Epiphone SG400 custom 3 pickup (antique ivory)

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by Dr John Carter, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. Dr John Carter

    Dr John Carter New Member

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    Hi SG lovers

    I am thinking of buying the Epiphone SG400 custom with gold plated hardware, three humbuckers, finished in antique ivory, it looks very rock and roll and they sell very cheaply on e-bay.

    Do any of you have any thoughts on this model, good, bad or indifferent?

    Thanks
     
  2. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Some players find the pickup placement makes for difficult picking . On the two I've worked on, I found the tonal qualities excellent ! The weight w/o vibrola is about 8 1/2 lbs . and both were neck divers, but the one with OEM Maestro was better balanced .
    BTW I've noticed some deals on Ebay as well and they are indeed tempting, [​IMG]but I fear I've thinned my wife's Roxinol to the limit:( as she just keeps complaining about the pain,:mad: like that helps anything .:hmm: Maybe I could try Stoli in her Malto-meal....:dude:
    Biddlin ;>)/
     
  3. rockerbilly58

    rockerbilly58 Well-Known Member

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    I see them a lot down here and they don't seem to be good sellers. I think their main drawback is the Antique Ivory colour or as I call 'sickly custard yellow'. I know it's a matter of personal taste but I've seen them at ridiculously low prices and I still won't get one because of the colour. Now give me a Candy Apple red model with the white pickguard and I'll snap it up in a second.
     
  4. Dr John Carter

    Dr John Carter New Member

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    I think they look great, not too bothered about the antique ivory colour and with a Gibson equivalent being over ten times the price I think the Gibson is out. The middle pickup could get in the way of playing a bit I suppose but it just looks so cool. As far as I know the middle pickup is controlled by a third volume control (there is a master tone knob) which means you could get a lot of different tones from it. Also Epiphone humbuckers do not have a very good reputation, again any thoughts and comments welcomed
     
  5. mrk

    mrk Active Member

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    I bought one of these as a project a couple of years ago with no guts or hardware. Mine was closer to a white than the antique ivory. I pimped it up with GFS PAF pickups, a maestro and a high quality harness (CTS, switchcraft, etc.). I reallly liked the tone, but I just couldn't get into the neck profile. I'm a slim taper kinda guy, and this one was just too beefy for my taste.
     
  6. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Some epis, especially older ones, are a bit microphonic (keep in mind that other players pay big money for that old Kay microphonic sound, calling it vintage or Gretsch.) and you won't get the crystal clear treble that you get with Gibson or high-end after markets, otherwise you'd have to pay 10 times the price, but I do have a "smooth jazz" playing friend who uses hers for recording with no complaints . If buying one for myself, I'd change the tuners and invest in straplocks . The output jack would also be a likely candidate for replacement, although the last couple of Epi's I've purchased have had better quality hardware and electronic components . (My contact in Guangzhou would say," We are always keenly attuned to the desires of our estimable customers." Yeah, he really talks like that .) I say take the plunge !
    Biddlin ;>)/
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
  7. Dr John Carter

    Dr John Carter New Member

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    Biddlin I Loved your comment about pickups, my guitar tech says he installed some 'very good' PAF replicas in a gibson recently and he thought they sounded awful and microphonic ... perhaps there is a lot of mythology about pickups? If I can get away with buying a 3 pickup custom without my wife noticing I will leaving aside their tonal qualities they look very cool
     
  8. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    You think?

    This is one of the the most BS-prone areas of guitar-ology.

    And the few times I've played on a 3 pickup Gibson guitar, I never found the middle pickup to get in the way, but a lot of guys are put off by this.
     
  9. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    The hot, hand wound bridge pickup that I recently installed in my 98 G-400 is not potted and compared to a Burstbucker is microphonic . Compared to my old ES-225's P-90s, it is acoustically dead . The fact that the coils are a little more unrestricted is probably responsible for some of the harmonic breakup that gives it a more vintage sound . One of the things lacking in many modern instruments is individual character . Every PRS Jimmy Thudpucker autograph sounds just like the one ahead and the one behind on the assembly line.
    BTW I had a great uncle John Carter, who, after a distinguished career in the US Marine Corps, explored and studied much of the Southwestern US . I spent a summer hiking through the Mojave desert with him .
     
  10. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    Great comment...PRS - lovely instruments that I have no interest in for that reason.
     
