FNG with first (Epi) SG. Under construction....

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by FishmanTx, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. FishmanTx

    FishmanTx New Member

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    Howdy all! FNG here with my first SG. I know it's only an Epi, but doing best I can with what I got. I paid $60 for this poor baby, and she needs a lot of love. The body, neck, and finish are in great shape, but the pick guard, pups, and electronics all gotta go. i'll be going with the Mojotone '59 PAF (hot) clones (9.1k/7.4k) and the pre-wired control kit. Still sourcing a proper pickguard and am looking at GreasyGroove or Pickguard Planet for that part. Tuners will be Grover Vintage 135N. The tailpiece and Tunomatic look ok, but....may change all for gold tone hardware to match the black body. Knobs will be vintage style "top or witch hat" with label inserts. The (untensioned) neck and frets are absolutely flat and perfect. Pics coming soon...

    As this is an EPI, please feel free to comment on your opinions on what I'm doing or what else should be done.

    Thanks for reading!
    Fish

    SG-310 Before A - SMALL.jpg SG-310 Before B - SMALL.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
  2. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Good deal ! That is a great guitar and I don't see why you want to go all out and spend money on things that are doing well, what they were designed to.

    You'll have a hard time finding a fitting pickguard. What's wrong with this one ?
    All the electronics are perfectly fine in a G-310. Problems here ?
    Pickup ... have you played them ? What is wrong with them ? Did you try adjusting their height ?

    People too often replace perfectly good components for the sake of it and end up with something that sounds ... the same.
     
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  3. FishmanTx

    FishmanTx New Member

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    Hey DocB! Thx for the response!
    Yeah, when I get the pix up, you'll see what I mean. The hardware and pickguard have taken a beating and have first signs of corrosion on all the metal hardware and pot stems from salt air down here in Texas. The pickguard is warped and cracked, the pots are scratchy and flakey and missing one knob and mount nut. Pickguard Planet has 3-4 different forms for the G-310, I guess to keep up with minor shape changes over the years; i.e. flat neck slot vs rounded neck slot, etc. The finish is ok with only one small spot to buff out. This poor baby needs a LOT of love, so I figured.."We can rebuild her, we have the technology...".

    I'm heavily leaning toward all gold tone hardware and prefer the old style covered pickups rather than open coils (aesthetically speaking). I'm preferring a little hotter pickup in the bridge, so going with the matched set.

    This video made up my mind on the pickups. Original PAFs at 2:45 and the hot clones at 8:54 https://youtu.be/1SshRFiFGdA?t=165+
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  4. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    You really don't need to spend 3 times what you paid for the guitar, to get good sounding pups. Get a set from Guitar Madness for less than $40, you won't regret it. He's got Alnico 5, Alnico 2 and ceramic.

    I'd go for those Alnico 2.

    s-l1600.jpg

    https://www.ebay.com/sch/m.html?_ss...13.TR4.TRC0.A0.H0.Xp94.TRS0&_nkw=p94&_sacat=0

    I played them side by side with Gibson P94 and ended up selling the Gibson to keep those, really !
    If you want to hear a shootout, just say so.
     
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  5. FishmanTx

    FishmanTx New Member

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    Understood and appreciate the recommendation, but want a little more flexibility and these are alnico 4 and only slightly overwound (9.1k) and give that little extra bite. The Mojotones are on the recommendation of a friend who is a guitar tech/luthier. I mainly play in studio and love to play several different sounds as well as my own, Alex Lifeson being my main influence, from Sabbath/Led Zep/Frank Marino to Breaking Benjamin, etc, to more modern rock/metal. Loving Devin Townsend right now. But I guess what prompted me down the SG road was Dweezil's tone playing the Zappa Plays Zappa show.
    I'm trying not to have to compensate with extra rack gear or pedals for tone correction when switching around to different artists, rather keep it in a window I can control from my POD XT Pros, whose EQ leaves much to be desired so much so that I considered a midi eq like the old MEQ14 on the input. The POD brings an extra layer of mud to the game, but it's cheaper than AxeFx (which sounds way cleaner). I used to run EMGs and they were awesome but got tired of changing batteries cuz I would forget to unplug the cord. Learned my lesson on that after a near lightning strikes EMP was picked up by the strings (and standard HB pups) and blew out the front ends of 2 POD XTs, a UX1 and a GuitarPort A/D interface in one shot. All I heard after the thunder was "Daddy, why are your guitar strings making blue sparks?". :wow: So now I'm down to one POD instead of three.
    Anyway, I'm no expert on pups and mostly depend on others to help me decide what to look at. I want the classic tones, but also to be able to play the things I can't with my Ibanez shredder. Too much bite. With kids in college I have to buy a little here and there and the equipment budget is such that i can afford upgrades but not new instruments.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
  6. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    If you're on a budget then I would tend to agree with the Dr., plenty of great inexpensive pickups out there. I have used Vanson and Wilkinson ones and can recommend them. Same with the wiring, if you can solder it's usually more cost effective to buy your own components and build your own harness. You may be able to re-use some of the original components too if there's nothing wrong with them.

