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Had the chance to purchase pups, the tag reads 57ch(G). They came out of an Korean Dot, would these be an improvement over the alnico pups I have in my LP standard. I only paid $25.00 for them.Thanks Bob.

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Had the chance to purchase pups, the tag reads 57ch(G). They came out of an Korean Dot, would these be an improvement over the alnico pups I have in my LP standard. I only paid $25.00 for them.Thanks Bob.

 

I believe they're the same pups. Or at the very least voiced very similar.

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I believe they're the same pups. Or at the very least voiced very similar.

Yup. As far as I know (it may have changed.. or just never been true [tongue]) the Dot uses two 57CH pickups, whereas the Les Paul Standard uses a 57CH in the neck and a HOTCH in the bridge - a hotter wound 57CH pretty much.

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Why buy Epi PU's? They're not worth anything, except maybe paperweights. Look online for higher quality used PU's. Carvin and Schaller HB's are much better and often sell for $20 to $30 each used. You can get some used Seymour Duncans (not Duncan Designed) and Dimarzio's for around $40. There's deals out there on good PU's, just look for them.

 

More than any other aftermarket parts for a guitar, PU's make the biggest difference. Stock PU's on Asian imports are made to be serviceable and but that's it. They're not made to produce high-quality tones, nor is the manufacturer going to invest the time and money for them to do that. If you want clarity, depth, and definition, you need to upgrade. I've got a lot of Epi's, and have upgraded the PU's in all of them. Big improvement in tones.

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Stock PU's on Asian imports are made to be serviceable and but that's it. They're not made to produce high-quality tones, nor is the manufacturer going to invest the time and money for them to do that.

Seems Epi has been doing just that with the new Probucker pickups, They're a vast improvement over what has come before them from all reports.

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Seems Epi has been doing just that with the new Probucker pickups, They're a vast improvement over what has come before them from all reports.

 

They certainly may be better than they were, but there was only one way to go with stock Epi PU's, and that was up. Competition has forced that move. If you have some spare cash, you're still better off looking for a deal on used PU's from the big makers like Duncan and DiMarzio, or one of the many boutique makers. You can get some of them used for around half price, which puts them within most player's reach.

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These are Epi Alnico Classics that come stock in most of their Gits:

 

EpiPup1.jpg

 

I've seen them for sale on Ebay before for $10 for the pair.

 

I have one of my Epi's fitted with Probuckers and the difference is night and day. They're excellent sounding pups and I have no plans to change them out. [smile]

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Thanks for the replies and the tips everyone. I guess I bought a set of $25 paperweights.

 

Yeah, I made that mistake years ago too. Live and learn. Once you hear the difference in tone with high-quality PU's, you won't want to settle for less. The better your amp, the more you'll hear the difference. I buy almost all of my PU's used on eBay, and have saved a lot of money. Every time I'm on stage I get compliments on my tones, and from guys with Gibsons and MIA Fenders too.

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Nothin' to worry about.. as long as they work, they're good for experimentation. I've also bought the same set/type for about the same price, and a set out of a Epiphone Les Paul Pro FX with alnico II magnets for more money, and don't regret having spare parts or stuff to experiment with.

I've got a few more project carcasses, so they'll eventually get utilized even if they go into a guitar that I give away.. so, not a total loss, IMO.

 

Eventually, you may wonder what a certain guitar might sound like with that hotter bridge pickup installed in the neck position, so it'll cost you nothing to find out.. maybe it won't sound so good, but you'll still have a spare part.

 

So, unless you're someone that appreciates playing an electric guitar with no p-ups, well.. why? (filling in the holes might look funny).

 

It appears that the $25 Epi 57CH alnico V set is probably still cheaper than making a set of p-ups from catalog parts and materials. From what I've read (haven't tried it yet), adding a varitone-type parallel capacitor selector switch can change/improve the sound of most p-ups.. and there are other modifications to be tried, too.

