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Unread 10-19-2012, 03:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Color Coding for Gibson LP versus Epi LP Four-Conductor Pick-Ups

Hi.

I'm working with a friend, writing songs in both alternate and standard tunings, so I just bought a nice-looking Trans-Blue Quilt-Top Epiphone Les Paul Standard Pro so that I can have one guitar in alternate tuning and one guitar in standard tuning (and thus experience less fuss with tuning while rehearsing and writing). The trouble is that I'm not a great fan of the Epiphone Psuedo-Burstbucker four-conductor pick-ups loaded into the Epi Standard Pro. This might be because I had a hot-sounding Gibson LP (Guitar Center) Double-Cut that came with BurstBucker 2 pickups, and it called down the angels--what a guitar! (I had to sell the double-cut after the economic down-turn, so I'm now building a Frankenstein Epi LP as the double-cut's replacement, i.e., a Gibi-Phone.)

I ordered four-conductor Gibson Zebra-Coil BurstBucker 3 pick-ups, and they are en-route, so I'm queing things up for the Frankenstein conversion and hoping that Phase 1 (BurstBucker 3 installation) will prove to be fairly simple.

My question is as follows:

Is the four-conductor pick-up color-coding for the Gibson LP the same as the four-conductor pick-up color-coding for the Epi LP Standard Pro? For right now, I intend to stick with the stock push-pull 500K volume pots that come packed into the Epi Standard Pro.

I also noticed that there is a molex (plastic) connector on both volume controls in the 2012 Epi Standard Pro, so if the BurstBucker 3 pick-ups don't also have a compatible plastic connector, there will at least need to be a little wire-cutting surgery on the pick-up wiring harness that leads to the plastic connector on the 500K volume pots. If the color-coding for four-conductor Gibson BurstBucker 3 pick-ups is the same as the color-coding for Epi four-conductor pick-ups, then installing BurstBucker 3s in a 2012 Epi Standard Pro should be a simple operation. (I don't mind damaging the Epi Pseudo-BurstBucker wiring harness, because I will likely either pitch these pick-ups in the trash or give them away.)

Lastly, if there are compatibility issues, would it be simpler to just buy Gibson 500K push-pull pots and start from there, or is dropping Gibson BurstBucker 3 pickups into a 2012 Epi LP Standard Pro a very simple operation?

Thanks for your help.

--Professor Chaos
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Unread 10-19-2012, 03:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Color Coding for Gibson LP versus Epi LP Four-Conductor Pick-Ups

There should be no compatibility issues except that the basic pots, caps and toggle switch suck.
Molex connectors are completely unreliable IMO and I would eliminate them.

As to color codes.... this is the best that I can do:

Guitar & Bass 4-Wire Humbucker Color Code Diagrams
STEWMAC.COM : Gibson Humbucking Pickups Free information

You might want to see if others chime in as I have never owned those particular pickups.

By the way, You will have to swap the pickup mounting rings. Epi is metric...Gibson is imperial.

Papa
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Unread 10-19-2012, 07:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Color Coding for Gibson LP versus Epi LP Four-Conductor Pick-Ups

I also cannot speak for your specific pickups, however I found that the color coding on the pickups from my Wilshire Pro matched those I found online for Gibson pickups.
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Unread 10-19-2012, 07:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Color Coding for Gibson LP versus Epi LP Four-Conductor Pick-Ups

Installing new pups into a coil split assembly is not a daunting task but if you haven't done it before, it's going to be a challenge. The color coding is the same but papa is right about those molex connectors. Hard wire everything if you want it to be a good job. I think if you can afford Gibson BB's you might want to consider the harness in this link:

https://www.martinsixstringcustoms.c.../prod_125.html

Trust me, it's worth every penny. If you're going to that much trouble I'd consider a Switchcraft toggle and output jack too.
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Unread 10-19-2012, 08:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Color Coding for Gibson LP versus Epi LP Four-Conductor Pick-Ups

Quote:
Originally Posted by Papa View Post
There should be no compatibility issues except that the basic pots, caps and toggle switch suck.
Molex connectors are completely unreliable IMO and I would eliminate them.

As to color codes.... this is the best that I can do:

Guitar & Bass 4-Wire Humbucker Color Code Diagrams
STEWMAC.COM : Gibson Humbucking Pickups Free information

You might want to see if others chime in as I have never owned those particular pickups.

By the way, You will have to swap the pickup mounting rings. Epi is metric...Gibson is imperial.

Papa
Thanks for the wiring diagrams...Those links and the wiring instructions included with the BurstBucker pick-up kit might be enough to piece things together.

btw, it is possible to use the Epiphone pick-up rings with the BurstBucker pick-ups: It just requires use of the Epiphone height-adjustment springs, rather use of the adjustment springs that come with the BurstBucker kit. I talked to a savvy guitar tech who works for the local Guitar Center, and he said that he has probably installed over 1000 Gibson pick-ups into Epiphones, and he always uses the Epiphone pick-up rings rather than have the customer buy new Gibson pick-up rings. (There is enough clearance, since the Epiphone adjustment screws--although they are metric--are still larger than the Gibson [ASE] adjustment screws. He said that the smaller Gibson ASE screws fit right through the Epiphone pick-up ring adjustment screw holes.)

Thanks again.

--Professor Chaos
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Unread 10-19-2012, 08:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Color Coding for Gibson LP versus Epi LP Four-Conductor Pick-Ups

Quote:
Originally Posted by SJM View Post
Installing new pups into a coil split assembly is not a daunting task but if you haven't done it before, it's going to be a challenge. The color coding is the same but papa is right about those molex connectors. Hard wire everything if you want it to be a good job. I think if you can afford Gibson BB's you might want to consider the harness in this link:

https://www.martinsixstringcustoms.c.../prod_125.html

Trust me, it's worth every penny. If you're going to that much trouble I'd consider a Switchcraft toggle and output jack too.
Thanks for the link to the nifty volume and tone control wiring harness kit. That will be Phase 2 of the Frankenstein Gibi-Phone Les Paul Project. (I also dislike the cheesey Molex connectors on the Epiphone's push-pull pots; they might save Gibson time and money during manufacturing, but Molex connector contacts sometimes oxidize, causing serious headaches and unnecessary head-scratching.)

cheers,

--Professor Chaos
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