Pickups?

Discussion in 'Epiphone Guitars' started by Steven Westberg, Feb 15, 2021.

  1. The Convert

    The Convert Well-Known Member

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    I get it. And corrosion which leads to degrading signal and noise and potentially no signal impacts the quality of the signal. So gold connectors are commonly used across the industry, as gold does not corrode. In fact other metals conduct better, but do corrode. I suppose you could use platinum if you have the cash.

    EDIT: I was responding to one element. If you want my perspective on pots and caps and wiring, it’d be this: if you are planning on keeping the guitar for 50 years, it makes a difference. Otherwise, cheap electronics in my experience have a minor, but detectable impact on tone. The reason you replace cheap guitar electronics is for reliability. I’ve had a few pots fail in Squier/Epiphone guitars. Also with pots you way want a different taper or a different level of physical resistance (some cheap pots turn loosely in some players’ estimations.) But “strictly” does it have an effect on tone? Not so much, but a little. I have only a few times installed or bought a guitar with expensive pots or caps. I’ve never noticed a difference beyond orange drops and CTS pots. Does that help?
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  2. Steven Westberg

    Steven Westberg Well-Known Member

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    That was really interesting. And being slightly electronics oriented I found absolutely nothing to disagree with here.
    Thanks Brother!
     
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  3. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    It is now called alternative facts.
     
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  4. Antigua

    Antigua Active Member

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    I think "lived experience" is the term du jour. "You have your truth about PIO caps and I have mine."
     
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  5. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    I think we're largely in agreement here.
    I have no problem dropping a little coin for better quality / tolerance - especially if I'm playing with specs.
     
  6. soulman969

    soulman969 Well-Known Member

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    For me corrosion and/or mechanical wear mean it's time to replace the electronic components and when I do that I do use CTS pots and a Switchcraft jack and new jack cups on Teles. I do use my volume and tone controls a lot.

    I just put new electronics in one twelve year old import Tele and an eleven year old import PBass is on deck. The rest have all been good so far but I'm anticipating more upgrades soon on others that are ten years old or more.
     
  7. soulman969

    soulman969 Well-Known Member

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    You're a WH Press Secretary too? Amazing. ;) :D
     
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  8. soulman969

    soulman969 Well-Known Member

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    PIO probably work best for shredders. The electrons slide through faster. ;) :io:
     
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  9. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    For me it's CTS or Bourns and that can be based on the knobs I want to use. For my Doheny Tribute, I found the perfect set of pure white Jazzmaster knobs, but they're metric splined so I went with a measured hot set of Bourns. Most of the time I'll use ±5% 525k CTS from Art of Tone or buy a 300K if I'm doing something that calls for a 250K. I tend to err towards hotter pots in my builds.

    I stopped using Switchcraft jacks after discovering Pure Tones.
     
  10. grinwer

    grinwer Active Member

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    I don't want to offend anyone. You can like anything. And you can pay what you want. I am not talking about that.
    Good quality gear is better than bad. This is an axiom.
    But. Rags on the wires and gold on the contacts don't make the sound better. Are we talking about this? Full size pot are no better than small ones.
    This is a long list.
    I put the wires into my guitar as thick, thick as my finger, and the guitar came to life! Yep. )
     
  11. grinwer

    grinwer Active Member

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    Corrosion? 50 years?
    I don't store my guitar in the pool, the amp in the aquarium, pedals in the swamp.
     
  12. Antigua

    Antigua Active Member

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    It's no secret that guitar electronics crap out, and that's part of what makes replacement wiring seem worthwhile. The three main problems seems to be 1) oxidation or whatever getting into the pots, so that the signal is scratchy when you turn the dial, 2) the input jacking wearing out or coming loose, 3) the pickup toggle not making electrical contact. The thing is, there doesn't seem to be a meaningful difference between the components in American versus import guitars for any of those things. I think you have to buy expensive Switchcraft parts to avoid the problems. But never the less, cheaper guitars such as Epiphone are accused of using parts that fail more readily, and in my opinion (since neither side has factual data) is that people are harder on cheaper guitars, they see them as expendable, while domestic guitars are babied, and if and when a domestic guitar has problems, it gets a benefit of the doubt that imports are not given.

