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Epi LP pickup upgrade


Therazorray

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Let me please, ask everyone to be patient. This is my first guitar and thus my first post. I recently bought Epi LP studio as a beginner guitar. I already relize thest stock pickups aren't gonna cut it. I enjoy hard rock/metal "AC/DC, Metallica, Guns and Roses". My amp is a roland 15x. My question of course is wihch pickup would best suite my favorite music, without trying to sound like slayer. any input would be great, thank you.

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Who says your pickups won't cut it? Do you think they sound good?

 

Many people also change out pickups just because other people commonly do. Just because other people don't like those pickups doesn't mean you don't have too.

 

The other problem is that people blame the way stuff sounds way to much on the pickups. If I sound bad, it's probably not the pickups. Most of your tone comes from the amp (okay, most tone comes from the fingers, but besides that). People like to blame stuff on pickups so they can mod and then say " I have a (so and so guitar) with (so and so pickups). You should save up and buy a tube amp instead of buying a new set of pick ups, it will make a much more noticeable difference.

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Guitarfetish sells an LP wiring upgrade kit, for 22 bucks, get it, bad pots and caps won't let great pups shine, and the switch gets annoying with its low quality.

But EVEN BEFORE you get new pickups, get a new amp.

You were PROBABLY thinking EMGs or seymour duncans.

You don't need those, IMO.

Personal suggestions for harder music:

Rockfield pickups.

Dual mafias, seem like the best set for you.

For more vintage-type output, GFS makes great pickups, and at a really great price.

I'd say vintage 59s could work for your needs. I can definetely vouch that they can get hard enough for AC/DC or guns n' roses, depending on your amp.

For your needs, I suggest a Vox Valvetronix AD30. The only modelling amplifier that sounds natural and right. It'll give you a pretty good taste of what variety of amp you'll want later on. It has a tube preamp, solid state power amp, so your best sound isn't going to be at your loudest, but it'll be very nicely responsive to pedals.

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I own an epi lp studio. I found the lows too dark, and the highs didn't cut enough with the stock pickups.

They made an lp100 sound much better, so I put them in there and sold it off.

My lp studio got a Kent Armstrong Vintage humbucker.. 12 pole pieces, vintage output (8.4K ohms) in the bridge, with

a Kent Armstrong humbuck sized p90 in the bridge.

 

At first I had two p90s in it.. like I have in my sheraton, but I decided to give the humbuck a try.

 

It's four conductor wiring and would be on a push pull switch, but I didn't like the one I had.

When I replace that, I'll have three sounds at the three way, and another at the push/pull, (I wont be going single coil/humbuck there, I'll use

series/parallel.. that way the bridge pup will still buck hum, but give me the single coil sound)

 

I couldn't bear to take the p90 out of the neck position.. I just like the p90 there, too much. But this is great contrast with my sheri's twin p90s.. I didn't need two of the same, different body or not.

 

I run my studio through an epiphone valve junior that I modified using these two guitars to get the best tone I could.

as mentioned above. tubes make a big difference.. so does the speaker.. pups tubes speaker. that's the main mojo points!

however, your roland is not junk or seriously flawed.. solid state amps can have very nice sounds...so I trust your ears.. esp. if you've been comparing other guys guitars through it.

 

 

I bang into zz and ac/dc and other 'classic' high gain rockers most of the time.. and the Vintage Armstrong just sings like a bird..

sustain is high, tone is rich and broad but well balanced.. with 12 pole pieces I've got better control over string to string balance..and increased signal to the pup as well. No problem with highs.. and standout lows without the mud.

 

There is no doubt in my mind that these Kent Armstrongs sound much better than the stock lp studio pups.

Alnico mag, of course.

 

I'm going to try another p90 in the neck position.. why? because I got the hot output models when I first put them in.. 9K..

with the new bridge humbuck at 8.4K, the neck position is outrunning it by a bit too much.. I think the 7K p90 will be right on the money.

I have mine lowered in the mounting ring to compensate, and it's ok.. I didn't lose much tone by doing that.. but I still don't have quite the correct balance.

