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Help!!! Trying to install 57 Classic Humbuckers in an Epi ES-175...


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Hey all... I bought 2 Gibson 57 Classic humbuckers and need to install them in an Epi ES-175, but... the 57's just have a sheild with a black conductor, and the stock Epi pickups have 2 wires each (blue and white, red and white); these are hooked up to a connector. Any ideas?

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Most of the current pickups now are 4 wire with the shield. This allows all

kinds of configurations for coil splitting and phase reversals on your coils.

Humbuckers have two coils a "north" phased and a "south" phased..this

is how the common mode noise or hum is eliminated.


A coil may have several thousand turns of #42 awg copper wire that is used on

most humbuckers, and an alnico II or V bar magnet that both coils sit on.

(Bar magnets will have a North-South orientation for the magnetic field they produce.)


Typically (depending on the colour scheme of the manufacturer),

the "black" lead is the START of the winding for the north coil and

the white is used for the END of the winding. The Green is used as the

START of the winding for the south coil and the red is the END.


Epi connects internally (inside the humbucker case) the start/end of the coil pairs and

brings out the start/end of the internally connected humbucker coils to a two pin molex style

connector. (it also maybe 3 pins for shield continuity). One of the colours ( usually white) may be

connected to to the volume pot for the respective pickup, and the other colour to the volume pot case (ground).


(On my Epi LP custom, the neck hot lead is red and a single wire with the shield,

on the bridge it is a white wire with the shield) The shield wire COVER is red for the neck

and black for the bridge).


On the Classic humbuckers, the coils are internally connected and phased correctly so all

they bring out is just the black (start of winding for North coil)...and the other 3 wires are

connected inside the p_up (end of N coil to start of S coil), and the the remaining wire to

the humbucker bottom plate along with the shield.



Hope this helps you. Other forum members may be able to add more information.

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The '57s are pretty straight forward to install. The center lead goes to one of the terminals on the pot and the shield is soldered to the back of the pot. Just solder the center lead from the '57 to the same terminal the Epi pickup is soldered to.


Here is a wiring diagram:




The black wire from the SDs go to the same terminal as the black lead on the '57s.

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Hey, thanks for the quick responses!! So, should I just ignore the molex connectors and solder straight to the pots? While I'm on this topic, should I consider different pots for the epi or are the stock ones sufficient? I'm not having any issues, but wonder if the existing pots are "historical" Gibson 175. Figure if I'm taking pots out and soldering may as well replace with something better while I'm at it. Thanks again for the help!

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If I was doing it I would put new pots, switch and 1/4" jack in it. I did a Dot and and Sheraton and I replaced all of the wiring and electronics. I figured it really doesn't cost that much more and since I was going to all the work I might as well replace it all. If it was a solid body with easy access I might wait until I had some problems, but then I really like tinkering so I would probably rip everything out and replace it on the solid body too.


You can use the connectors if you like, I just soldered everything up. I didn't have connectors in my Dot, but I did in my Sherry. I just figure the fewer connections the fewer possibliies for problems. I used my multimeter and checked everything out before I fished it back in to make sure everything was working first.


Use shielded wire. Stewmac sells it pretty resonable. As far as the pots, if you use Alpha they will fit right in, if you use CTS you will need to make the holes a little larger. I would suggest a Swtichcraft switch and 1/4" jack, and get the long shaft jack. I used a regular one the first time I did it and the shaft was too short and I couldn't get the washer on, the jack kept coming loose, so I bought and longer shaft and I have had no problems since. I had to make the holes a little larger for the switchcraft replacements, but it was worth it. The pots are not historical Gibson 175, they are Asian, probably Alpha pots. The Alpha pots the GFS sells are a little better quality than the Epi pots and CTS are supposedly better yet.


GFS sells Alpha pots, I have put them in 3 of my Epis and they work like a charm.

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