 May 2018 - 07:39 PM

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#28 User is offline   byrds1965 

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 12:43 PM

View PostDavyR, on 03 May 2018 - 07:37 PM, said:

Thank you for the info! Mine is Indonesian. I was hoping to replace the pickup but it's a oddball and a regular P-90 won't fit in its place. Maybe have a pickup made? I also wanted to stay with electric guitar strings. In other words, keep it as it was intended (an electric guitar) and not turn it into another acoustic guitar with a pickup under the saddle, bronze strings, etc. But, thanks again...



I had a 2005 EJ160E and never liked the stock pickup. You are right it is an oddball. Despite what Epiphone claims in the specs it is NOT a P100,a Gibson P100 is 2 stacked P90s.

Anyway I had mine yanked and rewound by Duncan. They did the work around 10 years ago for me so you might contact them.

My direction was to try to make it as close to a P90 as possible. Once you remove the pickup to ship to them for rebuilding you will find, it more resembles a Fender single than a P90 of any kind.

Duncan did a good job on mine and I think just under $100.00 plus shipping.

The stock pick up can be rebuilt, so hope this helps.
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#29 User is offline   Cougar 

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 03:03 PM

View Postbyrds1965, on 04 May 2018 - 12:43 PM, said:

The stock pick up can be rebuilt, so hope this helps.


Interesting! Thanks for the info!
2011 Guild F50R burst
2002 Guild JF30-12 burst 

2011 Guild F-212 XLCE
2014 Martin GPC12PA4 12-string
2008 Epiphone Masterbilt EF-500RAVS


2012 Epiphone Lennon EJ-160E VS


1972 Epiphone FT-160 12-string sunburst

2012 Epiphone Dot CH

2010 Epiphone Les Paul Standard trans amber 

Yamaha Motif XS7

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#30 User is offline   DavyR 

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 11:08 PM

View Postbyrds1965, on 04 May 2018 - 12:43 PM, said:

I had a 2005 EJ160E and never liked the stock pickup. You are right it is an oddball. Despite what Epiphone claims in the specs it is NOT a P100,a Gibson P100 is 2 stacked P90s.

Anyway I had mine yanked and rewound by Duncan. They did the work around 10 years ago for me so you might contact them.

My direction was to try to make it as close to a P90 as possible. Once you remove the pickup to ship to them for rebuilding you will find, it more resembles a Fender single than a P90 of any kind.

Duncan did a good job on mine and I think just under $100.00 plus shipping.

The stock pick up can be rebuilt, so hope this helps.

Thanks for the response! So, how does the rewound pickup sound? Did they replaced the wire with no other changes? The specs on this say, "Pickup Mini Acoustic Humbucker":

http://www.epiphone....on-EJ-160E.aspx

This post has been edited by DavyR: 08 May 2018 - 11:09 PM

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#31 User is offline   byrds1965 

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 06:13 AM

View PostDavyR, on 08 May 2018 - 11:08 PM, said:

Thanks for the response! So, how does the rewound pickup sound? Did they replaced the wire with no other changes? The specs on this say, "Pickup Mini Acoustic Humbucker":

http://www.epiphone....on-EJ-160E.aspx



Duncan did a complete rebuild of the pickup, wire, magnets etc. It was still a stacked single or humbucker but major improvement.

It has been years ago now and I no longer have the guitar.

The pickup once pulled is more along the lines of a Fender single in shape and size vs a P90.

With the rebuild it sounded closer to my modern, solid top X bracing, Gibson J160E plugged in but not like my 62 spec ladder braced one. Both Gibsons had the P90s. My solid top did not have the P100.

I would guess the Duncan custom shop would still do the rewind for customers. At the time I let them know try to make it as close in tone to a P90 as possible.

I remember they did question what guitar it came out of and when I explained they told me, which I knew once removed, that it did not resemble a P90 at all or a P100 = a stacked P90.


Other that having the thing rewound, it is an odd duck pickup and do not know anything else that would fit in the same spot.

As stated above a P90 will not fit and this pickup is not P90 shaped or sized.
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