deftonez
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Join date: Dec 2010
129 IQ
#1
Hi, Im new to this forum and Im in a dilemma right now. I have a Epiphone Les Paul Special II, which is a pretty basic model. I have been playing for two years now and I consider myself an intermediate player. I love metal and rock music. Now Im not sure if I should step up and buy a new guitar, say Epiphone Les Paul standard or maybe Synyster Gates's Schecter, or if I should upgrade my pickups for better sound. Im not really sure if changing pickups would cause significant change in sound quality so I kinda need advice here.
Robbgnarly
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#2
Quote by deftonez
Hi, Im new to this forum and Im in a dilemma right now. I have a Epiphone Les Paul Special II, which is a pretty basic model. I have been playing for two years now and I consider myself an intermediate player. I love metal and rock music. Now Im not sure if I should step up and buy a new guitar, say Epiphone Les Paul standard or maybe Synyster Gates's Schecter, or if I should upgrade my pickups for better sound. Im not really sure if changing pickups would cause significant change in sound quality so I kinda need advice here.

Deff get a new guitar.
Deff stay away from the Syn-Gay Sig (yeah I did that on purpose ). It is not just because it is his model, but because it has a hefty price tag because of his name, not the quality of the build. If you really like thae shape, look at the Schecter Avenger.

The LP standard is a good solid guitar and if you go used, you can get them for cheap.

Another guitar to keep in mind are the PRS SE line. I'm not a big Tremonti fan, but his sig guitar is one of the cheapest PRS SE guitars and it has the LP styling (it is a good guitar also)
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Mephaphil
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#3
2 years and intermediate? You must be a fast learner.

Anyway. Upgrading pickups in that guitar will make the hardware more expensive than the guitar. There's no point.

You might as well get a new guitar like the Epiphone LP Standard, but even then it won't be worth upgrading your pickups. If you are interested in upgrades you might want to look at mid range guitars like the Gibson LP Studio Faded, not too much more than the Epi and can be gotten for a steal used and it's a massive upgrade. Or a lower end PRS, which are great.

What about your amp?
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


Last edited by Mephaphil at Jan 5, 2013,
Robbgnarly
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#4
Quote by Mephaphil
You might as well get a new guitar like the Epiphone LP Standard, but even then it won't be worth upgrading your pickups.

WTF?
Epiphone guitars (well ones like the G-400/LP standard are good instruments, and can be improved majorly with a pickup swap.
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#5
They cost nearly as much as the pickups. Just seems like a false economy to me mate. £230 for the guitar, £150 for some decent pickups, like the 59 SD set and even more for EMGs.

Might as well get something that has a bit more to start with, and you might not need to swap anything. If you can get everything used then yeah, it's no biggie, but I'd rather spend that extra £150 and get a Gibson LP Faded used for £400 with Burstbucker Pros as standard, which are great for rock and certain types of metal.

That's all I mean. I agree, there's loads of great Epis
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


Last edited by Mephaphil at Jan 5, 2013,
AJScott
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#6
Epiphones are good quality guitars, you will do well with an upgrade. Look at putting in some Seymour Duncans, like the Vintage Hot Rodded Humbucker set which has an SH4 and SH-2n pickups. If you want a hotter sound look at the Invaders (I believe Synynster gates uses those), or the SH6.

What amp are you using? Even the best sounding guitar can sound rubbish through a rubbish amp, but a rubbish guitar will sound amazing through the best amp.
Robbgnarly
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#7
Quote by Mephaphil
They cost nearly as much as the pickups. Just seems like a false economy to me mate. £230 for the guitar, £150 for some decent pickups, like the 59 SD set and even more for EMGs.

Might as well get something that has a bit more to start with, and you might not need to swap anything. If you can get everything used then yeah, it's no biggie, but I'd rather spend that extra £150 and get a Gibson LP Faded used for £400 with Burstbucker Pros as standard, which are great for rock and certain types of metal.

That's all I mean. I agree, there's loads of great Epis

I can see you point, But you don't have to but the pickups at the same time as the guitar. I have a G-400 faded that I bought new 4 yrs ago for $299. a few months later I bought a Duncan SH-4 for $72. I could not spend the extra at the time. Now that G-400 is my main guitar for my Prog-rock/metal band and it cost me $371. And normaly my main guitar is a PRS CE22 (but I was not going to change it)

I do think Epi pickups are crap, but they still work.
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GaryBillington
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#8
Quote by Mephaphil
They cost nearly as much as the pickups. Just seems like a false economy to me mate. £230 for the guitar, £150 for some decent pickups, like the 59 SD set and even more for EMGs.

Might as well get something that has a bit more to start with, and you might not need to swap anything. If you can get everything used then yeah, it's no biggie, but I'd rather spend that extra £150 and get a Gibson LP Faded used for £400 with Burstbucker Pros as standard, which are great for rock and certain types of metal.