  11. monkee13

    monkee13 New Member

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    I have one of these in pieces right now. I have been wanting to set it up again with custom wiring. Hum-p90-Hum Three master volume two push/pull coil tapped for the hum's and one master tone. Just trying to figure out how the hell to do the actual wiring in that style. I have the standard bridge version but would love to put a Maestro on it. The neck is a bit beefy for me and it is serious neck diver but still fun to play. Many people don't like the color but personally I love it.
     
  12. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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  13. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Ya don't always get what ya pay for !

    Yeah, I just don't like anything about 'em beyond the looks ! The frets feel uncomfortably high . I hate the locking tuners a lot ! Even when my customer raves about the setup I've done on one, it still feels stiff and sounds dead to me unless heavily saturated with chorus and eq boosting the highs and lows. I haven't played one yet that I could just plug into my Pathfinder and get a good tone . One longtime customer asked me to make his Al Dimeola Prism play more like my 200 buck Strat, I advised him to sell it and by a MiM Strat and bring it to me, with the $3K he'd have leftover and I'd set him right !
    Biddlin ;>)/
     
  14. Dr John Carter

    Dr John Carter New Member

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    Biddlin I am honoured to have the same name as your great uncle, thanks for the tips, might buy one of these if I see one cheap. I already have an Epiphone SG junior with P90s and a wraparound bridge, the pots, switch etc are pretty poor quality but otherwise if floats my boat
     
  15. GTSG

    GTSG Active Member

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    I could see her recording with the Epi. I've A/B'd them with a Special, be it a few years ago. At low volumes they sounded very impressive to me. But as Volume increased not so much imho of course.

    There's a Black Custom on Craigslist here, White plastic, Gold hardware. I had no interest but seen it today for $350. probably sell for $300. I like the white better. You have no picking depth with the three pups. your playing over the pick-ups. Perhaps it works for some, I don't see it with me.

    Microphonics are a funny topic. You know I've listen to Jason Lollar talk about using springs on the pups instead of surgical tubing just cause he liked the microphonics. I play almost all non-waxed/potted humbuckers now and fight with the microphonics but I kinda got seduced by the tone.
     
  16. Barcham

    Barcham Member

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    I have Seymour Duncan Seth Lovers in my Elitist '57 Gold Top. They aren't was potted and can be microphonic and I am totally in love with them. It's all about the tone you're looking for and it's not that difficult to control the squealing and feedback with the volume and tone controls on the guitar. I wouldn't trade them for any other pups in that particular guitar.
     
  17. GTSG

    GTSG Active Member

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    I use them in my favorite axe also. I agree.
     
  18. deMelo

    deMelo Well-Known Member

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    When I bought my own Epi SG G400 there were two available at the store: this custom 3 pick up antique ivory and a standard G400 also in antique ivory, but with the regular 2 pick-up set and without the golden metalware.

    The custom Epi G400:

    [​IMG]


    The "standard" limited edition G400 (my Epi):

    [​IMG]

    I played them both back then (and as I usually do, had them played by someone else for me to listen). The Custom that this topic is about sounded pretty decent to me, but for my particular style of music, I didn't see much use for that extra pick-up other than getting in the way of my picking.

    I must say I found the looks on this one a bit off-putting as well, I never quite liked golden metal (even the pick-ups) on guitars, ans this one had even lots of white plastic on it.

    So I purchased the "standard" G400, which had the same colour, but all black pick guard and details, looked just like the '61 Gibson SG, the all-time classic SG in my opinion, plus it sounded just as good for playing my kind of stuff...

    As for the antique ivory, I didn't fancy it too much at first, I'll always prefer a candy red or black SG, but I must say this one really caught me, just like that not so blond, not so tall, not so bright-eyed girl that would sat next to you in class over the years, until you had no one else to invite to a prom, and... a couple of years later, she's your wife and the woman of your life.

    Besides... if even a Strat can look good in cream colour, why not our beloved SGs?

    So, answering the question in the topic: I have little or nothing against that particular model, but I'd prefer a plain G400... I think I'm a simple kind of guy...

    Cheers!

    P.S. For the "trendy" aspect of it... this was actually the Gibson model that Jimi Hendrix played back in the years:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Kevdog

    Kevdog New Member

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    Did Epiphone also make the g400 Les Paul Classic with three pickups in black?
     
  20. kiwi_rik

    kiwi_rik New Member

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    If you mean the Les Paul 'Custom', yes, they did it in black, white and antique ivory. Mine is custom painted in Pelham Blue (or as close as I could approximate without a valid paint code) :)
     

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