57 Classics in Epi 339?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by Paul G., Oct 9, 2017.

  1. Paul G.

    Paul G. Well-Known Member

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    I've got an Epi 339. I've got a set of '57 Classics I pulled out of an SG.

    I'm thinking a new wiring harness with those pickups should be an improvement in my litttle Epi for almost no money.

    Any thoughts/experience?

    PS -- I've rewired semis before. I know it's a pain, but doable. I don't mind if it pays off.

    P.
     
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  2. Norton

    Norton Active Member

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    I changed the pickups in my 339. It wasn't that bad really.

    The stock pots really aren't bad. The whole coil tapping thing isn't really something I use but with a string or a forceps/small pliers it's not a horrible job.
     
  3. Gahr

    Gahr Well-Known Member

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    '57 Classics are great pickups. You probably can't go wrong.
     
  4. Norton

    Norton Active Member

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    If you're gonna unload the stock pickups I'd take 'em.
     
  5. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    If you've got the skills, and can pay the bills then go for it!
     
  6. Paul G.

    Paul G. Well-Known Member

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    Gonna order the parts tonight. I'll let you know what's what.
     
  7. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    May I suggest Art of Tone for the pots and such? I've made several purchases (mainly through his eBay store for some reason...) and he's done right by me each time. I rather like his 525k 5% pots. The set I bought for my G400 was 530, 521, & a pair of 509K so even tighter than the 500-550 guaranteed range. Even the 250's I got were nice and tight to spec.

    Not being a believer in "Magic Tone Beans", I run Mallory 150 5% caps in whatever spec I need just because I like the axial leads.

    As always, YMMV!
     
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  8. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    '57 classics ought to sound wonderful in your Epiphone.
    I don't know if you've seen my thread on rewiring my Epi ES-339 P-90 pro...
    Here's one over on ETSG: lots of pictures...

    http://www.everythingsg.com/threads/replacing-wiring-on-a-semi-hollow-guitar.29453/

    I got my new wirng harness from Sigler Music and it was very inexpensive.

    https://www.siglermusiconline.com/c...s-for-gibson-cts-switchcraft-pio-paper-in-oil

    The wiring harness I removed from the Epiphone had CTS 500k pots! I didn't
    know that when I ordered the parts, otherwise I might have not done it.
    Does that stand for Chinese Telephone Supply, d'ye think? I don't know
    what to think about that.

    But I went ahead and replaced everything, because I never want to do that
    again. I used fishing line to attach to each component, so I could pull them into
    the proper places. (some guys use aquarium tubing). The reason I replaced all
    the guts and the pickups is because I like this guitar so much. I played it stock
    for quite a while. and the original parts worked fine. The original Epiphone pickups
    sounded quite good, which is why I bought the guitar.

    The ES-339 has a solid center block, so everything has to go in and out through
    the F-hole. (if you'll pardon the expression)... It's not a very fun procedure, but
    once it's done, if you've installed quality components and done good workmanship,
    you should be permanantly upgraded.

    I absolutely love my Epi... The Gibson version cost about eight times as much,
    and for what I paid and for what I got with the Epiphone, there's really nothing to argue over. I'm all for Gibson, but if I bought their ES guitar I'd have to take
    the money out of my life savings.

    I got the Epi, because I'll need that money badly later, the way things are going.
    My ES-339 P-90 pro cost me $339.00 and about $90 for a hard Epi case.
    Mine's very attractive, and I love the neck and the handy size. Balances perfectly.
    The P-90 tones from my set of Rose pickups are excellent... a round woody tone
    from the neck p'up, a jazzy kind of tone, and a growly gritty shrieky kind of rock
    tone from the bridge p'up that brings up all the P-90 sounds of hits of the past.
    Middle position's my fave. No hum...

    So you might want to leave the stock wiring harness in place, and only
    replace the pickups. Your call. I was going to leave the stock wiring in my
    Epi, but the selector switch began to crap out maybe six months after I bought
    the instrument. At that point, I decided that I was so head over heels for this
    guitar that I would replace everything and forget about Epiphone's hardware.

    If you knew you had CTS pots inside your Epi, would you still want to
    replace them? I decided it was a lot of work and hassle and cursing just
    to put back in the same thing I removed. *typical me
     
  9. Paul G.

    Paul G. Well-Known Member

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    Col. -- did you have to ream out the holes to fit 3/8" components? I've done an ES 335 by attaching wire to the components before yanking them, and it was fiddly, but not terrible. If I have to ream the holes, though, I'd have to fish the lines in ex-post.

    Still doable, but gonna take some time and patience.

    Got the Siegler harness -- pre-wired and pretty reasonably priced.

    I like this guitar, it plays beautifully, but I wouldn't mind a bit more clarity. I think good pots and Gibson pickups should land me there.
     
  10. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    no, the stock pots were CTS and so was the Sigler harness, so it all fit just fine.
    Maybe they're all made in China... that wouldn't amaze me to find out.

    The Sigler parts were a pleasure to install because they fit.
    Caledonia 916@100.jpg
     
  11. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    An easy way to find out would be to just remove a knob.

    US coarse spline:
    [​IMG]
    If you count the splines on a coarse knob you will have a total of 18 splines. If you count them on the pot, there are 8 on each side of the split (16 total).

    Metric fine spline:
    [​IMG]
    Fine spline knobs have 24 splines, and the pot has 10 on each side of the split (20 total). It is easier to count the splines on the control than on the knob.
     
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  12. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    the above is quite true, but I believe that Paul was asking
    if the CTS pots fit into the Epiphone holes in the guitar top.
    And on mine, they did.
     
  13. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Right, but metric pots = metric holes. It hurts nothing to check.
     
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  14. Paul G.

    Paul G. Well-Known Member

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    Probably not so final report on pickup swap.

    1. Regret ordering from Sigler. First, the harness was wired like a solid body, with ground wires going around in a "U" shape, connecting the 2 tone pots. Anyone who's ever worked with an ES would have noticed they're all wired with grounds connecting the 2 volume pots. This way, one leg goes in first (neck controls), then the other. After struggling with the harness for too long, stuff tangling all over the place, I pulled it out and relocated the ground. Went in like buttah.

    2. Regret ordering from Sigler. My fault, I didn't read the spec's carefully enough. Seems it's loaded with .047 caps. This is too big for humblebuckers (.022 or even .016 is what you want). Woof comes in fast. In addition, 50s wiring is interactive, so with these monster caps, the volume interaction is much worse. I will eventually redo this with smaller caps.

    3. There is a difference between Alnico Pro (Epi) and Classic '57s. The Gibson pickups are clearer and more 3D. Noticeable. Neck pickup is exceptionally spanky and woody. It sounded good before, but this is stellar.

    Worth doing? Yes. Just should have made my own harness since I have the skills. Just got lazy.

    The end.

    For now.
     
  15. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, there's nothing like the QC you get when you do it yourself. I've never regretted building a harness for anything.

    On a semi-related note. I recently made my own harnesses for some GFS Kwikplug pickups. I didn't care for how scrawny the OEM plug wires were so I tore em down and went up a few gauges for a more robust setup. If the point of the Kwikplug system is fast and easy pickup changes, you'd think the gauge used would be bigger than a single wire from the twisted pairs in a Cat 5 cable. I know you don't need more than that, but a reasonable person would get my point.
     
  16. Paul G.

    Paul G. Well-Known Member

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    .022uf and .016uf orange drops on the way to my house.

    They will go in as soon as I get them.
     
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