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#1
I have a standard 2007 Epiphone G-400 with stock pickups... I'm getting weak sound in the high notes and want to improve it.

Yeah, I'm using a Micro Cube - I know it's not stellar, but I like how it sounds and it's good for practice, and I'm not gonna have money for a significantly better amp any time soon. My friend has a Schecter Diamond 006 Deluxe and a Line 6 Spider Valve 212. With the Micro Cube, his guitar has better treble and high range than mine, but with the Spider Valve both guitars sound good.He's also getting a POD soon, so with any serious recording we'll be using his amp and/or POD.

I play various genres with moderate to heavy distortion - I'm not good with genres so I'll just say I like the bass to lower midrange sound from the stock bridge pickup, but the upper midrange and high treble is not that great with the Cube. I want to get a better bridge pickup at some point (I'm not as concerned about the neck pickup, I think it sounds good for cleans), hopefully something with similar or better lowrange and better highrange, and probably better output?

I have about $80 $100 to spend - I think new pickups would be a good overall sound investment, but I'm not sure - is it worth it to get a new bridge pickup at that price or should I wait until I could spend more? If it's worth it, what should I look at? I guess I'm more concerned with improving the sound I get from the Cube for practice but hopefully a good bridge pickup would be good for all amps? Or should I just get an overdrive or distortion pedal or something?
If you're not getting enough gain, you should totally just daisy-chain some solid state amps with headphone jacks together. Remember: Need gain? Use a chain!
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Quote by Normul
You spell things like a jackass
Last edited by thelonesoldier at Dec 24, 2008,
#2
With an amp like that, pickups would be a waste of money. The stock pickups would probably sound great with a better amp. Best bet, is to save up for a new amp.
#3
^ +1.

Believe me, no matter what you play, it's prolly not gonna sound great through that amp. I had a Johnson 15 watt practice amp for three years. A Gibson standard Les Paul sounded close to as bad as my old Johnson knock-off stratocaster.
And the next thing, try your guitar through another amplifier that isn't a digital modeling one. Line 6 makes every guitar sound basically the same. Then decide whether or not your pups are worth keeping or not.
#4
I'm never going to be able to afford a much better amplifier, so the point is moot. I like the sound of the Cube enough for practice, and as I said the high notes sound fine when I use it with my friend's Schecter, so part of the problem is my guitar, and almost certainly the pickups.

I am happy with the sound I get from modelling amps and I don't want to spend an extravagant amount of money on a solid state or tube amp without the flexibility of a modelling amp. The average listener isn't going to notice anything digital about the sound, and I'm not the "I'm better than you because I have an expensive tube amp" type of person.
If you're not getting enough gain, you should totally just daisy-chain some solid state amps with headphone jacks together. Remember: Need gain? Use a chain!
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Quote by Normul
You spell things like a jackass
#5
Why can't you save up? If you can afford pickups, then surely you have some sort of income?

You would not hear the difference through that amp. If you did, it would be small.
#6
and as I said the high notes sound fine when I use it with my friend's Schecter

I am already hearing a difference.

I spend most of my limited income on food, it's only by chance that I have $80 and I might as well spend it on something that lasts instead of eventually using all of it on fast food.
If you're not getting enough gain, you should totally just daisy-chain some solid state amps with headphone jacks together. Remember: Need gain? Use a chain!
------
Quote by Normul
You spell things like a jackass
#7
Yours friends schecter isn't your guitar. Even if you had the same p'ups as him, they wouldn't sound the same...
#8
Bite the bullet man.
Get a new amp.
Seagulls,the chicken of the ocean.

Originally posted by Gunpowder:
Everyone just jumps on the bandwagon and gives the same advice in these situations. You know what? I'm going to be different. Call the firemen.
#9
Quote by thelonesoldier

I have about $80 to spend - I think new pickups would be a good overall sound investment, but I'm not sure - is it worth it to get a new bridge pickup at that price or should I wait until I could spend more? If it's worth it, what should I look at? I guess I'm more concerned with improving the sound I get from the Cube for practice but hopefully a good bridge pickup would be good for all amps? Or should I just get an overdrive or distortion pedal or something?

