Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Epiphone Sheraton 2 Upgrade Advice


Zergle

Recommended Posts

Recently I purchased a used Epiphone Sheraton 2. I believe it's a mid-late 90's model made in Korea.

 

Right off the bat it's clear the electronics (pots and switch) are in bad shape. The tone and volume on the neck pickup fluctuate wildly with slight adjustments and the tone basically is either all bass or all treble. It also seems to get dramatically hotter with just the slightest adjustment to the tone knob. The switch also statics really bad when switching. So it's pretty clear I need to replace the electronics. I plan on going with the pre-wired mojo 335 assembly. I know I'll need to expand the holes a little from Asian to US sizing, but that should be relatively simple. Am I correct in assuming that on this guitar I would be able to replace everything via the F-Hole or am I going to need to pull the pickups and run everything through the bridge cavity?

 

Big question though...What kind of stock humbuckers do these have? I know getting classic 57's would be great, but considering that I'm not a pro and not running through anything more than a practice amp right now, I can't see shelling out $200 for pickups. At least right now. I almost exclusively play on the neck pickup (clean jazz) and for the most part it sounds ok. Occasionally though it gets a little static in certain ranges if I attack them strongly. 7th fret on the D in particular. Is this a likely issue with the pickups or could it be traced back to the pot issues I described?

 

Finally, I'm new to soldering. I like the idea of the mojo kit to minimize what I would need to do, but I know I'll still need to solder the pickups and ground wire. I've seen a lot of talk about these new Cold Heat soldering tools. Has anyone used these and are they worth a shot or should I stick with a traditional iron? I really want to try and do this myself because the cost of going to a shop seems to really put things out of reach. As soon as I say semi-hollow most techs glaze over with big $$$ signs on their face. Any advice on tutorial videos for soldering?

 

Big thanks in advance for any assistance/advice you have to offer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Changing your pickups and pots will make the biggest difference. For some decent pickups, at a decent price, check out guitarfetish.com. As far as the electronics go, you can buy a pre-soldered harness - all you have to do then is solder the bridge gound and the pickups to the pots. There is a member on the forum, TWANG, that can make one for you. For soldering tips, youtube has a ton of videos on soldering techniques. Check out my pics of a Sheraton work in progress, I'll be posting more as I progress:

 

www.photobucket.com/swhttn

 

P.S. You'll need to go through the f-hole for the wiring harness and If your's is an older model Sheraton, you'll need to go with mini pots - full size pots would not fit through the f-hole on mine.

 

Good Luck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies gang!

 

Twang...gots a few questions fer ya:

 

 

You wont have to drill anything at all. Not one thing. It will all fit perfectly.

 

1 - My understanding is that CTS pots won't fit a Korean made Sheraton because of the metric/US variance. Or is that only with the switch? If not, why do yours fit? As far as mini's go, I'm pretty sure I've got good room in my f-hole. It's pretty wide. How wide does it need to be?

 

If you want vintage style humbucks, like your stock pups or gibsons 57's

 

2 - Can you tell me anything about the stock pups on a Sheraton? If they are classic Alnico II's then I see no need to change them right now. Once I get the electronics sorted out, I should be ok. I'm not performing and am only running through a practice amp. I probably wouldn't upgrade pups for at least a couple of years.

 

I provide instructions, and online help, and we have the web for any other help you might need.

 

3 - Do you have a website for your biz I can check out?

 

Thanks again for the help!

 

 

 

Changing your pickups and pots will make the biggest difference. For some decent pickups' date=' at a decent price, check out guitarfetish.com. As far as the electronics go, you can buy a pre-soldered harness - all you have to do then is solder the bridge gound and the pickups to the pots. There is a member on the forum, TWANG, that can make one for you. For soldering tips, youtube has a ton of videos on soldering techniques. Check out my pics of a Sheraton work in progress, I'll be posting more as I progress:

 

www.photobucket.com/swhttn

 

P.S. You'll need to go through the f-hole for the wiring harness and If your's is an older model Sheraton, you'll need to go with mini pots - full size pots would not fit through the f-hole on mine.

 

Good Luck[/quote']

 

Did TWANG do the assembly shown in your photobucket?

 

Aren't Alpha's essentially what comes stock on the Epi's?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Changing your pickups and pots will make the biggest difference. For some decent pickups' date=' at a decent price, check out guitarfetish.com. As far as the electronics go, you can buy a pre-soldered harness - all you have to do then is solder the bridge gound and the pickups to the pots. There is a member on the forum, TWANG, that can make one for you. For soldering tips, youtube has a ton of videos on soldering techniques. Check out my pics of a Sheraton work in progress, I'll be posting more as I progress:

 

www.photobucket.com/swhttn

 

P.S. You'll need to go through the f-hole for the wiring harness and If your's is an older model Sheraton, you'll need to go with mini pots - full size pots would not fit through the f-hole on mine.

 

Good Luck[/quote']

 

Did TWANG do the assembly shown in your photobucket?

 

Aren't Alpha's essentially what comes stock on the Epi's?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

TWANG did not do the harness for me. I bought the harness before I found this forum. Alpha pots are made in the USA (the company is in Oxnard, CA) so I don't think that they are used as stock items. Both CTS and Alpha make very good mini pots. The picture of the wiring harness in my photo bucket is full sized CTS pots. They did not fit into the F-holes. The widest part of my f-hole measures about 22mm across. The full size pots with the capacitors and wires were wider than that and I could not wrangle them in - at any angle. I lacked a good 2mm of space so I'm going with mini pots - no choice. With the CTS or Alpha pots and better pickups you will realize a big difference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds like your Sheraton wasn't played very much by its' previous owner. If it was easy to get to the pots, I would recommend spraying the pots with a good contact cleaner. I have a bunch of guitars some of which don't get played as much as others. The pots will get a little noisey much as you have described.