 

Bill

 

 

Had the chance to purchase pups, the tag reads 57ch(G). They came out of an Korean Dot, would these be an improvement over the alnico pups I have in my LP standard. I only paid $25.00 for them.Thanks Bob.

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I've also bought the same set/type for about the same price, and a set out of a Epiphone Les Paul Pro FX with alnico II magnets for more money, and don't regret having spare parts or stuff to experiment with.

 

It appears that the $25 Epi 57CH alnico V set is probably still cheaper than making a set of p-ups from catalog parts and materials. From what I've read (haven't tried it yet), adding a varitone-type parallel capacitor selector switch can change/improve the sound of most p-ups.. and there are other modifications to be tried, too.

 

Bill

 

You can buy replacement magnets from Addiction FX. He's got about 10 varieties of alnicos; they're several dollars each. You can get an assortment and dial in what you want with any HB or P-90.

 

There's no reason to buy PU parts and assemble one yourself. There's thousands of used PU's for sale on Ebay, and some go for around half price. You can get many high-quality used PU's for around $40. Pop in a $3 magnet, and you've created a new PU.

 

I wouldn't waste your time with Varitones or clones. They look a lot better on paper than in practice. The tones are weak and puny, like they're neutered. They can make any PU sound like crap. I had a Lucille and like 99% of players, didn't use the Varitone because the tones weren't really of much use. A lot of guys disconnect them. Here's how you can tell if an idea is good or not: do other manufacturers copy it? If not, then be wary. They'll copy anything halfway decent. Everybody copied humbuckers, and HSS/HSH PU arrangements. Nobody copied HHH and Varitones. The ideas were flops right out of the starting gate. They only people they appeal to are the ones that haven't tried them yet. Gibson's designed the world's best guitars and has had the most guitar innovations, but nobody's 100%.

 

If you want a lot of usable tones from a guitar, the best is the 4 push-pull Jimmy Page system. I've put it in a few guitars, as have a number of other players. There's wiring digrams online for it. It does coil cut for both PU's, puts them out-of-phase, and links the two PU's in series (instead of parallel), and every combination of these. Far better than what you get with any Varitone, and the guitar's appearance is unchanged (with a Varitone you have to drill a hole in the top, and often would have to enlarge the control cavity).

 

Check out the Duncan PU and guitar forums.

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Interesting thread..........My collection of guitars was stolen at one point; it included many Gibsons....I was thrilled to re start my collection with some Epi

 

Les Pauls....They sounded good to me.....Then, once I began replacing my stolen Gibbies, playing them side by side with my Epis reminded me of the

 

real difference in the quality of pickup builds.......I love Gibby Classic 57s, as well as BurstBuckers........Even I know that there are better PUs than stock

 

Gibby PUs....Lollars are great, as are some other small builder's PUs....I'm getting into "Wolftone" pickups now, and I plan on having Wolfe Macleod

 

custom wind and build me some "signature" pickups........IMHO, there really is a huge difference in pickup build and quality...............................................

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Yep.. I agree with the silk purse/sows ear adage. Another one is: to each his own. Sound is a very subjective sense/taste and depends greatly upon what gear a particular guitar is connected to.. amplifiers in particular.

 

Experimenting is what lead to the aftermarket pickup market.. if everyone agreed that the ultimate sound was already available from factory p-ups, there wouldn't be other manufacturers.

 

I'm a huge fan of Jimmy Page, that's why I always keep a cello bow handy. But on a serious note, commercialized music is about much more than replacement p-ups.

 

My recent quest for some small diameter 4-conductor shielded cable is so I can modify any humbucker to be split coils for various different switching arrangements.

 

There are a lot of multi-position switches which are smaller in diameter than a full sized pot, so fabricating a varitone-type switch doesn't need to cost $50+.. and may have a beneficial effect on some types of p-ups.

 

A 6 position switch doesn't necessarily require an additional hole to be drilled, it can replace an existing tone pot.. it just depends what the player/modder wants as a final design.

