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Epi LP pickup advice required


Guest alanhindle

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Guest alanhindle

I'm thinking about upgrading the stock pickups and/or electronics in my Epi LP Standard Plus (see avatar). I'm finding that the bridge pickup, in particular, is just too muddy for me and not quite hot enough. I've been looking at some youtube vids and listening to soundclips on the Gibson and Seymour Duncan websites. So far, I've considered:

 

JB/Jazz combination

Burstbucker 2/3 combination

Burstbucker pros

57 Classic/57 Classic plus combination.

 

I already have a Charvel with a JB/'59 combination and my Gibson SG faded has the 490T/490T combination so I was thinking that, even though either the Duncans or the Classics would sound completely different in a Les Paul, burstbuckers would give me something more different compared to what I have already. I've pretty much excluded the JB because I want something a bit more complex to make the best of the Les Paul's tones for what I want to use it for.

 

There is just one problem. Spending virtually £200 on Gibson Burstbuckers for a guitar that cost me not much more than this seems, to me, to be somewhat excessive. However, the unplugged tone from this Epi is particularly fat and resonant so I think that some sort of upgrade is justifiable. I was therefore wondering whether any of the GFS pickups could be considered to be roughly equivalent to Gibson BBs. Do the GFS 'Crunchy PAT' or the GFS 'Alnico FAT PAT boutique' pups compare with BBs at all? The sound clips on the GFS website don't really give me enough to go on and the sound quality is poor:

 

Link to GFS pickups

 

Should I, perhaps, stick with my stock pups and upgrade the pots and caps first and see if that gets rid of the muddiness?

 

Other information:

-I would only choose either Zebras or covered chrome coloured pickups in whatever I decide to go for

-I use the LP to play mostly blues / cleans (neck pup) and hard/heavy rock (bridge pup)

-I'm strictly a home player so I've only got my own ear to please: I mainly use a Peavey Royal Valve King 5W or Zoom multi effects/amp modelling (in the Zoom H4).

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

Cheers

 

Alan

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Hey Brother, don't bother replacing the Pots or Wiring. There is a negligable effect, that cannot be heard by human ears with replacement of the exsisting hardware. The JB/59 or JB/Jazz Combo in your LP would serve you well. The JB will provide you with a very articulate distortion from Blues to all-out Metal, by simply dialing in/out the volume. Where as the 59" in the neck will give you those creamy solos and Arpeggio's alla P.A.F.Tones. The Jazz in the neck has a slightly more detailed treble foot print. Both of those combinations will work very well in your LP. Please disregard any preconceptions you have about what these combinations will sound like installed in your LP...compareing it to your Charvel. In the end, it is a personell preference, and you may find that you swap out your Pups numerous times untill the required Tone is produced.

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You're advantage in pots caps wiring etc is two fold..

most important is the longevity of the stuff and the better operation.

the good pot is smoother in feeling.. firmer and more stable.. and the conductive path not only lasts longer, it's more precise.

 

The cap argument.. you know people pay big money for vintage oil in paper.. and they swear by the tone improvement.

 

I just ordered some Vitamin Q oil in paper to test that theory out.

 

But in amps, no doubt to my ears. spragues are not sozos are not mallorys.

 

Plus treble bleed caps do make a tonal change in that you don't lose treble when turning down the volume.

for cents apiece. it's foolish not to have them.

 

I think you need to do a google on magnet types and consider ceramic versus alnico, plus consider output in ohms..

for me the only way I could rid myself of a low end I just didn't get off on was to go p90.

I have gfs mean 90, humbuck size, in the dot studio.. and I like it quite a bit.

 

TWANG

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Guest alanhindle
This may only add to the confusion' date=' but:

 

Chrome, Nickel, Gold, or Open-Coil will be an asthetic choice by owner...

 

[img'][/img]pickups_output-chart.jpg

 

Animalfarm,

 

What pups have you tried in your Pauls? Any successes/failures?

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Guest alanhindle
Hey Brother' date=' don't bother replacing the Pots or Wiring. There is a negligable effect, that cannot be heard by human ears with replacement of the exsisting hardware. The JB/59 or JB/Jazz Combo in your LP would serve you well. The JB will provide you with a very articulate distortion from Blues to all-out Metal, by simply dialing in/out the volume. Where as the 59" in the neck will give you those creamy solos and Arpeggio's alla P.A.F.Tones. The Jazz in the neck has a slightly more detailed treble foot print. Both of those combinations will work very well in your LP. Please disregard any preconceptions you have about what these combinations will sound like installed in your LP...compareing it to your Charvel. In the end, it is a personell preference, and you may find that you swap out your Pups numerous times untill the required Tone is produced. [/quote']

 

Maybe I'm being too hasty in disregarding the JBs. Does anybody else have experience with JBs in their Pauls?

