Epiphone '61 SG Special

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by Nick79, Dec 13, 2019.

  1. Nick79

    Nick79 New Member

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    Hi guys, proud owner of a 1961 SG Special, which i picked up for £200 a while ago. Beautiful guitar, lovely to play and the build quality is great.

    But the pick ups arent quite doing it for me. Has anyone here replaced the P90's on theirs? Just looking for some pointers on what to go for as its a minefield... For reference i want some that a bit livelier, the stocks ones just seem a bit dead to me.

    Thanks.
    Nick
     
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  2. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Really ?




    I did change them for Boutique P90's, Sanford Magnetics then Gibson P90S from a Melody Maker. It didn't take long for the originals to come back in the guitar.

    How's their height ? Show us. A P90 is real sensitive to its distance from strings.

    If those are your first P90, you might have to put in some time to find their sweet spot. A P90 is a different beast. But you'll have a hard time finding much better than the ones in there. Maybe different, but not better. I have yet to hear an Epiphone P90 that sounds bad.

    Hey ... welcome. And if we don't see that beauty, it's like it doesn't exist.

    Here's the one I had.

    02 neige_tonemapped.jpg
     
  3. Nick79

    Nick79 New Member

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    Nice sound clips! You've got me thinking now... I haven't got the guitar to hand, but i've never played with the pick up height so maybe that could improve things. Its my first guitar with P90's, i'm usually a humbucker guy.
    Whats the general consensus on pick up height with these?

    Cheers
     
  4. vancouverois

    vancouverois Member

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    I had a black one, I replaced the pickups with Lollars P90.
    The Lollars were an improvement but I can say that the original ones were quite good sounding.
    My guess is that Seymour Duncan Antiquities P90 may be the real deal, the Lollars were very clean and polite.

    Some guitarists/luthiers measure the distance between the pickups pole pieces and the strings, some other do it by ear or to taste.
     
  5. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Thanks.

    P90 pups are real sensitive to height. Too low they sound thin, too high they can be ice pick or boomy. Here's how I adjust them and I haven't yet tried a set I didn't like.

    I set the bridge pickup (measured at the pole) height to about two credit card thickness distance from bottom of strings (1/8" or ±3mm). No closer, or magnets will dampen sustain. If it sounds good, I leave it there. Too hot ? ½ turn of each screw at a time to lower it where I want it. Check it clean AND with overdrive. Once I have that one at the sweet spot, I go to the neck.

    Neck tone has to be different from middle position. Many people have 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, kinda Strat like. 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 lower it a full screw turn and compare it to middle. If it sounds the same, it is still too high. I go on until I hear three different balanced tones out of the three switch positions.

    Take your time, it's worth it. Do it a second time to make sure you really found their sweet spot. That's a fun adjustment and it is by far the cheapest modification you can do to a guitar and probably the one that has the most drastic effect on tone.
     

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