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Epiphone Dot mod ideas!!


c.hargrove

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Hey Epiphone lovers! So here's what I've got going on --

 

This my Dot in vintage sunburst, I bought it in Seattle in 2012. It's actually a factory 2nd with the serial number scrubbed out, but I totally freaking adore it. I'd been a bass player for many moons and wanted to learn something new, and I have just really enjoyed learning more about the electric guitar in general and exploring the different role in music that the instrument plays. Here's a link to a photo -

 

Dot VS

 

As you can see I've already added a bigsby b7 and a roller bridge which has made a big difference to the guitar. I'm a tinkerer, so I always think I'll be buy less expensive guitars and hacking away at them. I have found a few forums talking about upgrading pickups in these guitars and that's my next project.

 

My question here is if you wanted to just experiment on a 335 style guitar, what pickups/mods would you do? I have been waffling between burstbucker pro's or a humbucker-sized P90. I was looking at Gibson P94's but then I saw TV Jones humbucker-sized P90's and I thought those looked pretty great. I also thought about doing something crazy and putting gold foils in it. So thoughts? I'm not necessarily after a "classic" or "original" or "vintage" sound, I just want to something interesting.

 

I also plan to replace the entire wiring harness, it seems to make sense while I am doing the pickups. I have been looking at MojoTone components, wondering if you have any experience with their products or if you can recommend something better? On my more ambitious days I have thought about adding a varitone circuit and wiring it as a 345 but I think I'll keep it simple.

 

I'd also love to hear any other weird ideas! I saw a how-to the other day on a telecaster mod where you run the bridge/neck pickup in series and it creates a humbucker effect. I don't think it would make sense on a humbucker-humbucker guitar but it did get me thinking there might be other weird or unorthodox ideas that would be fun to try out, and I'd love to hear ideas! Acoustic pickups in the body with a stereo out was one idea I had, but if you've daydreamed about it I want to hear it!

 

looking forward to hearing ideas/thoughts!

 

 

PS: I don't need any comments about how "that guitar isn't worth it" or "you'll never get your money back" or any naysaying. I know this is what I want to do, and while it may not be "worth it" as far as the value of the guitar goes but it is totally "worth it" to me.

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Nice Dot.

Here's what I did. I have an '08 Dot that I kept stock for about a year. Once I decided what I wanted I had SD Classic p/u's installed, and at the same time had the harness rewired, CTS pots and Switchcraft jack/switch installed. Then I added the B7 and put black knobs on it. Totally different guitar. Like you, I wasn't concerned with resale or "it's not worth it" comments, because once I got it like I wanted it, I knew it wasn't going anywhere.

002_zps11f929c8.jpg

 

Good luck in whatever you decide to do, but sounds like you've already decided that it's a "keeper". The way I see it, other than a nitro finish and a little bling, I've got a 335 for less than half the cost.

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Not one of my Epi electrics has it's original pickups. Speaking of gold foils, I took a 50th anniversary Sorrento (with mini humbuckers)and mounted some old Rowe-DeArmond gold foils on it. Love it, especially through my old Supro amp.

 

sorrento%20011_zpsisr3dr05.jpg

 

sorrento%20020_zps8zkukghh.jpg

 

You'd have to look at one of the new breed of g.f.'s, like Lollars, Novaks or Mojotones, as they are a little bigger and may cover the holes. Otherwise, I'd look at a good pair of humbuckers to replace. I really like Jason Lollars stuff (his P-90s totally transformed my Casino) but there are plenty of others, too. Keep us posted and take pictures.

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If you're ok with the buzzing a single big a$$ single coil with give you, the P94s will be quite different from a set of PAF style pickups for sure. But I'll say, they are not for everyone. I have a set in an SG classic, and that is one fun guitar to play very raw sounding, nothing like a strat/tele and certianly way different than anything I have with humbuckers.

 

 

The Classic 57 and Classic 57+ (PAFs) are very good sounding pickups, and will really work well to give you that classic "Bluesy" 335-ish sound. Of course, Gretch style pickups are going some place else entirely... but not in a bad way. With the Bigsby, you'll be in rock-a-billy twangsville going that route for sure..

 

It's a lot of work to change out the electronics in these, I admire your ambitions, and it is best to get this all down now if you're going to take the plunge.. you're on the right path with that line of reasoning.

 

[thumbup]

 

and as you already have mentioned not worrying about the investment value vs resale is key. While it is true, it wont make a 300 dollar guitar worth 600 to a potential buyer if someone decides to sell, But it WILL make it worth quite a bit more to YOU once you find the right combination of hardware to upgrade too.

 

 

Good luck and let us know what you decide on.

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Nice Dot.

Here's what I did. I have an '08 Dot that I kept stock for about a year. Once I decided what I wanted I had SD Classic p/u's installed, and at the same time had the harness rewired, CTS pots and Switchcraft jack/switch installed. Then I added the B7 and put black knobs on it. Totally different guitar. Like you, I wasn't concerned with resale or "it's not worth it" comments, because once I got it like I wanted it, I knew it wasn't going anywhere.