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Maybe I'm being too hasty in disregarding the JBs. Does anybody else have experience with JBs in their Pauls?

 

Yeah i have the hot rodded humbucker set. that is a Jazz in the neck and a JB in the bridge. I love the tone. when i finish this portfolio for school i will make a video for youtube on the tone. much like i did for the GFS pickups i had.

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What tpe of music do u play? If you play rock and roll, a p90 emg is pretty hot plus its really punchy. If you play metal go with emg 81 in the bridge and 85 in the neck. These are pretty hot standard metal pickups. but if you want a bluesier neck pickup, put a 60 in the neck instead of the 85.

 

 

Animalfarm' date='

 

What pups have you tried in your Pauls? Any successes/failures?[/quote']

 

Ive used a 500 in the bridge and a 496 in the neck. Its another standard set. Really versatile. They can play all sorts of styles.

 

Hoped I helped at least a little! lol

 

Peace,

Sinful Bane

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Guest alanhindle
This is probably not what you want to hear but I'd opt for an upgrade in the amp-department first. No offence' date=' but PU-upgrades(expensive or not) at this point are a relatively futile and costly exercise.[/quote']

 

No offense taken Ricochet. I can only speak from my own experience based upon the amplification and guitars I have but my Gibson SG and my Charvel (and others too) are far superior, sound wise, compared to the Epi LP stock. The Peavey Royal 8 Valve King actually gives a pretty good valve tone at low volumes. My higher end guitars also sound far better through amp models too. Much as I'd like to I can't go for anything louder, even something like an Epi Valve Junior half stack. I think it's the muddiness of the Epi pups that is the main problem.

 

You've confirmed that spending the best part of £200 on pickup upgrades is probably not worth it for me. That's why I put in the extra information about me being a home player and about the amps I mostly use.

 

I'm now wondering whether to go for Duncans, the GFS 'Crunchy PAT' or the GFS 'Alnico FAT PAT boutique' pups.

 

Does anybody have any experience with these particular GFS models?

 

Alan

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The really cool thing about GFS pickups is that they are quite inexpensive (about $75/pair) and Guitar Fetish

has a 60-day exchange policy. Worst-case scenario is you'll be out a mere $75. I'm quite happy with my Mean 90's.

If you search this forum, I believe you'll find mostly positive reviews of GFS pickups. Check out

the Guitar Fetish eBay store - some prices are a bit lower than the regular website.

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Guest icantbuyafender

trial and error, friend. trial and error.

 

but, seymour' jb/jazz combo @ $130 thru samash, GC or MF is the most reliable and versatile for any guitar application. they woldnt be mr. duncan's favorites (let alone carry his name!) if they couldn't please even the pickiest ears!!

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Guest icantbuyafender
What tpe of music do u play? If you play rock and roll' date=' a p90 emg is pretty hot plus its really punchy. If you play metal go with emg 81 in the bridge and 85 in the neck. These are pretty hot standard metal pickups. but if you want a bluesier neck pickup, put a 60 in the neck instead of the 85.

 

 

 

Ive used a 500 in the bridge and a 496 in the neck. Its another standard set. Really versatile. They can play all sorts of styles.

 

Hoped I helped at least a little! lol

 

Peace,

Sinful Bane[/quote']

 

active pickups may be great (till the batteries die lol)... for metal or modeling amps but duncan or GFS cover every other style, alan...I fail to see emg's in a favorable light in terms of versatility in comparison. no offense sinb, but I cant shake the "one trick pony vibe" they give me.

 

hear them all . but remember its your set of ears buddy

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If you can use a soldering iron, swapping capacitors is a 2 minute job and costs you next to nothing. Well worth a try. Different cap values will give you lighter or darker tone; adding a treble-bleed resistor as well will improve tone when you turn down the volume pot. Most people use a 0.022 cap in a Les Paul with humbuckers; you could try lower value caps to give more brightness. (just checking I got that right way around!)

 

I know what you mean about putting expensive pups like burstbuckers in a relatively cheap guitar. If you're thinking of going that way, I'd upgrade all caps and pots first. (a) you'll need to to be sure of getting the best out of better pups, (#-o it's a fraction of the cost, © you may find one or more pup is actually good enough. I automatically change Epi stock components for CTS pots and sprague caps and have always found at least a slight improvement - usually more clarity of tone.

 

PS : just found this great tip!

 

Finding the Perfect Value

To find the perfect value for you, I suggest getting a piece of cardboard, two 10” pieces of wire, two solderable alligator clips and some cheap standard ceramic caps. The cheapest caps from a local electronic store are good enough for this, and the voltage rating is completely unimportant. Get values from 1200pF to .1uF, plus every value in between you would like to try. One piece of each value is enough. Glue the caps side by side on a piece of cardboard, with the legs reaching over the edges. Don’t forget to note the value of each cap on the cardboard! Then, solder the alligator clips to the wires (one clip per wire, soldered to one end of the wire).

