Changing Humbuckers in Epiphone G-400

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by abl, Jun 24, 2018.

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  1. abl

    abl New Member

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    I heard a lot of good things about changing the stock humbuckers, so I need some help deciding which one to order. My equipment: Guitar - Epiphone SG g-400, Amp - Vox VT40+.
    I like playing: Metallica, Nirvana, Pixies, AC/DC, The shadows, The Ventures, etc.
    I would like to have better clarity than the stock Humbuckers, but not above 100$ for the pair. Which bridge and neck Humbuckers do you recommend? these were recommended to me so far:
    1. Tonerider Alnico II Classics / Alnico VI Classics
    2. Golden Age Parsons Street Humbuckers Alnico 2 / Alnico 5
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
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  2. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    It's hard to recommend pickups, as tone is such a personal thing.

    What don't you like about your current pickups? Which G400 model do you have?

    You mention wanting more distortion, the only way to get this by changing pickups is to go to something hotter, but often this results in a loss of clarity which was your other want.

    Personally I favour low output alnico 5 pickups in an SG. If I want more distortion I get it from my amp or a pedal.
     
  3. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to ETSG!

    +1 on plankton's comment... I'd go for clarity and musicality of tone
    and get distortion from a pedal.

    So I recommend the Golden Age hum bucker for the neck position (A2 magnet)
    and the Golden Age Overwound Humbucker for the bridge position. (A5 Magnet).
    I have one of those Golden Age Overwound pickups in the bridge position
    of my Epi Wilshire replica, and it sounds superb. It's a lot hotter than the
    neck pickup, but not over the top, so the clarity is still there. The Overwound
    pickup is about 12 Ohms, which is a great match for the lower output neck
    p'up.

    The Epiphone G-400 has hot ceramic magnet p'ups in it I believe.
    Nothing wrong with those, you could use them for a good long time and have
    no complaints, especially playing through a Vox amp like you have.

    I have an older Vox VT-30 which i really like a lot. Before you spend any money
    changing pickups, get an amp stand and get that Vox up off the floor. It will give
    you a lot more clarity there.
    03 amp stand angle@100.jpg

    Also, I recommend lining the inside of the speaker cab
    with foam glued on the sides and back, or just stuffing it with a pillow case full of
    old tee shirts and whatnot. Don't let anything touch the speaker cone... but lining
    or stuffing the cabinet will also improve the tone you hear from your Vox amp.
    09 foam fill@100.jpg
    Maybe you don't need to swap pickups after all.
     
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  4. abl

    abl New Member

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    I edited and remove the "distortion" part. Which part do you recommend the Alnico to be?

    Thank you :)
    I saw a video on the Stewart-MacDonald youtube channel and they recommended the opposite: neck position (A5 magnet) bridge position (A2 Magnet). Whats the difference?
    The video:
     
  5. Saint Toad

    Saint Toad Member

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    Don't remember where I stole the following info.
    If it's incorrect, I am sure someone will speak up.
    'Cause I was thinking that Epi G-400's didn't have ceramic pickups...


    "The "Alnico Classic" & "Alnico Classic Plus" Humbucker Pickups are Epiphone low cost versions of Gibson 490R & 498T and are made in China.

    NECK Pickup
    -8.1k ohms
    -Alnico-V magnet
    -output 6.5 out of 10.0 max
    G-400 Neck = Alnico Classic with Chrome cover

    BRIDGE Pickup
    -13.3k ohms
    -Alnico-V magnet
    -output 7.0 out of 10.0 max
    G-400 Bridge = Alnico Classic Plus with Chrome cover"


    And this is a GREAT suggestion !!!

    Good Luck finding something you like, abl !!


    -st
     
  6. abl

    abl New Member

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  7. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Here's my unpopular advice: Save your money. Adjust your pickup height. Get an eq pedal and distortion pedal if need be. The time spent chasing tone with money and dressing up a guitar would be better spent playing.
     
