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Good buy? Change pickups? Goldtop Elitist


Rexfordbridge

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Hello,

 

I was at the guitar store today and I played a whole bunch of the Gibson Les Paul's as I was in the market for one. I then stumbled upon an Epiphone Elitist Les Paul '57 Goldtop just like this one...http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Divisions/Epiphone/Elitist/Les%20Paul%20_57%20Goldtop/

 

I truthfully couldn't tell that much of a difference in quality between the Gibson Les Paul Standard line and this guitar. The elitist was only $700. I played the guitar side by side with a '58 Les Paul Standard VOS (Yes, a $3100 guitar) and I noticed that the VOS sound had more of an "open" sound. While I love the elitist and I already put my down payment down, my question is if I were to switch out the pickups to the Burstbuckers that are used in the VOS would the sound of the two guitars be quite similar? I liked the openness of the '58. Just wondering if it would be worth it to switch out the pickups as that's a $250 investment.

 

Thanks.

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The difference in sound could be a small adjustment of the pickup height.

Or the tail piece height. Or strings. Or pots. So many things go into a good setup

it's hard to say without looking at it.

And 2 similar guitars made in the same factory on the same day

will sound different.

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Guest icantbuyafender

yes, due to the fact that the BurstBuckers are alnico II magnets, and wound to a better consistency and quality, you will notice a difference. the elitist uses alnico V pups. the bb's are meant to mimmick the PAF's of 1959. this why the tone is so robust and distinct from the modern 490R/498T or 496R/500T combos. I have a set of burstbuckers (bb2 and bb3) in a LP and they just can't be matched. there is bb1 for neck, bb2 for neck or bridge, and the bb3 for bridge. 1 is the warmest while 3 has the most grit. I've never tried burst bucker pros... so this is just my 2 cents buddy.

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Well, personal taste has to come into it. I've had a pair of BB Pros, and a BB1+2 pairing. In both cases with the BBs I was happy with the neck pup but not the bridge; not "robust" at all. I was really disappointed with the lack of "bite" from the bridge pup for soloing, I thought BBs were going to be the answer. I haven't tried a BB3 but I understand the BB Pro bridge is similar in output.

I definitely prefer a 498T at the bridge (I have 490R/498T in my LP DC Studio). My flying V has had the original stock ceramic pups, a pair of Kent Armstrong alnico2s', a pair of BB Pros, and most recently the BB Pro neck and a 15k "Kossoff Special" at the bridge. I love the feel of the guitar but have been trying to get a pup combination that I like for 70s rock and blues. My personal favourite of all the combinations I've tried is the pair of Elitist pups. But then I like the 490/498 in my DC.

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my question is if I were to switch out the pickups to the Burstbuckers that are used in the VOS would the sound of the two guitars be quite similar? I liked the openness of the '58. Just wondering if it would be worth it to switch out the pickups as that's a $250 investment.

 

 

I'd say that's entirely possible. The bridge PU on the Elitist is a high output PU(not at all in BB2 territory) sounding relatively compressed compared to BBs which have a more "open" and dynamic quality to them.

 

Wether it would be worth $250 only you can say.

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I've always been a Fender guy so my Gibson/Epiphone knowledge is very minimal. I do know that there are always differences between guitars and no two are going to sound exactly the same.

 

1) If I were to switch out the electronics though, including the pickups to Burstbuckers, I'm thinking that I can get 95% of the way of that '58 Les Paul Standard VOS. Do you guys think this is true?

 

2) Is it worth switching over to imitation Bumble Bee caps too?

 

Don't get me wrong I like the sound of the Elitist but I LOVED the openness of that '58.

 

3) Is there anyway that I can hear the different pickups? Gibson makes about 10 different pickups. I will say that I prefer a sound that is not too dark as I come from the Fender side of things.

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Whatever floats your boat, Stumblinman, we all need to go with what works for us personally. For me, the LP bridge pup tone that I've been chasing for over 25 years is the E.Clapton solos on the J.Mayall 1965 Beano album...particularly "Key To Love"! The BBs don't seem to quite get me there, even with all my amp settings on 11. The 498T and the ST60 seem closer.

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