Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plustop PRO upgrade harness?

Deek

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Okay, as posted here I just bought a 2014 Les Paul Traditional and my formerly beloved 2014-15ish Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plustop PRO (Antique Amber - it is beautiful IMO) is feeling a little lonely and insecure. I literally picked this guitar out of 20 at GC over a few months and it really stood out and I preferred it over various Gibsons costing up to $100 or a little more. Does it hold up to my new LP that cost 4-5 times as much (retail)? Well, not really but dollar for dollar it sure does well and on it's own it's a nice guitar and I like playing it. When I bought it I immediately upgraded the neck nut (TUSQ) and bridge and that $40 really paid off in tone. People seem to regard the Probuckers as good pickups so I am wondering, will a harness upgrade be a significant upgrade in tone? I would swap out the toggle switch too. You can order this one with sort shaft pots: https://www.creamtone.com/collectio...ge-drifted-bumblebees-for-gibson-usa-les-paul
 

shupe13

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I'm ordering an Obsidian kit for mine in a couple of days. $100 for everything. No soldering.
 

DrBGood

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If I may ...

I have 5 Epiphones, 3 LP and 2 SG and all still have their original controls. Changing pots for the same values, will not change the tone. Changing caps for the same values won't either. I know, I tried, It's been proven over and over that It's money thrown out the window. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Same with the toggle switch. If it starts acting, buy a can of cleaner/lubricant spray and douse the contacts once a year. As you're at it, spray some in that scratchy pots as well. My oldest Epiphone is a 2004, 15 years old, and the switch and pots still do flawlessly what they're supposed to do.

Your output jack doesn't hold your cable that well anymore ? Open the back control plate and bend the jack prong inwards. TADA ! New solid tight jack. Same with the toggle. It's a mechanical thing. Take it apart, adjust tensions where it needs to be, reassemble anf lubricate. Voilà !

The greatest and cheapest mod you can do, that can improve your tone tremendously, is to tweak your pickups height. That is such and overlooked upgrade. Of course, parts sellers will never tell you that, no money to be made there for them.

If you take the time to do these simple things, you'll get the max out of your guitar, with minimal investment.
 

DrBGood

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Oh yeah, and these Probuckers ? Incredible. I got a set I put in my LP Ultra and man do they sing !
 

Deek

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...

The greatest and cheapest mod you can do, that can improve your tone tremendously, is to tweak your pickups height. That is such and overlooked upgrade. Of course, parts sellers will never tell you that, no money to be made there for them.

...
Okay, I get it. Guess what, I do this on all my guitars. Makes a huge difference on Fenders and yet a noticeable one on my Epi LP.
 

DrBGood

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Yep, pup height on a Strat is crucial.
 

GraphX12

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Same with the toggle switch. If it starts acting, buy a can of cleaner/lubricant spray and douse the contacts once a year. As you're at it, spray some in that scratchy pots as well. My oldest Epiphone is a 2004, 15 years old, and the switch and pots still do flawlessly what they're supposed to do.
What he ^ said.
My '99 MIK SG is stock, less a new bridge and bone nut, and performs flawlessly. A shot of cleaner about 3 years ago is all it has needed.
 

Deek

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If I may ...

I have 5 Epiphones, 3 LP and 2 SG and all still have their original controls. Changing pots for the same values, will not change the tone. Changing caps for the same values won't either. I know, I tried, It's been proven over and over that It's money thrown out the window. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Same with the toggle switch. If it starts acting, buy a can of cleaner/lubricant spray and douse the contacts once a year. As you're at it, spray some in that scratchy pots as well. My oldest Epiphone is a 2004, 15 years old, and the switch and pots still do flawlessly what they're supposed to do.

Your output jack doesn't hold your cable that well anymore ? Open the back control plate and bend the jack prong inwards. TADA ! New solid tight jack. Same with the toggle. It's a mechanical thing. Take it apart, adjust tensions where it needs to be, reassemble anf lubricate. Voilà !

The greatest and cheapest mod you can do, that can improve your tone tremendously, is to tweak your pickups height. That is such and overlooked upgrade. Of course, parts sellers will never tell you that, no money to be made there for them.

If you take the time to do these simple things, you'll get the max out of your guitar, with minimal investment.
Seriously, thanks for your reply. I'm not gadget, accessory, upgrade obsessed, it is just that the nut and bridge did make a big difference, so I wondered if other upgrades might e worth it.
 

Deek

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What he ^ said.
My '99 MIK SG is stock, less a new bridge and bone nut, and performs flawlessly. A shot of cleaner about 3 years ago is all it has needed.
And I did the same upgrades to my LP - nut and bridge, and it did noticeably improve things. Thanks.
 

