Pickup change

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

  1. leeclick

    leeclick New Member

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    Hi, I would like some suggestions on pickup choice.
    I like the sound of my strat (out of phase included) but I prefer the playability of my Epiphone SG. The standard pickups sound a bit dull in comparison. What pickup choice would take me closer to a strat sound?
     
  2. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    I’m guessing you have standard single coil pickups in your Strat?
    I mean, you will never get an SG to sound like a Strat in the first place, they really are poles apart in terms of their inherent sound.
    The Strat has a percussive hollowness to the sound that nothing apart from a Strat style instrument can produce.
    The SG has a mid range bite that is in itself very much a part of the SG sound that you’ll find almost impossible to get rid of.
    That said, if I wanted some tones that could be closer to a Strat out of an SG I’d start by getting P90 pickups in there, or even single coils.
    I would personally never put single coils in an SG, they’re not designed to fit so you’d have to do some converting to get them to fit. Some people have done this, and there are examples on this forum if you have a search.
    I’d go for a humbucker sized P90 as technically that is also a single coil, except a lot fatter than a Strat pickup, so won’t sound the same as a Strat, but would be heading in the right direction.
    If you wanted all the in between sounds out that you get on a Strat I guess you’d have to rig up some micro switches or push pull pots and make sure you have everything wired up to give you those sounds, I’ve never seen a fender style 5 way switch on an SG, but it’s probably been done... this would also depend on what pickups you go for...
    Personally I’d keep the Strat for ‘Strat tones’ and just make the SG the best version of that SG that I could, by upgrading the pickups to something SG flavoured. Then you’d have a kick ass Strat for Strat stuff, and a kick ass SG for everything else!
     
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  3. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    If you have your pickups mounted in the pickguard then change that to one that takes singlecoils and if possible a 5-way Fender switch. If the latter is not possible then wire the pickups Gibson style but with the possibility to blend in the middle one. ( I have all my strats that way because it gives the bridge, neck option as well as the all three option, useless soundwise but always fun to be able to amaze your friends at parties...) Also gives tone control on bridge pickup.

    I'd make sure the pickups have the same distance from the bridge as a strat has. (perhaps that's standard for such a pickguard, never done it myself so who knows)

    For pickups, well, use the same as you have in the strat then for starters.
     
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  4. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    What is it about your Strat that feels wrong? I had to do a fair amount of work on my Strat before it played as well as my SG, but it is now every bit the equal. I really wouldn't recommend trying to make an SG sound like a Strat. You won't achieve it and in all probability you will end up with a harsh SG. Better to do the work the Strat needs.
     
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  5. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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  6. leeclick

    leeclick New Member

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    It's the furniture on the strat that gets in the way. The volume pots & the pickups always seem to hinder my playing, whereas the SG just seems right. The SG also has a slightly fatter & flatter neck which I like more than the strat.
     
  7. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Guitar Furniture.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
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  8. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    I love the Strat volume control position. I can leave my pinky looped around it and change dynamics on the fly. I don't use huge strumming that might run into the switch.
     
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  9. dub-setter

    dub-setter Well-Known Member

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    mhh.... maybe go for p90 ies in your epi.

    would slightly change it to a more mid/highs sound....
    (less body)
     
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  10. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    But nothing like a Strat.
     
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  11. skelt101

    skelt101 Active Member

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    I would go for P90 sized Humbuckers or Humbuckers with 4-conductor wires so either the coils can be split or run in parallel. Maybe add a phase switch too, via Push-Pull pots or Seymour Duncan Triple Shot Pickup Rings. It probably wouldn’t sound exactly like a Strat, but perhaps a step closer. :thumb:
     
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  12. dub-setter

    dub-setter Well-Known Member

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    naa....
    more like an sg with p 90 ties..:)
     
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  13. cheshiergrin

    cheshiergrin Well-Known Member

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    I tried a few pickups in my only SG before I decided to go with p 90s. I got a new batwing guard and did a little surgery and took some Epiphone p 90s that I swapped the magnets in. They were pretty hot before with ceramic magnets but they are actually wound about to the DC of a vintage pickup so with the magnet swap they are pretty sweet sounding and I can get close to a tele vibe with it.
    You could also try wiring the buckers to switch form series to parrallel, that might get you closer also.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
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  14. ChubbyFingers

    ChubbyFingers Active Member

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    Strats are like a-holes - everyone's got one and most of them stink :naughty:

    Actually they're probably one of the most versatile guitars out there but still. Getting your SG to sound like a Strat? Why bother? You can buy a used Squier Strat for next to nothing or a brand new MIM Fender for around 600-700 and you won't risk effing up your SG. You could also look at a Jaguar or a Tele or one of the oh so many Strat like alternatives.
     
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  15. cheshiergrin

    cheshiergrin Well-Known Member

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    Here is my SG, neck pickup with some tube screamer. Not exactly stratlike but still sounds good to me.

     
  16. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    Man that is some tasteful shizzle right there! Lovely.
     
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  17. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    Sh!t, you've GOT IT man!
     
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  18. cheshiergrin

    cheshiergrin Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the kind words, the guitar did the heavy lifting by sounding awesome.:dude:
     
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  19. tolm

    tolm Well-Known Member

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    P90s are great in an SG. Will it sound like a Strat? No, but it will sound a little more “single coily” and generally AWESOME.

    Other thought ... longer scale on the Strat so you could try fatter strings on the SG but not really sure on that ...

    Alternatively ... if the controls on the Strat are getting in the way (one of the reasons I’ve never found a Strat I gelled with - that and the neck profiles / nut width ...) would be to get a custom guard with master volume / master tone only that are a little further away from the bridge.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2020
  20. TChalms

    TChalms New Member

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    I put a Seymour Duncan Jazz at the neck and SD 59/Custom at the bridge and coil splitting tone pots. When I split the coils it's not exactly a Strat sound but it's fairly close.

    There are different coil splitting pots. I used the Mad Hatter Guitar Products DVDT-4/2. You can look that up. When it splits the coils, it also changes from 500K ohm to 250K ohm pots, which gets it closer to a true single coil sound.

    With both coils split and the 3-way switch in the middle, I get a very interesting sound that is almost like the out of phase sound on the Strat. It would also be possible to wire it up to get a true out of phase sound.

    My SG doesn't sound like a muddy SG anymore but I chose pickups based on the sound that I wanted. I've got lots of clarity. Of course there are other pickups to use that would get the humbucker sound you're after and the single coil sound you want. The key for coil splitting is to use humbuckers with 4 leads. Seymour Duncan has several options.

    Plan it out - it was a fun project for me.
     
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