Alnico Classic Pro or Probucker?

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by ShaolinCat, Feb 11, 2021.

  1. ShaolinCat

    ShaolinCat New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions

    Yes, I need to get used to the different string tension on the shorter scale. It came with a new set of .090 strings that feel like .080's to me compared to what I'm used to and I should really play with that first and see how different gauges perform
     
  2. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    I do not have the pro models for comparison. I find the cleans very good, if I roll off the volume a couple of spots. Here's my unromantic take on magnetic pickups: They are all the same stuff. My favorite pickups are P-90s, problematic though they are. They are articulate, powerful and rock my world. When I was a working backup guitarist, humbuckers made more sense and less noise. With the exception of a few very low output pickups, I really find all humbuckers are pretty much the same. Give 'em a little EQ and it all becomes personal preference.
     
  3. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    To my knowledge, string gauge won't makle a noticeable difference in tone. As for SG settings, it's for you to discover with your gear. A good setting on my Egnater, in my space, with my 2X12" cab, will be almost impossible to compare with what you have. And then, that setting is very different from the one on my Super Champ with a 2X10" cab. And I don't have one, but several settings and they kind of change with the mood of the day.
     
  4. Clifdawg

    Clifdawg Well-Known Member

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    I have experience with both the Alnico Classic Pros (in a G400 Pro), and the Probuckers (in a LP Plus Top Pro). Of the two, I prefer the thicker, meatier sound of the Probucker bridge, but really, they both sound very similar in many respects. The differences are subtle. I actually broke into one of the ACPs and can confirm that the quality of the construction is excellent, so no complaints there. I did have problems with the wiring on the G400, which brings me to my next suggestion...

    If you want to try out some different types of pickups, I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with Guitarfetish (GFS) pickups. I also bought a “Kwikplug” no-solder harness and it makes swapping out pickups a breeze. They come with Alpha pots, but they’re full size and seem to work well. I slapped a pair of mean 90s (humbucker sized P90s) in that same G400 and they were fantastic pups. I’ve also tried out the Classic 2 (Alnico 2 PAF-style) humbucker and it too was a fantastic pickup for the price. It’s a great way to get your feet wet into pickup swapping without eating your wallet.

    That said, as many others have mentioned, tone is determined by a huge variety of things, so if you can’t find a sound you like with the stock pickups on a Korean G400, I doubt new pups will win you over. Pickup swapping is good if you already love the way a guitar plays and sounds and you just want that little something “extra.”
     
  5. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    The moral of the preceding tale was not that a different gauge made a difference but rather that the new strings did. Old strings can influence the sound.

    I beg to differ. The pickups are probably the only thing on a guitar that can actually make a difference to how it sounds.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2021
  6. ShaolinCat

    ShaolinCat New Member

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    I'm based in Europe so sadly GFS with shipping costs and import duty becomes a bit less practical, but we have IronGear and Tonerider over here and they make some nice pickups that could be worth investigating

    The Kwikplug looks interesting - from what I can see it's based on a 4-pole, 2.5mm jack and socket with heatshrink instead of a barrel. That seems like a very nice idea for testing (nicer than trying to crimp molex connectors!): I can certainly do that and then make a permanent solder connection when I've settled on what I want. I've got an account with RS Components so I can get compenents like connectors and switches and pots pretty cheap

    Do you have a view on how much of that was down to the guitars and how much was the pickup? That would be interesting

    Understood

    I like the basic tone well enough and don't really have problems with it, I'm mainly just getting used to not having quite the openess and responsiveness of single coils as that is what is famliar and wondering if different pickups will bring some of that back but still keep the mahogany and humbucker sound - I came for 'short-scale/mahogany/humbucker' and that's what I've got. I'm probably a bit influenced by all the posts I read with people gleefully hacking around and being somebody that likes to 'fiddle' myself it resonates
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2021
  7. ShaolinCat

    ShaolinCat New Member

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    Perhaps this helps understand where my question comes from. A few years ago I watched this:


    I though at the time "I like the Ash for cleans which is good because I have an Ash guitar, but I do like that mahogany sound when it gets distorted, and I bet when you add a humbucker, a short-scale and a fixed mahogany neck there's even more of that sound"

    And here I am... I've got my new guitar, I like it and now I want to get it properly-sorted so I can enjoy it alongside my existing one
     
  8. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    I have bought a few pickups from Vanson on Ebay, they're based in the UK. Great sounding and inexpensive.
     
  9. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    O...m...g... so it's another "tonewood" thing. Well, then I'm outta here but my previous statements stand. Good luck!
     
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  10. dub-setter

    dub-setter Well-Known Member

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  11. Bad Penguin

    Bad Penguin Well-Known Member

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    I have/had a set of the ACP in my SG400 Pro. After all the turning of screws, I quickly pulled them out and put in a set of A8's and was very happy with the results. I still have them, with cut and slightly shortened wires, and if anyone is interested. feel free to PM me.
     