DrBGood

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A lot of all this is placebo, and it's sometimes OK. If it sounds better to your ears, it does. Placebo is good. If it make you play better, why not. But the room you play in can have a 100 times more influence on how you hear your tone. Where you're sitting relative to your amp. And so on.Those factors that we forget about, determine your tone.

Saddles on a bridge might make a small difference, but I bet that in a double blind test, you wouldn't be able to differenciate. New strings on the other hand, will change a bleh sounding guitar to a wow sounding one.

The nut ... think about it. It comes in play only when a string is played unfretted. What influence does it have on tone if your soft muffling finger skin isolates it from any vibration ?

Your ears ... why is it that one day, your setup has never sounded that good, and the next day you ask yourself what has gone wrong. You didn't change a thing, you're sitting in the same chair, same position, same clothes, even your dog is asleep on the same cushin right in front of the amp. It sounded soooo good yesterday and now ... mehh.

I personally, will change a piece of harware only if it has a problem. I've replaced a bridge because saddles didn't have enough travel distance to get proper intonation. I've changed a wraparound because there was a citar sound I couldn't get rid of. I put on a Tusq nut because the one I had was cut too low and those cost next to nothing.

But I did change knobs for better looking ones. And I did put on pointers on all of my guitars, because I find I can better see at what number that knob is set.

There is sooo much bullsh.. repeated ad nauseam on forums, about what makes an electric guitar sounds the way it does, that we end up believing it.

I tell you, before I started reading forums, all my crap gear sounded great. Before forums, to me there was one kind of Strat, they all look eaxctly the same. There also was one LP model, well ... one carved top single cut and two flat tops, SC and DC. SG's what ? there are diffrerent models ? You're kidding me right ?

But this is me ...
 

Deek

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A lot of all this is placebo, and it's sometimes OK. If it sounds better to your ears, it does. Placebo is good. If it make you play better, why not. But the room you play in can have a 100 times more influence on how you hear your tone. Where you're sitting relative to your amp. And so on.Those factors that we forget about, determine your tone.

Saddles on a bridge might make a small difference, but I bet that in a double blind test, you wouldn't be able to differenciate. New strings on the other hand, will change a bleh sounding guitar to a wow sounding one.

The nut ... think about it. It comes in play only when a string is played unfretted. What influence does it have on tone if your soft muffling finger skin isolates it from any vibration ?

Your ears ... why is it that one day, your setup has never sounded that good, and the next day you ask yourself what has gone wrong. You didn't change a thing, you're sitting in the same chair, same position, same clothes, even your dog is asleep on the same cushin right in front of the amp. It sounded soooo good yesterday and now ... mehh.

I personally, will change a piece of harware only if it has a problem. I've replaced a bridge because saddles didn't have enough travel distance to get proper intonation. I've changed a wraparound because there was a citar sound I couldn't get rid of. I put on a Tusq nut because the one I had was cut too low and those cost next to nothing.

But I did change knobs for better looking ones. And I did put on pointers on all of my guitars, because I find I can better see at what number that knob is set.

There is sooo much bullsh.. repeated ad nauseam on forums, about what makes an electric guitar sounds the way it does, that we end up believing it.

I tell you, before I started reading forums, all my crap gear sounded great. Before forums, to me there was one kind of Strat, they all look eaxctly the same. There also was one LP model, well ... one carved top single cut and two flat tops, SC and DC. SG's what ? there are diffrerent models ? You're kidding me right ?

But this is me ...
I get your point, but I know the guitar sounded better after the nut and bridge. I have a studio at home and that is the only place I play. Despite playing very loudly for many years, my hearing tests were perfect and I think I have a good ear for pitch too. Can I hear the difference between an Eveready and Duracell in my wah wah pedal? No, but I can sure hear the difference in quality cables in one of my three audio systems and various tubes in my amps. It is not ALL bunk.

Anyway, I did both nut and bridge at the same time, so was it one or the other or both? Who knows. It cost $40 to do this and tuning and intonation was improved as well.
 

Jymbopalyse

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Okay, as posted here I just bought a 2014 Les Paul Traditional and my formerly beloved 2014-15ish Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plustop PRO (Antique Amber - it is beautiful IMO) is feeling a little lonely and insecure. I literally picked this guitar out of 20 at GC over a few months and it really stood out and I preferred it over various Gibsons costing up to $100 or a little more. Does it hold up to my new LP that cost 4-5 times as much (retail)? Well, not really but dollar for dollar it sure does well and on it's own it's a nice guitar and I like playing it. When I bought it I immediately upgraded the neck nut (TUSQ) and bridge and that $40 really paid off in tone. People seem to regard the Probuckers as good pickups so I am wondering, will a harness upgrade be a significant upgrade in tone? I would swap out the toggle switch too. You can order this one with sort shaft pots: https://www.creamtone.com/collectio...ge-drifted-bumblebees-for-gibson-usa-les-paul

That's a pretty pricy harness.
Top notch parts for sure, but pricy, none the less.

