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cowboy123

Need to identify Epi PU's

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I've go two Epi pickups that I'd like to identify...model, magnets, etc..

 

1) neck: 57CH(G)

Dot,Neck<Bridge

LP.Neck

BHC

 

2) bridge: HOTCH(G)

LP,Bridge

BHC

 

they came out of an Epi Standard LP...how is the overall quality of these pickups?

 

thanks.

 

cowboy123

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These are usually referred to by their markings, 57CH and HOTCH, and are the bog-standard humbuckers which have been in most Epis for some years now, till they started making better ones. Someone here could probably tell you exactly when.

 

As to the quality, opinions vary. Some people find them OK. I had them in my Sheraton which sounded great in the shop through a solid state amp with EQ, then when I got them home and played through my Valve Junior they sounded muddy, indistinct and characterless. I swapped them initially for GFS Vintage 59's which were a good improvement.

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These pickups are officially called "Classic Humbuckers" by Epiphone and are distinguished by the "CH". So you have a '57 Classic and a HOT Classic (probably the bridge pickup, IIRC).

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I understand both use alnico 2 magnets and they sound similar to Gibsons 490/498 pairing. I've had a few Korean Epis with these, and I also put a pair in a HH Strat project. In my experience the neck version (57CH)does a good job if adjusted to the right height. I found the bridge version not bright enough for my tastes. The pair sound great in my Strat, with 500k pots and 22 cap.

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how is the overall quality of these pickups?

 

If I deliberately set out to design a bad pickup, I could not hope to compete with the dead, mud-bucking awfulness of these magnetic paper-weights. Let me put it like this: if an attack squad of squirrels are in the garden and all I have to defend my apple trees are a pile of rocks and a pile of these "pickups", I'd be heaving humbuckers at the tree-rats so as not to waste any perfectly good stones.

 

Whip 'em out and you've likely discover a great-sounding guitar though.

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thanks for the advise guys...I've got an Epi JB w/Gibson Burstbuckers and an Epi 339 with the Classic Pro humbuckers...like the sound out of both guitars...but needed to mix up some of the others...

 

I think I'm gonna put an old set of Gibson 490/498 that I had laying around in the Standard but will put some GFS Classic II's in my Wilshire project...if it doesn't work then I may switch them out..I'm just trying to get some different options in the Epi solidbodies...appreciate the input...later.

 

cowboy123

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Here's a DI clip of a 57CHG, a slightly overwound PAF with A2 and then the same pickup with A4:

 

comparison clip

 

You can hear how dull and flat the 57CHG is, and how much more dynamic, clear and bright the other pickup is.

 

That incidentally was the first pickup I ever made - inspired by the need to upgrade from the awful pups Epiphone used to fit as standard. I should say they're much better in the more recent models. Also, even with bad pups, I still thought the instrument was good value.

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The first thing I feel the need to do with any Epi is to change the pickups and in some cases, like for my Sherry the whole harness.

The Joe Pass, the Sherry and even the Regent came alive when I put quality pups on them...

I like the fact these guitars are damn cheap and let us room for improvement at a reasonable cost.

I love to personalize them and they are all keepers of course [thumbup]

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