 

I agree about changing magnets being a significant factor in changing the characteristics of p-ups, and other changes in modifying p-up resistance, capacitance and inductance will also modify the output characteristics..

http://buildyourguitar.com/resources/lemme/

 

As someone mentioned recently, comparing the performance of guitars by reviewing online videos and/or sound files doesn't reveal much about how a specific product or modification will actually sound to one persons' ears on their own equipment, in their own environment.

 

I haven't looked for, or seen any examples mentioned, where someone has actually done before-after testing with a spectrum analyzer (program or instrument) to show actual visible changes in p-up characteristics.. having a person say that a change produced awesome results just isn't very definitive.

 

All p-ups are the same basic construction.. steel cores, magnet(s), wire coil(s) on a form and an enclosure. So, the variety changes/modifications are limited, but several combinations of changes could produce satisfactory results for some folks.

 

Bill

 

 

You can buy replacement magnets from Addiction FX. He's got about 10 varieties of alnicos; they're several dollars each. You can get an assortment and dial in what you want with any HB or P-90.

 

There's no reason to buy PU parts and assemble one yourself. There's thousands of used PU's for sale on Ebay, and some go for around half price. You can get many high-quality used PU's for around $40. Pop in a $3 magnet, and you've created a new PU.

 

I wouldn't waste your time with Varitones or clones. They look a lot better on paper than in practice. The tones are weak and puny, like they're neutered. They can make any PU sound like crap. I had a Lucille and like 99% of players, didn't use the Varitone because the tones weren't really of much use. A lot of guys disconnect them. Here's how you can tell if an idea is good or not: do other manufacturers copy it? If not, then be wary. They'll copy anything halfway decent. Everybody copied humbuckers, and HSS/HSH PU arrangements. Nobody copied HHH and Varitones. The ideas were flops right out of the starting gate. They only people they appeal to are the ones that haven't tried them yet. Gibson's designed the world's best guitars and has had the most guitar innovations, but nobody's 100%.

 

If you want a lot of usable tones from a guitar, the best is the 4 push-pull Jimmy Page system. I've put it in a few guitars, as have a number of other players. There's wiring digrams online for it. It does coil cut for both PU's, puts them out-of-phase, and links the two PU's in series (instead of parallel), and every combination of these. Far better than what you get with any Varitone, and the guitar's appearance is unchanged (with a Varitone you have to drill a hole in the top, and often would have to enlarge the control cavity).

 

Check out the Duncan PU and guitar forums.

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IMHO, there really is a huge difference in pickup build and quality...............................................

 

+1. If you haven't tried some high quality PU's, you have no idea what you're missing.

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Thanks for the replies and the tips everyone. I guess I bought a set of $25 paperweights.

 

don't feel down, man. take those pickups and put them in a sock. then head down to guitar center and wait for someone to buy a set of duncans or gibsons. when their transaction is complete, proceed to beat them with the sock and exchange the pickups.

 

with the right pots and caps, you can make any pickup better. speaking of stock pickups the epi usa elitist pickups are pretty nice, and are relatively cheap. what they are exactly, we'll never know, but the the neck pickup is especially great.

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don't feel down, man. take those pickups and put them in a sock. then head down to guitar center and wait for someone to buy a set of duncans or gibsons. when their transaction is complete, proceed to beat them with the sock and exchange the pickups.

 

with the right pots and caps, you can make any pickup better. speaking of stock pickups the epi usa elitist pickups are pretty nice, and are relatively cheap. what they are exactly, we'll never know, but the the neck pickup is especially great.

 

What will do more to improve Epi PU's tone is to scrape out as much wax as you can (almost all high quality PU's use very little wax; Epi HB's look like a bar of soap) and swap magnets, like an A8 for the bridge, which will add mids and output.

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The person I bought them from, said try them they may be a tad better than what I have now, $25 wont break me, my guitar tech may even buy them from me. My plan was to upgrade the guitar with electronics and pups,this will be a learning process. I will be shopping for better pups. Thanks for every ones input.