  12. ShaolinCat

    ShaolinCat New Member

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    PM sent... :smile:
     
  13. Beery Swine

    Beery Swine Active Member

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    I have a G-400 and a Les Paul Standard PlusTop. I definitely prefer the ACPs to the PBs. The neck PB is fine, but idk, the bridge just doesn't do it for me. They sound pretty much the same, but I think it just sounds better in the neck. The SG with ACPs, otoh, I play all the time, and I have 5 pretty high quality guitars now, yet I still find myself often just picking up the SG. The tone is definitely good, but it also just feels comfy. I might get a Gibson SG used at some point for the right price and specs (definitely want '57s).
    If the only guitar I had for the rest of my life was my Epi SG G-400 PRO stock (as it is), I really don't think I'd complain too much. Still thinking about replacing the nut with a Tusq or something, but that's not even necessary.

    EDIT: For tone reference, I have a Vox VT20+ and a Mesa/Boogie Mark IVa for amps and play mostly thrash metal and classic rock (trying to learn some blues with my new strat)
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2021
  14. ShaolinCat

    ShaolinCat New Member

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    Hum... pickup purchases on hold pending bridge upgrade

    I was setting the guitar up, put the bridge around the right way but then noticed how wobbly it was: the posts wobble in the studs and the bridge wobbles on the posts. Even the tailpiece posts wobble in the studs a bit unless it's totally screwed down!

    That must be why I don't get quite the responsiveness I'm used to and was hoping for...

    I'll be addressing this issue before getting new pickups. Perhaps dropping small washers into the tailpiece studs until the post screw has something to bottom out against will sort out that wobble, but I think a new, upgraded bridge is the only solution for that issue
     
  15. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Bad idea. That is a way to pull the bushings out :wow:
    Bushings.png
    You'd have more succes by decking that tail piece. If you find it too low like that, insert washers between the stud flange and the bushing top. The easiest, I personally think it looks better, is to simply top wrap the tailpiece.

    170430 2-.jpg
     
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  16. ShaolinCat

    ShaolinCat New Member

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    Whoops... yep, 'bad idea' is probably an apt description

    Thanks, really! :ohno:

    Your suggestions about either using washers under the bridge or the wrap around sound like the right way forward. I guess it depends which will give the best incidence angle after I've got everything the right height as to which will be the best way option

    Even getting the bridge the right way around improved things - I noticed the bottom string was sitting on the top of the saddle and the top string was deep in its grove and on investigation realised that the screws on the bridge need to be facing the neck, not the tail. Changing things around gives the guitar noticeably lounder acoustic sound and better responsiveness when amplified. If I fit a less wobbly bridge and get the tailpiece anchored properly that might solve all my problems without the need to change the humbuckers

    Maybe I could have another stupid idea and get a wrap-around bridge: drill holes through the body and fit collets to have a string-through arrangement behind the bridge and then tether the bridge to the now unused tailpiece holes so the bridge doesn't collapse forward! :lol: (not serious)
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
  17. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    '57 Classic and 498T/490R are my favorite humbuckers,

    Seymour Duncan '59 SH-1 and Lindy Fralin are fantastic

    :cheers:
     
  18. ShaolinCat

    ShaolinCat New Member

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    I'm hearing Gibson 57 Classic recommended a lot in this thread, along with the Epiphone Alnico Classic Pro which appear to be their Alnico 5 look-a-likes

    I saw somewhere that the 'Angus Young Signature' pickups are very much like 57 Classics but with an Alnico 5 magnet instead of an Alnico 2... as Epiphone probably imagine that many of their SG buyers will put on short trousers before they visit the guitar shop, and the riff they play won't be 'Stairway', I guess the Alnico Classic Pro format makes sense as their goto pickup!

    To be fair, Mr Young also probably knows more than many what makes a good SG...
     
  19. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    Tolerances are never that tight on those parts. I replaced the stock bridge on my '66 G400 Pro with a Gotoh Nashville style so I could intonate it properly and there's a bit of play in it as well. Maybe if you go for one of the really expensive aftermarket parts the tolerances will be tighter. I find that once you string things up to tension though those wobbles are a non-issue. If it really bothers you a bit of plumbers tape will get rid of it.

    I am unconvinced that the transfer of string vibrations to the body are a big deal on an electric guitar. I feel that what you want is to maximize the amount of vibration that stays in the strings, and therefore gets converted into electrical current by the pickups. This is why a well cut nut and properly grooved saddles that don't rattle are important, and why a lightning bolt wraparound bridge with no moving parts often sounds better. It's also why your guitar sounded better when you got the bridge the right way around and the strings were sitting in appropriately sized grooves.

    But it doesn't seem that there is much consensus about this, and I don't know enough about physics to be sure of myself. As far as I know there are no scientific studies on how important string vibrations transmitted to the body of an electric guitar are to it's amplified sound. But there's lots of opinions out there.

    I do firmly believe that the biggest factor in how an electric guitar will sound are the pickups. Simply adjusting their height can make a huge difference. Their position relative to scale length also changes the sound a lot. So swapping to something different can definitely change the sound of your guitar, for better or worse.
     
  20. Beery Swine

    Beery Swine Active Member

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