Epiphone Les Paul Custom - Changing pickups

Mojambo

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Hey everybody. This is my first post here!

I've had my Ebony Epiphone Les Paul Custom for over a year now and it's a great guitar. It's the more recent model with the large headstock. It's probably the best Epiphone guitar I've ever played and I really can't find any glaring issues with it whatsoever after a good amount of use. It plays great, feels great, and looks great...but the sound just isn't quite there. It's almost there. I'm sure some of you can relate to this situation?

The stock pickups (ProBuckers) sound very good, in fact they're much better than some of the older Epiphone pickups to my recollection (which were awful). I've spent many, many hours experimenting with amp settings, pickup height, polepiece height, even string gauges. I've concluded that I want a set of pickups that will be clearer, brighter and slightly lower output than these ProBuckers while still keeping a 'vintage humbucker' vibe. I often play clean(ish)/slightly dirty through my Vox AC15, adding pedals for more dirt. I wish that I could get just a little more sparkle and bite out of this guitar, as well as a little more definition from the lower strings.

If anyone can help steer me in the right direction with some suggestions for pickups that would be awesome. Thanks. :slash:
 

cliffenstein

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Get a set of used Gibson 498T and 490R pickups put in. That's the set that comes stock in Gibson LPC's. They're extremely great in Epiphone LPC's.
 

ARandall

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^ However the 498T is the opposite of clearer and lower output, and the 490R is never clear or bright in its stock form.

OP - do you have a budget? There are plenty of clear bright low output pickups, but they range considerably in price. Most generic level/cheap pickup brands will be potted as it stops squeal from slightly irregularly made components.
If you do want to spend a little more, then Vineham pickups tend to come in cheaper or equal to something like Duncan....and you'll get unpotted and a choice of output and tone ballpark.
Reading up on the probuckers leads to them being sort of like a burstbucker - so low - moderate turn count with an A2 magnet.. So you could easily find something that would do similar but with more liveliness as its a fairly common pickup wind.
 

cliffenstein

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Agreed certainly, but the 498T and 498R will actually make it sound like its Gibson counterpart.

I’ve actually done it before and doing so truly brought my Epiphone LPC into the right zone.
 

ARandall

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The right zone for what.....for you??

This thread is not about what you want, its about what somebody else wants. And the OP's requirements/wants are clear to be read in his post.
 

DrBGood

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Pickup construction is no more a top secret science. The secret is out and plenty of asian pickup builders come really close to all those "boutique" winders. Check shootouts on You Tube.
 

Mojambo

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^ However the 498T is the opposite of clearer and lower output, and the 490R is never clear or bright in its stock form.

OP - do you have a budget? There are plenty of clear bright low output pickups, but they range considerably in price. Most generic level/cheap pickup brands will be potted as it stops squeal from slightly irregularly made components.
If you do want to spend a little more, then Vineham pickups tend to come in cheaper or equal to something like Duncan....and you'll get unpotted and a choice of output and tone ballpark.
Reading up on the probuckers leads to them being sort of like a burstbucker - so low - moderate turn count with an A2 magnet.. So you could easily find something that would do similar but with more liveliness as its a fairly common pickup wind.
I'd prefer to spend no more than $300 for a set, and I have a feeling there are options out there that would be cheaper than that which would satisfy my needs. Hopefully.

To put this another way, I'm looking for that "Tele-on-steroids"--even mini-humbucker type of sound. Listening to demos of the new Gibson LP Deluxes with the mini-hums--that's the sound I'm looking for, I just don't want to replace the entire guitar. I'd rather import that sound into it if I can. However I've ruled out anything that 60 cycle hums, so no P-90s for me. And I'm trying to stay as close to the humbucker camp tonally as possible, I want the guitar to still have the punch and power you get with HBs over traditional single coils.
 

Mojambo

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^ However the 498T is the opposite of clearer and lower output, and the 490R is never clear or bright in its stock form.

OP - do you have a budget? There are plenty of clear bright low output pickups, but they range considerably in price. Most generic level/cheap pickup brands will be potted as it stops squeal from slightly irregularly made components.
If you do want to spend a little more, then Vineham pickups tend to come in cheaper or equal to something like Duncan....and you'll get unpotted and a choice of output and tone ballpark.
Reading up on the probuckers leads to them being sort of like a burstbucker - so low - moderate turn count with an A2 magnet.. So you could easily find something that would do similar but with more liveliness as its a fairly common pickup wind.
I also take it that I should be looking at the A2 variety, no?
 

Shelkonnery

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Welcome to the forum, dude!

Based on you description, a few pickups come to mind:

Gibson ’57 Classic, Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates and even Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro. I think any of those three will deliver the clarity and definition you’re searching. But do some research on youtube because this is quite personal.



I would also recommend a pots and caps upgrade, although I’m not familiar with what comes stock in Custom Epiphones in the first place. But those are also key ingredients for that brightness you might be missing.
 

