In praise of OEM Epiphone pickups

Discussion in 'Tone Zone' started by Biddlin, May 12, 2020.

  1. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    1smgvint.jpg [​IMG] [​IMG] I came to Epiphone electrics late in my gigging career. For thirty+ years I got by with a 20 fret ES225 and a Strat. hen my Gibson got damaged I had to scramble to find an affordable replacement for the duration of the repair, so I found an Epi LP standard. I still have it, dead OEM stock. Once bitten, I found myself with a G-400 Vintage. I still have it, but with modifications that include Gibson 57 Classic pickups.
    An upgrade you think? Well, maybe. I still have an Epi SG deluxe with the stock pickups as well as SGs with 490r/490t and P90 configurations, but for really dirty metal sounds, the Epi humbuckers are "better" to my ears.
    Anyone else feel this way?
     
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  2. Norton

    Norton Active Member

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    I like the pro buckers a bunch. They’re on par with similarly voiced offerings from dimarzio/Duncan.

    It’s Not a better/worse thing. But the pb’s will definitely not give any ground.

    The older hotch etc pickups can be cool.

    I like them in the samick made Sheraton I have. Kinda dark which is cool.

    Those seem to be fairly heavily wax potted which Has a sound and way of behaving. Un-potted pickups have a little different thing going on that’s cool too.

    But the stock Epiphone pickups are in general, completely and totally good.

    Pot tapers too. AOK.
     
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  3. soulman969

    soulman969 Active Member

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    I have three. A 2008 '56 Gold Top Tribute, a 2012 Casino, and the most recent addition a 2019 ES339. All have P90s but from different eras. What I can say in comparison is the P90 Pros in the ES339 have a bit more transparency and are sweeter sounding than those in the '56 Gold Top. Not a bad thing since I prefer having some tonal variation between the two guitars.

    The dog ear P90s in the Casino tend to have the highest output and a bit less top end but that could because of the covers. I just received a set of nickel silver covers to replace those so that may help. I'll know more after I install them but I don't feel they sound like much like those on the ES339 which is also good. I want each guitar to have it's own voice.

    Overall I'd say they're very good pickups especially those in the ES339. Not quite at the level of something like Fralin's but not all that far behind either. If those used in the '56 Gold Top are essentially the same pickup then I would say that the Pro Series version is somewhat of an improvement over the prior version.
     
  4. Cozmik Cowboy

    Cozmik Cowboy Well-Known Member

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    I had to rewire the '92 Samick-built Sheraton in my avatar (got damp in a flood and, over about 15-20 years, developed harness rot); I went with CTS pots, Sozo caps, and Switchcraft switch & jack, and, while it sounded good stock, it was even a little better afterward. I ran a pigtail from the switch & connected the p/ups to it to facilitate an easy p/up swap when coinage allowed.

    Then I took it to a gig by a friend I used to do sound for; a 50+ year pro player - and owner of the Sheraton that inspired me to get mine - so he could check out the rewire. He played it onstage one set, and we agreed - there is absolutely no reason to change the p/ups. I am essentially a clean player, and he isn't a lot dirtier, and the stock Epi p/ups sound wonderful clean.

    And if you're not a clean player, save the money, as the p/ups don't matter; once you crank the gain knob or stomp on the dirt box, you're hearing that, not your guitar. Doesn't matter if it's the Beano 'burst or a Tiesco Del Ray, all dirty guitars sound pretty much the same.
     
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  5. Norton

    Norton Active Member

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    all dirty pickups sound the same? that's just not even close to being true.

    same with clean.

    Doesn't mean there's anything wrong with stock pickups in an epiphone. but there's a WORLD of differences in both clean and dirty between magnets, wire, base metal etc.. in pickups.

    How much of a difference, and whether it matters to you is a different deal.
     
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  6. Robert Nunn

    Robert Nunn New Member

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    I'm glad someone likes the Epi pu's. I can't stand them and if I get an Epiphone with Epi Pu's, I have to swap them out.
     
  7. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Hi and welcome. Pray tell: What is the temporal extent and musical range of your playing experience?
     
  8. Cozmik Cowboy

    Cozmik Cowboy Well-Known Member

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    I'll bet $5 Federal that if you bought a stock Epiphone and were told they weren't Epi p/ups, you'be fine with them.
     
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  9. Robert Nunn

    Robert Nunn New Member

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    Pretty stupid comment. You would lose that bet
     
  10. Keefoman

    Keefoman Well-Known Member

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    On earlier Epis I find both pickups and electronics lacking. The Epi Alnico Classics for example, are way too hot and muddy, and it doesn't help with cheap minipots and crappy caps. I have not tried the Probuckers with CTS-pots they've started to use for some 2020 models, but my guess is that it's a significant improvement.
     
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  11. wildeman

    wildeman Well-Known Member

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    My Sheraton is still stock and i don't feel the need to mess with it. I have a P90 jr and a EB-0 that benefitted from magnet and cap changes though still original just modded the pickups.
     
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  12. L.A. Nights

    L.A. Nights New Member

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    Squarely, and quite frankly ― I only have a passion for ― and take great pleasure in, the sound of the Epiphone® ProBucker-2™ and ProBucker-3™ humbucking pickups.
     
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  13. Old Woody

    Old Woody New Member

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    I agree 100% anyone who's swapped out stock pups in a Gibson or Epi for the SD 59 and JB buckers can tell you there's a difference.
     
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  14. Old Woody

    Old Woody New Member

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    AS they say at the zoo don't feed the Trolls or was that moles? There have been lots of video's made of the Epi Les Pauls vs the Gibbys and 9 out of 10 people could not tell the difference.
     
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  15. Cozmik Cowboy

    Cozmik Cowboy Well-Known Member

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    But every one of them is sure beforehand that they can.
     
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  16. Rick Davey

    Rick Davey New Member

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    I'm new here, but I've been playing Fender, Gibson, and Gretsch for over 50 years. My only amp is a tweed Deluxe clone I built from a Mission Amps kit back in 2007.

    My wife knew I always wanted a LP Std. goldtop. She was at GC last Christmas season getting a set of bass strings for our son, and she saw a goldtop LP Traditional Pro on the used wall for $325.00. Gave it to me for Christmas, totally blew me away. I had a Tele, a Strat, and an Esquire, so this makes four altogether.

    I didn't know much about Epis, except for the old ones. Boy was I blown away. Good workmanship, great setup, big comfortable neck. Pickups are just outstanding. No idea what they are, but I have no interest at all in changing them out. Smooth, fat and crisp.

    Then I discovered pull switches to split them. Seems like they are possibly unequal wind coils, because the split coil sound is actually usable and the volume doesn't drop that much. Much different from the center tapped PAF-types I've had before.

    So here's to you Epiphone. A great guitar with great pickups for $325.00! A total success story made better by its being a surprise gift from Mrs. D.

    Any of you guys know what kind of pickups these are? If I ever decide to drop a humbucker into the neck position of my Esquire, it would have to be one of these.
     
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  17. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    What year is your Trad Pro ?
     
  18. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    Switched from Alnico V to Probuckers in my 2004 Vintage SG and like it better. In my 2003 Vintage SG, neither would make it sound great. I could have lived with one of them if not for a set of boutique Tyson Tone PAFs I won in a contest, so those went in there and that was that.

    Alnico Classics really sing in my LP Ultra. I did try the above mentionned PAFs in it but came back to the Classics.
     
  19. Rick Davey

    Rick Davey New Member

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    No idea. How can I tell?
     
  20. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    By the serial number.
     
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