Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Raghaven

Thoughts on my new Epiphone 339 Pro

Recommended Posts

A fantastic instrument beautifully finished, not perfect but this is a lot of guitar for the price, definitely a keeper.

 

The action needs to be a bit higher than solid body electrics’ but the guitar is remarkably easy to play, then there’s that smaller body size it’s really comfortable to hold especially if a 335 sized hollow body knocks your strumming arm out of it’s socket.

 

The coil splitting helps to add some tonal variety but don’t expect to get that usual “snappy” sound, humbuckers and true single coils are very different beasts both mechanically and electrically.

 

The neck pickup has that angle away from the strings that some people have complained about, and no, the mounting rings are not on the wrong way it’s just the shape of the body at the point where it meets the fingerboard that causes this. The bridge pickup angle is fine.

 

So does the pickup not being parallel to the strings affect the sound? It’s a matter of opinion, a humbucker has two coils and this angle will cause one to be closer to the strings than the other. This can cause slightly higher output and possibly more bass tones on the closer coil and lower output from the other coil.

 

Does this bother me? Not at all, at least not as much as the fact the bridge pickup has lower output than the neck pickup (the pickup to string heights are fine by the way). Normally the bridge should be higher output, so were the two pickups switched in assembly or is this the dreaded "out-of-phase" problem I hear about?

 

Maybe someone out there can tell me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Raghaven,

 

Welcome to the forum.

Congrats on the new guitar and thanks for the review.

I've been thinking about buying one.

 

As to pickup output....Is this what you want to know?

http://forum.gibson.com/index.php/topic/47933-how-to-read-pickup-winding-values-while-pups-still-in-guitar-and-more/

(if not, clarify) I ain't the brightest candle on the cake.

 

Willy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Raghaven,

 

Welcome to the forum.

Congrats on the new guitar and thanks for the review.

I've been thinking about buying one.

 

As to pickup output....Is this what you want to know?

http://forum.gibson.com/index.php/topic/47933-how-to-read-pickup-winding-values-while-pups-still-in-guitar-and-more/

(if not, clarify) I ain't the brightest candle on the cake.

 

Willy

 

Willy,

 

Thanks for the link, using this method to check the coils confirm the bridge pickup have a higher resistance than the neck (bridge 8.6k, neck 7.8k).

 

This is as it should be, so the pickups are in the correct positions but it also means that I should be getting higher output from the bridge pickup, as this is not the case I want to believe that there is an out-of-phase problem with this pickup.

 

Can anyone offer further thoughts on this?

 

Raghaven.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a couple of thoughts.

First:

http://www.guitarelectronics.com/category/wiring_resources_guitar_wiring_diagrams.humbucker_wiring_color_codes/

(scroll down page)

 

As long as you mark or document your original set up, you can always try switching wires around.

 

Also, as to pickup/pickups being slanted.

It doesn't normally matter. With coil splitting/tapping...series/parallel that could change.

On a normal set up, measurements are taken at the pole pieces (screws) and not much else matters.

Not so in your case and you are right about pickup slant.

 

This can be adjusted by adding rubber foam tape below one side of the pickup....available in many sizes:

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/catalog/servlet/Search?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&keyword=foam%20rubber%20weather%20seal&Ns=None&Ntpr=1&Ntpc=1&selectedCatgry=SEARCHALL

 

Good luck,

 

Willy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You may, also find this of some interest:

http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/tonefreaks/229155-2012-les-paul-standard-fat-tap-explained.html

 

By adding an extra cap into the pickup coil line, you can use the cap as a filter as opposed to a grounding off.

Basically, it acts just the opposite of a tone control. Where a .010μF would ground out a small amount of "highs",

that is now the amount it would allow to pass through.

 

At least that is my understanding.

 

Willy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You may, also find this of some interest:

http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/tonefreaks/229155-2012-les-paul-standard-fat-tap-explained.html

 

By adding an extra cap into the pickup coil line, you can use the cap as a filter as opposed to a grounding off.

Basically, it acts just the opposite of a tone control. Where a .010μF would ground out a small amount of "highs",

that is now the amount it would allow to pass through.

 

At least that is my understanding.

 

Willy

 

Thanks again for the useful info.

 

I know that the “classic” humbuckers traditionally have lower outputs but I am wondering if 8.6k is too low of a resistance for the bridge humbucker pickup.

 

I will check the pickup wiring and pad the neck pickup with foam strip as you suggested, this should work fine.

 

As I really like this guitar, and intend to keep it, if all else fails a pickup upgrade will be in the works later down the road. “57 Classic” pickups and new pots will double the cost of the guitar but it will still be a fraction of the cost of a Gibson 339.

 

Raghaven.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm getting this soon so I am very inerested in anything you have to say about it.

 

I am wondering what the smaller 339 is in tonewose compared to a 335 sized?Is the tone compromised with the downsized body?

ANy photos,videos,or sound bites would be awsome.

 

What color did you get?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm getting this soon so I am very inerested in anything you have to say about it.

 

I am wondering what the smaller 339 is in tonewose compared to a 335 sized?Is the tone compromised with the downsized body?

ANy photos,videos,or sound bites would be awsome.

 

What color did you get?

 

Hi,

 

Every guitar has it’s own character and sound, some say no two guitars even of the same model sounds the same. So with that in mind you can expect the 339 to have it’s unique sound compared to a 335.

 

I find the 339 is naturally a little tighter (brighter) sounding than the larger soundboard of the 335 but then some tone control adjustment can get you close.