 

I think a classic output Kent Armstrong P90 will much better match the KA humbuck, so I'm going to give that a shot.

 

I do have the advantage of being a dealer, so I get my pups a little cheaper than most of you... but I honestly do support them.. you only have to hear!

 

That being said, there a quite a few pickups out there that can give you either an improvement overall, or a push toward the sounds you want to make.

 

I like overwound pups in single coils quite a bit.. but I find humbucks that are super powerful aren't for the sounds I want to make.

They seem to be better for metal.

 

but for led zep johnny winter. and those mentioned above, those classic type hard rocking sounds. I prefer a vintage output.

 

good luck.. and get a lot of opinion!

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I also swapped caps and pots out of my lp studio..

 

I say this again.. values will make a bigger change than brands...

 

500K resistance is 500K resistance.. better pots will give you a smoother feel, and longer life, but I really doubt there's much change in tone, if any.

 

on the other hand, changing your capacitor value up or down can clearly change the tone you're getting.

 

radio shack capacitors, big green ones, are pretty darn cheap. so you can try two or three different values and choose to taste.

 

some guys go to 1Meg pots.. double the 500K and really like that. higher ouput, more signal from the guitar they shout happily.

 

again.. a value change will do a lot.. a brand change far less so. So unless your pots are bad, you don't really need to change them.

I found mine just fine, and only put in CTS because I had a set and I couldn't hold still that night. *G*

 

Do try to use different amps and different guitars in your amp and see what you think.

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Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, for less than $20 (unless you get a tech to do it), you can change pots and caps.

Changing pots to 500k will help with dynamic control and will give you a brighter sound. Changing the cap to a lower value will give you a brighter sound, or higher will give you a darker sound. I forget what the stock value is, but someone here knows. Caps are less than $1, so you can easily experiment.

 

I don't really recommend changing pickups unless you're sure thats were your problem in your tone is.

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The Stock Epi pickups in most cases are Nice. But IMO lack the frequency response that other p'up's ala Dimarzio,Duncan,Gibson,etc.... give you.

My Epi LP Customs pickups were the 57's that come in Most Epi's today.

High Output but too Muddy/Dark/undefined.

I swapped the Duncan Custom Custom/APII set in and the change was literally night and day.

My stock pots and wiring were fine and not of the cheap variety I expected either.

However Im eyeing that GFS classic LP wiring and pot set.

GFS also makes really good but low $$$$ p'ups that a lot of guys rave about.

For what you listed as tones Id look at :

Dimarzio - Super D, Tone Zone , Fred , Super 2&3

Seymour Duncan - 59,APII,Pearly Gates,JB,Custom,Custom Custom

Gibson - 498T,500T,Burstbucker Pro's.

 

So many VG choices in pickups its staggering.

Good Luck

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For more vintage-type output' date=' GFS makes great pickups, and at a really great price.

I'd say vintage 59s could work for your needs. I can definetely vouch that they can get hard enough for AC/DC or guns n' roses, depending on your amp.

[/quote']

 

I got them pretty much exclusively in some of my guitars. Love the sound of the open coil Vintage 59s,

especially when you do coil splits. They are also a bit hotter (IMO) than the covered versions of the Vintage 59s.

I got a vintage 59 (covered) with push pull split coils in the Tribute shown in the avatar and

a GFS Fat paf in the bridge. Combined with the LR Baggs acoustic t-bridge..I get

some neat acoustic sounds and some awesome sustains using a mix on the ctl-x

preamp.

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Who says your pickups won't cut it? Do you think they sound good?

 

Many people also change out pickups just because other people commonly do. Just because other people don't like those pickups doesn't mean you don't have too.

 

The other problem is that people blame the way stuff sounds way to much on the pickups. If I sound bad' date=' it's probably not the pickups. Most of your tone comes from the amp (okay, most tone comes from the fingers, but besides that). People like to blame stuff on pickups so they can mod and then say " I have a (so and so guitar) with (so and so pickups). You should save up and buy a tube amp instead of buying a new set of pick ups, it will make a much more noticeable difference. [/quote']

+1. Alot of the things I did to mine was because I listened to the naysayers, and while in my instance they were correct, do what you feel is right. If it sounds good, leave it be.

