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gvdv

Alnico V PU's the Same as 57N and HOT-B?

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Hi,

In googling around, I just noticed that the Epiphone G-400 Vintage Worn Cherry described on the English/European website dv 247.com lists the G-400 as having "a 57N and a HOT-B Humber" as the standard pickups included with the guitar.

 

All of the North American-based websites list the guitar as having Alnico V pickups.

 

I am pretty ignorant of the different pickup configurations, although I am thinking swapping out the Alnico V's from the Epiphone G-400 that I ordered yesterday, in favour of putting in the 2 versions of the 57's which are in the standard Gibson SG ( I think that the Burstbucker is one of them, but do not have the information that I saved about this kind of thing readily to hand).

 

Can anyone help me out here? Is the G-400 shown on the dv 247.com website different from the North American-based G-400s?

 

Please forgive my ignorance of the different pickups and their configurations.

 

Gvdv.

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Just upgrade to Gibson PU's. Whatever's in your Epi are low budget PU's that are just there to be functional, not to produce quality tones; they don't put the money or materials in them to compete with manufacturers of high quality PU's. You want better tones, you spend more. Put in a pair of Gibsons, and your guitar will sound just about as good as a Gibson. You'll get far more depth, definition, and clarity with quality PU's. Look for used ones on eBay, most often go for around half price.

 

Check out the forum on the Duncan site, do some reading and ask some questions. We'll help you out.

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Hi,

In googling around, I just noticed that the Epiphone G-400 Vintage Worn Cherry described on the English/European website dv 247.com lists the G-400 as having "a 57N and a HOT-B Humber" as the standard pickups included with the guitar.

 

All of the North American-based websites list the guitar as having Alnico V pickups.

 

I am pretty ignorant of the different pickup configurations, although I am thinking swapping out the Alnico V's from the Epiphone G-400 that I ordered yesterday, in favour of putting in the 2 versions of the 57's which are in the standard Gibson SG ( I think that the Burstbucker is one of them, but do not have the information that I saved about this kind of thing readily to hand).

 

Can anyone help me out here? Is the G-400 shown on the dv 247.com website different from the North American-based G-400s?

 

Please forgive my ignorance of the different pickups and their configurations.

 

Gvdv.

 

 

It would appear that yes those are the 57 classic Neck and 57 classic Hot Bridge pickups.

 

Some of us actually like those pickups and don't feel the need to change. I think that if you feel compelled to change the pickups you bought the wrong guitar in the first place. But to each there own...

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Just upgrade to Gibson PU's. Whatever's in your Epi are low budget PU's that are just there to be functional, not to produce quality tones; they don't put the money or materials in them to compete with manufacturers of high quality PU's. You want better tones, you spend more. Put in a pair of Gibsons, and your guitar will sound just about as good as a Gibson. You'll get far more depth, definition, and clarity with quality PU's. Look for used ones on eBay, most often go for around half price.

 

Why automatically upgrade to Gibson?

You can have the "best" pups in the world, and if you are playing through a poor amp, through a poor guitar, with the fingers of a poor player, it will sound poor.

 

"Quality tones" is a very subjective phrase. But I can, and do, get quality tones out of several of my Epis with their stock pups. However, my LP has had a pup change because I thought it really needed it. My G400, SG Jr., and Dot all have their stock pups in them. I have recorded many original songs with them and posted some of them here for members to hear.

I have gotten a lot of positive comments. Nobody mentioned that the pups sounded poor. Or that the "quality" of the tone was poor.

Every guitar is different, and so is every pup. They are just not all the same.

IMO, "quality tones" are achieved much more through your fingers, than through expensive pups. :)

But then.....what do I know... [confused]

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Some of us actually like those pickups and don't feel the need to change. I think that if you feel compelled to change the pickups you bought the wrong guitar in the first place. But to each there own...

 

There is a worldwide business in aftermarket PU's so that players can replace what they have. Who says that what the manufaturer put in a guitar is sacred? It's like a one-size-fits-all thing. No manufacturer can possibly put in a set of PU's that'll please everyone. Hot ceramics, low output PAF's, medium output alnicos, etc. And if your guitar's wood is rather bright, or rather dark-toned, then what? Sell the guitar because the PU's aren't a good fit tonewise? The PU's in the vast majority of import guitars are not made to compete with the tone quality of Duncan, DiMarzio, Lollar, Fralin, Gibson, Rio Grange, etc.

