New Standard 50s

2old2rock

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I'm an old coot who's just getting back into playing guitar after hanging it up for more than 25 years. As with a few other hobbies, I have my son to blame, being inspired by his decision to return to the instrument as well.

Back when I still played, I lusted after the LP's hanging on the wall at the local shops. Back then, the only affordable options were LPSO's (Les Paul Shaped Objects) that had neither the look, tone, nor playability of the real thing.

Fast forward to today and I was pleased to discover the Epiphone Inspired by Gibson line of guitars. My local center had only one Epiphone LP left in stock, an LP Standard 50's gold top ("Gold Metallic"). I almost bought it without playing it first, but playing it next to lower-end Gibsons costing more than twice as much only helped seal the deal. The only thing lacking about this guitar is the pickups need just a tad more output. Other than that they sound surprisingly good.

The first thing I had to do was fix an intonation problem on the low E. It was so sharp that I had to adjust it almost to end end of travel to get it right. The other 5 strings were close to perfect. It's not a finger pressure issue, it was just that far off. I anticipate a new set of strings may negate that adjustment.

25 years makes a huge difference in my ability to play. I have short fingers, but when younger I had no problem stretching large intervals. Man, I have lost a ton of flexibility in my old age! I may not get back to where I used to be, but hopefully I can loosen up enough to play well and have fun.
 

DrBGood

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I'm an old coot who's just getting back into playing guitar after hanging it up for more than 25 years. As with a few other hobbies, I have my son to blame, being inspired by his decision to return to the instrument as well.

Back when I still played, I lusted after the LP's hanging on the wall at the local shops. Back then, the only affordable options were LPSO's (Les Paul Shaped Objects) that had neither the look, tone, nor playability of the real thing.

Fast forward to today and I was pleased to discover the Epiphone Inspired by Gibson line of guitars. My local center had only one Epiphone LP left in stock, an LP Standard 50's gold top ("Gold Metallic"). I almost bought it without playing it first, but playing it next to lower-end Gibsons costing more than twice as much only helped seal the deal. The only thing lacking about this guitar is the pickups need just a tad more output. Other than that they sound surprisingly good.

The first thing I had to do was fix an intonation problem on the low E. It was so sharp that I had to adjust it almost to end end of travel to get it right. The other 5 strings were close to perfect. It's not a finger pressure issue, it was just that far off. I anticipate a new set of strings may negate that adjustment.

25 years makes a huge difference in my ability to play. I have short fingers, but when younger I had no problem stretching large intervals. Man, I have lost a ton of flexibility in my old age! I may not get back to where I used to be, but hopefully I can loosen up enough to play well and have fun.
About your pickups lacking something, get a screwdriver and play with their height. It is by far the most efficient, cheap, fast mod you can do to get a better tone out of any electric guitar. Every pickup has a different sweet spot, find yours.

Here's how I do it.

I set the bridge pickup (pole) height to about two credit card thickness distance from the bottom of the unfretted strings (1/8" or ±3mm). If it sounds good, I leave it there. Too hot ? Go ½ turn of each screw at a time to lower it where I want it (counter clockwise for humbucker, clockwise for P90). Test clean AND with dirt. Once I have that one at the sweet spot, I go to the neck pup.

Any neck pickup will sound boomy if adjusted too high.

Neck tone has to be different from middle position. Many people have the neck pup adjusted so it gives the same tonality as middle position. Not good. Neck pup has to be adjusted so middle position gets a quacky or almost acoustic tone. You'll know what I mean when you get there. So, I raise the neck pup until it starts to sound boomy. Notes will seem to be overwhelmed with too much bass. Now I lower it a full screw turn and compare it to middle. If it sounds the same, the neck pup is still too high. I go on until I hear three different balanced tones out of the two pup.

That is a fun thing to do. Take your time and you will find the sweet spot for each pickup.
 

BDW60

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I'm an old coot who's just getting back into playing guitar after hanging it up for more than 25 years. As with a few other hobbies, I have my son to blame, being inspired by his decision to return to the instrument as well.

Back when I still played, I lusted after the LP's hanging on the wall at the local shops. Back then, the only affordable options were LPSO's (Les Paul Shaped Objects) that had neither the look, tone, nor playability of the real thing.

Fast forward to today and I was pleased to discover the Epiphone Inspired by Gibson line of guitars. My local center had only one Epiphone LP left in stock, an LP Standard 50's gold top ("Gold Metallic"). I almost bought it without playing it first, but playing it next to lower-end Gibsons costing more than twice as much only helped seal the deal. The only thing lacking about this guitar is the pickups need just a tad more output. Other than that they sound surprisingly good.

The first thing I had to do was fix an intonation problem on the low E. It was so sharp that I had to adjust it almost to end end of travel to get it right. The other 5 strings were close to perfect. It's not a finger pressure issue, it was just that far off. I anticipate a new set of strings may negate that adjustment.