Mojambo

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Welcome to the forum, dude!

Based on you description, a few pickups come to mind:

Gibson ’57 Classic, Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates and even Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro. I think any of those three will deliver the clarity and definition you’re searching. But do some research on youtube because this is quite personal.



I would also recommend a pots and caps upgrade, although I’m not familiar with what comes stock in Custom Epiphones in the first place. But those are also key ingredients for that brightness you might be missing.
Thanks I'll add those to my list.

I know the guitar has CTS pots, and as long as the caps are the right values they should be fine as is.
 

cliffenstein

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Have you considered a Gibson Burstbucker 1 & 2 set?

A used set of 70's Gibson T-Top's or a set of these should work well for you as well:

Another option would be to get a mini pickup and either have it put in a full size humbucker housing or simply get a pickup ring that makes the mini humbucker fit in your guitar:

Final advice for getting into the mini territory would be the TV Jones TV Classic Bridge and Neck:
 
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Mojambo

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Have you considered a Gibson Burstbucker 1 & 2 set?

A used set of 70's Gibson T-Top's or a set of these should work well for you as well:

Another option would be to get a mini pickup and either have it put in a full size humbucker housing or simply get a pickup ring that makes the mini humbucker fit in your guitar:

Final advice for getting into the mini territory would be the TV Jones TV Classic Bridge and Neck:
Thanks, gonna look into the T-Tops now that you mention it. That could actually be the sound I'm looking for. :thumb:
 

ARandall

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I also take it that I should be looking at the A2 variety, no?
A2 is probably what you have in there now. But the magnet is only part of the equation. The Duncans recommended above (both the A2pro and Pearly Gates) sport them, but tonally they are 2 very different animals. The PG is bright and present (and biting) like a rude p90 type tone. The A2pro is much more subdued and soft.

The tele on steroids thing is more like a well balanced low output pickup that is not overly bright, but has enough mids to be punchy. Thats where someone like Craig from Vineham can help. Well within the budget, but you have the winder who will talk you through the process and recommend what he knows in his lineup will do what you want.
He also winds minis if thats the way you want to go.....but be aware that vintage constructed minis have only about 75% of the raw power of a PAF strength humbucker.
 

frater106

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I’m using a Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates in the neck & a Duncan Custom in the bridge of my 2007 Epiphone Custom. They both sound great! You should check out the descriptions and samples on the Seymour Duncan site & read reviews in the forums. You’ll find what you’re looking for. Just be sure before you change anything-you don’t want to re-wire it again after doing it once.
 

Cardinalcomb

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Seymour duncan has a great tool on their website where you can hear tones of all their pickups. Makes it great to compare. It sounds like you are looking for less output and more brightness and low end. You also use the term “bite” which to me means higher output but in your context i think you mean high end or treble. Look at some pickups on seymour’s site that has lower output and scooped eq and start listening to a bunch of them.
 

USTTRM

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You may want to look at Gibson Burst buckers 1 in the neck and 2 in the bridge. A2 mags and a vintage wind. Sound great in the LP standard 50s and in a custom the same tbs.
 

musicmaniac

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I've actually got the BB's in my Custom and love it. But you probably should talk to some of the builders and get a better idea.
 

Pancreas

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Hey everybody. This is my first post here!

I've had my Ebony Epiphone Les Paul Custom for over a year now and it's a great guitar. It's the more recent model with the large headstock. It's probably the best Epiphone guitar I've ever played and I really can't find any glaring issues with it whatsoever after a good amount of use. It plays great, feels great, and looks great...but the sound just isn't quite there. It's almost there. I'm sure some of you can relate to this situation?

The stock pickups (ProBuckers) sound very good, in fact they're much better than some of the older Epiphone pickups to my recollection (which were awful). I've spent many, many hours experimenting with amp settings, pickup height, polepiece height, even string gauges. I've concluded that I want a set of pickups that will be clearer, brighter and slightly lower output than these ProBuckers while still keeping a 'vintage humbucker' vibe. I often play clean(ish)/slightly dirty through my Vox AC15, adding pedals for more dirt. I wish that I could get just a little more sparkle and bite out of this guitar, as well as a little more definition from the lower strings.

If anyone can help steer me in the right direction with some suggestions for pickups that would be awesome. Thanks. :slash:
I've put several sets of Seymour Duncan Hot-Rodded JB/JAZZ pickups in Epi LP Customs. Including one that I own. For less than $150 for the pair, it's a FANTASTIC upgrade! For just about any genre of music.
 

Mojambo

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I've put several sets of Seymour Duncan Hot-Rodded JB/JAZZ pickups in Epi LP Customs. Including one that I own. For less than $150 for the pair, it's a FANTASTIC upgrade! For just about any genre of music.
Is the Hot-Rodded any different from the standard JB or Jazz pickups?
 


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