You mention you have both a Standard and a Traditional.

The stock wiring of these harness are different.
The Traditional has "50's" wiring and the Standard has, well, standard wiring.
Have you noticed a turning sensitivity, range difference, when using the pots between these two guitars?
This is often why someone swaps out a harness right away. They prefer one wiring style over the other.
This may be where a change of tone comes in, for some.
Have you considered the wiring style?

But as mentioned in a post above. If you install a new harness and use the same value of Pot's and Cap's (and the same wiring technique) you won't notice much of a difference in tone, if any.


I've upgraded the nut on my three Epi's with a Tusq as well. I don't know about any change in tone, but I do it because it fixes the D and G string tuning issue where the string binds up on the nut a little. I also like the look of the black nut.

The other mod I like to do on my Epi's is upgrade the tuners from 14:1
The standard tuners are okay.
But after I got an 2002(?) Epi custom with 16:1, I had to upgrade my other two to 18:1

You ask about a getting "significant upgrade in tone" with the ProBuckers.
Probuckers are a pretty good stock pickup, for their output power classification.
What about the tone do you think needs upgrading.
Upgrading tone is a concept that confuses me a little.

Hope there is some useful info in there for ya.
Have fun with your modding journey.
 

sasquatch

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What Dr. B Good said is about all you need. I bought a $14 Epiphone wiring harness from China so I could replace the dime sized pots and box switch in a Vietnamese build I bought recently. Sure Works Fine!!
 

Deek

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That's a pretty pricy harness.
Top notch parts for sure, but pricy, none the less.

You mention you have both a Standard and a Traditional.

The stock wiring of these harness are different.
The Traditional has "50's" wiring and the Standard has, well, standard wiring.
Have you noticed a turning sensitivity, range difference, when using the pots between these two guitars?
This is often why someone swaps out a harness right away. They prefer one wiring style over the other.
This may be where a change of tone comes in, for some.
Have you considered the wiring style?

But as mentioned in a post above. If you install a new harness and use the same value of Pot's and Cap's (and the same wiring technique) you won't notice much of a difference in tone, if any.


I've upgraded the nut on my three Epi's with a Tusq as well. I don't know about any change in tone, but I do it because it fixes the D and G string tuning issue where the string binds up on the nut a little. I also like the look of the black nut.

The other mod I like to do on my Epi's is upgrade the tuners from 14:1
The standard tuners are okay.
But after I got an 2002(?) Epi custom with 16:1, I had to upgrade my other two to 18:1

You ask about a getting "significant upgrade in tone" with the ProBuckers.
Probuckers are a pretty good stock pickup, for their output power classification.
What about the tone do you think needs upgrading.
Upgrading tone is a concept that confuses me a little.

Hope there is some useful info in there for ya.
Have fun with your modding journey.
Thanks. I really can't answer some of the details you ask about. The main issue is all in all the guitar sounds a little "muffled" or muddled compared to its Gibson cousin. Is it the best it can be, or is there a way to liven it up a bit and bring through more character, if there is character in there to bring out?
 

DrBGood

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Probuckers have tons of character and are tone rich. They're amongst the best humbuckers Epiphone has ever put in their guitars. Do you want all your guitars sounding the same ? I would welcome the change.

Play with pickup height still, and your amp EQ. It's in there somewhere, you just have to find a way to bring it out.
 

Jymbopalyse

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Thanks. I really can't answer some of the details you ask about. The main issue is all in all the guitar sounds a little "muffled" or muddled compared to its Gibson cousin. Is it the best it can be, or is there a way to liven it up a bit and bring through more character, if there is character in there to bring out?

Play with pickup height and fine tune with pole height.

I simply HATED the pickups in my first Epi.

Until I re-adjusted the pickup height.
 

Deek

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Play with pickup height and fine tune with pole height.

I simply HATED the pickups in my first Epi.

Until I re-adjusted the pickup height.
You know this is great advice and a big duh in my part since I did just this on my Fenders and the difference was huge.
 

Deek

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Play with pickup height and fine tune with pole height.

I simply HATED the pickups in my first Epi.

Until I re-adjusted the pickup height.
Okay, I cranked the hell out of them a lot higher and lo and behold, the guitar now has a similar chime or whatever the heck it is I love so much about my 2014 LP Traditional! I'll fiddle with more fine adjustments I swear! Darn it all, I was looking forward to learning how to soldier. :)

Thanks!

Here is a pic of my two pretty Les Pauls

385832
 
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