002_zps11f929c8.jpg

 

Good luck in whatever you decide to do, but sounds like you've already decided that it's a "keeper". The way I see it, other than a nitro finish and a little bling, I've got a 335 for less than half the cost.

 

 

Dude the black knobs and B7 on the natural finish is rad! Love it!

 

 

 

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Not one of my Epi electrics has it's original pickups. Speaking of gold foils, I took a 50th anniversary Sorrento (with mini humbuckers)and mounted some old Rowe-DeArmond gold foils on it. Love it, especially through my old Supro amp.

 

sorrento%20011_zpsisr3dr05.jpg

 

sorrento%20020_zps8zkukghh.jpg

 

You'd have to look at one of the new breed of g.f.'s, like Lollars, Novaks or Mojotones, as they are a little bigger and may cover the holes. Otherwise, I'd look at a good pair of humbuckers to replace. I really like Jason Lollars stuff (his P-90s totally transformed my Casino) but there are plenty of others, too. Keep us posted and take pictures.

 

Nice! Would love to hear a sound byte or video of that Sorrento through your Supro! I bet it sounds great.

 

 

 

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If you're ok with the buzzing a single big a$ single coil with give you, the P94s will be quite different from a set of PAF style pickups for sure. But I'll say, they are not for everyone. I have a set in an SG classic, and that is one fun guitar to play very raw sounding, nothing like a strat/tele and certianly way different than anything I have with humbuckers.

 

 

The Classic 57 and Classic 57+ (PAFs) are very good sounding pickups, and will really work well to give you that classic "Bluesy" 335-ish sound. Of course, Gretch style pickups are going some place else entirely... but not in a bad way. With the Bigsby, you'll be in rock-a-billy twangsville going that route for sure..

 

It's a lot of work to change out the electronics in these, I admire your ambitions, and it is best to get this all down now if you're going to take the plunge.. you're on the right path with that line of reasoning.

 

[thumbup]

 

and as you already have mentioned not worrying about the investment value vs resale is key. While it is true, it wont make a 300 dollar guitar worth 600 to a potential buyer if someone decides to sell, But it WILL make it worth quite a bit more to YOU once you find the right combination of hardware to upgrade too.

 

 

Good luck and let us know what you decide on.

 

Yeah I think I'm leaning away from the P-90 idea just because of the noise - this is %100 my main guitar right now and possibly for a long time. I did consider gretsch-style pickups but I don't want to get too "twangsville" as it's not really my style. My semi-hollow heros are more guys like dave grohl, dan aeurbach, brian Aubert, and Angels and Airwaves era Tom DeLonge.

 

 

 

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Yeah I think I'm leaning away from the P-90 idea just because of the noise - this is %100 my main guitar right now and possibly for a long time. I did consider gretsch-style pickups but I don't want to get too "twangsville" as it's not really my style. My semi-hollow heros are more guys like dave grohl, dan aeurbach, brian Aubert, and Angels and Airwaves era Tom DeLonge.

 

There's quite a lot of options with pickup builders like Seymour Duncan, The SH1 SH4 (Jeff Beck) combo is pretty favorable.

(I have just this set in one of my LP Standards which originally had the first gen of Burstbuckers which I really wasn't keen on.

 

I think the Classic 57 and 57+ is a great combo..

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So I think I am going to go with Porter pickups, classic-classic combo, they come with four-connector wires so I'll do a coil split I think. It's either that or Gibson '57's and I have been reading up on how to split the coils on a standard humbucker - I might just split the bridge because that's the only place I really want a little single-coil sound once in a while. If I decide to go that route I think I'll try it on the stock pups first to make sure I can do it without screwing them up!

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Thanks. I like the look as well, althgough on another forum I was criticized for not using a chrome B7. To each his own, I suppose.

 

Haters gonna hate my man. I think it's ridiculous anyone would criticize it even if it wasn't their style. I considered black for mine but didn't think it would look good with the burst finish, but it looks sweet on the natural.

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There's quite a lot of options with pickup builders like Seymour Duncan, The SH1 SH4 (Jeff Beck) combo is pretty favorable.

(I have just this set in one of my LP Standards which originally had the first gen of Burstbuckers which I really wasn't keen on.

 

I think the Classic 57 and 57+ is a great combo..

 

What was it you didn't like about the burstbuckers?

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What was it you didn't like about the burstbuckers?

 

The BBs didn't take to overdrive quite like I wanted, I don't use a massive layers of gain, but with the BB-1s, it just wasn't happenin for me. I always felt something was "missing". I may have gotten on better with the later variants of the burstbuckers. (the 2s or 3s)

 

My other LP-S ('95) came stock with 490r/498t combo, which have always worked great for me.

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The BBs didn't take to overdrive quite like I wanted, I don't use a massive layers of gain, but with the BB-1s, it just wasn't happenin for me. I always felt something was "missing". I may have gotten on better with the later variants of the burstbuckers. (the 2s or 3s)

 

My other LP-S ('95) came stock with 490r/498t combo, which have always worked great for me.

 

That's really good to know - I'm not a massive overdrive guy either but I pretty much always have dirt for sure.