Honestly, they won't.
Actually called Mark!

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#11
Quote by forsaknazrael
^+1

Just save your money. Why waste it all on a investment for your guitar that won't matter, when there's perfectly good and easily accessible drugs around?

I was gonna say save up and buy a valve amp of some sort, but that sounds good too.
#13
Quote by forsaknazrael
Yeah, I don't understand why people are so concerned with pickups, to get their favorite artists' tone, when clearly, the missing element in their playing is the euphoric stupor granted by substance abuse.


+1

Bag a ****load of LSD, then your guitar and amp will always sound killer, and probably different each time. Cheaper than a guitar or amp upgrade.

And TS, put the money towards a new amp.
#15
Quote by forsaknazrael
Yeah, I don't understand why people are so concerned with pickups, to get their favorite artists' tone, when clearly, the missing element in their playing is the euphoric stupor granted by substance abuse.

+1
That's sigworthy.
#16
I think this has more to do with speaker size, bigger speakers like proper 12 inch speakers are going to sound more clear than amps with smaller speakers like 6 inch or 8 inch.
good luck
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#17
Quote by SkaJon
I think this has more to do with speaker size, bigger speakers like proper 12 inch speakers are going to sound more clear than amps with smaller speakers like 6 inch or 8 inch.
good luck


12 inch speakers for good treble? Um.
#18
Well, I appreciate that you all are trying to help, but I'm serious, I'm not going to be able to save up for a better amp.

I've seen enough people say that the stock pickups in Epi G400s aren't that good that I figured it would be a good idea to upgrade them. Besides, if we're going to be recording with my friend's equipment anyway, why bother getting a better amp that we won't use for it? Why have a more expensive amp I'll only be using for practicing in my room when I could get something that would benefit both practice and recording? I'm not trying to impress anyone when I'm playing by myself, and I can't play very loudly at home anyway.
If you're not getting enough gain, you should totally just daisy-chain some solid state amps with headphone jacks together. Remember: Need gain? Use a chain!
------
Quote by Normul
You spell things like a jackass
#20
Yeah, I made up my mind that I don't have enough money. If someone asked you for help choosing new wheels for his bicycle would you just keep telling him to buy a car until he felt bad because he couldn't afford it? Also, I was hoping to get a holiday special on something, and the opportunity for that is quickly disappearing.

I play various genres with moderate to heavy distortion - I'm not good with genres


I also mostly do rhythm-type playing, but I want the flexibility to do lead and solo type stuff too.

If I won't be able to get better sound with an $80 pickup, or it will be a very marginal increase that isn't worth it, fine, but I won't magically be able to get a new amp. Again, would it be better to get a pedal or something?

edit: Sweet! I found $20 in my drawer. I guess I forgot about it. So my budget is $100.
If you're not getting enough gain, you should totally just daisy-chain some solid state amps with headphone jacks together. Remember: Need gain? Use a chain!
------
Quote by Normul
You spell things like a jackass
Last edited by thelonesoldier at Dec 24, 2008,
#22
Quote by thelonesoldier
If someone asked you for help choosing new wheels for his bicycle would you just keep telling him to buy a car until he felt bad because he couldn't afford it?

That's a totally different example. Not a fair comparison at all...You can get great gigging amps for around 250-500 dollars, which isn't outside the realm of your saving ability.

You'd be surprised how much money you rack up just by saving all your spare change in a jar. My friend did it, he got about 67 dollars in 2 months. I got 32 in about a month and a half.

Quote by thelonesoldier
If I won't be able to get better sound with an $80 pickup, or it will be a very marginal increase that isn't worth it, fine, but I won't magically be able to get a new amp. Again, would it be better to get a pedal or something?

A pedal might not be a bad idea. Try an EQ pedal. Something affordable, like a Danelectro Fish and Chips wouldn't be a bad investment, and will prove to be useful for a long time.

