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new Epi LP kind of "dead" sounding vs SG Special

#1 User is offline   halvey 

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 08:56 AM

I'm not new to guitars, been playing off and on for 40 years, although all my gigging has been on bass. I mostly used guitars to write songs. Anyway...

My son has a Epiphone SG Special, bolt on neck he got new a few years ago. I thought for the money it was a decent guitar, especially the thin neck. Amp is a Marshall DSL 40 1x12.

Went to Guitar Center this weekend and tried out everything. Came down to 3 guitars:
2019 Gibson SG
used Gibson Les Paul Studio
Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plustop
Played them all through a DSL40

The Studio sounded great, but I didn't like the neck. The SG played and sounded great, but I figure we have an SG and the $1500 made me pause. So I picked up a new Epiphone Les Paul. I figured it's different than the SG and I've always wanted a cherry sunburst LP.

Sounded great at the store. Then I got home...

Very muddy. Little sustain. No definition at all. Mostly I used the "clean crunch" on the amp to get the tone I want. Gain in the 4-6 range depending on the song. Play 70-80's rock (AC/DC, Kiss, Queen etc.) Only way I could get an acceptable tone is to use the "lead settings' and while I got the distortion, the crunch was lacking.

Then I reset the amp and plugged in the SG Special and it sounded great.

So...what to do?

Will removing the covers help any? Adjusting the pole pieces?

I do have a Dimarzio Super Distortion, but I thought those Probuckers were supposed to be good? I don't want to swap out pickups (yet) as I can return the guitar if needed.

Anything else to look into?

Any help is appreciated/
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#2 User is online   kidblast 

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 10:11 AM

is this a new EPI LP? they should have pro buckers, which are decent pickups.

Did you restring with a new set of wires, or are these the strings from the store?

if you didn't do that, then definitely change the strings..

If that's still not doing it, for starters, I'd make sure the pickup height is adjusted properly, (Distance beween the bottom of the E strings, and the poles in the pickups, measured when pressing the strings at the last fret.)

There's specs for a starting point, you can probably look them up, but I think the ball parks are 8/64s low E and maybe 6/64s high?

that's where I usually start, then I let my ears tell where where the sweet spot is.

and by the way a bolt on neck Epi SG Special and a Gibson SG standard are about as different guitars as it gets. There is no comparison to be made here other than the EPI SG Special "looks" like an SG, the Gibson SG Standard "IS" an SG..

the Epi SG Special probably has really hot pickups too, so maybe it's output you're keying off and not "tone"

I would give the Epi LP a chance and see what new strings and a right setup can do.

This post has been edited by kidblast: 14 January 2019 - 10:14 AM

/Ray
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#3 User is offline   Big Bill 

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 12:39 PM

View Postkidblast, on 14 January 2019 - 10:11 AM, said:



the Epi SG Special probably has really hot pickups too, so maybe it's output you're keying off and not "tone"

I would give the Epi LP a chance and see what new strings and a right setup can do.


I have experienced this. I had been a Strat guy for a long time and decided to get pick up this beat up Epi Les Paul Standard. I loved that thing, it could scream! I loved it so much I decided to get a brand new 2008 Gibson LP Traditional with 57 Classics. The first thing I noticed that it did not have the same "scream" as the Epi. But the tone and sustain made up for that.
Gibson Les Paul Standard
Gibson ES 339 Memphis
Gretsch 2655 Streamliner
Fender American Performer Stratocaster
Fender 60s Baja Telecaster
Fender 12 String Acoustic
Fender Jazz Bass 1975 Reissue
Hofner Limited Edition Ed Sullivan Ignition Violin Bass
Seagull Excursion Grand Acoustic
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#4 User is offline   mihcmac 

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 01:34 PM

If I got the models right your son has an Epi SG Special with 650R/700T Humbuckers with Open coil Ceramic-8 Magnets and your new Epi Les Paul Standard Plus Top with Alnico Classic™ humbuckers. So part of what may be happening is the difference between Open coil Ceramic pickups and covered Alnico pickups. Ceramic pickups are usually a bit brighter and cleaner and Alnico pickups are fatter sounding and loud. Alnico's usually can get a little cleaner if moved farther away from the strings. Also when Alnico's covers are removed they usually get dirtier and louder. But like kidblast said put a new set of strings on and try it out for a while before making changes, dead sounding is usually an indication of old strings.

Note the 2019 Gibson SG models have different pickup configurations each producing their own sound.

Also I have an Epi Les Paul Standard Pro with P90's with unbelievable sustain but its a very different animal from the Les Paul's with humbuckers..

This post has been edited by mihcmac: 14 January 2019 - 02:04 PM

P-90's Rule.. Posted ImagePosted Image . But not for everyone...
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