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New Guy asking about pickups (more than just advice)


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After a long hiatus from playing (almost lost a finger to an axe a few years ago) I purchased myself a used Epiphone Les Paul 100 from a pawn shop.

I noticed some issues but the price was hard to beat. (108 out the door).

issue 1. the pickups are a very VERY different heights. the bridge is almost completely sunk into the body while the neck is in what I would consider a more normal position to the string. both produce sound but the bridge seems to buzz a little when switchedto only it.

issue 2. the bridge pickup seem to be floating on the screws. I would expect it to be a little tighter/ firmer in place

issue 3. I can see some blue "tape" coming out from between the two coils. looks like what I have seen them wrap the coils in on youtube.


I would guess my best bet is to purchase new pickups as I don't thing the are the orginals anyway as they don't match what I have seen come on that model of guitar. since the strings are rough to the touch and need replacement anyway. Should I go ahead and look to replace them at the same time.


I am a computer tech and pretty handy so should I got for it?  

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Hi and welcome

The LP100 is an entry level instrument.  I am not sure I would invest a lot of money in new pickups, but if you plan to use this for a while, I would suggest to consider changing the pots and toggle switch as well.  As these are often the more problematic components in these guitars.

Check the Guitar Fetish web site, they have very reasonably priced pickups and other parts to do the job.  I would not go with expensive replacement parts. (aka Seymour Duncan, USA Made Gibson pickups etc..)   Cost of this guitar brand new  is under $300.   You could easily be close to if not + $300 for new pickups and the pots / switch.

A string change is an absolute yes..


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I am planning on keeping it for a few years and passing it on to my daughter (she is using a epiphone lp sl I got cheap as well) my plan is to swap the pickup for some I found that were a set for about 70 bucks and go over the wiring to see if I could find the bad wires. may do POTS if I find any bad ones but try to keep it as cost effective as possible. 

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Try raising the bridge pickup a bit closer to the strings. See what that does.

Change the strings! When you change strings, pull the pickups out enough to see the backs. You may have something someone else tried to fix. LOTS of those "fixes" aren't improvements, just changes. 

Another thought might be that who ever pawned the guitar had different pickups in it but stuck the old (or something) back in before they pawned it. And the floating pup might be because they kept the springs. Hard to guess until you open it up.

Pull it apart. Find out what you have. Then you can decide what you need to get or if you need anything at all.

Good luck. And let us know how it works out.



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Your $70 figure for pickups seems high to me.  For an inexpensive guitar I'd:

1. Look at Amazon, they list hundreds of pickups and the imports start at around $10 or so, then decent sets are maybe $30?  Fleor is one brand that seems to get decent reviews.  

2.  Check fleabay.  Many of the midrange Epiphones come with their Alnico Classic pickups that sound decent (in that price range).  Then as some guys upgrade they offer the ACs for sale.  ***I just checked and there are (new takeoffs?) sets of these AC pickups for $19.99 and $6.00 shipping.  The Amazon pickups are unknown but there are tons of good reviews of these.

Search youtube for videos showing how to setup your pickups (and strings/neck).

Edited by Randy99CL
adding info
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If you have about a 20 year old LP 100 with the stock open coil ceramic magnet pickups its probably time to replace them as they don't last as long as the volume and tone pots. You can find use higher end Epiphone covered humbucking pickups on eBay for $10 to about $30 a set, even thought Epiphones price for a new set is about $150. If I want new pickups I have been very pleased with GFS average cost between $60 to about $80. There is nothing like the sound of a good pickup to put a smile on your face... 🙂

Edited by mihcmac
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I opened up the back of the guitar last night and the wiring looks like it was soldered with a  blowtorch. pots look original... wiring for pickup does not. looks like a teenager trying to make a thrash metal guitar out of it. found out why the bridge pickup was so low. any higher and the feedback is earsplitting.  one spring is blown/broken.  Starting to see why it was 100 bucks. but it is a good project and that is partially what I was looking for. 

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