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Alex_SG

Modding my G400

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Hey guys

 

In the last couple of weeks, I've started to mod my G400 in Heritage Cherry.

 

A couple of weeks ago, I removed the cheap chinese knock-off Rotomatic tuners, and replaced them with some Grover Vintage Keystones. I have also managed to secure (but haven't received yet) some original Gibson witch hat knobs, and have ordered from Allparts in the USA a Gibson Style Long Lyre Maestro tremolo and tailpiece, which I hope will arrive by the end of next week.

Next on the agenda, is a full faced pickguard, to replace the little half face. Dunno why, but I think the full pickguard looks somehow cooler.

Once all that is done, the electrics will be upgraded. I'm thinking a full Gibson SG wiring kit, new 500k pots, new caps and a Switchcraft knob. And also maybe some PAF style pickups, like the Parsons St ones from StuMac.

 

I know that this seems to be a bit of an expense to put into an Epiphone, but hey, I like it, and I can't really afford the $3000 odd dollars it would cost me to get my dream guitar, so this is gonna be the next best thing.

 

What y'all think?

 

http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h104/Alex_SSS/DSCN1542.jpg Shows the new Grover Keystones I fitted. Bad lighting... Sorry!

http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h104/Alex_SSS/photo.jpg I also sanded the finish on the neck. A lot slicker now!

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I do what you do. Take an Epiphone and upgrade it to the guitar you want it to be. I totally agree about replacing all of the pots, switch, and output jack including the caps. Get some Sozo or Mallory 150's or Sprague 'Orange Drop' caps at least.If the neck is playing like you want, (most important) then rebuild that baby. There are many, many, really high quality p'ups on e-bay. I've worked in music stores and we always had a few G-400's on the rack. It's amazing how much better one will play over another. The Lawrence 500XL Humbucking p'ups are a nice choice.

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I stuck a little over 3 bills in my G-400. Mine came with the maestro, but I put on a set of Grover Green Keystones and a set of Gibson Burstbuckers in it. I re-wired mine too, but I did CTS pots and Switchcraft jack and switch. Actually the stock tuners worked fine, but I just prefer the looks of the Green Keys over the kidney shaped buttons.

 

Put up pics when it's done.

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I did the same with mine... it was a reconditioned worn brown model I picked up off ebay for a song. It was structurally and cosmetically fine so I decided to do the same thing as yourself. I yanked everything out and replaced all the guts with quality stuff including PIO caps(I opted for Cornell Dubilier), new pots, switches, etc, and added new tuners. About the only thing I left stock was the bridge and nut (and I probably should have changed the cheap plastic nut then too). It screams compared with the original pickups... I went with the Duncan '59 for the neck and a SH-5 for the bridge.

 

They are awesome guitars with a few upgrades... so I think you've made a great decision to tweak it to your liking. I did the same thing with an Epi Les Paul and it's fantastic. Like yourself, I'm not able to chuck down $2500 for a new axe so the poor man's version is fine with me until I hit the lottery, and even then, I think I'd still opt for a European vacation. B)

 

Here are my Epi make-overs...

epiphoneg400.jpg

epilp.jpg

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Well, the vibrola has been posted via USPS Express International Parcel. Supposedly a 3 - 5 day turnaround. I also have a mate fabricating the fullsize pickguard. Then it's the electronics and pickups!

Will post more pics when the vibrola/pickguard are installed

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"Modded" my Iommi g400 a couple days ago by swapping out the stock Iommi pups for some more traditional PAFs. I know..I know..why would ANYONE mod a signature guitar, right?! Well, dont get me wrong, I LOVE Sabbath and Tony's tone and all that but those Iommi pups were rather dark for my tastes and not very versatile. Anywhoo..I plan on keeping the guitar anyway since not everyone has a 24 fret SG lying around. But the PAFs I put in are freaking nice..I got a set of "Prodigy" bronze medallion PAFs for $50 off ebay. Yes, you heard me....$50 for the set. I wasn't sure what to expect with them as I tend to equate price with quality like most but these are better sounding than the $300+ Gibson Iommi's at least to my ear. Also, they look pretty sweet on the all blacked out guitar IMO...

IMG_1191.jpg

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sounds cool!

 

did something similar with my G400, but gave her P94s and a Bigsby. Different guitar compared to my SG Standard, but great fun. the pickups really do the trick, BTW. I have also some SD 59 classics in an old sheraton II, and placed recently some TV Jones Classics in nice looking but rather cheap semiacoustic, a VGS Mustang II. In all cases, the pickups really did the trick, so think carefully about your choice ...

 

yours

wolfi

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When I did a full rework on mine I used Duncan Phat Cats pickups. I really like the for the single coil p-90 sound.

 

I also put "greenies" on it, new nut, had the frets leveled and crowned, new CTS pots and Sprague Orange Drop caps. Switchcraft switch and input jack and I used all vintage cloth wiring. It sounds great and plays like a dream.

 

Don't forget to get a set of "pointers"...

 

Looking at todays new Gibson SG's, I would have to do the same mods anyway!

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