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The person I bought them from, said try them they may be a tad better than what I have now, $25 wont break me, my guitar tech may even buy them from me. My plan was to upgrade the guitar with electronics and pups,this will be a learning process. I will be shopping for better pups. Thanks for every ones input.

 

Lots of used PU's on eBay; I put in low bids and occasionally I win them. Always get a good price when I do. Common PU's will go cheaper; less common models will be harder to get a super deal on, and sometimes hard to even find used. But there's always plenty of high quality PU's for nice prices. Keep an eye on it, as most PU's rotate thru there in a week. Always more stuff popping up.

 

Also, you'll want to get Seymour Duncan (American) not 'Duncan Designed' (Asian); same goes for many other makers. Get their high-quality PU's, not the cheap ones that just carry the name. There's a big difference in materials, windings, etc.

 

If you're into metal, ceramic magnets work great, they have a powerful, stiffer, sterile sound; but if you're into most other klinds of music (rock, blues, jazz, etc) alnico magnets have more character and response. A2 (alnico 2)magnets tend to be warmer, A5's are usually bright and sharp.

 

Also, most good neck HB's are 7,000 to 8,000 ohms; if they're much hotter they tend to get dark and muffled. Some guys put a 14,000 ohm bridge PU in the neck slot, and often get mud. Bridge PU's are wound hotter than neck PU's, usually 8,500 to 16,000+. Everything else being equal, the hotter they are, the more compressed they'll sound; more windings means less treble and clarity, which can be good or bad, depending on your style of music. PAF's are around 7,000 to 8,500 and are more open and clear sounding.

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Pulled the trigger on a set of Seymour Duncan nickel 59 SH1B,SH1N, will be here sometime next week. Need to save up for the cts pots, caps,switchcraft toggle and jack.

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Pulled the trigger on a set of Seymour Duncan nickel 59 SH1B,SH1N, will be here sometime next week. Need to save up for the cts pots, caps,switchcraft toggle and jack.

 

Well done. You will hear a difference with those.

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The p-ups are here,can't wait till my pots,and other assorted goodies arrive. I gutted the ol girl last night,couple of the washers for the pots had to have some assistance to be removed from the top. Looked like they were put on when the poly was still tacky.

Now that I'll be changing out the Jack and toggle, do I have to change the jack plate to imperial size? I know I can expand the toggle plate hole.

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you'll probably be expanding all the holes. at least for the pots to fit. if you don't want to drill, you can do the old sandpaper trick. as for the plastic bits, if you need to expand those, i found a pair of scissors works for that.

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Alright guy's I've installed my new pups. I'm ready to purchase my pots, switch, jack. I'm going to replace the nut and tuners as well.

Guitar electronics sells a ready cut tusq nut for Epiphones, I've done the measurements,looks like a winner. I was thinking OMG I shouldn't be doing that. They have the Grover Deluxe tuners this was going to be my choice for new tuners.

Guitar Electronics sells a bridge that fits import gits they claim it's kick azz improvement over the factory bridge, tone-pro- tune-o-matic

The wire kit is going to be from BCS, with the linear volume pots. Im planning to go with the fifties wiring.

I want these upgrades to be good ones,I don't want to have to spend money twice.

 

Any comments or suggestions are welcomed. Thanks Bob.

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Most of my upgrade parts have arrived. The Bcs guitars vintage LP wire harness kit is outstanding, Bourns linear taper volume pots,bourns audio tone pots, switchcraft switch and jack, vitamin T caps,with enough shielded wire to do the job.

I made one mistake I pulled the switch plate off the body, to enlarge the hole for the new switch, it wasn't necessary. Anyone have an idea what type of glue is used? The back of the plate feels sticky and on the body. I was thinking maybe rubber cement?

Pictures are coming I promise. Thanks Bob.

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Anyone have an idea what type of glue is used? The back of the plate feels sticky and on the body. I was thinking maybe rubber cement?

Personally I wouldn't bother too much Bob, once the knurled nut is tightened onto the switch it should be enough to hold it in place any how. Good luck with the mods mate.

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