That's all I mean. I agree, there's loads of great Epis

I agree with all this - I can understand why people would change the pickups in a quality guitar, but I can never see the point of doing it to something basic. I guess if it's something particularly unusual or has sentimental value you could justify it to yourself, but 90% of the time upgrading the whole guitar is the more sensible option.

I also give a big +1 to the Gibson LP Faded suggestion. I have one in brown & it's awesome - I actually prefer it to the Gibson LP standard I owned a few years ago.
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leigh596
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#9
Id probably say just get an ibanez, for £420 (WEED) you can get an ibanez RG821 - a premium series ibanez - which has nice stock pickups and a new ibanez hardtail bridge system modeled to be like the evertune bridge. If youre wanting a floyd rose you could look at some of the other ibanez s/rg series guitars but licensed, which it is likely to be, is pretty crappy so id stay away from them if theyre not premium/prestige with tremolos

EDIT - I suppose it could be an ibanez built tremolo but even at that, alot of them are made from cheap materials and break easy
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Last edited by leigh596 at Jan 5, 2013,
IronMaiden76
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#10
Quote by Robbgnarly
I can see you point, But you don't have to but the pickups at the same time as the guitar. I have a G-400 faded that I bought new 4 yrs ago for $299. a few months later I bought a Duncan SH-4 for $72. I could not spend the extra at the time. Now that G-400 is my main guitar for my Prog-rock/metal band and it cost me $371. And normaly my main guitar is a PRS CE22 (but I was not going to change it)

I do think Epi pickups are crap, but they still work.


Could you give us a video of that Epi in action?
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Mephaphil
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#11
Quote by Robbgnarly
I can see you point, But you don't have to but the pickups at the same time as the guitar. I have a G-400 faded that I bought new 4 yrs ago for $299. a few months later I bought a Duncan SH-4 for $72. I could not spend the extra at the time. Now that G-400 is my main guitar for my Prog-rock/metal band and it cost me $371. And normaly my main guitar is a PRS CE22 (but I was not going to change it)

I do think Epi pickups are crap, but they still work.


Putting them in at the same time you buy them or after is irrelevant. You're still spending the money. It seems different because you're staggering it, but you may have spent half the value of the guitar and it still wont sound as good as another guitar you could of got for a small amount of money on top.

I'm not saying it's wrong, I just don't think it's a worth it as such. If you can get a Epi LP for £150 and some pickups for £50, yea definitely. But new? No way, it's a false economy.

I'm sure your guitar sounds great.

Quote by GaryBillington
I also give a big +1 to the Gibson LP Faded suggestion. I have one in brown & it's awesome - I actually prefer it to the Gibson LP standard I owned a few years ago.


I had a wine red one and the neck just felt amazing. Baked Maple on a Gibson just felt so right, and the back of the neck was just something else.

However, my LP Traditional is just a different league really.
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


Clarkinator
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#12
Doesn't look like you are considering Fenders, but for what its worth, there are a TON of used Strats and Teles all over the place, and sometimes you can get one for downright highway robbery. Here in the states, every day I see something like a used American Strat for $400 or a Mexican Strat for even less. You could swap out the bridge pickup for $60 or so (Duncan, Fender Custom Shop, etc) and have yourself a really, really bitching guitar.

A buddy of mine picked up a Mexican Strat for like $250, threw in a Duncan SH-5 in the bridge, and his strat now sounds pretty much as good as my American Standard. Total cost to him was $300.

Fender is a big name, and all the time someone springs for one, never really plays it, then realizes a few years later they just need to get rid of it as its collecting dust.

I'll also agree with the people above who mentioned the Les Paul Studios. My main guitar is a Gibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe, and I absolutely love it. You could probably find a used one at a good deal.

I would search ebay like crazy with a set price range. Search for electric guitars with a range of 300 - 500 and see what you find. You can always do more research on the guitar if you see something that looks like a good deal.
Robbgnarly
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#13
Quote by IronMaiden76
Could you give us a video of that Epi in action?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLRUqgWFvIM

her you go mot the best sound, but not the worst either I'm the one on the far right
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leigh596
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#14
Rob, your band is badass as ****. Your guitar sounds pretty good for the price youve put it all together for!
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Robbgnarly
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#15
Quote by leigh596
Rob, your band is badass as ****. Your guitar sounds pretty good for the price youve put it all together for!

Thanks man
We have been really lucky since we started playing in July 2012. We have played with ASG, Nonpoint, Guttermouth and Authority Zero to name a few. We are waiting to see if we can get on a few shows with Mastadon (our lead guitarist know Bret) so I'll keep my fingers crossed)

Also in that video I was using my old Line 6 spider valve on the plexi setting
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guitarguydm123
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#16
Trust people when they say dont go for the Syn guitar (My sig is wrong, i got rid of it yesterday, im just not going to change it until my new hellraiser comes in the mail) its an ok guitar, but you do pay a lot for the name, the stripes and may look cool now but they def get old fast.
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#17
I'll echo the others soemwhat and say that, with few exceptions, sig model guitars are overpriced. Typically, you can find comperable guitars for hundreds less, either within the brand or in the product lines of other companies.