    In the end though it's your guitar and you should do what you like with it, but why spend more than you have to. Welcome to the site, and we're going to need some pics. :D
     
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  7. FishmanTx

    FishmanTx New Member

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    S'up Plankton!
    Much as I'd like to, if I had the money I'd just buy the real deal Gibson (like a proper double-neck!!) and not worry about a build project, but $40 vs $100 is no big deal really and I like the Mojo sound (already ordered). In other words, I can shell out $500 on parts, but any more than that requires budgetary planning. :dude: BUT this is a build to be my Go-To guitar, replacing my Ibanez, and unless or until I hear a comparison of stock 59 PAFs and all the others in a controlled situation, playing the same thing on the same equipment, nothing is likely to change. Unfortunately, there's no video of that comparison I've found cuz I was only looking for the mojo (vid link above). So, like Pat Travers once stated..go for what you know.
    I am highly capable with electronics, but do not care for the hassle of it when for few bucks more, Mojotone (and others) have pre-wired kits available. Actually, I'm going solderless in case I want to try other pups down the road and Mojo uses classic caps and Switchcraft selectors. I don't necessarily want to get hung up on the electronics when it's really the pickguard and hardware that concerns me most. The hardware as well as the electronics has to be changed as it is showing corrosion (mentioned earlier) and it seems it has been exposed to salt either in the air or maybe even saltwater damage. (Read my second post). All the hardware WILL be changed, so are there any issues with the Epi stock hardware (other than tuners which are crap), nut, etc.? If I go gold tone, do I stick with stock Gibson/Epi parts or is their better out there?
    This is, after all, my first SG. Ibanez? I can go all day. Epiphone? I hear mostly bad but know little other than what I hear. Same reason I don't buy a real Epi ES-335 or 1275, cracking and snapping necks. So what are the (real not rumored) quirks of the SG besides tuners? I need to get edu-ma-cated... :naughty:
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
  8. FishmanTx

    FishmanTx New Member

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    Ok, here's the parts list so far...

    Grover Vintage 135G (Gold) tuners - Antique Electronics - $46.75 (Stewmac wanted $65 for that ****!!)
    MojoTone "59 Clone Hot" Humbucker Pickup Set (9.1k/7.4k)(Gold covers) - Mojotone - 219.95
    Mojotone Solderless SG Guitar Wiring Harness - Mojotone - 119.95
    Gotoh Stop Bar w/ Studs & Inserts (Gold) - Mojotone - 27.99
    Gotoh Nashville Style Tune-o-matic Bridge GE103B Post Mount (Gold) - Mojotone - 25.99
    3-ply beveled PG 38806: Epiphone G-310 SG curved neck pocket, 2-hole HB pickups - Pickguard Planet - 40.00
    TTL = $480.63
    Sources may vary as I find better pricing....

    Original PUP specs
    650 R = 12.1K Ohm
    700 T = 16.9K Ohm

    New pics above....
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
  9. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    What's wrong with the tuners? As far as quirks with Epiphones, I can't think of any with the entire brand, or their SG models for that matter, individual guitars may have their own though.

    So including the original purchase price you'll have a second hand G-310 that cost you about $550. Personally I would spend that sort of money differently, but you should do what makes you happy.

    Gotoh hardware is a good value, and there's no need to spend more IMO.
     
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  10. dub-setter

    dub-setter Well-Known Member

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    :shock:
    thats a lot of cash goin into a
    mid/ low level epi...

    although i like /understand the fact to upgrade this...
    i would go more for a used g400 vintage then,
    (around 250-300,-)

    don t see the point in throwin that amount
    into a g310...
    (as previous posts: wilkinson pick ups
    and maybe some new pots and caps/switches)
    costs:
    around 50,-


    only my 5 cents​
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
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  11. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Exactly that.

    If you eventually want to sell that guitar (because it might happen), you'll get the market price of a regular G310 and not a penny more for the upgrades.​
     
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  12. FishmanTx

    FishmanTx New Member

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    (NEW PICS ABOVE ON FIRST POST)
    Guys, thanks for the replies, but it's time to get the elephant OUT of the room now, so we can move forward. I'm not trying to be a butt about it but we gotta clear the air here...

    Sorry for the wall-o'-text...

    First, I don't / haven't ever sold any of my guitars, though I have given a couple away. I currently have 10. Most of the "corpses" of previous builds were stripped and went to the burn pile unless the neck or a body was useful somewhere else.

    Now to answer the dominant question of WHY.

