Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro Silverburst Modding Questions

Discussion in 'The Custom Shop' started by 504steve, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. 504steve

    504steve Junior Member

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    Hey everyone, how's it going? I've had my Epi LP for a few years now, and while the Probuckers aren't half bad at all for the price-point of this guitar, I think I'm about ready to throw a Duncan JB in the bridge and a Jazz in the neck.

    1) Any other upgrades you guys think I should do while I've got it unstrung/pups out? Pots/caps anything like that? I know these come with 500k from the factory, but if there's an upgrade that's worth while I don't mind tackling it regardless of what it is.

    2) I've looked into the possibility of changing the tuners for locking ones, but it seems like these are already Grover tuners, is it worth the hassle?

    3) Is the JB/Jazz set recommended? I liked the sound in a Gibson LP I owned but if there's much better options out these days I don't mind hearing em.

    Thank you in advance for your time and help, look forward to hearing what you guys have to say!
     
  2. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Senior Member

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    As far as tuners go, I always think locking ones are a worthy upgrade. I always swap em out for locking tuners. As far as pickups, it depends. If you love classic hard rock, the JB/Jazz is wonderful. If you want versatility, or play other styles, there would be other options as well.
     
  3. Filipem

    Filipem Senior Member

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    I popped a MSSC wiring harness in my epi Silverburst custom a few years back. It made a world of difference. The sound i got out of the guitar with the stock pickips was noticeably better, once I threw in a set of Duncan's in Sh1 on the bridge and a slash pickup in the neck that freaking thing came alive. I own several guitars but the epi is still one of the guitars I play the most. I've upgraded several guitars with better wiring harnesses and they've all sounded better afterwards with the stock pickups
     
  4. Who

    Who are you? Who who who who.... Premium Member

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    Are you happy with the controls you have now? Does the tone knob make a real difference, that is pleasing and useful to you? If not, I'd replace the harness, too.

    In my Epi Custom, replacing the harness was a better upgrade than replacing the pickups. Having replaced both the harness AND installing SD pickups, I feel the guitar moved into a much different class. Doing just the pickups would have been "fine", but I would not have known the difference the wiring makes.


    But a wiring harness isn't cheap, and it's not worth it for everybody.

    As for tuners, how often do you change strings? Locking tuners will shave a couple of minutes off a full string change, but they do nothing for better tuning, or tuning stability.
     
  5. 504steve

    504steve Junior Member

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    Thanks for your input so far everyone, this is great information!

    Gotcha, I'll look into the tuners and do some more research before buying. As far as the sound, I love classic/hard rock, but I would love to be versatile enough to play some thrash metal/clean/country when it's needed. What other options are there for more versatility?

    That's sweet! Yeah I love this Epi, fretboard feels like a dream after a simple setup and overall quality seemed to be there on this build from the factory. I regularly pick it up over more expensive guitars. Did that wiring harness come with the stuff wired properly to handle the third phase shift push/pull knob or did you end up losing that one? Their Gibson harnesses on the site seem to mention the push/pull for coil tapping but not phase shift.

    My current controls are pretty useless, I'm either at 10 all around or I'm lacking for the most part. Occasionally I can dial down to 7-8 on tone/volume when I'm searching for a specific sound but anything lower than that is unusable. Which harness did you go with, was it the MSSC also?

    I change strings maybe once every 2 weeks to a month. I was hoping that the locking tuners would hold it in tune a little better than the normal Grovers, maybe that's just hopes and dreams? After setting it up a lot of those "stock" tuning issues went away, just the occasional 2-4 hour heavy bending sessions that knock it out of tune now, but I don't mind investing in this Epi, it definitely deserves it!
     
  6. T00DEEPBLUE

    T00DEEPBLUE Senior Member

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    Get a full fret level and dress done on the guitar. Every Epi I have ever played in my life needed some degree of fretwork to get them playing at their best. It makes such a huge difference and I recommend it to pretty much anyone who wants to see a major improvement in their guitar's playability.