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Well, people on here(and NOWHERE else) seem to overrate epi stock pickups.

I have to say, even with new pots and caps, they won't even do as well as just a pickup change without the rest of the elctronics.

You really should do both.

GFS sells a really great LP wiring upgrade(pots, caps, SWITCH, even a new jack!) for only 22 bucks, wiring instructions included.

Do that along with new quality pups of your choice, and you will make a huge improvement on your guitar's sound.

Next step-

Amp.

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This thread is HUGELY ironic and heres why. I work in a fitness equipment showroom in sales, alone all day. My buddy that works here on the days that I don't work bought a slightly used Vintage Sunburst Epi. LP Studio last year for $199, and a new Roland Cube 30X. He left this set-up here for me to use today, and I could have only DREAMED of having this as my first rig!!! This LP stays in tune, the neck feels AWESOME, action is perfect, feels fairly solid, and seems to sound just fine IMO. I've been playing for about 15 years, have a Gibson Standard LP with BB Pro's, and a Gibson GA-5 Class A tube combo. Yeah, this little rig sounds great obviously. It F'N SHOULD for the $$$$!!!! As far as this standard Epi. LP Studio goes, whats wrong with the pickups?? I'm allways working on my playing technique, styles and tone. I personally don't notice the difference that pickups make, unless they are vintage output or hot, of course. Your Studio should be just fine for now. If in the end you're really not sure that you like the sound, I'd go GFS all the way!!! VERY low prices, GREAT quality stuff. You don't want to spend more on mods than you did on the guitar!!!!!! But thats just me. I guess I'm crazy, I just don't get the whole pickup tinkering thing..........

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This thread is HUGELY ironic and heres why. I work in a fitness equipment showroom in sales' date=' alone all day. My buddy that works here on the days that I don't work bought a slightly used Vintage Sunburst Epi. LP Studio last year for $199, and a new Roland Cube 30X. He left this set-up here for me to use today, and I could have only DREAMED of having this as my first rig!!! This LP stays in tune, the neck feels AWESOME, action is perfect, feels fairly solid, and seems to sound just fine IMO. I've been playing for about 15 years, have a Gibson Standard LP with BB Pro's, and a Gibson GA-5 Class A tube combo. Yeah, this little rig sounds great obviously. It F'N SHOULD for the $$$$!!!! As far as this standard Epi. LP Studio goes, whats wrong with the pickups?? I'm allways working on my playing technique, styles and tone. I personally don't notice the difference that pickups make, unless they are vintage output or hot, of course. Your Studio should be just fine for now. If in the end you're really not sure that you like the sound, I'd go GFS all the way!!! VERY low prices, GREAT quality stuff. You don't want to spend more on mods than you did on the guitar!!!!!! But thats just me. I guess I'm crazy, I just don't get the whole pickup tinkering thing..........[/quote']

"HUGELY ironic," ???

While I agree with much you stated, I fail to see any irony there at all.

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Haha yeah I guess I got carried away. Well, maybe not ironic, but interesting I'd say. Where as I have about 15 years of experience playing, own a very good set-up, and yet randomly have almost the exact same set-up at work today as the original poster thats has only been playing for a very short time. I find it interesting that someone that just started playing guitar wouldn't be satisfied with stock pickups(not busting balls, just sayin'). I guess I"m just not that picky.

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I'm of the same belief as you. I've only been playing electric guitar for a few years (15 years on acoustic) and I am much more concerned about my improvement in the technique and understanding theory area than trying to get the greatest sound possible out of my pups.

I mean afterall, if you aren't a a very good player to begin with, and you spend money on upgrading to some really nice pups, you're still going to sound crappy.

Oh, and don't worry about that ironic thing. A skinny female pop singer has led a whole generation+ of folks to an erroneous meaning of that word. It's just something that bothers me a little. Sorry I took it out on you.

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