Epi Les Paul Special II pickups upgrade.

Discussion in 'Epiphone Les Pauls' started by LEOH35, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. LEOH35

    LEOH35 Junior Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Hi guys, i have an Epiphone Les Paul Special II. its a great sounding for the price i payed for it. But i would like to upgrade the pickups, im not sure what pickups to buy. i play blues/rock styles mainly but i would like the pickups to still be decent for playing Jazz aswell.

    I have heard that Seymour Duncan P-Rails are very good, im also looking at '57 classics and DiMarzio 36th anniversary pickups. but im not sure, do you have any Suggestions?

    Cheers Leo :) :slash:
     
  2. Phatius

    Phatius Member

    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    I had the same guitar before and added gibson 490R/498T pickups. there wasnt much difference than the stock pickups but the gibsons were noticeably less muddy. they're pretty pricey.

    you can check out the different pickups GFS has. from what ive heard, they seem pretty good and only half the price of most pickups. this way if you dont like the sound of one model you can always switch them out for other ones. the mean 90s sound pretty good for blues. guitarfetish.com

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB3uowITfg8]YouTube - Epi Les Paul Classic w/ Mean 90's blues[/ame]
     
  3. VealCutlet

    VealCutlet Senior Member

    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    44
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    Upgrading to Gibson or Duncan pickups will likely cost as much as/more than you paid for this guitar. Seems like overkill to me as there are very good lower cost options available.

    I have an old Epiphone Les Paul Standard with a GFS Classic 59 in the bridge, and GFS Dream 90 in the neck position, and they sound great. The Classic is supposedly a replica of the 1959 Gibson pickup, and it has body, warmth...just phenomenal tone. The Dream 90 sounds similar to Phatius's video (and his Mean 90's), but with just a touch more warmth and thickness to it. As you can hear in the vid, the Mean 90 puts out some sweet P-90 sound.

    I haven't tried any other pickup upgrades, but GFS gives pretty good bang for the buck (usually 30%-50% cheaper than the bigger names).

    You also may want to upgrade the volume/tone pots and caps (is there just one capacitor in the LP Special II? I haven't dug inside of mine....yet. Very cheap upgrades that can yield noticeable tone improvements.

    And Phatius, I was very upset the first time I A/B'd my kid's Epi LP Special II with the stock Epi 700T/650R pickups and my Gibson Studio with the 490R/498T combo and couldn't hear a difference! Then I realized I was playing through a 30 watt solid state Rogue practice amp. When played through my friend's Fender tube amp I could tell a difference - more clarity and body in the Gibson but not worth the price of upgrading.
     
  4. Phatius

    Phatius Member

    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    i could hear the difference but to me it was subtle. but yeah thats true it could've been my amp also that didnt allow me to fully hear the difference.

    i was thinking about putting a pair of 59 classics in my LP standard. but the combo with the dream 90 in the neck sounds really nice.

    by the way, thats not me in the video. haha. i juss wanted to show an exampe of how the mean 90's sound like.
     
  5. The_Sentry

    The_Sentry Senior Member

    Messages:
    27,005
    Likes Received:
    9,323
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Special II?

    I'd go with GFS pickups on something like that. Dream or Mean 90's.
     
  6. VealCutlet

    VealCutlet Senior Member

    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    44
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    I figured it wasn't you after watching that clip on YouTube and seeing a different user name had posted it, and was too lazy to edit my post. :)

    The good amp brought out the tone of my Gibson. I do think I have an exceptional LP Special II. Sound and playability is very close to my Epi Standard. Bought the Special for $89 at Guitar Center - too cheap to leave such a nice playing guitar in the store.

    When I find some time, I'm going to drop a push-pull pot into my Standard and coil tap the 59 classic. I had never modded a guitar before I re-did the electronics last year and had no idea I could do that.

    I love the Dream 90's sound. It is close to the Mean 90 in the video, but is slightly warmer and sweeter. Almost vocal in quality in the neck.

    I like Sentry's idea of going with the GFS P-90 types in the Special II, but that sound may not be for everyone.
     
  7. The_Sentry

    The_Sentry Senior Member

    Messages:
    27,005
    Likes Received:
    9,323
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    You're right....it might not be. But I figure that's about the best route to go in order to squeeze tone out of that guitar. I also think it's a waste of money to put high end boutique pickups in something like that.

    (Besides, I figured if the OP was looking for something that did more hard rock or metal...he wouldn't be looking at this guitar anyway vs. some sort of superstrat...)
     
  8. LEOH35

    LEOH35 Junior Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Thanks for all the advice guys. i am definetly going to go for some gfs p'ups. i know next to nothing about about pots, capacitors, etc. please enlighten me :) ?
     
  9. Blues Jam

    Blues Jam Member

    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    +1 for GFS pickups. I have never personally tried them, however they get good reviews and seem to be the obvious choice when upgrading a low end to mid level guitar. There are many options to choose from as well.
     
  10. TeleDog

    TeleDog V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    8,913
    Likes Received:
    2,858
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    The Alnico IIs from GFS are pretty good, they have that vintage thing going.

    I will say one thing. Price is subjective. Yes, look, if you're gonna spend money make sure you get what you want out of the pickups. If buying a set of Duncans is gonna turn the guitar into something you really love to play, then go for it.

    If you spend money and get something "ok", then it's the same as taking the money and burning it. I prefer investing $100 rather than throwing $20 away.

    That's my two cents.
     
  11. epiphone5150

    epiphone5150 Member

    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    You can't go wrong with the prails. I just put one in the neck of my standard and its awesome! Not awesomo. Pickups are a personal preference thing but the prails give you more than one sound and if you get another guitar you can always switch them over to that one and put the stock ones back in. IMO
     

Share This Page