As far as pickups go, though, I'd say a Seymour Duncan SH-14 Custom 5 would be good. It's a versatile pickup that sounds great in an SG.
#23
GFS Crunch Rails - $32
Bill Lawrence 500XL - $49

It would really be worth it to get $32 or $50 pickups? I'm not arguing, I honestly don't know.

You can get great gigging amps for around 250-500 dollars, which isn't outside the realm of your saving ability.

Eh... it basically is. I'm not gonna be gigging anytime soon anyway.

You'd be surprised how much money you rack up just by saving all your spare change in a jar. My friend did it, he got about 67 dollars in 2 months. I got 32 in about a month and a half.

I don't make or spend enough money to end up with that much change :P .

A pedal might not be a bad idea. Try an EQ pedal. Something affordable, like a Danelectro Fish and Chips wouldn't be a bad investment, and will prove to be useful for a long time.

Okay, thanks.

I was just thinking... could I get a good idea of what I would get out of new pickups by trying other G-400 models with different stock pickups? The Tommy Iommi, G-400 Custom, Emily the Strange, and Prophecy SG models all have different pickups. Are they similar enough in other respects that I could try running the different models through the same amp at the music store and get a good idea of what I want?

I'd probably try some pedals with my guitar as well and hopefully be able to decide what the best course of action is.

Also, I'd advise against paying serious money for Seymour Duncan pickups.

As far as pickups go, though, I'd say a Seymour Duncan SH-14 Custom 5 would be good. It's a versatile pickup that sounds great in an SG.

Aww, great.

Thanks both of you though!
If you're not getting enough gain, you should totally just daisy-chain some solid state amps with headphone jacks together. Remember: Need gain? Use a chain!
------
Quote by Normul
You spell things like a jackass
Last edited by thelonesoldier at Dec 24, 2008,
#24
Sorry dude - don't get me wrong, SD pickups are great, but you can get the same/better for half the price if you look elsewhere, or even buy used. Never, ever buy SD, EMG, or other big-named pickups new.

The Bill Lawrence 500XL is the actual pickup that Dime used, and I was just throwing it out as an example of a decent pickup that you can buy for way less than $80. The BL should be better than the GFS, but I've tried neither, unfortunately.

And yes, get to your guitar store, plug into a decent amp (not one that you necessarily intend to buy, and not the one you have right now) and try a few guitars with different pickups. Then, either buy those pickups used, or find others that are voiced similarly. Also, I appreciate what someone said about getting an EQ pedal, but it's better to get decent treble from a pickup itself, instead of trying to boost weak treble frequencies that you have now, because that has the potential to add a tonne of noise.


I hope that all made sense. It's 1am on Christmas Day, and I'm tired.
#25
Quote by -MintSauce-
Sorry dude - don't get me wrong, SD pickups are great, but you can get the same/better for half the price if you look elsewhere, or even buy used. Never, ever buy SD, EMG, or other big-named pickups new.

You can get SD for pretty good prices in the States....I'm not big on the GFS stuff. They lie too much about their specs and materials for me to totally back them. There's some stuff I've ordered that's been decent.
#26
Quote by forsaknazrael
You can get SD for pretty good prices in the States....I'm not big on the GFS stuff. They lie too much about their specs and materials for me to totally back them. There's some stuff I've ordered that's been decent.


FFS, they're about twice the price over here! Same with guitars :\ Lame.

In that case... SD SH-5 or SH-6.

WORD UP.
#28
Used pickups are okay? I would have thought it was a really bad idea to buy used pickups. Do they last for a very long time? I've heard it's rare for pickups to break, but I'm definitely no expert.

I think I'd rather get a new pickup, so I'm sure I can return it if there's something wrong with it, but I guess I'll see. I'll try to test some SD SH-5s or SH-6s then.