    In fact, I've been mostly dealing with Fender guitars, and the PCB-based square shaped blade style pickup selector, which is found on import Strats and Teles, has been all around a lot more reliable for me than the large, round shaped American pickups selector, which is true to the original 50's design, because the PCB version encloses the electrical contacts internally, and the mechanics of the electrical connection are more sturdy, and have fewer moving parts. That's a clear situation where something is perceived to be higher quality simply because it's 50's based and more expensive, and something else is perceived as low quality simply because it costs less and was designed in more recent times.
     
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  13. The Convert

    The Convert Well-Known Member

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    oh, I thought most guitarists were aware that guitars and amps...especially the most desired guitars and amps...have been around for decades. Or that some parts of the country or world get very humid.

    I guess some people look at musical gear like disposable electronics and ikea furniture.

    you’re too angry for me. I’m out.

    :io:
     
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  14. grinwer

    grinwer Active Member

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    Does it last long or does it sound better? They are not the same thing. You've mixed everything together.
     
  15. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    Don't last ... today that means : not maintained = crapped. All that is mechanical. When your car door hinge starts creaking, do you replace it ? When your bicycle chain starts to be hard to shift, do you replace it ?
    Have you ever opened one to witness that oxidation ? Didn't think so, it's simply accumulated dust and gunk. That's what Deoxit has been invented for.
    Wearing out ? Nope ... what are you doing with that jack ?
    Coming loose ? Go in there and bend that prong.
    Deoxit again. Don't work ? Go in there and bend that prong.

    Toggle switch.jpg
    It's not rocket science, it's mechanical. Maintain it. I have old Epiphones, oldest a 2006 with that crappy electronic, but I maintain it and after all those years, they still perform flawlessly ... really.

    But, it is today much easier and satisfactory to order a new made at home part and have it delivered to your door than to stoop to maintain foreing caca.

    Mother Earth thanks you.
     
  16. The Convert

    The Convert Well-Known Member

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    one last point. I’m mixing thing up because they are all related, you are talking about things that aren’t things.

    define “tone” and “better”. Tone is a nonsense word and better is subjective.

    if I’m tracking and mixing, I’m dealing with a signal. If that signal is dirty, it’s useless. Timbre, articulation, eq of pickups, etc, don’t matter if cheap wiring and components make the performance unusable.
     
  17. Supersonic

    Supersonic Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to see some of you put your money where your mouth is, gut your guitars and replace with the worst garbage components available. I mean if it makes no difference then there shouldn't be any problems right? Just send the stuff that was already in there to me and I'll make sure it's safe until the experiment is over.
     
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  18. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    Can you define that ?
     
  19. Supersonic

    Supersonic Well-Known Member

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    Let's go with the absolute cheapest stuff available or maybe whatever comes stock in the cheapest guitar available.
     
  20. Antigua

    Antigua Active Member

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    Most of my guitars are imports, and they have the stock parts, but almost all of the pickups are swapped out. A lot of the replacement parts have to be "cheap", for example all push pull pots are dime sized pots, and the vintage clotch wire is too thick to connect to the DP/DT eyelets, so cheaper 24 awg vinyl wire is appropriate there also. I agree that so long as things are maintained, there's no real distinction between the "premium" and cheaper non-descript components. A lot of stomp boxes use surface mount parts an components of ambiguous origin and quality, and that doesn't seem to bother some of the same people who make a big deal out of the guitar's components.

    The cheapest electronics I've seen came in a counterfeit Hofner, the actually PCB mounted the switches and pots, and it crackled add felt crude, but after cleaning it with Deoxit, it sounded great, no crackling. It still feels flimsy, but there are no real problems otherwise.
     
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