Epiphone SG Special VE

Discussion in 'Epiphone Guitars' started by SG19VE, Jan 31, 2020.

  1. SG19VE

    SG19VE New Member

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    I just got this guitar to get into the SG and work on my upgrading/repair skills. I know people say not to put money into a cheap epiphone, but has anyone done anything to theirs to improve the playability/look? I am already going to add some cheap humbucker covers I found on amazon that fit well to work on my soldering. With this guitar having the Epiphone 650R & 700T humbuckers I found the spacing to be 49.2mm and 52mm. Other than that I am going to replace the jack with a switchcraft, upgrade the stock potentiometers, smooth the fret ends, ad a graph tech nut, and possibly upgrade the tuners down the line. Any tips or suggestions?
     
  2. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on a SG.

    Jack and pots are 100% functional and don't need to be replaced. They will NOT change anything tonewise. All it will do is make you spend money for nothing. Instead, invest in a can of Deoxit and clean/lubricate them once or twice a year. Also make sure all is properly tightened.

    As for smoothing fret ends, try the sandpaper foam block thing. It takes 30 seconds and the job is done.

     
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  3. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

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    Those people don't exist on this forum.:)

    Sounds like you have it under control. Someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you need a fairly high powered soldering iron for the pickup covers. In my experience, the back of the pickup can take a lot of heat and an inexpensive iron doesn't do the trick.
     
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  4. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    You picked a good one as a mod training platform.

    Personally, I'd skip the Switchcraft jack. That's not saying it's not a good choice, but I prefer Pure Tone jacks. Pure-Tone2.jpg
    *I edited out what I consider marketing hype.

    I find that the better mechanical connection is obvious and nice feeling. The redundant contact points have reduced movement crackle which I'd already started having a slight issue with on the previous Switchcraft. To me, it seemed like an obvious improvement over the standard open frame design from 1878.
    I'm glad I decided to try it, electromechanically it made sense to me, it's fairly inexpensive, and it feels like a quality part. I've since put them in every important build I've done, be it my pedalboard, a pedal I built, personal guitars, or guitar builds for friends. I wish this was a paid endorsement, but I don't think they like me pointing out their marketing department being full of **** with some of their claims.

    The Graph Tech nut is a solid choice, I'd steer you towards Art of Tone for some of his 525K ±5% CTS pots. A Switchcraft switch is always a solid choice, no love lost there. As for tuners, anything you put on a Special VE is bound to be an improvement.

    As for the covers... That's not something I'd want run out and tackle. The Gooch potential is too high. There are plenty of good inexpensive pickups out in the world a guy could swap in rather than potentially wreck a set of pickups someone else could make use of.

    Anyway if you need more information, I'll be glad to help out if I can.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2020
  5. 3tripnote

    3tripnote New Member

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    Who manufactures the PT jacks?


    "and work on my upgrading/repair skills."

    In general,
    upgrading to the modern industry standard Neutrik would be a good choice with imported gear.
    With vintage, or U.S.A. gear, Switchcraft would also be a good choice, as both male & female were used in cables, guitars, amps, pedals, mixing counsels, P.A. gear, on and on. (Cliff jacks could be exceptions.)
    There is no wrong or right way, really.
    The answer to how you would choose lies in the contact points; how the tip's throat fits or rests in the terminals indent or tabs, as in the image posted above.
    IOW There are soo many manufacturers of connectors that each company has their own tip design and patent, but all within close tolerances to same diameter. Why you see some with short heads, some tall. Some shot throat, some long neck.
    Generally, you are able to feel the mismatch as you plug in and there is play, or not enough grab.
    That is why with older gear there is a solid feeling connection, when seated. The tab is resting properly in the tip's throat.

    & Heat up the soldering iron, and good luck with your mods, and with whatever you go with!
     
  6. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    https://puretonetechnologies.com

    They're OEM on Reverend guitars now.
    Screenshot_2020-02-01-14-17-54.jpg

    I believe that the build quality compared to Switchcraft is easily as good if not better. When I pulled the previous Switchcraft out of my G400 it actually felt a little cheap compared to the Pure Tone. The insulation wafers on the Pure Tone looked thicker to my eyes and the plating seems nicer. I'm not knocking Switchcraft in the slightest, the Pure Tone jack just feels better. The original Epi Jack was, while completely serviceable, a step behind the Switchcraft.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
  7. SG19VE

    SG19VE New Member

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    Just an update. My measurement for humbucker spacing was a bit off. Should have got a digital caliper. I'm not sure if the older 650R/700T have this, but on the 2019 models the spacing is actually stamped on the base plate. 50 mm for the neck and 52.2 mm for the bridge. Finding a cover for 52.2 may be difficult. If I can't find any I will just get some cheap chrome humbuckers. Does anyone have experience with cheap replacements that are about the same or better that stock? Are the epiphone '57 classics decent?

     
  8. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    Yep, pretty good. Lots of people say they are muddy, but they probably never played with height to find their sweet spot. If you take the time to do it and you are ready to use your amp's EQ buttons, they can sound great.
     
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  9. Al from Durham

    Al from Durham New Member

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    I've got one like this, not black but Pelham Blue. It is about as pretty as a guitar can be and an absolute delight to play. When I got it the tuners were half-broken so that had to be fixed. You can fix the neck dive by installing a strut off the neck screws for the strap button.[​IMG]

    I put covered pickups on, too, but I'm not happy with them and will change them out one of these days.

    I DO NOT like standard Switchcraft jacks. They are 1940s technology and some plugs need a hydraulic jack to get them out. And they are really not perfectly reliable. I use the Switchcraft "Hi-D jax" or one on the many knockoffs. Nice smooth in/out.
    .
     
  10. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Why on earth would you use that? That's something you'd find in a stompbox with a PCB.
     
  11. Al from Durham

    Al from Durham New Member

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    When people criticize things because they think that they're icky, it only makes me like said things more. Look: In my opinion the thing works better.

    And oh by the way, it is trivial, and I've seen it done, to turn a Hi-D into a Pure Tone. The body can have any contact or switch inserted into any side, so you just order two tip contacts and two switch contacts, and there's your Pure Tone. With nice long flexible leaves that aren't going to fatigue loose.
    .
     
  12. Samiam_Grnxnhm

    Samiam_Grnxnhm New Member

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    Epiphone SGs are my main axe because I really like the shallow D neck shape and the width of the fretboard. So yeah I put a lot of money into upgrades, adding USA pickups & pots, locking tuners, Bigsbys, you name it.
     

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  13. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Oh, you've seen
    This
    [​IMG]
    turned into a Pure Tone. Sure buddy.
     
  14. SG19VE

    SG19VE New Member

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  15. Adrian

    Adrian New Member

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