Epi G400: New Pickups or New Electronics?

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by nashsed, Nov 10, 2018.

  1. nashsed

    nashsed New Member

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    Hi All,

    I have an Epiphone G400 which is my daily driver. Primarily been a blues player but have rediscovered my love for metal of late.

    My SG feels and plays great for the heavier stuff but doesn't sound as good as it plays. It's just a bit muddy at high gain and there's a certain clarity that I find lacking.

    As a first step should I change the pickups or the electronics? Which do you think will have a bigger impact on the tone?

    I'm sure many of you will say both but I'd like to save money if possible as I don't reside in the US and I'd have to import everything at a great expense.

    Pickups: I was thinking a JB & 59 set
    Electronics: Stew Mac premium wiring kit for SG

    Other suggestions/options are most welcome.
     
  2. Chubbles

    Chubbles Active Member

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    Changing electronics will make very little difference in tone, unless they've worn out.
     
  3. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Tube Screamer pedal.

    When setup properly it will make your pick attack more crisp and eliminate the muddy bass frequencies when palm muting with higher gain settings on the amp.
     
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  4. nashsed

    nashsed New Member

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    I rely on a multi effects pedal or Bias FX in my setup and do use the Tube Screamer setting but still find the sound a bit muddy.

     
  5. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried adjusting the pickup height? How old are the strings?
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018 at 11:55 AM
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  6. iblive

    iblive Well-Known Member

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    My experience. On my G400 I swapped the electronics first. Did the 50s wiring and added the components for the treble bleed circuit. Some time later I did swap out the Epi pups for Gibson 57s. At least in my case I can say the electronics made a bigger difference in tone than did adding the pups. However, bottom line.... the combination rocks.
     
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  7. Lynurd Fireburd

    Lynurd Fireburd Active Member

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    Swapping out the electronics is just going to get you better quality parts and/or userbility, for example pot roll off, etc. Unless the pots/caps are failing/misbehaving in some way you wont hear an audible difference.

    I agree with CG... pickup height first & foremost.

    Convert your tone pots to no-load. 2 simple things that can be done fer free (depending on the brand).

    Stock pickups?
     
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  8. papagayo

    papagayo Active Member

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    I don" t know if this is a good idea to upgrade an Epiphone with new humbuckers and new electronics, you can sale your Epiphone and buy a Gibson SG Special faded or not, no upgrade is necessary and the Gibson will give you more .
     
  9. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    +1
     
  10. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    I don't agree with this. A G400 can be as good if not better as a bottom line Gibson.
     
  11. papagayo

    papagayo Active Member

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    Are you really serious ?
     
  12. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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  13. sazista

    sazista Active Member

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    I put a the typical Seymour Jazz/Jb and 500k pots in my Epi G310. It came out like a new monster. It still doesn't sound as "clear" as the GIbson Faded's 490pups, but not sure why. I think it is a valid point: how much are you willing to put into a guitar to get what you like and "if" you can like that of a Gibson special for around the same price of all the Epi upgrades. My Epi is 2002 made in Indonesia with a very dark, ebony-like thin neck and easy to play. If it were like all the other Epi's I've played that were chunky and not comfortable, like my Gibson, I wouldn't upgrade them. Do your math and figure out what works for you. What the hell did I just say? Okay, in summary, Gibson fadeds may not be that comfortable to you, so check them out first. If your Epi blows doors on it, stick with it and start making music and posting it for us to hear.
     
  14. GrumpyOldDBA

    GrumpyOldDBA Well-Known Member

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    This is kind of a discussion not really going anywhere specific.

    A great even a good guitar player can obviously make an Epiphone come alive. There's nothing much wrong with Epiphones right? Just a marketing price differential and perceived value and resale value part of the equation.

    Any specific guitar can be problematic. Even gibsons come out with nuts that are not exactly quality checked well.

    Personally I am a gibson hp snob that's what I like to have in my hands now. But the 310s and 400s that Epiphone make are very nice.

    Lots of great local bands where the lead guitar and rythym guitar are wailing away on epiphones.
     
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  15. dub-setter

    dub-setter Active Member

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    adriano-agree.gif
     
  16. dub-setter

    dub-setter Active Member

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    btw..
    as stated before :
    you may try first pick heights
    and amp settings...


    but nothing against mods..
    i would go with the wiring kit first,
    then swappping pick ups , if needed.
    (are these the usual alnico classics in yours ?)
     
  17. iblive

    iblive Well-Known Member

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    I would concur. No it isn't a genuine Gibson. Even with mods I still have less in my G400 that a genuine Gibson. No. I'll never get back what I have invested.... but then, I have no plans to sell it. (I still have the first guitar I bought in 1973) So that's not a relevant argument. As for how it sounds and plays. I've had several way smarter guitar players than me play my G400 and to a person have complimented me on how awesome it is.
     
  18. dub-setter

    dub-setter Active Member

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  19. Lynurd Fireburd

    Lynurd Fireburd Active Member

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    Never say never.

    That's why I keep every giblet that I mod, pickups in particular. If I sell something the stock pickups or equivalent go back in. Otherwise you're just giving crap away.
     
  20. papagayo

    papagayo Active Member

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    Budget Gibson SG

    [​IMG]
     

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