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  8. iblive

    iblive Well-Known Member

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    I did the pot/wiring update first. 50s wiring schematic. Added the treble bleed circuit goodies. A bit later I added Gibby 57 pups because I just thought I should. I can say to my untrained ears the pots and wiring mods made a way bigger difference than did the pups. I think part of the reasoning there is that the OEM electronics are pretty much junk in an Epi while the pups are adequate or better. I think I would have liked to get better used the guitar with the updated pot and OEM pups.
     
  9. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    Here a quick explanation of the different magnet types,

    http://www.mojotone.com/support/kb-pickups/What-is-the-right-pickup-for-me

    I find that I seem to end up liking alnico 5 magnets in everything.
     
  10. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Hi abl, and welcome to the SG zoo.

    I'm with Biddlin on this.

    Before you go spending your hard earned cash on things you might not need, carefully consider the advice given you in this thread. And oh yeah, as the saying goes here, if we don't see your guitar, we have a hard time believing it exists.

    What year is your G400 ? This will tell us what you have in there and how to deal with it.

    How high are the pups adjusted ? Can we see a pic of your pups height sideways. That could very well be your problems.

    How long have you had the guitar ? You have to take the time (a few months) to know it, before you start replacing things.

    When chasing tone, adjuting pup height is the easiest/cheapest thing to do and it has the MOST dramatic effet. Really !

    That VT40+ of yours will get you all the tone adjustments you need. I have two Valvetronix myself and there's not much you can't dial on these.
     
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  11. abl

    abl New Member

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    I finally decided to buy the Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB & SH-2n Jazz HOT RODDED Humbucker Pickup Set.
    Thank you for your help :)
     
  12. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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  13. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    lots of great advice here and some corrections of statements I made,
    which is a good thing.

    anyway, don't forget to get rid of the pots and switch while you've got your
    guitar on the bench. I'd agree with some of these others, that if you install
    good wiring and dependable jack & switch, you could go on using your stock
    pickups, be they Alnico 5 or Alnico 2 or what.

    My experience with the three Epi guitars I've worked on is that the weak link
    is the wiring, and the selector switch. I'd replace that first, before buying new
    pickups.

    My experience with working on Epiphone guitars is that the stock parts are
    serviceable as issued, but some of us love our Epiphones and feel driven to
    improve them, and some of us end up spending more on new parts than we
    spent on the durn guitar. (I've done that...)

    It's a slippery slope. Biddlin's advice to spend money on lessons and spend time
    on playing your guitar is right on. Me, I've improved my Epiphones from stem to
    stern... I enjoy doing it, and I enjoy playing them after I've "transformed" them
    from ye pig ear to ye silk purse. *grins

    Good luck with your project.
     
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  14. Chubbles

    Chubbles Active Member

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    Pickups are way too expensive for what they are. It's the name that will cost you. I've read a lot on magnet swaps (replacement). I think I would like to try that sometime.
     
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  15. abl

    abl New Member

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    I have a wonderful guitar builder that lives nearby and I'll let him install the pickups and other electronics.
    I talked to a professional guitar player and teacher about taking lessons later this week too.
     
  16. Lunacy the Faded

    Lunacy the Faded Active Member

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    Adjust them low down and get the poles poking up a bit, not working out then send them to me when you get the new set of pups in :D I'll put them to use somewhere
     
  17. abl

    abl New Member

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    Still waiting for the Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB & SH-2n Jazz HOT RODDED Humbucker Pickup Set I ordered, so I searched around and it seems that many people agree more on SH-1/ PG / black winter. I hope I didn't made a mistake. I saw some YouTube videos (example1, example2) with SG + Hot Rodded and it sounds very good. So why the set is not so popular with SG?
     
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  18. Roca

    Roca Active Member

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    When I get the money im going to throw a set of pearly gates in mine. They are more than half the price I paid for the guitar though!
     
  19. abl

    abl New Member

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    What about the jb/jazz?
     
  20. Roca

    Roca Active Member

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    Don't know what you are talking about.
     
  21. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    You won’t be disappointed! They are absolutely awesome pickup. I am also wanting to put a pair of the antiquities in somethong
     
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