Thanks again!
If you're not getting enough gain, you should totally just daisy-chain some solid state amps with headphone jacks together. Remember: Need gain? Use a chain!
------
Quote by Normul
You spell things like a jackass
#29
I wouldn't worry about pickups breaking. Buying used ones are fine as long as you get them installed properly. Which is another thing, if your planning on getting a tech to instll them for you, its gonna cost like another 30-50 bucks.

Anywho, I have a g-400, swapped my pickups for a SD JB/Jazz set.The JB sounds great, gives a nice boost to your treble. It cost me $30 to install to pickups. I bought them for 100 each, bu I'm in Canada so it was a little more.
#30
Quote by forsaknazrael
That's a totally different example. Not a fair comparison at all...You can get great gigging amps for around 250-500 dollars, which isn't outside the realm of your saving ability.

You'd be surprised how much money you rack up just by saving all your spare change in a jar. My friend did it, he got about 67 dollars in 2 months. I got 32 in about a month and a half.



i got $80 in three months, i restarted my jar and now i think i have maybe $30 after two months?




even if your friends schecter sounds better then even if you took out his pickups and used them your guitar wouldnt sound the same.

a new amp could make a bad guitar sound alot better, i believe with the sound its 50% amp 20% player 10% pickups and 10% wood, with the other 10% being things like frets, bridge, floyd rose, etc
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#31
^+1
My setup is a £700 amp and a £250 guitar. It sounds better than if it was the other way round. Amp is more important to your tone than anything else...
#32
I wouldn't worry about pickups breaking. Buying used ones are fine as long as you get them installed properly. Which is another thing, if your planning on getting a tech to instll them for you, its gonna cost like another 30-50 bucks.

Okay, thanks. If I have enough money left over I might have them installed by a tech... I would like to be able to do it myself, but I am also scared of damaging something.

even if your friends schecter sounds better then even if you took out his pickups and used them your guitar wouldnt sound the same.

The point was the Micro Cube is capable of having decent sounding high treble, so I know the problem isn't purely the amp.

My setup is a £700 amp and a £250 guitar. It sounds better than if it was the other way round. Amp is more important to your tone than anything else...

That's great. Want to give me £700?
If you're not getting enough gain, you should totally just daisy-chain some solid state amps with headphone jacks together. Remember: Need gain? Use a chain!
------
Quote by Normul
You spell things like a jackass
Last edited by thelonesoldier at Dec 25, 2008,
#33
Sorry, no. I was just stating how important the amp is tonewise.

When you say the treble lacks, perhaps it is just the guitars set up. Try raising the p'up on the treble side to see if it makes a difference.
#35
I don't know, I have the tone knobs on the Cube and on the guitar turned to max. I've tried raising and lowering the pickups and I don't notice any difference in sound. I hate adjusting the pickup height because even if I don't notice a difference I'm always scared I'm making it worse.

If new pickups won't help with treble, what exactly are they good for?
If you're not getting enough gain, you should totally just daisy-chain some solid state amps with headphone jacks together. Remember: Need gain? Use a chain!
------
Quote by Normul
You spell things like a jackass
#37
Quote by thelonesoldier
I don't know, I have the tone knobs on the Cube and on the guitar turned to max. I've tried raising and lowering the pickups and I don't notice any difference in sound. I hate adjusting the pickup height because even if I don't notice a difference I'm always scared I'm making it worse.

If new pickups won't help with treble, what exactly are they good for?


They will. If they weren't important, demanding guitarists would settle for any old nonsense.

Edit: This is where it gets subjective. Personally, I think that pickups are a major determinant of tone, and I can't use pickups which are weak or have the wrong tonal response to what I'm looking for.

When I'm not happy with my tone, the first things I turn to are my pickups and electronics, then pedal chain, then amp.
Last edited by -MintSauce- at Dec 25, 2008,
#39
I never should have started playing electric guitar, all the equipment options are completely overwhelming.
If you're not getting enough gain, you should totally just daisy-chain some solid state amps with headphone jacks together. Remember: Need gain? Use a chain!
------
Quote by Normul
You spell things like a jackass
Last edited by thelonesoldier at Dec 25, 2008,
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