 

I can promise, you will be very happy with the 339 pro, it’s immaculately finished not much bigger than a Les Paul (but much lighter) and sounds great even with the stock Alnico Classic pickups.

 

Check this link below these guys did a really good comparison/review of the new 339s’ and 335s’.

 

 

All the best,

 

Raghaven.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh! By the way,

 

I got the Vintage Sunburst finish, quite liked the Cherry Red but it seems everyone is getting those and the Ebony and Natural was out of stock where I bought mine.

 

Raghaven.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The output of that bridge pickup is relatively low, but typical of 1950s specs. I prefer something more like 11-13k myself, with a more modern rock sound. I always balance the outputs by getting the bridge close to the strings, and if the neck is louder, backing that off to a lower position until my ears tell me they match.

 

I'm afraid that if the pickups don't sit parallel to the top of the pickup surround it's a badly-made guitar. Humuckers are designed to have both coils the same distance from the strings. I put blocks of foam rubber underneath to get them level. (And I've never had to do that to a Gibson).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on the new acquisition!

 

If I could make a suggestion it would be to remove the neck pup from the guitar and remove it from the pickup ring then slightly bend the tabs that the adjuster screws into. Adding just enough bend to level the pickup. I have done this many times and it works.

 

From there you can balance the volume of both pups with the height screws and then fine tune the volume of each string with the pole screws.

 

-Eric

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The output of that bridge pickup is relatively low, but typical of 1950s specs. I prefer something more like 11-13k myself, with a more modern rock sound. I always balance the outputs by getting the bridge close to the strings, and if the neck is louder, backing that off to a lower position until my ears tell me they match.

 

I'm afraid that if the pickups don't sit parallel to the top of the pickup surround it's a badly-made guitar. Humuckers are designed to have both coils the same distance from the strings. I put blocks of foam rubber underneath to get them level. (And I've never had to do that to a Gibson).

 

Hi,

 

I agree with you on the bridge pickup, I feel a humbucker in that position should be at least 11k, when split the output gets really low (4.3k) my Strat’s bridge vintage single coil with Alnico 5’s is 6.3k.

 

The angle of the body at the neck pickup seems to be a problem with a lot of 339’s from what I have been reading. I see you have a 339 Ultra in your guitar list, that should be similar to the 339 Pro, how is the neck pickup angle on that?

 

Raghaven.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on the new acquisition!

 

If I could make a suggestion it would be to remove the neck pup from the guitar and remove it from the pickup ring then slightly bend the tabs that the adjuster screws into. Adding just enough bend to level the pickup. I have done this many times and it works.

 

From there you can balance the volume of both pups with the height screws and then fine tune the volume of each string with the pole screws.

 

-Eric

 

Hi Eric,

 

Thanks for the tip, adjusting the tabs should do the trick if care is taken to get both sides at an equal angle.

 

At the moment the bridge “pickup to string” height is 3/32” at the low “E’ and 2/32 at the high “E”, the neck is 4/32” and 3/32” I will re-adjust them but I feel I should be getting higher output from the bridge pickup with these settings.

 

My first upgrade will be the bridge pickup; I just need to miss a few meals so I can afford a better one.

 

I will let you know how it goes.

 

Raghaven.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've replaced both pickups on my Ultra. I wanted a hotter bridge pickup so I put a secondhand Seymour Duncan JB in there. That one sits flat ok. The neck pickup sat at an angle so I put a block of foam rubber under it to level it out.

 

I found the tone of the stock pickup to be a bit dark/muffled, so I replaced it with a cheap ceramic which I had lying around, mounted fairly low. That works for me, it gives me a nice jazzy feel when clean.

 

Interestingly the stock Probuckers were zebra bobbins under the chrome covers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 339 and the 335 are VERY similar sounding - they're both very flexible soundwise. Obviously the coil taps on the 339 Pro make the biggest differencee in overall sound (very nice single coil sound btw). The 339 acts a little more like a full solid body than the 335 but still gives that nice smooth feedback when pushed hard. The biggest plus for me with the 339 is body size/comfort...

 

As for pickup angle - yhea a little foam under one side or the other can help, but tends to flatten out and lose it's resilience over time...I like the idea of twisting the screw tabs on the pickup frame a bit - that's a little more permanent and deals directly with the problem. I've also found that reversing the surround ring/bezel usually works wonders (I did some work to a friends 80's Sheraton and the front pick was on such an angle that I was convinced that someone else had worked on the guitar and had put it on backwards - he assured me that was not the case and it was always like that - once I reversed the ring/bezel the pickup sat parallel beneath the strings) the only caveat being that if the ring/bezel isn't angled (some aren't) flipping it won't may any difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You'll get better(clean) tone if you drop the pickups about 1/4" (or more) below the pickups, unless you are in to overdriving the tone. If it's not loud enough, turn the volume control on the amp. On most of my hb equipped guitars the pickups are barely above the rings, just enough to balance them to each other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Guys,

 

Thanks for all the info and advise, this is a great forum. I am working on a couple of projects at the moment that’s taking me to wee hours, as soon as I get some free time I will try some of your suggestions and also give the guitar an overall set-up.

 

I had to buy this guitar mail order because of where I live so it did not get a set-up at the store, won’t call any names but their service was excellent, made sure I got a pristine instrument.

 

The problems we have discussed here are really minor and fixable, as I have said before this is a lot of guitar for the price so I would not want any prospective buyers to put off by our discussions.

 

There is just no way to love guitars and not want to tinker with them; we are always striving for that special, sometimes elusive tone in our heads.

 

The very best,

 

Raghaven.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...