'96 Casino pups upgrade

Discussion in 'Epiphone Guitars' started by Broz, Aug 29, 2021.

  1. Broz

    Broz New Member

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    Hi guys, looking for recommendations on upgrading the pups on my '96 Casino. Anyone done this? Don't want the guitar cut up. Was thinking of Duncan P90's if they can be dropped in. My guitar tech will carry out the work and replace the cheap Korean wiring harness. Any suggestions would be welcome. Cheers
     
  2. Space1999

    Space1999 Well-Known Member

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    I would think the Duncan’s would be great. They are reasonably priced and one of the great pu makers.

    From there you have to go to boutique pu’s and boutique prices.

    I had a ‘98 Epi Sheraton II and I put Duncan’s in it and it sounded awesome.

    Pat
     
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  3. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    Seymour Duncan Antiquities will fit, I believe and certainly improve the sellers bottom line. A lot of work for no measurable improvement in function imho.
     
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  4. IGRocker

    IGRocker Well-Known Member

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    SD and Gibson P90’s should drop in, as long as they’re the dog ear style. I just pulled my SD dog ear out of my JJN Gold Glory and swapped it with a SD Antiquity mini humbucker.
     
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  5. Space1999

    Space1999 Well-Known Member

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    I wasn’t a big fan of Epiphone pu’s and wiring till the Pro series came out. The old pickups sounded veiled and muddy to my ears.
    The new Pro series pu’s are as good as it gets unless you need pu’s for shredding.

    Pat
     
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  6. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Fellers, this right here is why a guy charges extra on hollow / semi mods.

    At least my guy here is doing it all in one shot. Sometimes you get folks insisting on reusing the existing controls - which is 97% the same amount of work as doing it clean and for that I tip my brim.
     
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  7. Broz

    Broz New Member

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    Do you mean there'll be no measurable improvement in the sound?
     
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  8. soulman969

    soulman969 Well-Known Member

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    In a shoot out I listened to some years ago I thought the best P90s I heard were Fralin and the next best were Seymour Duncan Antiquities. Their cost is similar so it's pretty much up to the player which he or she prefers.
     
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  9. soulman969

    soulman969 Well-Known Member

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    I think that all depends on you and your ears. IMHO the newer Pro Series Epiphone pickups are quite good. I would not replace them. But those from the older models may be improved upon. It just depends on what you're looking for tonally.
     
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  10. Space1999

    Space1999 Well-Known Member

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    Yep and with a ‘96 Casino, those pickups can be improved upon for sure.

    Epiphone has been saying they will be selling their pickups but I have seen no progress on that front.

    Pat
     
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  11. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Improvement, no. Some differences, perhaps. I cannot imagine better pickups than the P90s in my Riviera. YMMV.
     
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  12. Broz

    Broz New Member

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    So I've wrongly assumed that 2021 SD P90's would sound better than the Korean factory stock fitted '96 pickups?
     
  13. Broz

    Broz New Member

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    Just what I thought otherwise why does anyone upgrade pickups.
     
  14. Broz

    Broz New Member

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    You're right of course, it depends what sound you're looking for. No idea about the newer Pro Series as I only buy older guitars. Just my thing. Yep reckon a factory fitted '96 epi casino pickup can be improved on.
     
  15. soulman969

    soulman969 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you're wrong but what Biddlin' may be getting at is what constitutes an improvement to one person may be a step back to another so the word "better" is entirely dependent on personal preference.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2021
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  16. soulman969

    soulman969 Well-Known Member

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    What I can tell you from that experience of hearing about a dozen or so P90s compared to one another is for my tastes the Fralin's were the cleanest and most transparent sounding P90s and the SD Antiquities slightly less so.

    For me this would be a benefit even when played with more grit and distortion since each note would stand out more on it's own as opposed to being more blurred and buried by the distortion. But this is my personal preference.

    The Gibson P90s which many would say are the classic P90 sound were far less clean and transparent even before being boosted into distortion. To my ears they were grittier and honkier in the mids which I do not prefer.

    When comparing the pickups in my Epi 2008 LP '56 Gold Top to my jam buddies Gibson LP '56 Gold Top we found much the same. The Gibson P90s were grittier in comparison to those in my Epiphone and mine are pre-Pro Series pickups.

    Those in my Casino I believe to be early Pro Series models and I'm 100% certain those in my ES339 P90 Pro are Pro Series. Each sounds slightly "different" from the others which I believe is what Biddlin' was getting at in his response.

    But this much I can tell you with a high degree of certainty.

    It's very unlikely the pickup covers on a 96 Casino are nickel silver so the chromed metal covers are in all likelihood restricting much of your high end. Even those on my Casino are not nickel silver and need to be replaced.

    If what you're experiencing with yours is a woollier or muddier tonality especially from the neck pickup simply replacing the covers with plastic or nickel silver may give you the improvement you're looking for.....or not. I can't say.

    But if you're willing to spend upwards of $200 for replacement pickups I can recommend the Fralin or Seymour Duncan as being very good pickups many players would be very pleased with having in their guitars.

    But I can also say that there are less costly P90s that with nickel silver or plastic covers may also sound far better to the ear than any stock P90 with a simple chromed metal cover. It just a matter of degree and personal preference.

    While there are still many other factors between what creates a high quality pickup and one of lesser quality that's a rabbit hole some don't want to go down but IMHO those covers can make a major difference in player satisfaction.

    Hope this helps. :cheers:
     
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  17. soulman969

    soulman969 Well-Known Member

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    Ha ha, that's one of the great mysteries of life in the guitar world.

    I'm a tone hound. Many of my guitars and basses have had replacement pickups installed by me as I searched for the tonality I wanted from that particular guitar or bass and over time I've developed my personal favorites.

    My jam buddy has never replaced the pickups in any of the nearly 40 guitars he owns. If he wants a different tonal experience he simply buys another guitar that has the pickups in it he wants already. Different strokes.

    For me pickups are the primary voice of any guitar or bass just as the speaker is often the primary voice of an amp. Both can be tweaked and/or upgraded to bring someone closer to what they like and prefer.
     
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  18. Doug B

    Doug B New Member

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  19. Norton

    Norton Well-Known Member

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    thick, grit and honk are defining elements of a p90.
     
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  20. Imerkat

    Imerkat Well-Known Member

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    This man claims to have the best p90 on the market. Good quick A-B with Gibson P-90’s at the end. Having had a Casino and a Gibson hollow body P90 they’re not really going for the same sounds.
     
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