I have a 2006 Sheraton and have used it on Jazz gigs as well as country/rock jobs. It is a pretty versatile guitar. I suspect with a new set of pickups and pots that it woul rival the G****n 335.

I've read threads that compared the Sheraton to the ES339 and the Sheraton won out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks again for the responses folks. TWANG may have earned himself another sale, but I need to figure out a few things first.

 

Right now I don't think I'm going to replace the pups. With that said, and going with minis, I should be able to do everything via the F-hole, correct?

 

I've seen a few tutorials on how to manage working out of the F-hole. Basically the best advice I saw was to tie a piece of string to each of the existing pots and putting a small tape label on the string. Then undo the nuts and pull everything out while allowing the string to come through the holes but stay dangling out far enough so that I can pull things back through. I'd just tie the strings to their equivalent new pots/switch/jack and pull them back through and slip the nut over the string.

 

My biggest concern though is soldering. Never done it in my life. I've watched a couple of videos and talked to a few people here and there. From what I can gather it's not that difficult, it just takes patience and a little practice. I need suggestions though on what kind of tools I will need and if there is anything specific I need to be aware of doing this kind of work on guitar components. I was considering the Weller Cold Heat solder tool, but I'm getting mixed opinions on these. I've talked to electricians that love them, but RotcanX and others said it's a bad move for a beginner. I need all the advice on this area I can get.

 

What type of tools? What kind of iron? Solder? I've seen demonstrations where they emphasize that you are heating the connection point and not the solder itself. When I connect the ground and pups am I making a mechanical connection to the prongs sticking out of the pots, or am I placing it directly on the pot itself? How much heat is too much? (Told you I was ignorant.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What type of tools? What kind of iron? Solder? I've seen demonstrations where they emphasize that you are heating the connection point and not the solder itself. When I connect the ground and pups am I making a mechanical connection to the prongs sticking out of the pots' date=' or am I placing it directly on the pot itself? How much heat is too much? [/quote']

Use a decent quality temperature controlled Weller iron..not those battery operated

"cold solder iron", because you could get some "cold solder joints"..LOL.

 

I've used a Weller soldering station for more years than I can remember. I use a 700

degree tip. Check out the Weller WES51 (350F-850F) adjustable temp, they are

less than a $100.

 

As far as the solder. I use Kester #44 rosin core 63/37 lead/tin.

You can get the lead free version, if breathing lead fumes is a concern, but there

wouldn't be that much in any case.

 

Heat the terminal first, then tin it with some solder. You can wrap the p_up wire around

the terminal first, or fill the hole on the terminal and bring the wire into it..your choice.

 

The pot case will need to be scraped and tinned first. It's easier to solder the shields to

the pretinned pot case..and takes less heat afterwards. You will need more heat for the pot case

so, the adjustable temp is a necessity, less heat on the terminals..and keep the heat moderate

when soldering the fine wires from the p_ups, some manufacturers use a heat resistant

coating on the wires, others do not, and the insulation could melt back a bit on you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

that's good advice from carverman.. but you can get by a lot cheaper.

a simple pencil low watt soldering iron.. some lead free solder, or silvered solder which I like..

and I do wear a mask always.. also eye protection.. that stuff will mess up your eyes and go up your nose into your brain.

so.. for me.. none is best!

 

there are a couple of nice online tutorials on soldering. with a lot of detail. I'll send you the url when I reply again to your emails.

 

you have to heat the parts. so they both take solder.

so you lay the wire in the hole and lay the iron tip on both parts.. then add solder.

wait until I send you the url.. that's easier than telling you in detail and the pics are great.

 

you can wire in a pre made harness, I'm sure of that.

TWANG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[Purchase new Gibson 300 pots for a nice clean sound.

With 500s you may want to use 250 tone pots for a more mellow sound unless you play Metal, etc.

 

CTS has nice pots also...long and short shaft....Scorpion music has all types...if you can't find them.

 

Capacitors make a difference.... .047 for mellow, .033 for nice, .022...I'd use orange drops..sprague.

 

USE A GOOD SOLDER and solder pencil... don't put too much solder on and sand the back of the pot first , spred a nice thin sheet of soldier on first, then attach with a drop. More is NOT BETTER!

 

I had to re solder all my conections when I got my 97 Joe Pass, including takeing the Pickups apart and re grounding and one pot was out. Replaced it with a new Fender CTS pot and what a difference! (It's all I had I'm ordering new ones today.) It sounds unbelieveable to be honest.

 

I would then replace your pickups...if you are going to Hums, then the 57s if mellow is what you want. Replacing all the pots and pickups will give you one very close, if not better than a ES 335....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, I couldn't wait, so I ran out to a local electronics shop and picked up the solder stuff.

 

Considering I'll probably only have to solder once or twice in the next 20 years, I didn't get fancy. I went with this Solder Station, got about 6ft of 16 gauge 60/40 solder. Wanted lead free but the only stuff they had was in 1/2lb spools. I went ahead and got a third hand tool as well as some snips. For "practice" I got a cheap little make-your-own metronome kit. It's got a pot on it as well as the usual caps and such which I figure would be good for practice.

 

Lets see what TWANG has for me, then off I go!

 

Thanks again for all the help gang!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...