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Changing pickups on ES-339

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I picked up an Epiphone ES-339, because I wanted to try out the smaller semi-hollow without spending Gibson money right away. I have a Gibson 355 that I love, and the tone is perfect. I am considering swapping out the pickups on the 339, and I was curious to see what experiences or suggestions anyone may be able to share. I appreciate your help!

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One of the inherent problems with gaining advice on pick up choice is that every one will recommend the ones that they like, often they will recommend the one they have just because they believe that they have chosen the best pickups in the world whether they have or not. Also, choosing pickups by the specs is flawed by material quality and and/or build quality, however, we can make some generalisations like, alnico magnets sound sweeter than ceramic magnets etc.

You could try listening to some sound clips on the Seymour Duncan website ... Make sure to use good headphones though.

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Hi JA and welcome to the forums....


Many options depending on desired results...


Good suggestions so far...


Plus how about P90's for some beef?


Or Burstbuckers of one form or another?


The real answer, of course, is to toddle along to Gordon Smith's place at Partington


And sample one or more of their hand-wound P/U's...I have H/B's and P90's of their persuasion...IMO they are excellent... [thumbup]





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As has already been said, it depends on what results YOU want but I put a set of Seymour Duncan 59'ers in my Les Paul and really like them. The neck pickup is very good but if i'm really honest with myself the bridge pick up is a little bright - nothing that a quick turn of the tone knob doesn't sort though. [thumbup]


For what it's worth I also have a 339 (Pro) and think it is a superb sounding guitar as it is - I might tinker with it in time but at the moment I have no intention of swapping its pickups.


Let us know what you go with.

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PAF's are always a great choice in 335's and 339's. There's lots of high quality ones to choose from these days, and you can save some money by getting them used online (which is how I get most of mine).


Seymour Duncan makes some of the best PAF's. Their '59's have A5 magnets, which give sharper highs, scooped mids, and a tight strong low end. The Seth, PG, and A2P have A2 magnets, which have more mids, a rounded high end, a looser low end, and lots of vintage dynamics. The Seth is especially good, developed by Seymour and Seth Lover (the guy who invented humbuckers back in the 1950's); it's an exact recreation of the original, unpotted with unbalanced coils, so it has a more open, airy, 3D sound.


Other high quality PAF's are made by Gibson BB's (A2's), BBP's (A5's), and '57 Classics (of these, the numbered BB's are probably the best sounding over all). Lollar, Fralin, and BareKnuckle also make great boutique PAF's.


Don't go by sound clips too much, as they rarely use the same guitar, woods, amp, and speakers that you will, and it's very unlikely you'll be able to duplicate those tones.

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Thank you all so much. You all made some great points and provided some excellent insight. I agree that the tone on the guitar is great already, but, because I will be buying a Gibson version, I am going to use this one to mess around with a little. I am going to the shop today to pick out a few things, and will keep you updated.

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