1997 Epiphone G-400 Project. Help needed!!

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by NoMoreLuke, Jun 14, 2020.

  1. NoMoreLuke

    NoMoreLuke New Member

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    Hello all,

    I hope you are all well and not being driven too mad by armageddon or whatever this is...

    During lockdown, I decided to have a bit of a clearout, sell some stuff, etc., as I'm sure many of you have done...

    I dusted off my old gig bag which has been sitting on top of a cupboard for the last 15 years and rediscovered my Korean-made 1997 Epiphone G-400. Not sure what specific model it is but... As soon as I picked it up, I 100% knew that I'd never be selling it. It plays like an absolute dream and it's got the nicest feeling neck I've ever come across.

    It's still completely stock, missing a few strings, broken tuners, etc. etc. so I thought I'd spend some time and money on it and turn it into a project. I'm fully aware that it's absolutely not worth it, since simply adding a new set of pups would likely be more than the value of the guitar but I don't mind... I just want to have a play around and see how I can get it sounding. I've decided on a few mods, some of which I have bought already:

    • New tuners (a necessity) - Gibson Deluxe (the vintage ones, since they are most similar to the tuners that the guitar came with) - BOUGHT
    • A 50s wiring kit with the orange drop capacitors, etc. No push pull shenanigans. - BOUGHT
    • New nut (needed) - BOUGHT
    • New bridge - BOUGHT
    • New tailpiece - BOUGHT
    • New pickups (this is where I need a bit of help)
    Now, I've never switched out a set of pickups before but I'm confident in my ability to do so. My issue is that I'm umming and ahhing between a few different options. I play a range of styles but mainly rock/hard rock, so sounding great crunchy but with definition is what I'm going for. I'm playing through a Marshall DSL40CR at the moment. So... The pickup combos I've been thinking of are below. Feel free to suggest some that I haven't thought of. I was looking at Bare Knuckles as well but I've got more experience with Seymour Duncans:

    BRIDGE/NECK:

    • Seymour Duncan Custom 5/Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates - The Custom 5s were VERY strongly recommended to me by a few different people, whose opinion I value, for use in an SG-style guitar. My concern is the scooped mids and pronounced treble. With the SG being already pretty "treble-heavy", I'm concerned that this might make it too harsh. Has anyone tried them? If so, how did you get on with them? The Pearly Gates, I'm less dubious about - if Billy Gibbons used them, it's good enough for me ;). Mids aren't as scooped on there either, so I'm less worried about piercing my eardrums.
    • Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB/Seymour Duncan SH-2 Jazz - I've used this combo in a Les Paul before and I loved the versatility of them as a pair. The JB was especially awesome and I only bought it because Adam Jones apparently uses one but was very happy with it. To be fair, I never used the neck pickup too much in that Les Paul, simply because I loved the JB so much and the style of music (Tool covers) I was playing at the time didn't really call for it, so I'm not an expert on the SH-2 - could potentially swap that out for something else.
    • Seymour Duncan Custom SH-5/Seymour Duncan '59 - Again, a combo for the SG which was recommended to me by a few people. The SH-5 has a lower output than the Custom 5 as far as I'm aware and less of a scooped midrange. The '59 has been highly recommended too, although I THINK I prefer the Pearly Gates.
    Thanks in advance for your help guys!
     

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  2. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    I’m a big fan of Duncan pickups, but if I were you I’d buy a set of Gibson 490 humbuckers off eBay and stick them in. I have them in my Gibson Special Faded and they sound awesome, I don’t know why people take them out! Plus they’d probably be way cheaper than Duncans...
     
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  3. NoMoreLuke

    NoMoreLuke New Member

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    Thanks for that mate. I also have an Epiphone Les Paul 1960s Tribute Plus, which has the Gibson USA '57 Classic Humbuckers in it - I assume that they would be pretty similar to the 490s, since the 490 is the modern equivalent to the '57 Classic pickup?
     
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  4. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Welcome!
    Nope, the 490s are noticeably hotter than 57s. I use my 57s for mellower 60s rock (Young Rascals, It's a beautiful Day, etc) but much prefer the 490s for edgier overdriven leads.
    If I were replacing humbuckers, though, I would buy a set of Dirty Fingers, not cheap, but remarkably versatile.
     
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  5. NoMoreLuke

    NoMoreLuke New Member

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    Ahh, ok. Nice! That might work well then. I'll have a trawl around eBay! Haha.
     
  6. NoMoreLuke

    NoMoreLuke New Member

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    Ooooh. Just had a listen to the Dirty Fingers... They sound NICE!! Would you get them in both bridge and neck?
     
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  7. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Yes, actually I would. I am going to put them into my Epi G-400 Vintage.
     

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