    Instead of the JB/Jazz set, check out the Pegasus/Sentient set. They have all of the benefits of the JB/59 set with none of the drawbacks. The midrange spike that's infamous with the JB can cause it to not play nice with certain guitars, and the Pegasus gets rid of that while still being in same the tonal wheelhouse. It's an amazing pickup and even more versatile than the JB, from super clean cleans to tight, articulate metal tones. It's also extremely touch sensitive, which means that it really heavily rewards good playing. Truly an amazing pickup and it's a shame that it isn't more popular.

    The Sentient in the neck is the Goldilocks zone between a Jazz and a 59 in tone and output but somewhat more modern sounding. One of the most versatile and articulate neck pickups Duncan has ever made. I've replaced the JB/59 set from my FGN and while the tonal difference wasn't night and day, for an application like a Les Paul, I know what I'd rather have. ;) Cannot recommend them enough.

    Locking tuners make restringing faster, but they aren't going to make your guitar stay in tune any better if you know how to restring standard tuners the correct way.

    [​IMG]

    Stringing them this way ensures that the string cannot move inside the post, thus making them function essentially like locking tuners.

    If you want better tuning stability, replace the nut. The ones that come on Epiphone are cheap plastic and they're typically not cut all that well. Get a TUSQ one, a couple of welding torch tip cleaners to refine the ramping off of the strings towards the tuners and enjoy your newfound tuning stability.

    For electronics, replace the output jack and the switch with Switchcraft. The ones that come stock on Epiphones are kinda junky and wear out pretty fast. Replace the pots with CTS if you don't like the taper on the stock pots. You can replace the caps with Orange Drops if you like how they look, but I wouldn't count on your hearing a difference between them and the stock ones if the measured values are the same.
     
  7. elephantrider

    elephantrider Senior Member

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    i replaced the harness in mine with a toneman 50's harness and put a set of
    mhd asylum pups in it. it is a ripping guitar now. stock wasn't bad, but the
    changes really woke it up.
     
  8. Filipem

    Filipem Senior Member

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    I did not need the push pull pots as the pickups are only 2 wire but you can get push pull pots you just need to specify that you need those pots. Email them with your needs they have great customer service. I ordered push pull pots from them for another guitar and had no issues with those pots. They include a wiring diagram with the harness. If you tell them how you want to wire it they will send you a drawing to wire it the way you specified.
     
  9. Jymbopalyse

    Jymbopalyse Senior Member

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    Any pictures ??

    What year is your Custom? Have you looked in the wiring cavity?
    In my 2015 Epi LPC it has a PCB harness. Everything plugs in. It has phase and coil splitting.
    A screw driver is all you need to remove the pickups, switch and harness.

    You will have to ka-jigger it to install different pickups if you are not replacing the harness outright. And if you do replace the harness, might as well replace the 3-way switch too.

    The tuners are 18:1 grovers so unless you want the locks, no real need to replace those.

    I find pickups are a very personal choice. You mentioned a SD set that you like, I'm sure the LPC will take them just fine. I chose a set of Vineham 6070 Pickups which are T-Top clones. Stellar pickups for hard rock.

    Another small upgrade not mentioned yet, strap locks. I love Schaller strap locks.

    It's a great guitar to play. Have fun with the upgrades and let us know what you do.
     
  10. TheZ

    TheZ Senior Member

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    Big fan of the Dimarzio 36th Anniversary PAF pickup here. They make a few different versions of it - I actually like the low output DP-103 in the bridge position - if you put one in the bridge and neck they'd be matched up just like in the good ol' days when there was no such thing as neck and bridge pickups.
     
  11. 504steve

    504steve Junior Member

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    Thanks for all your help guys! I've looked over what everyone had to say and decided to do the following:

    -SD JB Pickup w/ Nickel Cover
    -SD Jazz Pickup w/ Nickel Cover
    -Orange Drop Caps
    -Switchcraft Three-Way Switch
    -Switchcraft Output Jack
    -Schaller Strap Locks

    Luthier/trusted shop I brought it to for a quote on the fret work said the fretwork looks exceptional already, and they think I can hold out for a few more years until I do the stainless steel job.

    I decided to hold off on the harness and the fretwork for now, as well as some of the other hardware, partially to keep some money in my pocket, and partially so I have something to do to it later haha!


    As far as the electronics, I'll be ripping her apart this week and make sure to get you guys some pictures! Will keep you guys posted on progress and the sound afterwards.

    Edit: Almost forgot about the strap locks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
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