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Gorsky101

New Les Paul.......Need advice on changing pickups

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Hi guys, I'm a new member here as I just purchased my first Epi product a few days ago. It's an ebony Les Paul standard.

I'm interested in changing out the pickups, but first I would love to hear the opinions and advice of fellow Epiphone users.

 

I think I'm looking for something with versatility without being bland or too wildly aggressive.

 

I've breifly read about the Gibson '57 classic plus in the bridge & '57 classic in the neck and that combo seems interesting. Can anyone attest to the characteristics of these pickups?

Furthermore, is it generally avoided to have the '57 Classic Plus in the neck too? If so, why?

 

Feel free to throw out any suggestions. All ideas are welcome :-)

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First and foremost, need some more info. And here's a brief checklist of things before you waste $200 on those Gibson '57 classics

1. What amp(s) are you playing it through? Because even new pickups won't make a Marshall 10 watt amp sound very good.

2. What makes you unhappy about the stock Epiphone pickups?

3. What effects are you using in your set-up? If you are using effects (even built in amp ones) that probably is altering the quality of sound a lot.

4. What style of music do you play? Would the classic 57's suit your style?

 

My suggestions:

Stick with the stocks unless you are totally unhappy. If you are totally unhappy with them, check out GFS pickups from guitarfetish.com. Haven't tried them myself yet (as I didn't pass my own test that I just gave you) but people around here love them and they are CHEAP. Like $80 for a set instead of $200 Gibsons. Anyway, good luck with it.

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1. Vox AC 15 custom

2. I'm not terribly unhappy with the stock pickups but I love to customize my things and give them my own unique touches. Not to mention I can afford to do so.

3.I enjoy a touch of light reverb (from the Vox amp) but nothing to heavy.

4. I'm interested in playing more bluesy based rock and even some blues based proto-punk and punk. A few of the musicians I find to be most inspiring lately are The Rolling Stones (late 60s-70s), Keith Richards of course, Freddie King, The Velvet Underground, The New York Dolls and a little Flamin Groovies.

I hope this is helpful.

 

I'll check out GFS too, thanks for the tip.

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Hey as long as you can go down that list and truly get an answer from it then you are good to go with whatever decision you make. Yeah definetly check out GFS if you are into modding/customizing your stuff because they've got it all and for cheap too. Bookmark it and the All-Parts site and you can go crazy modding your guitars. I hope I didn't seem rude and I didn't mean "waste your money on classic 57's". A lot of times people talk about wanting to upgrade their pickups but they have a 10 watt solid state amp with a Danelectro death metal pedal and it's like "THE PICKUPS ARE NOT THE PROBLEM!" LOL.

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imo you should look for a used pair of Gibsons(whatever one's you choose). You should be able to find a matched-pair for less than the price of one new pickup. Save the original epi pickups if you decide to sell the guitar. Now you'll always have a set of the best possible pickups.

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. . . I've breifly read about the Gibson '57 classic plus in the bridge & '57 classic in the neck and that combo seems interesting. Can anyone attest to the characteristics of these pickups? . . .

 

Hi Gorsky. I have the Gibson '57 Classic in the neck position of my fairly new Epi Les Paul Standard. I put a Gibson Burstbucker 3 in the bridge position. I bought both new with the guitar. I use the neck pickup more than the bridge lately, and I'm very happy with the '57 Classic for a warm jazz tone. The Burstbucker 3 sounds great played clean for chicken pickin'. I haven't tried it through the high-gain distortion channels of my amps yet.

 

I agree with gl -- if you can get your desired combination of pickups used, you might score a very good deal for both. Also, consider pickups "outside the fold." I have a DiMarzio, a Duncan and Carvin humbuckers in some of my guitars, and they sound very good to me. See if you can try them (e.g., in a guitar store setting) before buying them.

 

Old Ampeg Guy

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I'm interested in playing more bluesy based rock and even some blues based proto-punk and punk. A few of the musicians I find to be most inspiring lately are The Rolling Stones (late 60s-70s), Keith Richards of course, Freddie King, The Velvet Underground, The New York Dolls and a little Flamin Groovies.

 

New York Dolls, YEAH BABY!! What you need is a LP Jr doublecut with one bridge P-90. Think intro and solo of "Who Are the Mystery Girls." Come to think of it, I need one too......

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New York Dolls' date=' YEAH BABY!!......[/quote']

 

David Johansen aka Buster Poindexter. Fellow Staten Islander from the Vagabond Missionaries. We're about the same age (he's a year older than me), Staten Island was a great place for bands in the late '60s.

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I hope I didn't seem rude and I didn't mean "waste your money on classic 57's". A lot of times people talk about wanting to upgrade their pickups but they have a 10 watt solid state amp with a Danelectro death metal pedal and it's like "THE PICKUPS ARE NOT THE PROBLEM!" LOL.

 

Oh no sweat...I totally understood what you meant and I have to agree with you on that one!

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Check out as many sound bytes as you can before deciding on anything. Check out the Seymour Duncan site for sound bytes. SD has lots of choices depending on what sound you're after. There are also sound bytes on the DiMarzio website. SD seems to cater more to the rock/blues crowd while DiMarzio caters more to the Metal crowd (at least that's how it seems to me). The GFS pickups are a good choice for cheap experiments.

 

Unfortunately pick-up experiments are just that, experiments. You'll have to try a few things before you arrive at a sound you're happy with. Experiments can be costly. Some on the SD forum recommend modifying/building your own pickups. If you can find a set of pickups for winding & magnet experiments that's also an option. I don't have the tools or talents in this area so I choose to buy off the shelf pickups.

 

Highly recommended for rock & blues on the LP are the SD Pearly Gates, for both bridge & neck. But there are other choices.

 

Good Luck.

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This has been some wonderful advice so far....thanks guys :-k

 

If I had to solidify my idea of what I'm going after, I think the closest thing would be Marc Bolan's Les Paul on Electric Warrior. Of course, saying I want my guitar to sound like Marc Bolan's is futile....I'm setting aside any effects and amps he was using, not to mention I don't have Tony Visconti hanging out in my bedroom every evening with me! However, I think it's a good baseline to go by.

From what I've heard, he was playing on '56 Les Paul. I don't know if he kept the pickups stock. Does anyone know what pickups he was using?

 

For those who need their memorys jogged here are a few pictures:

 

BolanStu_08.JPG

 

marcgrass.jpg

 

_46203219_bolan_bbc_766.jpg

 

85516245.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=77BFBA49EF8789215ABF3343C02EA548B3D674314A6E3F9E97B5817A4ABC16939F19B5286946C0D2

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