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That's really good to know - I'm not a massive overdrive guy either but I pretty much always have dirt for sure.

 

 

the 2s or 3s might be better in this regard but still, if I was modding this one that you're planning, I'd go towards classic 57/57+

 

My bro in-law has em in his LP, and from the moment I tried them, I loved them. not cheap, (chrome covered, I think around 300 for the pair) but if you're gonna do it, doing it once is the idea.

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I put a pair of SDs in my Dot as I found the original pups a bit lifeless, though I love the guitar. I chose the Jazz in the neck and JB at the bridge. Definitely hotter than the originals, with more bite, better distortion sound, sonically a great choice. Only issue is that the pups do not have covers, and I think covers add a little class. That said, not looking back.

 

I also have a new Joe Pass Emporer 2 with the probucker 2 and probucker 3 in the neck and bridge, respectively. Can't say with certainty how would sound with a semi hollow like a DOT, but Dang! They sound good. A little less output than the SDs but warmer, great definition.

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  • 1 month later...

Been a while! Life got in the way there for a little while. I just ordered a set of MojoTone classic humbuckers and all the bits and bobs to replace all the electronics. They do pre-wired harnesses but they don't do them with a coil split so I ordered the kit plus a few components and I'll wire it up myself which will be a fun challenge for me! They build the pickups to order so it takes a few weeks but I am chomping at the bit. Can't wait!

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Been a while! Life got in the way there for a little while. I just ordered a set of MojoTone classic humbuckers and all the bits and bobs to replace all the electronics. They do pre-wired harnesses but they don't do them with a coil split so I ordered the kit plus a few components and I'll wire it up myself which will be a fun challenge for me! They build the pickups to order so it takes a few weeks but I am chomping at the bit. Can't wait!

Do yourself a favor (I didn't) record yourself before you mod your Dot, then record the same thing after you mod it. I didn't do this, but wow, what a difference as I recall!

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New pickups arrive Monday!

 

I need a little help understanding the wiring if anyone has some knowledge in that area? I order a couple of extra switches and some extra wire to wire in the coil split, which I want to do with a switch (or two) rather than a push/pull. Like an ES 347, maybe with the switch on the lower horn. That or I am thinking about moving the output jack to the bottom edge and using the hole that was for the output jack for a coil split switch.

 

I found this schematic for a 347: http://archive.gibson.com/Files/schematics/ES347wCoilTap.PDF

 

 

I understand the wiring for a pickup without the split and I am reasonably confident in wiring that whole side of it up. The thing I don't get on this schematic is how the tapped lead on the pickups works.... (remember part of this whole project is learning new things) but I see it coming off the first coil, to the switch, and then.... ???

 

So am I to understand that the switch just switches on and off the split circuit , and because it's the shortest circuit it will supersede the signal from the full humbucker? So the wire from the split switch solders in to the same point and is just neutralized if the switch is off?

 

OR - should the split lead and the full bucker lead go to an on/on switch that changes the signal from one to the other at the same time as killing the other signal? This is sort of what I was thinking at first and I was going to put a mini switch close to each volume pot, then I could split each pickup individually. But I could be 100% off base about this.

 

Does that make sense? Any thoughts?

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Ok holy crap. Next time I start talking about modding a dot you fellas need to tell me to take a hike. That was a MISSION.

 

I ended up skipping the coil split because I was feeling pretty out of my comfort zone with wiring it, so I decided to stick to a schematic and I can do the coil split later. It had also occurred to me that the new pickups might give me what I what in that guitar without the coil split, so I may have been making the whole thing needlessly complicated. Took me 3 nights to get it right but I have it back together! I'd post a photo but it looks the same as it did before haha.

 

But oh man it sure doesn't sound the same!! What a difference! I could swear it plays and feels better too but that must be the responsiveness in the pickups making it seem that way. They are way more open sounding, and much more responsive, somehow both more meaty sounding and clearer at the same time.

 

The one funny thing is that I wired it in mirror image! So the bridge and neck vol/tone are switched. Feels a little weird but I've decided to just get used to it rather than try to fix it. I might have enough slack to move them but after the last two hours poking pots in through the f-hole and trying to get them to line up where they are supposed to go without jacking up my soldering.... yeah, nah.... I'm gonna leave it.

 

All in all a successful mod I think! I did record a little playing with the old pickups so it will be fun to spend a few days with it now and then go back and listen to that.

 

 

And next time I'm modding a bloody fender where I can just pull the pickguard!!

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ha! I know! Semi hollow pickup changes are definitely a stroll through the swamp... You think "How hard can t be?".... yea....

 

happy for the good ending here. about the cross up in the pots,, my guess is you'll tolerate for only so long before you're addressing it! [thumbup]

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Ok holy crap. Next time I start talking about modding a dot you fellas need to tell me to take a hike.

But oh man it sure doesn't sound the same!! What a difference!

Yeah, working on a semi is a real patience tester...lots of beer helps (either that or it just makes it seem so).

 

I'm with you on the improved sound however. Totally different guitar before/after.

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