25 years makes a huge difference in my ability to play. I have short fingers, but when younger I had no problem stretching large intervals. Man, I have lost a ton of flexibility in my old age! I may not get back to where I used to be, but hopefully I can loosen up enough to play well and have fun.
I also have a 50s Standard. The Probuckers gain some clarity and general tone improvement if you lower the pickups a touch from the factory set up and then raise all the pole pieces. A good full 360* turn. Made a nice difference to mine.
 

BDW60

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About your pickups lacking something, get a screwdriver and play with their height. It is by far the most efficient, cheap, fast mod you can do to get a better tone out of any electric guitar. Every pickup has a different sweet spot, find yours.

Here's how I do it.

I set the bridge pickup (pole) height to about two credit card thickness distance from the bottom of the unfretted strings (1/8" or ±3mm). If it sounds good, I leave it there. Too hot ? Go ½ turn of each screw at a time to lower it where I want it (counter clockwise for humbucker, clockwise for P90). Test clean AND with dirt. Once I have that one at the sweet spot, I go to the neck pup.

Any neck pickup will sound boomy if adjusted too high.

Neck tone has to be different from middle position. Many people have the neck pup adjusted so it gives the same tonality as middle position. Not good. Neck pup has to be adjusted so middle position gets a quacky or almost acoustic tone. You'll know what I mean when you get there. So, I raise the neck pup until it starts to sound boomy. Notes will seem to be overwhelmed with too much bass. Now I lower it a full screw turn and compare it to middle. If it sounds the same, the neck pup is still too high. I go on until I hear three different balanced tones out of the two pup.

That is a fun thing to do. Take your time and you will find the sweet spot for each pickup.
The only way I have ever gotten a sound I like out of the middle is to roll the neck volume off to between 7-8, regardless of how low the neck pickup is. Otherwise, it’s never truly something in the middle -- rather, it’s just a nuanced neck tone.

You can hear the cocked wah thing happening as you slowly roll it off with all the other controls dimed. As soon as I hear it, I stop. Now you‘ve got a tone that truly features the best of both pickups and isn’t dominated by either.
 

DrBGood

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The only way I have ever gotten a sound I like out of the middle is to roll the neck volume off to between 7-8, regardless of how low the neck pickup is. Otherwise, it’s never truly something in the middle -- rather, it’s just a nuanced neck tone.

You can hear the cocked wah thing happening as you slowly roll it off with all the other controls dimed. As soon as I hear it, I stop. Now you‘ve got a tone that truly features the best of both pickups and isn’t dominated by either.
Try lowering that neck pup some more and the middle sound will come alive. Rolling off some neck volume still gets you the cocked wah thing but with less roll of.
 

2old2rock

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Thanks for the tips everyone! I'll play around with adjustments some more after I get used to playing it and start building up callouses again.
 

2old2rock

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Just a quick update on the LP. I ended up returning it. :eek:

As much as I liked the sound, I just couldn't get used to the weight and neck contour. I picked up an Epi SG Special which is much easier and enjoyable for me to play. The Epi P-90 Pro's are very nice sounding with the right amount of sweetness and punch.

Hopefully in the future I'll find a nice affordable LP with a slim taper neck that weighs less than 10lbs(!), but for now the SG offers everything I'm looking for. I do have to say that Epiphone is turning out some very nice work lately,
 

EpiLP1985

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Just a quick update on the LP. I ended up returning it. :eek:

As much as I liked the sound, I just couldn't get used to the weight and neck contour. I picked up an Epi SG Special which is much easier and enjoyable for me to play. The Epi P-90 Pro's are very nice sounding with the right amount of sweetness and punch.

Hopefully in the future I'll find a nice affordable LP with a slim taper neck that weighs less than 10lbs(!), but for now the SG offers everything I'm looking for. I do have to say that Epiphone is turning out some very nice work lately,
The Rounded C carve was a big selling point for me. I have wierd hands: big palms but shorter fingers. So slim necks cause my hand some stress. I’ve always love epiphone but it sounds like they have really knocked it out of the park with this newest series.
 

ucsteve

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Just a quick update on the LP. I ended up returning it. :eek:

As much as I liked the sound, I just couldn't get used to the weight and neck contour. I picked up an Epi SG Special which is much easier and enjoyable for me to play. The Epi P-90 Pro's are very nice sounding with the right amount of sweetness and punch.

Hopefully in the future I'll find a nice affordable LP with a slim taper neck that weighs less than 10lbs(!), but for now the SG offers everything I'm looking for. I do have to say that Epiphone is turning out some very nice work lately,
check out the orig 60s, i believe it has the slim taper style neck. I tend to lean towards the classic fatter neck style, so that and the goldtop were the clinchers for me.
 


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