 

If we want a guitar that sounds like a Gibson but don't feel like (or can't afford) dropping $2,000 or $3,000+ on one, we can buy an Epi, upgrade the PU's and be 90% of the way there. This has been going on for decades, where have you been?

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There is a worldwide business in aftermarket PU's so that players can replace what they have. Who says that what the manufaturer put in a guitar is sacred? It's like a one-size-fits-all thing. No manufacturer can possibly put in a set of PU's that'll please everyone. Hot ceramics, low output PAF's, medium output alnicos, etc. And if you're guitar's wood is rather bright, or rather dark-toned, then what? Sell the guitar because the PU's aren't a good fit tonewise? The PU's in the vast majority of import guitars are not made to compete with the tone quality of Duncan, DiMarzio, Lollar, Fralin, Gibson, Rio Grange, etc.

 

If we want a guitar that sounds like a Gibson but don't feel like (or can't afford) dropping $2,000 or $3,000+ on one, we can buy an Epi, upgrade the PU's and be 90% of the way there. This has been going on for decades, where have you been?

 

Obviously I've been hiding in a hole. Let's do the math. 600.00 for a good Epiphone LP 250.00 Gibson Pups plus install . about 850.00 total = really good Gibson LP Studio. You can do the same math with used equipment and come out about the same. I am referring to USA stuff. I realize in other countries there is a big difference. Even if I'm off by a 100 it makes no sense trying to turn an Epi LP or SG into a Gibson. Lets not bicker about sale prices.

 

Replacing pickups is obviously what you do best to most of your stuff, thats accepted. You did not even answer his question. You just automatically told him to replace the pickups before he even has the guitar in his possession. Just maybe he will like those pickups and not need a transplant. You should always try to answer a question first. Then you can give your intrinsically better opinions on pickup quality afterwards.

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Let's do the math. 600.00 for a good Epiphone LP 250.00 Gibson Pups plus install . about 850.00 total = really good Gibson LP Studio. You can do the same math with used equipment and come out about the same. I am referring to USA stuff. I realize in other countries there is a big difference. Even if I'm off by a 100 it makes no sense trying to turn an Epi LP or SG into a Gibson.

 

Try this math: $$250 for a used Epi LP in very good condition (they're out there), $100 for a pair of used Duncan PU's. $350 investment for a guitar that few people could tell apart from a Gibson tone-wise. Several months ago I picked up a nice used red flame top Epi LP, with a pair of Duncan '59's and a HSC, for $250 plus shipping. At the same time I found a mint Epi flame top LP Custom with a pair of gold Rio Grande BBQ's and a HSC, for $265. You don't get used Gibsons for anywhere near this.

 

Any of the faded Gibsons are not using all the same quality materials as their $2,000 and $3,000 models. You don't save a grand ot two because of the cheaper finish. The difference between an $800 bottom-of-the-line Gibson and a $600 Epi is motly in the American-made PU's and the higher American labor costs.

 

I own and have owned dozens of set-neck Epi's. Very few guys here have had as many. I can safely say that the stock PU's are servicable at best. The tones are blurry, indistinct, shallow. If you play with a lot of distortion and effects thru a solid state amp, you won't hear much difference with a PU upgrade. But, play clean or with moderate OD thru a decent tube amp, and Epi PU's just can't keep up. They're not made to run with the big boys, not at that price point. Don't expect to get a new $400-$500 guitar with $200 worth of PU's, or PU's that sound as good as $200 ones.

 

I bought a nice used Epi Korina '58 Flying V online last year, for $300. Plugged it in to check the electronics and was blown away by the tone quality. Clear, deep, articulate. Like nothing I've ever heard from stock Epi PU's before. Like night and day. When I was changing strings, I flipped over the PU's. They were DiMarzios; the seller forgot to mention that (maybe he got it used and never checked).

 

eBay's full of used high quality PU's, many go for around half price. You can get used Carvins and Schaller HB's for $20-$30 each. Some Duncan, DiMarzio, and Gibson HB's for $40 to $50. Used Epi's are for sale everywere, many in great condition. For a several hundred dollar investment, you can get an instrument with a high-quality tone.

 

Visit the Duncan site, We'll teach you how to do simple things to greatly improve the tone of your guitars: set ups, changing PU's, pots, and magnets. Low cost, low tech, & no skill required. Don't be helpless. I used to be, it sucks. The best advice: Know your instrument, know what makes it sound the way it does. Take away the mystery. Take control of your tone.

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as for the descriptions the 57 and 57 hot pickups use Alnico V magnet in them so both descriptions are correct.