Given what you've said, you might consider a DBZ, Dean, Malden or Fernandes:
http://www.dbzguitars.com/guitars/electric-guitar/imperial
http://www.dbzguitars.com/guitars/electric-guitar/royale
http://www.dbzguitars.com/guitars/electric-guitar/bolero
http://www.dbzguitars.com/guitars/electric-guitar/barchetta
http://www.deanguitars.com/cadi_series.php
http://www.maldenguitars.com/badkarma.htm
http://www.fernandesguitars.com/products/guitars/ravelle.html
http://www.fernandesguitars.com/products/guitars/revolver.html
http://www.fernandesguitars.com/products/guitars/dragonfly.html


Or, if you really like the feel of the guitar you own, and just want to upgrade pickups, look at Tesla or Bareknuckle pickups.

https://bareknucklepickups.co.uk/main/
http://www.teslapickups.com/
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jan 5, 2013,
IronMaiden76
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#18
Quote by guitarguydm123
Trust people when they say dont go for the Syn guitar (My sig is wrong, i got rid of it yesterday, im just not going to change it until my new hellraiser comes in the mail) its an ok guitar, but you do pay a lot for the name, the stripes and may look cool now but they def get old fast.

I always thought the stripes looked tacky as ****
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#19
If you really like Metal and Hard Rock you wouldn't be considering a Synster Gates model.
Have a look at Schecter Hellraisers, they're very appropriate for Metal with the EMGs in them.
Just have a look at good spec guitars. E.G if they have Dimarzio/Seymour Duncan/EMG pickups.
Read reviews and look around a bit. Try Thomann's GuitarLab.
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Robbgnarly
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#20
Quote by Boonnoo666
If you really like Metal and Hard Rock you wouldn't be considering a Synster Gates model.
Have a look at Schecter Hellraisers, they're very appropriate for Metal with the EMGs in them.
Just have a look at good spec guitars. E.G if they have Dimarzio/Seymour Duncan/EMG pickups.
Read reviews and look around a bit. Try Thomann's GuitarLab.

WTF?
I only use passive pickups and I play in a Prog-metal band, so your logic just flew out the window. Besides of all the Big bands that use passives like: Scott Ian/Anthrax, Mark Morton/LOG, Andy Williams/ETID.....
Sure there are plenty of bands that do use actives, but your blanket statement is false
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#21
Quote by Robbgnarly
WTF?
I only use passive pickups and I play in a Prog-metal band, so your logic just flew out the window. Besides of all the Big bands that use passives like: Scott Ian/Anthrax, Mark Morton/LOG, Andy Williams/ETID.....
Sure there are plenty of bands that do use actives, but your blanket statement is false

Huh? I didn't say Metal players only used Actives! I disagree with that greatly. Where'd ya get that from?
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Robbgnarly
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#22
Quote by Boonnoo666
Huh? I didn't say Metal players only used Actives! I disagree with that greatly. Where'd ya get that from?

my fault I skimmed the post and did not see the seymour Duncan statement
So I just give myself one of these for you
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deftonez
Registered User
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#23
I have a Laney LX-20R, and Ive heard that I should actually up my amp and get better sound and some effects first. Im not sure which route I should go, upgrading of guitar or getting newer amps and effects. For what its worth, I like Syn Gates cause he made me fall in love with Metal and hard rock, fav guitarist, Petrucci.
deftonez
Registered User
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#24
Can someone explain why passive pickups are better etc etc? Im not really fluent with the technical terms :/
deftonez
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#25
Im not very sure what makes an electric guitar better, what are the essential things to look out for etc, who's kind enough to give me a crash course hahaha
dannyalcatraz
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#26
Quote by deftonez
Can someone explain why passive pickups are better etc etc? Im not really fluent with the technical terms :/


They're not better, just different. Some people don't care for them- for several reasons- and others use almost nothing but.

And you'll find even guitar legends on any side of that discussion.
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alhaq369
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Offworld92
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#27
Do you absolutely love playing your guitar? Does it feel as if it was sanded to the shape of your hand? Then upgrade it. No? Then continue your search for the guitar that does feel that way.

Very simple.
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#28
If you like the way the guitar feels and plays but just want to change the sound, then definitely consider changing the pickups. Now, you WON'T get your money back if you turn around and sell/trade the guitar, but you can definitely get a tone you love this way. Plus, you'll have something that no-one around you has, which I kind of enjoy.

I have a hobby of buying used guitars, and using them as a parts swap platform. I will typically swap out the tuners, the pickups, and PLEK them. I've built some awesome playing guitars this way, usually for way less than you'd pay for a top end guitar. I did this to my Epiphone (see sig), and it now plays like a 335, and sounds better, for half the price. I've done it to a couple of strats, and gotten high quality players for 2/3 of the price of my American Deluxe.

I'll repeat, don't do this if you think you'll be swapping the guitar soon, as you won't get your money back out. But if you basically like the guitar, you can get some notable improvements, particularly in the sound, with some judicious parts swapping.
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