    Suffice it to say...BECAUSE I CHOOSE TO DO SO. Parts to me are PARTS, guitar bodies are BODIES. Like anyone who has built a car around a specific engine or some quirky artsy fartsy hot rod, it's because I choose to do so. When I find the next SG body, the parts will migrate into THAT one. This isn't my first rodeo, it's not even my FOURTH ( I've been at this over 30years), but it IS my first SG. Heck, I once put EMGs (81/85) in a (free to me) plywood bodied Kramer Striker to compensate for the lack of sustain and tone (worked too!). The next step REPLACED the plywood body with basswood. Later, I gave it back to my BFF, who gave it to me in the first place, upgraded and playable. From a $300 POS to a screamin' demon. I build around tone and hardware not bodies per se, but body styles that interest me. If I don't find another SG body later I'll probably CNC one from basswood, mahogany, or maybe even bubinga...as long as the neck is good. If not, I'll find another "corpse" to work with. The only "loss" to this build is the pickguard which is unique to the 310. All else can migrate to another SG. In the end I could build an entire SG from the ground up. Wouldn't be branded, but oh well.

    NOW do you get it? This 310 is temporary. It's a corpse to be built upon, like the Kramer... :thumb:

    That's right! I'm the evil Dr. Frankenfiddle!! :wow:

    Anyway, I could easily take that $550 and buy a brand new Harley Benton double neck WITH a case, but I choose not to. I like this better...for now...

    Now that's out of the way.... :dude:

    To get back to the question at hand...
    If I'm replacing hardware anyway, should I stick with Epi/Gibby, or should i use GOTOH or other for the bridge and tailstop? Thanks Plankton, for the response on "quirks". I've read a few people replacing the bridge with GOTOH part, do I assume because it's a better bridge? I also have to assume the Nashville bridge because the APx (whatever it was, API?) seems for earlier models. These are the answers I need so as to buy the proper part the first time. Again, if this was Ibanez, no sweat, but this is a brand(s) I'm unfamiliar with and don't know the pros and cons of the brand other than Epi neck issues.... As for the tuners, first, I like the tulips and the vintage look. Second, they feel sloppy. The only thing ordered so far, is the guts.

    Just trying to make myself clearly understood. Cool?

    Awesome! Rock on! :dude:
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
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  13. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Pffft ... go for it then, splurge away. Don't forget bling !
     
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  14. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    No worries mate, you asked for advice and that's what people gave, no one is trying to judge you. Like I said above, do what makes you happy. :D

    I replaced the stock ABR style bridge on my G400 Pro because it was too narrow for me to get proper intonation. Otherwise there was nothing wrong with it. I chose a Gotoh Nashville style bridge because they're wider, have a good reputation and are reasonably priced.
     
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  15. FishmanTx

    FishmanTx New Member

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    Yeah no sweat! I should have anticipated and explained myself better than I did up front and never used the word "opinion" in an open format without qualifying it! LOL! I do a lot of stuff people think i'm nuts for doing. But it's what I like! I AM weird.

    AH! ABR that's what it was! Awesome, yeah will probably need a little more travel on the saddles. I need to get the rig strung up under tension first to see how it lays and take the ruler to it. The neck LOOKS good, but you know how that goes, under tension could have a twist, bow, or some such to shanghai proper strobe. That's why haven't ordered the rest yet. the pups I can use in my other gear all else fails, the wiring kit, well that's a risky gig but trying to save shipping. All else I can find ways to still use the body. I actually don't expect any issues, but you know...stuff happens.
     
  16. FishmanTx

    FishmanTx New Member

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    Got the gold tone goin on, what other would you suggest? LOL!!
     
  17. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't know, I tend to debling everything I touch. I hate bling.
     
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  18. Lunacy the Faded

    Lunacy the Faded Active Member

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    When you find an SG with a really good neck and frets, its get hooked all the way up! I wanna see some pics of the parts haul and progress, welcome to ESG! A $60 guitar gets the works, its got a good home finally
     
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  19. GraphX12

    GraphX12 Member

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    I second this ^, but in my case I had a rattling ABR wire retainer along with wanting more intonation travel (I chose TonePros). I also purchased Grover 135N Vintage 3+3 tulip tuners because "I thought" I needed to replace the stock Epis. The stock ones actually work perfectly fine so the Grovers sit unopened. A bone nut rounds out my upgrades.
     
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  20. Beery Swine

    Beery Swine Member

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    This'll be slightly off topic, but yeah, that happens a lot, but sometimes replacement works and fits perfectly. I bought a Jackson soloist with "Duncan Designed" pickups. I gave 'em a shot, a whole 10 minutes, but they sucked. I knew I wanted this guitar tuned to D standard with a custom .011-.054 string set, so I went with a beefier and less piercing set: the SD Full Shreds. Absolutely perfect for this guitar and application and could not be/have been happier.
     
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