 

as for the quality of them, I don't think its fair to just arbitrarily write them off with out at least trying them first.

 

My own findings were that they had a nice warm tone, but did indeed lack definition especially under higher gain applications.

 

I felt that they were not right for me and sold them on ebay then popped in an set of left over ibanez pickups from the parts drawer.....Not happy with those either, need to decide what to get for it.

 

However I don't subscribe to the theory that you have to spend an absolute fortune on gibby or big brand replacement pickups to get a great sound out of your guitar, there are many companies building great pickups for much fairer prices.

 

I have bought 2 sets of Wilkinson pickups from evilbay each set was under or about £30, and they sound really really nice.

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I don't subscribe to the theory that you have to spend an absolute fortune on gibby or big brand replacement pickups to get a great sound out of your guitar

 

No, you don't have to spend a fortune. I sure don't. You can get a set of used Duncans or DiMarzios online in the USA for $75+, which is close to what a set of GFS' would cost. Once a guitar is built, the biggest thing you can do to improve it's tone is change the PU's. Does more than everything else put together. Most of my guitars have been bought used, as have most of my PU's; the total investment is still well under the cost of a new Epi. And they sound so much better. I learned how to do my own set ups from Dan Erlewine's book 'How to make your electric guitar play great.' That will change your relationship with your instruments.

 

Besides the upgrade factor, another big reason to change PU's is that every piece of wood is unique. The grain, density, water content, mineral content, etc all vary, even if cut from the same tree. That effects EQ and sustain. You can put the same PU in 5 different guitars, all the same model of guitar, and each one might sound different. Manufacturers spec out a PU for a model, regardless of the wood's inherent tonal characteristics. Most times you can get your ideal tone with a different PU, or by changing magents or pots (simple and cheap). Too many guys sell guitars they don't like the sound of, often losing money on the deal. A different PU, or maybe only a $3 magnet may make a big improvement in tone and give them exactly what they want. This happens all the time on the Duncan site. We teach them, and they say they wish they'd have done it sooner. Instead of their guitars sounding 'okay', they love the way they sound. Everyone should. Nothing to avoid. Learn what you can do. I knew nothing about set-ups, PU's, pots, magnets, etc 10 years ago. It's not hard.

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Hi Everyone,

Many thanks for the replies.

 

At this point, I was really just wanting to know whether or not the Epi G-400 advertised on the dv 247.com site was different from the G-400s for sale here in North America (i.e., I wanted to know if the pickups described on the dv 247.com site were different than the Alnico V's, or whether there were just 2 different ways of describing the same pickups).

 

As I said in my original post, I am "thinking" of swapping out the pickups, but of course, I will have to reserve judgment about whether or not to do that until I get the guitar, play it, and see how it fits with my needs.

 

Thank you for the discussion here – it has been enlightening and helpful.

 

All the best,

 

Gvdv.

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Hi Everyone,

Many thanks for the replies.

 

At this point, I was really just wanting to know whether or not the Epi G-400 advertised on the dv 247.com site was different from the G-400s for sale here in North America (i.e., I wanted to know if the pickups described on the dv 247.com site were different than the Alnico V's, or whether there were just 2 different ways of describing the same pickups).

 

As I said in my original post, I am "thinking" of swapping out the pickups, but of course, I will have to reserve judgment about whether or not to do that until I get the guitar, play it, and see how it fits with my needs.

 

Thank you for the discussion here – it has been enlightening and helpful.

 

All the best,

 

Gvdv.

 

 

I doubt very much that the pickups are different. I personally own a G400 Deluxe and I was very close to selling it because I couldnt get a tone I liked out of it. Eventually I installed an old Dimarzio Super Distortion in the bridge and it changed it so much I couldnt believe my ears. I still have that guitar, and just recently put a Dimarzio PAF Pro in the neck position. Just give those stock pups an honest shot then decide for yourself.

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I doubt very much that the pickups are different. I personally own a G400 Deluxe and I was very close to selling it because I couldnt get a tone I liked out of it. Eventually I installed an old Dimarzio Super Distortion in the bridge and it changed it so much I couldnt believe my ears. I still have that guitar, and just recently put a Dimarzio PAF Pro in the neck position. Just give those stock pups an honest shot then decide for yourself.

 

Hi stickman,

Thank you for sharing your experience with the G-400.

 

I will see how the guitar sounds to me, and take appropriate 'action', if needs be.

 

All the best,

 

Gvdv.

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