 

Now open your guitar and desolder and remove the existing tone cap. Solder the end of the wires opposite to the alligator clips to the points where the original tone cap was connected and close your guitar leaving the wires hanging out. Now you can change the different caps within seconds by simply connecting with the alligator clips. Play your guitar and use the tone control to see which value works best.

 

Hopefully you will be able to determine through this method what your favorite cap value is. My tip is to try 2200pF, 3300pF, 4700pF and 6800pF and listen to how they interact with the tone and taper of the pot. Chances are good that you will like them!

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Animalfarm' date='

 

What pups have you tried in your Pauls? Any successes/failures?[/quote']

 

Quick overview:

1. Raven West LP - came stock with "G & B" (?) pickups. all I can say about G & B is that they

pick up string noise. Yecccch. Replaced with GFS "Fat Pat" Boutique HBs. Brighter, more sustain,

has clean distortion when cranked up. The CORRECT choice for this guitar. NO further modifications

expected.

 

2. EPI Les Paul Studio - came stock with "LP Classic Bridge (13.8K)/LP Classic Neck (8.6K)". VERY

heavy lower end distortion/muddy. Didn't think so at first until my ears grew weary of muddy,

muddy, muddy - TOO MUCH bottom end. Replaced with set of chrome covered HBs from EPI G-400,

WOW, BIG Difference!!! Mucho sustain, bottom end crunch without the mud, pinch harmonics

practically fly off the strings with very little effort. THAT result intrigued me SO MUCH that I purchased

a set of GIBSON 490R/498T Chrome HBs to install next, probably this weekend. I've owned

Les Pauls in the past, so I suppose I'm looking for a similar sound for my Epi. I LOVE my EPIs,

so I will treat them nice.

BTW, the G-400 pups AIN'T SHABBY [bridge: HOTCH (G)/14k, Neck: 57CH (G)/8.6k].

 

3. EPI Les Paul Classic - came stock with SAME "LP Classic Bridge/LP Clasic Neck" as above, but in

THIS guitar they sound acceptable. Clean distortion, but no real sustain, and pinch harmonics are

a b*tch to get. Different guitar, different wood construction, different sound. The results of the

pup change in the Studio inspired me to purchase another set or 490R/498T chrome HBs for this

guitar, too. Will install very soon.

 

All Gibson pups snagged from ebay, cost per set w/ shipping $105.00. Hopefully a moderate investment

for a high-end result. Musicians Friend has these pups at $110 EACH (nooooooooo!!!!).

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Guest icantbuyafender
What tpe of music do u play? If you play rock and roll' date=' a p90 emg is pretty hot plus its really punchy. If you play metal go with emg 81 in the bridge and 85 in the neck. These are pretty hot standard metal pickups. but if you want a bluesier neck pickup, put a 60 in the neck instead of the 85.

 

 

 

Ive used a 500 in the bridge and a 496 in the neck. Its another standard set. Really versatile. They can play all sorts of styles.

 

Hoped I helped at least a little! lol

 

Peace,

Sinful Bane[/quote']

 

the line about the 496/500 set.......

 

obviously not trustworthy. That set is HOT.

 

like, i mean "crunch on clean solid state channel" hot.

 

i even lost the hair on the side of my strum hand last weekend when i use my cousins faded cherry V

 

i got yelled at cause it sounded like the baby practice amp was gonna self destruct lol

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Somewhat on topic.................how would I be able to find out about this side of things for my own guitar? That is, what pups do i have on my own and is there any particular place on the net (or from some of you good peeps in the know!!) where I could find out. I am sure that, eventually, this is the sort of question I will be asking, too........I wouldn't have the first idea about how to replace, if to replace and so-on, but I do want to 'get to know' my guitar a lot more in any way that I can.

Thanks to Peter/Paruwi6172 for his initial help after I first joined the forums for finding out the following for me :

 

Guitar Info :

Epiphone Ltd Edition LP Standard - Trans White

Number : EE 071208178

Your guitar was made at the

Qingdao Plant (Epiphone), China

December 2007

Production Number: 08178

 

Quite possibly all of this info is erroneous and someone could no doubt tell precisely what the pups are (or, as is more likely the case, what they usually are upon issue) of an Epiphone LP Standard such as my own. All that I know is that they are, of course, some type of Humbucker, for which, I fully understand, no prizes will be issued =D>

From previous responses in other posts, I've come to learn that the 'Limited Edition' factor can mean all kinds of things - perhaps in my own case, that it's issued with gold plated Grovers and other bits??? (plus it being stamped at rear of headstock as 'Limited Edition)

The more I get to know, the more curious I become!!!

Cheers all in advance of any help. I am learning so much in here and loving it =D>

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