1998 Epi SG400

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by TheKing, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. TheKing

    TheKing New Member

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    Hi there,

    Occasional lurker finally decided to post :-)

    I have a 1998 Epi SG with the Epiphone branded "Bigsby" tremolo that I bought in 1998. I'm looking for some information about it as there doesn't seem much about it on the net. I vaguely recall there was a legal issue with the tremolo so it was withdrawn from sale. Anyone have any information about this model?

    2019-07-22 18.12.46-1.jpg 2019-07-22 18.12.38.jpg

    I really like the guitar but need some advice on upgrades - I put a new set of pickups in it a few years ago (Iron Gear Blues Engine and Dirty Torque) but have never really been happy with them and think I actually prefer the stock ones which I still have (although not sure which is neck and which is bridge :-) ). Recently the toggle switch has started playing up so probably needs replaced so I thought it might be a good time to redo the pickups too?

    What other mods would people recommend while I have the bonnet up?

    Thanks

    Keith
     
  2. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    That is a stellar example of a Korean G400 ! Beautiful deep colored wood grain and no veneer. And that Bigsby ! Has it even been played ? No marks on the pickguard, the guitar looks bran new !

    Here, we gotta see it full size.

    [​IMG]

    And oh ... welcome to da SG Zoo !

    I'd say do first things first.

    Toggle: get a can of Deoxit and spray the inside of the switch. Once you're at it, do the same for the pots. I've cleaned and lubricated toggles on all my Epi's and they still work great.

    Pickups: p l a y wi t h h e i g h t. We never say it enough, adjust those pickup height. That is the cheapest and most effective way to get most pickups to sound great. Find their sweet spot. 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 strings (1/8" or ±3cm). 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 OD. 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 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.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. TheKing

    TheKing New Member

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    Thanks DrB. It is a great looking guitar and I like to look after my gear. It's mostly been played in the house but has been gigged a few times. I did clean the fretboard recently as it was a bit gunked up but overall it's in really good condition.

    I bought it originally as I'm a big fan of 60s west coast rock - Quicksilver and John Cipollina in particular. Always been tempted to try a pickguard mod like the one Javamagic did although not sure I'd have the skill to carry it off?

    b179e598a2f4c6e77df4d3e454e33fbf--john-cipollina-custom-guitars.jpg

    I'll give your suggestions a try and report back.
     
    DanB likes this.
  4. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    What the Dr. said :thumb:

    I will add, if you do decide to go back to the original pickups and don't know which goes where, use a meter to measure the resistance across both leads and put the one with the lower number in the neck position.

    Welcome to ETSG, and nice guitar!
     
    TheKing likes this.
  5. Lunacy the Faded

    Lunacy the Faded Active Member

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    That SG you have is a keeper, the javamagic SG has far too much going on for my taste though!
     

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